best san antonio attractions

San Antonio is not only rich in history and culture but has loads of amazing attractions and things to do for locals and tourists alike. Whether you’re looking for outdoor shopping or interactive play, there will never be a shortage of fun and exciting entertainment.

Read on below for our run down of the best San Antonio attractions & food and drink places.

Best Tourist Attractions –  Parks in and around San Antonio

San Antonio Zoo

There’s no better way to experience San Antonio than by playing in the great outdoors. The San  Antonio Zoo is one of the highest ranked zoos in the country. They have the nation’s third- largest animal collection with plenty of indoor exhibits to help keep you cool. Get cheap tickets online here.

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For something out of the ordinary, get underground at the Natural Bridge Caverns. There are multiple different tours and activities to choose from. Prices decrease when you plan and purchase ahead of time- you can save money on each of the attractions when you purchase at least a week in advance. Learn about Natural Bridge Caverns discounts here.


For a bit of outdoor shopping among the most beautiful scenery in town, head down to the San Antonio River Walk. You can take a River Walk cruise or just sit on a gorgeous restaurant patio and sip margaritas while the kids watch the boats and river taxis float by. The northern side of the river walk is pedestrian- friendly and tends to be a bit quieter, perfect for families and kids. River Walk also has some great dining options. Check out the Best River Walk Restaurants. 

Hemisfair Park

Original image courtesy of Hemisfair Park facebook page

Along the river walk, you’ll also find the San Antonio Hemisfair– a unique public park offering splash pads, water fountains, dog parks, and sand places for the kids to play.

pavilion overlooking lush green walks in the japanese tea garden

Japanese Tea Garden

San Antonio, set just between the Hill Country and the South Texas Plains, has plenty of public parks and gardens for you and the kids to frolic. The Japanese Tea Gardens have been curated in what was once a rock quarry. The gardens feature stone walkways and pagodas surrounded by koi- filled ponds.

san antonio botanical garden event

Image courtesy: San Antonio Botanical Gardens

The San Antonio Botanical Garden has a number of different exhibits, including a set up just for kids! Let the little ones tunnel through the mini- caves in the Backyard Explore or fish for native grasses. There are a number of kid- friendly activities as well as tours and an on- site restaurant.


San Antonio Attractions & Sightseeing Places – History & Culture


100+ free things to do this summer in San Antonio 2016

San Antonio has some of the richest historical sites in the state, with no less than five historical missions as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, San Antonio Missions National Park. The missions include the Alamo, Mission Concepcion, Mission San Jose, Mission San Juan, and the Mission Espada. All of the missions are accessible by walking, biking, or taking the bus.

Partnered with the University of Texas at San Antonio, the Institute of Texan Cultures offers everything from antique cameras and sewing machines to potato sack races. Learn and experience the stories of people who came to settle Texas from all across the globe. Entrance to the Institute is reasonable with adult tickets starting at just $10!

Van Gogh, Picasso, and Monet are names that should ring a bell when it comes to art. These iconic artists are known for their talent and beautiful works. While anyone can now take a brush to canvas, the art galleries in San Antonio are sure worth a visit. At these art galleries, works from local artists to well-known names are all on display.

San Antonio Attractions – Best Museums 

San Antonio is home to museums and galleries galore but some of the best museums for families include the Guinness World Records Museum. You can see a combination of of world record artifacts, videos, computer games, interactive trivia, and more. On the same block, you’ll find Ripley’s Believe It or Not! This partner museum offers multiple separate attractions including the Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks, odditorium, and a 4D Theatre.

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One of San Antonio’s best museums for kids is The DoSeum. The DoSeum has both indoor and outdoor exhibits and playscapes including Little Town with a vet office, a taco truck, and even a miniature H-E-B. Afterwards, see the Big Outdoors, a 39,000 square foot interactive exhibit with butterflies, water exhibits, and climbing structures. Learn about Doseum discounts here.

Check out our Museums & Attractions page to find out the latest on museums in the San Antonio area.


Pogo Pass to 35 Things to Do in Austin, San Antonio and Waco

The POGO pass gives you access to 35 different entertainment venues in San Antonio, Austin and Waco for just $39.98! Detailed list of San Antonio Attractions is below.

San Antonio Area Attractions:

  • One visit to the San Antonio Zoo
  • One visit to the Witte Museum
  • One visit to the Buckhorn Museum
  • One visit to Splashtown
  • One visit to Wonder World Park
  • One visit to the San Antonio Aquarium
  • One visit to Rush Fun Park
  • Two visits to Urban Air Trampoline Park
  • Six tickets to the University of Texas – San Antonio athletic events (multiple sports)
  • Two visits for a free buffet at Incredible Pizza
  • Two visits to Pump It Up
  • Two visits to Monster Mini Golf & Laser Tag for a round of Mini Golf

San Antonio Attractions – Theme Parks

SeaWorld Family With Dolphins

Outside of its rich cultural and historic centers, San Antonio is also known for its theme parks. Almost a dozen in total, you can pick from roller-coasters and water parks to a children’s wonderland. Six Flags Fiesta Texas hosts over two dozen roller- coasters and water rides with plenty of kid- friendly activities included. There are thrill rides for the more adventurous as well as live entertainment, dining, and shopping. You can find info on Six Flags coupons here.

If you’re looking for more than roller-coasters, SeaWorld San Antonio offers that and more! You can choose from thrill rides or stop in to see a live show. Feast your eyes on killer- whales and sea lions or stop in for a comical pets show including dogs, cats, birds, and pot- belly pigs! There is a nightly fireworks show as well as hydro- sport extreme athletes. There’s so much to do, you’ll have to come back again and again! You can learn about SeaWorld San Antonio discounts here. And don’t miss our guide showing you things to know about SeaWorld San Antonio before you go.

San Antonio Aquarium

San Antonio Aquarium

When you’re ready to feed the stingrays, head over to the San Antonio Aquarium– it’s something you have to sea to believe! Among the exhibits, you can feed fish, stingrays, birds, iguanas, and an octopus. There are corals and other invertebrates as well as dozens of tropical and cold water fish. Don’t miss the awesome Rain Forest exhibit! Daily tickets are reasonably priced at just over $8 for children during week days.

Get lost at one of San Antonio’s newest and most confusing attractions- The Amazing Mirror Maze! See infinite reflections in every directions and help the family find their way out. Funny mirrors turn you odd shaped or sideways. You may even become a maze master!

Where to eat in San Antonio – Best Restaurants 

You would expect San Antonio to have a rich abundance of great Mexican restaurants, Taco places. But the San Antonio food scene is very vibrant with great options for Italian, Chinese, Burgers, Pizza, Seafood, Indian and more!  

And if you are looking for some adult beverages, check out our list of Top 10 Breweries and also our Happy Hour Deals 

After you are done with a delicious meal and buzzy drinks, make it a memorable one with the Best Ice Cream places that San Antonio has to offer! 


What are your favorite San Antonio attractions? Let us know in the comments below!

Kathryn Yacovodonato