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The Ultimate 3 Days in San Antonio Itinerary (2024 GUIDE)

Alesha and Jarryd

  • Last Updated: February 4, 2024

Looking for great activities and attractions in the Alamo City? Our San Antonio itinerary is all you need to plan the perfect trip!

Offering historic charm, diverse cultural attractions, amusement parks, and plenty of other impressive activities, San Antonio, Texas , is full of fun and unique attractions waiting to be explored!

Widely known for its Hispanic culture and historic Spanish colonial missions such as the Alamo, San Antonio was founded through a Spanish mission. Originally a colonial outpost in 1718, San Antonio became Texas’ first chartered civil settlement in 1731. 

A historical location, San Antonio is filled with history from various cultures, including Spanish, Native American, and American. 

For example, the many historical sites like the San Antonio Missions and the Alamo, are visited continuously throughout the year by locals and tourists. Other more fragile artifacts are safely settled in museums speckled around San Antonio. 

Though San Antonio is loaded with historical attractions, it is also home to other prevalent activities. Major theme parks like the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, Six Flags Fiesta, SeaWorld, and Morgan’s Wonderland welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

Those who visit San Antonio will learn more about the local history and culture while also having the opportunity to grab an adrenaline rush in San Antonio’s many theme parks, making San Antonio one of the best places to visit in Texas .

Suppose you’re looking for the best activities for the ultimate San Antonio weekend trip. In that case, we highly recommend you read this article to discover the ultimate three-day San Antonio itinerary!

San Antonio Texas Market Place

Table of Contents

Day 1 Morning – Stroll Down The Scenic San Antonio RiverWalk

Day 1 afternoon – scour the history of the west at the briscoe western art museum, day 1 evening – continue your adventure through downtown san antonio, day 2 morning – refresh your senses at the san antonio botanical garden, day 2 afternoon – quench your thirst at a brewery, day 2 evening – stop in for a show at the majestic theatre, day 3 morning – hike the mission trail to see the spanish colonial missions, day 3 afternoon – shop at the san antonio historic market square, day 3 evening – explore the king william historic district, when is the best time to visit san antonio, texas, getting around san antonio, texas, best hostel in san antonio: wateralk san antonio, best mid-range hotel in san antonio: drury plaza hotel, best luxury hotel in san antonio: hotel emma at pearl on the riverwalk, how to spend 3 days in san antonio itinerary.

With this itinerary for a three-day weekend in San Antonio, we’ll include the best and most worthwhile attractions to partake in during your trip.

From strolling down the San Antonio River Walk or going on a river cruise to refreshing your senses in a well-hidden attraction, the San Antonio Botanical Garden, your San Antonio trip will be exceptionally fun!

Day 1 in San Antonio, Texas

To start off the perfect three-day San Antonio itinerary, we’re going to take a stroll down the scenic River Walk, the #1 attraction in all of Texas. 

Then, we’ll scour the history of the West at the Briscoe Western Art Museum with its three floors worth of artifacts, sculptures, and artwork. Finally, to end day one, we will continue the day exploring the city center of San Antonio and all it has to offer! 

Read Next: Check out our post on all of the best things to do in Texas!

The San Antonio Riverwalk is popularly known as the heart of San Antonio and the  #1 attraction in Texas — and for a good reason! 

Lined with enigmatic hotels, fragrant restaurants, and suave shops, San Antonio River Walk knows how to attract a crowd with its stunning location and downtown location. 

The banks of River Walk are often decorated and crowded with eager tourists and locals looking to explore what it has to offer. Often, many come to visit River Walk to sit back and bask in the entertaining river parades hosted throughout the year. 

River Walk began with a young architect with an empowered vision — Robert H. H. Hugman. His vision was to intersect bridges and pathways that flanked the San Antonio River in a way that connected it to downtown. 

With Hugman’s efficient design, lives and dollars have been saved that otherwise might’ve been lost due to flooding through the preventative methods in Hugman’s efficient design of River Walk. And thanks to his efforts, the stunning River Walk and lively downtown San Antonio can be enjoyed to this day. 

Take a  scenic night tour and river cruise  during your weekend in San Antonio to partake in the vibrant nightlife of this fun city. 

Or just book a  hop-on-hop-off river boat cruise to use all throughout the day. A boat ride down the river is one of the best ways to sightsee in San Antonio!

San Antonio Riverwalk

Learn more about San Antonio’s history while scouring the history of the West at the  Briscoe Western Art Museum . A phenomenal modern museum that offers an outstanding display of artifacts and arts that illuminate culture and history throughout the American West.

Sharing stories of the cowboys, Native Americans, and the vaquero, this San Antonio museum has three levels of space to explore sculptures, western paintings, and other impressive artifacts. These three levels can be explored comfortably within 1½ to 2 hours time. 

Guests that tour this intimate museum will witness ornate saddles, shiny spurs, a Wells Fargo stagecoach, and on the first floor — a library! 

The Briscoe Western Art Museum previously served as the original public library of San Antonio in the 1930s. 

Since then, it has dedicated its first floor to honoring the building’s origin. To add to its collection, the museum was once also the Hertzberg Circus Collection and Museum in the 1980s.

Bask in the expansive beauty of the Western landscape expressed through sketches, paintings, drawings, and sculptures in the museum’s permanent and rotating galleries.

Afterward, step over to the McNutt Sculpture Garden to marvel at the Texas-sized statues created by the world’s leading Western artists. 

  • Opening Hours : 10 Am-5 Pm (Thursday-Monday), Closed (Tuesday-Wednesday)
  • Admission : $12/Adult, $10/Senior/Student, $6/Retired Military/First Responders/Educators, Free/Active Military/Children Under 12
  • Address : 210 W Market St, San Antonio, TX 78205

Heading north in Texas? Check out our 3 days in Dallas itinerary .

Perfect for nature enthusiasts, history buffs, city lovers, sports fans, and food connoisseurs, downtown is a bustling district popular for its wide and diverse selection of attractions. 

When visiting downtown expect to get a taste of all San Antonio has to offer. From eclectic bistros, vibrating performances, locally-owned shops, public artwork, and world-renown historical museums, you may never have enough time to explore all downtown San Antonio has waiting to be explored!

Whether walking down River Walk, grabbing a bite to eat, or checking out the local nightlife, the experience will leave you basking in the heart of San Antonio, where roots run deep. 

Some of San Antonio’s best attractions, like the  Alamo Plaza houses , are present in the downtown area. In addition, one of the city’s five Spanish colonial missions has since been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Public artwork is displayed all over central San Antonio, including crafted sculptures, street art, and vibrant murals. Stop to take a picture or bask in these displays’ creative and historical presence as you go about your downtown journey. 

Then, sit down to refresh at one of the local eateries when you’re done. Also try to hop over to the Main Plaza to view the  San Fernando Cathedral , the oldest functioning religious community since 1731.

If you’re in town on a Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, the San Fernando Cathedral is illuminated in colors for a  light projection show  between 9pm and 10pm. This could be a highlight of your weekend in San Antonio. 

Read Next: Consider adding these great day trips from San Antonio !

Day 2 in San Antonio, Texas

On day two of this optimal San Antonio itinerary, refresh your senses at the San Antonio Botanical Garden for an immersive nature experience. In the afternoon, quench your thirst at a local brewery with a glass of hand-crafted beer or whiskey. 

Then end the day at the Majestic Theatre for a live performance at Texas’s oldest and largest atmospheric theatre. 

A well-hidden attraction in San Antonio, the Botanical Garden is a 33-acre non-profit botanical garden. 

Nationally recognized for its botanical diversity and vibrant displays, this hidden San Antonio gem is known for its environmental stewardship, immersive experiences, and fruitful education efforts.

The  San Antonio Botanical Garden  is dedicated to inspiring its visitors to connect to the natural world through its refreshing displays and commitment to preserving endangered plant life. 

A getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life, the San Antonio Botanical Garden houses three main areas. 

The Lucille Hasbell Conservatory is home to a tropical lagoon, sunken courtyard, and plants that habituate the desert and forested regions. 

The Texas Native Plains houses plants from three geological areas of Texas, and the formal gardens display area houses sights like the Rose Garden, the Old Fashioned Garden, and the Kumamoto En Japanese Garden (which was gifted by the sister city of Kumamoto in Japan). 

With a stunning array of diverse plants and exhibits, the Botanical Garden strives to function as a multitude of things, including a serene escape, a living classroom, a stunning entertainment venue, and a research and conservation center. 

Nearby you’ll also find the Japanese Tea Garden, the San Antonio Zoo, McNay Art Museum, and the Witte Museum. The Witte Museum showcases the natural history and Texas history and heritage, so those are some other options if you have more time after the gardens. 

  • Opening Hours : 8 AM-7 PM (Friday-Wednesday), 8 AM-7 PM (Thursday)
  • Admission : $16/Adult, $14/Military/Student, $13/Children Age 3-13, Free/Children Under 3
  • Address : 555 Funston Pl, San Antonio, TX 78209

San Antonio Botanical Gardens

A fun activity to include in any San Antonio weekend is visiting a brewery. Here are some of your top options!

Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling  is San Antonio’s only microbrewery and distillery. An award-winning brewstillery that features handcrafted beer and whiskey, 

Hop on a  guided tour  of the only brewstillery in Texas and enjoy samples of handcrafted beer and whiskey.

  • Opening Hours : 10am – 4pm (Monday-Thursday), 12pm – 9pm (Friday-Saturday), Closed (Sunday)
  • Address : 4834 Whirlwind Dr

Blue Star Brewing Company  near the King William Historic District is a fun place with a quirky atmosphere. 

Located in the Blue Star Arts Complex, this brewery specializes in craft beers and has an outdoor patio with live music 

  • Opening Hours:  11am – 10pm (closes at 9pm on Sundays)
  • Address:  1414 S Alamo St #105

Pearl Brewery  is another one of the top breweries to visit on a trip to San Antonio. 

This historic brewery uses traditional methods and equipment to brew its high-quality beverages. The Pearl Brewery complex is so popular among locals and tourists that the space now features a summer night market, a farmers market, a food hall, and event areas. 

  • Opening Hours : 8am – 10pm
  • Address:  303 Pearl Pkwy

Any of these breweries is a fun stop during your long weekend trip to San Antonio!

End day two of your San Antonio itinerary with the star of downtown San Antonio, the Majestic Theatre. A must-visit to see live performances like Broadway shows or concerts!

Recognized as one of the most ornate facilities in the United States, the Majestic Theatre is the oldest and largest atmospheric theatre in San Antonio. 

Built in 1929, the theatre has been marked as a National Historic Landmark. As the nation’s finest and last remaining atmospheric theatre, the Majestic Theatre is honorably acknowledged for its incredulity and historic architectural features. 

In addition, the theatre stands proudly as Texas’ largest and the second largest motion picture theatre in the country.

As one of the best attractions in Texas, the Majestic Theatre is a hot spot for the performing arts. Hosting comedians, Broadway shows, concerts, and other major live events, the public can  buy tickets  to enjoy these inspiring performances. 

Step through the doors of the Majestic Theatre before the show to bask in the fantastical interior decor and the ceiling which mirrors the sky for a historical destination to sit back and enjoy live events.

