San Antonio, Texas is one of the most densely populated and historically fascinating cities in the United States. Many think of the Alamo and the River Walk but don’t realize the event and attraction diversity that exists in a very cool and very bustling city in the southwestern side of the Texas Triangle.
The Must-do San Antonio Tourist Things
Remember the Alamo
The Alamo is the heart of this city and Texas’ most visited landmark. Both virtual and in-person tours are currently available to learn about this battle which took place in 1836. It was an essential event in the states’ revolution and following independence from Mexico. To learn more about this truly captivating event in US and Texas history, check out thealamo.org for information on tour times.
San Antonio Riverwalk
The River Walk is probably the most buzzing area of San Antonio. When you can boat, shop, parade, eat, drink, and be merry, this isn’t really a surprise. A 2.5-mile boat tour will take you along all sorts of historical landmarks including the aforementioned Alamo as well as the city’s dedicated St. Anthony of Padua statue. This also includes Museum Reach that lands at the San Antonio Museum of Art. The breathtaking landscape is reason enough to take this tour.
Rivercenter Mall is four stories of shopping and entertainment and after you’ve finished your busy day of exploring, you’ll probably want to grab a drink and some food along the actual River Walk itself. The River Walk is packed with food and drink to choose from, and my personal favorite is the Esquire Tavern. It’s the oldest bar on the River Walk and serves a full menu along with some delicious and interesting cocktails. If you visit in December, prepare to see the annual Christmas Festival on full display.
San Antonio Family Fun to Beat the Heat
This is honestly one of the best water parks I’ve ever been to. Located in New Braunfels, these water rides are the largest in the world. There are over 50 slides and two locations a few blocks away from each other. A free tram service operates all day and will move you back and forth between the two. In addition to the thrills, cabanas are available to rent and there are heated pools and lazy rivers located all over the massive park.
Six Flags Fiesta Texas
This is separated into Maximum, Moderate, and Kid-Sized thrills to ensure everyone can join the party at this gigantic amusement park. With over thirty places to dine, roller coasters, carnival games, character meet and greets, and some of the most fun water slides on Earth (trust me, I’m an expert,) you would be hard-pressed not to have an awesome day at six flags.
This is celebrating Christmas from November to early January. This celebration is wintery and watery and includes shows, lights, festive eats, Santa Claus and so much more. Sesame Street characters will even be visiting the park this year. On a regular day at SeaWorld, you’ll find rides and water parks (San Antonio really takes the cake for beating the heat,) aquatic animal shows, and experiences like petting the dolphins at SeaWorld. The experience is always a memorable one.
San Antonio For the More Quaint of Heart
This is a city about an hour north of San Antonio but it’s well worth a mention if you’re looking for a calm and serene escape from the busy city. This small city is lined with adorable boutiques and small museums including the Old Tunnel State Park, the Pioneer Museum Complex, and the National Museum of the Pacific War. It is also known for its fresh peaches so be sure to grab a few jars while you’re there.
Colloquially known by locals as “The Hills”, and just a jump away from Fredericksburg Main Street, you’ll find some of the most picturesque wildflower and bluebonnet fields you could imagine. They are in season from March to April, and you can catch many festivals dedicated to their beauty on April 24th, or State Wildflower Day.
Gruene (“Green”) Historic District
This is back in San Antonio and houses Texas’ oldest dance hall which happens to be the filming location of John Travolta’s Michael, as well as many other films. (You remember the angel movie?) Old up-and-comers have played this stage. You may have heard of a few like Willie Nelson, Gregg Allman, and George Strait. Next door is Gristmill and I’ll eat my hat if you can find a better rack of ribs anywhere in the world. It is happily known as the best ribs in Texas…and that’s about the biggest compliment you could offer a Texan.
San Antonio For the Fearless
Natural Bridge Caverns
San Antonio has a wide array of opportunities for those more acclimated to the outdoors. The Natural Bridge Caverns in New Braunfels exhibit two natural cave systems and include ropes courses and zip lines, as well as optional tours.
Floating the Comal River might be the most coveted and San Antonian thing to do. This is also located in New Braunfels. Tubing is currently free and you may run into a few rapids. As there are typically hundreds of tubers, you will likely find some southern hospitality floating along with you in the form of music, beer, and food lining the river. In addition to the relaxing (and sometimes exhilarating) float, you can swim and kayak in the Comal as well.
Whether you are looking for a calm and peaceful experience, a rowdy party nightlife, or a thrill-seeking adventure, the historic city of San Antonio has what you’re after. When you visit, be sure to get your fill of good food and drink (we Texans love to eat) and get out to see the sites and hidden gems all over the city. Enjoy your visit to the Lone Star State!
If you’re ready to book a getaway to this versatile city be sure to pick up the Getaway to San Antonio guide right here!
About the Author
Dallas Thornley is a lifelong writer and traveler. Born in El Paso, TX as an army brat, she had the opportunity to visit cities all over the country. She has continued to wanderlust as an international traveler. She now lives in Utah with her daughter and her cat.