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Is San Antonio, Texas Worth Visiting? Here’s the Scoop

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Is San Antonio, Texas worth visiting? We weren't quite sure when we had added it to our Texas road trip itinerary, but decided to squeeze it in anyway.


Cities like Austin and Dallas tend to steal the spotlight, as epic bachelor and bachelorette party destinations. Houston is a huge hub, so also gets a ton of traffic both domestically and internationally. San Antonio is known for its history, so may not capture as much attention as other Texan cities. But we went there for 24 hours to check if it was worth visiting San Antonio, Texas, or if it's merely something that can be skipped.


After just a few hours in the city, we started to fall in love with it! We truly think that this city has something for everyone, and are here to share why you too should visit this underrated destination. Let's dive right in so you can see all of the great reasons why San Antonio, Texas is worth visiting!

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Where is San Antonio, Texas?

San Antonio is located in south-central Texas, It is about 80 miles south west of Austin, and around 200 miles west of Houston.

Where is San Antonio in Texas

San Antonio is located in south central Texas.


How to Get to San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio can be reached both by flight, and easily by car from surrounding big cities in Texas such as Austin, Houston, or Dallas.


We decided to rent a car in Houston, as it is a much bigger airport, and typically has the cheapest flights. We then did a road trip around Texas, and drove to San Antonio from Houston, which is just 3 hours away driving.


Note: If you decide to rent a car, DO NOT rent with EasiRent! We had a ton of issues getting our car, as there are no personnel on site, and they wanted to charge a ton of extra fees. We later chose Hertz, which was a much better experience.


Flying to San Antonio

The city of San Antonio has an airport which has both domestic and international flights.


Domestic cities that fly to San Antonio include Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Brownwood, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Columbia, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Del Rio, Denver, Detroit, Eagle Pass, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston, Kansas City, Laredo, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Louisville, McAllen, Memphis, Miami, Midland, Minneapolis, Nashville, Newark, New York, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Pheonix, Salt Lake City, San Angelo, San Diego, Seattle, Tampa, Toluca, and Washington.


International cities that fly to San Antonio include Guadalajara, Guatemala City, Mexico City, Monterrey, and San Salvador.

Flight Tip: Using Skyscanner you can put from "your city" to "United States". This way you can see which is the cheapest airport in Texas to fly to. Also, you can check the calendar to see which are the cheapest dates for each one!

Search for a flight to or near San Antonio:

How to Get to San Antonio from the Airport

San Antonio airport is located just 8 miles north of the downtown area, making it super convenient to reach the city. You can either take bus number 5 for a 30 minute ride ($1.30), or you can take a taxi or Uber (around $24-30) and get there in around 15 minutes.


Buses to San Antonio

If you don't want to rent a car, or there aren't any convenient flights to San Antonio, you could also take a bus to San Antonio from one of the other big cities in Texas. These are usually very budget friendly, and have plenty of departures to choose from.


Here you can book your bus to San Antonio:


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Fun Things to Do in San Antonio, Texas

Now that you know how to get to San Antonio, let's check out what makes San Antonio, Texas worth visiting. Here are all of the fun things to do in San Antonio.


Don't have time to read the whole article and want to save it for later? Just pin it!

Is San Antonio Texas worth visiting?
Is San Antonio Texas worth visiting?
Is San Antonio Texas worth visiting?

Things to Do in San Antonio #1: Visit the Alamo 

The Alamo is San Antonio's claim to fame, and it's definitely one of the reasons that San Antonio, Texas is worth visiting! The historic Spanish mission and fortress was founded in the 18th century by Roman Catholic missionaries, and was home to a huge battle in 1836. 

The Alamo, is San Antonio Texas north visiting
The Alamo, is San Antonio Texas north visiting

The Alamo is San Antonio's claim to fame.

It is open daily from 9 am to 5:30 pm, and entrance to get in is free, but you must reserve a spot online in advance.


Here are a few tours that include a stop at the Alamo:

Things to Do in San Antonio #2: Watch the Light Show at the San Fernando Cathedral

The San Fernando Cathedra is another beautiful part of history worth visiting in San Antonio, but not just for the building itself.


The San Antonio Cathedral actually has an incredible light show that is projected right onto the facade of the church.


The 24-minute show is representation of the history of San Antonio, and is truly exceptional. We heard that it is only from Thursday to Sunday, but we visited on a Wednesday and all of the sudden the show started right when we visited around 9 pm!


Light show in San Antonio Texas
Light show in San Antonio Texas

The Cathedral has a light show projected on it and is free to see.


Things to Do in San Antonio #3: Enjoy the Riverwalk

The Riverwalk is the second biggest reason that San Antonio, Texas is worth visiting, and one of the things that the city is mostly popular for. This waterfront strip is the heart of San Antonio, and is where you can find an array of restaurants, bars, shops, and hotels.


