My family and I had the privilege of living in and exploring the beautiful city of San Antonio. The city is by far my favorite town that I’ve ever lived in. If you are thinking about San Antonio as your next vacation; I promise it won’t disappoint. The city itself is jam packed with things to do and the surrounding area offers fantastic opportunities as well.
1. The San Antonio River Walk
We’ll start with the obvious. The river walk is probably the most popular thing to do in the city. If you only spend a short time in San Antonio, definitely spend time strolling along the river. Being able to experience the river walk so often was a huge benefit to living in San Antonio.
If you are looking for a restaurant recommendation, The Original Mexican Restaurant & Bar is where it’s at. It was the first restaurant along the river walk and was actually established by Germans! The river boat ride was also something I really enjoyed. I only felt the need to do this once, but always recommend it to anyone coming to the area.
Southtown is a gorgeous part of the city filled with art and history. It’s also a great place to get authentic Mexican cuisine.
3. Kiddie Park
The Kiddie Park is THE oldest amusement park in America! A great place to stop by if you have kids.
4. Eisenhower Park
This is a great place for adults and children. The playground and rock climbing wall will entertain your children while you enjoy the walking trails and tower. The Eisenhower Tower gives you a spectacular, expansive view over the park.
5. Yanaguana Garden & Playground
THE BEST playground for kids I have ever seen. Heck, even for adults. Even if you never get to enjoy the park for yourself, you should definitely give it a peak, HERE.
6. San Pedro Springs Park
Located in Midtown, The San Pedro Springs Park is one of our favorite places in San Antonio. We enjoyed walking around the water and watching the ducks swim among the lily pads. The best part about the park is that it’s just a few minutes from some of our other favorite places in town.
After you enjoy the park you can also visit the Japanese Tea Garden, The DoSeum, The Witte Museum, and the San Antonio Botanical Gardens. All within walking distance!! If you are looking to spend the day walking around the city, midtown San Antonio is the place to be.
7. Burgers from In-n-Out
If you are from the South West, this won’t be a big deal for you, but for us losers who don’t live close to an In-n-Out… it can be quite joyous! Also, if you have never been to one before, don’t make the mistake I made my first time there. When you go to order they will ask you if your order is to enjoy in your car. I was thinking “ummm yeah I’m gonna eat it in my car, that’s sorta why I went to a drive thru..”
“Enjoy in your car” means they give your food to you in a little cardboard tray to sit in the parking lot and “enjoy your food in your car.” Rookie mistake because I lost my food on the drive home. I was trying to make a turn in a place I had never been before while holding up this tray of food to keep it from spilling. Ended up making an illegal turn and driving right through a stop sign. Luckily for me, a cop was right behind me… So, as soon as his siren came on, I for some stupid reason slammed on my breaks. I could’ve been a normal person and just calmly slowed down and pulled over but nope. I slammed my brakes and my burger and fries flew all over my car.
The officer ended up letting me go with a warning. He told me that the area had just began construction and that people had been having a hard time navigating around the fences and stuff. He also might have had some sympathy for me after he peaked into my window. He had a glorious view of my brand new Ford Explorer TAN interior covered in burger and fries. My one year old was crying her brains out in the back seat and I was 9 months pregnant, sweating PROFUSELY in the obnoxious Texas heat. It was quite a scene.. 😂
8. McAllister Park
McAllister was our go-to park while we were in San Antonio. We enjoyed walking the trails and I loved taking portraits for clients there amongst the trees. Also, a great place to get popsicles and ice cream in the summer.
9. The Alamo
Everyone knows about The Alamo, right? Just because it is a heavily trafficked tourist destination doesn’t mean it isn’t worth a visit. We enjoyed it and would definitely go back again.
10. Friedrich Wilderness Park
A beautiful area to walk and see the famous Blue Bonnets.
11. Splashtown San Antonio
Fantastic local water park.
12. Mission San Francisco De La Espada Catholic Church
A gorgeous active Catholic parish with a fascinating history.
13. Spanish Governor’s Place
The Spanish Governor’s Place is a seriously intriguing place to explore and a must see in San Antonio.
13. Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
Tons of odd exhibits as well as a wax museum.
14. Day Trip to Corpus Christi
The closest beach to San Antonio is Corpus Christi. Just a two hour drive away for the ultimate day beach trip. Explore Mustang Island State Park or Padre Island. If you have kids, they may enjoy the Texas State Aquarium or the USS Lexington depending on their ages.
15. Mission San Juan Capistrano
San Antonio isn’t short on historical sites. Founded in 1716, San Juan Capistrano is one of the most beautiful in the city.
16. Briscoe Western Art Museum
The museum focuses on the wild west and Native American artifacts. There is also a lush outdoor sculpture garden.
17. Government Canyon State Natural Area
The Canyon State Natural Area is a great place to go to spend time out in nature. Gorgeous flowers, cacti, water views, and hiking trails.
18. UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures
So many different cultures call Texas home and you can learn about them at the institute.
19. Day Trip to Bourne
Bourne, pronounced “Ber-NEE”, was my favorite day trip from San Antonio. The architecture in the city alone is enough to have me recommend it to you. However, Bourne has so much more to offer. Some of the more popular places to visit in Bourne are the Cibolo Nature Center and Farm, River Road Park, and Bourne City Lake Park.
