A symbol of freedom and perseverance, The Alamo is arguably one of Texas' most popular landmarks and attractions. It was here within these hallowed walls that the freedom fighters for Texas' independence against General Santa Anna's army made their mark and redefined history forever. Daily tours make the Alamo come alive daily.
No trip to San Antonio would be complete without a stop at the historic Alamo, the site of a pivotal battle in the Texas Revolution.
Within walking distance of the River Walk, The Alamo is located in the heart of historic downtown San Antonio. The 4.2-acre Alamo Plaza includes the original mission or church, the Alamo Gardens, the Long Barrack Museum and the Gift Museum. All of the buildings display a living history of the early years that shaped Texas' independence.
The mission was originally named Mision San Antonio de Valero and was built in 1724. For nearly 70 years, missionaries made their home there, along with their Indian converts. But it was the 13-day seige in 1836 against General Santa Anna's army that would come to define the sacred shrine as the symbol of liberty and courage in the fight for Texas freedom.
Among the famous freedom fighters were Col. William B. Travis, commander of The Alamo, along with Jim Bowie and David Crockett. Today, The Alamo is one of the biggest attractions in San Antonio and in Texas.
Docents or volunteer tour guides make The Alamo come alive with true facts about the historic battle, while also dispelling many of the myths and legends that have added to the mystique of The Alamo. Items on display include an original Bowie knife and a flintlock rifle, similar to those that were used in the battle. The museum even houses personal items that once belonged to The Alamo's celebrated heroes.
The Alamo is open daily except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Admission is free to the public. The Alamo is maintained by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, which depend on sales from the gift shop and private grants and donations.
It's cowboy culture for kids at the Enchanted Springs Ranch, where you'll find activities and attractions like wagon rides, pony rides and a puppet show on this real, working ranch.
Soldier on, kiddos. Check out the amazing toys (or should we call it art?) at Kings X Toy Soldiers, the only toy soldier shop in Texas. You'll find this attraction inside the Menger Hotel.
Natural Bridge Caverns is so much more than one of the most treasured natural attractions Texas has to offer. This beautiful and historical cavern system offers an experience that is high energy, educational, fun and family oriented. Whether you are a first timer, an avid caver or someone in between, Natural Bridge Caverns awaits with a once in a lifetime experience you'll never forget.
Drive through an African Safari at the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, where you can view more than 500 exotic species from the comfort of your car. When you're finished, bring the kids out to the Petting Barnyard or grab a burger at the Safari Camp Grill.
Chow down on an authentic ranch meal at the Old West Summer Chuck Wagon Ride & Dinner Show. Top off the evening with songs and stories around the campfire by professional performers.
Get ready to view jaw-dropping attractions, oddities and artifacts from around the world at Ripley's Believe It or Not! Odditorium and Louis Tussaud's Wax Museum in San Antonio.
Get ready to view jaw-dropping oddities and artifacts from around the world at Ripley's Believe It or Not! Odditorium and Louis Tussaud's Wax Museum in San Antonio.
The bizarre and unusual items include specimens from and inspired by the world-famous Robert Ripley, the notorious cartoonist, traveler, adventurer and overall man-of-the-hour in the 1930s and '40s. Ripley began his empire with the cartoon "Ripley's Believe It or Not!" His fascination with until-then unexplored customs and cultures from the far corners of the world culminated in a radio and TV show of the same name.
Now his legacy continues with an interactive museum of one-of-a-kind finds, including shrunken heads, fertility statues and the largest collection of the Berlin Wall in the world. Some of the more notable exhibits in the San Antonio Ripley's Believe It or Not! include the mortician's toe tag from Lee Harvey Oswald, a two-trunked elephant, a 512-pound iron meteorite and the mummified head of American cannibal Alfred Packer.
The River Walk is the must-see spot in all of San Antonio, a gorgeous meandering river one story below street level and paved by cobblestones. You'll find attractions, world-famous restaurants, unique shops and galleries lining the banks of the River Walk. The experience is like no other, and the River Walk is also the site of holiday and season celebrations that draw thousands downtown.
