Things to do in San Antonio – Texas

If you’re looking for the next place on your adventure list, then travel south to San Antonio, Texas! It is a city of art, culture, and incredible food! This city hosts all sorts of spectacular things to see and experience! It will be an adventure you won’t soon forget. So, let’s jump into what there is to do here!

The best things to do in San Antonio include:

  • taking in the ambience of the San Antonio River Walk
  • you’ve seen it in films but here see the real Alamo
  • see Spanish frontier history at San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
  • if you’re able to, take a tour of Lackland Airforce Base
San Jose Mission – San Antonio Source : Flickr

Must Do

There are many things you will want to experience while you’re here! One of the must-dos is the city’s prized attraction; The River Walk. The River Walk is easily an all-day event, so grab your comfy walking shoes and some sunscreen. On the Riverwalk, you can see many historical landmarks and learn much about the city’s history. You’ll even experience the beautiful art and architecture of downtown San Antonio. You can even book a boat tour and experience the Riverwalk that way as well. The tour guides on the boats will give you an in-depth experience of The Riverwalk, that you won’t soon forget. There are also many restaurants and shops along the Riverwalk. “The Rainforest Café” is always a fun place to eat there. It’s ambiance and atmosphere are so unique. You have to see it to believe it.

Another must-do in San Antonio is exploring the Natural Bridge Caverns. These are incredible underground caves that you can explore. You can choose between different tours. Some of the tours are a little more kid-friendly, while others present great challenges to navigate. Every tour is incredible though, and you learn so much! There are some parts of the underground caves that seem almost ethereal like they shouldn’t even be a part of our world. It is a beautiful adventure that people of all ages can enjoy.

The Alamo – San Antonio – Source Flickr

What do You Like Best About Your City

I love its energy and how vibrant it is. San Antonio is a melting pot of different cultures and traditions. It celebrates music, art, food, and togetherness. It’s almost difficult to put into words. There is just a magic and sense of adventure here. You’ll know it and experience it for yourself, once you’re here.

San Antonio Source Flickr

Best Walks in San Antonio

One thing San Antonio is known for is its beauty. There are many dazzling places to walk and explore. Apart from the Riverwalk, there is also the Japanese Tea Gardens. Here you can see wildflowers bursting with every color you can imagine, a beautiful pond filled with koi fish, ancient stone staircases that lead into the beautiful woods, and even a waterfall. During the right time of year, you’ll even be able to spot many colorful birds and butterflies. This place is every nature photographer’s dream come true. It is breathtaking and vibrant and shouldn’t be missed.

Another great place to walk is Eisenhower Park. Although it doesn’t quite boast the same spectacular scenery as the previously mentioned Tea Gardens, it is still a breathtaking park that you won’t want to leave. You can choose from a variety of trails here, from the very easy to the extremely challenging. Each trail has its charms and you’ll easily get lost in its splendor. This park is located deep in the Texas woods, so you can enjoy nature in a way that feels pure. Just about everywhere you walk there will smell like honeysuckle, wisteria, and that magical Texas air. It’s nothing short of heavenly.

If nature isn’t quite your thing though, there is a very different kind of walk that you can experience in San Antonio. Being an old city, there are many places that the locals will tell you are very, very haunted. You can take a guided tour around some of the oldest parts of the city and check out some of San Antonio’s most haunted locations. Many guests who have experienced the tour have claimed to have either seen or heard strange things; creepy faces in windows of buildings that should be abandoned, voices in the air, things moving on their own. If you think you can handle the San Antonio ghost tour, then you should definitely go check out that walk!

Best Hotels in San Antonio

I have added some of the best hotels in San Antonio. The links will take you to TripAdvisor for further detail and customer reviews. (H) denotes the hotel is a historic building.

