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The Ultimate Travel Guide To San Antonio & Things To Do

The Ultimate Travel Guide To San Antonio & Things To Do

The Ultimate Travel Guide To San Antonio & Things To Do

San Antonio is a large Texas city with a population of nearly 1.5 million, but despite its size, it’s filled with natural beauty and so much to offer visitors — particularly those with a passion for history.

Located in south-central Texas, San Antonio is mainly known for the Alamo, an 18th-century Spanish mission and compound which had a significant role to play during the Texas Revolution, but there are plenty of other things the city has to offer the eclectic traveler.


Here is everything travelers need to know on how to spend a great trip in San Antonio with details on the best time of year to visit, places to stay, places to eat, and a plethora of things to do.

Best Time Of Year To Visit San Antonio


Japanese Tea Garden, Brackenridge Park, San Antonio, Texas

In terms of weather, the best time of year to visit San Antonio is usually during the spring (from March to May) and fall months (from September to October). In the spring, visitors can enjoy temperatures from the mid-70s to the mid-80s.

In April, travelers can also catch the city’s biggest festival of the year, Fiesta San Antonio. The city really feels the heat in the summer (from June to August) with temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

But in the fall, the intense heat and humidity ease, so It’s possible to enjoy some outdoor activities in comfort with temperatures ranging from the mid-80s to the low 90s.

Related: Here’s How Long You Need To See San Antonio’s Japanese Tea Garden

It’s also important to consider what tourists would like to experience in San Antonio when deciding when to book their trip. For instance, the big San Antonio Stock and Rodeo show is on in February and the Texas Folklore festival which celebrates Texas heritage is on in June.

San Antonio also has some popular boozy festivals like the San Antonio Beer Festival in October. All great events visitors can catch if they plan their trip right!

What To Know When Visiting San Antonio

San Antonio Riverwalk

San Antonio Riverwalk

San Antonio is a south-central Texan city and is the second biggest after Houston. In terms of getting there, it’s about a three-hour drive from Houston and an hour and a half from Austin.

It’s served by a major airport, San Antonio International Airport (SAT) about eight miles north of downtown San Antonio. Flights to the city can be booked with the likes of American Airlines, Delta, Southwest, and United Airlines.

Related: 10 Best Steakhouses Worth Saddling Down For In San Antonio

San Antonio is definitely a destination for foodies, particularly those who fancy sampling some incredible Tex-Mex cuisine, but notable historical and other landmarks make up the bulk of the must-see list for this city.

In general, it’s considered a safe city for tourists. Like any large city, it does have some crime but being mindful of belongings and personal well-being is enough to ensure safety during a trip to San Antonio.

Best Ways To Get Around San Antonio

East Commerce Street in San Antonio, Texas
Mark Konig via Unsplash

East Commerce Street in San Antonio, Texas

Many of the city’s top attractions, such as the Alamo and the River Walk, are within walking distance of each other, making it easy to explore the touristic areas on foot.

The city has a public transportation system that includes buses and the VIA Metropolitan Transit, a light rail system. The VIA system has four lines that serve many of the city’s major attractions and downtown areas.

The cost of using public transportation in San Antonio depends on the fare type and the distance of the journey.

  • Single-ride fares start at $1.30 for the local bus.
  • VIA also offers a number of passes for multiple trips, including a 1-day pass for $2.75, a 7-day pass for $12, and a 31-day pass for $38.
  • Children under 5 years old ride for free, and children 5-11 ride for half price.

Fares can be paid with cash, a VIA goMobile ticket (which visitors can purchase through the VIA goMobile app), or a VIAtrans Card (a reloadable fare card).

Other ways to get around San Antonio include:

  • Car rental: This can be a convenient option, especially if visiting attractions outside of the city is on the agenda. Just be aware that traffic can be heavy in certain parts of the city, and parking can be limited in some areas.
  • Taxi or rideshare: Taxis and rideshare services like Uber and Lyft are readily available in San Antonio.
  • Bicycle: San Antonio has a number of bike trails and bike-sharing programs, making it easy to get around the city on two wheels

Where To Stay In San Antonio


San Antonio has accommodation choices and great districts and neighborhoods for visitors to the city to check out.

