Big City, Vibrant Culture: What to Do in San Antonio
Rich history, authentic culture, local adventures, amazing attractions, great places to stay, and even better places to eat. What more could you want from a big city? As the seventh-largest city in the U.S., San Antonio is a big city with a vibrant culture. Here are some of the top reasons you’ll want to visit San Antonio this year.
As one of only two U.S. cities designated a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy, San Antonio is one of the most compelling food destinations in the country. Our culinary traditions blend with new, homegrown talent from the Culinary Institute of America San Antonio for a distinct and diverse culinary scene bursting with flavor. One of those places is Pearl, known for its food and drink options, boutique shopping, festive seasonal events, and loads of local flavor.
Art & Culture
Arts and culture? San Antonio has plenty of that. Hear the stories of people from all around the world who call Texas their home at The Institute of Texan Cultures. Walk alongside dinosaurs and explore the history of the Texas Wild at the The Witte Museum, where science, nature, history, and culture all meet for awesome storytelling and interactive family fun.
San Antonio also boasts several amazing art museums, like the San Antonio Museum of Art renowned for the most comprehensive ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian art collection in the southern United States where you can explore 5,000 years of art history. Or The McNay Art Museum, the first museum of modern art in Texas home to more than 22,000 amazing pieces of art from medieval times, the Renaissance, and the 21st century. Or, while you’re on the River Walk, stop by the Briscoe Western Art Museum for nine galleries showcasing items like Pancho Villa’s saddle, an authentic Chuck Wagon, and much more.
At Main Plaza view the captivating video art installation, “San Antonio | The Saga” on the façade of the San Fernando Cathedral. Free and open to the public every Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, starting at 9 p.m.
Or, explore the newly reimagined San Pedro Creek Culture Park, where a beautiful creek, public art, architectural design, local craft, and historic preservation all come together to let visitors peek into the cultural identity and traditions of a growing urban downtown.
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Discover American history in all its diversity at San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. Along with the Alamo, the park was named the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in Texas and includes the city’s four southernmost Spanish colonial missions — Mission Concepción, Mission San José, Mission San Juan Capistrano, and Mission Espada – the largest concentration of Spanish colonial missions in North America. Learn about the people who once lived there, the church, farming, ranching, and caminos reals, or take a beautiful stroll on the Mission Reach Trail.
Also known as Paseo del Rio, the River Walk is a vibrant urban waterway that spans 15 miles and is the largest urban ecosystem in the nation. In addition to an amazing guided river barge tour, it also offers restaurants and artisan shops along the way, such as La Villita Historic Arts Village known as a cultural art hub.
There’s also Market Square, also known as El Mercado, showcasing more than 100 shops, restaurants, and even a Farmer’s Market, where you can find everything from hot sauce to authentic Talavera pottery.