20 Best Things to Do in San Antonio, Texas in 2024

Discover the best things to do in San Antonio, Texas! With plenty of entertaining and educational activities for visitors of all ages, let us help you create your schedule for an unforgettable trip.

Many different attractions in San Antonio are sure to please everyone. Want to go to a museum? There are a minimum of six fascinating ones in the city, ranging from Wild West displays to the natural history of the area.

Would you consider taking your children to a theme park? There are so many fantastic amusement parks in the city—some of the greatest and largest in the state—that you will be overwhelmed with options.

Please excuse me while I tell you about the best things to do in San Antonio see in this gorgeous Texas city; In this city, there’s always something exciting to do, be it visiting a historically significant site or enjoying regional cuisine in a restaurant housed in an 18th-century brewery.

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The Best Things to Do in San Antonio, Texas

Experience the best things to do in San Antonio, from fun tours of historic neighborhoods to ghostly sightings of Teddy Roosevelt. Regardless of age or interests, the city offers a plethora of activities for everyone to enjoy.

Young adults appreciate the vibrant city center with its exciting shops and restaurants, while proper adults may explore the Alamo and the old Mission churches. Kids adore theme parks and amusement parks. Alternatively, because grownups may love amusement park rides as well, have a blast at the largest Six Flags in Texas.

1. River Walk in San Antonio

River Walk in San Antonio

The main draw in this Texas community is the San Antonio River Walk. There are about fifteen kilometers of beautifully landscaped walking routes on either side of the San Antonio River. The promenade, which is located one level below the city’s main highways, is lined with stores, restaurants, and hotels.

Though the promenade stretches many miles north, you might spend more than an hour walking on the River Walk, which is one of the best things to do in San Antonio and is most popular with visitors and inhabitants in the downtown area. During the summer, the River Walk can get extremely crowded, but there are plenty of peaceful spots to choose from.

Simply continue past all of the crowded eateries and bars; the crowds get smaller as you travel further down the river. How well-known is the River Walk in San Antonio? Enough so that the San Antonio Spurs parade their victory boats as they celebrate their championship win.

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2. See the Historic Village of La Villita.

One of the best things to do in San Antonio is visit the historic and artistic neighborhood of La Villita. Because of the 19th-century structures in the district that serve as prime examples of San Antonio’s early residential development, it is included on the National Registry of Historic Places.

Bright sculptures, stores, and art galleries may be found in this historic neighborhood. You will adore the sugar skull motif in this charming small village if you enjoy it.

This region also has the famous La Villita assembly hall, which is a prominent feature of the San Antonio skyline. The structure is immediately identifiable from the Tower of the Americas observation deck because of the painted flower on its concave roof, which has made it famous.

3. Shops & Restaurants In The Old Market Square

Located beyond the city center in western San Antonio is the Historic Market Square. Going out of your way to see it is well worth it, as it’s among the best things to do in San Antonio with affordable dining and souvenir buying.

Visit us for handcrafted items, vibrant clothing, jewelry, and real Tex-Mex cuisine. I suggest you try the puffy tacos at the very least, even if you’re not hungry when you visit Historic Market Square. They are among the greatest regional cuisines and are a beloved San Antonio treat.

If you’re taking a culinary tour of the city, other San Antonio favorites to sample include bean burgers, chicken on a stick, and sweet potato fries. It will take thousands of steps to burn off all those wonderful calories, so it’s a good thing that most of the city center is walkable.

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4. Appreciate The View From The Tower Of The Americas

Among the best things to do in San Antonio is see the view from the Tower of the Americas The lone observation deck in San Antonio and one of just two in Texas. When it was first constructed, it took just eighteen months to finish for the 1968 World Fair.

The tower serves as the focal point of downtown San Antonio’s HemisFair Park. It has a rotating restaurant with a wonderful dinner and lovely views, as well as an observation deck on the top floor.

In addition to enjoying a 4D ride over Texas, those who purchase tickets for the observation deck also have admission to the 4D theatre. For a breathtaking perspective of the San Antonio skyline, visit this location after dark. The hours of operation for the Tower of the Americas are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

5. Take A Walk on the Mission Trail in San Antonio

Visit the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park is one of the best things to do in San Antonio, and you can learn about one of the 24 American UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The missions in San Antonio served as significant outposts for Catholic religious orders founded by Spanish colonists. The mission’s main goal was to assist in the native population’s conversion to Christianity.

