Best Things to Do in San Antonio

Top Attractions Await You, from Renowned Entertainment Parks to Museums

If you're new to San Antonio, then start your trip out right with the best view of the city from the Tower of the Americas! Located downtown, You can take the long elevator ride up to the observatory deck or revolving restaurant, where you can get a 360-degree bird's eye view while enjoying a few cocktails and a superb meal. 

While San Antonio has several world-class museums for both kids and families, you won't want to miss out on the lesser known but equally fascinating Buckhorn Museum and Saloon, conveniently located downtown. With a wildlife collection, historic western artifacts as well as gunslingers, cowboy singers, and trick ropers, it's a unique Texas treat. 

One of the best things about San Antonio is the surrounding Texas Hill Country and nature destinations within reach. At the top of the list is Enchanted Rock State Natural Area for a challenging hike, rock climbing and bird watching, all with an extraordinary view. 


Blue Star Arts Complex is a hub of San Antonio's Southtown arts district. This expansive complex is home to art galleries, studios, a playhouse, commercial and residential space as well as the Blue Star Brewery, which is a fantastic place to go for lunch, dinner or just a brew out on the patio after a long day of sight-seeing. It's also part of the new riverwalk extension. Locals like to go bike riding on this section of the river. Blue Star Bike Shop is located next to the brewery and is a great way to spend the day with the family. With a beautiful view of the riverwalk and access to so many wonderful shops, this is a must-see destination while visiting San Antonio!

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: Blue Star is a popular hangout for locals. With restaurants, bars, galleries and shops, it offers endless entertainment, particularly on the weekends.

Kimberly's expert tip: Check out the Brick on Sundays to shop for wares from local artists and businesses.

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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.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: SAMA is one of the best museums in the entire country in terms of diversity and quality.

Kimberly's expert tip: Take advantage of the free admission on Tuesdays from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Children 12 and under are always free.

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San Antonio likes to lead the way in all things and the zoo is no exception. Parents magazine ranked the San Antonio Zoo as one of the Top 10 Best Zoos for Kids. It is also the third largest zoo in the nation so there is plenty to see. Home to over 8,500 animals, the zoo is open 365 days a year, rain or shine. There are plenty of places to grab a cold drink or a bite to eat as you spend the day exploring. The San Antonio Zoo is about 10 minutes from the downtown area. We recommend you bring your sunscreen as you explore this friendly animal world. Your kids will want to stay awhile.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: The gardens replenishes your mind, body and spirit with a vast array of environments to explore.

Kimberly's expert tip: There is a great little train right outside the zoo. You can take a ride through the Brackenridge Park area and even stop at the Witte Museum for a visit so plan your day to include the zoo and the museum. The zoo website also offers online coupons you can display right from your smart phone.

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King William District
King William Historic Area
Photo courtesy of Kimberly Suta

Within this lovely district, leading German merchants settled in the late 19th century. Today, its elegant Victorian mansions and tree-lined streets are a pleasure to behold. Madison, Guenther, and King William streets are particularly pretty for a stroll or drive. Stop in at the Guenther House or Steves Homestead, two historic homes that offer guided tours. The former features a small museum of mill memorabilia, a gift shop, and a restaurant serving fine German pastries and full breakfasts and lunches. Along nearby S. Alamo Street, you will also find an assortment of some of the city's top restaurants and bars. Favorites include Feast and Rosario's.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: Similar to the Garden District in New Orleans, King William is a beautiful neighborhood to explore, either on foot or by car.

Kimberly's expert tip: Stop off at nearby Madhatter's for a cup of tea or grab some of Tito's famous tacos across the street, along S. Alamo.

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To fully experience the wide range of diversity that San Antonio has to offer, San Antonio's El Mercado (a.k.a. Market Square) is the best place to take the kids for a unique, fun day. It was once home to a bustling produce market. Today, it's a festive and exciting representation of all of the colorful cultures and flavors that make up San Antonio. On the weekends, you can expect to find all sorts of activities, live music, vendors and events designed just for kids. Mom and Dad will also have fun shopping. There are plenty of leather and papier-mache goods, blankets, pottery and numerous other hand-made and imported items.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: You can wile away the hours at Market Square shopping, eating and getting a taste of San Antonio's rich Mexican influences.

