San Antonio features a unique culture; one that is a testament to its historical influences. From its early indigenous inhabitants to the Spanish colonization to its independence from Mexico in the Texan Revolution to the great German migration, San Antonio's culture is unique in its diversity - and that in itself is something worth exploring. We put together a list of the top things to do in San Antonio, including museums, theme parks, sampling some of the best food in the US, and more. Here's what you can't miss...
- SeaWorld San Antonio
- Six Flags Fiesta Texas
- Texas Hill Country & LBJ Ranch Tour
- City Sightseeing San Antonio Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
- The Alamo
- Alamo Plaza Attractions
- And many more!
Save on admission to top attractionsAdmission to many of these attractions is included with the Go San Antonio pass. Use your Go San Antonio card to save up to 45% vs gate price. Check out the Go San Antonio card for attractions and prices.
1) SeaWorld® San Antonio
2) Six Flags Fiesta Texas
3) Texas Hill Country & LBJ Ranch Tour
4) CitySightseeing San Antonio Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
5) The AlamoNo visit to San Antonio is complete without a stop at the most visited historic landmark in all of Texas, The Alamo. Located in the heart of San Antonio, this former Spanish church-turned-fortress serves as testament to those who sacrificed their life in the Battle of the Alamo following a 13-day siege in 1836, a pivotal moment in the Texas Revolution that helped inspire many Texians to join the fight against the much larger Mexican Army and the exact location where Texian troops achieved independence to the shouts of "Remember the Alamo!" after months of fighting. Insider tip: get familiar with the legends and myths of the famous battle by watching the 1950s Disney miniseries Davy Crockett and John Wayne's 1960 film The Alamo. Getting in: Entrance to the Alamo Church and grounds is free and open to the public (just be sure to check hours of operation when planning your visit).
6) Alamo Plaza Attractions
7) San Antonio Zoo
8) Ripley's Believe It or Not! San Antonio
9) Rio San Antonio Cruise Ticket
10) San Antonio River WalkAlso known as el Paseo del Rio, the San Antonio River Walk area is an area of town defined by the San Antonio River lined with shops, restaurants, picturesque urban gardens, and many points of interest. The pedestrian walkway is removed from the busy downtown streets allowing the area to feel like a remote sanctuary. The River Walk connects major attractions such as Hemisfair Park, the San Antonio Museum of Art, and the Rio San Antonio Cruise itself. Head to the Bier Garten and grab a drink to go (open containers are allowed in the River Walk area, only). Getting in: San Antonio River Walk is free to explore.
11) Buckhorn Saloon and Museum and Texas Ranger Museum
12) Witte Museum
13) San Antonio Museum of Art
14) San Antonio Missions National Historical ParkDesignated a UNESCO World Heritage site and a National Historical Park, the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park is home to four of San Antonio's five missions: Mission San Jose, Mission Concepcion, Mission San Juan, and Mission Espada (the fifth one located at The Alamo which is not part of the park) that served as part of the Spanish colonization of Texas and efforts to spread Christianity nearly 300 years ago. All four of the missions are still active Catholic churches today, so be sure to check the schedule in advance to plan your visit and keep in mind they may be closed to the public for special services, such as weddings and funerals. Getting in: San Antonio Missions National Historical Park is free and open to the public. Daily tours and park programs are free - check with staff on grounds for the next available guided tour.
15) DoSeumLooking for things to do in San Antonio with kids? Inspire their imagination and curiosity at this highly interactive children's museum that explores how imagination and creativity can advance the fields of science and technology in very tangible ways. This indoor/outdoor museum features 39,000 square feet of exhibits including Sensations Studio, Explore, Little Town, Innovation Station, Spy Academy, and Imagine it! where kids learn about scientific concepts in a way that feels like play--where it's all about doing. Getting in: Doseum tickets are available for purchase upon arrival. Please note: This attraction is NOT available on the San Antonio Explorer Pass.
16) Explore The PearlThe Pearl, an up-and-coming neighborhood located just a few miles up the San Antonio River from downtown, is packed with local favorites and home to some of the trendiest restaurants and shops in the city. The area has a unique culture of its own focused on supporting local artists, celebrating individuality, and inspiring originality. Head here with the family for lots of good dining options, cute boutique shopping, and to get a feel for the local culture of San Antonio. Insider tip: check the Farmer's Market schedule for some authentic local eats! Gettin in: The Pearl is free and open to the public.
17) HemisFair Park
What was once the sight of the 1968 World's Fair now plays an integral role in the urban revitalization of San Antonio, serving as a public space unifying downtown San Antonio to surrounding areas. Pack a picnic or pick up some snacks and refreshments at one of surrounding shops or food carts in the park and spend some time soaking up the San Antonio sun and getting a feel for the vibrant community that calls San Antonio "home." Getting in: HemisFair Park is free and open to the public.
A photo posted by Edler-Radis Team (@realtorteamsa) on Apr 3, 2016 at 11:04am PDT
18) Tower of the AmericasMore than just an observation tower, the iconic Tower of the Americas features great views of the city, fascinating historic exhibits, and a 4D theater ride with Texas-specific experiences. Head up to the Flags Over Texas: Observation Deck for 360-degree views of San Antonio. You'll get info about the many landmarks you'll see from the top so you'll be able to identify your surroundings and associate some history with the most significant sights. Fly over Texas, experience what a Friday night football game is like, and get up close to a NASA space shuttle when you take a turn on the Skies Over Texas: 4D Theater Ride. Getting in: Flags Over Texas: Observation Deck and Skies Over Texas: 4D Theater Ride tickets are available for purchase upon arrival. Please note: This attraction is NOT available on the San Antonio Explorer Pass.
