With mountains to see, a beautiful river walk and the Alamo, San Antonio is one of the beautiful ones entertainment cities in the US you have to explore. And not only that, there are plenty of gourmet joints, galleries and lookouts that can fill any city vacation. Honestly, there are so many epic and best things to do in San Antonio; you will be spoiled for choice.
For us, San Antonio was our second Texas port (on our trip across the state). After research the best places in Houston, we drove to San Antonio and spent a long weekend exploring the city …
… And boy, did not disappoint!
To help you get the most out of your trip around San Antonio, I wanted to share my favorite gems we loved.
Check out the best things you can do in San Antonio below when you visit Texas. Have a nice trip!
You can’t visit the city and not visit the Alamo. It’s one of the best things about San Antonio, which is completely cult. Not only that, it is one of the most important historical sites in the United States and as such protected.
You see, even when the battle for the Alamo was being played here – back in 1836.
Today you can walk through the museum and library and learn the amazing ancient history of Texas. Yes, the site may feel quite comfortable and small, but it contains the full amount of history that you can’t miss.
We loved walking the Alam in its own rhythm. Although, if you want a deeper history, join one of the tours that meander with all the artifacts around the location.
It should be noted that the site can be quite busy on weekends and holidays. If you prefer a quieter experience, choose a work day and visit early in the morning.
While you’re here, you can also visit the historic Alamo Church and the Long Barrack Museum, and it’s really easy to visit after a walk down the Riverwalk.
Are you getting hungry? Take the table for Bliss (in Presat Street). Their caps are delicious.
2.) Natural bridge caverns
About a 30-minute drive from the Alamo, the Natural Bridge Caves are really easy to visit on a half-day trip from downtown San Antonio.
Now you’ll probably find a bunch of caves in Texas, but the Natural Bridge caves are some of the largest (easily accessible) caves in the entire state. We absolutely loved our visit and spent a few hours underground!
Inside is amazing, especially when you see all the tall formations on the Discovery hiking tour. Although relatively easy to access, there are some slopes to consider when you find yourself in a cave.
After mossing around the cave system, embark on some above-ground adventures. Try lining with zippers (ball) and rope if you want a little exercise! 😉
3.) Cathedral of San Fernando
San Fernando Cathedral is one of the oldest cathedrals in the United States, built in 1873. With its beautiful architecture, the church also houses the remains of some of the defenders of the Alamo, and is shrouded in history that you really can’t miss.
Yes, the interior is stunning, but there’s also the amazing light show that takes place at San Fernando Cathedral most nights. Still
At night you can watch a free light show which is so stunning. It happens at 21:00, 21:30 and 22:00 every day except Monday.
4.) Walk down the San Antonio River
Probably our favorite area for a walk in the late afternoon, the River Walk is not to be missed in San Antonio.
Following the river itself, the River Walk is wonderful to explore on foot. along the way you will cross a lot of downtown San Antonio and stop at a lot of small restaurants and bars that surround the walk itself.
We spent many afternoons with a tip in hand and chilling by the water; it was bliss.
If you want to rest your tired legs a bit, jump on the River Walk boats that sail the river itself. It’s a great way to see the city and completely chilled out.
5.) Market market
Probably one of the best things to do in San Antonio for a little shopping, Market Square is the dream place of souvenir lovers!
Here you can find everything from local pottery to crafted jewelry or paintings by local artists. There is a little something for everyone.
I guarantee you will leave with at least one little little thing in hand!
Then head towards Schilo’s which is the oldest restaurant in all of San Antonio. Their chicken and biscuits are so delicious for breakfast. Also, their shoemaker peach is everything!
6.) Tower of America
For views of San Antonio you will want to reach the American Tower. It’s one of the best things in San Antonio, especially for an epic sunset.
We planned for our walk through Hemisfair Park to coincide with the view of the sunset and everything worked out perfectly. Just check what time the sunsets set before you plan your day; this way you can get the best views.
7.) The village of historical art La Villita
Included in the National Register of Historic Districts, La Villita Historic Arts Village is a unique place to visit in San Antonio.
We absolutely loved the art galleries and the enjoyable vintages that are so adorable.
Plus, it’s really easy to visit after a walk along the River Walcom, as it’s just across from the Western Briscoe Museum of Art. Which is a coincidence and a museum to visit in the city!
8.) San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
Part of the protected world heritage site under the protection of UNESCO in the missions of San Antonio, it is a place you can not miss when visiting the city.
Including the Alamo, the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park is located in a location that takes care of five missions that are completely iconic in Texas.
When planning a visit, be sure to explore Mission San Jose, Mission Concepción, Mission San Juan, and Mission Espada.
Each has its own history to explore and is so unique. For example, Mission San Jose is a historic mission where you can learn more about the place, spot a granary, old soldiers, walls, and a garden.
The buildings have such a rich history and are so easy to explore.
Also, don’t forget that some of the missions have ranger-led events and tours, where you can learn more about their role and history.
For example, the San Jose Mission typically holds them every hour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. They are fascinating.
9.) White Museum
Do you like to visit the epic museum when visiting a new city? Well, the Witte Museum is the place for you!
Here you can see some of the most amazing galleries of nature, science and culture that fill the halls. In addition, you may even notice some of the cult dinosaur skeletons and exhibits.
While the Witte Museum doesn’t just focus on history from millions of years ago, it also showcases a wealth of artifacts around the history, culture, and natural sciences of South Texas. You will be spoiled for choice.
It’s also worth exploring one of the best things in San Antonio if you have a few hours off.
10.) San Antonio Museum of Art
I’m just ashamed of the river San Antonio Museum of Art is an amazing place to visit.
It’s a place to visit if you like to look amazing; Indian, Spanish colonial and Latin American collections. They are all so cult.
And not only that, but you will also see collections of Egyptian and Roman antiquities. It’s one of the best things to do in San Antonio for art lovers. Plus, a great place if you want to avoid some of that intense midday sun.
11.) Japanese Tea Garden
Part of the larger Brackenridge Park, Japanese tea garden is a quiet place in San Antonio that has been lovingly restored.
It’s one of the best things to do in San Antonio if you’re already exploring proximity DoSeum Museum (which is great for kids). In addition, it is not too far from the Witte Museum.
When you get here, you’ll have to wander the koi carp ponds, spot a huge waterfall and explore the ornate gardens that are so stunning. He is over 100 years old and he is absolutely wonderful.
12.) Mission trail
Do you want a long walk or bike ride? Then the Mission Path is for you.
It is a hiking and biking trail that connects all five missions and is one of the best things in San Antonio. This is especially true if you want to take a walk, but do not want to leave the city alone.
The Mission Trail is relatively easy to walk; although prepare with water and sunscreen; just take your pace. There are also parks, rest areas and picnic holidays.