San Antonio Travel Guide
You can't visit San Antonio withoutstopping by the Alamo, the famed site of a disastrous 1836 battle between Texans and Santa Ana's army. Not only is the Alamo a cornerstone of the city's history, it's also an incredibly convenient destination: So many of the other things to do in San Antonio are located nearby. But here are some other experiences that will enrich your visit:
Visit the other missions. The Alamo is not the only mission in town. The San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, which features not one but four missions, offers a well-preserved look into the Spanish colonial past—plus, it's much less crowded than the Alamo.
Sit in on a mariachi mass. Even if you're not Catholic, you'll find that the musical service at Mission San José is one of the most unforgettable things to do in San Antonio.
Shop in Market Square and El Mercado. This three-block area is home to Mi Tierra as well as 32 little shops where you can find pottery, tiles, piñatas, jewelry and every other gift-shop treasure you can possibly imagine, all at great prices.
See world-class art. The McNay Museum is housed in a Spanish Colonial mansion and includes works by Van Gogh, Picasso, Matisse, Renoir, Cézanne and O'Keeffe.
Plan a kid-friendly outing. San Antonio is home to such child-friendly places as Six Flags and Sea World, as well as Brackenridge and HemisFair parks. During basketball season, you can also join the locals as they cheer on their beloved Spurs.
There is arguably no better way to spend a hot summer Saturday than floating the Guadalupe or Comal Rivers. Rent inner tubes from companies such as Texas Tubes before the two-hour trip.
Ostrich, zebras and ibex come right up to your safari vehicle on this 400-acre ranch loaded with over 500 animal breeds, including 40 exotics. Look out for the year-old twin reticulated giraffes, the only pair in the U.S.
Head here for hands-on exhibits—throw on your hard hat for the Lend-a-Hand Ranch; zip up your astronaut gear for Destination Space—in downtown New Braunfels.
Established in 1981 and housed in what was once the Lone Star Brewery Complex, the San Antonio Museum of Art boasts one of the largest collections of ancient Mediterranean art in the southern United States, as well as one of the nation’s finest Asian collections.
Despite its Spanish Colonial belfries and arches, the museum's strong suit is Impressionist and modern art (Van Gogh, Picasso, O'Keeffe, Pollock).
Cookbook author Melissa Guerra stocks hard-to-find housewares from Central and South America and Mexico. Molinillos, hand-carved milk frothers from Mexico, and Chilean clay earthenware pots make useful souvenirs.
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Why It’s Cool: This granddaddy of river walks charms with four miles of cypress-lined cobble- and-flagstone paths along both sides of the narrow San Antonio River.
A reverential tone is everywhere in the mission itself, from the trinkets in the gift shop to the admonitions on the wall asking visitors to keep their voices down, as though this were a church, which, in a sense, it is.