Courtesy of Will Tallent / The Paisano
San Antonio with over 400 square miles is a huge city filled with many things to do and many places to explore. Whether you’re looking for free fun or have a little money to spare, you’re bound to find something intriguing. While the Alamo is always the go-to for tourists, there are many other interesting things to do that are out of the ordinary. Take a walk downtown and discover new places, or get some ideas from these cool spots!
Brackenridge ParkNamed after its donor, George Brackenridge, a philanthropist and the longest serving regent for the University of Texas System, Brackenridge Park’s 343.7 acres of land are home to the Japanese Tea Garden, San Antonio Zoo, Sunken Garden Theatre and Witte Museum. Free daily admission is offered for the Japanese Tea Garden and the Witte Museum on Tuesdays from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. The Japanese Tea Garden boasts breathtaking scenery of fragrant flowers. There is a beautiful waterfall, with alcoves for picnics, a playground, several trails and a dog park. Walk along the stone paths and gaze at the reflections in the glassy ponds, while enjoying the botanical retreat.
Prefer to see animals? Then visit the zoo! Spend hours strolling through the area as you “ooh” and “aah” over the gibbons, pythons and alligators—all for $12 admission and free parking.
King William Historic DistrictPositioned along the San Antonio River, the King William Historic District was designated as the first Historic Neighborhood District in Texas in 1967. During the 1800s, prominent German merchants settled in this district. Today, the 25-block area consists primarily of homes built during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Several of these homes, namely the Sartor House, Ike West House and Wolfe House, have a unique architectural style. This historic district also offers a few mansions in its neighborhood such as Steves Homestead, Groos House and Polk Mansion. Although the majority of the homes are privately owned, the Guenther House and Steves Homestead are available for public tours. With free admission, a restaurant, a roof garden and a river mill store, the Guenther House is a great choice to tour. Visitors of Steves Homestead can tour the home for a fee of $5 and admire its ornate furnishings, carriage house, servant’s quarters and the pool deemed the city’s first indoor swimming pool.
Brewstillery TourAlways wondered how beer is made? Then check out the Brewstillery Tour offered by Ranger Creek Brewing & Distillery. For $10, get a detailed tour of Ranger Creek, a pint glass souvenir and 3 samples of your choosing: beer, whiskey or both. However, you must be 21 years or older to partake.
San Antonio Foodie TourThis tour is a foodie’s dream, offering tasting tours and cooking class vacations. Visit up to six locally owned restaurants sampling their scrumptious cuisine, including delicacies such as prickly pear margaritas, King Ranch chicken and enchiladas. Site stops include Augie’s Barbed-wire Smokehouse, The Cove and Joseph’s Storehouse Bakery and Cafe. For $49, indulge like a millionaire on this foodie tour, and devour your money’s worth of some of the finest cuisine San Antonio has to offer.
The Alamo Ghost HuntAre you afraid of the dark? Love to get goosebumps and scream at the top of your lungs? Then the Alamo Ghost Hunt is definitely a must. For $16, walk through some of San Antonio’s oldest graveyards or ride in a private limo as you listen to ghastly tales of the departed. Each tour starts at 9:00 p.m., and there’s even ghost hunting equipment, so go ahead and be a Ghost Buster!
Tower of the AmericasEnjoying a breathtaking view of the city at the top of the Tower of the Americas. Tickets cost $10.95 for adults and include unlimited access to the Observation Deck, Skies over Texas 4D Theater Ride and Flags Over Texas at the tower. With a mesmerizing view of the city, the Observation Deck contains numerous pictures that tell thousands of words; learn about the history of the six flags that once flew over Texas or how Spain dominated Texas for more than 300 years. Dining at the Tower’s Chart House Restaurant is a bit costly, but visit during Happy Hour (Mon – Fri from 4:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.) for drink and appetizer specials starting at $3. Every Friday from May 31 to August 30, stop by the Tower for its free concert series and enjoy music, food and fun! Parking at the Tower of the Americas is $8 regularly and $11 on special event days.