  • Opening Hours : 12 PM-5 PM (Monday-Thursday), 10 AM-5 PM (Friday-Sunday), Times Vary For Show Dates
  • Admission : On Average Tickets Cost $127
  • Address : 224 E Houston St, San Antonio, TX 78205

Read Next: Austin is just a short drive away! Here is our ultimate 3 days in Austin itinerary !

Day 3 in San Antonio, Texas

On your last day of this perfect San Antonio itinerary, make it worthwhile! 

Start the morning with a refreshing hike exploring the Spanish Colonial Missions, including the famous Alamo. 

Then, stroll through the San Antonio Historic Market Square, one of the country’s largest Mexican markets, for fresh produce, snacks, or souvenirs. 

Finally, end the day wandering through the scenic King William Historic District. 

To visit San Antonio, you have to see San Antonio’s star attractions. The notorious Alamo and the Spanish Colonial San Antonio Missions are a historical must-see. 

There are a total of five missions in San Antonio, connected by the Mission Trail hiking and biking route. The missions were built by Spanish colonists in the mid-1700s and constructed along the San Antonio River. 

These missions were meant to function as the northern frontier of New Spain with the purpose of transforming the local way of life by introducing religion, new farming methods, and communities. 

In addition, these communities were meant to encourage religious education and instruction to the local Native Americans. 

Except for the Alamo, all of the other historic missions remain active Catholic churches in San Antonio. 

On the Missions Trail hike and bike trail, tourists and locals can participate in an active role in exploring the five Spanish colonial missions. 

Start at the northern end of the Mission Trail at Mission San Antonio de Valero, popularly known as the Alamo. From there on out, witness the other four missions: Mission San Juan, Mission San Jose, Mission Concepcion, and Mission Espada. 

  • Opening Hours : 9 AM-5:30 PM
  • Admission : Free
  • Address : 6701 San Jose Dr, San Antonio, TX 78214

A worthwhile stop when visiting San Antonio, the San Antonio Historic Market Square occupies three city blocks of local vendors and stores. 

A fun outdoor downtown San Antonio attraction, the plaza is dotted with plenty of bars, restaurants, shops, and other attractions like the nearby River Walk, and the San Antonio missions. 

As the largest Mexican market in the United States, the Historic Market Square houses different sections. The “Farmer’s Market Plaza” section houses 80 stalls and vendors that sell fresh local produce and homemade foods. 

The “El Mercado” section houses 32 specialty shops decked out with delicious foods and other products such as colorful woven sarape blankets. 

Hosting over one hundred locally owned businesses, stopping at the San Antonio Market Square is a worthwhile activity for tourists and locals. In addition, it makes for an easy stop for other downtown San Antonio attractions afterward. 

  • Opening Hours : 10 AM-6 PM
  • Address : 514 W Commerce St, San Antonio, TX 78207

San Antonio Historic Market Square

End your San Antonio weekend trip at King William Street, the start of one of the most stunning areas of San Antonio Texas. 

The King William Historic District is home to some of the most beautiful architecture in the city. 

For a peaceful and scenic stroll to end your San Antonio weekend trip, head down here to see history, art, culture, and architecture collide. 

King William District is also sometimes called Southtown or the Arts District, as there are lots of local businesses, art galleries, museums, coffee shops, and more. 

Head up  South Alamo Street  after your sightseeing for some delicious Mexican food at one of the many restaurants nearby. Or head over to the  Blue Star Arts Complex , or stroll along the southern side of the San Antonio Riverwalk. 

Finish off your weekend in San Antonio soaking in all the sights and stopping by any downtown attractions you haven’t seen yet. 

Read next: The 21 Best Things To Do In Austin, Texas

San Antonio Travel Guide

Now that you have the best San Antonio weekend itinerary, here is some information that will help you know the best time to visit, how to get around, and where to stay.

Texas has hot summers and mild winters. We recommend visiting San Antonio anywhere from November to April. 

During these months, the weather is cooler and comfortable, making it easier to explore San Antonio and stroll down the length of the River Walk. 

In summer, hotel rates are also higher due to the large influx of tourists, so visiting in these months will boast lower hotel rates for your convenience.

The best way to get around San Antonio is by car, but if your trip is focused on downtown attractions, you might want to avoid the car. 

Central San Antonio is compact and notoriously challenging to get around by car. Parking spots are hard to find, too. 

Your best bet for getting around during a weekend in San Antonio is by walking, but renting a car will be your best bet if you’re going outside downtown. 

Another option to consider is the bus. This public transportation option offers inexpensive bus routes that are tourist-friendly that make stops at San Antonio’s most popular attractions that coincide with the ultimate San Antonio weekend itinerary. 

The best way to get around is to rent a car and explore on your own! We recommend Rental Cars , which has the largest range of vehicles for the best value on the market.

San Antonio Texas

Where to Stay in San Antonio, Texas

Lastly in our San Antonio weekend guide, we’ll talk about accommodation. 

If you’re wondering where to stay in the city, our recommendations for the best accommodation in San Antonio Texas will help you choose the top spot for your budget!

Featuring all utilities free of charge,  WaterWalk San Antonio at The Rim  includes a washer and dryer in every suite, along with complimentary detergent and fabric softener. 

In addition, the complimentary breakfast experience is delivered to your room to be enjoyed before going about your day in San Antonio! 

Only a fifteen-minute drive from the San Antonio International Airport,  Drury Plaza Hotel San Antonio North Stone Oak features complimentary breakfast, free WiFi, and a 24-hour business center for guests that need to work during vacation. 

Soak in the hot tub or swim freely in the outdoor swimming pool in your free time! 

Only 1.3 miles from the Alamo,  Hotel Emma at Pearl on the Riverwalk  is an enigmatic hotel that boasts a desirable location to all of San Antonio’s major attractions. 

Guests at Hotel Emma can sit on the sun terrace or grab a drink at the onsite bar before taking an evening stroll down Riverwalk! 

DISCLAIMER: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, which means if you book accommodation, tours or buy a product, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help us keep creating more free travel content to help people plan their holidays and adventures. We only recommend the best accommodations, tours and products that ourselves or our fantastic editorial team have personally experienced, and regularly review these. Thanks for your support, kind friend!

Alesha and Jarryd

Alesha and Jarryd

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San Antonio   Travel Guide

san antonio travel guide

Why Go To San Antonio

Davy Crockett may have perished at the Alamo , but San Antonio clings to the Texan pride shown by the "King of the Wild Frontier" and his compatriots in 1836. This modern city's history especially rears its head throughout downtown. Amongst the gleaming skyscrapers, the austere San Fernando Cathedral still stands as a testament to the city's religious past. Farther afield, you'll find several other famous missions, all of which are now a part of the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park .

But you don't need to have a hankering for history to be thoroughly charmed by San Antonio. Families will particularly enjoy the city's theme parks, top-notch museums, professional sports teams and the famous River Walk . What's more, San Antonio is a bona fide culinary destination, with exciting fusion cuisine and upscale Southern- and European-influenced fare rounding out the traditional barbecue and Tex-Mex offerings. Considering how many ways there are to spend your day, you might have too much to do to "Remember the Alamo." If you're short on time, consider signing up for one of the best San Antonio tours for a sampling of the city's history, culture and food.

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  • # 4 in Best Places to Visit in Texas
  • # 11 in Best Weekend Getaways in the South
  • # 13 in Best Winter Family Vacations

See All 4 Rankings

Best of San Antonio

Best hotels in san antonio.

  • # 1 in Hotel Emma
  • # 2 in Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa
  • # 3 in La Cantera Resort & Spa

Hotel Emma

Best Things to Do in San Antonio

  • # 1 in River Walk
  • # 2 in The Alamo
  • # 3 in Brackenridge Park

san antonio travel guide

Popular Tours

Best of San Antonio Small Group Tour with Boat + Tower + Alamo

Best of San Antonio Small Group Tour with Boat + Tower + Alamo

(309 reviews)

from $ 169.00

Hopscotch Immersive Art Experience

Hopscotch Immersive Art Experience

(281 reviews)

from $ 24.00

San Antonio Missions UNESCO World Heritage Sites Tour

San Antonio Missions UNESCO World Heritage Sites Tour

(695 reviews)

from $ 65.00

San Antonio Travel Tips

Best months to visit.

The best time to visit San Antonio is from November to April, when the weather is comfortable and the hotel rates are lower. Summer sees the largest influx of tourists from in- and out-of-state. Because of its historical significance to the state and its family-friendly theme parks, San Antonio attracts hordes of Texas families when the kids are on summer break. But the long Texan summer is close to unbearable (for most people) with humidity and temperatures exceeding 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The masses also make for more crowded attractions and higher prices at hotels . You'll enjoy the city a lot more when you are less damp, saving cash and enjoying the festivals of the winter and spring.

Weather in San Antonio

Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center

What You Need to Know

An educated city San Antonio boasts several institutions of higher education – including Trinity University, San Antonio College and the University of Texas at San Antonio – that surround the downtown area.

A true taste of Texas Every April, Fiesta San Antonio takes over the entire city for 10 days to honor Texan heroes of the past and celebrate the city's diverse cultures.

Mexican influences Although Texas gained independence from Mexico long ago, Mexican influences abound. The current Mexican-American population is proud of its ancestry and you'll find frequent displays of it in the form of parades, artwork and local cuisine.

Know your pronunciations Roads and neighborhoods get their names from both English and Spanish, though pronunciations are inconsistent. For example, Bexar County (the county in which San Antonio sits and named for a former Mexican municipality) is pronounced "bear." Blanco Road, a major thoroughfare, is pronounced "blank-o."

How to Save Money in San Antonio

Be a weekend warrior An influx of business travelers causes hotel room rates to surge during the week. Stay on the weekend for an opportunity to save.

Check the calendar Conventions lead to sold-out hotels across town, and these travelers likely booked months in advance. Check the city's tourism bureau website  and try to avoid convention-heavy weeks and weekends.

Eat around the corner Restaurants around the River Walk and other touristy areas will have higher prices than those only a few blocks away.

Culture & Customs

San Antonio contrasts the old and the new of Texas: the Alamo stands strong among contemporary skyscrapers and the banks of the San Antonio River are populated with the River Walk 's burgeoning businesses and restaurants. San Antonio residents are proud of their history, with many shops selling memorabilia engraved with the words "Remember the Alamo."

Additional cultures have influenced the customs of this city over time. Mexican culture heavily shaped San Antonio as it developed. Travel experts recommend stopping by Market Square (or El Mercado ) to find a variety of tasty Mexican foods, homemade goods and south of the border crafts. Mexican art is displayed everywhere you turn and Spanish is widely spoken. For a more festive taste of Tex-Mex culture, plan your trip during Fiesta in April or during the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo in February.

What to Eat

San Antonio's cuisine has been shaped by many cultural influences, from Mexican to Native American to African American. True, barbecue and Tex-Mex are the most well-known foods, and you can find excellent smoked brisket, tacos and enchiladas nearly everywhere you turn. But Asian fusion, upscale European fare and Southern comfort food all make up the culinary fabric of the city, as well. Southtown, the River Walk, the Pearl and Alamo Heights are generally regarded as the go-to foodie neighborhoods. And you haven't been to San Antonio until you've tried a puffy taco – a crispy, fried, bubble-like tortilla stuffed with a savory filling

Oenophiles will be happy with a trip to San Antonio, too. The nearby Texas Hill Country is where many of the state's best wines are crafted. To sample some for yourself, plan a day trip to Fredericksburg (which sits about 70 miles north of San Antonio) and sign up for a wine tour of the city.

