The San Antonio River Walk is the center of downtown activity.

San Antonio's 5 Most Popular Attractions

San Antonio has a lot going on. From culture to history to natural beauty, there's a little something for everyone in this south Texas city. Here are a handful of the best, biggest, and most popular attractions.

San Antonio Zoo and Aquarium

The San Antonio Zoo houses some 750 species for an experience with nature that can completely broaden your viewpoint on animals. The butterfly exhibit is both beautiful and socially-conscious, and other special exhibits include lorikeets as well as the animals of Africa. Other attractions, like the carousel and the zoo train, provide fun diversions for kids over the course of a long day at the zoo. In terms of breadth of species, cleanliness, animal care and more, the San Antonio Zoo is one of the best zoos in the country.

The River Walk

The River Walk began as a WPA flood prevention project, but today it's one of the most recognizable features of the city. It's almost redundant to put the River Walk on this list—since basically all of San Antonio's best hotels sit alongside it, odds are you'll be seeing plenty of the area regardless. Still, if you somehow do find a hotel elsewhere, it's worth coming down to the river to see. With all kinds of restaurants, including the barbecue and Tex-Mex that make Texas unique, shopping opportunities, and the Briscoe Western Art Museum, the River Walk makes all of the theaters and attractions that much cooler by providing a beautiful backdrop.

Six Flags Fiesta Texas

Six Flags actually originates in Texas and takes its name from the six nations who have laid claim to the state over the course of its history. The nine roller coasters here include the newly-opened Batman: The Ride, the first "4D Free Spin" roller coaster in the world. Of course, not every ride is quite so...invigorating; there's fun to be had here for people of all ages. If your hotel doesn't have a water park attached, there's one here. Plus, the Fiesta Texas is always adding new rides and seasonal events.

Natural Bridge Caverns

Named for the enormous slab of limestone bridging a sinkhole near the entrance, Natural Bridge Caverns offers a lot to see and do, underground and above. When the water level rises, aquifer tours are offered, and the first tour of the day each morning is given by lantern light. Tours are offered for two different systems of passages, and topside entertainment includes a maze, as well as gem and fossil mining experience for kids.

The Alamo

Oh, man, we almost forgot the Alamo! Famously the site of a battle in the Texas Revolution, the fall of the Alamo, after a 13-day siege by Santa Anna, inspired a new wave of Texians to take up arms and defeat Mexico. For all its fame—bolstered by the presence of figures like Davey Crockett and Jim Bowie—The Alamo is actually pretty diminutive, sitting downtown across the street from the Guinness World Records Museum. Make sure you know what you're looking for, or you might miss it.

Last Updated: January 20, 2016