Best Place to People-Watch

The Pearl

Winner: The Pearl

312 Pearl Parkway

(210) 212-7260

atpearl.com

Seasoned San Antonians may recall a time when there was a big question mark hovering over the Pearl. Following its long run as a large-scale brewery (1883 to 2001), the 22-acre campus got snapped up by Silver Ventures to be slowly but surely transformed into a mixed-use complex with a preservationist bent. The first tenants — the Aveda Institute and a cooking school that evolved into the Culinary Institute of America — arrived in 2006 but gave the public few reasons to visit. Fast-forward 13 years and it's surprisingly hard to imagine San Antonio before the Pearl. Case in point: our readers apparently deem it more important than both the River Walk and the Alamo. As any concierge will tell you, the ever-evolving, multipurpose destination is a no-brainer whether you're looking for a taste of our local food scene (Bakery Lorraine and Cured are consistent faves), nightlife (from Sternewirth to Jazz, TX) or retail therapy (Dos Carolinas, Tiny Finch, the Twig, the list goes on). Reinforced in 2015 by the arrival of the world-class, industrial-chic Hotel Emma — a must-see gem in its own right — the Pearl has made concerted efforts to establish public spaces that serve the broader community. This open-door policy has taken the people-watching experience to an amusing portrait of San Antonio — whether it be kids frolicking on the splash pads in Pearl Park, hipsters officing out of Local Coffee, yoga nerds stretching on artificial grass or unconditioned tourists trying to find their way to the River Walk.

2. The River Walk

849 E. Commerce St.

(210) 227-4262

thesanantonioriverwalk.com

3. Market Square

541 W. Commerce St.

(210) 207-8600

getcreativesanantonio.com

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