55 Things to Do in San Antonio: Guide to Weekend Fun
Looking for fun things to do in San Antonio this weekend? The Alamo City boasts a rich history and heritage, making it one of the most dynamic cities in the world. The idyllic landscape of the Texas Hill Country and the city’s historic architecture provide a charming backdrop for a contemporary and innovative city with near-endless options for fun things to do.
Spend a day exploring the San Antonio Museum of Art, go for a bike ride through Elmendorf Lake Park, and then take the family or meet friends for dinner at one of the many eclectic dining spots at the historic Pearl District. San Antonio is a vibrant city just waiting to be explored. Keep reading to learn about some of the most fun things to do in the city of San Antonio.
San Antonio Outdoor Adventures
Opportunities for outdoor adventures abound in a city as unique as San Antonio. Whether it’s visiting a botanical garden, finding a green space for a picnic, catching a glimpse of a rare species of bird, or tubing down the Guadalupe River with friends, there’s an exciting choice for everyone who wants to explore.
San Antonio Parks
Popular San Antonio Parks
- San Antonio Botanical Gardens and Conservatory
- Friedrich Wilderness Park
- Brackenridge Park
- McAllister Park
The natural beauty of Hill Country is on full display in the number of exceptional parks in the San Antonio area. Over 250 species of plants are enjoyed at the San Antonio Botanical Gardens and Conservatory, featuring a rose garden and the Culinary Garden, where visitors can pick their ingredients. Keep your eyes open for sightings of rare or endangered species of birds while exploring Friedrich Wilderness Park, or plan a picnic at Brackenridge Park, considered an oasis in the city because of its proximity to downtown. Bring your furry friend to McAllister Park, which features an excellent fenced dog park.
San Antonio Water Recreation
San Antonio Water Recreation Destinations
- Sea World San Antonio
- Aquatica San Antonio
- White Water Bay
- Waterloo Adventures
- Morgan’s Wonderland
- River Bluff Water Experience
The sunny climate and natural beauty of the Hill Country provide residents with ample water sports and recreation opportunities. Take a trip on US-281 in San Antonio to visit beautiful Canyon Lake to go swimming, boating, and even scuba diving. Enjoy one of the area’s most popular water activities by floating down the Guadalupe, San Marcos, Comal, or Frio Rivers in an inner tube. The calm waters are refreshing in the warmer months, and the camaraderie of tubing down the river with family and friends should not be missed. Water parks provide another outlet for recreation. There are many in the area that includes rides, splash pads for kids, and opportunities to view marine life.
Hiking and Biking Trails in San Antonio
Popular San Antonio Trail Locations
- Government Canyon State Natural Area
- Lost Maples State Natural Area
- Pedernales Falls State Park
San Antonio offers a variety of hiking and biking trails that appeal to all outdoor enthusiasts. Spend a day at Government Canyon State Natural Area and choose from 40 miles of hiking and biking trails that travel across broad prairies, traverse rocky canyons and ascend climbs that reach high vistas with stunning views. Guided hikes are available for identifying birds and wildflowers that proliferate throughout the area. Lost Maples State Natural Area is a beautiful place to enjoy the outdoors, especially on a hike that loops along the top of a 2,200′ cliff.
The number of opportunities to enjoy the open air in San Antonio is as vast as the scenic countryside itself. Take the family on a hike through Pedernales Falls State Park, drive San Antonio’s Interstate 10 northwest to Enchanted Rock, or admire the underwater world of Explorer’s Reef at Sea World San Antonio. The opportunities are endless.
San Antonio Shopping
San Antonio Shopping Destinations
- Pearl District
- Shops at River Center
- Mexican Market at the Historic Market Square
- Alamo Antique Mall
- Shops at La Cantera
- The Rim
- North Star Mall
- Blue Star Arts Complex
- The Twig Book Shop
Shopping in San Antonio is an exciting endeavor because there are so many places to visit. Admire the craftsmanship of the items sold by vendors in the Pearl District, or enjoy dinner on the River Walk and an IMAX feature at the Shops at River Center. Several specialty markets feature products that illustrate the city’s rich history, such as the Mexican Market at the Historic Market Square.
Antique shoppers will enjoy the beautiful Alamo Antique Mall or the History Shop, which houses authentic antique maps and architectural drawings. Discover the latest fashion trends and electronics at the Shops at La Cantera, The Rim, or North Star Mall, three of the largest malls in the city. Choose an original piece of artwork from a gallery at the Blue Star Arts Complex, or attend a reading with a local author at The Twig Book Shop. San Antonio offers a unique experience for every shopper.
San Antonio Restaurants
Popular San Antonio Restaurants
- High Street Wine
- Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery
- Esquire Tavern
- Hotel Havana’s Ocho Lounge
- Guenther House
- The Liberty Bar
The rich history and culture inspire a wide variety of restaurants in San Antonio. Old meets new is a favorite theme of San Antonio, and contemporary cuisine is often featured in renovated buildings with ties to the past. The Pearl District, centered around the historic building that housed the famed Pearl Brewery, is now home to a selection of restaurants that offer a variety of culinary experiences. Examples include the craft cocktails and charcuterie at Cured, a specialized tasting at High Street Wine, and the wide range of coastal-to-Creole fare that Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery offers.
