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  • Writer's pictureAmy Leggett

Top Things to Do in San Antonio

Updated: Jul 16, 2022


San Antonio is a great city for a getaway because it has a variety of things to do! There are historic sites, great shopping, and of course, the Riverwalk! Here is a summary of the top spots:

  • Walk or Cruise the River Walk: Once you arrive in San Antonio, the first thing you will want to do is check out the famous River Walk. You can stroll up and down both sides. There are several bridges that can take you up and over the river whenever you want to get to the other side. Check out all of the restaurants and shops that border the River Walk and decide which ones you want to return to during your stay! There are also free water taxis that will take you up and down the river throughout the day. You can also buy a ticket to take a guided cruise up and down the River Walk. We chose to do a cruise at night so we could see the River Walk all lit up. We also grabbed a slushy alcohol drink with flashing light cubes to enhance our experience!


  • City Sightseeing Hop On/Hop Off Tour Bus: I always recommend doing these bus tours on the first day or two of your trip when they are available. Riding the full loop gives you a lay of the land and a little history about the area you are about to explore. We bought a package that included a two-day bus pass and the River Walk boat cruise mentioned above. Having a two day bus pass works to get you around the city and back to any places on the tour bus route that you want to return to. There are other packages that include discounted tickets to additional sightseeing spots. Check out all your options here. The Tour Bus has 19 stops that take you by 17 different points of interest including the Pearl Entertainment Complex with shopping, cafes and the Pearl Brewery; the San Antonio Museum of Art ("SAMA"); the Buckhorn Saloon and Museum; Towers of the Americas; Historic Market Square; La Villita Historic Arts Village and Alamo Plaza where you can tour the historic Alamo Mission (discussed below).


  • The Alamo Mission: The most famous historical site in San Antonio is a must see! The Alamo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is known as the "Shrine of Texas Liberty". The Alamo represents the heart of Texas pride and the spirit of its' people. I admit didn't know (or remember) the history of the area and I found the tour entertaining and educational. It gave me a whole new respect for the history of Texas in their fight to be independent. To do a self-directed tour you must reserve a FREE timed-entry ticket. Alternatively, you can buy a ticket for a guided tour that will give you a complete history of the Alamo with your own tour guide. I recommend the guided tour for the complete experience. You can find information on securing your timed entry ticket and tour prices here.

  • Towers of the Americas: The 750 foot tall Tower of the Americas provides a panoramic view of San Antonio's skyline from the Tower’s Observation Deck. There is also a 4D Theater Ride. I didn't get a chance to do this, but would love to see that panoramic view of San Antonio. If you get a chance to do this, let me know how it was in the comments to this blog so future travelers will know if they should make time to include it in their plans.

  • Shopping: There are many unique places to shop in San Antonio. Where to go depends on if you are looking for traditional Mexican artifacts, boutiques or souvenirs. Check out my blog on top places to shop in San Antonio here.

  • HONORABLE MENTION: Buckhorn Saloon and Museum: I really wanted to go to the Buckhorn Saloon and Museum but I ran out of time. It will be at the top of my list when I go back. The Saloon first opened in 1881 and is heralded as a place where "history was made and legend lives". The Saloon is where Teddy Roosevelt recruited Rough Riders and Pancho Villa is rumored to have planned the Mexican Revolution. Many of the original furnishings are still there, including the cherry wood and marble back bar. The Buckhorn Saloon is not only a place to grab a meal or a drink, but it has a number of other attractions attached such as the Texas Ranger Museum and the Buckhorn Museum with an exotic animal collection (which were acquired as forms of payment in the early days when travelers didn't have money to pay). The website claims it will give you a "full Texas experience". The Buckhorn Museum, Saloon and Gift Store is open 365 days a year. The Cafe is open Friday through Sunday. The Saloon and Cafe are free, but you need tickets for the other attractions. Find more information on what you can do and see and ticket cost here.

I loved my visit to San Antonio and highly recommend that it be added to your travel bucket list! It is perfect for a long family weekend or a quick girls' getaway.

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