50 Things To Do In San Antonio (That Aren’t The Alamo)

San Antonio truly is a great place to live and visit. There are precious few cities around where you can find both the rich blend of history and the colorful fusion of cultures that San Antonio possesses. These things combine together to make for a wide ranging variety of activities, sites, foods, and experiences. Whatever your interests are - be they historic, kid friendly, unique, or just run of the mill – there is something to be found for everyone in the Alamo city. And to take the guesswork out of planning, we have compiled a list of 50 things to do in San Antonio that will lay out what those somethings are.

50 things to do in San Antonio

But First, The Alamo...

50 things to do in San Antonio

But first, let’s talk about the Alamo. Nothing is more quintessentially San Antonio than the Alamo Historic Mission. Its iconic image is recognizable the world over and it is usually the first stop on any SA city itinerary. Each year, more than 2.5 million visitors from all over the world head to the Alamo to learn about the history of the region. Given these statistics, people, most definitely, “remember the Alamo” and consider it one of the best things to do in San Antonio.

 So why didn’t we make it #1 on our list of things to do? 2.5 million people can’t be wrong, right? Right. Its historical significance makes it a must-do on any first-time trip to San Antonio. Problem is, after about an hour (likely much, much less), you’ll have seen all there is to see and be ready for something else. 

Why You Need This List Of Best San Antonio Activities

You see, the Alamo is surprisingly modest in size. While pictures make it appear enormous, it really only requires a brief amount of time to tour (90 minutes tops, and that is if you are taking your sweet, sweet time). Many eager tourists have set aside a whole afternoon or even a day to explore the Alamo only to discover that they were done in about 45 minutes and are ready to move on to the next thing. And that’s why we created this list. 

If you’ve checked the Alamo box and are antsy to see what else there is to do in the great city of San Antonio, TX, you’ve come to the right place. Below are 50 things to do in San Antonio for all ages, interests, and relative energy levels.

50 Things To Do In San Antonio

1. Plan a visit to the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, which is the only UNESCO world heritage site in Texas. While the Alamo mission may be the most famous, it certainly isn’t the only one. Other Spanish missions include Mission Concepción, Mission San José, Mission San Juan, and Mission Espada. 

2. Bike the river trail to see all the missions while getting your workout on. You can bike the approximately 10-mile-long trail to see all four missions or extend all the way north to the Alamo. For bike rental info, download the San Antonio BCycle bike share app to purchase a $15-day pass and to locate all of the bike-share kiosks. 

3. Stroll the famed San Antonio River Walk in downtown San Antonio or take a boat tour and learn about San Antonio’s history and architecture. If you get hungry, here are our favorite restaurants on the San Antonio River Walk. Bonus if you go at Christmas time when the trees that line the river are aglow in twinkling lights.

50 things to do in San Antonio

4. Go, Spurs go! San Antonio loves their NBA Spurs. Purchase some tickets and come see what the fuss is all about. 

5. But the Spurs aren’t the only game in town. San Antonio has a couple of minor league teams that call the city home. Soccer fans can check out the San Antonio FC (new minted USL champions), while baseball fans can take in a San Antonio Missions game. 

6. Amble through the world-class McNay Art Museum, home to both a permanent collection, as well as rotating exhibitions throughout the year. Be sure to stop by the gift shop on your way out for unique gifts and souvenirs.

Things to do in SA

7. Take a hike. With well over 200 days of sunshine per year in SA, hiking is a popular pastime for locals and visitors alike. A few favorites include McAllister Park, Government Canyon, and Friedrich Wilderness Park.

things to do in San Antonio

8. Shop at La Cantera Mall. For those itching to shop around, La Cantera Mall has a little something for everyone, from the bargain hunters to the haute couture chasers. 

things to do in San Antonio

9. Defy gravity at Six Flags Fiesta Texas. For all the adrenaline junkies out there, Fiesta Texas offers more than 18 thrill rides, including the brand new Joker Carnival of Chaos, one of the world’s tallest pendulum rides, as well as a fully functioning water park.

50 things to do in San Antonio

10. Sample some world-class cuisine. San Antonio is a food lover's paradise with a number of award-winning chefs and restaurants, as well as a fusion of cultures and food that combine to make the city a great place to nosh. For a few of our recommendations, take a look at some of the best restaurants in San Antonio.

50 things to do in San Antonio

11. Wander the Pearl Brewery. The revitalized Pearl Beer Brewery now houses some of San Antonio’s best restaurants, unique shopping, and the breathtaking Hotel Emma. Take a walk through the pedestrian-friendly streets, order a meal at the food hall, or take your kids for a quick splash at the splash pad. 

