The Solo Traveler’s Guide To San Antonio 

If you’re a solo traveler visiting San Antonio, you can rest assured that San Antonio is a very safe city to visit. It’s the 2nd largest city in Texas (both in square miles and population!), so it’s a sprawling, developed, fun place to spend a weekend of time. And if you’ve never been to San Antonio and you’re thinking of doing a solo trip to check it out, here are a few tips to help you make the most of it. 

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About me: I’m Kelsey, a 2X travel book author, native Texan, and HUGE fan of San Antonio. I own several Texas travel websites that have reached millions of readers looking for the best places to eat and things to do in Texas cities. And I’ve done lots of solo trips to San Antonio, so I’m excited to share a few details with you. 

Planning your solo trip to San Antonio

First off, get a few big things out of the way. 

When are you going to plan your solo trip?

If you’re booking airfare, just be aware of two really expensive times to fly into San Antonio

The first is during Fiesta, which is basically one big 10-day party that happens all over the city of San Antonio at the end of April. 3.5 million people attend, so you can expect tha airfare might be a bit more expensive. 

The other thing to factor in is the possibility of a Spurs game…but only if they’re doing really well and it’s the end of the NBA season. San Antonio has a few sports teams, but the Spurs are the only ones to worry about regarding traffic/travel/costs. 

And finally, don’t forget about the San Antonio weather! Summers are brutal in SA. I mean, I’ve lived in Texas my entire life, and I’m still barely able to make it through July, August, and September. If you must visit in the summer, read this to know a bit more about surviving those 115+ heat indexes and how to stay safe during the hot temps during your trip. 

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How long are you going to stay?

A 3-weekend is plenty of time to get a good feel of San Antonio. You’ll be able to visit all of the hot spots, check out a few really great restaurants, and leave feeling like you probably want to come back soon. (You know, not leaving burnt out. It’s always nice to finish a vacation on a high note!)

However, if you’re doing a “Texas tour” and you want to spend one day in various Texas cities (SA, Austin, Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth), you could definitely cram in an exciting visit to San Antonio in one day. Here’s how to do a 1-day itinerary in San Antonio and see all the important parts. 

I think the only reason you’d want to stay for a full week in San Antonio is if you’re visiting one of these epic Hill Country resorts and you’re doing a week-long relaxing vacation with pools and spas, and then driving into San Antonio to see some various attractions and visit the best restaurants. But to me that’s more of a “vacation,” and this guide is more about a “trip” to San Antonio. (The difference being a trip is about seeing the city and experiencing the culture, and a vacation is about sitting around and relaxing. Both are fun, but they’re very different!)

Best Places To Stay As A Solo Traveler in San Antonio

This is easy-peasy. The best places to stay as a solo traveler are the same places I would stay if I was visiting SA with my husband. I’ve done solo hotel stays at some of these amazing riverwalk hotels, and so that’s what I’m going to recommend first. 

It’s really fun to stay on the riverwalk! (And no, the entire riverwalk isn’t one big drunken party scene like some people think. There are actually some really quiet and peaceful parts to the riverwalk!) So check out this guide that I wrote and pick one of the riverwalk hotels that jumps out to you. 

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If you’re simply looking for an inexpensive place to stay in San Antonio, VRBO or a quick hotel search are always the way to go. ( You can SEARCH HOTELS BY PRICE right here.)

There are definitely some cheaper spots in SA besides these gorgeous boutique hotels. Regarding location, I recommend something in downtown SA so you can easily reach all of the best restaurants, attractions, and transportation. The downtown area is also safe, well-populated, and the type of location you’ll want to stay in as a solo traveler.

Top 5 Things To Do In San Antonio As A Solo Traveler

Ok, this is exactly what I tell my friends to do in San Antonio when they’re visiting. Whether it’s for a day trip or a fun overnight excursion to SA, there are a few things that you definitely need to check out. 

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1. The Alamo AND THE OTHER MISSIONS!

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Everyone visits the Alamo, but not enough people check out the other 4 absolutely gorgeous missions that make up the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. Please go read this quick and thorough guide to the San Antonio Missions - we made it fun to read, but it’s going to give you a great overview of the Missions before you check them out! 

All 5 missions (Espada, San Juan, San Jose, Concepcíon, and The Alamo) are FREE to visit. Did you know you can bike on a trail to visit all of them in one afternoon? And bike rentals are cheap! 

The Alamo is the most iconic image in SA, and if you visit San Antonio on a solo trip everyone will ask you if you saw the Alamo. Haha. It’s kind of like going to Paris and seeing the Eiffel Tower. You just have to do it. 

2. Hemisfair Park

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Visiting San Antonio solo can start to feel a little lonely if you’re constantly just sitting around, dining solo, or looking at your phone….so it can be fun to do things that involve movement! That’s why I love Hemisfair, and I think it’s a great spot to go hang out during your solo trip ot San Antonio. 

It’s a huge 40-acre park in the heart of San Antonio that hosted the 1968 World’s Fair. You can enjoy walking around the shady pathways, dipping your toes in the pools at Civic Park, and watching all the kids playing on the playground and splash pad. 

There’s even a winery, a really pretty coffee shop, and a brewery taproom at Hemisfair. If you want to enjoy a meal at the park there are a few good restaurants, including an award-winning neapolitan pizzeria, a very popular brunch restaurant, and a crazy good ice cream shop. Here are 10 foodie spots worth visiting at Hemisfair

Other things to do at Hemisfair: go to the top of the Tower of the Americas, the 2nd-tallest observation tower in the United States, check out the Institute of Texan Cultures at Hemisfair, which is one of these FREE San Antonio museums, and wander across the street to the adorable La Villita Arts Village. 

