Things to do in San Antonio, TX

Get Your Bearings in San Antonio

By Kimberly Suta
San Antonio Expert

See & Do
Stay
Eat
Party
Shop

Things to See

San Antonio is currently the 7th largest city in the United States, and ranked one of the number one cities to visit. Why, you ask? San Antonio is more than just a city it's a community of some of the kindest people you'll ever meet. Also because of the number of military bases and businesses in town, they have an eclectic mix of people. There is no shortage of fabulous attractions, from the well-known river walk (especially during the holidays) to the missions, Tower of the Americas, SeaWorld, the new Pearl Brewery, and the even newer Tobin's Performing Arts Center. 

Avoid:

410 freeway during rush hour.

Hot Tips:

Head to Southtown to hang out in the Coolest Neighborhood

Where to Stay

While locals and travelers alike await the opening of the new Hotel Emma at the Pearl Brewery, don't despair! San Antonio has a variety of some of the most stunning hotels you can imagine, from luxurious downtown options like Hotel Contessa, the Valencia and the Menger, on of San Antonio's most historic hotels to exquisite Hill Country resorts like JW Marriott's Hill Country resort and Spa that features a lazy river, fine dining and more!

Hot Tips:

The hotel at Eilan has one of the most magnificent pool environments!

What to Eat

The culinary scene in San Antonio is expanding and elevating every day with new restaurants opening up all of the time. For affordable and delicious options, some of the newest hot spots are Tacos and Tequila and Sobro Pizza on Broadway. Many of the local chefs are returning to their roots and cooking with as many locally-sourced ingredients as they can get their hands on, truly allowing these magnificent ingredients to shine. Restaurants like Gwendolyn, Mixtli, Feast, Starfish, The Clean Plate, The Cookhouse and Tribeca are making some of the best plates this city has to offer. Bon Appetit! 

Avoid:

Chain Restaurants - there's no need to eat at chains in San Antonio!

Hot Tips:

Head to the Pearl Brewery or Southtown for a variety of restaurant choices!

Places to Party

Many of the local bars and best nightlife venues in town are now featuring craft brews and cocktails. Bars like Brooklynite, Barbero and TBA offer some premium libations, not to mention great environments. If you're looking for a nice place to kick-back outdoors, which is why you're probably in San Antonio, check out The Luxury for elevated bar food or the Friendly Spot for the hippest in neighborhood hang-outs! You can also enjoy live music at a variety of places, such as Taps y Tapas and Grayson Street Eatery. Just make sure to call ahead to find out who's playing!

Hot Tips:

For late night eats along with your drinks, go to Barbero or Hot Joy!

Where to Shop

For the best shopping in San Antonio, The Shops at La Cantera are hard to beat as far as variety and all of the name brand stores you've come to expect and love. If you're, however, looking for unique gifts you can't find just anywhere, you'll definitely enjoy shopping at the Pearl Brewery, which houses some of the city's best stores, restaurants and bars. You can even hop on a river boat from here or find local produce and artisan-crafted edibles like pestos from Humble House at the Farmer's Market, which takes place every Saturday morning at the Pearl. 

Hot Tips:

Go the Farmer's Market at the Pearl Brewery!

Things to do in San Antonio


San Antonio is known for...

Five of San Antonio's most unique features and characteristics.

1. Fiesta:

Fiesta started over 120 years ago with a horse drawn carriage decorated with flowers. Honoring the heroes of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto, the procession became known as the Battle of Flowers parade.   It is considered the most famous part of Fiesta and is the only parade in the U.S. coordinated by women, all of whom are volunteers.  These days, there are eleven parades and eleven days of scheduled celebrations.  Fiesta hosts over 100 official events all hosted by non-profit organizations or military units.  Guests choose from festivals, concerts, parades, contests and more.

2. River Walk:

‘America’s greatest vacation destination’ is just one description of the San Antonio River Walk.   Like San Antonio itself, the River Walk is a multi-cultural buffet of experiences.  Visitors can stroll along the river banks or take a river taxi. Tex-Mex, Italian, Irish and other fine restaurants line the watersides.  Locals and tourists alike sip cold margaritas in the sunshine.  Visitors enjoy outdoor musical performances at historic Arneson Theatre.  During San Antonio’s eleven day Fiesta celebration, the annual floating Fiesta Flambeau Parade is a magical event.  The Alamo and the Tower of Americas attract millions of visitors each year and are within walking distance.

3. Tex-Mex:

Considered a cultural crossroads, San Antonio is most directly influenced by its Spanish and Mexican roots.  Here, Tex-Mex is a dietary mainstay.  Jalapeños accompany many dishes (even hamburgers!) and reflect San Antonio’s love for spicy cuisine.  Melted cheese and tortillas are the heart of many Tex-Mex meals.  Fajitas, a traditional meal made with flank steak or chicken and served in tortillas is a Tex-Mex invention.   Diners like to enjoy margaritas, beers, iced tea and wines made in the wineries surrounding the city.  With over a million people, San Antonio offers an endless choice of restaurants for all budgets and occasions.

4. Family Friendly Destinations:

San Antonio boasts eight different theme parks.  The world’s largest marine life park, Sea World San Antonio and Six Flags Fiesta Texas are the two largest.  In addition to modern day attractions, the city is home to Kiddie Park, the nation’s oldest amusement park.  Locals rent tubes and float down the Guadalupe River.   Experience an important part of San Antonio’s history and see the Alamo.  Visit the River Walk, see the San Antonio Zoo, play miniature golf, enjoy local museums or take in an outdoor concert.  The city also offers a wide range of free or inexpensive options.

5. San Antonio Spurs:

San Antonio is home to spectacular food, beautiful sights and exciting destinations.  Still, it can be argued that locals are the most proud and have the most passion about their professional basketball team, the San Antonio Spurs.  Spurs’ fans are enthusiastic and dedicated to their team.   One family recently named their twin babies after point guard, Tony Parker and power forward, Tim Duncan.  The Spurs have won four NBA championships and home court is at the AT&T Center.  Many visitors to San Antonio time their vacation to coincide with a Spurs’ game.