Vintage San Antonio

Every nook and cranny of a city has seen its share of stories, but have you ever wondered what stories some of your favorite spots in town have to tell? 

Cool Crest Miniature Golf
1402 Fredericksburg Rd.
San Antonio, TX 78201

At the edge of the Deco District corridor stands a little gem full of generations of San Antonio stories. What may appear to be a “barely contained by chain-link fence” garden center is actually an Art Deco–styled miniature golf oasis in the middle of the city!

A community treasure established in 1929, the Cool Crest Miniature Golf Course has grown over the decades. Adding a second 18-hole course in 1959, Cool Crest is still the same as it was when our grandparents and parents were struggling to make holes in one! Today it stands as a beautiful, lush garden adorning the putting greens where every twist of green leads to another surprise: a challenging course half hidden by banana leaves, a winding brook, a waterfall! If you ever pass by this secret garden’s fence on Fredericksburg, pump on the brakes and turn around. This newly named historically significant San Antonio treasure will reconnect you to a different era.

Cool Crest Miniature Golf


Kiddie Park
3015 Broadway
San Antonio, Texas 78209

If you grew up in San Antonio, then you’re probably part of the club. We all have the quintessential birthday party photo at Kiddie Park. You know, the one where you’re a blur because you’re running to get on the boat ride and your little sibling is standing still, crying, with chocolate icing all over his or her face.

Established in 1925, Kiddie Park is the oldest children’s amusement park in the entire country! You and your piñata are a part of legendary birthday celebration history! Don’t forget to plan your next trip out there to enjoy a simpler time where a ride costs you only ONE ticket and you can still make your sibling cry.

Kiddie Park Entrance


San Antonio’s Pig Stand
1508 Broadway St
San Antonio, TX 78215

How do you even begin to unpack the nostalgia that is San Antonio’s Pig Stand—the neon lights, the black-and-white checkered floor, and the sparkle vinyl-upholstered booths? This blast from the past allows you to fill your belly with the famous Pig Sandwich or a hamburger or a huge banana split as the tabletop jukeboxes promise to play you all the golden oldies you could hope for!

Even though the Pig Stand, which opened its doors in 1921, was part of a 130-restaurant-strong operation, the San Antonio location remains the chain's soul survivor. It is an absolute San Antonio staple where you can enjoy a meal and make new friends hanging around the jukebox. 

Pig Stand


The Esquire Tavern
155 E Commerce St
San Antonio, TX 78205  

Boasting its title as the longest wooden bar top in Texas, The Esquire Tavern has been serving up booze to thirsty Texans since the end of Prohibition in 1933.

But there’s more to this gin joint than just libations. If you’re famished and looking for a place to satisfy your hunger while walking around downtown, Esquire has quite the menu. From hot sandwiches and fancy burgers to a Big Red empanada (yeah, you read that right) and falafel, the food choices promise to please everyone. Happy Hour starts at 3 PM and goes strong until 7 PM. Specials and events are listed on the website, so make sure to take a look and get the most out of your visit before your venture! 

Esquire Tavern


Woodlawn Lake
1103 Cincinnati St
San Antonio, TX 78201

While San Antonio turned 300 years old last year, good ol’ Woodlawn Lake celebrated its centennial. But the Woodlawn Lake we know and love hasn’t always been the public park we see today. In 1918, the private man-made lake once used as a resort for the subdivision surrounding it, was handed over to the city. Decades of revitalization efforts, including New Deal projects like the addition of the famous lighthouse, have given San Antonio one of its most beloved and popular public parks.

Woodlawn Lake

With its beautiful grounds and scenic walking trail around the lake, it is home to the city’s big Fourth of July event as well as one of our favorite places to try and stick to our New Year’s weight-loss resolutions. Enjoy one of the eight fitness stations, the swimming pool, gymnasium, tennis courts, basketball courts, or just eating a mangonada and throwing some breadcrumbs at the ducks. 


If you love Woodlawn Lake, check out our print and sticker!

Woodlawn Lake Sticker

Have a place in mind that you'd like to see featured in an upcoming "Vintage San Antonio" post? Let us know in the comments!


1 comment

Tonya Hubley

Tonya Hubley

Back in the early 1900s, around 1920, my stepfather’s father owned a reportedly posh tavern on Houston Street. The name of the tavern might have been The White Elephant or The Manhattan. It was owned by Daniel D. Heinen. We have searched for photographs or stories about this location for years and have come up with nothing. It would be phenomenal if you could come up with anything on this tavern. Thanks much for looking.

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