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.
Recommended for Sightseeing because: Kids love Fiesta Texas and all of the fantastic rides, not to mention the fireworks show in this ancient quarry.
Kimberly's expert tip: Make sure to stay till the end of the night to catch the fireworks and laser light show! It's like the Fourth of July every night at Fiesta Texas.
Phil Hardberger Park is the amazing creation of San Antonio's Mayor Hardberger, who has an eye for beauty, art and community projects. This classy park, if there is such a thing, is a relatively new 311-acre park located on either side of Wurzbach Parkway between N.W. Military Highway and Blanco Road. Visitors will enjoy the trails, brand new playscapes for the kids, dog parks, picnic facilities and basketball courts. Construction is also underway on a state-of-the-art Urban Ecology Center. It's worth a visit just to see the Makin' Hay Art Exhibit â" giant, fanciful characters made of hay that sit in the center of the park.
Recommended for Sightseeing because: Hardberger Park is an exceptional park, one of the newest in San Antonio.
Kimberly's expert tip: The walking trail is secluded among a large expense of forest and feels like your own private retreat!
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 Sightseeing because: Foodies will love the Blue Star Brewery for its new Chef who has a love for local ingredients and handmade specialties.
Kimberly's expert tip: Check out the Brick on Sundays!
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.
Recommended for Sightseeing because: No matter your age, the beauty of these structures built almost three centuries ago will leave you captivated.
Kimberly's expert tip: Rent some bikes and enjoy your own bike tour of the missions!
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. .
Recommended for Sightseeing because: These beautiful Botanical Gardens allow you to enjoy many regions of the world all at once.
Kimberly's expert tip: Make sure to leave time for lunch at the Botanical Garden's excellent on-site restaurant!
San Antonio's Japanese Tea Gardens feels like a set straight out of a movie, something like What Dreams May Come or Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The point is, it's a magical and enchanting place, perfect for declarations of love and sonnet writing. The restored garden is a beautiful destination all year long and features a verdant garden and floral display with shaded walkways, stone bridges, a 60-foot waterfall and ponds filled with fat and happy Koi. A whimsically winding walkway encompasses the garden and makes for nice after dinner stroll. If you visit just one of San Antonio's landmarks, be sure to make it this one!
Recommended for Sightseeing because: The Japanese Tea Gardens are a free and unexpected treat in the center of San Antonio.
Kimberly's expert tip: If you're looking to take family photos, this is the place!
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.
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 Sightseeing because: Enchanted Rock isn't just for rock climbers. It's truly an incredible sight to see.
Kimberly's expert tip: In the summer and warmer months, arrive early because the park fills up quickly. If you're camping in the early spring or late winter, it can get windy and cold at night so come prepared.
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.
Recommended for Sightseeing because: A great place to take in nature in the middle of the city.
Kimberly's expert tip: As Brackenridge Park also extends into the Japanese Tea Garden, San Antonio Zoo and the Sunken Garden Theatre, not to mention its proximity to the family-oriented Witte Museum, it's the ideal place for a day trip!
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.
Recommended for Sightseeing because: There's no better place to get a sense of what this city is about!
Kimberly's expert tip: If it is a warm day, become a part of local culture by choosing a restaurant with an outdoor patio. Next, sip a margarita in the sunshine. Ask your server for chips and salsa to compliment your drink.