Compared to other U.S. cities of similar size, San Antonio is a safe place to visit. You may see more guns than you're used to thanks to lax firearm laws in Texas, but gun violence does not generally affect tourists. You should still use common sense, stick to well-lit areas after dark and keep a close eye on your valuables.

Those who are not used to the Texas heat should take precautions against heat stroke and dehydration, especially during the summer months. Heat stroke and dehydration symptoms commonly include headaches, nausea, dizziness and fatigue. Drink plenty of water, apply sunscreen regularly and if you are participating in more strenuous activities, such as hiking or biking, make sure to rest periodically.

Residents of Texas Hill Country share the land with numerous creepy-crawlies, including scorpions, rattlesnakes and water moccasins. While you most likely won't come face to face with these creatures within the city itself, those exploring the countryside may encounter them. Keep an eye out when walking around to avoid confrontation. If you're bitten or stung, seek medical attention immediately.

Getting Around San Antonio

The best way to get around San Antonio is by car, especially if you need to reach sites like Morgan's Wonderland  and Six Flags Fiesta Texas . Driving through the narrow downtown streets can be difficult, however, so plan to park your car in a lot or garage and explore some of the downtown area on foot. The bus system is also a handy and relatively inexpensive way to navigate the city center. Many travelers arrive through San Antonio International Airport (SAT), about 10 miles north of downtown, where you can find a plethora of rental car agencies. Several hotels also offer courtesy shuttles to and from the airport. City bus route No. 5 also services the airport and downtown areas. Taxis from the airport to downtown San Antonio cost between $24 and $29. Using taxis downtown is unnecessary, and you'll probably have to wait for one to arrive.

This elaborate building was once the seat of the Spanish government in Texas.

Explore More of San Antonio

The Alamo

Things To Do

Best hotels.

World Map

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The Ultimate Weekend in San Antonio Itinerary

As the most visited city in Texas, it’s no surprise that San Antonio is packed with sights to explore–and a weekend in San Antonio is the perfect amount of time to start to get to know the city!

This San Antonio itinerary is designed to help you discover the best of the city over 2 or 3 days in San Antonio, from historic sights to fantastic museums.

Here’s how to make the most of a weekend in San Antonio! 

Texas house with a white front porch and black shutters shaded by a live oak tree in the King William Historic District San Antonio

Some links in this post may be affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Please see our disclosure policy for more detail.

How We Structured This San Antonio Weekend Guide

We designed this guide to work for either a 2 or 3 day San Antonio itinerary.

The first two days of this San Antonio weekend itinerary cover San Antonio’s most popular and interesting things to do.

On day 3, we cover some fun day-long experiences and day trips from the city–if you happen to have a long weekend in San Antonio, you’ll definitely find plenty of things to do!

Historic Market Square in San Antonio TX before opening in the morning with colorful flags hung from the building

The Perfect Weekend in San Antonio Itinerary

Day 1 in san antonio: the alamo, the riverwalk + beyond..

Your first day in the city will take you to some of the best-known places to see in San Antonio, with a great mix of history and modern culture.

This day is also surprisingly walkable–with the possible exception of dinner and getting to the Alamo in the morning, this entire day can be completed without a car!

Start your morning at the most famous building in Texas.

Of course, any weekend in San Antonio itinerary has to include a visit to the Alamo!

The Alamo is one of five missions in San Antonio, and it is situated in the heart of San Antonio’s most popular places to visit.

Be sure to snap photos of the front facade, to step inside the church, and to explore the beautiful garden behind the building.

The Alamo, including the interior, is free to visit, and it’s also fairly small–despite its status as a Texas icon, it doesn’t take long to see!

Check out our guide to visiting the Alamo !

Front facade of the Alamo on a sunny day, one of the best things to see during a long weekend in San Antonio TX

Stroll down the Riverwalk.

San Antonio’s shady, picturesque Riverwalk is one of the most popular places to visit in San Antonio.

Lined with restaurants, crisscrossed by limestone bridges, and populated with whimsical, colorful boats filled with tourists, the Riverwalk is both incredibly touristy and definitely not to be missed during a San Antonio getaway!

While you can take a boat tour here, it’s not really necessary–consider simply walking along the Riverwalk while heading in the direction of…

Colorful tourist boats parked along the Riverwalk in San Antonio. The Riverwalk is one of the most instagrammable places in San Antonio

Make your way to the San Fernando Cathedral.

Founded in 1731, San Fernando Cathedral is the oldest still-standing church building in Texas and is a functioning parish to this day.

Like the Alamo, it doesn’t take long to visit, but is definitely worth seeing during your weekend in San Antonio!

front facade of san fernando cathedral, one of the best photography locations in san antonio texas

… and then Historic Market Square.

San Antonio’s colorful Historic Market Square is home to the largest Mexican market outside of Mexico and is a fantastic place to eat, shop for souvenirs, and snap photos!

Head to La Villita and do a little souvenir shopping.

From Historic Market Square, head to La Villita for another taste of San Antonio’s history combined with great shopping.

La Villita’s history dates back to the beginning of San Antonio, when the area was a collection of small buildings meant for housing the Spanish soldiers who staffed the Alamo during its time as a mission.

As San Antonio’s first neighborhood, La Villita has gone through plenty of changes since then, and today is a beautiful and photogenic art community, packed with galleries and excellent shopping.

La Villita and Arsen River Theater along the river in San Antonio Texas with a small stone bridge visible

Check out the view from the top of the Tower of the Americas.

The Tower of the Americas is, without a doubt, one of the most unique buildings in San Antonio. Some (like me) would say quite an ugly one–but it’s definitely a building with a great view.

Built for the 1968 World Fair and stretching 750 feet high, the Tower of the Americas of today boasts a fantastic view of the San Antonio skyline–and, it’s worth noting, is also a great place to cool off and enjoy a little air conditioning during your first afternoon in San Antonio.

Skyline view from Tower of the Americas in San Antonio TX

Wander through the King William Historic District.

This beautiful district is known for its large homes surrounded by leafy trees, primarily dating to the 19th century, and it is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in San Antonio.

You can find a mix of architectural styles here, including lots of Victorian and Greek Revival homes. The bulk of the homes in the historic district were built by German immigrants at that time–hence the name, King William, which was a nod to King Wilhelm I of Prussia.

For a great overview of the neighborhood, head down the main thoroughfare, King William Street.

3 story white mansion in the King William Historic District, a must-see during a San Antonio weekend getaway

Have a classic Texan dinner. 

A classic dinner in Texas means one of two things: TexMex or barbecue.

Personally, I’d recommend TexMex for your first night in San Antonio, but you can’t go wrong with either.

For great ambiance, consider heading to the Riverwalk to eat. As the most touristy section of the city, this isn’t a clear-cut choice, but while you’ll pay more than you would elsewhere, you’ll also be treated to a great atmosphere and lovely views.

Boudro’s on the Riverwalk, Biga on the Banks, and Acenar Mexican Restaurant are among the Riverwalk restaurants with reputations for tasty food–no need to sit down at the Hard Rock!

San Antonio Texas River Walk as seen from above at night with colorful umbrellas on the left side of the photo

Day 2 in San Antonio: Missions + Museums.

Be sure to wear comfortable clothes and excellent walking shoes, and to bring plenty of water and sun protection for your second day of sightseeing in San Antonio, because you’re going to be spending the bulk of the morning outside!

Visit the San Antonio Missions.

The San Antonio Missions National Historical Park is made up of four missions: Mission Concepción, Mission San José, Mission Espada, and Mission San Juan Capistrano.

These four missions, plus the Alamo, make up Texas’ only UNESCO World Heritage site (but the Alamo, though part of the UNESCO designation, isn’t part of the National Historical Park), and they are indisputably one of the best historical sites in Texas .

Top of Mission San Juan Capistrano church with 3 bells set in white stucco. The San Antonio Missions are some of the most instagrammable places in san antonio texas

Dating to the early 18th century, the San Antonio Missions each operated as a small town of sorts, and they remain both beautiful buildings and links to a dark past–their ultimate purpose, after all, was for Spanish missionaries to use them to convert Native people to Catholicism and the Spanish way of life, while attempting to strip them of their own religion and culture in the process.

To visit the San Antonio Missions today primarily means visiting the remains of the churches, though the spaces were initially much larger–Mission San José was partially rebuilt during the 1930s and gives the best example of the size of a Spanish mission in the 18th century.

The missions are all connected to each other via a hiking and biking trail, and if the weather is not too hot, renting bikes to travel between the missions is a fun way to explore San Antonio (if the weather is unpleasantly hot, you may prefer to drive between some of the missions).

Mission in San Antonio Texas as seen through a limestone opening in the wall

Grab lunch at one of San Antonio’s artistic, mixed-use spaces.

After wrapping up at the San Antonio Missions, you’ll no doubt be ready for lunch–and what better way to enjoy it than by visiting one of San Antonio’s mixed-use spaces?

In recent years, several creative spaces featuring art, restaurants, galleries, street art, and more have become very popular in the city, including the Pearl District, Essex Modern City (known for having some of the most popular street art in San Antonio), and Blue Star Art Complex.

Check out one of San Antonio’s museums.

San Antonio is home to plenty of incredibly varied museums, and you should definitely stop in at least one of them during your San Antonio weekend getaway (plus, after being outside all morning, you’re probably ready for some air conditioning)! Here are some of the most popular.

Stone pathway in the center of a pond in the San Antonio Botanical Garden

San Antonio Museum of Art

Housed in a former brewery, the San Antonio Museum of Art is home to one of the southern USA’s largest and most impressive art collections, including collections of Egyptian, Greek, and Roman art.

The Witte Museum

Focused on science, nature, art, and history in Texas and beyond, the Witte Museum is one of our favorite museums in San Antonio–and not just because of its great dinosaur exhibit.

Briscoe Western Art Museum

Located right on the Riverwalk, the Briscoe Western Art Museum focuses on the diverse history, art, and culture of what is now known as the American West.

Cowboy boots lined up on a shelf with saddles about them. Cowboy boots are one of the most classic things to buy in Texas!

McNay Art Museum

San Antonio’s modern art museum is home to large collections of both American and European art, as well as beautiful grounds that are beloved in the city.

Close out your second day of sightseeing in San Antonio in a garden.

San Antonio is home to some beautiful gardens and green spaces–finish up your second day of San Antonio sightseeing with either a visit to the city’s impressive botanical garden or the smaller but still lovely Japanese Tea Garden nearby.

Japanese tea garden in San Antonio with a pond in the foreground of the photo and a stone pavilion in the background

Day 3 in San Antonio: Beyond the City

If you’re spending a full long weekend in San Antonio and have another day to enjoy the city, consider heading out of the city center for your final day in town!

We have a full list of the best day trips from San Antonio here , but there are plenty of cool places to see in San Antonio as well.

Here are a few ways to spend your final day in the city:

Ride roller coasters at Fiesta Texas.

Six Flags Fiesta Texas is a fantastic amusement park and a big draw for family travelers coming to San Antonio from elsewhere in the region.

With or without kids, though, Fiesta Texas can be an incredibly fun way to spend the day.

Roller coaster lovers, don’t miss Poltergeist, Superman, and the Iron Rattler!

Red and yellow rollercoaster loop shot against a bright blue sky

Marvel at Natural Bridge Caverns.

