These are a list of fun things I've discovered (through word of mouth) that are highly recommended to do, visit, explore, etc. while in San Antonio, Texas. If you're looking for fun things to do before and/or after DevCon, check out some of these recommendations.
Cultural Sights / Venues
- Mission San Jose - Founded in 1720, this Spanish frontier mission, the largest of the five San Antonio missions, is best known for its rose window. On Sundays, this Texas and U.S. National historic site offers a mariachi mass.
- River Walk - In 2009, the City of San Antonio extended the developed portion of the Riverwalk northward by more than 2 miles to the former Pearl Brewery. The 22-acre site is home to the Culinary Institute of America and the old brewery buildings as well as the surrounding area have witnessed a surge of redevelopment with new restaurants, retail stores and apartments being built. The San Antonio Museum of Art is located along this northern stretch of the Riverwalk and since 2009 the pathway has been extended northwards again all the way to the San Antonio Zoo, however the official Riverwalk path leaves the river for a short section as it skirts the Brackenridge Park golf course. Along this section of the river you will find multiple art installations, including a large school of illuminated fish suspended from the overhead structure of IH 35 and a large scale grotto with waterfalls by local artisan, Carlos Cortes.
- The Alamo - The 18th-century mission church where Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie and 188 others waged their last stand against the Mexican army for Texas independence has become a state symbol. The most famous historical site in Texas, the mission has been restored to its original condition and offers tours, relics of the past, and a gift shop with memorabilia for history enthusiasts.
Amusement and Entertainment
- Six Flags Fiesta Texas - A 200-acre theme park with rides, games, activities, performances and fireworks. What could possibly be better?
- Morgan's Wonderland - An interesting and adaptive competitor to Six Flags and 5 star rated theme park.
- Brankenridge Eagle Miniature Train- There are two things just about every child in San Antonio has done — visited Brackenridge Park and taken a ride on the Brackenridge Eagle Miniature Train. 'Nuff said.
Sports and Physically Active Fun
- Palmer Course at La Cantera - Designed by Arnold Palmer, this public 18-hole championship course, at Par-71 and 6,926 yards, is set dramatically over 250 acres.
- Mission Trail - A pedestrian route that starts at the Alamo and winds nine miles along the San Antonio River passing four other historical missions.
- San Antonio Western Shooting - You'd have a blast (see what I did there?) but you generally need reservations to be 30 days in advance so getting a session isn't certain this close to the event.
Museums and Historical Venues
- San Antonio Museum of Art - The San Antonio Museum of Art is housed in a historic brewery along the banks of the Museum Reach of the Riverwalk. SAMA offers important permanent collections of Egyptian, Greek and Roman antiquities, Asian art, Latin American art, contemporary art and American paintings. The museum offers a variety of programs and a cafe. Admission prices are: Adults - $10 Seniors 65+ - $7 Students and Military (with ID). free hours every week are: Free hours are Tuesdays from 4 - 9 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m.- noon.
The Outdoor Lover's Venues
- San Antonio Botanical Gardens - 33 acres of plants from Texas and around the world spread out in a wide and diverse range of species. If you have allergies, stay away from this recommendation. The attraction may hurt you!
- Natual Bridge Caverns - Visit the largest underground attraction in Texas. Daily guided tours allow you to explore large underground chambers and huge formations, featuring a room larger than a football field. Above ground, discover rocks, minerals and rough-cut gems at the Natural Bridge Mining Company Sluice. There's also a Canopy Challenge wich will test your agility on over 40 different obstacles while you are on a 4 story, 60 feet high Adventure Course. Follow this up by flying across the scenic Texas Hill Country on a zip line.
- Japanses Tea Gardens - Originally a rock quarry, part of the tea garden came from a donation by George W. Brackenridge and another section from Emma Koehler. In 1915 Ray Lambert, city parks commissioner, thought it would make a nice location for a lily pond. Ultimately, it grew to become a tea garden. The latest renovations began in 2007 and cost about $1.6 million, compared with the $7,000 Lambert originally spent to open the park. It is a Registered Texas Historic Landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places.
- Vietnam War Memorial - An elegant bronze statue honoring the veterans of the Vietnam War.
- The Grotto - Not like the one in Vegas, this is a quiet and beautiful location close in proximity to the River Walk.
- The Largest Boots in Texas - No really, this is a thing. It's a statue of the largest cowboy boots you'll find in the large state where everything is bigger.
Zoos and Aquariums
- Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch - A Texas style African safari. It's the closest to African Safari you're gonna' get in Texas.
- San Antonio Zoo and Aquarium - 8,500 animals spread out on 56 acres. If you're into photography, this is a great place for you.
I hope this list is somewhat helpful if you find you have some time on your hand and you're looking for something to do while in San Antonio, Texas. Yeeeehaaaaw!!
-Crystal D. Smith
Business Development Director