Top Attractions for First Timers

San Antonio attracts over 30 million visitors every year, so you’ll want to plan ahead for the top sites. We have 6 main categories of attractions you’ll want to consider when visiting for the first time.

History and Culture

You can’t come to San Antonio without a trip to the Alamo. One of 5 Spanish colonial missions built in the 1700s along the San Antonio River, the Alamo became a famous battle site during the Texas Revolution. Now a museum, it honors the legendary battle for Texan independence. Other historic sites like Mission San José and the Spanish Governor’s Palace give you a glimpse into San Antonio’s early Spanish rule. The city also has one of the largest Mexican-American populations in the country, so you’ll find vibrant Latino culture. Explore Market Square or stroll down the River Walk to experience authentic food, art, events and more.

Family Fun

Looking to entertain the kids or enjoy some family time? San Antonio has loads of amusement for all ages. Six Flags Fiesta Texas has world class roller coasters while SeaWorld San Antonio lets you get close to marine life like dolphins and penguins. Cool off at Schlitterbahn, a massive indoor and outdoor water park. Or zoom through the treetops on zip lines at Natural Bridge Caverns or Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch. For indoor fun, try iFLY for indoor skydiving or Dave & Buster’s for games and rides.

The Outdoors

San Antonio enjoys beautiful sunny weather year-round. Get out and enjoy nature all around the city for hiking, biking, paddling and more. Pedal along the Mission Trail, kayak down the San Antonio River, or tackle some of the hike and bike trials. Brackenridge Park and Friedrich Wilderness Park are two other excellent outdoor spaces with plenty of trails and picnic spots. The San Antonio Botanical Gardens and the trails around Government Canyon State Natural Area are also perfect spots to enjoy the outdoors in San Antonio.

Food Experiences

It’s simply impossible to visit San Antonio without indulging in Tex Mex cuisine and world famous margaritas. Hit up Mi Tierra in Market Square, where festive lights, music and Mexican food have been a staple for generations. Historic La Fonda on Main has perfect enchiladas while the upscale Rosario’s in the Southtown neighborhood serves creative spins on classic dishes. Seafood lovers will want to try the famous “puffys” at S.A. institution Alamo Fish Market. And you can’t leave without a food tour of the Pearl District, an area with trendy restaurants, bakeries, farmers markets and more. End your food adventures with churros, paletas, or tres leches cake for a sweet treat!


When the sun goes down in San Antonio, the city comes alive. With a vibrant bar scene and lively events, you’ll have endless options for nighttime entertainment. The beautiful River Walk is the ideal starting point, where you can bar hop between restaurants while enjoying the glowing river and lights. Bars and clubs around Downtown and in the Midtown/Uptown area stay busy late with live music, dancing, and drinks. Or catch a show at the Majestic Theater, Aztec Theater or Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. During summer weekends, you can also cool off at a floating water park movie night or enjoy an outdoor concert.

Shopping Destinations

Shopaholics can get their retail fix in style across San Antonio. The Shops at La Cantera has high end stores like Nordstrom in an outdoor mall setting. Find your favorite big box stores like Target and Marshall’s at The Rim shopping center. At the Pearl, browse through local boutiques, specialty stores, and indie retailers you won’t find anywhere else. Market Square and El Mercado have Mexican groceries, shops, and goods for unique local finds. And check out Southtown for art galleries, studios, vintage stores and other eclectic shopping.

How to Get Around San Antonio

Now for the not-so-fun part – figuring out transportation! San Antonio is a large city spanning almost 500 square miles, so getting around can take time. Luckily, you have plentiful options to see the city’s highlights and get from Point A to Point B.

Public Transportation

San Antonio’s public bus system VIA Metropolitan Transit offers an affordable way to navigate the city. Major stops around downtown and popular attractions mean you can see many highlights without a car. Just know that routes are limited on weekends and certain times. Don’t expect to get everywhere fast or on time. You’ll also be at the mercy of other riders and stops. But for budget travelers, it’s an easy way to explore basic sights.

Taxis and Rideshares

Taxis used to rule the transportation roost in most big cities. But with the rise of Uber and Lyft, rideshares now dominate in San Antonio. Just download the apps, order a car, and you’ll get picked up within minutes. No worries about parking or traffic and super convenient to get you from point to point. Just keep in mind that solo rides, long distances, traffic, and surge pricing can make rideshares get expensive for travelers fast – especially groups. And vehicles may not fit large parties comfortably. Taxis remain an option but typically cost more than rideshares upfront.

Charter Buses

For group transportation on a budget, nothing beats a charter bus rental. If you’re coming with a group of 10 or more people, charter buses offer the best value and experience. You’ll all travel together in a comfortable, spacious vehicle while a professional team navigates for you. Charter buses in San Antonio provide amenities like climate control, reclining seats, luggage storage, WiFi, entertainment systems and more. No worrying about parking or traffic either. Our team will pick you up and drop you off wherever your group needs to go all across the city and beyond. Whether you need transportation for a family trip, school field trip, corporate outing, wedding party or any group, charter bus services like ours simplify travel around San Antonio. No other transportation option can match charter buses for groups looking for convenience, affordability and an all-around amazing trip!

Ready to Get Started?

We hope this San Antonio guide gives you a useful starting point to experience this wonderful city for the first time. With so much to see and do, proper transportation will make or break your trip. For group travel, charter bus rentals are the clear winner for an unforgettable visit. Our team at San Antonio Party Bus Company provides exceptional charter bus rentals for all types of trips in and around the city. Whether you need transportation for a day, a weekend or a week, we deliver you in comfort and style. Contact us at 210-571-7998 anytime to receive a free custom quote.