15 Must-See Landmarks in San Antonio, Texas

Things To Do In San Antonio, Texas
Photo by Pixabay

San Antonio – home to more than 1.5 million residents, this bustling city is the second-most populous city in Texas. San Antonio also has a rich history that permeates through every street and corner: Last year marked the 300th anniversary of San Antonio. There are lots to do and see in San Antonio. Here are our favorite 15 must-see landmarks that you shouldn’t miss when you’re in San Antonio!

 

 

1.

San Antonio River Walk

San Antonio River Walk
Photo by Pixabay

 

When in San Antonio, you definitely can’t skip a visit to the San Antonio River Walk. This acclaimed landmark is San Antonio’s second-most-visited attraction. Follow the picturesque San Antonio River as it meanders through the Downtown area. You can choose to take a leisurely stroll or cycle. Feel the refreshing breeze caress your cheeks and run through your hair. Listen to the soothing sounds of the San Antonio river gently coursing downstream. Let your eyes wander over the expanse of lush greenery lining the pathways. Suddenly feeling peckish? Take a break at one of the many bars and restaurants lining the trails. During festive seasons such as Christmas and the New Year, watch this serene landmark burst to life with music and lights.

 

Opening Hours

You are free to visit the River Walk anytime. At the break of dawn, inhale the crisp morning air, and marvel at the beauty of the warm sunrise. Or, for the nocturnal creatures: in the stillness of the night, illuminated only by the cool moonlight, the River Walk transforms into a safe haven for quiet pensiveness and contemplation. 

 

Ticket Prices

Admission is free. Just bring yourself, a pair of good shoes and a bag full of excitement.

 

Getting There

You can access the River Walk at various points along the San Antonio River.

 

 

2.

The Alamo

The Alamo, Things To Do In San Antonio
Photo by Pixabay

 

The Alamo is easily one of Texas’ top tourist attractions. In fact, thanks to the popularity of the Alamo mission, San Antonio is often affectionately referred to as “Alamo City”. So, what exactly is this famous landmark? The Alamo is a historic Spanish mission and fortress compound, with roots tracing back to the 18th century. This iconic landmark of San Antonio has borne witness to various major historical events throughout the passage of time, including the 1863 Battle of Alamo. Today, it stands proudly as a popular museum to which a whopping four million visitors flock to annually. Indeed, the Alamo is a must-visit when you’re in San Antonio, Texas!

 

Opening Hours

The Alamo opens in two seasons. The first (off-peak) starts from 4th September to 24th May. Meanwhile, the peak season begins at 25th May till 3rd September. Their respective opening hours are broken down below:

 

Season

Opening hours

Off-peak

9am to 5.30pm

Peak

9am to 7pm

Ticket Prices

Entrance to the Alamo church and grounds are completely free of charge. Hooray!

 

Getting There

The Alamo is located in Downtown San Antonio. Hence, it is easily accessible from most parts of the city (within walking distance!). Here’s the address: 300 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio, TX 78205, USA

 

 

3.

SeaWorld San Antonio

Seaworld San Antonio
Photo by Wikimedia Commons

 

I’m sure this well-known attraction needs no further explanation. SeaWorld San Antonio is the must-go destination for a day of refreshing fun. Go splashing in their various pools! Scream at the top of your lungs as you speed down their thrilling rides! It’s a family-friendly destination that will entertain both the old and the young.

 

Opening Hours

SeaWorld San Antonio opens at 10am. The closing hours vary from 5pm to 9pm, depending on which dates you go. Check out their website for more detailed information.

 

Ticket Prices

SeaWorld San Antonio admission prices start at $59.99 for a one-day pass. If you think that you might come back repeatedly to relive the fun, you can consider getting an annual pass. This pass would grant you unlimited access for an entire year, and it’s considerably cheaper than buying a ticket each time you visit. Psst! You should probably get your tickets online as you can enjoy some discounts!

 

Getting There

SeaWorld San Antonio is best accessed by car. Alternatively, you can hop onto bus #64 from Downtown San Antonio.

 

 

4.

San Antonio Botanical Garden

Botanical Garden, Things To Do In San Antonio
Photo by Don Mc Culley on Wikimedia Commons

 

The San Antonio Botanical Garden offers a much-needed respite, away from the frenetic pace of modern life. Take your time to slowly explore all the wonders of the 38-acre garden. Disconnect from your screens for the day, and rest your eyes on the vibrant flowers blooming in the garden. San Antonio Botanical Garden is also paradise for avid bird-lovers as it is home to a vast variety of birds. To date, bird-watchers have spotted a jaw-dropping 249 bird species!

