The Lone Star State is massive and is home to incredible cities like Dallas, Houston, and Austin. There’s no shortage of activities and sights to see in Texas, from the underrated destination of Georgetown to the quirkiness of the Cadillac Ranch! Specifically, those traveling to the historic city of San Antonio won’t be disappointed either. This busy Texas city is jam-packed with cultural attractions, historical landmarks, beautiful city parks, and much more. Plus, many of these attractions are free, perfect for budget-conscious tourists.
10 Visit The San Antonio Art League And Museum
- Address: 130 King William St, San Antonio, TX 78204
Love art history? Located on King William Street, the San Antonio Art League and Museum is the oldest art display in San Antonio, displaying artworks from local artists in the community. Visit the Edgar B. Davis Collection to check out paintings and other works of art from local artists like Eliot Clark, Jose Arpa, Audley Dean Nichols, and much more. Appreciate Texas art, whether it's looking at the beautiful collections of wildflower paintings or awe-inspiring depictions of everyday Texas life.
9 Explore The River Walk
San Antonio’s Riverwalk showcases the city’s local heritage, community pride, and historical landmarks. Spanning for 15 miles (or 24 km), it's also a popular place to sit down, relax, shop, and eat. That said, there are many things to do at San Antonio's Riverwalk! For example, check out the hustle and bustle of Old Mexico’s Historic Market Square or meditate quietly by the river, watching the world go by. Need a break from all that walking? The Riverwalk also offers peaceful boat rides along the river, taking visitors from one end of the city to the next!
8 Relax At Brackenridge Park
- Address: 3700 N St Mary's St, San Antonio, TX 78212
Spanning 343 acres, this public park lies in the heart of downtown San Antonio. This park is free for everyone, offering an array of attractions for curious tourists. Nearby, tourists can visit paid attractions like the San Antonio Zoo, the Witte Museum, or a train ride at Brackenridge Park. Otherwise, budget-conscious travelers can enjoy the park for free by having a picnic, bird-watching around the Joske Pavilion, or walking along its three hiking trails.
7 Stroll Through The Japanese Tea Garden
- Address: 3853 N St Mary’s St, San Antonio, TX 78212
What: Also known as the Sunken Garden, the Japanese Tea Garden was the former site of a limestock rock quarry. Through years of care, funding, and planning, the garden transformed into the beautiful attraction it is today. Entertaining San Antonio visitors and locals alike for over 90 years, the Japanese Tea Garden features a 60-foot waterfall, year-round access, a dog-friendly park (on-leash only), and a beautiful Pavilion with a thatched roof and stone columns that overlooks the garden’s lily ponds and the waterfall. In addition, the garden is home to numerous exotic plants, from fragrant lilies to cute shrubs.
6 Visit The Alamo
- Address: 300 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio, TX 78205
Over three centuries old, the Alamo played a pivotal role during the Texas Revolution. Being an integral part of San Antonio’s heritage and history, visiting the Alamo is recommended for history buffs and curious travelers. Explore the grounds, visit the Long Barrack, or watch a live musket firing demonstration in Alamo Plaza! Also, many people identify the Alamo by its church, also known as the “Shrine”. However, one important thing to note is that a visit to the Alamo grounds is free for all. However, visitors must book themselves (and their party) a free ticket to visit the Shrine at an allotted time. The Alamo also offers an exhibit to see hundreds of artifacts from the fateful day of the 1836 Battle of the Alamo.
5 Explore The San Pedro Creek Culture Park
- Address: 715 Camaron St, San Antonio, TX 78204
Head to the city's west side to enjoy the San Pedro Creek Culture Park. Defined as a linear park, this urban park acts as a green space and a gathering place for communities and locals to come together. Though the park is still being constructed, there are still completed places to sit and relax. So cool off by the fountains, appreciate some mural art, and walk around the park to see some cool displays.
4 Appreciate Art At The Saga
- Address: 115 N Main Ave, San Antonio, TX 78205
Not only is this stunning display free for all, but the Saga is also a dazzling artistic show worthy of a watch! Every Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, visitors and locals alike band together to watch vibrant displays of art featured on a 7,000-sq ft projector against the San Antonio Cathedral. Learn about the rich heritage and history of San Antonio while enjoying a vivid art installation!
3 Watch Local Wildlife At Headwaters Sanctuary
- Address: 4503 Broadway St, San Antonio, TX 78209
Operated and owned by Headwaters at Incarnate Word, the Headwaters Sanctuary is a peaceful getaway from the busy city streets. This 53-acre nature preserve is home to San Antonio’s flora and fauna, known for its Blue Hole spring. While perusing through the area and enjoying its hiking trails and wildlife-watching ops, Headwaters Sanctuary is also a place to learn about San Antonio’s rich heritage and culture.
2 Stroll Around The King William Historic District
- Address: 701 King William St, San Antonio, TX 78204
The King William District was once a home for many generations, especially German immigrants in the 1840s. During that period, the district was famous for its homes, which were ornately built in Victorian, Italianate, and Greek Revival fashion. This fashionable neighborhood was recognized as a National Register Historic District in 1972 and serves as a popular attraction for history buffs. Peek into San Antonio’s first suburbs, spanning 25 blocks!
1 Relax At The Cibolo Nature Center
- Address: 140 City Park Rd, Boerne, TX 78006
Open seven days a week (from 8 am to dusk); the Cibolo Nature Center is a great destination for nature enthusiasts and those seeking to get in touch with San Antonio’s local wildlife. Enjoy the beauty of Texas Hill County and walk along the center’s trails, which span six miles. Alternatively, spot some local bird species on the boardwalk or cool off at Cibolo Creek. Plus, for something extra special, the Cibolo Nature Center houses replicas of dinosaur tracks found nearby, which are 100 million years old!