Things to Do in San Antonio #4: Take a Boat Ride Down the River

Another great way to enjoy the Riverwalk is to sail down the river itself! It's a beautiful way to experience the beauty of the city, as well as see some points of interest, and learn about San Antonio. There are a ton  of great options for boat rides, as well as tours that include river cruises with them.


Here are a few fun tours that have river cruises included:

Things to Do in San Antonio #5: Experience Sound Cream Sunset Sessions

We actually stumbled upon this incredible event by accident! Located right outside of the stunning Emma Hotel, every Wednesday in July from 5:30-9:00 pm there is a big party in Historic Pearl.


Hang out in the large grass area with a drink in hand, or get p and join everyone dancing in the square. It was such a great vibe, and really made San Antonio, Texas worth visiting.


Sound Cream party in San Antonio Texas
Sound Cream party in San Antonio Texas
Sound Cream party in San Antonio Texas

In the summer there is a party in Pearl on Wednesdays.


Things to Do in San Antonio #6: Take Fun Photos at the Central Library

We loved taking pictures around San Antonio! While most of the photographic places are related to historic sites, another fun spot we found was the Central Library. It is painted with vibrant pinks and blues, making it a cool contrast to the rest of the spots we visited around San Antonio.


Central Library, Things to do in San Antonio, Texas
Central Library, Things to do in San Antonio, Texas
Central Library, Things to do in San Antonio, Texas


Things to Do in San Antonio #7: Browse the Historic Market Square

The Historic Market Square was one of the spots we really wanted to experience, but just showed up a bit late. This square will make you feel like you've teleported straight to Mexico with its colorful flags and small shops lined up.


You can browse the lively area from 10 am to 6 pm to catch it at its best. We were there around 8 pm, so everything was closed, but we did get to see what colorful place it was!

plaza in San Antonio

The Historic Market Square is super colorful and great for shopping.

Things to Do in San Antonio #8: Roam the Japanese Tea Gardens

This is a true hidden gem of Texas, and will really make you feel as if you just flew right over to Asia.


The Japanese Tea Gardens are just outside the center of San Antonio, and are completely free of charge to visit. We saw online that they closed at 5 pm, so we were about to skip it, but we figured- hey let's see if we can peek in. To our surprise, the gardens were completely open, and with just a few people walking around.


If you're a photographer like we are, we would suggest getting there early in the morning, or after 5 pm like we did.


Japanese Tea Gardens, things to do in San Antonio, Texas
Japanese Tea Gardens, things to do in San Antonio, Texas
Japanese Tea Gardens, things to do in San Antonio, Texas
Japanese Tea Gardens, things to do in San Antonio, Texas

The Japanese Tea Gardens is one of the most beautiful places in San Antonio.


Things to Do in San Antonio #9: Walk Along the Skywalk Bridge

This is another great spot located just outside the center that we really liked. The Skywalk Bridge is located in the middle of Phil Hardberger Park. From the parking lot you can walk 10-15 minutes and will find the 6-foot wide bridge that curves under the canopy of trees for 1,000 feet!


It is 18 feet off the ground, but is 100% ADA accessible, and has plenty of shade and sunny areas to enjoy. It is free of charge, and can be accessed 24/7.


Skywalk, things to do in San Antonio Texas
Skywalk, things to do in San Antonio Texas


Things to Do in San Antonio #10: Dine in a Revolving Restaurant

Another unique find that makes San Antonio, Texas worth visiting is what lies on the top of the Tower of the Americas.


While the tower sits at 750 feet high, it is not just an observation tower, but a restaurant too! The restaurant actually rotates, allowing you to get 360 degree views of the city while having your meal.


Note: We've heard the food isn't anything fantastic, but it truly is a unique experience. So we suggest getting something light and some drinks, that way you can enjoy the experience without having to splurge on mediocre food.

Tower of the Americas, is San Antonio Texas worth visiting

The Tower of the Americas has a revolving restaurant at the top.

Things to Do in San Antonio #11: Have a Detective Dinner

Looking for another unique dining experience that makes San Antonio, Texas worth visiting? This interactive show is both fun and hilarious, as the actors are actually hidden in the audience! The three-course meal and show is from 6-9 on Saturdays, and tickets start at $64/person. Make sure to reserve in advance for this one!


Things to Do in San Antonio #12: Explore the Hot Wells Hotel Ruins

Back in the beginning of the 20th century, the Hot Well Hotel was a famous spa and hotel where big time celebrities would visit.


However, the property had a huge fire in 1925, and the spa then burned down again in the ’80s and finally again in ’90s. The Hot Well Hotel remained in ruins since then, and since 2019 has been refurbished as a free historical site for people to visit.


Things to Do in San Antonio #13: Check out the San Antonio Missions

If you'd like to dive deeper into the history of San Antonio, you can check out the five different Spanish Colonial Missions throughout the city. Four of them are actually located inside the San Antonio Missions National Park, and are completely free of charge to visit.


The missions within the National Park are Mission Nuestra Señora de la Purísma Concepción de Acuña, Mission San José y San Miguel de Aguayo, Mission San Juan Capistrano, and Mission San Francisco de la Espada.

missions San Antonio

There are 5 missions in San Antonio to check out.