  • Downtown: This is probably one of the most popular districts to stay in because it’s within walking distance of the best attractions like the Alamo and the gorgeous River Walk. It also has great restaurants and shopping.
  • Alamo Heights: Alamo Heights is a cozy neighborhood and is considered part of the Greater Metropolitan San Antonio area. It’s filled with beautiful homes with tree-lined streets, and it has a lot to offer visitors in and of itself in terms of food and shopping experiences.
  • North San Antonio: This neighborhood could be a great choice for families who are interested in visiting the big attractions like SeaWorld and Six Flags Fiesta Texas.

There are great hotel options in San Antonio that suit every budget.

Luxury hotels in San Antonio:

St. Anthony, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Antonio: Located in the heart of downtown San Antonio and close to many of the city’s top attractions.

  • Guest rooms start at $300 per night.
  • Amenities: fine dining restaurant, a rooftop bar, and pool.
  • Address: 300 E Travis St, San Antonio, TX 78205, United States

The Westin Riverwalk, San Antonio: Located along the San Antonio River Walk and offers some spectacular views of the city.

  • Rooms start at $270 per night.
  • Amenities: fitness center, and outdoor pool.
  • Address: 420 W Market St, San Antonio, TX 78205, United States

Mid-range hotels in San Antonio:

Hyatt Place San Antonio Airport: A great location close to the airport.

  • Prices start at around $140 per night.
  • Amenities: free breakfast, pool, a fitness center, and a restaurant.
  • Address: 7615 Jones Maltsberger Road, San Antonio, Texas, United States, 78216

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk: Another hotel located along the San Antonio River Walk.

  • Rooms start at around $200 per night.
  • Amenities: in-room spa services and a restaurant.
  • Address: 150 E Houston St, San Antonio, TX 78205

Budget hotels in San Antonio:

Motel 6 San Antonio Downtown: a wallet-friendly hotel near the most important San Antonio attractions.

  • Rooms start at $50 per night.
  • Amenities: outdoor pool and coin laundry.
  • Address: 211 North Pecos Street, San Antonio, TX, 78207

Best Western Plus Sunset Suites-Riverwalk: This hotel is located along the San Antonio River Walk.

  • Rooms start at around $80 per night.
  • Amenities: fitness center, WiFi.
  • Address: 1103 E Commerce Street San Antonio, Texas 78205

Where To Eat And Drink In San Antonio

Jay Wennington<\/a> via Unsplash””>

Gourmet food and white wine
Jay Wennington via Unsplash

Gourmet food and white wine

It’s hard to go wrong with restaurants in San Antonio, there are so many places to choose from but here are some highly rated places to check out:

Best Breakfast in San Antonio:

  • The Guenther House, Pancake Joe’s, The Magnolia Pancake Haus

Delicious lunch spots in San Antonio:

  • The County Line, Elsewhere Garden Beer and Kitchen, Botika

Great dinner restaurants in San Antonio:

  • Biga on the Banks, Silo Prime, Cured

Best coffee in San Antonio:

  • Local Coffee, Merit Coffee, What’s Brewing Coffee Roasters

Fun bars in San Antonio:

  • The Esquire Tavern, Howl at the Moon, Bar 1919

Related: 10 Places That Have The Best Breakfast In Sunny San Antonio

Top Things To Do In San Antonio

The Alamo in downtown San Antonio, Texas

The Alamo in downtown San Antonio, Texas

Learn all about the history of the Alamo

This is definitely the big-ticket item in San Antonio. A trip to the city is not complete without heading to this historic Spanish mission to learn about the Battle of the Alamo. There’s a range of free tours available, but visitors can also book private tours.

  • Address: 300 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio, TX 78205.
  • Admission: Free

Take a leisurely stroll down the San Antonio River Walk

A stroll down the San Antonio River Walk in the heart of the downtown district is a particularly special experience, and it’s also the perfect way to finish a day of exploring the city. The River Walk is lined with restaurants and it’s just a great place to relax.