Out of the five missions in San Antonio, four are conserved in the park; the fifth, the Alamo, is the most well-known. All four missions are located on the grounds of the national park and can be found via the Mission Trail, a walking path. There are bicycles accessible, and they’re the most efficient way to get swiftly between missions.

If you only have a short amount of time in San Antonio, driving is the most practical way to get around the city. Choose to visit Mission San Jose if you only have time to see one of these landmarks. The best-preserved structure features antique furnishings and an exhibit that provides a window into the early eighteenth-century lives of the local populace.

6. Take A River Cruise

Too little time to take a stroll along the famed River Walk? That’s okay, though, because it takes around 30 minutes to tour the whole pedestrian area by boat! Simply stroll down the River Walk until you come across an empty boat or a Go Rio ticket office. Go Rio cruises are offered at several locations along the River Walk.

Every fifteen to twenty minutes, the boats depart, so you may have to wait a little while to find a seat. If you would rather not stand in line at the ticket counter, you can purchase tickets online; however, be aware that these are not timed tickets. The boat’s seats are distributed according to first-come, first-served.

One of the best things to do in San Antonio is take a river cruise. In my opinion, the best time to take the river trip is at night. There’s a unique quality to the River Walk after dark, and the boats themselves all have colorful lights. Every tour is narrated, and your guide will share a wealth of information about the River Walk’s past and significance to San Antonians.

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7. San Antonio Ghost Tour

Ghost tours and ghost hunts are among the best things to do in San Antonio. Before I scare you with ghost stories, simply move on to the next item on this list if that doesn’t sound like something you would enjoy. The Alamo is undoubtedly the most haunted structure in the city; witnesses still claim to have seen the spirits of Texan warriors there.

Another well-liked location in the city for ghost sightings is the Menger Hotel, which is located across from the ancient fort. Visitors have claimed to have smelled cigar smoke, seen faces in the mirror, heard odd noises coming from the hotel, and even seen Teddy Roosevelt’s ghost at the bar.

Take a guided ghost tour of the city or explore all of San Antonio’s haunted locations yourself. Of course, they take place after dark, and if you want to end the night scared and lie in bed uneasy, I highly recommend them.

8. Explore The Japanese Tea Garden by Foot

Located north of the city center, near the San Antonio Zoo, lies the Japanese Tea Garden, one of the best things to do in San Antonio. The early 20th-century botanical park has attractions including waterfalls, pagodas, stone bridges, and koi ponds. This lush garden is full of trees and plants, but what makes it so amazing is the captivating landscaping.

If you ever need to get away from the bustling streets of downtown San Antonio, come here. Wander around the fascinating botanical garden’s grounds and temporarily forget you’re in Texas. The hours of operation for the Japanese Tea Garden are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

9. Go to The Alamo

In Texas, the Alamo is arguably the most well-known landmark. Formerly known as Misión San Antonio de Valero, the fabled stronghold is among the oldest missions constructed in Texas. Following the Battle of the Alamo, a pivotal event in the Texas Revolution, it rose to international prominence.

One of the most significant moments in Texas history, the revolution, is represented by a collection of artifacts housed in the little fortress that is now used as a museum. Due to its popularity as one of the country’s most visited historic monuments, a visit to the Alamo is one of the best things to do in San Antonio

Because of its tiny size, a tour of the facility doesn’t take too long. However, with such a well-known location, lines are almost always lengthy, and waiting is inevitable. The on-site church is free to enter, however, tickets are required to enter the other structures on the property. The Alamo exhibit’s tickets for adults are $14. It costs $45 for a guided tour of the complex, which includes access to every building.

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10. Touring the Pearl District’s Attractions

The region of San Antonio that surrounds the famed Pearl Brewery is known as the Pearl District. Initially established in 1881 as the City Brewery, it soon grew to be Texas’ biggest brewery and the only one to endure prohibition.

After the brewery closed its doors in 2001, stores and restaurants are now housed in the structure. A visit to the Pearl District is among the best things to do in San Antonio. This area offers a chance to learn about a distinct side of San Antonio that is isolated from the city center yet nevertheless rich in history and interesting landmarks.