Things to Do in San Antonio #14: Visit Comanche Lookout Park

Another cute spot just outside the center of San Antonio is the Comanche Lookout Park. It is free of charge, and has a few different trails you can explore. We visited the Lookout Tower, which is just a 10 minute walk from the parking lot.


comanche Lookout point, things to do in San Antonio Texas
comanche Lookout point, things to do in San Antonio Texas


Things to Do in San Antonio #15: Experience the Pearl Farmers Market

Looking to experience some of the local flavors and products of San Antonio? Well, the Pear Farmers Market is definitely the place to do it.


Every Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 1 pm you can experience locals with their product, crafts, baked goods, and live music. So if you happen to be visiting San Antonio on the weekend, we highly suggest adding the farmer's market to your list of things to do!


Things to Do in San Antonio #16: Spend the Day at Six Flags

Looking for a day of excitement? Well, San Antonio is home to one of the 27 amusement parks that Six Flags owns. There are a ton of different games, rides, eateries, and even a water park! This is definitely one of the things that makes San Antonio, Texas worth visiting for families.


Things to Do in San Antonio #17: Go Tubing Down the River

One of the things we loved most in Texas was all of the great places to go tubing! Just outside San Antonio you can head to the Comal River near Gruene, and rent tubes that go all the way down the river like a giant natural lazy river.


You can grab drinks beforehand, and float down to the endpoint for around 4 hours, making it the perfect half day activity to add to your list.


river for tubing, things to do in San Antonio, Texas
river for tubing, things to do in San Antonio, Texas
river for tubing, things to do in San Antonio, Texas

Going tubing is one of the best day trips from San Antonio.


Things to Do in San Antonio #18: Enjoy the Nearby Parks and Nature

While San Antonio, Texas is worth visiting for its history and nightlife, it also has some great nature around it! Other than the parks inside the city, and the beautiful Japanese Tea Gardens, you can see some stunning natural landscape just 30-60 minutes outside the city, Here are a few of our favorites.


Paradise Canyon 

This is a great place to go with your family and friends so that you can picnic, swim, and just have a relaxing day cooling off in the Medina River from the Texas heat. You can bring your own tube, or rent one from them.


Reservations for Paradise Canyon should be made in advance, and the price to enter is $35 per car up to five, and then $3 per person over 5 people (over the age of two).


Here are the hours for Paradise Canyon year round:


March – Mid-May

Saturday & Sunday: 9 am-6 pm
Weekdays: 10 am-6 pm


Mid-May – August

Saturday: 9 am-7 pm
Sunday: 9 am-6 pm
Weekdays: 10 am-6 pm


September – November

Saturday & Sunday: 10 am-6 pm

Weekdays: 10-6


December – February

By reservation only


Blue Hole

The Blue Hole is another great place to swim outside of San Antonio, featuring vibrant turquoise waters, rope swings, trails, and a basketball court. Swimming is allowed daily from May 1st to September 4th, and on the weekends in September, from 9 am to 6 pm. 


There are two time slots to choose from, which are 9 am to 1 pm, or 2 pm to 6 pm, as from 1-2 pm it is closed for private sessions. Tickets cost $12 for those 13-59, and $6 for those 12 and under, 60 and over, and for Wimberley residents. Children 3 and under are free of charge.


Jacob's Well

Jacob's Well is a perennial karstic spring located just northwest of Wimberley. It is actually the second biggest fully-submerged cave, and goes 140 feet deep.


When we visited it was closed for swimming, but there are times that you can actually swim or dive inside. It has a short 10-15 minute trail to reach there from the parking lot, and in addition to the well, there is a butterfly farm.


Jacob's Well, things to do in San Antonio
Jacob's Well, things to do in San Antonio
Butterfly park

Dripping Springs

Just a little over and hour outside of San Antonio is another amazing area to discover called Dripping Springs.


What drew our attention to Dripping Springs was its massive cenote-looking spring which has a waterfall. But that's not all this area has to offer! Dripping Springs is so beautiful that it is actuallly the number one wedding destination in Texas, featuring vineyards, breweries, shopping, and of course its beautiful nature.


This place is a great example why not only is San Antonio, Texas worth visiting, but so are so many of the towns surrounding it.


Garner State Park

Looking for a relaxing getaway? Garner State Park is the  most popular state park in Texas for its overnight camping. It's known for its great hiking trails, swimming, and overall beautiful nature.


Garner State Park is just $8/day per person to visit, and Its office is open from 8 am to 10 pm.

 

Pedernales Falls State Park

Pedernales State Park is a great place to spend a few hours, or even the day! We went to see the unique pools formed into the stones, and although most of them were dried up, it truly was a unique place.


There is an area where you can walk around hiking the rocks and pools, and there is also a bathing area, as well as plenty of areas where we saw people picnicking and barbecuing.


Pedernales State Park, day trips from San Antonio, Texas