San Antonio, Texas‘ second-largest city, is most known for being the home of the Alamo, but there are many more places to see and do here than just visiting the city’s historic Spanish missions. It is located in the south central part of the USA and offers a variety of museums and entertainment alternatives, as well as a gorgeous RiverWalk that connects many of San Antonio key tourist sites.
The vast metropolis, which is quite multicultural in nature, attracts millions of tourists each year who come to view its sights, shop, and visit its interesting amusement parks, animal displays, and Aquarian. With an almost unlimited assortment of cultural sites and hip gastronomic districts to visit, as well as a steady stream of fairs, festivals, and events, Alamo City is a must-see for anybody visiting Texas.
1: San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
While the Alamo, San Jose, and Concepción are obviously at the top of most visitors’ lists, the city also includes a few of other magnificent missions worth visiting. They are strewn across the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, and each one provides a fascinating glimpse into the past.
Cycling along the picturesque Mission Trail, which connects all of these centuries-old historic sites, is a fantastic opportunity to see them all. Mission San Juan and Mission Espada, both of which have excellent architecture and are quite atmospheric to roam around, are two that people typically overlook or skip.
2: The Alamo
It became a rallying cry to Texans seeking independence from Mexico. It also served as a reminder of the events of March 1836. On this date, tens of thousands of Mexican troops led by General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna assaulted the Alamo, murdering the 200 Texans who had captured the mission and fought for 13 days to defend it.
In April of 1836, 800 Texans led by Sam Houston defeated Santa Anna with the shout “Remember the Alamo.” The battle for Texas independence came to a conclusion when Santa Anna signed a treaty recognizing the state’s independence in exchange for his release. The Alamo, which is smaller than most people think, is now the most visited attraction in Texas.
3: River Walk
This is San Antonio’s second-most-visited destination and a popular spot for a stroll, shopping, or grabbing a bite to eat. You might also take a boat ride down the San Antonio River and enjoy the colorful network of walkways. Throughout the summer, the vibrant Fiesta Noche del Rio, which features the songs and dances of Mexico, Texas, Spain, and Argentina, takes place every Friday and Saturday night.
The Riverwalk is also recognized for holding a variety of entertaining events, such as craft displays, boat parades, and racing. The Riverwalk is a lovely place to visit at any time of year, but it’s especially magical during the Christmas and New Year seasons when the area is decked out in millions of dazzling lights.
4: Japanese Tea Gardens
The serene and gorgeous Japanese Tea Gardens, which are located near the museum and zoo, is yet another of Brackenridge Park’s main tourist attractions. It’s set in a former rock quarry and boasts a plethora of lovely trails, ponds, and plants for you to stroll around, as well as rustic stone bridges and rock formations strewn about.
The meticulously groomed gardens, which are more quieter than the RiverWalk, have many colorful plants, flowers, shrubs and trees, as well as a fantastic torii gate that greets you at the entry. In addition to all of this, there is a pavilion-like pagoda and multiple waterfalls, and throughout the summer, the Sunken Garden amphitheater hosts incredible outdoor concerts.
5: San Antonio Zoo
The magnificent San Antonio Zoo, which is directly next door to the Witte Museum in Brackenridge Park, is home to about 3,500 animals representing around 750 species. Its wide enclosures and nature exhibits are home to animals, birds, and reptiles from all over the world, including Africa, Asia, and Australia.
The highly regarded zoo was founded in 1914 and now has one of the largest collections of animals in the United States. While the park’s biggest attraction is clearly the ‘drive-through’ safari with all of its free-roaming animals, the park’s stunning butterfly house, vast aviary, and narrow-gauge railway all receive a lot of praise.
It’s a great spot to take the whole family. SeaWorld San Antonio is one of the world’s largest marine-themed theme parks. Apart from huge tanks full of glittering shoals of fish and big killer whales, it also features rides, roller coasters, and a water park for you to enjoy, as well as live entertainment and animal presentations.
The park has grown significantly since its inception in 1988, with everything from alligators and dolphins to sea lions, sharks, and beluga whales on display, with the giant orcas being its most famous resident. There is to know about the incredible creatures and experienced the thrilling rides and roller coasters, arrange a behind-the-scenes tour to meet puffins and penguins, stingrays, and seals.
7: Tower of the Americas
The massive Tower of the Americas, one of San Antonio’s most recognizable icons and landmarks, rises impressively over downtown. It was created for the 1968 World’s Fair, with the soaring building located right in the center of HemisFair Park, and was formerly the tallest observation tower in the United States.
It’s known around town as ‘The Tower,’ and it stands at 750 feet tall, with elevators whisking you to the top in just 43 seconds. Aside from the stunning views from its interior and outdoor observation decks, visitors can dine at the revolving Chart House restaurant or watch the short film ‘Skies Over Texas’ in the 4D theater.
8: San Antonio Aquarium
The San Antonio Aquarium, a family favorite, is located in Leon Valley, about fifteen minutes northwest of downtown. It not only features a lot of beautiful fish, reptiles, and birds, but it also includes a fun arcade and bounce house for youngsters to enjoy, as well as exciting animal encounters.
Aside from seeing tanks full of jellyfish and the aquarium’s resident crocodiles, the aquarium’s beautiful iguanas and exotic birds are highlights, with live demonstrations and feeding sessions taking place on a daily basis. You may brush koi fish and stingrays in one of the touch tanks, in addition to meeting some animals.
9: Buckhorn Saloon
The picturesque old Buckhorn Saloon, just a stone’s throw from La Villita, is one of the greatest spots in town to enjoy a drink. It is the state’s oldest drinking institution, having opened in 1881 and currently boasting two fantastic museums, a curio shop, and even a shooting gallery.
The saloon is a terrific place to sit and enjoy a drink or meal while taking in the decor, with fabulous furniture and woodworks and dozens upon dozens of trophy mounts adorning the walls. Explore the Buckhorn museums and Texas Ranger, which each have antiques, displays, and animal mounts after you’ve sipped a fresh brew or fired some shots at the shooting gallery.
10: La Villita Historic Arts Village
You may buy some great artworks as keepsakes at the La Villita Historic Arts Village, in addition to merely seeing them. The revitalized neighborhood and all of its art galleries, studios, and restaurants are located along the RiverWalk in San Antonio River on the south bank.
The vibrant arts community is becoming a very popular area to visit, with all types of bright and imaginative businesses and studios for you to stop by, many selling bespoke jewelry, ceramics, and folk art. You can get a bite to eat or a drink at one of the quaint little cafes and eateries in addition to taking in the atmosphere and purchasing a handcrafted item or two.