San Antonio. Also known as Alamo City or River City.
San Antonio is the second-largest city (both by area and population) in Texas and among the largest in the United States. The city’s rich history, diverse culture, great cuisine, and numerous attractions make it a top-rated tourist destination. Over 30 million tourists visit the city every year.
If you plan to visit the city or are already there and thinking about exploring it, here are some of the best places to visit in San Antonio.
San Antonio River Walk
With restaurants and bars lining the river, the vibrant 15-mile long pedestrianized San Antonio River Walk takes visitors from one popular attraction to the next. It’s also a great spot to spend time people-watching while enjoying something to eat or a refreshing drink.
The River Walk winds its way under two bridges as it heads towards many popular sights, including the Alamo, the King William historic district, and the San Antonio Museum of Art.
Located just below street level, it’s the ideal location for enjoying a leisurely stroll or a sightseeing barge cruise. You’ll find excellent shopping opportunities too at the historic Pearl, situated along Museum Reach.
Located close to San Antonio River Walk downtown, this 18th century Spanish Mission and fortress compound is one of the country’s most important historical sights. It was the location of a major battle in 1836 during the Texas Revolution called The Battle of the Alamo.
Originally built by Roman Catholic missionaries in 1744, it was abandoned in 1793 and then transformed into a fortress. The Alamo is now a National Monument and part of the San Antonio Missions UNESCO World Heritage Site. Also worth visiting here are the exquisite, lush Alamo Gardens.
Its museum offers interactive tours and fascinating historic displays that tell the story of Texan history, including the Revolution.
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
Designated a National Historical Park, this scenic destination is filled with history and natural beauty.
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park is home to four out of five of the city’s missions — Concepción, Espada, San José, and San Juan, all built in the early 18th century — and is part of the San Antonio Missions UNESCO World Heritage Site. (The fifth mission is the Alamo — mentioned above).
Visitors can either drive from one mission to the next or enjoy the eight-mile-long Missions Bike and Hike Trail along the river to discover these missions, established by the Franciscan religious Order between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries.
Natural Bridge Caverns
Located about a half-an-hour drive away from San Antonio, this incredible natural wonder comprises a series of caves — the largest in Texas.
Natural Bridge Caverns got its name because of the impressive 60-foot natural limestone slab bridge that stretches across the amphitheater at the caves' entrance.
These fascinating caverns feature incredible geological formations. Visitors can descend 180 feet below ground to explore the caves on a choice of tours — the Discovery Tour and the Hidden Passages Tour.
There are also plenty of other activities, including the world’s largest outdoor Sky Trail and the Canopy Challenge, which involves a series of ladders and platforms 60 feet above the ground. You’ll also find zip lines and a rope course called Sky Tykes, created for younger kids.
Or embark on a gem and fossil mining experience to learn how to pan for gold and perhaps find your own gems. A vast 5,000-square-foot outdoor maze is also located here.
San Antonio Botanical Garden
San Antonio’s magnificent 33-acre oasis of green is a great spot to take a stroll along the trails, enjoy a picnic, explore and experience a respite from the bustle of the city.
The winding trails go past various popular natural sights, like the Water Saver Conservation Garden and a spectacular 2.5-acre Adventure Garden, a paradise for kids, home to Muhly Maze, Thunder Ridge, and the Greehey Family Foundation No Name Creek.
Another attraction is the Lucille Halsell Conservatory, habitat for plants that require heat and humidity to thrive, such as ferns, palms, cacti, and other tropical greenery.
So these were some of the places you must visit if you’re in San Antonio. I must add that due to the pandemic, some sections might not be open, or there could be certain restrictions. So make sure you do the necessary research before visiting.
Also, please follow the guideline. Have fun but stay safe.