Named for its famous, naturally-occurring, 60-foot limestone bridge, the Natural Bridge Caverns as we know them today were discovered in 1960, and are part of the largest cave system in Texas that is open to the public.

The caverns are absolutely incredible, and only about 30 minutes from central San Antonio (without traffic, that is).

Interior of Natural Bridge Caverns in Texas

Go for a hike.

While there are several beautiful state parks close to San Antonio , you don’t have to go far to enjoy a bit of nature in San Antonio!

Our picks within (or right next door) to town are Government Canyon State Natural Area and Friedrich Wilderness Park.

Friedrich Wilderness Park also happens to be very close to the original Rudy’s BBQ location, which makes for a fantastic lunch after hiking!

Head to Fredericksburg for a day.

Want to see one of the loveliest small towns in Texas as part of your long weekend in San Antonio?

Fredericksburg is a little over an hour from San Antonio and is known for its German heritage (and food), its many nearby wineries, its great shopping (especially for antiques), its peaches, and being near Enchanted Rock State Natural Area.

2 glasses of wine with a bottle between them and a plate of crackers and fruit in the foreground near Fredericksburg Texas

Float the river.

If you’re visiting San Antonio during the heat of summer (or let’s be real: the heat of spring or fall, too), consider taking part in a cherished Texas tradition during your final day in town by floating the river!

Grab an intertube, some snacks, plenty of sunscreen, and hit one of the rivers near San Antonio–the Comal and Guadalupe Rivers are some of the closest and most popular options.

View of Guadalupe River from above with Texans floating on it. Guadalupe River State Park is one of the best day trips from San Antonio TX

Where to Stay During a Weekend in San Antonio

As cliche as it may be, for a first visit to San Antonio, staying on or near the Riverwalk is a great choice: you’ll be close to many of the best things to do in San Antonio, able to walk back and forth to your hotel from many places to avoid the necessity of driving absolutely everywhere, and the area is home to some great hotels.

Here are a few popular places to stay in San Antonio!

Best Western Premier Historic Hotel — Located just steps from the Riverwalk and less than a quarter-mile from the Alamo, this Best Western property gets excellent reviews and is a fantastic way to stay on a budget in San Antonio without compromising on location!

Check rates & book your stay at the Best Western Premier Historic Hotel!

The front facade of the Alamo in San Antonio Texas as seen from the ridge side of the building

O’Brien Boutique Riverwalk Hotel — If you’re looking for a quiet hotel with a boutique feel near the San Antonio Riverwalk, you can’t go wrong with a stay at the popular and charming O’Brien Boutique Hotel, located a block from the Riverwalk and within a short walk of both La Villita and the Alamo.

Check rates & book your stay at O’Brien Boutique Riverwalk Hotel!

Hotel Havana — Housed in a Cuban-style villa that dates to 1914, popular Hotel Havana is one of the most unique hotels in the city and a fantastic place to stay during your San Antonio weekend getaway. The hotel is also home to Ocho, an incredibly popular–and photogenic–San Antonio restaurant.

Check rates & book your stay at Hotel Havana!

Cobblestone path on the San Antonio Riverwalk with a small waterfall visible to the right

Getting Around During a San Antonio Weekend Getaway

With good weather, excellent walking shoes, and a few well-placed Uber rides, you can technically get by during the first couple days of this San Antonio itinerary without a car–but realistically speaking, this is a driving city, and unless you’re very committed to not driving here, it’s best to rent a car (or bring your own) to get around.

San Antonio Weekend Itinerary Map

When to Visit San Antonio, TX

San Antonio’s weather is characterized by incredibly hot, humid summers and by mild, temperate winters, and it’s definitely best to spend a weekend in San Antonio outside the summer months if you can.

Temperatures peak in August with an average high of 96°F and are coolest in December and January, when there’s an average high of 64°F.

If you do happen to visit in the summer months, be sure to bring plenty of water out with you when sightseeing in San Antonio, and to take plenty of breaks in the air conditioning! 

Personally, our favorite season in San Antonio is spring, when the wildflowers bloom and the weather starts to warm up a bit without getting brutally hot.

Great times to catch festivals in San Antonio include April (Fiesta), November (Dia de los Muertos), and December (the Riverwalk is known for its incredible holiday lights).

2 photos from San Antonio TX, one of the Riverwalk and one of the Alamo. Black text on a white background reads "san antonio weekend guide"

3 thoughts on “The Ultimate Weekend in San Antonio Itinerary”

This is absolutely fantastic info. I can’t wait to visit.

Hope you have a great time! San Antonio is wonderful.

Been there 3 times, and its beautiful. Best use of a river through a city, and the river walk even beyond the city. Only city that keeps drawing me back, again and again.

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Your Trip to San Antonio: The Complete Guide

San Antonio Guide: Planning Your Trip

san antonio travel guide

Though you may solely associate San Antonio with the Alamo and the River Walk, the Alamo City is bursting at the seams with fabulous museums and art galleries, gorgeous parks and green spaces, and a rich cache of restaurants, boutiques, and bars. Of course, that’s not to say that the legendary symbol of Texas liberty and the city’s riverside promenade aren’t worth the hype—they are—it’s just that there’s much more to explore than meets the eye in Texas’ first civilian settlement  . Boasting an enticing mix of ethnic cultures, global gastronomy, urban beauty, and old-school Texan charm, San Antonio is truly one of the most singular, exciting cities in America. 

Planning Your Trip

  • Best Time to Visit : From November through April, the weather is mild and hotel rates are lower—San Antonio gets hot (and crowded) in the summer. 
  • Language: English (and Spanish).
  • Currency: USD
  • Getting Around : San Antonio’s downtown is compact and easy to explore by taxi, bike, bus, or foot; in terms of public transit, VIA Metropolitan Transit operates several regular bus routes, offering visitors a convenient, affordable way to see the city. 
  • Travel Tip: Chances are if you’re going to San Antonio, you’re going to the River Walk . Download a map ahead of time, so you can scout out all the shops, restaurants, and attractions you want to see. 

Things to Do

San Antonio is a thriving cultural hub with an exceptional foodie scene, a slew of iconic monuments and historic sites, buzz-worthy museums, and several great shopping areas. Lovely Spanish architecture, urban greenery, and vibrant plazas abound, and there are several must-see attractions that every traveler should check out: 

  • The Alamo: The first Spanish mission in the city, the Alamo was established in 1718, later playing important role in the Texas Revolution  .
  • The River Walk : This 15-mile waterway boats plenty of places to eat, drink, and shop. Later, head to the Pearl District for even more restaurants and bars.
  • San Antonio Missions National Historical Park: Recognized as the first UNESCO World Heritage site in Texas,   the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park consists of five Spanish colonial mission along the San Antonio River basin.

Explore more attractions with our full-length articles on the top things to do in San Antonio , how to visit San Antonio on a budget, and the best things to do with kids .

What to Eat and Drink

San Antonio’s culinary scene is exceptionally diverse. Sampling as much delicious Tex-Mex cuisine as possible is a must-do, of course—there’s a wonderful selection of taquerias, food trucks, cantinas, and upscale restaurants here that churn out delectable street tacos, tortas, enchiladas, and other traditional fares. San Antonio is also a hub for down-home barbecue and Southern comfort food. Plus, the city is even home to a Culinary Institute of America campus, and several of the country’s hottest chefs have opened restaurants that feature innovative, cutting-edge menus. 

And, the drinks scene in San Antonio is just as excellent; the city is replete with just as many trendy mixology meccas as beloved old dive bars. Depending on your mood, you can sip margaritas on the River Walk, indulge in fancy cocktails at Hotel Emma , or drink whiskey at The Esquire Tavern , which is one of the oldest bars in Texas.

Explore our articles on the city's best restaurants , the best restaurants on the River Walk and the best romantic restaurants in the city.

Where to Stay

From quaint bed-and-breakfasts to modern luxury in the heart of downtown to boutique hotels strung along the River Walk, there are a plethora of lodging options and neighborhoods to choose from in San Antonio. Other than Downtown and the River Walk, some of the best areas to stay in include: Southtown and the King William Historic District (home to lively galleries, shops, and bars), Alamo Heights (one of the oldest parts of the city), and Monte Vista/Olmos Park (mostly residential, but still with plenty of restaurants and shops). Hotel Havana, Hotel Emma, Hotel Contessa, the Menger Hotel, the Mokara Hotel & Spa, and the Hotel Valencia Riverwalk are some of the most popular hotels in town.  

Explore the different historic hotels you can stay in , as well as our recommendations on the best overall hotels in San Antonio.

Getting There

The San Antonio International Airport (SAT) is the city’s main airport. Twelve domestic and international airlines provide regular commercial service here, making the airport a convenient choice for travelers in or near the San Antonio area.

Once you arrive, VIA Metropolitan Transit is the central public transport network in San Antonio, and VIVA, the system’s newest service line, connects all the popular landmarks and attractions in the heart of the city. Cars are, by far, the most popular means of transportation, and the city isn’t exactly built for bikers and pedestrians—although there are certainly some walkable areas, and downtown is relatively bike-friendly. 

Money Saving Tips

  • Take advantage of free museum days: The San Antonio Museum of Art offers free admission on Tuesdays (from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.) and Sundays (from 10 a.m. to noon), and the McNay Art Museum is free for adults on the first Sunday of every month and every Thursday evening from 4 pm to 9 pm (kids and teens always get in free).  
  • If you know you’ll be visiting several of the city’s major attractions, it might make sense to get an Explorer Pass —you can save up to 52 percent on ticket prices.
  • There are plenty of free activities and attractions to enjoy in San Antonio: the Alamo, the Japanese Tea Garden, the Missions, and Friedrich Wilderness Park are all free of charge.  

Learn more about the best ways to have fun on a budget in San Antonio.

Visit San Antonio . "History."

Visit San Antonio . "The Alamo."

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  • JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa
  • Hotel Contessa - Suites on the Riverwalk
  • Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa
  • Riverwalk Plaza Hotel
  • Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio
  • Santa Diabla - Cocina Mexicana
  • Domingo Restaurant
  • Pollos Asados Los Nortenos
  • Boudro's Texas Bistro
  • Natural Bridge Caverns
  • San Antonio River Walk
  • Japanese Tea Gardens
  • Hopscotch Immersive Art Experience
  • San Antonio Missions UNESCO World Heritage Sites Tour
  • The Haunted Ghost Bus Tour in San Antonio
  • San Antonio River Walk Cruise, Hop-On Hop-Off Tour & Tower of Americas
  • San Antonio Zoo General Admission Ticket

The Best Of Texas: The Ultimate Travel Guide To San Antonio & Things To Do

San Antonio, Texas is a history buff's travel haven, but there's more to do than see the Alamo; the ultimate travel guide tells all.

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Best time of year to visit san antonio, what to know when visiting san antonio, best ways to get around san antonio, where to stay in san antonio, where to eat and drink in san antonio, top things to do in san antonio, how to spend a perfect day in san antonio.

San Antonio is a large Texas city with a population of nearly 1.5 million, but despite its size, it’s filled with natural beauty and so much to offer visitors — particularly those with a passion for history.

Located in south-central Texas, San Antonio is mainly known for the Alamo, an 18th-century Spanish mission and compound which had a significant role to play during the Texas Revolution, but there are plenty of other things the city has to offer the eclectic traveler.