50 things to do in San Antonio

12. Do your weekly grocery shopping at the Pearl Farmers Market. If you happen to be in San Antonio on a Saturday morning, the Pearl Farmers Market is a fantastic place to purchase your fresh produce and meat from local farmers and ranchers. 

13. Eat some Tex-Mex. Because you haven’t really experienced the best things to do in San Antonio without indulging in its world-famous Tex-Mex cuisine. If breakfast tacos are calling your name, check out our suggestions for the best breakfast tacos in San Antonio.

50 things to do in San Antonio

14. Enjoy an evening of theater. San Antonio has a number of venues that host both community-produced theater as well as national tours of famous plays and musicals. For a few local options, check out the Woodlawn Theater or the Public Theater of San Antonio. If Broadway is calling your name, head to the Majestic Theatre or the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts.

15. Cool off while tubing on the Comal river. San Antonio summers can be oppressively hot, but since the Comal maintains a temperature of 72° year round, it’s a great place to chill out. Tubing season is open from March through November.

16. Indulge your inner marine enthusiast at SeaWorld San Antonio. Of course, this is one of the most popular things to do in San Antonio, and it truly is a very fun activity for all ages! Animal (dolphins, sea lions, penguins, sharks, and more) fanatics will find an abundance of activities to take part in such as animal exhibits, interactions, and educational presentations. If thrills are more your thing, check out the rides and roller coasters, including the brand new Tidal Surge screaming swing.

50 things to do in San Antonio

17. Dive into some BBQ. A recent study ranked San Antonio #1 in the nation for the best BBQ, and not without good reason. You can experience world-class brisket, ribs, and sausage all over the city at one of its many great BBQ joints. A few of our favorites include 2M Smokehouse, Reese Bros BBQ, Curry Boys, Garcia’s Mexican Food, and Smoke Shack.

50 things to do in San Antonio

18. Listen to some live music. San Antonio certainly isn’t Austin when it comes to live music, but we’re no slouch either. With a number of restaurants, bars, music venues, and concert halls, music lovers can easily find something to fit their personal tastes and preferences.

19. Let your inner child out at the DoSeum. Load up your kids and head to the best children’s museum in San Antonio (or the nation, for that matter, according to USA Today in 2022). Exhibits inspire the young (and young at heart) to play, explore, create, and innovate. {Photo credit: Doseum Facebook}

50 things to do in San Antonio

20. Lose yourself in nature at Guadalupe River State Park. Just a mere 30 minutes north of SA, you can swim, tube, and fish on the Guadalupe River. Landlubbers can hike, mountain bike, and picnic while enjoying the beautiful scenery of the state park.  Campsites and picnic tables are available to rent.

21. Mosey through downtown Boerne or New Braunfels. These two charming German towns lie just outside the SA city limits and visitors looking for unique crafts, vintage goods, or antique ANYTHING will be able to shop till their hearts are content while enjoying fantastic local food and entertainment in either quaint community.

22. Take a peaceful walk through the San Antonio Botanical Gardens. The SA Botanical Gardens are a green oasis in an otherwise drought-burdened city. With an emphasis on plant diversity and conservation, guests will be treated to a variety of plant life as they meander the trails and rolling hills of the gardens.  In the summer, kids can bring along their swimsuits and splash around the Family Adventure Garden.  

50 things to do in San Antonio

23. Get wild at the San Antonio Zoo. With over 57 acres and 750 different species of animals, the zoo has a little something for guests of all ages, including annual events and festivals such as the Halloween Zoo Boo, Holiday Zoo Lights, and the springtime Monarch Fest.

50 things to do in San Antonio

24. Play around in Hemisfair Park. Located in the heart of downtown, Hemisfair Park is a great place to bring your kids for some fun and food. Take in a show at the kid-friendly Magik Theatre, or monkey around in one of the three urban park areas and playgrounds. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, you can grab a cup of joe at CommonWealth Coffeehouse, or treat the whole family to San Antonio’s best pizza at Dough Pizzeria.

50 things to do in San Antonio

25. Kayak the SA river. Why river WALK when you can river KAYAK? San Antonio offers many different paddling trail options for kayak and canoe enthusiasts who prefer to experience the city from the water. Kayaks, life vests, and paddles are available to rent from a few local organizations. 