19) Kiddie Park
If you're traveling with kids between the ages of 1-12, head to America's oldest children's amusement park for some good old-fashioned fun. Featuring classic, theme park attractions, rides, arcade games, carnival games, face painting stations, and more, Kiddie Park is nostalgic fun for the whole family. Getting in: Kiddie Park is open to everyone; tickets to attractions and activities within the park are separately ticketed. Please note: This attraction is NOT available on the San Antonio Explorer Pass.A photo posted by Deno's Wonder Wheel Park (@denoswonderwheelpark) on Apr 18, 2016 at 9:09am PDT
20) Brackenridge ParkWith 343 acres of well-planned land, Brackenridge Park is a hub of outdoor activities in San Antonio for natives and visitors alike. Home to the lush Japanese Tea Gardens, the Brackenridge Golf Course, playgrounds, swimming pools, picnic areas, fishing, trails, the Witte Museum, San Antonio Zoo, and more, there's lots to be found within the park's boundaries. Getting in: Brackenridge Park is free and open to the public. Special events and activities within the park may be separately ticketed.
21) Japanese Tea GardenGet in some zen during your trip and head to the Japanese Tea Garden, one of the most loved educational and cultural spots in San Antonio. Located in Brackenridge Park, take a walk on the beautifully landscaped and well-shaded walkways, get an up-close look at the variety of plant life, walk over stone bridges, see ponds filled with large Koi, take a break at the covered pavilion, and visit the 60-foot waterfall within in the park. Getting in: Japanese Tea Garden is free and open to the public.
22) World's Largest Cowboy Boots
Worth a visit just to get the perfect cover to your San Antonio photo album, the World's Largest Cowboy Boots are located outside the North Star Mall, just north of San Antonio. Getting in: viewing the World's Largest Cowboy Boots is free!A photo posted by Brandon Hightower (@brandonhigh14) on Aug 13, 2015 at 1:21pm PDT
23) Attend an Outdoor Movie ScreeningSan Antonio might have the widest selection of outdoor movie screening options than any other city. Attend an outdoor evening flick, a favorite activity of San Antonio residents when the weather is nice. Check the schedule of events online and see if there are any fun films airing during your visit. Getting in: Outdoor Movie Screenings are free and open to the public.
24) San Pedro Springs ParkCool off in the free public pool in San Antonio's oldest park and the second oldest public American park, San Pedro Springs Park. This beautifully landscaped public park is designed around the natural springs and creek. A top destination for active San Antonio residents, this park features walking trails, a tennis court, swimming pool, skate park, playgrounds, paved bike trail, picnic tables, and more. Getting in: San Pedro Springs Park is free and open to the public. Events and activities may be separately ticketed.
25) El MercadoVisit El Mercado, the largest Mexican market outside of Mexico, home to over 100 locally owned shops and stores. Getting in: El Mercado is free and open to the public (the shopping, however, is not).
26) Schlitterbahn Waterpark & ResortLocated right outside of San Antonio, Schlitterbahn Waterpark & Resort in New Braunfels, Texas features tons of water park thrills and fun. From exhilaratingly complex water slides and thrill rides to relaxing lazy rivers and pool-side lounges, there's water fun for everyone. For a day of ultimate adventure and relaxation, consider reserving one of the many cabanas for some guaranteed shade and comfy quarters. Getting in: Schlitterbahn Waterpark & Resort tickets are available for purchase upon arrival.
27) Places to EatSan Antonio is a foodie's version of heaven. Big Lou's Pizza: where else are you able to order a whopping, 42-inch pizza for your table? Order the toppings of your choice and fill up with one of their famous award-winning pizzas. It's worth a visit just to see one of their massive masterpieces. Mi Tierra Cafe & Bakery: a favorite of visitors and locals alike, this San Antonio staple is open 24-hours a day serving up authentic Mexican fare in a fun and festive atmosphere filled with Christmas decor year-round. Food Truck Parks: take your pick of the many food truck parks around San Antonio to get a taste of the continually booming and always innovative San Antonio food culture. Food trucks can frequently be found at The Block featuring a lively outdoor patio with a sports bar atmosphere, The Point where lots of food trucks park and local events are hosted, or the famous Alamo Street Eat Bar featuring beers on tap and a changing rotation of trucks. The Guenther House: housed in an idyllic setting inside the home of Pioneer's Flour Mill founders' family home, head to the Guenther House for a memorable brunch experience and some of the best chicken and waffles around.
The Quarry Hofbrau & Beer Garden: for innovative Texas fusion fare and a lively outdoor patio scene, this spot tops many San Antonio foodies' lists of favorite local spots.
A photo posted by QuarryHofbrauAndBeerGarden (@quarryhofbrauandbeergarden) on Aug 21, 2015 at 4:11pm PDT
The Friendly Spot: with over 75 beers on draft and over 250 bottled brews to choose from, the Friendly Spot is open everyday until midnight and often features fun events. Pets and kids are welcome! Esquire Tavern: end your day or grab a mid-day bite at the Esquire Tavern, the oldest bar along the River Walk. Lulu's Bakery and Cafe: for Instagram-worthy pastries, head to Lulu's Bakery and Cafe, where you can get a warm, gooey cinnamon bun bigger than your head.A photo posted by The Friendly Spot Ice House (@thefriendlyspot) on Apr 23, 2016 at 8:46am PDT