Here is everything travelers need to know on how to spend a great trip in San Antonio with details on the best time of year to visit, places to stay, places to eat, and a plethora of things to do.

In terms of weather, the best time of year to visit San Antonio is usually during the spring (from March to May) and fall months (from September to October). In the spring, visitors can enjoy temperatures from the mid-70s to the mid-80s.

In April, travelers can also catch the city's biggest festival of the year, Fiesta San Antonio. The city really feels the heat in the summer (from June to August) with temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

But in the fall, the intense heat and humidity ease, so It's possible to enjoy some outdoor activities in comfort with temperatures ranging from the mid-80s to the low 90s.

Related: Here's How Long You Need To See San Antonio's Japanese Tea Garden

It's also important to consider what tourists would like to experience in San Antonio when deciding when to book their trip. For instance, the big San Antonio Stock and Rodeo show is on in February and the Texas Folklore festival which celebrates Texas heritage is on in June.

San Antonio also has some popular boozy festivals like the San Antonio Beer Festival in October. All great events visitors can catch if they plan their trip right!

San Antonio is a south-central Texan city and is the second biggest after Houston. In terms of getting there, it's about a three-hour drive from Houston and an hour and a half from Austin.

It's served by a major airport, San Antonio International Airport (SAT) about eight miles north of downtown San Antonio. Flights to the city can be booked with the likes of American Airlines, Delta, Southwest, and United Airlines.

Related: 10 Best Steakhouses Worth Saddling Down For In San Antonio

San Antonio is definitely a destination for foodies, particularly those who fancy sampling some incredible Tex-Mex cuisine, but notable historical and other landmarks make up the bulk of the must-see list for this city.

In general, it’s considered a safe city for tourists. Like any large city, it does have some crime but being mindful of belongings and personal well-being is enough to ensure safety during a trip to San Antonio.

Many of the city's top attractions, such as the Alamo and the River Walk, are within walking distance of each other, making it easy to explore the touristic areas on foot.

The city has a public transportation system that includes buses and the VIA Metropolitan Transit , a light rail system. The VIA system has four lines that serve many of the city's major attractions and downtown areas.

The cost of using public transportation in San Antonio depends on the fare type and the distance of the journey.

  • Single-ride fares start at $1.30 for the local bus.
  • VIA also offers a number of passes for multiple trips, including a 1-day pass for $2.75, a 7-day pass for $12, and a 31-day pass for $38.
  • Children under 5 years old ride for free, and children 5-11 ride for half price.

Fares can be paid with cash, a VIA goMobile ticket (which visitors can purchase through the VIA goMobile app), or a VIAtrans Card (a reloadable fare card).

Other ways to get around San Antonio include:

  • Car rental : This can be a convenient option, especially if visiting attractions outside of the city is on the agenda. Just be aware that traffic can be heavy in certain parts of the city, and parking can be limited in some areas.
  • Taxi or rideshare : Taxis and rideshare services like Uber and Lyft are readily available in San Antonio.
  • Bicycle : San Antonio has a number of bike trails and bike-sharing programs, making it easy to get around the city on two wheels

San Antonio has accommodation choices and great districts and neighborhoods for visitors to the city to check out.

  • Downtown : This is probably one of the most popular districts to stay in because it's within walking distance of the best attractions like the Alamo and the gorgeous River Walk. It also has great restaurants and shopping.
  • Alamo Heights : Alamo Heights is a cozy neighborhood and is considered part of the Greater Metropolitan San Antonio area. It's filled with beautiful homes with tree-lined streets, and it has a lot to offer visitors in and of itself in terms of food and shopping experiences.
  • North San Antonio : This neighborhood could be a great choice for families who are interested in visiting the big attractions like SeaWorld and Six Flags Fiesta Texas.

There are great hotel options in San Antonio that suit every budget.

Luxury hotels in San Antonio:

St. Anthony, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Antonio : Located in the heart of downtown San Antonio and close to many of the city's top attractions.

  • Guest rooms start at $300 per night.
  • Amenities: fine dining restaurant, a rooftop bar, and pool.
  • Address: 300 E Travis St, San Antonio, TX 78205, United States

The Westin Riverwalk, San Antonio : Located along the San Antonio River Walk and offers some spectacular views of the city.

  • Rooms start at $270 per night.
  • Amenities: fitness center, and outdoor pool.
  • Address: 420 W Market St, San Antonio, TX 78205, United States

Mid-range hotels in San Antonio:

Hyatt Place San Antonio Airport : A great location close to the airport.

  • Prices start at around $140 per night.
  • Amenities: free breakfast, pool, a fitness center, and a restaurant.
  • Address: 7615 Jones Maltsberger Road, San Antonio, Texas, United States, 78216

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk : Another hotel located along the San Antonio River Walk.

  • Rooms start at around $200 per night.
  • Amenities: in-room spa services and a restaurant.
  • Address: 150 E Houston St, San Antonio, TX 78205

Budget hotels in San Antonio:

Motel 6 San Antonio Downtown : a wallet-friendly hotel near the most important San Antonio attractions.

  • Rooms start at $50 per night.
  • Amenities: outdoor pool and coin laundry.
  • Address: 211 North Pecos Street, San Antonio, TX, 78207

Best Western Plus Sunset Suites-Riverwalk : This hotel is located along the San Antonio River Walk.

  • Rooms start at around $80 per night.
  • Amenities: fitness center, WiFi.
  • Address: 1103 E Commerce Street San Antonio, Texas 78205

It’s hard to go wrong with restaurants in San Antonio, there are so many places to choose from but here are some highly rated places to check out:

Best Breakfast in San Antonio:

  • The Guenther House, Pancake Joe's, The Magnolia Pancake Haus

Delicious lunch spots in San Antonio:

  • The County Line, Elsewhere Garden Beer and Kitchen, Botika

Great dinner restaurants in San Antonio:

  • Biga on the Banks, Silo Prime , Cured

Best coffee in San Antonio:

  • Local Coffee , Merit Coffee , What's Brewing Coffee Roasters

Fun bars in San Antonio:

  • The Esquire Tavern, Howl at the Moon, Bar 1919

Related: 10 Places That Have The Best Breakfast In Sunny San Antonio

Learn all about the history of the Alamo

This is definitely the big-ticket item in San Antonio. A trip to the city is not complete without heading to this historic Spanish mission to learn about the Battle of the Alamo. There's a range of free tours available, but visitors can also book private tours.

  • Address: 300 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio, TX 78205.
  • Admission: Free

Take a leisurely stroll down the San Antonio River Walk

A stroll down the San Antonio River Walk in the heart of the downtown district is a particularly special experience, and it's also the perfect way to finish a day of exploring the city. The River Walk is lined with restaurants and it's just a great place to relax .

  • Address: The river runs through the heart of downtown

Bring the family to the San Antonio Zoo

A zoo visit is something the whole family can enjoy and The San Antonio Zoo makes for a fantastic day out with opportunities to see some of the world's most exotic animals including gorillas and lions. It is also certified by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

  • Address: 3903 N St Mary's St, San Antonio, TX 78212
  • Admission: $35.99 for adults, $31.99 for children (ages 3-11), and free for children under 3.

Related: 10 Day Trips From San Antonio Worth Taking This Summer

Visit the San Antonio Museum of Art

The San Antonio Museum of Art is a great spot to visit while taking a stroll along the Riverwalk. The collection features 35,000 works of art from around the world including Ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian art.

  • Address: 200 W Jones Ave, San Antonio, TX 78215
  • Admission: $20 for adults, $10 for children (ages 13-18). Children under 12 are free.

Explore the San Antonio Botanical Garden

This stunning 33-acre garden is well worth a visit. Be sure to check out the San Antonio Botanical Garden's website for upcoming events like film screenings and educational hikes, and expert talks. They even offer cooking classes!

  • Address: 555 Funston Pl, San Antonio, TX 78209
  • Admission: from $16 for adults, $13 for children (ages 3-13). Children under 3 are free.

Take a tour of the Tower of the Americas

An icon of the San Antonio skyline, the Tower of the Americas is a 750-foot tall tower that offers panoramic views of the city from its observation deck and visitors can dine at the revolving Chart House restaurant

  • Address: 739 E Cesar E Chavez Blvd, San Antonio, TX 78205.
  • Admission: $16.50 for adults, $12.00 for children (ages 4-12), and free for children under 4.

While San Antonio is a great weekend destination , it's possible to get plenty of this city covered in just 24 hours. The perfect day starts with breakfast at the Guenther House in the King William Historic District where travelers can fill up on a hearty, southern breakfast to take on some downtown exploring.

Next up, of course, it has to be a tour of the Alamo, the city’s big attraction. The Alamo is in downtown San Antonio and visitors can explore at their leisure or book a tour to get as much information about this historic location.

Spend some time exploring the San Antonio River Walk, a popular tourist attraction that runs along the San Antonio River in the heart of downtown, and nip into the San Antonio Museum of Art.

Related: 10 Things You Can Do On San Antonio's Riverwalk

Enjoy lunch at Biga on the Banks, an upscale restaurant located along the San Antonio River Walk that has some great options for those looking to sample some modern American cuisine.

Take in some sky-high views at the Observation deck in Tower of the Americas and then finish the day with dinner in the Pearl District at the ever so popular, Cured. As the name suggests, it's famous for its cured meats and artisanal cheeses.

Q: What is San Antonio Texas best known for?

San Antonio is the second-largest city in Texas and is best known as the home of the Alamo , a historic Spanish mission and compound that was the site of the Battle of the Alamo during the Texas Revolution.

It also has a beautiful walkway called the San Antonio River Walk found in its downtown area. The San Antonio calendar is dotted with incredible festivals for visitors to experience too like Fiesta San Antonio and the Texas Folklore Festival

Q: What is the best time of year to visit San Antonio Texas?

With the San Antonio climate in mind, the best time of year to visit is generally considered to be in the spring and the fall with sunshine but mild humidity and temperatures, so tourists can comfortably explore the city.

The summer months, from June to August, are the hottest with very high temperatures and high humidity, to boot, but summertime is also an ideal time for a visit to San Antonio's nearby day-trip spots .

Q: Is San Antonio Texas worth visiting?

San Antonio is a city worth visiting for anyone interested in history, culture, and good food.

While it's filled with important historical sites like the Alamo and the Missions National History Park, it's also home to interesting green spaces for nature lovers like the Botanical Garden and some great Tex-Mex restaurants like Mi Tierra or Henry's Puffy Tacos for eager foodies.

There are also free things to do to round out a vacation without going over budget.

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Travel & Tourism in San Antonio

The San Antonio travel and tourism industry invites guests from all over the country to take part in local festivities and events that allow locals and guests to enjoy the city and its many offerings together. The most popular tourist attractions in the area include golfing, outdoor recreation, beaches, shopping, arts and culture outlets, and nightlife fun that’s second to none.

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Historic Market Square Mexican Shopping Center tourist destination in San Antonio Texas..

The 20 best things to do in San Antonio right now

River walks, great food and a lot of art: Here are San Antonio's unmissable spots.

James Wong

Fancy taking a boat trip to an art gallery, getting lost in fossil caverns, and strolling over a moonlit bridge? You’ve come to the right place. Once a day trip spot, San Antonio has since made a pretty big name for itself as a prime destination – a cultural hotspot with an innovative food scene, and more. 

