San Antonio offers shoppers a nice balance of large malls and little enclaves of specialized shops, along with one-off boutiques scattered around the city. You’ll find everything here from the utilitarian to the unusual: a Saks Fifth Avenue fronted by a 40-foot pair of cowboy boots, a mall with a river running through it, and some lively Mexican markets.
Most shops around town are open from 9 or 10am to 5:30 or 6pm Monday through Saturday, with shorter hours on Sunday. Malls are generally open Monday through Saturday 10am to 9pm and on Sunday noon to 6pm. Sales tax in San Antonio is 8.25%.
The Shopping Scene
Most out-of-town shoppers will find all they need downtown, between the boutiques and crafts shops of La Villita, the colorful Mexican wares of Market Square, and the large Shops at Rivercenter, near the Alamo. More avant-garde boutiques and galleries can be found in the adjacent area known as Southtown. Just north of downtown, the Pearl complex is the latest hip retail hub. Most San Antonians prefer to shop in the suburban malls along Loop 410 and Loop 1604. A number of upmarket retail outlets can also be found in the fancy strip centers that line Broadway, where it passes through Alamo Heights.
Between Austin and San Antonio along I-35, two adjacent outlet malls form one of south Texas’s largest tourist destinations: the Tanger Factory Outlet Center and Premium Outlets, with more than 350 stores and more than 1,000,000 square feet of shopping.
There’s a popular farmers market at the Pearl on Saturdays and Sundays; the First Thursday market in Pearl Park features lots of local vendors as well as free live music. See this page for details on the lively Mexican Market at Market Square.
A number of antiques shops line Hildebrand Avenue between Blanco Road and San Pedro Avenue in Monte Vista, and along McCullough Avenue between Hildebrand and Basse Road in Olmos Park. Serious antiques hounds might head to the town of Boerne, about half an hour away, where many shops are concentrated along Main Street.
La Villita and Market Square, in the downtown historic area, are both good resources for crafts, especially Mexican imports and Mexican folk art. See also Fiesta on Main and La Casa Frida.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.