 

Opening Hours

The San Antonio Botanical Garden is open throughout the year, except on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. You can visit this lovely garden anytime between 9am to 5pm.

 

Ticket Prices

Members

Free

Adults

$12

Children (age 3 – 13)

$9

Children (under age 3)

Free

Senior citizens (65 and above), Students, Military

$10

Getting There

This landmark is best accessed by car. You can input this address into your GPS: 555 Funston Place San Antonio, TX 78209. Alternatively, you can take bus route 11.

 

 

5.

Japanese Tea Gardens

Japanese Tea Gardens, Things To Do In San Antonio
Photo by Wikimedia Commons

 

With a history of 90 years and counting, the Japanese Tea Gardens has withstood the test of time and stands proudly today as one of San Antonio’s most beautiful and renowned gardens. Originally a rock quarry, this quaint garden has since been transformed into a serene haven, away from the unforgiving hustle and bustle of the city.  When visiting the Japanese Tea Gardens, be sure not to miss out their iconic feature: its beautiful lily pond. In addition, take your time to admire their collection of exotic plants and relax to the gushing of their 60-foot waterfall. If you seek a healing trip while in San Antonio, you should definitely visit this landmark.  

 

Opening Hours

This attraction opens daily throughout the year, from 7am to 5pm.

 

Ticket Prices

Admission is free. So, be sure to include this in your itinerary when you visit San Antonio!

 

Getting There

This landmark can be accessed by car.

Address: 3853 N St Mary’s St, San Antonio, TX 78212, United States.

 

 

6.

Natural Bridge Caverns

Natural Bridge Caverns, Things To Do In San Antonio
Photo by Yinan Chen on Wikimedia Commons

 

Thrill-seekers, may I have your attention please! If you love adventure, Natural Bridge Caverns is a definite must-visit when you’re in San Antonio. Grapple your way through a hair-raising obstacle rope course. Get hopelessly lost in their massive 5,000 square foot outdoor maze. Marvel at the wonders of nature as you walk through their limestone caves. There’s bound to be something to fulfil the daredevil in you!

 

Opening Hours

The Natural Bridge Caverns is open daily. (Except on Thanksgiving, Easter, Christmas and New Years Day). Exact operating hours vary by date so do check out their website for more information.

 

Ticket Prices

Prices vary depending on the date and may increase with time. “Day of” tickets are priced higher so do plan ahead of time to save some money! For more information on ticket prices, do check out their website.

 

Getting there

Natural Bridge Caverns is located just 30 minutes from Downtown San Antonio. You can access this attraction via car. (Free parking is available!)

Address: 26495 Natural Bridge Caverns Road. Natural Bridge Caverns, TX 78266

 

 

7.

Mission San Jose

Mission San Jose, Things To Do In San Antonio
Photo by Pixabay

 

A Catholic church, Mission San Jose has a rich history dating back to 1720. Today, it is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Much effort has been dedicated to restoring the mission back to its original design. Thanks to the careful restoration projects, visitors are instantly whisked back in time to the Spanish colonial period.

 

Opening Hours

Mission San Jose is open throughout the year except on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Feel free to visit anytime between 10am to 5pm.

 

Ticket Prices

Admission is free.

 

Getting There

You can access Mission San Jose along the San Antonio River Walk. For a detailed guide on directions via car, bicycle or bus, click here.

 

 

8.

San Antonio Zoo

San Antonio Zoo
Photo by George Coller on Wikimedia Commons

 

When you’re touring San Antonio, it would be almost blasphemous to leave out the San Antonio Zoo! Home to a jaw-dropping 750 species, the San Antonio Zoo has one of the world’s largest bird collection. Besides birds, visitors can also observe over 3,500 animals at this massive zoo.

 

If you’ve popped by San Antonio on short notice, fret not. The San Antonio Zoo is open daily (Monday to Friday: 9am to 5pm, Saturday to Sunday: 9am to 6pm). So, a spontaneous visit to the zoo is always possible!

 

For more information on the zoo’s main attractions, tickets and directions, check out our comprehensive guide on San Antonio Zoo.

 

 

9.

San Antonio River

San Antonio River
Photo by Pixabay

 

Originating in a cluster of springs in midtown San Antonio, the graceful San Antonio River snakes through five counties for a distance of 240 miles, before emptying into the Guadalupe River.

 

The San Antonio River is arguably increasingly well-known thanks to the San Antonio River Walk (see point one!) which rejuvenates stretches of areas alongside the river. Besides the River Walk, the waterway is also where five major 18th-century Spanish missions are located, including the Alamo and Mission San Jose.

 

 

10.

