Explore San Antonio's World-Class Attractions, From Rollercoasters to Historic Parks



San Antonio is growing by leaps and bounds with another million people expected to move here in the next ten years. You can bet the city is getting ready for this expansion, and that includes renovations and upgrades to some of the primary destinations in town, not to mention new things are popping up all the time. 

The Alamo city has one of the most beautiful botanical garden in the country, and is a must see! The San Antonio Botanical Garden's new expansion includes an adventure garden for kids and a culinary garden that features fantastic events for both adults and children. Although phase 1 of their multi-million dollar additions is complete, there's still more to come. 

While the kids (and some adults) will love the rides at Fiesta Texas ()one of the best entertainment parks in the country) and the specialized interactive (even educational) fun to be had at the DoSeum, the whole family can enjoy an exploration of San Antonio's history at the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park and the Witte Museum. Did we mention they have dinosaurs? (Not real ones, of course!)



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Located just below the headwaters of the San Antonio River, not far from downtown, Brackenridge Park has been a gathering spot since prehistoric times (dating back 11,000 years) and has since evolved into one of the most popular family hang-outs in San Antonio. This beautiful park is covered with Live Oak trees and offers visitors dozens of privately situated picnic tables and barbeque pits to choose from. Brackenridge offers three pavilions (available for events), a playscape for children, a softball field, a walking path around the pond, where you'll find all sorts of ducks and other wildlife and, best of all, a charming mini-train that runs right through the park.


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There were five missions established in the early 1700's. These Spanish missions were more than churches. They became towns with a focus on encouraging the natives to become Catholic in order to be citizens. The Spanish king was able to extend influence outward from Mexico. Four missions are linked on this trail. San Jose, San Juan, Concepcion, and Espada. The fifth was the Alamo. With the exception of the Alamo, all four of the missions are still active Catholic parishes. Beautiful architecture remains almost as it was nearly 300 years ago. Step back into a beautiful history as you tour the San Antonio Missions. Family friendly and educational.


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The San Antonio Museum of Art boasts one of the most comprehensive collections of ancient Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Near Eastern art in the southern United States. It is also one of the largest collections found in public museums. The size and variety of all the exhibitions is astonishing. Located on the River Walk, the museum is also host to many children during the school year. The vast array of educational information makes it a very attractive place for field trips. The museum hosts over 500 guided tours each year and is appealing to adults seeking scholarly immersion as well as families with young children.


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HemisFair Park


 

If you're visiting San Antonio for the first time or have not been before, Hemisfair Park is a must see destination spot. Recently renovated, this lush, beautifully landscaped neighborhood park, located in the center of downtown, was originally created for the World's Fair in 1968. Walking this park will not only give you a good workout, but will lead you to some of the best destinations in San Antonio, including the Tower of the Americas, the Institute of Texan Cultures and the Magik Children's Theatre, just for starters. The park is also located directly across the street from La Villita, the historic arts village which is great for shopping!


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The DoSeum
Photo courtesy of Open Travel


 

The new DoSeum Children's Museum sits on 5.5 acres of property and includes 26,000 square feet of indoor exhibit space and an additional 39,000 square feet of outdoor exhibit play space. It offers unique exhibits unlike any other children's museum in the U.S., including an interactive robot, a spy academy filled with math challenges, an interactive puppet parade, a musical staircase like in the movie Big, an ADA-accessible treehouse, a children's river and a significant outdoor exhibit area. There's truly something for kids of all ages. Toddlers will enjoy spending time in Little Town, while the six- to ten-year-olds will have fun in the Spy Academy. The literacy exhibit, called Imagine It, is a brilliant interactive story-making exhibit that enables kids to pair fantasy with imagination in order to build a story where they are the real heroes. By using 2D and 3D elements they construct an animated story frame-by-frame. Parents will appreciate that the majority of the exhibits at The DoSeum boast a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) focus, integrated with literacy and creative arts concepts, for a 21st century learning experience.


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This is a great museum for families! Built on the banks of the San Antonio River, the Witte is considered San Antonio's foremost museum. With a four story tree house and dinosaur bones, kids are hooked as soon as they arrive. The tree house itself features endless hands on science related activities and a ride on a 'Sky-cycle' 15 feet in the air! Adults appreciate the Texas art and in May 2012, an extraordinary South Texas Heritage Center opened. Long term exhibits include dinosaurs and mummies among other fascinating collections. The Witte will often host special events and exhibits that are an additional fee on top of the museum costs. Ask the staff to tell you about the most current featured exhibits to help you determine whether or not you want to add this to your regular museum ticket price and tour.


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New Braunfels
Greune

 

If you want to find the oldest dance hall in the Lone Star State, you'll have to make the trip back in time to this tiny community right outside New Braunfels. Gruene Hall has been in continuous operation since 1878, and over the years folks like Lyle Lovett, George Strait, and Robert Earl Keen've played to packed houses. During the day, Gruene is a favorite of history buffs and antique hounds, who scour stores like Cactus Jacks and Black Swann for everything from old bottles and battered signs to European furniture and arrowheads. There're also a few places to cool your heels, most notably Janie's Table, known for their Hill Country-style.


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Southtown, San Antonio's arts district which abuts the King William District, one of the most historic neighborhoods in the city, is a prime site-seeing location. In Southtown you'll find local arts and local artists. Galleries line the main thoroughfare, Alamo Street, with Blue Star being one of the coolest places to visit. Blue Star not only has a contemporary arts center, but restaurants, bars, shops, theatres, more galleries and lofts which are inhabited by, you guessed it, artists. In recent years, this district's been booming with some of the most unique gift shops, restaurants, bars and businesses in San Antonio. It's beloved by locals, who think of Southtown as a small town within the big city. You may not call it home, but once you see it, you'll wish you did!


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Six Flags Fiesta Texas
Photo courtesy of Six Flag Fiesta Texas


 

If you're a thrill seeker, you cannot visit San Antonio without stopping off at Fiesta Texas, one of the best entertainment parks in the country. Located on 200 acres of what used to be a rock quarry, this theme park features teeth-chattering rides, great shows, and incredible attractions, plus White Water Bay water park for cooling off during the hot summer months. Although Fiesta Texas used to be geared more towards the Looney Tunes characters like Bugs Bunny, Fiesta Texas has now become the place to go for thrill rides. They have some of the most spine-tingling roller coasters you'll ever ride, including the Rattler and Superman Krypton Coaster.


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San Antonio's Botanical Gardens is one of the prettiest places to see in the city. This extraordinary 33-acre facility showcases plants from desert regions to equatorial rainforests, some of which are housed in individual, climate-controlled glass environments surrounded by a sunken courtyard and tropical lagoon filled with aquatic plants. Specialty collections include epiphytic plants, desert cacti and succulents, equatorial tropicals, palms and cycads, tropical fruits, ferns and aroids and insectivores. The Gardens, which always strive to connect people to the plant world through experience, education and research also features a children's garden, a Japanese garden and even a garden for the blind. .


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Meet Kimberly Suta

Kimberly A. Suta is a professional freelance writer, filmmaker and entrepreneur with a background in marketing, advertising and social media. Her first business, Midnight Sun Innovations,...  More About Kimberly

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