About 150 miles north of the Mexican border lies the wonderful Texas city of San Antonio. Known for its historical Spanish missions and diverse food culture, San Antonio is a destination for people from all across the world.
Planning a trip to Texas in the upcoming months? Here are nine magical things to do during the summer in San Antonio.
1. Fiesta Noche del Rio
The Fiesta Noche del Rio is a weekly performance that literally translates to “party night on the river.”
It’s an outdoor cultural variety show full of music, dancing, and local performers in vivid, colorful costumes.
Tickets cost $20 per adult, and when the show is over, you can stroll the River Walk. There are tons of bars and restaurants nearby!
The Fiesta Noche del Rio is held almost every Friday and Saturday night from early June through early August.
2. Japanese Tea Garden
One of the most magical places in all of San Antonio is the Japanese Tea Garden in Brackenridge Park.
This portion of the park features lush gardens with stone bridges, ponds full of Koi fish, and a stunning waterfall. A walk through this garden is like a step into another world, one full of nothing but natural beauty and wonder.
It’s free to visit the tea garden, and it’s open daily from dawn to dusk.
3. Go Rio River Cruise
When you’re not in the mood to tour the city on foot, you can tour it on the water with a Go Rio River Cruise boat ride.
You’ll experience San Antonio and learn about its culture and history with a guided tour through the downtown part of the city. The tour guides are experienced and entertaining, and the boats are designed in the spirit of traditional Mexican folk art.
Even if you’re only in San Antonio for one day, this is the experience you don’t want to miss.
4. Second Saturday
Like so many other big cities, San Antonio has a monthly gathering to highlight the city’s local vendors, craft breweries, food, arts, and culture.
Located at Main Plaza, Second Saturday takes place on the second Saturday of every month. It’s free to attend, but if you’re a foodie or a craft beer fan, it’s easy to spend money here.
This experience isn’t magical in a visual sense, but it’s magical in the sense that everyone in attendance is there for one reason only:
To have a good time!
5. SeaWorld San Antonio
Yes, there are SeaWorlds all around the country, but SeaWorld San Antonio is the biggest.
Here, you can spend the day with sea lions, penguins, and beluga whales. You can swim with dolphins and come face to face with killer whales. Or, you can take in one of those classic Orca shows.
SeaWorld San Antonio is also home to Aquatica, a water park and amusement park full of roller coasters and all sorts of fun water rides. If you visit with kids, be sure to check out the Sunny Day Celebration, a live on-stage performance featuring Elmo and his Sesame Street Friends.
6. Natural Bridge Caverns
Natural geological formations and 180-foot-deep chambers make Natural Bridge Caverns one of the most magical places in all of Texas.
There are several different ways to tour and explore the caverns:
Embark on the Hidden Passages tour if you want to experience complete darkness.
Take the Discovery Tour to see LED-lit formations that glow before you.
Take the Sky Trail, a challenging above-the-surface experience complete with zip rails and a ropes course.
No matter how you explore the caverns, it’s a one-of-a-kind experience.
7. San Antonio Zoo
From rhinos to hippos to kangaroos, you can see all of your favorite animals at the San Antonio Zoo. This zoo offers a variety of different ways to get up close and personal with the animals. You can even mingle with flamingos or feed the giraffes.
The San Antonio Zoo also includes a children’s amusement park with a colorful carousel and a variety of fun rides designed with little ones in mind.
8. Sisters Grimm Ghost Tour
When you’re in the mood for a fright, check out the Sisters Grimm Ghost Tour. This walking tour lasts about 1.5 hours and winds through all of San Antonio’s most haunted places.
It's perfect if you’re into history or the supernatural.
From the Spanish Governor’s Mansion to the Menger Hotel, the walking tour is a great way to learn about San Antonio’s creepy past. If you’d rather ride than walk, Sisters Grimm also hosts a ghost bus tour. This tour drives you through San Antonio’s Old Red Light District, the Old Bexar County Jail, and the city’s most notable cemetery.
9. The Alamo
We couldn’t end this list without including San Antonio’s most famous place of all time — The Alamo. This Spanish mission is a point of pride for Texans, as the Battle of the Alamo was one of the most important moments in Texas’ war for independence against Mexico.
Back in 1836, 200 proud Texans held their ground at this colonial fortress against thousands of soldiers from the Mexican army. Today, more than 2.5 million people visit the Alamo every year for their chance to experience that history for themselves.
Whether you live in Texas, are visiting San Antonio for the weekend, or are just driving through, a stop at the Alamo is an absolute must.
Smaller than Houston but bigger than Dallas, San Antonio is Texas’ second-largest city. It’s home to over 1.5 million people and offers all the shops, museums, bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues you would expect to see in any major city.
But, San Antonio is home to some truly unique outdoor spaces as well.
From caverns to cultural festivals to historical sites, San Antonio is a city that everyone should visit at some point in life. If you haven’t already been there, put it on your bucket list now!
Adam Marshall is a freelance writer who specializes in all things apartment organization, real estate, and college advice. He currently works with Prose the Rim to help them with their online marketing.