Side note: one day when we were leaving the Bourne, I got lost and ended up taking a tour of the Texas country side. And it IS gorgeous. The Texas longhorns, cactus and ranch archways-so beautiful. So, if you feel like taking some back country roads to see the real Texas.. getting lost outside of Bourne is a great place to start.
20. Morgan’s Wonderland
The world’s first ultra-accessible theme park.
The Hemisfair Park is an area of San Antonio where the city has restored old architecture in the city. They do a lot of work to keep the history of San Antonio alive.
22. The DoSeum
San Antonio Kid’s Museum.
23. McNay Art Museum
Wonderful museum that is free for everyone 19 and under. It’s also a very popular place for portrait photography.
24. Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch
My family’s FAVORITE activity in San Antonio. The ranch has a drive thru safari as well as petting zoo and a cafe. LOVE LOVE LOVE this place. Read my post about the Wildlife Ranch, HERE.
25. Eat Delicious Tacos From Taco Cabana
Again, if you are a local this won’t seem like a big deal to you. I moved to Texas from Kentucky. Kentucky’s Mexican food is obviously no where near as good as in Texas. If you are looking for a place to grab a taco when you are in a hurry, Taco Cabana is the place to go.
26. Tower of the Americas
Enjoy fine dining and breathtaking views of downtown San Antonio from the Tower of the Americas.
27. Mission Concepcion
The mission was dedicated in 1755 and is the oldest unrestored stone church in all of America.
28. The Buckhorn Saloon & Museum
A great stop in downtown. Just one block from the river walk and two blocks from the Alamo.
29. World’s Largest Cowboy Boots
One of the most shocking things about moving to Texas came when I first went to my local mall. Standing 35 feet tall in front of Sacks Fifth Avenue is the worlds largest pair of cowboy boots.
30. San Fernando Cathedral
Beautiful cathedral in the heart of downtown San Antonio.
31. Historic Market Square
This market is the perfect place to get authentic Mexican clothings, food, clothes, and more.
32. La Villita Historic Arts Village
Gorgeous area of the city to explore just south of the San Antonio River Walk.
33. Brackenridge Park
Conservancy in San Antonio and great place to camp.
33. San Antonio Botanical Garden
One of the top eight most beautifully designed botanical gardens on America.
34. Japanese Tea Garden
I highly recommend stopping by the Japanese Tea Garden. My girls and I have walking through the garden and the surround area many times. It’s a great place for little ones to see turtles and fish for free.
35. Witte Museum
A popular museum in the city. Admission is only $14 for adults and children under 3 are free!
36. San Antonio Museum of Art
This museum is another great stop along the riverwalk. A favorite fro my family because it has free general admission on Tuesday’s from 4pm-9pm.
37. Natural Bridge Caverns
Take a cave tour, mine for gold or, if you’re brave, go on the canopy ziplines!
38. Six Flags Fiesta Texas
The ticket for Six Flags Fiesta will set you back $64.99. A little too expensive for my preference, but if you are an amusement park lover this may be for you.
39. SeaWorld San Antonio
Another amusement park option is Sea World. There tickets are slightly cheaper at $59.99
40. San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
The park contains four missions and they are all active parishes.
41. The San Antonio Zoo
By far one of the best zoos we have been to. It’s a large zoo where you can get up close and personal with the giraffes and elephants.
42. Majestic Theatre
See a show at the oldest and largest theatre in San Antonio.
43. The Pearl Brewery
Another one of our favorites. The Pearl is a great place to walk, sit in the park, and take pictures. I would take my daughters to story time at The Twig Bookshop at the pearl every week. This is also a great places to grab some delicious food and explore the farmers market.
44. Grab some BBQ at the Smoke Shack
It took us a long time before eating at the Smoke Shack. After months of recommendations from friends, we finally went. It is a small little restaurant, but it SOOO delicious.
45. Phil Hardberger Park
Beautiful conservancy in San Antonio with great walking trails.
46. San Antonio Aquarium
We enjoyed our time at this aquarium, but it wasn’t the nicest we have ever been to. The aquarium is THE ONLY one I have ever been to that allows you to touch everything. I mean EVERYTHING. If you have always wanted to hold a baby turtle or pet an octopus, this is the place for you!
47. Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen
Our go-to dinner restaurant. Delicious seafood with beautiful outdoor water features and seating.
48. Aquatica San Antonio
Texas’s family-friendly water park.
49. Waffles & Ice Cream from Kuma
Eat a Hong-Kong style bubble waffle with lychee ice cream at Kuma. Great spot for insta-worthy snaps!
50. Drinks at Bar 1919
A speakeasy style bar with a dark and classy environments with a LARGE variety of drinks.
Have you ever visited San Antonio before? If you have, what are your favorite things to do in the area? If you are planning a trip to San Antonio-I hope these 50 things to do in the area given by someone who’s lived there is helpful for you!
Follow along with us on Facebook , Instagram and Pinterest 🙂
Learn about the author and owner of Gone With My Babies, HERE.