The Ultimate San Antonio Guide to Summer
If you have yet to discover San Antonio, let us be the first to introduce you. San Antonio is a city that has it all. Here, you’ll stumble upon quaint neighborhoods tucked among bustling big city attractions. You’ll also encounter unique architecture influenced as as much by the city’s history as it’s proximity to the border. Though San Antonio’s claim to fame is usually the Alamo and the River Walk, we’re here to say that there’s more to this city than that.
Take a page out of Hotel Contessa’s book by taking a peek at our San Antonio guide to the summer. Explore some of our favorite things to do, best places to eat, and attractions you won’t want to miss--even during some of the hottest months of the year.
What to See
Historic Brackenridge Park is more than just a city park. Overlooking a portion of the San Antonio River, Brackenridge Park’s lush greenery and calming views are a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Jog, fish, walk, or have a picnic throughout the parks trails, green spaces, and pavilions. The park is also home to the Japanese Tea Garden, Sunken Garden Theater, the San Antonio Zoo, Lambert Beach, and Tony “Skipper” Martinez baseball fields.
You can adventure outdoors. Or you can opt inside for what is still many of San Antonio’s most exciting sights. San Antonio is at its hottest in the summer, which is why you may want a reprieve from outdoor adventuring. Seek out air conditioning by choosing from some of the city’s best indoor events and attractions. Outdoors may beat the indoors at other times of year, but in the summer you’ll want to add at least a few of these indoor activities to your vacation itinerary.
La Villita Historic Arts Village
Located just south of the River Walk, La Villita is one of the city’s first neighborhoods. Settled over 300 years ago and revitalized beginning in 1939, La Villita serves as a hub for local arts and crafts. This artists market houses goods from nearly 30 shops and galleries. Creations include paintings, folk art, copper-ware, jewelry, textiles, and more. Even better? These tree-lined streets are also home to some of the city’s best restaurants.
Tower of the Americas
Ride 750-feet to the top of the Tower of the Americas. Built for the 1968 World’s Fair, the Tower of the Americas was the tallest observation tower in the U.S. until 1996. Today, the observation deck is not only offers panoramic city views, but it also houses a revolving restaurant. The Tower of the America’s remains the 27th-tallest building in Texas, making it a must-visit while in San Antonio.
What to Do
San Antonio Missions National Historic Park
In the early 1700’s, the Spanish Missions became a place of salvation for the people of South Texas. Facing Apache raids from the North, the spread of disease from Mexico, and ongoing drought, people then took to the missions for safety. Several of these mission still stand near San Antonio. View the missions or even embark on a guided tour hosted by the National Parks Service.
A lesser-known fact about San Antonio is that the city is full of theme parks. Though many of the theme parks are overshadowed by more historic attractions like The Alamo and the River Walk, San Antonio is actually a lesser known theme park capital of the U.S. (you heard it here first!). From Six Flags to SeaWorld, you’ll find all the exhilaration your vacation needs.
Natural Bridge Caverns
Opt outside at Natural Bridge Caverns, an exciting natural marvel with added attractions. Descend deep into the caves on a tour of the otherwordly twists and turns. Created by water and the passage of time, the caverns encompass interesting formations you won’t find anywhere else. Above ground, the attraction includes a Canopy Challenge and a 5,000-square-foot outdoor maze.
Attend an Area Event
Like any major city, San Antonio attracts events aplenty. From major sporting spectacles to Broadway shows and concerts, San Antonio offers events to satisfy all interests. But what’s unique to San Antonio is the many festivals. This city has a celebratory spirit, and it shines through festivals honoring everything from donuts to Latino cultures. Make time for an event unique to San Antonio for vacation memories you’ll cherish.
San Antonio Zoo
Located within Brackenridge Park, the San Antonio Zoo is a must for animal lovers of all ages. Visit the aquarium, hippos, birds, lions, and more, each in authentically designed habitats. The zoo also hosts myriad events, like Monarch Fest, and daily experiences that help you get up close and personal with the animals. Feed giraffes, ride the zoo train, or even interact with the zoo’s oldest residents: the tortoise.
What to Eat
Riverside Boudro’s is as much about the food as it is about the experience. Think guacamole prepared tableside, tables along the river with ducks paddling by, and mouthwatering Tex-Mex eats all diners will love. Fresh fish, juicy steaks, and Mexican-inspired sides are a staple here. Try the shrimp and grits, the lobster with spinach empanadas, or duck spring rolls. Complement your meal by sipping on a fresh prickly pear margarita.
No Texas trip would be complete without barbecue, and Rudy’s offers some of the city’s best. This casual eatery features indoor and outdoor picnic table-style seating, which only adds to the authentic barbecue experience. Don’t miss the smoked turkey, brisket, or creamed corn. Replicate the Rudy’s experience at home by purchasing a bottle of Rudy’s signature barbecue sauce to take on the road.
Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery
In addition to preparing mouthwatering meals, Southerleigh also brews their own beer. The rustic interior features tall shelves of books and a wrought iron staircase, creating a quaint and cozy atmosphere in which to dig into food and brews. Menu items change seasonally, though each is inspired by coastal classics authentic to nearby Galveston. Try their famous Fried Snapper Throats, Fresh Ricotta, or a traditional Galveston Bay Shrimp Boil.