Thirty-two million tourists visit San Antonio every year. With so much to see and do, from remembering the Alamo to seeing the famed River Walk and noshing on delicious tacos, it’s easy to see why the Texas city is such a popular destination. Read on for eight things you must do to truly experience the soul of San Antonio.
Explore the San Antonio River Walk
The River Walk in San Antonio is one of the most popular past times in the city and for good reason. The urban sanctuary is lined with shops, restaurants and bars, making it an easy way to spend hours exploring the 2.5-mile long path. Take a ride in a river taxi to discover hidden seating areas, magical water features and some of the best people-watching in Texas, all just one story below the bustling street level.
Tour the Alamo
Get your fill of Texas history at the Alamo, one of San Antonio’s most visited landmarks, where a group of Americans made a heroic stand against a Mexican force in 1836 during the war for Texan independence from Mexico. Included in the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, which officially opened in 1983, it has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Alamo is free to walk around, but it’s worth booking a guided tour.
Room with a view
Set on 550 acres atop one of the highest and most beautiful points in all of San Antonio, you’ll find La Cantera Resort & Spa, a AAA Four Diamond luxury hotel with 496 rooms, including 34 boutique-style villas. With nine dining options, endless pools, a gorgeous spa and two 18-hole golf courses, it has everything you could want from a vacation. For the little ones, there’s a kid’s pool and a daily camp program. If you’re traveling sans children, opt to stay on Seven, the adults only floor with a separate check-in, lounge and Alexa by Amazon in every room.
Find the best taco
Thanks to an undeniable influence from Mexico, San Antonio has some of the best Mexican food north of the border. For Mexican street eats in a fun communal setting, head to Carnitas Lonja off Roosevelt Avenue. You can’t go wrong with the fish tacos and an ice cold Tecate. You can even go on a self-guided taco tour; there are hundreds of taco stands and restaurants throughout the city from which to choose.
Loma de Vida – “Hill of Life” – is a 25,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor secluded destination spa carved into the hillside with dramatic views of San Antonio’s distant cityscape. The spa boasts 15 treatment rooms, separate VIP treatment rooms with old-fashioned Cowboy bathtubs and outdoor showers for a truly Texan experience. Indulge in a tantalizing spa treatment like the Absolute Texas, a two-hour long spa treatment where you’ll be scrubbed, wrapped and massaged with local beeswax, honey and lavender.
Believe it or not, the Lone Star State is filled with a variety of award-winning wineries. While you visit San Antonio, stop at family-run Becker Vineyards. Located in Stonewall, just an hour away from downtown San Antonio, Becker offers tastings paired with cheese and tours of the facility, where you’ll learn about the production process and hopefully get a peek at the heavenly lavender fields. Good news – the tasting room is open seven days a week.
Kayak on the San Antonio River
Discover a different side of San Antonio by kayaking down the San Antonio River. Rent a kayak for the day or book a trip through the historic King William District with views of the downtown skyline and old German-style mansions. Paddling this area is relatively easy and suitable for beginners, so you can sit back, enjoy the Texas weather and take in nature.
Led by four-time James Beard Award finalist Andrew Weissman, Signature is a restaurant that highlights the authentic flavor and spirit of Texas Hill Country, all with impeccable Southern service and charm. Local and organic ingredients influence the menu; herbs may be culled from Signature’s own backyard. Enjoy a cocktail on the mezzanine level before dinner and browse global antiques like an impressive collection of Turkish bread boards on which charcuterie is served. If you have a sweet tooth, don’t miss the Hong Kong-style sundae, made from a trio of ice creams, a macaron, pâte à choux pastry and chocolate sauce, all topped with saffron cotton candy.
Would you like to visit San Antonio? What would you like to do or see there? Tell us in the comments.