Kimberly's expert tip: Make sure to take the kids to the nearby Mi Tierra Restaurant and Bakery for some enchiladas or handmade pan dulce and Mexican hot chocolate!

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Alamo Trolley Tours
Photo courtesy of Kimberly Suta

Let someone else do the driving! If you're not sure what you want to do because let's face it, San Antonio is one of the biggest cities in America, a Trolley Tour is a great place to start. You'll see several popular San Antonio's sights on these trolley tours without the stress of navigating an unfamiliar city. The tours are eloquently Narrated Trolley Tours and include a tour of the Historic Downtown as well as the UNESCO World Heritage Missions. With ten Trolley stops and dozens of attractions for families to explore, it's a great way to entertain the kids. Packages Available Including Free Boat Ride Tickets.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: History buffs will enjoy this tour of San Antonio highlights and its history, that ventures hundreds of years into the past.

Kimberly's expert tip: Ask about packages that also include a riverboat tour.

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SeaWorld San Antonio
Photo courtesy of Kimberly Suta

SeaWorld should be on everyone's list when visiting San Antonio, no matter what your age. Although they have some great rides, such as the Steel Eel and Great White rollercoasters, the best reason to go to SeaWorld is for the animals and the animal-centric shows. They have dolphins and stingrays that you can "pet" if you are lucky enough for them to swim by you, a magnificent oceanarium filled with all sorts of creatures, including sharks and giant sea turtles. The shows are outstanding and include dolphins, Beluga whales and sea lions. Oh, and did we mention the penguins? Yes, there are penguins in Texas, if you can believe it!

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: SeaWorld is the number one destination for fun, from rides to magnificent animals and entertainment!

Kimberly's expert tip: Be sure to join the 'behind the scenes' tour!

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Just 90 miles from San Antonio lies the second largest batholith in the United States. Enchanted Rock has seen human activity up to 11,000 years ago. You'll enjoy fun and enriching activities like backpacking, camping (primitive also), hiking, rappelling and rock climbing, bird watching, and the stars at night are absolutely amazing! Local legend has it that the Tonkawa Indians named Enchanted Rock because of the sounds they heard coming from the rocks at night. They believed the formation was enchanted. This is one of the most beautiful natural areas in Texas. There is also a cave towards the top of the formation - but beware if you are claustrophobic, it is very cramped and at times you find yourself crawling. Flashlights are a must!

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: Beautiful all year-round, Enchanted Rock is a must for those who need a dose of nature.

Kimberly's expert tip: If going on the weekends, make sure to arrive early as the park fills up quickly.

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This museum is a bizarre hybrid featuring the Buckhorn Saloon, an extensive wildlife and horn collection, three floors of furniture crafted from horns and antlers, and a collection of "Rattlesnake Art." The saloon includes a wooden bar made of cherry and walnut and carved in the 1890s. The wildlife and horn collection continues to expand as collectors loan their exotic pieces. In the furniture collection, don't miss the gift to Teddy Roosevelt, a chair made out of sixty-two buffalo horns. In addition to these attractions, the Buckhorn includes the Texas History Wax Museum and live performances by gunslingers, cowboy singers, and trick ropers.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: Buckhorn Saloon and Museum is the perfect stop to get into the Texas spirit.

Kimberly's expert tip: There are a number of great restaurants along Houston Street. Make sure to stop in for a bite at Playland Pizza or Acenar.

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For the best view in San Antonio, go directly to the Tower of the Americas, which was built for the World's Fair back in 1968. Located downtown, this 750-foot-tall structure in the middle of Hemisphere plaza offers the most spectacular views from its observation deck, as well as a fun-tastic 4D Theatre ride the kids will love! If you want to go all out, grab a bite to eat at Chart House, the fine-dining restaurant that sits atop the tower, revolving slowly, much to everyone's delight. Make sure to take time to enjoy Hemisphere park, which is made up of beautiful grounds, waterfalls and fountains, a children's playground, historic buildings and is also home to the Institute of Texan Cultures and the Children's Magik Theater.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: With the best view in the city, it's a hot spot to take the entire family or that special someone.

Kimberly's expert tip: Let the Tower know that you're planning on eating at the Chart House and you won't have to buy a ticket to the observation deck!

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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