3. Wander The Riverwalk

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If you’re staying at a hotel on the riverwalk, you’ll constantly be walking along the riverwalk just to get from point A to point B. But if you’re staying elsewhere, it’s definitely worth carving out a bit of time to wander the riverwalk. Here are 27 things to do on the riverwalk (the Venice of Texas!)

My favorite time is actually first thing in the morning while it’s still quiet and peaceful. The worst time to visit is on a Friday or Saturday night. It’s packed with drunk tourists, everything is expensive, and it’s loud and annoying. 

And honestly? You don’t have to really “plan” anything ahead of time. Just go visit the riverwalk, walk around a bit, and enjoy! 

But if you love to plan: read this guide to the best things to do on the riverwalk. You can plan ahead for a live performance at the Arneson River Theater, and you should definitely pick a restaurant ahead of time so you don’t end up at a riverwalk tourist trap (here are the all-time best restaurants on the riverwalk and the best options for margaritas and tex-mex on the riverwalk), and even save some money by booking a river cruise with one of these cityPASS deals (I love using these things! They save you 39% on the top San Antonio attractions. Definitely get a CityPASS if you’re traveling solo in San Antonio and you’re going to go-go-go the entire time.)  

The riverwalk is kind of like The Alamo…you just have to be sure to see it if it’s your first time in San Antonio! But you don’t need to spend a long time there. 

4. Visit The Historic Pearl District

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Oh my gosh, I don’t have enough great things to say about The Pearl! It was a massive old brewery that operated from the late 1800s until 2001. Developers revitalized the area, and in the last 15 years it’s turned into the best shopping and dining destination in San Antonio. It’s absolutely gorgeous 

The Pearl District is home to the CIA (Culinary Institute of America), a spa, local boutiques, an underground jazz speakeasy, coffee shops, wineries, breweries, more restaurants than I can count…and of course, the crown jewel of it all: the stunning Hotel Emma, a luxurious boutique hotel that’s in the building that used to be the Pearl Brewery back in the day. 

If you’re going to visit The Pearl solo, I recommend getting a glass of wine at High Street Wine Co  or a beer at Southerleigh Restaurant and Brewery. If you want to treat yourself, book a massage at the fabulous Hiatus Spa at the Pearl. Then, enjoy wandering around and visiting the local clothing boutiques, The Twig independent book shop, and swing by Local Coffee for a caffeine pick-me-up.

I also suggest you treat yourself to a really great San Antonio restaurant! Mon Chou Chou (French), Allora (Italian), or Cured (farm-to-table) are my top 3 choices, but be sure to read this guide to the best restaurants at The Pearl so you can pick the one that looks most amazing to you. 

Of course, you can just simply enjoy sitting on the lawn at The Pearl! Get a crisp rosé to sip outside in the evening air and watch the kids run through the fountains in the courtyard. The Pearl such a beautiful space to enjoy in San Antonio as a solo traveler. 

5. Pick At Least One San Antonio Museum To Visit

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If you’re traveling solo, I recommend the San Antonio Museum of Art (which also happens to be where you can find one of the best riverwalk restaurants in San Antonio, Tre Trattoria), or visiting the absolutely stunning McNay Art Museum. It’s a 1929 mansion that has American and European art, and it’s stunning!

If you want to do more research to find a different world-class museum in San Antonio, here are 15 museums that offer various free and/or discounted days

Q&A About Solo Travel To San Antonio

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Ok, here are just a few more little tidbits that might be helpful to know before you book your solo trip to San Antonio. 

Is San Antonio safe to visit solo? 

Totally! It’s a very safe city to visit as a solo traveler. I’ve been there many times by myself and stayed overnight at hotels as a solo female traveler. It’s honestly just a big metroplex at this point. 

Where should I eat in San Antonio? 

Oooh, I have a lot to say about this! (Like, dozens of blog posts about this.) Start by reading this guide to the best restaurants in San Antonio. I included a map so you can also search by location, because that’s often most helpful when you’re traveling solo. 

Also, the easiest thing to do is to check out this guide to the perfect one-day itinerary in San Antonio. Even if you’re staying for a full weekend, it will help you plan which meals to prioritize so you check out some of SA’s most famous eats (breakfast tacos! BBQ! Southtown restaurants!) Then, you can fill in the rest of the meals with the most intriguing restaurants on this guide to the best restaurants in San Antonio

Any times of the year I should NOT visit San Antonio?
Only go during the last week of April if you want to experience Fiesta! It truly takes over the city. Other than that, any time of year is great! 

Regarding weather, there are certain seasons that I love the most, and here’s where you can see an accurate month-by-month guide to what the weather actually feels like in case that matters to you. (I don’t know about you, but I hate walking around in 115 heat index temps.) 

What are the best activities for a solo traveler in San Antonio? 

When I’m traveling solo, I like to stay busy! I recommend visiting ALL 5 MISSIONS (not just The Alamo), checking out a museum or two, walking the riverwalk, walking around and eating at Hemisfair, going to as many restaurants as humanly possible, and maybe seeing a show at Jazz, TX, the underground speakeasy at The Pearl.

Enjoy your stay in San Antonio! It’s such a vibrant, fun city to visit in Texas, and it’s a great spot for solo travelers. If you’re looking for more activities in San Antonio, here are 50 things to do in San Antonio (besides the Alamo). And even though it’s a long read, I highly recommend sitting down and taking the time to read this guide to the best restaurants in San Antonio. We’ve eaten EVERYWHERE and thoroughly researched to help you find the best of the best foodie spots in town. 

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