Whether you were drawn to the city for its fantastic annual Fiesta, Dia de los Muertos or even its Book Festival, there’s plenty to discover to extend your trip. San Antonio is home to districts full of character, street food and live music, and its cultural explosion many years ago made room for a buzzing arts and culture scene, with the San Antonio Museum of Art, McNay Art Museum and the DoSeum well worth checking out.

It’s also known for its many parks and green spaces, boasting everything from botanical gardens to a Japanese Tea Garden, but it hasn’t lost its Tejano culture and Texan charm along the way. So whether you’re hopping over from Austin or here for the week, check out our full guide to the city. Enjoy, folks.


🌮  The best restaurants in San Antonio 🏛️  The best museums in San Antonio 🍺  The best bars in San Antonio 🏨  The best hotels in San Antonio 👪  The best things to do with kids in San Antonio 🛏️ The best Airbnbs in San Antonio

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Best things to do in San Antonio

Pearl District

1.  Pearl District

One of the great things about San Antonio is its little pockets of food, culture and crafts, where you can lose the day to great food, music and general vibes. And the Pearl District takes the crown for the most charming cultural hotspot, with fabulous architecture to admire, dotted with great restaurants (hello, Mon Chou Chou ). Whether or not you’re staying at the iconic Hotel Emma , you’re sure to spend a lot of time here. Flick through books at Twig Book Shop , pop into boutique stores, and end with a snack and a drink at Bottling Dept Food Hall . 

The River Walk

2.  The River Walk

You can’t visit San Antonio without checking out this gem. Morning, noon and night, the River Walk (or Paseo del Rio), is lit up like a little cultural wonderland, full of restaurants, shops, museums, hotels and more – all looking over the river itself. The river is 15 miles long and found 20 feet below street level, but this five-mile stretch is where it’s at. Here with that special someone? There’s nothing more romantic than a river taxi, or a couples’ selfie on the bridge. 

San Antonio Museum of Art

3.  San Antonio Museum of Art

The best bit about this museum? You can float past it on a river taxi – and it is truly something to behold. But don’t get caught up in its architecture, because the art collections indoors have a lot to say for themselves too. The San Antonio Museum of Art actually boasts one of the biggest Roman, Greek and Egyptian art collections in the south, as well as an art collection spanning 5,000 years, from antique to contemporary. 


4.  Hopscotch

If you fancy an artsy activity that’s a little bit boozy , head to Hopscotch. Since opening, the immersive art experience has drawn visitors who flock to get selfies with vibrant-yet-thoughtful displays from talented artists across a variety of mediums. Not to spoil the surprise, but expect plenty of mindboggling optical illusions and ample neon lights. A full-service bar turns up the fun, and many of the exhibits are themed to diversity and inclusion—proving that love is love in Texas, too.

Natural Bridge Caverns

5.  Natural Bridge Caverns

The Natural Bridge Caverns are the largest known commercial caverns in Texas. Discovered by four students from a San Antonio university in the 1960s, the caverns are named after a 60-foot limestone slab bridge found at the entrance. The natural wonder attracts a daily dose of tourists and locals for tours 180 feet below ground that show ancient formations and large caves. With multiple tour options and surface attractions (like obstacle courses and gem and fossil mining), there's something for everyone at Natural Bridge Caverns.

San Antonio Botanical Garden

6.  San Antonio Botanical Garden

Covering 38 acres of land, the non-profit San Antonio Botanical Garden is a family-friendly site that delights all sorts of visitors. Each season brings new exotic plants, desert greenery, and even a rose garden that attracts a wide range of birds and insects. Stick around after exploring and dine at their gorgeous garden restaurant, Jardin .

El Mercado

7.  El Mercado

El Mercado (or the Market Square) covers three blocks of an outdoor plaza lined with over 100 locally-owned restaurants and shops. As the largest Mexican market in the United States, El Mercado is a central staple of the cultural experience of San Antonio. Visitors to El Mercado can explore indoor and outdoor shops full of authentic Mexican crafts, snack on delicious Mexican pastries at Mi Tierra Restaurant & Bakery, and enjoy live bands and other entertainment in the plaza on the weekends.

8.  Ranger Creek Brewing and Distillery

If whiskey and beer are your go-to drinks, a tour of Ranger Creek Brewing and Distillery is in order. Since opening in 2010, Ranger Creek has been a beloved “brewstillery” of San Antonio and offers $10 tours that include three tastings. Beware: tours fill up quickly, so make sure to purchase a ticket in advance.

La Panaderia

9.  La Panaderia

Get your sugar and camera-roll fix at the city’s most famous bakery. La Panaderia specializes in  handmade bread and pan dulce inspired by Mexico’s Golden Era, using a special 48-hour fermentation process that harbors results like no other. Despite several locations all over town, there’s always a line (especially at weekends) and the colorful creations have quickly become social media sensations.

McNay Art Museum

10.  McNay Art Museum

Set against the backdrop of a Spanish Colonial mansion, the McNay Art Museum is a sight to behold. The museum is named after artist and art collector Marion Koogler McNay, who moved to San Antonio from Ohio in 1926. McNay began construction on a house in 1926 that would become the McNay Art Museum, the first modern art museum of Texas, in 1954. During her lifetime, McNay collected over 700 works of art by Diego Rivera, Van Gogh, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Picasso, but today, the museum has expanded to include 22,000 pieces of art, mostly from the 19th- and 20th-centuries.   


11.  Fiesta

The annual Fiesta festival originated in 1891 as a way to memorialize heroes from the Battle of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto. Tradition is upheld today as the city throws a huge extravaganza each year (dates vary) including over 50 events around town. Make sure to check out the Texas Cavaliers River Parade, held in the San Antonio River, and the Fiesta de Los Reyes at Market Square (where flower crowns are widely worn and available)

San Antonio Missions National Historical Park

12.  San Antonio Missions National Historical Park

As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, San Antonio Missions National Historical Park preserves four Spanish frontier missions and entices visitors to learn more about San Antonio’s history. Step back 300 years and experience Spanish colonial history while visiting Mission Concepcion, Mission Espada, Mission San Juan, and Mission San Jose. All four missions are still home to active Catholic parishes that hold regular services. Keep in mind that the missions are spread far apart but are connected by the San Antonio River Walk Hike and y'all can join Mission Bike Tours for a guided Bluetooth experience on bike path. 

13.  Quadrangle Fort Sam Houston

The Quadrangle, which was built in 1876, once held the famous Apache leader Geronimo. Today, it’s an urban military post and tourist attraction that largely draws visitors hoping to meet the resident peacocks, rabbits, deer, and turkeys that roam around the ground freely in search of food. The Fort Sam Houston museum can also be found on-site and features over 8,200 artifacts about the fort’s history.

Japanese Tea Garden

14.  Japanese Tea Garden

This former rock quarry, first conceived in the early 20th-century, has been transformed into one of the most tranquil places in the city. Wander around the open space filled with gorgeous floral displays and let your feet lead you to the 60-foot tall waterfalls surrounded by koi ponds. Hungry? Grab a snack at the Jingu House Cafe on-site.

San Pedro Springs Park

15.  San Pedro Springs Park

San Pedro Springs Park, the second oldest park in all of the U.S., is home to what's arguably one of the nation's best swimming spots. The pool in the park is surrounded by BBQ pits, picnic locations, and tennis courts. Expect 46 acres of outdoor heaven.

16.  The DoSeum

This is one of the country’s most innovative children’s museums. The rotating exhibition includes an impressive spy academy, an outdoor park, spaces designed to inspire creativity, and hands-on exhibits that teach kids about science, art, sound, and more. 

Best Quality Daughter

17.  Best Quality Daughter

For the best Asian-American cuisine, head to the pink bungalow. Best Quality Daughter has been one of San Antonio’s most popular restaurants since it opened in 2020. Most of the mains are served family-style, such as the Hakka Stuffed Tofu and the ginormous Char Siu Roast Pork Shoulder that comes with heavenly little baos, but you’re welcome to go individual and have your own plate of Miso Ginger Noodles and Impossible Potstickers if you wish. A separate bar with Thai-tea cocktails and happy hour is worth coming in early for.

18.  Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center

Remember: everything is bigger in Texas, including religious iconography. The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center has the largest Virgin Mary mosaic in the world. At 40-feet tall, the mosaic was constructed in the shape of a prayer candle in 2004 by artist Jesse Trevino, whose work can be found all over town. After admiring the mosaic, venture inside to learn more about the center which preserves Latino arts and culture through workshops, art shows, and dance, music, and theater programs.

Buckhorn Saloon and Museum

19.  Buckhorn Saloon and Museum

If taxidermy, Texas history, and beer are your things then the Buckhorn Saloon and Museum is for you. A local bellhop, Albert Friedrich, opened the saloon in 1881; at the time, if customers didn’t have enough cash to pay for drinks, Friedrich was known ton accept horns, pelts, and other objects as forms of payment. His gamble paid off: the saloon is now also a museum, displaying eclectic oddities that the owner collected over the years (think rattlesnakes in jars, antlers, and much more). Today, the Buckhorn Saloon and Museum has expanded to include a Texas Ranger Museum with quirky rotating exhibits, a cafe, and the original bar where Pancho Villa is said to have planned the Mexican Revolution and Teddy Roosevelt recruited the Rough Riders.

Alamo City Ghost Tour

20.  Alamo City Ghost Tour

Founded in 1718, San Antonio is one of the oldest cities in the U.S. Given all that history, it’s only natural for residents to expect a ghost or two. Alamo City Ghost Tours immerses you in the city’s paranormal activity scene while recounting grisly tales of public executions, death, and murder that occurred along the streets and alleys of downtown San Antonio.

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San Antonio

San Antonio is Texas’ number one tourist destination and the seventh largest city in the United States. A broad spectrum of cultures and traditions gives the city a distinct flavor that cannot be duplicated. San Antonio is best known for the Alamo (hence one of its nicknames, Alamo City) and for the River Walk in downtown, but has even more to offer: Families will find an array of world-class theme parks; nature lovers will appreciate the city’s proximity to Hill Country; revelers will enjoy festivals year-round; and art lovers will discover top-notch galleries and museums.

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SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS - APRIL 14: Tourists visit the Arneson River Theatre and famous River Walk in downtown San Antonio, Texas on April 14th, 2016.

Photo By CrackerClips Stock Media/Shutterstock

Can’t miss things to do in San Antonio

Two of San Antonio’s iconic landmarks, the Alamo and River Walk, can be found downtown within walking distance from each other. Downtown is also home to many other major sites, including museums, monuments, and buzzing plazas like Market Square and La Villita. Beautiful Spanish architecture and picturesque scenery lie further down the river at the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. Beyond its colonial roots, San Antonio is home to some charming Victorian neighborhoods. The King William Historic District, a short stroll away from downtown, has a mix of trendy restaurants and shopping off South Alamo Street. In Southtown, the Blue Star Arts Complex is a vibrant spot to view art and grab a bite by the river.

Food and drink to try in San Antonio

San Antonio’s dining scene is exceptionally varied. As expected, there is an amazing selection of taquerias, cantinas, and food trucks to satisfy Tex-Mex fans. River Walk offers a variety of family-style and upscale restaurants in scenic surrounds. The city is also home to a Culinary Institute of America campus, which has put it on the map as a foodie destination. Top chefs who are drawn to San Antonio’s casual vibe and love of down-home cooking have started opening restaurants with innovative menus that place an emphasis on quality ingredients. Most of these establishments can be found in the trendy King William and Southtown neighborhoods, just south of downtown, where visitors can eat side by side with locals.

