The Pearl in San Antonio, Texas, goes by many names. You may have heard it called the Pearl Brewery, the Pearl District, the Historic Pearl, or simply Pearl. No matter what you prefer to call it, the Pearl is one of the most “must see” places in San Antonio, and is a daily popular hangout among us locals.
When I moved here I thought the Pearl earned its name by being an exquisite shining gem on the north side of downtown San Antonio. However, as legend would have it, the Pearl got its name because the bubbles in its beer resembled pearls. Huh. I suppose both versions are believable, and they can “adopt” whichever they prefer.
What is the Pearl Brewery?
The Pearl in San Antonio, which was formerly a brewery, has been remodeled into a major social attraction. Some of the things you can find at the Pearl include apartments, businesses, and various restaurants.
On weekends people flock to the Pearl for the farmers market, which is year round. Which season are we in right now? Peach? Pumpkin? Wine season? No matter what season it is, we can find what we need at the Pearl.
At night the Pearl lights up and the magic happens. No, I don’t mean like Disney World or anything, but the Pearl does have its own way of placing a sparkle in our grown-up eyes. During weeknights you might hear a concert taking place.
Other nights you will simply find people enjoying the many restaurants, or taking a stroll down the walkways. It seems like every restaurant has an outdoor patio, and you know what that means – dog friendly anyone?
The Pearl is Dog Friendly
If your dog is anything like mine, she loves hiking in wooded areas. However, there are many dog friendly things to do near me that happen to be in civilized areas. In my opinion, these are the best dog friendly places to visit.
One of these places is the Pearl, and it is easy to find. You can find it just north of the downtown area, between the Josephine St. exit from US-281, and the St. Marys St. exit from I-35. The Pearl is extremely dog friendly. Some say the Pearl is too dog friendly!
Hours of operation: The Park at the Pearl and the San Antonio Riverwalk are open 24 hours. The shops and restaurants will have more limited hours.
Parking fees: None
Is Pearl Beer Still Made?
Yes, Pearl beer is still made today, but it isn’t made at the Pearl in San Antonio. Pearl beer is currently made in Fort Worth, Texas. Miller Brewing Company took over production, which explains why I did not enjoy it.
I’m picky about my beer and prefer the stronger, less watery stuff. If you would like to try Pearl beer, you can still find it inside a couple of the restaurants at the Pearl. They also have many other options as far as drinks are concerned. All in favor of options?
Where to Park at the Pearl
Parking is free and easy at the Pearl, with options all the way around the location, and inside as well. I’ve never had any issues parking. However, one night a parade was marching through, (which reminds me to mention not to bring your dog too close to a marching band) and on that instance the lots were packed. We didn’t have a problem finding parking, but we did park several blocks away.
No matter where you park it’s really easy to access the Pearl from every direction. We typically find that parking in the back across the river is the most convenient. Of course, we don’t mind the scenic walk. If you prefer to park closer, head to the garage next to Hotel Emma and park for free. You may also find parking next to the vegetarian restaurant, Green.
Restaurants at the Pearl
The Pearl in San Antonio would not be one of the best places to visit if it did not have multiple restaurants. Let’s be honest, we all love food. There are, in fact, several good places to eat at the Pearl.
- Bakery Lorraine
- Boiler House
- La Gloria
- Supper at Hotel Emma
- The Food Hall
The Food Hall actually has five separate vendors inside, plus a bar, and a jazz club downstairs. There’s a lot happening at the Food Hall. Its food options include:
- Bud’s southern rotisserie
- Fletcher’s hamburgers
- Maybelle’s donuts
- Tenko ramen
- The good kind
Each restaurant at the Pearl has outdoor seating, so bring your dog along as well. There is also a coffee shop and an ice cream shop that has dairy-free options. Lick has a wide variety of flavors, but Abbey, simply prefers the vanilla. There are many dog friendly restaurants to be found, but we have not tried them all. If you’ve tried any others let us know how good they are.
The San Antonio Riverwalk
If you get tired of walking around the restaurants, you will find access to the San Antonio Riverwalk on the west side of the Pearl. The path on both sides of the river provides a pleasant, and peaceful walk any time of day. If you feel especially active, follow the riverwalk south to the downtown area and peruse the art along the way. We walked only a short distance and saw faces in the water! Feel free to share the amazing things you spotted.
The riverboats do come up the river to the Pearl IF you call for one. The riverboat tours do not come up the river to let people get on and off. You need to inform them that you need a river taxi from the Pearl by calling 210 227-4746.
Is There a Dog Park at the Pearl?
There are signs promoting a dog park at the Pearl, but all we found was a tiny fenced in plot of dirt on our first visit. This was next to the parking lot under US-281, and east of the Pearl. We expected to find a lovely park filled with dogs having a wonderful time. Sadly, such a thing did not exist.
Recently it seems to have been improved with a water feature and pea gravel. However, it’s still small and seems difficult for pups to play in the pool of rocks, unlike most dog parks in San Antonio. Meanwhile, there are plenty of other dog friendly things to do at the beautiful Pearl.
Visit the Pearl in San Antonio, Texas
The Pearl in San Antonio always appears neat and clean. This is quite a feat considering its size and the amount of foot traffic it receives on a daily basis. The restaurants have quality food, allergy-friendly options, and are dog friendly as well. Most of the time there is adequate seating throughout the Pearl.
This may not always be the case during evening events, but you should be able to find a seat somewhere creative. Outside the coffee shop there is a small turf area. Another is outside the Food Hall and contains a splash pad as well. This is a noticeable family friendly hotspot. The dogs come to be seen, while the kids come to play in the water.
I myself, enjoy the food and the aesthetics of the space. I once played chess at the Pearl during a farmers market. The Pearl in San Antonio feels safe and relaxing. Furthermore, it is probably the place we have visited the most, and for good reason. It is one of the best places to visit in San Antonio.
10 Reasons to Thank the Pearl in San Antonio
- Providing our hot pups with water
- Keeping us safe
- Taking pleasure in the culinary arts
- Free parking
- Keeping it clean
- Allowing us to gather
- Giving us options
- Letting the music be heard
- Keeping it magical
That dog park really needs some work, but we’ll go ahead and ignore it for now because we love ya’ll too, San Antonio Pearl. Before you head to the Pearl, checkout the other best places we have found throughout this fantastic city.
I’m a certified personal trainer in San Antonio. After adopting Abbey, I created Places for Pups to help you get outside, exercise with your dog and have fun doing it.
We have mastered hiking in Texas Hill Country. Though we emerge from the woods unharmed, we are not responsible for you or your pets. You are solely responsible for trying exercises, or places discussed on this site.
Grab the best hiking gear and go dog friendly. I wish you good fortune on the trails to come.