26. Unwind at the Japanese Tea Garden. This lush, outdoor sunken garden is open year-round and features a 60 ft. waterfall and a number of koi ponds. Stroll the shaded walkways and stone bridges or find a place to sit down and zen out in the quiet of the gardens. 

Things to do in SA

27. Do a little spelunking at Natural Bridge Caverns. Recognized as the largest commercial cave in Texas, guests to Natural Bridge Caverns will be treated to visually stunning cave formations as they tour 180 ft. below the surface. Back above ground, guests can marvel at the summer night Bracken bat flight, challenge themselves on a high ropes course, or mine for gems and fossils.

50 things to do in San Antonio

28. Take a trip back in time to the King William Historic District. Located just south of downtown, guests can tour the historic district with homes dating back to the late 19th century. Those who are hungry can head to the Guenther House which was built in 1876 and is now home to San Antonio’s premiere brunch restaurant.

50 things to do in San Antonio

29. Looking for some fun things to do outdoors in San Antonio? Get some fresh air at Brackenridge Park. The park is home to some of San Antonio’s most popular attractions including the Zoo, Japanese Tea Garden, and Witte Museum, but is also a great place to walk, bike, fish, bird watch, picnic, and golf. 

Things to do in SA

30. Sip on a pint at a local craft brewery. The SA craft beer scene has boomed in recent years and those in search of a place to chill out and pop open a cold one are not without options, including a few breweries that have won some national awards. A few of our favorites include Weathered Souls Brewing Company, Dos Sirenos Brewing, and Ranger Creek Brewing and Distilling. You can also check out our complete list of amazing craft breweries in San Antonio.

50 things to do in San Antonio

31. Break out your cowboy hat and head to the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo. Going strong since 1949, the SA rodeo is one of the city’s largest and most popular events. During the day, guests can head over to see the animals at the stock show, hit up the carnival rides, or do a little shopping from local vendors. In the evening, head inside the AT&T center arena for nightly live rodeo action and musical performances by nationally recognized artists and bands. The next rodeo will be held February 9-26, 2023.

50 things to do in San Antonio

32. Indulge in a fantastic steak. Texas is home to some of the best steakhouses in the country, and there are more than a few excellent options in San Antonio alone. In addition to a few well-regarded chains such as Ruth’s Chris, Morton’s, J-Prime, and Kirby’s, San Antonio boasts a few fantastic local restaurants including Bohanan’s and Bob’s Steak and Chop House. If you happen to be in the market for a Brazilian steakhouse, Chama Gaucha is our go-to.

33. Luxuriate at the Hotel Emma. Whether you are visiting San Antonio or looking for your next staycation, the Emma is the perfect place to put your feet up and relax. This award-winning boutique hotel is an absolute stunner from check-in to checkout. And with a prime location in the Pearl Brewery District, everything you could possibly need is right at your fingertips. 

50 things to do in San Antonio

34. Support a great cause at Morgan’s Wonderland. Morgan’s Wonderland is a fully accessible theme park open year-round to visitors of all ages and abilities. The park has over 25 ultra-accessible attractions as well as a fully accessible water park, and it’s one of the best things to do with kids in San Antonio. 

50 things to do in San Antonio

35. Pamper yourself at a spa. With local spa menus offering everything from massages to facials and mani/pedis, you will have no trouble finding somewhere to soothe those aching muscles and completely unwind. Two of our favorites are the Mokara Spa at the Mokara Hotel and the Lantana Spa at the JW Marriott Hill Country Resort.

36. Hit up the lazy brunch scene. Brunch is one of our favorite meals and SA doesn’t disappoint when it comes to options. Brunch goers can find anything from classic Tex-Mex breakfast tacos to high-end French omelets. Check out our list of the best brunch restaurants in San Antonio for recommendations.

50 things to do in San Antonio

37. Get high at the Tower of the Americas. It’s one of the best things to do in San Antonio if you’re a first-time visitor! This 750 ft. tall observation tower sits high atop San Antonio’s downtown area. Board the elevator for a ride up to the observation deck and sweeping, 360° views of the whole city. While there, sit down to a meal at the Chart House rotating restaurant and if you time it just right, you will be treated to a sensational sunset.

50 things to do in San Antonio

38. Celebrate the wild west at the Briscoe Western Art Museum. The museum is home to galleries and exhibitions that highlight the history and traditions of the region with a particular focus on the peoples, animals, and landscapes of the old west.