In the heart of San Antonio lies one of its most unique tourist attractions, The San Antonio River Walk. Nestled along the banks of the San Antonio River, the 21-block River Walk is a winding pedestrian promenade lined with riverfront shops, restaurants, galleries and other attractions.
No visit to San Antonio would be complete without a stroll along the paved pathways on either side of the river. Sunset cruises and dinner boats slowly wind their way past the dozens of restaurant patios, where visitors can sip a cool drink under a colorful outdoor umbrella.
The River Walk was developed in the late 1940s and sits one story below street level. Lush greenery flanks the cool and casual oasis, including signature bald cypress trees that reach above the top of the River Walk and can be seen from the streets above.
Dine in style at any of the River Walk's dozens of restaurants, where misters cool the air in the summer months and outdoor heaters erase the chill of already-mild Texas winters. Bring an adventurous palate, because if you're looking for great restaurants in San Antonio, the River Walk offers a wide variety of cuisines. For a Texas-infused bite, many of the barbecue restaurants elevate Tex-Mex flavors to a whole new level, with offerings like Salmon Tacos and exotic mole sauces. If your mouth is watering for bona-fide Texas beef, some of the more refined restaurants feature local lamb, game and beef prepared in new and exciting ways.
Bitten by the shopping bug? Then you'll want to browse the eclectic collection of galleries and retail stores along the River Walk. Most are locally owned and feature everything from kitschy souvenirs to highly-collectible works of art by local and regional artists.
San Antonio's creative and energetic art community was instrumental in the recently opened Museum Reach portion of the River Walk. The 1.2-mile extension connects the River Walk to the world-renowned San Antonio Museum of Art and the Pearl Brewery Complex, and enclave of art galleries and artist studios that are open to the public.
Public art installations that feature sound, water and movement decorate the overpasses and banks along the Museum Reach.
As the day winds down, explore the many entertainment options along the River Walk. High-energy clubs, low-key cigar bars and a dueling piano bar are just some of the night-time offerings for San Antonio visitors who want to extend their River Walk experience into the late evening hours.
Just like nature itself, the River Walk evolves and changes throughout the seasons. Festivals and events mark many of the major holidays, especially during the summertime with arts & craft shows and fireworks during July 4, Memorial Day and Labor Day. Other unique festivals include the River Walk Lucky Duck Race featuring 10,000 rubber ducks in a race along the winding River Walk. At Halloween, the Corona Coffins on Parade sends shivers down the river, where coffins eerily float in barges at dusk.
Extended celebrations at Christmastime keep the season going strong all through the month of December. A holiday arts & crafts, boat caroling and a luminary festival of 6,000 lights along the river bank ring in the spirit and warmth of the season.
There's always something in bloom at the San Antonio Botanical Garden. Seasonal temperatures mean there's usually a profusion of color from snapdragons, roses, petunias, violas and the like. Or enjoy the rugged beauty of the natural Texas xeriscape gardens, which features dry-climate succulents, grasses and more. Pick up some gardening tips and leave with a gorgeous specimen.
The San Antonio Zoo & Aquarium is a multi-sensory delight: You'll hear the shrill call of the ostriches in the African Plains, watch the fancy footwork of gibbons lesser apes in the Gibbon Forest, and touch the scaly wings of the rays at the aquarium. Dozens of exhibitions and attractions display and showcase thousands of animals.
An educational adventure of breathtaking beauty lies at the heart of the San Antonio Zoo & Aquarium. The famed zoo is home to more than 3,500 animals on 56 acres. Notable exhibits include two of the first-ever cageless areas: the Barless Bear Terraces and the Primate Paradise. For a globe-trotting experience, the zoo also houses simulated environments of the Amazon, African Plains and Austrailian rainforests.
The San Antonio Zoo dates back to 1914, when the founder of the local newspaper deeded land to the city and populated it with buffalo, elk, deer, monkeys, a pair of lions and four bears.