Situated on the River Walk to the south of the brewery building, The Grotto is another location in the Pearl neighborhood. This man-made riverfront cave features man-made waterfalls, trekking routes into the cliffs, and faces carved into the rocks.

11. Explore The San Antonio Museum of Art’s Collection

Located in the former Lone Star Brewery building, the San Antonio Museum of Art is only a fifteen-minute walk from the bustling Pearl District. It features a vast collection of art from approximately 5,000 years of Latin American, Greek, Roman, and Egyptian artists. The museum displays a wide range of items, such as paintings, sculptures, photos, furniture, common things, and much more.

The museum has two floors filled with American artifacts and artwork, with a specific area devoted to Texas artists. A visit to the museum is one of the best things to do in San Antonio since it boasts the largest Asian artwork show in the Southwest.

12. Rides in Six Flags Fiesta Texas Amusement Park

Among the best things to do in San Antonio is a visit to Six Flags Fiesta Texas is the best spot to take kids. With over 60 rides spread across the grounds, including a water park with at least 15 slides, the theme park is also known as the Thrill Capital of South Texas. SeaWorld San Antonio is a better option if you’re searching for even more water rides.

The scariest ride in the park is the Scream Drop Tower, which rises to an astonishing 205 feet. It’s the trip to take if you want your veins to be filled with adrenaline. The Boomerang rollercoaster, with its crazy twists and turns and a top speed of nearly sixty miles per hour, is the park’s main attraction.

If you’re pressed for time, you may visit the amusement park in a few hours, or you can stay all day and ride all the attractions while enjoying the time of your life. Consider purchasing a one-day dining deal if you plan to spend at least half a day at Six Flags Fiesta to save money on meals.

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13. Investigate The Caverns of Natural Bridge

Exploring the Carerns of Natural Bridge is also one of the best things to do in San Antonio. Central San Antonio is about a 30-minute drive from one of Texas’ greatest natural landmarks. Visit this location for fun on the adventure courses above ground as well as for tours of the caverns below ground.

The views of the caverns are amazing due to the variety of geological structures present. That being said, because this tour can be quite physically demanding at times, I would not suggest it for visitors with restricted mobility. In addition, the temperature is typically around 70 degrees, which is very warm for underground caverns, and the humidity is always 99%.

The adventure park offers panoramic views of the Texas Hill Country from numerous zip rails above the ground, a maze, and rope courses. Everything in this place is kid-friendly, and there are even a few displays made especially with the smallest guests in mind. The floor of the cavern is damp and slick, so wear sturdy shoes.

14. San Antonio Botanical Garden’s Native Flora

The expensive San Antonio Botanical Garden is located in the city’s northern region. If you’re sick of staring at the downtown skyscrapers, this park is a sight for sore eyes. It has ponds, well-designed walking routes, and lush greenery everywhere.

A visit to the botanical garden is also one of the best things to do in San Antonio, it has several conservatories that are unique in both their shape and the plants they contain. The glass constructions are amazing to view and almost like works of art. Even though most of the plants and flowers inside are native to the area, they are nevertheless exquisite.

There is a cafe in the botanical garden, which is a fantastic spot to take a quick rest before visiting the next famous site in San Antonio, and the hours of operation at the San Antonio Botanical Garden is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

15. Step Into Hopscotch San Antonio’s LED Ball Pit

A modern art gallery with really entertaining interactive exhibitions is called Hopscotch San Antonio. Since there are only two Hopscotch galleries in the US, visiting Hopscotch is one of the best things to do in San Antonio.

You’ve never been to an art gallery like this one. Numerous exhibitions are highly entertaining and engaging. You can explore a rainbow cave, jump on a quantum trampoline, and play in an LED ball pit. Murals and sculptures are also on display, however, they’re not your typical pieces of art.

You must visit the art gallery if you want to capture unforgettable moments from your vacation in this city on Instagram. It’s also one of San Antonio’s most Instagrammable locations, and visitors must remove their shoes and put on socks to interact with several of the interactive exhibitions.

