20 Reasons to Get Excited About San Antonio


AORN’s premiere annual gathering of perioperative professionals turns 70 next April 1–4, and its host city of San Antonio, TX, couldn’t be a more appropriate locale to make it happen, especially with the conference theme NO LIMITS, according to Conference Coordinator Vanessa Lewis, MSN, RN, CNOR. “San Antonians know ‘No Limits’ when it comes to community care and love, and this love and hospitality is extended to those who visit here.”

We asked Lewis for insider tips on the best places to enjoy food, music, culture, and all San Antonio has to offer, and she didn’t disappoint. Here are her top stops that conference attendees should put on their list to explore, including some new hot spots.

Culinary Offerings for Any Taste

Just as the history and culture of San Antonio is a multicultural patchwork, so are the food choices. Here are Lewis’ top stops along the famous San Antonio River Walk (all in walking distance from the Convention Center):

Paesano’s River Walk—Voted best Italian food in town, this restaurant boasts unique dishes, a wide variety of wines and spirits, and a perfectly located patio. Diners can also pre-schedule a dinner cruise.

Dick’s Last Resort (PDF)—If you are looking to let your hair down and enjoy a cocktail in a fun environment, this is the stop for you. This legendary locale on the River Walk includes a broad menu with pub fare, as well as salads, ribs and desserts.

Saltgrass Steak House—For a true taste of Texas, try this River Walk stop known for any type of steak you could want, and a fun Texas-themed appetizer menu.

BierGarten River Walk—For a Bavarian-styled River Walk experience and an all-day happy hour, make plans to meet friends at this famed outdoor stop just steps away from The Alamo. It also boasts daily live music.

The Pearl—New to the River Walk, this one-of-a kind culture hub offers tastes, sights and sounds of South Texas. Stop for a coffee, craft beer and Jazz, and artisan shopping.

Yard House—Also new to the Riverwalk, you may know this sophisticated fan favorite from your own hometown. Enjoy American-style cuisine from the Sky Walk above the River for lunch, dinner or late-night dining.


Plan to stay after the conference to take in a wealth of unique cultural experiences, including the Institute of Texan Cultures, the US Army Medical Department Museum, and the newly opened San Antonio Missions, and San Antonio African American Community Archive & Museum.


If you’ve never been to San Antonio (and even in you have), The Alamo is an historical attraction not to be missed. Just steps from the Convention Center, the 300-year-old Alamo Mission served as a garrison for five different armies and is best known as the site of the 1836 Battle of the Alamo.

Other excursions to schedule around the conference include river cruises, Six Flags Fiesta Texas, Tower of the Americas, Historic Market Square, and San Marcos Premium Outlets. If you’ve already made these stops on a previous visit, try new attractions such as city sightseeing from a double-decker bus, San Antonio Ghost Walking Tour, and The Shops a La Cantera.

And, the #1 reason to visit San Antonio next April … AORN’s 70th Global Surgical Conference & Expo 2023!

At the largest international gathering of perioperative nurses, attendees will find NO LIMITS to the connections, networking, education and fun, as well as top-notch educational opportunities that will bring your practice to the next level.