What do you think of when you think of Texas? Country music and barbecues? The Dallas Cowboys? Its capital city, Austin?

Instead, you should think of San Antonio.

San Antonio isn’t always the first city people think of when they plan a trip to Texas, but it’s actually the second-largest city in Texas behind Houston, based on population. It’s a place that’s got a lot going on, and the people that have been there know just how much everyone else is missing out on! Whether you’re a foodie, a musician, or a history buff, this city has something for you.

That’s why we’ve put together the top five things to do in San Antonio so that the next time you’re in the Lone Star State you don’t overlook this gem of a travel destination!

1. Historic Market Square

A good place to start in San Antonio is at its bustling Historic Market Square. This is where you’ll experience a conglomerate of the city’s culture, through live entertainment and popular eating spots, not to mention the shopping! Just make sure you go on the weekend when there are more people and more things going on.

Be ready with your extra cash, because if you’re looking to take home some souvenirs or gifts for the family this is where you should pick them out. The Square is home to locally-owned shops with goods representing San Antonio’s rich history, along with local artists displaying their work for purchase. And if you’re a fan of Mexican food, look no further for some of the most authentic spots in the city.

It’s pedestrian-friendly and photo-ready, so bring your friends and pose for a selfie on its charming brick walkways!

2. River Walk

Everyone who has been to this beautiful city will tell you the same thing: it’s not a trip to San Antonio if you don’t go to the River Walk.

What is the River Walk, you ask? Well, it’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like. It’s a fifteen-mile long stretch of the San Antonio River that runs between sidewalks, flanked by shops and restaurants and tourists out on leisurely strolls.

Don’t feel like walking? You can also take boat tours, boat taxis, or hire a private boat and have a romantic dinner on the water.

And if your wallet is hurting from your visit to the Historic Market Square, you can be content to enjoy the views from the sidelines free of charge. It is a public park, after all. The lights glinting off the surface of the water will be all you need to relax, unwind, and enjoy your vacation days in San Antonio.

3. FIESTA!

For those of you who need to brush up your Spanish, fiesta means party. But in San Antonio, Fiesta is not just any party, it’s the ultimate event of the year. Mark your calendars, because this party’s upcoming dates are from April 16th to the 26th, 2020.

This event, starting all the way back in 1891 as a parade for heroes of the Alamo and Battle of San Jacinto, has evolved into a week-long celebration of the diverse cultures and heritages present in San Antonio. You will find elaborate parades, traditional dress, dance, and food, and a long list of events coordinated by 100 different non-profit organizations in the area. In addition, you can watch young women compete to be crowned Miss Fiesta San Antonio! 

No matter who you are or who you’re with, you can find fun for the whole family at this iconic celebration.

4. Visit Rhe Alamo

For people that appreciate a little history, the Alamo is a must-see in San Antonio.

This fort has a long history in Texas, starting as a place to convert Native Americans to Catholicism in the 1700’s. What it is most famous for, however, is the Battle of the Alamo in 1836, when Mexican troops defeated Texans who had held the fort for thirteen days.

It is this devastating defeat that is said to have fueled Texans in their eventual victory, with the famous battle cry of “Remember the Alamo!” Here you can learn all the details of this historic landmark’s rich history by attending events, participating in a tour, and viewing exhibits.

Even if history isn’t your thing, you should take a chance on this famous San Antonio tourist attraction.

5. The Pearl District

National Geographic named this chunk of San Antonio the “hottest neighborhood” to visit, earning itself the last spot on our list of things to do in San Antonio, Texas.

Known for being a hip and newly developing area, you can find some of the best coffee shops, bakeries, and restaurants here (thanks to its very own Culinary Institute of America). Oh, and it’s also got a riverside amphitheater.

Explore its streets and find out what’s happening here. You don’t want to miss this up-and-coming area!

These five places are by all means not the only things to see in San Antonio; in fact, they are only the tip of the iceberg! Don’t forget that it’s a city with a population of roughly 1.5 million people. That means a lot of neighborhoods to see, a lot of shops to check out, and a lot of locals to meet.

So follow our list of things to do in San Antonio, and then go out and find some more of your own! You never know what unexpected places you will find.