The Richard Friedrich Aquarium was added in 1948 and today the zoo is a marvel of conservation efforts, breeding programs and nature-sensitive displays.Ongoing exhibits include:
Splash into gallons of fun at Schlitterbahn Water Park Resort, voted the #1 waterpark in the world by the Travel Channel. You'll find dozens of exciting water rides and attractions throughout the park.
At SeaWorld San Antonio, you'll enter a world of underwater adventure, where famous orca whales are the superstars and marine mammals splash and play with family and friends. Catch one of the many popular shows in the main arena featuring the orcas, sea lions and dolphins. Plan to get wet if you're sitting in one of the front rows! For fun on dry land, check out the roller coasters and other theme park attractions at SeaWorld.
Everything's bigger in Texas, and SeaWorld San Antonio is no exception. Located on 250 sprawling acres of Texas Hill country, the marine mammal park is the largest of all the SeaWorld parks and also the largest marine-life theme park in the world.
Baby Shamu was the first orca whale born at SeaWorld San Antonio and is now the star of popular shows like "Believe," along with other killer whales who call SeaWorld home. Funny sea lions provide comic relief in "The Cannery Row Caper," while mesmerizing beluga whales and elegant Pacific white-sided dolphins perform an oceanic opera in "Viva!"
After catching their favorite marine mammals in action, younger family members will want to create a splash in the Lost Lagoon Water Park. Explore the maze of slides in the spectacular "Sidewinders" waterslide or get the whole family wet on your very own river raft ride. Enjoy a wild and wet time in "Splash Attack," a 3-story interactive fun house, or let the little ones tame the tide in the calmer water-play area.
Of course, the fun doesn't end when you change into dry clothes. The amusement park area of SeaWorld San Antonio will transport you to a whole other level of fun. Three of the most popular roller-coasters in Texas are all right here, including "Journey to Atlantis," "Steel Eel" and "The Great White."
Shhhh, don't tell the kids: You can sneak in a little bit of learning while you're here -- all in the name of fun, naturally. Dolphin Cove and Alligator Alley offer a hands-on educational experience. Visitors can stroke a baby alligator's scaley back or tickle the nose of an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin. Don't miss Rocky Point Preserve, where the seals and sea lions hang out by a sign that reads "Please feed the animals."
If getting goosebumps is your thing, then you'll want to explore the mysterious depths of Sharks/The Coral Reef and stand within inches of a toothsome Hammerhead shark. Dazzling schools of tropical fish dart past, while playful penguins bob and dive down a snowy slide into icy, Artic-like waters.
Looking for even more excitement? Consider booking a sleepover for the family and visit with the animals at night. You might just wake up next to a cuirous penguin or dolphin! Extended summer adventure camps are also available.
SeaWorld San Antonio is open weekends and some weekdays in spring; daily during summer; weekends in fall through Dec. 31. For more information, call 800-700-7786. www.seaworld.com/sanantonio.
Thrilling action is just part of the fun at Six Flags Fiesta Texas, one of the largest theme parks in the country. There's no shortage of attractions and rides like roller coasters - in fact, the world's largest is right here, ready to take you on a 20-story drop just for starters. If you're looking to cool down, check out the Water Bay water park with its gravity-defying super slides and the completely relaxing lazy river. Whatever your speed, Six Flags Fiesta Texas delivers on the fun.
Calling all thrill-seekers! Whether your idea of fun is relaxing in a wave pool or dropping 20+ stories in one of the world's largest roller coasters, Six Flags Fiesta Texas is ready to deliver a day of action-packed excitement.
The 200-acre park near San Antonio is perfect for familes and friends of all ages. It features more than 50 rides and attractions, each one marked by a thrill rating that ranges from "mild" to "max."
Youngsters will squeal with delight when they enter Wiggles World, a section of the park featuring shows and rides themed around the popular show "The Wiggles."
Fans of white-knuckled roller-coaster rides will have plenty to sample from at Six Flags Fiesta Texas, including the Superman: Krypton Coaster, Boomerang, Goliath, Poltergeist, Road Runner Express and The Rattler.
