A Memorable Weekend in San Antonio: Things to See and Do
Grab your camera, pack a bag with snacks, water, and sunscreen, it’s time to take a road trip to beautiful San Antonio! I’ve been living in Texas for about 7 years now. And every time I come back from another trip, I keep thinking: “I cannot wait to go back there again”. San Antonio is so much more than just the Riverwalk, Alamo and its famous Tex-Mex!
It has a rich history that can be seen throughout the entire city. And not just history… breathtaking natural beauty, delicious food (err… food AND drink), and friendly people are what makes this city stand out.
San Antonio, Texas – Day 1
Day 1 should be full of fun and adventure! Start your morning off by exploring the Riverwalk, a 2.5-mile network of walkways lined with shops, restaurants, and lush foliage. It’s the perfect spot for a leisurely stroll and you’ll get to see some of San Antonio’s best attractions.
After that, head over to the Alamo and get lost in the rich history of the area. Finish off your day with dinner and drinks at the historic Aztec Theatre.
Visit the Alamo
On day one of your ultimate weekend in San Antonio, make sure to start your morning with a visit to the iconic Alamo. Located in downtown San Antonio and considered the birthplace of Texas freedom and independence, it’s no wonder why this site is an important symbol for Texans.
At the Alamo, you can take a guided tour by military-trained docents, explore the grounds at your own pace or attend educational presentations. The Alamo is also home to numerous artifacts from the original settlers and has an interactive museum with fascinating exhibits about early Texas history and culture.
If you love nature and wildlife, make sure to include a stroll through the adjacent Alamo Gardens where you will find beautiful spots like sundial grottos, 18th century Spanish-style terraces and lush greenery surrounded by ancient walls. There are multiple pathways that lead up to this hidden oasis as well as historical markers recounting stories from the rally of 1836. Conclude your visit with some time spent marveling at this unique piece of history that played a fundamental role in shaping today’s modern world!
Explore the San Antonio Riverwalk
The venues, restaurants, shops and attractions of the San Antonio Riverwalk area are essential to the spirit of the city. Whether you’re here for a romantic getaway or a family vacation, the wonders of the beautiful San Antonio River Walk will provide experiences that you won’t soon forget. Heartfelt Mexican culture mingles with classic Southwestern flavor creating a unique sense of place.
From strolling sunset river walks to fine cuisine and entertainment, an adventure through downtown is something that all ages can enjoy. The same goes for day trips outside of downtown – many exciting destinations are situated along with San Antonio River Walk loops.
Take in a rich array of shopping and sightseeing options at The Shops at Rivercenter located right on the waterway linking the city’s major tourist attractions to each other. Views tend to be especially happy come nightfall when landmarks such as Tower Life Building sparkle with glamorous lights making this picturesque landscape an unforgettable spot for snapshots and postcards.
A walk along both sides of the river also yields stunning glimpses of 19th century Victorian architecture as well as some modern skyscrapers soaring into view from afar on one end. From outdoor cafes and plazas, to boat rides under breathtaking bridges, visitors will experience an exploration like no other when they set foot on this extraordinary expanse known fondly as ‘Paseo del Rio’.
Have lunch at the Market Square
Sit-down lunches in San Antonio are available at a number of popular restaurants located around the Plaza de Armas and the Market Square – perfect for those in search of Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine! The Market Square offers over 100 stalls of traditional Mexican foods, textiles, accessories and jewelry. Visitors can satisfy their lunch cravings with a tour through these vendors while taking in the vibrant colors, sounds and smells of this Mexican marketplace.
Located just steps away from the Alamo, the Market Square is one of the oldest retail sites in San Antonio dating back to 1874. Free parking is available nearby and a food court complete with fast casual restaurants is also found within. Experience some of the city’s best tacos, burritos, enchiladas, guacamole, chips, drinks and desserts while you wander around this historic market center!
San Antonio, Texas – Day 2
Day two of your ultimate weekend in San Antonio is all about discovering the city’s rich cultural heritage. Start off your day with a memorable visit to the historic San Fernando Cathedral, the oldest cathedral in the United States. Then, head to the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park to explore the four Spanish colonial missions that have been preserved since the 18th century.
Later in the day, you can explore the broad collection of international art at the Witte Museum or take a leisurely stroll through the beautiful Japanese Tea Garden.
Visit the San Antonio Museum of Art
The San Antonio Museum of Art offers a unique range of exhibitions and programs that allow visitors to explore art from around the world. This vibrant museum, located in downtown San Antonio, features works from a number of renowned contemporary and international artists. There are also several interactive spaces where visitors can explore hands-on displays that show the level of creativity and craftsmanship used by the artists featured in the museum’s collections.
Inside, you’ll find six floors and over 25,000 objects ranging from ancient textiles to modern sculpture. Special exhibitions highlight works by masters like Picasso and Monet as well as lesser-known favorites like Tam O’Shanter and Gegoreta. The American art collection is particularly noteworthy; it includes paintings by renowned American painters Thomas Eakins, Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Hopper, and Grant Wood, among others.
Whether you’re an armchair traveler or an avid museum enthusiast, do not miss out on this incredible opportunity to take a walk through 32 centuries of art history. The San Antonio Museum of Art is conveniently located near popular tourist attractions like the Alamo and River Walk so there is plenty to do when you are finished exploring all that this place has to offer.