  • Address: The river runs through the heart of downtown
  • Admission: Free

Bring the family to the San Antonio Zoo

A zoo visit is something the whole family can enjoy and The San Antonio Zoo makes for a fantastic day out with opportunities to see some of the world’s most exotic animals including gorillas and lions. It is also certified by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

  • Address: 3903 N St Mary’s St, San Antonio, TX 78212
  • Admission: $35.99 for adults, $31.99 for children (ages 3-11), and free for children under 3.

Related: 10 Day Trips From San Antonio Worth Taking This Summer

Visit the San Antonio Museum of Art

The San Antonio Museum of Art is a great spot to visit while taking a stroll along the Riverwalk. The collection features 35,000 works of art from around the world including Ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian art.

  • Address: 200 W Jones Ave, San Antonio, TX 78215
  • Admission: $20 for adults, $10 for children (ages 13-18). Children under 12 are free.

Explore the San Antonio Botanical Garden

This stunning 33-acre garden is well worth a visit. Be sure to check out the San Antonio Botanical Garden’s website for upcoming events like film screenings and educational hikes, and expert talks. They even offer cooking classes!

  • Address: 555 Funston Pl, San Antonio, TX 78209
  • Admission: from $16 for adults, $13 for children (ages 3-13). Children under 3 are free.

Take a tour of the Tower of the Americas

An icon of the San Antonio skyline, the Tower of the Americas is a 750-foot tall tower that offers panoramic views of the city from its observation deck and visitors can dine at the revolving Chart House restaurant

  • Address: 739 E Cesar E Chavez Blvd, San Antonio, TX 78205.
  • Admission: $16.50 for adults, $12.00 for children (ages 4-12), and free for children under 4.

How To Spend A Perfect Day In San Antonio

Restaurants on San Antonio riverwalk, Texas

Restaurants on San Antonio riverwalk, Texas

While San Antonio is a great weekend destination, it’s possible to get plenty of this city covered in just 24 hours. The perfect day starts with breakfast at the Guenther House in the King William Historic District where travelers can fill up on a hearty, southern breakfast to take on some downtown exploring.

Next up, of course, it has to be a tour of the Alamo, the city’s big attraction. The Alamo is in downtown San Antonio and visitors can explore at their leisure or book a tour to get as much information about this historic location.

Spend some time exploring the San Antonio River Walk, a popular tourist attraction that runs along the San Antonio River in the heart of downtown, and nip into the San Antonio Museum of Art.

Related: 10 Things You Can Do On San Antonio’s Riverwalk

Enjoy lunch at Biga on the Banks, an upscale restaurant located along the San Antonio River Walk that has some great options for those looking to sample some modern American cuisine.

Take in some sky-high views at the Observation deck in Tower of the Americas and then finish the day with dinner in the Pearl District at the ever so popular, Cured. As the name suggests, it’s famous for its cured meats and artisanal cheeses.


Q: What is San Antonio Texas best known for?

San Antonio is the second-largest city in Texas and is best known as the home of the Alamo, a historic Spanish mission and compound that was the site of the Battle of the Alamo during the Texas Revolution.

It also has a beautiful walkway called the San Antonio River Walk found in its downtown area. The San Antonio calendar is dotted with incredible festivals for visitors to experience too like Fiesta San Antonio and the Texas Folklore Festival

Q: What is the best time of year to visit San Antonio Texas?

With the San Antonio climate in mind, the best time of year to visit is generally considered to be in the spring and the fall with sunshine but mild humidity and temperatures, so tourists can comfortably explore the city.

The summer months, from June to August, are the hottest with very high temperatures and high humidity, to boot, but summertime is also an ideal time for a visit to San Antonio’s nearby day-trip spots.

Q: Is San Antonio Texas worth visiting?

San Antonio is a city worth visiting for anyone interested in history, culture, and good food.

While it’s filled with important historical sites like the Alamo and the Missions National History Park, it’s also home to interesting green spaces for nature lovers like the Botanical Garden and some great Tex-Mex restaurants like Mi Tierra or Henry’s Puffy Tacos for eager foodies.

There are also free things to do to round out a vacation without going over budget.

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