The Pearl District is part of a popular walkable area of the city within reach of neighborhoods that feature condos and luxury homes. After a busy day exploring the city, relax with a cocktail at the Esquire Tavern, the oldest bar on the River Walk, or enjoy dinner at Hotel Havana’s Ocho Lounge, which includes a glass conservatory overlooking the famous waterway. Other restaurants not to be missed include Rebelle inside the St. Anthony Hotel, the Guenther House, which was once a historic mill, and The Liberty Bar, inside a restored convent.
Arts and Culture in San Antonio
San Antonio has a solid commitment to the arts, and there are many opportunities to stop and enjoy this enriching culture. Spend an afternoon at a local art gallery or attend a musical performance in one of the arts centers, and learn more about what makes this city so unique.
Museums in San Antonio
Popular San Antonio Museums
- The San Antonio Museum of Art
- Briscoe Western Art Museum
- The Alamo
Explore one of the many museums in the city to learn more about Texas and the world. The San Antonio Museum of Art, located on the River Walk, houses art worldwide spanning 5000 years. Learn about the wild west at the Briscoe Western Art Museum. The Alamo Mission is an iconic symbol of Texas independence. This San Antonio landmark also includes a museum designed to honor the bravery of the soldiers who lost their lives at this battle for freedom. Historical objects such as William B. Travis’s ring and a cannon preserved from the battle help visitors appreciate the Alamo’s significance in Texas history.
Art Galleries in San Antonio
Popular San Antonio Art Galleries
- Blue Star Museum
- Villa Finale
- McNay Art Museum
San Antonio is a city that inspires creativity and originality, and this inspiration is reflected in the imaginative works of art on display in galleries across the city. Visit the Blue Star Museum or Artpace to experience the innovation of modern art. Both Villa Finale and the McNay Art Museum are unique because they were initially private residences of passionate art collectors with extensive collections. A visit to both of these galleries is essential to appreciate the broad collections of art and enjoy the beautiful gardens surrounding each gallery.
Dance and Theatre in San Antonio
San Antonio Dance & Theatre Opportunities
- The Majestic Theatre
- The Aztec Theatre
- Arneson River Theatre
- Woodlawn Theatre
- Tobin Center for Performing Arts
The performing arts are celebrated in San Antonio. Many venues offer live musical and dramatic performances to entertain and enlighten audiences of all ages. Highlights of these performing arts centers include:
- The Majestic Theatre – national landmark downtown, inspired by Spanish Mediterranean architecture, it is the performance venue for the San Antonio Symphony
- The Aztec Theatre – an architectural treasure whose lobby boasts the largest chandelier in Texas
- Arneson River Theatre –theatre in a picturesque setting on the river and known for hosting summer plays
- Woodlawn Theatre – renovated historic building that is popular for producing musicals every year
- Tobin Center for Performing Arts – large and versatile performing arts facility that hosts musical, theatrical, and dance performances
The wide and varied arts scene in San Antonio, so often placed within the setting of historic architecture, represents the city’s commitment to the past. At the same time, it celebrates the hope and potential of its future.
San Antonio Nightlife
San Antonio Nightlife Destinations
- Blue Bonnet Place
- Brass Monkey
- Bonham Exchange
- Jazz, TX
- Alamo Beer Company
After the sun sets in San Antonio, the nightlife heats up with its own unique Texas flair. Music is an integral part of this scene, and dance halls like Cowboys or the Blue Bonnet Palace feature live bands and country dancing. Nightclubs are also popular. Retro Nights at the Brass Monkey often draw a crowd of 80s and 90s music fans who love to dance the night away under a disco ball. Bonham Exchange has a more eclectic vibe within the walls of a 120-year-old building, while Jazz, TX plays some of the best live jazz music in the city.
For those looking to sample a craft beer from a local brewery, Alamo Beer Company features a family-friendly beer garden, as well as food trucks and live music. For fantastic rooftop views and cocktails, there’s no better place to visit than Paramour. And if a night on the town means a memorable evening enjoying the ballet or the opera, head to the Tobin Center for Performing Arts for an unforgettable performance.
Find Texas-Sized Fun in San Antonio
With its unique place in the state’s history and its dedication to culture, outdoor recreation, and exceptional cuisine, San Antonio has a past and a present like no other city in the country. Take the family to explore the Family Adventure Garden at the San Antonio Botanical Garden, pay a visit to the Pearl Farmer’s Market, or stroll along the River Walk before enjoying a meal at Casa Rio, the oldest restaurant on this famed waterway.
With its rich past and beautiful natural surroundings, San Antonio provides an unforgettable backdrop for a future filled with promise.