Culture in San Antonio

For centuries, San Antonio has been a city where multiple cultures have coexisted and thrived. Its heritage is a mélange of Mexican Indians, Spanish settlers, Franciscan monks, cowboys, and German immigrants. During the 20th century, many American military bases set up shop, making the San Antonio area the second largest military complex after Washington, D.C. This cultural richness has fostered a strong sense of community and pride that is manifested in the city’s laid-back attitude, tight-knit neighborhoods, and flourishing art scene. A visit to the Institute of Texan Cultures provides visitors with an in-depth introduction to the city’s history and its multicultural roots.

San Antonio has some excellent shopping experiences for visitors. The Pearl is a mixed-use center converted from an old brewery that houses a smattering of local boutiques selling apparel, jewelry, kitchenware, books, and stationery. One of the city’s best farmers’ markets takes place there every Saturday in front of the old Brewhouse. Collectors willing to travel to the outskirts of town can sort through junk and treasures at the Ironside Antique Mall or Bussey’s Flea Market. Downtown, La Villita Historic Arts Village has a number of galleries that sell quality folk art and crafts. For Western wear, Lucchese has earned a reputation for producing handmade cowboy boots and leather accessories.

Practical Information

With mild temperatures all year long, there’s not really a bad time to visit. Spring and fall have the most comfortable weather for exploring, visiting parks, and participating in festivals. The city gets the most crowded in the summer, even though that’s when the heat and humidity are highest. San Antonio’s downtown is compact and easy to explore by foot, taxi, or bus. Most city attractions are located within the circular highway, Loop 1604. To the north lie many museums and the scenic, affluent neighborhoods of Monte Vista and Alamo Heights. The old Spanish missions are sprinkled in southeast and most of the theme parks are situated on the outskirts of town. Those planning to visit theme parks and Hill Country will want to rent a car.

Local Resources

San Antonio Magazine

Edible San Antonio

Texas Hill Country tourism

Texas Monthly

Texas Highways

&ldquo;There is no normal life in Venice. Here everything and everyone floats,&rdquo; wrote Peggy Guggenheim, the art-collecting American heiress who made the city her home. There&rsquo;s only one way to see it and, whether you choose to so by gondola, water taxi, or crowded vaporetto, cruising past the city&rsquo;s labyrinth of canals, 15th-century palazzos, and churches with their crooked bell towers is an unforgettable experience. Back on terra firma, enjoy the symphony of competing caf&eacute; orchestras in magnificent Saint Mark&rsquo;s Square&mdash;yours for an overpriced cup of coffee. <br /><br /><strong>Travel Tip:</strong> Transfers to Marco Polo Airport, located 7.5 miles from Venice by road and 6 miles by water, are available by taxi, bus, and water bus.

san antonio travel guide

San Antonio travel guide

San antonio tourism | san antonio guide, you're going to love san antonio.

San Antonio is Texas’ star attraction. This beautiful colonial city (founded in 1691) is small enough to feel friendly and welcoming, has a walkable downtown core, and plenty of attractions for visitors to enjoy.

san antonio travel guide

It’s the kind of destination where it’s easy to blend history, culture, and sporting spectacles in a single day of sight-seeing.

History fans can relive the siege of the Alamo by visiting the historic fort, or tour elegant Spanish missions. Art lovers can spend a day wandering around the San Antonio Museum of Art, and basketball fans can enjoy the San Antonio Spurs.

There’s constant sunshine, family attractions like the Zoo and Sea World, and some of the best Mexican restaurants this side of the Rio Grande. Dine on tacos and fajitas at Mama Margie's, discover street food vendors like La Gloria, or hit the bars along the beautiful River Walk.

It all adds up to a little gem of a city, a unique fusion of cultures where gourmet food, art, sports, and history combine to create something truly special.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit San Antonio

1. the weather.

San Antonio has a sun-drenched Texan climate, with very few months of the year when rain is likely. Summer temperatures can be too hot for some, but in spring and fall, the city is a fantastic place to be for the climate alone.

San Antonio’s history stretches back to 1691, and it only became an American city in the 1840s. This long colonial history has left a beautiful architectural legacy, with buildings like the Alamo and the Catholic outposts in the San Antonio Missions National Historic Park.

San Antonio mixes great Mexican (or Tex-Mex) food with cuisine from all across the world. If you love tacos or fajitas, there’s no better city to visit. Try the beef fajitas at Mama Margie's, the fish tacos at the Cove, or head to Chris Madrid’s for an authentic, meat-filled burger.

Watch the Spurs play in the NBA or sample other sporting attractions in San Antonio including the Rampage (in the American Hockey League), or the UTSA Roadrunners in NCAA college football. There are also some excellent golf resorts like La Cantera and Hyatt Hill within a few miles of the city center.

5. Museums and Galleries

San Antonio is a cultural center as much as a sporting hub, and there’s a vast array of museums and galleries available. Highlights include the Museo Alameda, which showcases Latino history in the U.S.A. and SAMA, the San Antonio Museum of Art, which features collections from the Mediterranean, Asia, Latin America, and leading contemporary artists.

What to do in San Antonio

1. the alamo: the origin of texas.

Texas' most visited historic landmark lies at the heart of San Antonio, one of the first Spanish Missions and the site of the Battle of the Alamo; probably the most pivotal event of the Texas Revolution. Originally built as a school for indigenous people who had been converted to Christianity, the age-old building later became an armory. As you approach the weathered facade, this history becomes strikingly evident, and the rest unfolds on the deeply intriguing tour that follows. Historical reenactments regularly take place here too.

2. San Antonio River Walk: Paseo del Río

The greatest way to experience downtown is from this beloved walkway that traces the banks of the San Antonio River. Worlds away from the busy streets up above, the path was built below street level to provide a little oasis to moseying pedestrians. Enjoy the babbling water flowing past colorful landscaping as you stroll the length of the city; then there are the shopping opportunities. From the Rivercenter Mall to waterside cafés to the Aztec Theater, there is plenty to see and do!

3. Spanish Governor's Palace: The Pre-United States

San Antonio has a rich colonial history waiting to be discovered in its preserved, historical buildings. Before Texas officially became a state, the Spanish occupation of the area was felt in the development of the region. A tour through the beautiful 18th-century Spanish Governor's Palace unearths a wealth of information about this oft-forgotten moment in history. Nearby, the San Fernando Cathedral and historic Market Square help to fill in the facts.

4. Tower of the Americas: Panoramic Views

The icon of lively Hemisfair Park, this striking observation tower welcomes throngs of eager tourists to travel to its peak. There, you can indulge in sweeping views, a fantastic restaurant, and a 4-D virtual reality ride called "Skies over Texas", that covers the history of the state in thrilling detail. In the public park down below, more exploration awaits - the Mexican Cultural Institute, the Institute of Texan Cultures, and the Magik Children's Theater are all nearby.

5. Missions National Historical Park: Politics and Religion

Missions were amongst the most important early institutions established in this region, and this National Park preserves that legacy amidst lush nature. A cluster of significant churches and educational centers stand here today - time-worn, atmospheric, and full of answers to historical questions. Wander between the different buildings, imagine the goings-on of centuries past, and enjoy the surrounding landscape. Renting bicycles to get from one corner of the park to another is a popular way to travel around.

The Alamo

Activities & attractions in San Antonio

san antonio travel guide

Other activities

san antonio travel guide

Where to Eat in San Antonio

San Antonio has a richly diverse food culture, with influences from Mexican, German, Traditional American, and Eastern European cuisines. So there should be a restaurant to suit everyone’s tastes. Casa Rio is an affordable place to dine on satisfying Tex-Mex dishes like grilled steak fajitas, while the Cove is the place to go for delicious fish tacos. Joe's Crab Shack mixes great seafood and live music, while Chris Madrid’s is the best place to go for a filling burger and fries combination. Italian food is represented in force as well, thanks to pizza restaurants like Dough Pizzeria Napoletana.

Most popular restaurants in San Antonio

When to visit san antonio.

Generally, the best times to visit San Antonio are spring and fall, when the weather is warm (but not scorching hot) and the city’s entertainment schedule is in full swing. Try an April break for the best weather and the chance to attend the city’s Fiesta or visit in October to avoid the occasional spring downpours. Summer is great if you can stand the heat (and there are plenty of water parks in town if you need to cool off).


How to Get to San Antonio

San Antonio International Airport is about 13 miles northeast of the downtown district, and it’s well connected to central hotels. The cheapest way to get into the city is via VIA Metropolitan Transit buses, which take about 30 minutes and cost just $1.30. There are also shuttle buses to major hotels. Tickets must be purchased in the baggage reclaim area and cost $19.

San Antonio is at the intersection of three major interstate highways: I-35 from Dallas, I-10 from Houston, and I-37 to Corpus Christi. This makes the city easily accessible from the north, south, east and west.

Greyhound is the major intercity bus operator in San Antonio, and their buses stop at 500 N St Mary’s in the Downtown area. Megabus also run services into the city, with connections to other Texan cities, while Shofur offers a luxury bus service, also from Texan destinations.

Airports near San Antonio

Airlines serving san antonio, where to stay in san antonio.

The best place to stay in San Antonio is probably right at the heart of the city. Downtown hotels worth checking out include the Drury Plaza Hotel, which is right next to the scenic River Walk, the Hampton Inn, and the Wyndham, which features a gorgeous rooftop pool terrace. If golf is your passion, the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa is a great place to stay, while budget travelers can book cheap dorm beds at the San Antonio International Hostel.

Popular Districts

Downtown – The most touristy part of town, Downtown includes the beautiful River Walk – a pedestrian path along the San Antonio River that is lined with bars, cafes, hotels, and stores. It’s also where you’ll find the Alamo as well as other attractions like the Tower of the Americas, which provides the best views of the city.

Alamo Heights – An up-market district just to the north of Downtown, Alamo Heights has a cluster of family attractions like the City Zoo, the Japanese Tea Gardens, and the McNay Art Museum. It’s also the greenest part of the city, thanks to Mahncke Park and the city’s botanical gardens, which help to create a pleasant, safe atmosphere.

Uptown Loop – The city’s major shopping district, Uptown Loop features the North Star Mall and San Pedro Town Center. North Star Mall, in particular, is a must-see for shoppers. That’s not just because of the 200 stores, including Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and Cheesecake Factory. The massive pair of cowboy boots outside is also a unique San Antonio tourist attraction.

Where to stay in popular areas of San Antonio

Most booked hotels in san antonio, how to get around san antonio, public transportation.

VIA Metropolitan Transit runs an efficient trolleybus network in the center of town that serves most tourist attractions. Single journeys cost between $1 and $2.50, but it makes more sense to purchase a $4 day pass. The #7 Sightseer Special is a particularly useful bus, as it links together a group of attractions, including the Alamo and the zoo.

Taxis in San Antonio have a basic fare of $2.50 for the first sixth of a mile. After that, it costs $0.49 for every fifth of a mile, with a minimum fare of $5 in Downtown areas. Uber usually works out much cheaper, with a base fare of $1 and then $0.9 per mile (for their cheapest vehicles).