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16. Visit The Buckhorn Saloon & Museum To Go Back in Time

For a taste of the Wild West, visit the Buckhorn Saloon & Museum located in downtown, which is among the best things to do in San Antonio. On the premises of the restaurant, which is modeled after a classic Western saloon, are two fascinating museums. It costs just one ticket to enter both museums.

I found the strange assortment of taxidermied animals at the Buckhorn Museum to be unsettling. Please understand that while I find the collection intriguing and have never seen anything like it in my life, I find taxidermy to be very unsettling.

The Texas Ranger Museum, which recreated a Wild West town complete with a saloon and a jail cell, was much more enjoyable to me. You can enter through those vintage saloon doors and pretend to be a real outlaw while posing for pictures behind bars. The display also includes pictures and badges of well-known Texas rangers, along with their firearms.

The hours of operation for the Buckhorn Saloon & Museum are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. All of the building’s exhibitions are accessible with an admission ticket costing $22.99.Here is where you may make reservations for them.

17. Visit the Governor’s Palace in Spain.

Among the best things to do in San Antonio is a visit to the Spanish Governor’s Palace, a hidden treasure. If you want to see a magnificent stucco palace with period furnishings and spirits, put it on your schedule for San Antonio. Because of its reputation for being haunted, San Antonio ghost tours frequently visit the palace.

You may explore three of the most well-known San Antonio sights in one afternoon because the Palace is located between the San Fernando Cathedral and the Historic Market Square. The hours of operation for the Spanish Governor’s Palace are 9 a.m to 5 p.m. $5 tickets are available.

If you go during the day, you won’t encounter any ghosts and can concentrate on the exquisite colonial building and exquisite antique furnishings. The palace’s grounds and inside are decorated with exquisite artwork, but I thought the cooking section was the most fascinating. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen, especially considering how excellent it is.

18. Austin Day Trip

Austin is just one and a half hours away from San Antonio. The vibrant state capital is a fantastic destination for day trips from San Antonio because of its proximity and abundance of amazing activities. Austin is well-known for its fantastic food, live music, vibrant culture, and overall wonderful vibe. Austin Day Trip is one of the best things to do in San Antonio

You will have an incredible time in Austin if you are an art enthusiast. The city is home to an abundance of fantastic museums and art exhibitions, from the Cathedral of Junk, a modern art installation, to a museum devoted to the works of Charles Umlauf.

When visiting Austin, it is impossible to miss the famous Texas Capitol. The landmark complex offers free 30-minute guided tours to guests, and it is truly amazing to see.
San Antonio is located 80 miles northeast of Austin. By automobile or local bus, getting to the city takes approximately 1.5 hours.

19. Visit The Witte Museum To Learn About Texas

One of the best things to do in San Antonio is visit the oldest museums. The Witte Museum, located in Brackenridge Park, tells tales about Texas from the prehistoric era to the present. Dinosaur bones and late 1800s sheriff’s badges are just two of the many fascinating historical items in the museum’s collection.

I think it’s a great display that has something to offer everyone, regardless of age. Children are typically fascinated by the enormous dinosaur reproductions, but adults enjoy learning about Texan art, textiles, and commonplace items from bygone eras more.

Despite being outside of San Antonio’s downtown, this museum is conveniently located near public transportation. In about twenty minutes, a bus can transport you from the Alamo to the Witte Museum and it operates from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Adult tickets are $16.

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20. View The Old San Fernando Cathedral

San Fernando Cathedral

The last on our list of the best things to do in San Antonio is a visit to San Fernando Cathedral. Downtown San Antonio is home to some historic sites, including the San Fernando Cathedral. The famous church is a magnificent example of Spanish colonial architecture, having first been built in the early 1700s.

The attractions of San Fernando Cathedral are the magnificent stained glass windows and the lavish altar. All guests are entitled to complimentary guided tours; nevertheless, the inside of the church is not visible.

Rather, the tours show you around the grounds of the cathedral as a local guide narrates the history of the church. Ghost tours in San Antonio frequently include a stop at this church. Come here at night to take in the amazing light and music display; you may even witness some paranormal activity.

FAQs about Best Things to Do in San Antonio, Texas

1. What is the Main Attraction in San Antonio?
The Alamo and the Spanish mission churches are the two main attractions of San Antonio. Its lengthy and bloody past has also made it well-known for ghost sightings.

