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Things To Do In San Antonio

Texas’s second largest city is evolving, with the up-and-coming Pearl District leading the charge. Offering more than the Alamo and the River Walk, this sprawling city is in a constant state of change. With a burgeoning restaurant scene, historic restorations, and a raft of new construction, San Antonio is reinventing itself, becoming a multifaceted metropolis well worth exploring. Ready to plan your trip? Continue reading for a few San Antonio vacation ideas.

When it’s time to explore the city, there are only a few things that simply must make your San Antonio itinerary. This humble Texas city has plenty to offer first-time visitors.

The best things to do near San Antonio include:

  • Stroll through the 15-mile River Walk, San Antonio’s riverside promenade
  • Visit Spanish Governor’s Palace, just behind City Hall
  • Hop on a river-barge cruise offered by Rio Cruises
  • Grab dinner at Big on the Banks, one of San Antonio’s most highly regarded restaurants
  • Visit the 33 acres of Texas plants at San Antonio Botanical Gardens

San Antonio has historic neighborhoods ripe for exploration. When crafting your itinerary, carve out plenty of time for these low-budget things to do.

Cheap things to do near San Antonio include:

  • Explore Pearl Brewery District, which is constantly evolving
  • Stop by Saga at San Fernando Cathedral
  • Hunt for bargains at El Mercado or Market Square, the largest Mexican marketplace outside of Mexico
  • For Greek, Roman, Latin, and Egyptian antiques, visit The San Antonio Museum of Art
  • Visit Mission Concepcion, an 18th-century church with frescos

San Antonio’s Paseo del Río remains the city’s biggest draw. And though the below-street-level promenade continues to teem with crowds, major expansions attract more and more people to downtown San Antonio.

Popular attractions near San Antonio include:

  • Explore all that Main Plaza has to offer
  • Visit the Alamo early in the morning to avoid the crowds
  • Buy a shirt with the city slogan, “Come and Take It”
  • Visit Tower of the Americas, an observation tower in downtown San Antonio
  • Stop by Buckhorn Saloon & Museum, which offers Texas-style souvenirs

San Antonio has key attractions that visitors simply must go and see. Start at the Alamo and work your way through some of its surrounding things to do.

Exciting activities near San Antonio include:

  • Explore La Villita Historic District, a charming area still steeped in Spanish, Mexican, German, and French culture
  • Stop by 19th-century homes including Florian House, Gray-Guilbeau House, and Cos House
  • Grab dinner at Zinc Bistro & Wine Bar, just near the River Walk
  • Tour King William Historic District, a 25-block area with many 19th-century homes
  • While there, visit Rosario’s, a colorful Mexican restaurant

When the sun goes down, a different San Antonio emerges. See a show, try new food, or go to a speakeasy — the night is yours.

Nighttime activities near San Antonio include:

  • Eat at Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery for a Texas Uncommon Ale
  • Eat at Supper, which champions farm-to-table fare
  • Stop by the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts for a show
  • Grab a cocktail at Esquire Tavern, a 1933-vintage bar reopened in 2011
  • For dinner, head to Tuscan-themed Tre Trattoria in historic Fairmount Hotel

Give your kids a taste of frontier life with one of San Antonio’s western things to do. Located 150 miles north of the border, San Antonio also is an authentic place to introduce your kids to Mexican food and culture.

Family-friendly things to do near San Antonio include:

  • A river taxi ride on the new Museum Reach extension
  • Teach the kids about art at McNay Art Museum
  • Visit Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch for a petting barnyard
  • Go on a stroll through the San Antonio Zoo, the third largest zoo in the country
  • Watch the marine life at SeaWorld San Antonio

Planning a trip for two? San Antonio offers a taste of the frontier life while also bringing Mexican food to the forefront.

More date night ideas near San Antonio include:

  • Grab a pint or two at Alamo Beer Company
  • Visit Ray’s Drive Inn for tacos crafted from fryer-fluffed tortillas
  • Make a final stop at Paramour for the rooftop bar’s view of the city
  • Order steak at The Little Rhein
  • Watch a 17-minute video on the Alamo at Clara Driscoll Theater

As Texas's most touristy city, San Antonio has many things to do in large groups. Go exploring and stop by one of the restaurants and bars in the city.

Things to do with your friends near San Antonio include:

  • Order tacos at Pico de Gallo
  • Eat French food at The Fig Tree
  • Explore Blue Star Arts Complex, a neighborhood filled with art studios, galleries, and boutiques
  • Visit Hotel Valencia Riverwalk’s V Bar for a nightcap
  • Stop for lunch at Copper Kettle

After sweating through San Antonio’s top attractions, it may be time to cool off. Give a museum, restaurant, or historic home a try.

San Antonio things to do indoors include:

  • The Briscoe Western Art Museum fills three floors with paintings, sculptures, and more
  • Explore the historic Menger Hotel, which housed Theodore Roosevelt, Babe Ruth, and more
  • Grab a cocktail at Hotel Valencia
  • Grab fajitas and seafood at La Margarita
  • Explore The DoSeum, housing interactive exhibits

A stay in San Antonio can be a multicultural experience that's fun and educational. There’s plenty of Mexican-themed sights to see in San Antonio.

Active things to see in San Antonio include:

  • Rent a bicycle from B Cycle to explore the city atop two wheels
  • Explore Natural Bridge Caverns, a popular spot with an adventure course
  • Walk a trail at Brackenridge Park
  • Visit the San Jose Mission National Historic Site
  • Explore Government Canyon State Natural Area, a tranquil park with beginner-friendly hikes

If you're interested in someplace a little more off-the-beaten path, shift your gaze to the many restaurants and bars in San Antonio. The city is teeming with secret spots and hidden gems.

Must-see places near San Antonio include:

  • Stop by Juniper Tar for drinks with roots from all around the world
  • Grab pour-over coffee from Halcyon Southtown
  • Order breakfast at one of the city’s best cafes, El Mirador
  • Grab a Mexican pastry at Mi Tierra
  • Explore Hardberger Park, a former dairy farm