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!
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!
If you have time to plan ahead a romantic night out be sure to check you who is performing at the Majestic Theatre. The Majestic Theatre is San Antonio's oldest and largest atmospheric theatre. The theatre seats 2,311 people and was designed by architect John Eberson, for Karl Hoblitzelle's Interstate Theatres in 1929. This beautiful and elegant theatre is host to all the top performers from musicians such as Willie Nelson to comedians such as Aziz Ansari and Broadway shows such as Wicked. They're also home to the very talented San Antonio Symphony. Majestic Theatre San Antonio was listed on the National Register of Historical Places in 1975 and also designated a National Historic Landmark in 1993
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.
Built in 1879, the church is now home to a non-denominational congregation. Stonework adorns the interior of the Gothic Revival style building, and a vibrant stained glass window draws eyes to the front of the sanctuary. La Villita is one of the most beautiful places to visit along the river walk. Known for its eclectic shops, eateries and outdoor theatre, it's the perfect place to find some special gifts to take home to your friends and family. During the holidays, you'll see weddings and concerts happening in the theatre, which is situated directly across the riverwalk from La Vallita. Enjoy!
If you're looking for something a little off the beaten path, you can't go anymore obscure than this amusement park for the eyes underneath the earth. This natural phenomenon made up of 140 million-year-old rock formations is one of the top attractions in Texas and offers a great opportunity for kids to learn and have fun simultaneously. You can explore this beautiful and historical cavern system by the light of a cave lantern, pan for precious stones, take a leap of faith from the Canopy Challenge, go caving on one of their many adventure tours or at the very least enjoy nature on the original Discovery Tour.
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.
The Pearl Brewery is one of the coolest places you can visit in San Antonio. This brewery, established in 1883 and once home to Pabst beer, has recently been transformed from a historic brewery to a thriving multi-use space where you can eat, shop, learn, work and live. The Pearl is situated next to the recent Riverwalk expansion, so you can catch a tour boat or walk from the Pearl all the way downtown, past the San Antonio Museum of Art and numerous artistic elements that have been carefully built into the landscape. You'll find fine dining to street food restaurants, a great coffee shop run by the Culinary institute and more. The Culinary Institute and the Aveda School have facilities at the Pearl and both are open to patrons. Every Saturday, the Pearl is host to an amazing Farmer's Market and has become a traditional Saturday event for locals.
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. .
Travel + Leisure ranked the San Antonio River Walk as the #1 River Walk in America. Also known as Paseo del Rio, this major tourist attraction brings in over five million visitors a year. Delight yourself with a relaxing dinner at one of the numerous restaurants or cafes that line the river. Spice it up by visiting one of the numerous night spots or enjoying the sounds of mariachis and other live music. Adults and children enjoy floating on river boats piloted by San Antonio's humorous tour guides. The River Walk is the perfect place to hang out with family or sit quietly with your date while you enjoy the sounds of a bubbling waterfall.