Ready to cool off? Six Flags Fiesta Texas boasts an amazing White Water Bay water park, free with park admission. The entire family can take a leisurely raft tour (with a few suprises thrown in) along a lazy river, or get ready to launch yourself through the loops and twists of the dozen or so tube rides and slides.
Wind down the day at one of the featured concerts or shows. Special guests include well-known recording artists, along with daily shows with popular themes like Motown, country, rock and Latin. There's even a Wiggles show and a Looney Tunes Dance Off for the kiddos. Six Flags Fiesta Texas theme park hours and water park hours are seasonal, so check ahead before you arrive. Off-season events include Fright Fest in October and the winter celebration, Holiday in the Park.
There's no better way to beat the Texas heat than at Splashtown, a mini-city that thrives on bucketloads of fun. Bob along the lazy river, watch a 'dive-in movie' in the evening, or double-dare gravity on dozens of twisting, turning slides, rides and attractions. Splashtown is a thrill a minute, that will last all day.
Beat the Texas heat at Splashtown San Antonio, where 20 sprawling acres of splash slides, a man-made lazy river and exciting events like the 'Dive-In Movies' beckon.
Splashtown San Antonio makes your stay all the more enjoyable (and convenient) with on-site lockers, cabana rentals, free life vests and restrooms with shower facilities.
Just north of San Antonio, Splashtown features 50 rides and attractions for every level of swimmer and thrill-seeker. Seven unique slide areas guarantee plenty of variety throughout the day, with names such as Crystal Falls, Serpentines and The Wedgie. The aptly named Lone Star Luge is bigger and badder than ever, daring visitors to experience plenty of twists and turns the entire length of two football fields!
Kids Kove is perfect for pint-sized water lovers, with just-my-size slides and tamer water play. If you're ready to slow down and relax, grab an inner tube and let the slow-moving waters of the Siesta Del Rio take you on a lazy loop around the park.
Playtime doesn't have to end when you get out of the water. Show your skills on one of the many basketball or sand volleyball courts. The whole family can gather around the wave pool for 'Dive-in Movies' every Friday during the season. Catch a great family movie on the jumbo screen while the splashing continues into the evening hours.
Concession stands and restaurants serve up a variety of meals and snacks. Hostess service is also available with cabana rental. Hours are seasonal.
The Tower of the Americas is one of the city's landmark attractions and sits prominently in San Antonio's skyline. Many visitors are surprised that the tower is open for the public to take in breathtaking views and to dine in the revolving restaurant at the top. The Flags Over Texas observation deck is the picture-perfect spot for viewing, and you can enhance your experience by entering the 4-D theater ride, Skies Over Texas.
Looking for spectacular views of downtown San Antonio? The Tower of the Americas offers jaw-dropping vistas in a relaxed atmosphere, whether you choose to take in the scenery from its upsale, revolving restauarant or the Flags Over Texas observation deck.
The quiet beauty of San Antonio unfolds as visitors gaze out from the 750-foot tall tower's glass walls. Enjoy a fine-dining experience at San Antonio Chart House, a top-rated restaurant from the Landry's chain of seafood eateries. The Chart House offers a top-notch Happy Hour, where patrons can sample Texas-infused offerings such as the Prickly Pear Frozen Margarita, Firecracker Shrimp and Ahi Nachos.
If you want to visit strictly for the view, then stop at the Flags Over Texas observation deck, which offers stunning and unobstructed vistas of the Alamo City. The observation deck also includes a special meeting room and banquet facilities, available for business meetings, school educational gatherings, weddings or other special events.
For another bird's-eye-view of Texas, head over to the 4-D theater ride, Skies Over Texas. This multi-sensory experience takes visitors on a sweeping trip across Texas. You'll get a close-up look at some of the unique events and places that make Texas the true Lone Star State. For instance, visitors will zoom in on a Friday-night high school football game, and then peek over the shoulder of an engineer working with a space shuttle at NASA.
The Tower of the Americas is open daily. Admission is Adults $10.95; Seniors & military $9.95; Children $8.95.