The Most Unusual, Fun Things to Do in San Antonio

Visit Bracken Cave to see the largest bat colony on earth
Visit Bracken Cave to see the largest bat colony on earth | © Nature Picture Library / Alamy Stock Photo
Richard Mellor

Travel Expert

Sports-loving San Antonio may be best known for the Alamo fort, River Walk and cool Pearl District. But it does quirky attractions equally well – everything from record-breaking bat migrations to ghost encounters and glitter-filled egg fights.

The second-largest city in Texas, San Antonio has all the fine-art museums, amusement parks, historical spots and shopping you’d expect of a major destination trying to lure tourists. Look harder, though, and you’ll find far more eccentric, eclectic, fun-filled outings. It’s famously haunted, and ghost tours are easy to find; so too are epic food portions from which you’ll need a week to recover, plus twilight bat spectacles, yoga classes in beautiful botanic gardens, giant coins or joyous fiesta fights with confetti-filled eggs.

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CentralAmerica

GORGEOUS GUATEMALA

Gorgeous Guatemala

5 days . Mini
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1. Guatemala

An express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.

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CentralAmerica

BEACHY BELIZE

Beachy Belize

5 days . Mini
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2. Belize

A quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
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CentralAmerica

COLONIAL MEXICO

Colonial Mexico

5 days . Mini
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3. Mexico

An exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
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SouthAmerica

ADVENTUROUS ECUADOR

Adventurous Ecuador

8 days . Epic
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1. Ecuador

A remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.

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SouthAmerica

ANCIENT PERU

Ancient Peru

9 days . Epic
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2. Peru

An alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
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Europe

SEDUCTIVE SOUTHERN ITALY

Seductive Southern Italy

10 days . Epic
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1. Italy

The ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.

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Europe

EDINBURGH AND THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS BY TRAIN

Edinburgh And The Scottish Highlands By Train

7 days . Culture
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2. Scotland

Embark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
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Europe

COMPLETE PORTUGAL BY TRAIN

Complete Portugal By Train

8 days . Culture
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3. Portugal

A wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
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Asia

SOULFUL SOUTH KOREA

Soulful South Korea

10 days . Epic
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1. South Korea

Discover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.

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Asia

THAILAND, CAMBODIA & VIETNAM

Thailand, Cambodia & Vietnam

11 days . Epic
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2. Thailand

From Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
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Asia

SECRETS OF SRI LANKA BY TRAIN

Secrets Of Sri Lanka By Train

10 days . Culture
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3. Sri Lanka

A fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
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Africa

EPIC MOROCCO

Epic Morocco

11 days . Epic
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1. Morocco

An epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!

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Africa

ULTIMATE EGYPT

Ultimate Egypt

9 days . Epic
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2. Egypt

From Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
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Africa

IMMERSIVE KENYA

Immersive Kenya

8 days . Epic
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3. Kenya

An immersive blend of culture and wildlife for first time travelers to Africa. Learn about Nairobi, sample local coffee in the Aberdares and finish up with a fantastic safari stay in the Masai Mara.
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Visit a real-life bat cave in Hill Country

Natural Feature

Aug 27, 2011 - San Antonio, Texas, U.S. - Bracken Bat Cave is the summer home of the worlds largest bat colony. With millions of Mexican free-tailed bats living in the cave from March thru October, Bracken holds one of the largest concentration of mammal
© ZUMA Press Inc / Alamy Stock Photo

Talk about close quarters: an estimated 20m Mexican free-tailed bats travel around 1,000mi (1,610km) to live and breed inside Bracken Cave, just northeast of the city, between March and October – easily the largest bat colony on earth. The sight of them erupting out en masse at twilight is spellbinding, but book ahead to enjoy it: Bat Conservation International allows viewings only on certain summer nights. Check the BCI website for dates.

Inspect a giant wooden nickel

Museum

Wooden Nickel Museum Sign
© Michael Robertson / Alamy Stock Photo

Once the wackiest museum in San Antonio, the Old Time Wooden Nickel Co. had a gallery playing on the old American adage: “Don’t take any wooden nickels.” The museum is now online only, but still hanging outside the current company’s production base is a 13ft-wide (4m) nickel – reckoned to be the largest in the world – built by late owner and former Air Force man Herb Hornung.

Crack some cascarones

Building, Park

METRO - Children grab for cascarones before ceremoniously cracking them over each others heads at the Fiesta San Antonio Official Opening Ceremony Friday, April 18, 2007 in front of the Alamo. BAHRAM MARK SOBHANI/STAFF`
© ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy Stock Photo
Along with floating flower parades and parties aplenty, the annual 10-day Fiesta San Antonio held in April sees revelers delightedly cracking eggs atop one another’s heads. These are, in fact, cascarones: brightly daubed eggshells, drained and then re-filled with confetti. They’re ubiquitous at the festival, which commemorates both the Battle of the Alamo and the brief 1836 Battle of San Jacinto, whose conclusion saw Texas liberated from Mexican rule.

Eat big, big food

Pizzeria, Italian

It’s no secret that Texans favor large portions. Large, or absolutely gigantic. An ultimate example are the 42in (107cm) pizzas at award-winning Big Lou’s Pizza, with more-restrained 37in (94cm) and 20in (51cm) alternatives available for those on a diet. Once you’ve polished off your pepperoni or margherita, take a taxi back to the center and Lulu’s Bakery & Café where, as reward for such a colossal journey, you can order the delicious 3lb (1.3kg) cinnamon roll. After that? Collapse.

Ghost-hunt at an old mansion

Inn

Thought to be among the most haunted places in the United States, Victoria’s Black Swan Inn is a two-story, 19th-century plantation home beside Salado Creek. On certain dates, you can join paranormal investigators in a search for the many spirits frequently encountered here, including one wandering woman clad in a beautiful, bejeweled white gown. Should more spookery be in order, Alamo City Ghost Tours runs wider outings, and promises grisly stories of executions and murder amid the downtown streets and alleys.

Perform yoga in a botanical garden

Botanical Garden

Lucile Halsell Conservatory, San Antonio Botanical Garden, San Antonio, Texas.
© agefotostock / Alamy Stock Photo
Within the 33 acres (13ha) of the San Antonio Botanical Garden, you’ll find exotic plants in kaleidoscopic colors, old log cabins, potager gardens, river walks, a great greenhouse and… yogis. Each week, in the morning and at dusk, guided yoga and tai chi classes take place. Arguably most relaxing are the 50-minute intentional flow seminars given as the sun sets, which are preceded by a short meditative walk. Register online as far ahead as possible to take part.
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