39. Snap some pics at Hopscotch. Hopscotch is a fully immersive art installation, displaying the works of over 40 artists from around the world. Guests to Hopscotch will walk through 15 different installations where they can interact with the art while capturing colorful, unique pics that are sure to be a highlight of their Instagram profiles.

50 things to do in San Antonio

40. Commune with nature at the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch. Named as one of the 10 best safari parks in the nation, Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch is a first-rate experience for those wanting to get up close and personal with some wild animals from around the world without leaving the comfort of their own cars. {Photo credit: Heather P. Yelp}

50 things to do in San Antonio

41. Swing away at Topgolf. Whether you’re a complete golf novice or a pro just stepping off the PGA tour, Topgolf offers a fun way to drive a few balls while enjoying delicious food from their climate-controlled, individual-hitting bays.

things to do in San Antonio

42. Make waves at Schlitterbahn. Just 20 minutes northeast of San Antonio, Schlitterbahn sits on over 70 acres of spring-fed, waterpark fun. The park is comprised of two distinct areas, linked by tram, and more than 50 attractions. Whether you are a thrill seeker or a take-it-easy soaker, Schlitterbahn has something for you. {Photo credit: Allen N. Yelp}

50 things to do in San Antonio

43. Turn back time in Historic Gruene. While away a day as you roam the streets of this historic town that has been wonderfully restored to preserve the 19th-century look and feel of the original buildings. Spend some time shopping for antiques or other unique Texas fare, visit a winery for a tasting, or sit along the banks of the Guadalupe River as you dine at the Gristmill.

44. Be inspired at the San Antonio Museum of Art. You can travel around the world with SAMA’s extensive collection from ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt, Latin America, and Asia. The museum also houses a large contemporary art collection with a particular focus on American painting and sculpture.

45. Immerse yourself in the culture of Mexico at the historic Market Square. San Antonio’s “El Mercado” is the largest Mexican market in the United States, covering three city blocks with over 100 vendors. While there, you can shop at the outdoor plaza where artisans display a wide variety of goods including leather, piñatas, pottery, and authentic Mexican dresses. Or you can snack your way through the food court in the Farmer’s Market building where you will find tacos, ice cream, candy, and more.

46. Satisfy your bread cravings at a panadería. No trip to SA is complete without a visit to a Mexican bakery or panadería. Here you can taste delicious pan dulces such as conchas, orejas, or sweet empanadas. If you have a hankering for something heartier, try a torta (a Mexican street food sandwich). While there are a number of panaderías in the city, the aptly named, La Panadería, is our favorite.

50 things to do in San Antonio

47. Scream for ice cream. San Antonio is known for being hot, hot, hot, so ice cream is a great way to cool off after a sizzling day of exploring the city. We recommend Lick Honest Ice Creams or Black and White Modern Creamery for anyone just looking for a solid, delicious scoop. If you’re an adult in search of something on the boozier side of the house, check out the brand new Buzzed Bull Creamery that recently opened on the city’s northeast side. And if you don’t care so much about the ice cream quality but want a really fabulous dessert picture, head to the Sugar Factory for “insane milkshakes” that are completely over the top. {Photo credit: Emily A. Yelp}

50 things to do in San Antonio

48. Party hardy at Fiesta. Every April, the city of San Antonio throws out all the stops (think Mardi Gras style) to commemorate those who died at the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto. Known as “the biggest party you’ve never heard of,” Fiesta provides an opportunity for SA residents to gather together to eat, drink, and make merry over a wild and raucous 10-day period. Fiesta events (of which there are too many to name!) include city-wide celebrations like the food and alcohol-heavy Night In Old San Antonio (NIOSA), the Fiesta Carnival, the Fiesta Oyster Bake, and the capstone event, Battle of the Flowers parade. {Photo credit: Courtesy of Betsy Newman Photography}

50 things to do in San Antonio

49. Search for treasure at Traders Village. On Saturdays and Sundays, bargain hunters can head to the gargantuan Traders Village to browse the largest flea market in San Antonio. Bring the family along to enjoy the rides, food, live music, and other entertainment events scheduled throughout the year.

50. Have a cocktail at the oldest bar in Texas. The Menger Bar, located at the Menger Hotel, has been serving guests (such as Teddy Roosevelt, who set up a table at the bar in 1898 to recruit his infamous band of Rough Riders), since 1887. Guests today can still enjoy a bit of that history as they sip on a cocktail and browse the historic memorabilia that lines the walls of the bar.  For recommendations on what to drink, we suggest the featured cocktail – The Old Fashioned – as they have been doing it well for decades.

50 things to do in San Antonio

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