Six Flags Fiesta Texas

Six Flags Fiesta Texas, Things To Do In San Antonio
Photo by Wikimedia Commons

 

Get ready for a whale of a time at San Antonio’s biggest theme park! With a total area of 200 acres, spanning 5 distinct themed areas, there won’t be a single opportunity to feel bored. In fact, you might find yourself lamenting that there simply isn’t enough time to enjoy all the thrilling rides this attraction has to offer. The theme park opens at 10.30am, be sure to arrive then to enjoy a full day! More information regarding the park’s operating schedule can be found here.

 

Ticket Prices

Tickets begin at $54.99 for a day pass. Grab their season pass for discounts of up to 60% off the regular price. Better yet, become a member to enjoy extra rewards. Get more information on these special deals here!

 

Getting There

Six Flags Fiesta Texas is located just 15 minutes from Downtown San Antonio.

Address: 17000 IH-10 West, San Antonio, TX 78257

 

 

11.

Witte Museum

Witte Museum, Things To Do In San Antonio
Photo by Wikimedia Commons

 

“Where Nature, Science and Culture Meet” is the proud slogan of the Witte Museum. Indeed, this museum is a hotspot for education for both the sciences and the arts. Put the hot debate over sciences v.s art to rest as the Witte Museum has something for both camps. Some of their notable exhibits include the Naylor Family Dinosaur Gallery where visitors can learn more about the great reptiles that once roamed Earth. In addition, art-lovers will appreciate The Art of Texas: 250 years, a special art exhibition which runs till August 25th.

 

Opening Hours

The Witte Museum is open throughout the year, except on Easter, the third Monday in October, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

You can refer to the table below for a quick breakdown of their operating hours:

 

Monday, Wednesday – Saturday

10am to 5pm

Tuesday

10am to 8pm

Sunday

12pm to 5pm

Ticket Prices

Adults

$14

Seniors (65 years and above)

$13

Chidren (4 to 11 years old)

$10

Military

$13

Admission is free for children below 3 years.

 

Getting There

The Witte Museum can be accessed by both car (free parking is available!) and bus. If you’re taking the bus, board number 7, 9, 10, 11 or 14 from Downtown San Antonio.

 

 

12.

San Antonio Museum of Art

San Antonio Museum of Art
Photo by Wikimedia Commons

 

Art-lovers, you’d definitely want to save a day to visit this museum when you’re in San Antonio. The San Antonio Museum of Art is the only encyclopedic museum of fine art in South Texas. Visitors are treated to a diverse collection of art, ranging from ancient Mediterranean art to Latin American art. The museum is also conveniently located along another famous landmark: The San Antonio River Walk. You can kill two birds with one stone when you visit this museum!

 

Opening Hours

The museum is closed on Mondays. Otherwise, its friendly doors are open from 10am to 9pm on Tuesdays and Fridays, and from 10am to 5pm on the other days.

 

Ticket Prices

 

Adults

$20

Seniors (65 years and above)

$17

Military

$12

Students

$12

Admission is free for children aged 12 and below!

 

 

13.

Historic Market Square

Historic Market Square, Things To Do In San Antonio
Photo by San Antonio Historic Market Square

 

With roots tracing back to 1820, the Historic Market Square is the largest Mexican market in the United States. With over a hundred local stores, this market is proudly San Antonio’s shopping mecca. Ignite your taste buds with the authentic taste of Mexico, purchase an intricate handmade craft, watch a traditional Folklorico dance… The list of what this landmark offers just stretches on endlessly! The Historic Market Square opens daily, from 10am to 6pm. Be sure to pop by when you’re in San Antonio!

 

 

14.

La Villita Historic Arts Village

La Villita Historic Arts Village, Things To Do In San Antonio
Photo by Motah on Unsplash

 

Located in downtown San Antonio, the La Villita Historic Arts Village is a tight-knit community of local artists. Tourists looking to leave San Antonio with some souvenirs will be awed by the sheer amount of choice available. From gifts, custom jewelry, pottery and even imported Mexican folk art, shoppers are spoilt for choice.

 

Opening Hours

Monday to Saturday

10am – 6pm

Sunday

11am – 4pm

Getting There

You can access this attraction via the San Antonio River Walk (at the Arneson River Theatre).

 

 

15.

Majestic Theatre

Majestic Theatre, Things To Do In San Antonio
Photo by Wikimedia Commons

 

Fancy catching a Broadway musical in San Antonio’s oldest and largest atmospheric theatre? The Majestic Theatre is, like its namesake, simply majestic. Built in 1929, the theatre is a beautiful showcase of ornate Baroque architecture. If you’re entering the theatre to catch a show, you might just find yourself getting occasionally distracted at the theatre’s stunning architecture instead!

 

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