Hello everyone! Today’s BirthMay post is all the “must see” places of San Antonio, Texas – according to me anyway!
This is my third annual BirthMay! What is BirthMay, you ask? Well I blog every day in May because it’s my birth month! I started BirthMay in 2017 and did it again in 2018 so I knew I had to do it again this year.
As you may know, I recently went to San Antonio so I thought I’d put together a “must see” list for you! Of course, I haven’t seen everything in the city so this is only from my perspective of the things I did get to do.
This is a hard one to miss since it’s so integral to the city so it seems silly to include it but here it is! The Riverwalk is such an amazing little wonder and I loved exploring it so much. Even if you don’t want to do the touristy things I do really recommend doing this one because it helps get you acquainted with the downtown area and super fun! The riverwalk is really long so if you try to walk around to find the places you want to check out it will take forever. So instead just take the boat around once and you’ve pretty much learned the major places along the route.
Alamo & one other mission
All five missions of San Antonio are completely free to go to so I do recommend going to at least one besides the Alamo. The Alamo is, of course, one that is a must since it’s right downtown and just one of the iconic things to do. Even though it’s touristy, it’s still a beautiful little area. The Alamo is small, since the battle there destroyed most of the mission, but it’s a great introduction to Texas history.
Of the four remaining missions, (San Jose, Concepcion, San Juan, and Espada) I would recommend San Jose. It’s the largest of the missions and the most staffed so there’s more to do. For example, this one has the largest and best kept visitor’s center with a museum, gift shop, and a 15 minute film explaining the history of the missions. On top of that the park rangers there also offer free guided tours and the person I got was amazing. I was really happy I did this one first so I had a ton of time to walk around and enjoy it. The others are also great, but they just don’t have the same staff or visitor centers which is fine, but I personally got a lot more out of San Jose.
Japanese Tea Garden
I highly recommend the Japanese Tea Garden in the northern part of the city. Now, it’s not a huge area so I think lots of people probably skip it but I found it to be such a beautiful and peaceful place that I can’t imagine skipping it now. It’s in an area with the zoo and botanical garden, as well as a large park area so it’s perfectly possible to combine it with another activity in the area if just sitting around the park is not your thing, there’s plenty more to do once you’re done in this quiet, lovely area.
Now, I know I was there during Fiesta week so this place was more lively than it otherwise would be probably but I loved Market Square. I would recommend it over La Villita if you are looking to pick one shopping area over another. I just found that Market Square had more variety of shops and items. They also had more restaurants in that area and a ton more shops in general, although it’s not on the Riverwalk like La Villita is.
The Pearl is a newer area in San Antonio. It was originally a brewery so it’s still called the Pearl Brewery but now it’s shops, restaurants, and a newly constructed area of the Riverwalk. The area is super chill and lots of fun to experience. On Saturdays (I believe) there’s a market and I think certain restaurants offer live music as well. I was there on a Thursday evening and it was busy but very peaceful still and there was always a place available to sit and relax either by the river or by the restaurants. I really enjoyed just sitting there for quite some time and enjoying the ambiance. If you’re with a group this would also be a great place!
Places I haven’t been yet…
There were a few places I didn’t have a chance to go to that I had wanted to visit so here’s a short list of what might be worth seeing, I just haven’t seen it to be able to say yes or no!
- SeaWorld – It was mostly closed when I was there because it was the off season. I could have gone on the Friday I was there but the issue I had was that schools were closed. I really didn’t want to deal with so many crowds so I figured I’d skip it in favor of other plans.
- Nature preserve areas – I didn’t get a chance to see the preserve areas as I didn’t have my own car (I’m not sure if that’s their official name but I know they are around the city) but I heard they’re great! There’s a ton of paths to walk/bike/run as well. The trail along the missions is 10 miles so I would have loved to try at least some of that trail for sure.
- Tower of the Americas – I loved walking around Hemisfair Park but didn’t go up on the Tower of the Americas. I hadn’t really wanted to or planned to so I don’t think I’m missing out on much but I thought I would include it for anyone that would find it fun to check out.
And that’s my “must sees” for San Antonio! Have I missed anything? Let me know!
Thanks for reading!
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