San Antonio is a vibrant city that keeps drawing you back in. One trip is not enough to satisfy the adventure that can be found, the diverse culinary scene and the historic Spanish culture mixed with modern art and buildings. There are so many different ways to see the city. Here are some things to do in San Antonio if you have two days in the city.
As you’re traveling throughout San Antonio, make sure to call ahead to make sure things are open and adhere to local guidelines. While you’re out, make sure you have your mask, maintain social distancing and regularly wash your hands and sanitize. If you’re not feeling well, play it safe and stay home. San Antonio will always be waiting for you to explore.
Start your morning off with a sweet treat at The Art of Donut. These doughnuts are not only larger than average, but also come with unique flavor combinations! Now you can have brownies and cheesecake for breakfast with their chocolate brownie cake donut or their lemon blueberry cheesecake donut. Kids will love the unicorn donut with swirls of pink and blue covered in glitter, and they’re easy to grab to go!
No trip is complete without a stop at the historic Alamo! However, don't stop there. San Antonio has the Mission Trails with four other missions that are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can drive to each mission or, for a more active day, check out the Swell Cycle BCycles and bike the trail that passes Mission Concepción, Mission San José, Mission San Juan and Mission Espada. Along this route, you'll be able to take in the different architecture and learn about the unique history. There are also several different stops along the Mission Trail to enjoy!
In between Mission San José and Mission San Juan, you'll come across the Hot Wells Hotel Ruins. Hot Wells Hotel and Spa used to be an extravagant Victorian resort that was visited by some of the top celebrities of the day and was known for its health baths and pools. Fire and weather took its toll on the resort, and all that remains are the ruins. You can still catch a glimpse of its former glory and imagine the site it once was. Behind it is a swinging bridge for a nice little hike.
Just a little further down is Espada Park with multiple creeks and small waterfalls that make for the perfect spot to lay out a picnic. You can stop at Taqueria La Perla de Jalisco nearby for easy to-go tacos pastor or tortas (a Mexican sandwich) or pack your own lunch. Enjoy the nature around before finishing off your Mission Trail tour with Mission San Juan and Mission Espada.
After a full day of exploring, indulge in traditional Spanish food over at Toro Kitchen + Bar. With a curated Spanish wine list and a large selection of paellas to order as well as tapas, you can transport yourself across the sea with the culinary selections. The great thing is you get to try a little bit of everything! If you've never tried Spanish cuisine, some great classic options include Tortilla Española, Gambas al Ajillo, Calamares Fritos and Croquetas.
If you have some extra time, head over to the San Antonio River Walk for a different view of the river that's lit up with all the restaurants and shops around. There's often live music, and it's a vibrant scene no matter the time of day.
Head out to the historic Pearl market and into a beautiful restaurant called Supper for a unique San Antonio-influenced brunch. Supper serves tres leches french toast, which is a fun take on a Mexican dessert. You can even take your brunch to go and sit along the River Walk for beautiful scenery all around.
After a hearty breakfast, head out to Brackenridge Park, which is full of different attractions including the San Antonio Zoo, where you can drive through and see the different animals like at a drive-through safari.
Also within Brackenridge Park is the Japanese Tea Garden that includes a 60-foot waterfall and a koi pond as well as vibrant flowers throughout. There are walking trails, bridges covered in greenery and a pavilion where you can relax in the shade. From here, you can head out and hike the different trails in Brackenridge Park, including the Wilderness and Wildlife Trails that include a carved-out tree sculpture and some paths right along the river.
Market Square in San Antonio is the largest Mexican market in the United States, and on any given day, you will find it bustling with energy. There are often artists painting beloved San Antonio structures, Folklorico dancers and street vendors selling all sorts of Mexican foods, including elote (street corn), tacos, aguas frescas and more. It’s the perfect spot for enjoying the vibrant colors around as well as to grab a bite for lunch. The whole family can pick a different stand to try something new. If you’re looking for souvenirs to bring home, this is the perfect place to find some to remember your trip.
Not too far is the San Antonio Botanical Garden, which has an area for kids including tree branch tents, tiny homes and a creek to splash in. Additionally, you will find different pavilions with plant life, including a desert pavilion and a tropical pavilion. You can even discover native Texas plants along the way. After your trip through the gardens, you might even be inspired to do a little gardening yourself with some affordable herbs and Texas plants to take home.
Try something new at Sari-Sari, a Filipino restaurant serving up popular Filipino dishes, including lumpia, pancit and adobo (the national dish of the Philippines!). If you’ve never tried Filipino food, you’re in for a treat. Or if you have a large family, consider ordering a boodle fight, a feast of different dishes served on banana leaves and meant to be eaten with your hands!
Or for good old-fashioned burgers, check out Mark’s Outing for thick patties and a friendly staff. Brave souls will try to conquer the 2lb Lineman challenge in order to get their photo hung up on the wall. Try a one-of-a-kind fried ice cream burger. You might be surprised that the patty and fried ice cream pair well together!
Finish your stroll through Denman Estate Park where you will find a Korean-style pavilion that was donated to San Antonio from the city of Gwangju as a token of friendship between the two. So much detail and craftsmanship were put into the pavilion to enjoy, and afterwards you can wander around the pond and maybe even spot a few deer.
San Antonio contains surprises around every corner. We might know of the city for the Alamo and its rich Mexican influence, but are often amazed at the other cultural influences and opulent natural beauty that the city has to offer. There are so many hidden gems to uncover as you go along and sites to entice you for “just one more trip” that often turn into countless returns to discover something new.