San Antonio, Texas is a city rich in culture. Visitors are drawn to this southern Texas city for its wealth of incredible museums and fascinating historical sites. If this is your first time in San Antonio, you won’t want to miss out on these top things to see and do.
Who among us doesn’t know to “Remember the Alamo”? The Alamo Mission is a historic Spanish religious outpost and fortress compound. Many visitors to San Antonio are surprised by the small size of the Alamo, nestled among the towering buildings of Downtown, but this small building played a big part in the city’s history.
You can visit the Alamo to learn the history of the church, the Texas Revolution, and the Battle of the Alamo. The grounds hold daily programming with history talks and living history demonstrations.
And best of all, this iconic San Antonio landmark is completely free to visit.
San Antonio River Walk
One story below street level, the San Antonio River Walk is a network of walkways stretching 15 miles along the banks of the San Antonio River.
You can find dining, shopping, nightlife, history, and culture on the River Walk. Be sure to take a river cruise to learn about the city’s history, architecture, and more.
The San Antonio River Walk is free and open for anyone to explore at any time of day. If you want to avoid the crowds, I recommend taking a morning walk. If you have the chance to visit during Christmas, the River Walk gets an absolutely magical makeover with thousands of twinkling lights adorning the trees.
Spanish Governor’s Palace
The 18th century Spanish Governor’s Palace is one of San Antonio’s most visited museums. This was the original residence and working office for the captains of the military garrisons until the early 1800s.
A tour of the palace gives you a glimpse of Texas’s earliest history under Spanish rule. The rooms are furnished with Spanish Colonial period pieces, so you’ll really feel like you’ve stepped back in time.
San Antonio Zoo
The San Antonio Zoo in Midtown is a 35-acre park housing over 3,500 animals from 750 different species. The zoo’s history dates back to a collection of buffalo, elk, deer, monkeys, two lions, and four bears gathered together in 1914 by Colonel George W. Brakenridge, one of the city’s leading citizens.
In 1929, the San Antonio Zoo introduced the first cageless exhibits in America – the Barless Bear Terraces and the Primate Paradise. The zoo also housed the first herd of addra gazelle in captivity in 1969 and is still active today in the breeding program for this endangered species.
The San Antonio Zoo has so many different animals to see. Highlights include white rhinoceroses, cheetahs, jaguars, spectacled bears, and white-cheeked gibbons.
Tower of the Americas
You’ve seen San Antonio from street level and below street level at the River Walk; now it’s time to see the city from above!
The Tower of the Americas is a 750-foot-tall landmark located in Hemisfair Park. The tower was built for the 1968 World’s Fair, the “HemisFair ’68”. It is the tallest building in San Antonio and the perfect place to view the city from above.
Inside the top of the Tower of the Americas you’ll find an observation deck, a stationary lounge and bar, a revolving restaurant, and a 4D adventure ride. You can go for dinner or just for the views. I do recommend staying for drinks for a unique experience high above the city.
This article was written by Paige Watts of Paige Minds the Gap
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