Tour the Mission Trail
San Antonio’s Mission Trail will take you on a 2.5-mile drive, walk or bike ride that winds through five early Spanish frontier missions – the Alamo, San Jose, Concepcion, San Juan and Espada. The spots are all part of the San Antonio Missions National Park and make for a great sightseeing experience for first-time visitors and longtime Texans.
When exploring the missions, you can explore the ruins or immerse yourself in the history of each mission along with its corresponding museum.
Make some time to view each of the sites one at a time or spend an afternoon sampling them all. During your exploration, you may stumble upon trailside gardens full of wildflowers such as bluebonnets in springtime or historic grist mills left over from days of yore. It is also possible to organise guided ranger programs if you would like more information about this area’s Spanish heritage. And if that isn’t enough city flavor for one day be sure to check out nearby native shops and delicious Tex-Mex eateries throughout your travels.
Enjoy dinner at the Pearl Brewery
At the Pearl Brewery, you can choose from a wide variety of excellent restaurants. Located in the center of San Antonio’s vibrant urban setting, this area has become a modern-day foodie paradise. Among your choices are Supper at Hotel Emma and The Granary ‘Cue & Brew for some fantastic craft beer and whiskey. There’s even a music venue for some post-dinner entertainment!
If you’re looking for something more upscale, then head to one of the many fine dining establishments. Some popular options in The Pearl include Cured and Botika, whose delicious Asian fusion cuisine has earned them high accolades from both locals and tourists alike. Not only is the food exquisite, but the unique atmosphere at these venues ensures that your dinner will be one to remember!
Whatever kind of dining experience you choose at The Pearl Brewery, you can be sure it will be a great way to end your day in San Antonio!
San Antonio, Texas – Day 3
Day 3 of your Ultimate Weekend in San Antonio will be a day to remember. After a full two days of exploring the city, tonight you will experience dinner, drinks, and dancing.
Start your day with a visit to the San Antonio Museum of Art, followed by a leisurely stroll through the nearby San Antonio River Walk. End your night with a visit to a local honky-tonk or a romantic dinner cruise on the river.
Take a tour of the historic King William District
The King William District is a slice of San Antonio history. Comprised of charming Victorian-era homes surrounded by moss-draped oak trees, it is a popular place for visitors and locals alike. Take in the sights on a leisurely stroll down South Alamo Street, or even better – book an official city tour that will take you inside some of the beautifully restored homes and businesses.
Your tour guide will give you an inside look at the area’s history, culture, architecture, and its prominent inhabitants. Along the way you may run into some unique boutiques (like The Vintage Bouquet), one-of-a kind specialty shops (like Casa Koehler), lively art galleries (like Sala Diaz Gallery) or historic landmarks like Steves Homestead. There are also plenty of restaurants sprinkled throughout the district – be sure to save room in your belly for lunch after your leisurely exploration!
Visit the San Antonio Zoo
The San Antonio Zoo is located in the historic Brackenridge Park and is home to over 750 species of animals. With lush gardens, interactive exhibits, and educational programs, it’s an ideal destination for all ages.
Take a stroll through the zoo and explore the amazing variety of habitats and natural wonders contained within. See a variety of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, invertebrates and arthropods like hippos and tortoises. Get up close to giraffes in the African Plains or admire Grecian sheep and camels in the Central Garden exhibit. Explore Hippo Lagoon or take a ride on the train for a unique experience!
Cool off at The Party Zone with more than 20 interactive exhibits. This fun area also boasts rides such as The Great Adventure Carousel, Sky Rider Ferris Wheel, Aussie Bounce Boat Ride, Safari Tours Train Adventure and more! In addition to these exciting rides are plenty enlightening attractions like Natural Bridge Caverns Exploration Cave Tour and Reptile House & Bug Room where guests can explore fascinating creatures from around the world both day and night!
For an out-of-this-world adventure unlike any other visit The Glade – Butterfly Pavillion where you’ll find hundreds of majestic butterflies in flight among lush gardens all year long. Guests can even feed live nectar plants with cups specially designed for butterfly feeding! Prepare to be amazed by one of nature’s greatest miracles – the beautiful butterfly!
Whether you are visiting for a short stay or making San Antonio your home base for exploration in South Texas – don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to explore wildlife from around the world from friendly zebras to colorful hummingbirds or furry koalas all while learning something new at every turn – plan your trip today at San Antonio Zoo!
Take a stroll through the San Antonio Botanical Garden
The San Antonio Botanical Garden is a wonderful place to explore on Day 3 of your weekend getaway in the Alamo city. Located in Brackenridge Park, the 33-acre garden showcases both local and exotic flora, as well as sculptures, birdhouses, and gazebos.
You can enjoy a leisurely stroll along one of the many winding trails throughout the garden. Local plants are identified by signposts through out the garden for you to explore and learn about natural plants. Enjoy flowering trees and shrubs like lantana and bougainvillea that provide vibrant color against a backdrop of oak trees. As you make your way around the Rainforest Conservatory, take a break near one of San Antonio’s postcard scenes – twin cypress trees known as The Sisters standing tall in the reflection pool at sunset!
If you are interested in learning more about Texas plants, visit the Madeline Connally Greenhouse located onsite that houses Texas Hill Country Heritage Plants – native plants collected from within 100 miles of San Antonio! Take time to explore other memorable features like Butterfly Hill where you can observe nearly three dozen species of butterflies found in their native environment or simply relax among blooms while enjoying views of downtown skyline tucked behind rolling hillsides!