20 Free Things to do in San Antonio

San Antonio is one of those rare cities that combines food, scenery, culture and true beauty. The architecture and history make it a unique destination. The best part of the Alamo City? There are loads of free things to do in San Antonio!

1. SAN ANTONIO RIVER WALK – SA’s top tourist destination…enjoy a peaceful stroll while watching the boat rides and stopping along the way for some of the best food you’ll find in the city. The whole strip is filled with gorgeous vistas, stores to window shop, and lots of great restaurants.

2. THE ALAMO – Historical ground for the Battle of the Alamo between Texas and Mexico in the late 1800’s. Learn about the rich history of the state of Texas.

3. LONG BARRACKS MUSEUM – The oldest building in San Antonio was originally built in 1724 as a convent. Since then it has been used as a Spanish army barrack and hospital, a fortress, a U.S. Army quartermaster depot, and more. Today it’s a museum dedicated to the history of The Alamo.

4. SAN ANTONIO MISSIONS NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK – One of the history-rich landmarks in town. Take your time exploring the grounds, full of beautiful art and artifacts from the original missions. Note: Keep in mind that each mission is about 2.5 miles from the next.

5. BRACKENRIDGE PARK – It’s home to the beautiful Japanese Tea Garden, Botanical Garden, San Antonio Zoo, and more. Although visiting some of these spots may cost a few bucks, you can still enjoy a nice walk in the park and enjoy the scenery for free. It’s a great area for bird watching, hiking, or biking if you’re into enjoying nature.

6. JAPANESE TEA GARDEN – If you are looking to see some beautiful sights, you’ll want to visit the Japanese Tea Garden. It features an amazing waterfall, exotic plants, and some of the most beautiful sights you will find in South Texas.

7. SAN PEDRO CREEK CULTURE PARK – Located in the downtown area, this park is a place where culture, beauty, and art collide. Take some time to admire the beautiful creek and the many structures and various arts throughout the park.

8. PHIL HARDBERGER PARK – The area is filled to the brim with plenty of gorgeous scenes full of heritage. This park includes a nature center, dog parks, play areas and walking, hiking and biking trails.

9. THE ARTPACE DOWNTOWN – The Artpace is the place to be if you’re an art fanatic or love modern culture. It’s a place where some of the best art in the city is on display for the community made by famous artists from all over the world, and is home to nine artists throughout the year.

10. YANAGUANA GARDEN – Here you will find some of the best exhibits in the city of San Antonio. The Yanaguana Garden is famous for its exotic art displays, and each one is a completely unique designs.

11. PUBLIC ART SAN ANTONIO STUDIO – The studio is open to the public and features some great exhibits, workshops, and educational events.

12. GO WINDOW SHOPPING AT THE MARKET SQUARE – EL MERCADO – The Market Square is a spot where the Mexican culture meets San Antonio. It’s a great spot to see and experience just how wonderful the mixing of the two cultures can be.

13. MAIN PLAZA – Situated in the city’s center, the historic Main Plaza dates back to the early 1700s. This innovative public space enhances the city’s core with mature trees and bubbling fountains. Known historically as the “Heart of the City,” this plaza is home to San Fernando Cathedral, the oldest cathedral sanctuary in the nation.

14. THE GUENTHER HOUSE MUSEUM – The Museum houses Pioneer Flour Mill memorabilia including antique baking accessories, cookie cutters and anniversary Dresden china plates which were given to customers by the mill. The re-purposed home also contains a popular restaurant and River Mill Store.

15. HEMISFAIR PARK – Built for the 1968 HemisFair in honor of the city’s 250th anniversary, this delightful park is home to water gardens and the kid-designed wood and sand playground. The highlight is the looming 750-foot tall Tower of the Americas, offering a terrific view of the city.

16. LA VILLITA HISTORIC ARTS VILLAGE – La Villita was one of San Antonio’s first neighborhoods. Over 25 galleries, boutiques, and restaurants in the nature-filled block offer unique art, oil paintings, sculptures, watercolors, metalwork, rock art, textiles, copper wares, jewelry, stained glass, regional folk-art, and award-winning culinary provisions.

17. EISENHOWER PARK – A 320-acre park with over 6 miles of paved and unpaved trails, the park features an observation tower at 1,278 feet, offering a stunning view of downntown San Antonio.

18. FORT SAM HOUSTON QUADRANGLE – While most military installations discourage visitors, the Quadrangle is just the opposite, visitors are encouraged. Inside the stone wall fortress you will immediately discover deer, ducks, rabbits, and other small animals who run free. The Fort Sam Houston Museum preserves and exhibits the history of Fort Sam Houston and the Army in this region.

19. MCNAY ART MUSEUM IN SAN ANTONIO – This 24-room, Spanish colonial revival-style mansion itself is a work of art. The museum has a superb art collection that focuses primarily on 19th and 20th century European and American art. Be sure to visit the absolutely stunning interior courtyard, complete with a Japanese-inspired garden and fishpond.

20. BRISCOE WESTERN ART MUSEUM – Located on the Riverwalk, the museum is a collections-based institution building upon art and artifacts that tell the vast and multifaceted story of the American West. The Briscoe Campus consists of the historic Museum, the Jack Guenther Pavilion and the adjacent McNutt Courtyard and Sculpture Garden.