2. In San Antonio, Texas, where is the most popular destination?
In San Antonio, Texas, the Alamo is the most visited landmark. The ancient battleground is not quite as touristy as the San Antonio River Walk, which comes in second.

3. What Should I Do in San Antonio During the Day?
Visit the River Walk, the Alamo, Historic Market Square, San Antonio Mission Historic National Park, and the Buckhorn Saloon and Museum if you only have one day in the city. You can tour all of these sites in a single day, and you might even have time to fit in a visit to one of the botanical gardens.

4. Three Days in San Antonio: How Can I Use Them?
Three days is more than enough time to see all of San Antonio’s top attractions and take a day trip to a nearby city or park. Take a river cruise around downtown and visit the Alamo, San Fernando Cathedral, San Antonio Mission Trail, River Walk, Witte Museum, Buckhorn Saloon & Museum, San Antonio Botanical Garden, and the Pearl.

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Advice And Details About Traveling To San Antonio, Texas

The Perfect Time To Go

November through April is the ideal time of year to visit San Antonio. Due to the nice, warm weather, March and April are often the busiest months for visitors to this Texas city. It’s ideal for strolls through the city center and visits to neighboring parks and historical sites.

If at all possible, avoid visiting the city during the summer. San Antonio experiences extremely hot summers, with daily highs of above ninety degrees. With the high humidity in the city, it’s too hot to be comfortable spending most of the day outside.

Reaching There

Seek out flights that arrive at San Antonio International. You can reach your hotel quickly because the distance from San Antonio’s downtown is about fifteen minutes by car. Some buses travel from the airport to the city center as well; the route takes only 30 to 40 minutes, and tickets cost only $2.5. If you’re on a limited budget and don’t want to waste money on cabs, it’s something to think about.

Or you could take a plane to Austin and then take a taxi to San Antonio. With more domestic and international connections, Austin’s airport is larger, busier, and more connected than San Antonio’s. By car or bus, the capital is only 1.5 hours from San Antonio.

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Moving Around

You can see a lot of the city on foot because central San Antonio is mostly walkable. Here, cycling is very common and a great substitute for cabs and rental cars. The majority of the sights featured in this guide are easily accessible by bicycle, and San Antonio boasts a solid system for renting bikes.

While not required, a rental automobile would make getting around San Antonio easier. San Antonio’s public transportation system is excellent and can assist you in traveling to Austin. Thus, if you have a tight schedule and want to see as many sites as you can, think about hiring a car.

How Much Time Will It Take?

The ideal duration for a trip to San Antonio is three days. It is more than sufficient time to visit all of the city’s major attractions and to take a day trip to a neighboring city or national park. Your three-day plan should include a day excursion to Austin, as it’s conveniently located near San Antonio.

You can complete the city in two days, but on the second day of the trip, you’ll have to decide between a day trip and local attractions. And if you just have one day in San Antonio, make sure to see as many of the buildings and landmarks as possible.

The San Antonio City Pass

I strongly advise getting the San Antonio City Pass if you’re serious about seeing the Texas city; it’s a great deal for the money. For $59, the pass grants free admission to four of the eight sites of your choosing.

If you only visit three displays, you’ll get your money’s worth, and the fourth one is essentially free! If you’ve already planned to visit at least three of these locations, purchasing the San Antonio City Pass is a no-brainer.

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Accommodations In San Antonio, Texas

Gunter Hotel

Looking for lodging in downtown San Antonio for easy access to the best things to do in San Antonio? Discover top hotels along the famous River Walk, offering convenient proximity to all major tourist sites.

Explore the vibrant Pearl area, offering a variety of accommodations suitable for every budget range.

In the heart of San Antonio and conveniently adjacent to all the city’s top attractions is the reasonably priced Gunter Hotel.
In the heart of the city, the Menger Hotel is a decent midrange choice that has ghost sightings as an extra benefit.
Situated in San Antonio’s Pearl District along the River Walk, Hotel Emma is an upscale, luxurious lodging option.

Discover the best things to do in San Antonio and make the most of your visit, whether you opt for a luxurious resort or a haunted motel. Focus on exploring attractions that truly interest you instead of simply waiting in line at popular spots, and you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience.

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