Travel Guide: What to See in San Antonio

Hey there! Recently, Matt and I traveled to San Antonio for a few days for my birthday. We had never been to San Antonio and wanted to go somewhere easy to get to from Phoenix and somewhere new! When we decided on San Antonio, we didn’t know what to see!

San Antonio Riverwalk

So today, I want to share with you the things to see in San Antonio! Obviously, downtown San Antonio is known for the Riverwalk, and that is where we spent the majority of our time. However, there is something else very exciting that I’m going to share. I’m going to share things to do, places to stay, and places to eat.

Where to Stay

So first, I want to share some places to stay when you’re in San Antonio. The obvious choice, is on the Riverwalk, but where? There are plenty of places to stay on the river.

The Hampton Inn & Suites

We stayed at The Hampton Inn & Suites on the Riverwalk. It’s actually a combination Hampton Inn & Suites and Home2 Suites which is owned by Hilton. It was right on the river, and we actually had a view of the river from our room. Another positive is that there is an exit right to the river from the lobby area.

We had a King Suite, which was unexpected for me! We were only there for three nights and weren’t planning to spend too much time in the room.

Unfortunately, there is no parking at the hotel directly. There are many public parking garages in the area but the hotel also has valet. We opted for the valet as there was construction near the hotel, and we got in at 11:30 PM.

Embassy Suites by Hilton

The Embassy Suites is also on the river. They have 1- and 2-bedroom suites with kitchenettes and living rooms with pull-out sofas. They have free breakfast available as well as valet parking.

Things to See

There are many things to see and do in San Antonio. We were there for two full days, so we didn’t get to see everything, but we did get to see some pretty cool things!

The Alamo

Now, I know this one is pretty obvious, but I do think this is worth the visit. We did the free self-guided tour and it was very interesting. I do remember learning about the Alamo in school but I don’t remember all of the little details.

The Alamo

One thing I really enjoyed was that they had their conservation efforts front and center alongside the history of the Alamo. I think it’s really important to see how we are preserving these historic landmarks so that future generations can continue to learn about hour history.

The Riverwalk

The Riverwalk is a great place to visit. I didn’t know that it was sunken under street level. I thought that the river was street-level just meandering through downtown. It actually is below the street, with stairs/elevators up to the street level when coming to major streets.

Natural Bridge Caverns

This was, by far, the best thing we did when we were in San Antonio. The Natural Bridge Caverns is about 30 minutes north of downtown. It was pretty easy to get to. It is also next to the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, which we did not go see.

Natural Bridge Caverns entrance

There are a few different kinds of tours you can take when you go, they are all about an hour. The tours available are:

  • Discovery Tour
  • Hidden Passages Tour
  • Combo Tour
  • Adventure Tours

We did the Discovery Tour and it was great. The tour guide was great in letting us know if we were getting to really slippery/wet parts. The caves are about 70 degrees, but they are 100% humidity so it was actually warm and very wet on the ground. You go down to 180 feet under the surface and it’s about 3/4 of a mile, which did not feel that long when we walked it. Also, the hour flew by but we really enjoyed the tour.

The hidden passages tour is also about an hour. You also go 180 feet down, but you’re walking about 1/3 of a mile, which includes stairs. The combo tour is just doing both tours, which after the discovery tour, Matt and I couldn’t imagine doing the other tour. Learn more about the tours here!

Places to Eat

San Antonio has great food! There was a wide variety of food on the Riverwalk and I wish we had more time to eat more!

Pinkerton’s Barbecue

We went to Pinkerton’s for my birthday and it was definitely great! It was within walking distance from the hotel and the food was incredible. So we got Chopped Pork Sandwiches, Jalapeno Cheese Rice, South Texas Beans, and the Rosemary Bacon Mac & Cheese (our favorite!). Matt also got two Jalapeno Sausage links which he really liked.

When we were there, they were playing Singo, musical bingo. We didn’t participate, but it was fun to listen to.

The Original Mexican Restaurant

The Original is right on the Riverwalk, where you can eat lunch with the ducks! They offer classic Mexican dishes and have a full bar. They have tables right on the Riverwalk so it makes for a perfect lunch spot!

Ducks on the San Antonio Riverwalk

If you’ve been to San Antonio, please feel free to add your suggestions/recommendations in the comments! I hope this resource helps you plan your next trip to San Antonio.

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