Visit The Alamo
You can’t go to San Antonio without visiting the Alamo. This small mission building turned seemingly overnight into one of the most known monuments in American history, thanks to the legendary Battle of the Alamo in the Texas Revolution. Here, a small band of Texans lost their lives defending the mission against an overwhelming number of Mexican soldiers. The tale of the battle quickly spread and fuelled the fire that eventually gave Texas its freedom. Today, the Alamo is a museum and an important symbol of Texas’s liberty.
300 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio, TX 78205, United States
Get a Little Cultured at Artpace
Founded in 1995 by Linda Pace (Pace Picante Salsa), Artpace is San Antonio’s not-for-profit contemporary art gallery. Using former industrial space for exhibits and showings, Artpace provides educational programs and events for schoolchildren, businesses and guests all across the city. Artpace is best known for their international artist-in-residence program, where the organization brings one artist from Texas, one from the U.S. and one from anywhere in the world together as they each create an individual piece of art during their residency.
Take a Stroll Down the River Walk
Among the streets of downtown San Antonio is the ever beautiful and popular River Walk. This purely pedestrian street connects many restaurants, stores and other sights together in a scenic and circular walk around the center of the city. The very best way to complete the River Walk is to take a boat tour some of the way.
San Antonio, TX 78205, United States
The Tower of the Americas
Soar to the top of San Antonio by reaching the summit of the Tower of the Americas. Built for the 1968 World Fair, the tower is the largest building in San Antonio and was the largest observation tower in the United States until 1996. Located in the middle of the beautiful HemisFair Park, the observation deck gives breathtaking views of the surrounding San Antonio area.
Explore the Botanical Garden
The San Antonio Botanical Garden is a 33 acre non-profit garden nestled right in the downtown area. This beautiful oasis consists the Lucile Halsell Conservatory, a complex that showcases plants from all over the world and a Texas Native Trail: an 11 acre community full of plants characteristic to the San Antonio and Texas region. The botanical garden also offers educational programs to children and adults, ranging from summer camps to botanical lessons on Saturdays.
Visit the San Antonio Zoo
The 35 acre San Antonio Zoo houses over 3,500 animals that represent 750 species. Open seven days a week, 365 days a year, the zoo gives guests a variety of information and exhibits, including overnight adventures for schools and families and the immensely popular Eagle Train Ride (first opened in 1956), gliding you through many of the animal exhibits throughout the zoo on a beautiful, miniature red steam train.
Go to the Institute of Texan Cultures
In association with the Smithsonian Institution, the Institute of Texan Cultures is an extremely important addition to the city of San Antonio. A component of the University of Texas, San Antonio, the museum depicts the story of Texans from the native settlers to the hordes of immigrants in the 18th and 19th century to heped create Texas as it is today. Visit the museum to learn about where Texan pride comes from and why history and tradition are so meaningful to the diverse population of San Antonio.
The Mission’s Historic National Park
The San Antonio Missions National Historical Park is a site that preserves four of the Spanish frontier missions in San Antonio – Concepcion, Espada, San Jose and San Juan. Originally created by Spanish Catholic religious orders to spread Christianity among the local natives, the park is now a massive reflection of over 300 years of San Antonio history. Tour the missions here and attend a Catholic service, still performed regularly in any of the four missions.
The Mission San Jose
While at the San Antonio Missions Park or if you don’t have enough time to go to all four, focus on the Mission San Jose. This place was known as “The Queen of Missions” as it was the largest one, and because of that it has the most in-depth information for visitors to read and learn about the history of the San Antonio missions. Come here to find out what the missions were like 250 years ago and learn why it was a major cultural center of the region.
Visit the Natural Bridge Caverns
The Natural Bridge Caverns, discovered in 1960 by a team of explorers, is the largest known commercial cavern in Texas. Learn about geology as you trek through the limestone carvings of the cavern and learn about the thousands of years it took for the whole area to form. Go on a 75 minute extensive tour throughout the caverns, exploring 180 below the surface and studying stunning formations deep inside the Earth.
By: Brendan Scully
Brendan Scully is a recent college graduate from Boston, MA. Check out his travels throughout the USA and abroad here.