  1. Riverwalk Plaza Hotel – Centrally located in the heart of historic downtown San Antonio, lodged on the south banks of the famous, beautiful San Antonio River Walk, conveniently across the street from the Historic Bexar County Courthouse the Riverwalk Plaza Hotel is just a short stroll or delightful trolley ride away from the amazing Alamo.
  2. (H) Menger Hotel – Historic 1859 hotel next to Alamo, 1 block from Riverwalk. Originally built in 1859, The Menger Hotel is located in central San Antonio, one block from the famed Riverwalk, Hemisfair Park, and the Tobin Center.
  3. (H) Sheraton Gunter Hotel San Antonio – Steeped in the rich traditions of San Antonio, the Gunter Hotel dates back to 1909, and is celebrating its 110th Anniversary. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this landmark hotel continues to be part of the city’s unique heritage. 

Best Restaurants in San Antonio

San Antonio is brimming with incredible places to eat at! We’re a mix of different cultures and we absolutely believe in SPICE! So, don’t come here looking for bland. You won’t find it.

Tex-Mex in San Antonio

Tex-Mex cuisine is a fusion of traditional Mexican cuisine and American ingredients and cooking techniques. While its origins can be traced back to the late 19th century, it wasn’t until the mid-20th century that Tex-Mex became a distinctive cuisine in its own right, with San Antonio, Texas playing a central role in its development.

San Antonio was a major center of Tex-Mex cuisine during the 20th century, thanks in part to the city’s proximity to the Mexican border and its rich culinary heritage. Mexican immigrants who came to the city brought with them their traditional dishes, which were adapted to suit American tastes and ingredients.

Some of the earliest Tex-Mex restaurants in San Antonio were opened in the 1920s and 1930s, including the Original Mexican Restaurant and La Fonda, both of which are still in operation today. These restaurants served a mix of Mexican and American-style dishes, such as chili con carne, enchiladas, and tacos.

One of the most famous Tex-Mex dishes, the San Antonio-style puffy taco, was invented in the 1950s by local restaurateur Henry Lopez. The dish features a deep-fried tortilla that puffs up like a pillow, filled with spiced ground beef, lettuce, and cheese.

Today, San Antonio is home to a vibrant Tex-Mex food scene, with numerous restaurants serving up delicious and authentic dishes. One of the best-known restaurants in the city is Mi Tierra, a family-owned institution that has been serving Tex-Mex cuisine for over 75 years. The restaurant is known for its vibrant decor and lively atmosphere, as well as its delicious dishes such as chile rellenos, fajitas, and enchiladas.

Another popular Tex-Mex restaurant in San Antonio is La Gloria, which specialises in street-style Mexican food. The restaurant’s menu includes tacos, tortas, and other Mexican classics, as well as innovative dishes such as pork belly al pastor and grilled octopus.

For those looking for a more upscale dining experience, the upscale Paloma Blanca Mexican Cuisine serves creative takes on Tex-Mex classics, such as queso flameado and carne asada. The restaurant also features a wide selection of tequilas and cocktails to complement the food.

In conclusion, San Antonio, Texas is a city steeped in Tex-Mex culinary history, and its restaurants continue to serve up delicious and authentic dishes that celebrate this unique cuisine. From casual street-style tacos to upscale takes on Tex-Mex classics, there is something for everyone in San Antonio’s vibrant food scene.

Other Restaurants

If you are looking for something a little more exotic, then you should eat at Tong’s where they take Thai food to a whole other level! Not only does Tong’s have an almost magical ambiance on the inside, but all of the food is cooked fresh, made perfectly, and has a tantalizing flavor that will leave you wanting to come back again and again.

Bobby J’s is where to go if you want homestyle burgers and fries. And they don’t keep it simple either. Their burger options are unique and delicious. This place is family-owned, so you get that mom and pop hospitality there and you feel like family. These burgers are made from scratch and believe me when I say you can taste the difference. Nobody else in Texas does burgers like Bobby J’s!

Lastly, Texas Roadhouse is the place to go if you want a steak that’ll make angels weep! With their cinnamon buttered rolls, their zesty sides, and steaks that need no sauce, this place is a Texas gem and you won’t regret coming here for a bite to eat. If Texas had a flavor, this would be it!

Best Music/Festival

San Antonio has a ton of music events and festivals. It’s almost difficult to narrow down just a couple. My personal favorite is the annual “Dia De Los Muertos” (AKA – Day of the Dead) festival. This festival has haunting music, parades, food, and all kinds of spooky surprises. Costumes are not only welcomed but preferred. It is spooky, colorful, fun, exciting, and unforgettable.