If you want to get out of San Antonio’s city center, having a car makes sense. You can rent a car at the airport or outlets in the city, and car rental agencies active in San Antonio include Avis, Budget and, of course, Alamo. If you do intend to rent, check with your hotel if they offer free parking, as on-street and garage parking in the center can be costly.

Best car rental deals in San Antonio

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The Cost of Living in San Antonio

Shopping streets.

San Antonio has plenty of conventional malls like the North Star Mall in San Pedro, where you’ll find major names like Sak’s and Macy’s, and for high-end luxury Lacoste and Hugo Boss. Then there are the 80 smaller antique and craft stores at El Mercado (W Commerce St), a great place to buy souvenirs for folks back home.

Groceries and Other

San Antonio tends to be significantly cheaper than other major U.S. cities like Chicago or New York. Expect to pay around $2.40 for 12 eggs and $15 for a good bottle of wine. You can save even more money by shopping at the city’s supermarkets. La Fiesta has a number of outlets and sells fresh, organic produce, while you can also find a local Safeway, CostCo, and Trader Joe’s.

san antonio travel guide

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San Antonio Visitor's Guide

Published Date: Nov. 13, 2018  |  -->

Did you find this article helpful?

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To request a printed copy, please contact Visit San Antonio here or call (210) 244-2000 . They are located at :

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Here's your guide to weekend things to do in San Antonio

Here's what's going on around the Alamo City this weekend.

Sing along with Los Ángeles Azules at the Freeman Coliseum on Thursday. Doors open at 8pm.

Laugh with Hasan Minhaj at the Majestic Theatre on Thursday. Doors open at 6:30pm.

Enjoy the Southtown tradition that is First Friday.

  • Explore art galleries, pick up eclipse glasses at Brick or get dinner at Rosario's .

Celebrate the Sandman at Brass Monkey's Adam Sandler Party at 9pm Friday.

Kick off National Poetry Month at the free Viva Poesia Festival at Mission Marquee Plaza at 6pm on Saturday.

Catch Offset , formerly of Migos, at Smoke Skybar on Saturday at 9pm.

Enjoy the McNay Free Family Day on Sunday from 1-4pm.

Play on North St. Mary's Street for the annual Siclovia , which turns roads into safe spaces for activities, 10am-2pm Sunday.

Take the dogs to the zoo on Sunday for a Fido-friendly event .

  • Dogs will need their own $27.99 ticket in addition to their human's ticket.

Cheer on the Spurs as they host the Philadelphia 76ers for one of the last home games of the season on Sunday at 6pm.

Get the rundown of the biggest stories of the day with Axios Daily Essentials.

Here's your guide to weekend things to do in San Antonio

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Plenty of events happening in San Antonio this weekend! Here’s a look at the forecast

Weekend starts humid, ends more comfortable.

Mia Montgomery , KSAT Weather Authority Meteorologist

The work week ends on a relatively nice note in the Alamo City, but a few changes are in the forecast by the weekend.

With folks arriving in town ahead of Monday’s total eclipse and plenty of events taking place like the Valero Texas Open and the Great Texas Airshow , we wanted to give you the latest:

  • Nice, but breezy Friday with a warm afternoon in store, along with elevated fire danger out west
  • Humidity surges back in Saturday, leading to areas of patchy morning fog & drizzle
  • A cold front approaches Saturday night, sparking up an isolated shower or two overnight
  • Clearing on Sunday after the front passes through with drier air *briefly* filtering in
  • A quick whiplash in humidity by Monday as Gulf moisture makes a quick return, likely leading to at least some cloud clover on eclipse day

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FRIDAY (Apr. 5)

  • Quiet, relatively nice end to the work week
  • After a cool morning, a warm afternoon will take shape with highs in the mid 80s
  • Low humidity in store with filtered sunshine as high clouds start to stream in from the west
  • Turning breezy with winds out of the southeast at 10 to 20 mph, gusting upwards of 25 mph at times
  • Fire danger will be elevated as a result, especially out west and closer to the Rio Grande


  • Humidity quickly returns by Saturday morning, leading to areas of patchy morning fog and drizzle
  • A warmer morning as a result, with lows in the low 60s
  • Mostly cloudy skies and high temperatures in the upper 70s
  • Breezy, with winds out of the southeast at 10 to 20 mph, gusting upwards of 25 mph
  • A cold front approaches Saturday night, leading to an isolated (~ 20%) chance for a few showers/a stray storm to develop as we sleep

SUNDAY (Apr. 7)

  • Any isolated rain found overnight Saturday moves out by Sunday morning as the cold front moves through
  • Some clearing throughout the day with more sunshine returning into the afternoon
  • Lows in the low 60s are followed by highs in the low-to-mid 80s
  • Low humidity returns, but it doesn’t last long...

MONDAY (Apr. 8)

  • Humidity will quickly surge in by Monday morning, leading to at least some clouds on eclipse day
  • Translucent high clouds are likely, and the potential for low clouds in the morning is increasing. However, question marks remain when it comes to how quickly any morning clouds will break up. There is a chance that they start to break up by early afternoon, leading to at least some partial viewing of the eclipse. Something to check back on this weekend!
  • More details to come, but here’s the latest forecast discussion for Monday

KSAT is Your Eclipse Authority. Catch the latest eclipse information on KSAT’s eclipse page.

Read more from the meteorologists on the Whatever the Weather page

Download KSAT’s weather app for customized, accurate forecasts in San Antonio, South Texas or wherever you are

Find the latest forecasts, radar and alerts on the KSAT Weather Authority page

Copyright 2024 by KSAT - All rights reserved.

About the Author

Mia montgomery.

Meteorologist Mia Montgomery joined the KSAT Weather Authority Team in September 2022. As a Floresville native, Mia grew up in the San Antonio area and always knew that she wanted to return home. She previously worked as a meteorologist at KBTX in Bryan-College Station and is a fourth-generation Aggie.

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The Ultimate San Antonio Family Vacation Checklist

The top things to do in san antonio with kids (and grownups, too).

San Antonio is one of the top travel destinations in the country for families. And with so many things to do , it should come as no surprise. We’ve put together the ultimate San Antonio family vacation checklist so you don’t miss out on a single moment of family bonding. This list has something for everyone, whether you’re looking for things to do with kids (or just entertaining the kids at heart).

Downtown Family Activities

Downtown San Antonio is home to some of the city’s best attractions. Here are a few the kids will love.

GO RIO River Cruise

Smiling family on a Go Rio River Cruise on the River Walk

Board a GO RIO River Cruise  and enjoy a guided river tour filled with fun facts about San Antonio’s historic River Walk. Plus, expect extended hours this summer! Take a cruise during the day, and then take another after the sun goes down and see how the city lights up at night!  

Pro Tip : This is a great first-day activity to get a feel for the river and pick out the spots you want to visit next.

You know what they say. Remember The Alamo ! One of the five UNESCO World Heritage Site Missions, The Alamo is a can’t-miss historical experience. Learn about the battle and figures like Davy Crockett. Pair your Alamo trip with a visit to the two-story Ralston Family Collections Center and view the Phil Collins Collection!

Tower of the Americas

Tower of the Americas

Take a ride 750 feet up in the sky to the Tower of the Americas . The highest point in San Antonio, the observation deck offers sweeping views of the city for a truly unforgettable experience. Make sure to take a family photo at the top! Plus, be sure to check their event calendar for great summer events like Movies in the Park, Market Days, and more!

Made for the Kids

Ok, grownups, the next items on the list are made just for kids. But we’re pretty sure the kids at heart will have plenty of fun, too.

LEGOLAND Discovery Center


If the kids are into LEGO, you must take them to the LEGOLAND Discovery Center. This is the ultimate LEGO playground, where kids can meet their favorite characters, go on a LEGO Kingdom Quest, and see a full LEGO build of the San Antonio skyline. Our favorite part? Catching a movie at the LEGO cinema!

Liggettville Adventure Center

LiggettVille Adventure Center

Get ready to climb, zipline, and have tons of indoor fun at Liggettville Adventure Center . This giant indoor playground is the perfect place to explore during rainy vacation days or hot summer afternoons. And who doesn't love to save? For a limited time, use promo code COOL24 at checkout for 10% off Premier and Premier Tykes combo tickets!


The DoSeum is San Antonio’s museum made just for kids! Interactive exhibits allow children to explore with hands-on learning. Exhibits include Little Town, Spy Academy, and the Big Outdoors playground.

Coming June 1st, check out their latest exhibit, Dogs! A Science Tail, where your children can learn all about dogs and explore life from a dog's perspective! 

Let Your Wild Side Out

Do you have an animal lover in your family? These attractions are the perfect place to explore and let your wild side out.


Sea Life Family In Tunnel

Walk through San Antonio’s only ocean tunnel and pet stingrays at SEA LIFE . This aquarium attraction is the perfect spot to dive into some fun!

Walk through San Antonio's only ocean tunnel and get hands-on experiences with marine life at the interactive Rockpool! 

San Antonio Zoo

Exterior of zoo with topiary in the shape of an ape

Want to take a walk on the wild side? At the San Antonio Zoo , you can ride on the Zoo Train, feed giraffes, or even get up close and personal on a behind-the-scenes excursion.

Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch (@naturalbridge.wildliferanch)

The Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch was voted one of the best outdoor experiences in Texas, and it’s easy to see why! Here, your car is your own safari excursion. Drive the trail and get a close-up look at your favorite animals. You can even feed them!

For the Thrill Seekers 

If you’re a family of thrill seekers, look no further! San Antonio is home to some of the country’s best amusement parks.

Six Flags Fiesta Texas

Kids screaming on roller coaster

Six Flags Fiesta Texas offers fun for everyone in the family. Explore the DC Universe, ride classic coasters, and test your bravery on new ones - like the all-new KID FLASH Cosmic Coaster. And cool off at Hurricane Harbor, opening April 27, 2024.

Then end the night with a fireworks show that lights up the city at their Summer Nights Spectacular, which happens every Saturday from May 25 through August 10, 2024. 

Morgan's Wonderland

Ferris wheel at theme park

Morgan’s Wonderland is the world’s first Ultra-Accessible™ family fun park designed for people of all ages and abilities, which means everyone in the family can take part in the experience. And there's so much more to explore this year with new rides and attractions like Jette's Wonder Bikes, Rocket's Sky Flight Adventure, a 4D Cinema, and more!

SeaWorld San Antonio

Girl walking into aquarium with dolphin at SeaWorld San Antonio

From thrill rides to animal encounters, SeaWorld San Antonio is sure to make a splash on the family vacation checklist. Will your kids want to take a ride on the Steel Eel or meet an Orca first? Then take your pick from thrilling ride options, will you start with the brand-new Catapult Falls or show off your nerves of steel at the Steel Eel?

Family-Friendly SA Restaurants

After a day of fun, it’s time to refuel. Here are some of the best family-friendly restaurants in San Antonio.

Casa Rio Umbrellas

Casa Rio was the first restaurant to open on the River Walk, and it’s still a family-loved classic almost eight decades later.

Backyard on Broadway

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Backyard on Broadway (@backyardonbroadway)

Backyard on Broadway is a slice of your home backyard in the middle of all the action. Enjoy classic eats and kick back with a drink while the kiddos take to the playground.

Rainforest Cafe

Dining room with fake trees

Rainforest Cafe is guaranteed to be a fun adventure, especially if you conclude your meal and day with a Sparkling Volcano cake!


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