Another great festival is the annual coffee festival. This is a yearly event where you can go and try all kinds of local and exotic coffees/teas. There is music, dancing, food, and it’s a wonderful way to meet new people and enjoy a piping cup of coffee.

The River Walk itself is almost a festival. You can see live Mariachi bands performing, round the clock. Many people will stop to dance and enjoy the lovely festivities.

Then there is First Fridays. This is an event that happens every first Friday of a new month. During First Fridays, many local artists gather to share their art. There is music, food, enchanting people, dancing, and more art than you could ever take in in just one evening. This is one of my favorite festivals in all of San Antonio. It’s absolutely magical.

Best Nightlife in San Antonio

The River Walk in San Antonio has many clubs and late-night shopping along it’s winding bends. A lot of people hang out around here and it is just as lively and exciting as it is during the day time.

“Howl At The Moon” is definitely a San Antonio nightlife stop you need to check out! This place does novelty acts and shows, has dancing, and drinks.

“Bar 1919” is a speakeasy type bar. If you’re looking for something a little less loud and more sophisticated, then this bar is sure to please your senses. They have a wide variety of drinks, some…incredibly unique that you won’t find anywhere else.

Best Day Trip Out of San Antonio

I’d say that the best day trip out of the city would be Fredericksburg, Texas. Much like San Antonio, it is rich with history, museums, shopping, and delicious food! It’s a bit different than San Antonio though since its history is mostly German. Fredericksburg is also known for their peaches, so make sure to taste some if you go there.

Something Travelers May Not Know About San Antonio

If you are going to stay in San Antonio, choose the Menger Hotel. There are many other hotels to choose from, and they can all be pricey. But none are quite as interesting or as beautiful as the Menger. It also won’t cost you an arm and leg either. You’ll get the luxury that you’ll find at the Hilton or the Hyatt, without the price tag.

If you find yourself downtown, exploring the shops near the Alamo, you’ll find a wax museum, Ripley’s funhouse, and a mirror maze activity. You can experience each one on its own, or buy a bundle to do all three. It’s a tad pricey for the bundle, but it’s well worth the money. Each of these things has so much to do and experience. You won’t want to just see one. You’ll save a little more in the long run, buying the bundles.

There is a hunted house right across from the Alamo. Out front, the costumes and the entry don’t look that spooky. In fact, it could come off as almost kid-friendly. It is not! That haunted house is actually quite terrifying, so keep that in mind if you want to make that haunted house a part of your San Antonio adventure.

Interesting Facts about San Antonio

  1. San Antonio is the second-most populous city in Texas and the seventh-most populous city in the United States.
  2. The city is home to The Alamo, a historic mission and site of a pivotal battle in the Texas Revolution.
  3. San Antonio is known for its River Walk, a network of walkways along the San Antonio River that is lined with restaurants, shops, and public art.
  4. The city has a rich multicultural heritage, with strong influences from Spanish, Mexican, and German cultures.
  5. San Antonio is the birthplace of Tex-Mex cuisine, which blends traditional Mexican cuisine with American ingredients and cooking techniques.
  6. The city is home to the San Antonio Spurs, a professional basketball team that has won five NBA championships.
  7. San Antonio is the site of the annual Fiesta San Antonio, a 10-day festival that celebrates the city’s history and culture with parades, music, and food.
  8. The city has a strong military presence, with several military bases and the U.S. Army Medical Command headquartered there.
  9. San Antonio is one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States, with a thriving economy driven by healthcare, technology, and tourism.
  10. The city has a warm and sunny climate, with an average temperature of 70°F (21°C) and over 300 days of sunshine per year.
  11. Unusually for such a large city San Antonio only serves a couple of direct flights to international destinations in Mexico all other flights being domestic.
  12. San Antonio is the largest city in the United States that does not have a metropolitan rail network.
  13. San Antonio is on the Amtrak network on the Sunset Limited line. Stops either side are Houston (east) and Del Rio (west). The terminus of the route is Los Angeles and New Orleans.
  14. San Antonio is also on the Texas Eagle Amtrak route from Chicago to Los Angeles the next stop north is San Marcos.