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san antonio river walk and barge

Texas Family Getaway: San Antonio

a little something for everyone in Alamo City

Just five hours (give or take) south of Dallas-Fort Worth is the exciting city of San Antonio. Nestled in the Hill Country, this city is a perfect destination for a family getaway. And if you think San Antonio is just the Alamo, think again. Get ready to expand your itinerary.

WHAT TO DO

As mentioned, there’s a lot more to San Antonio than just the Alamo, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still make a stop there. The Alamo is one of Texas’ gems and represents a huge part of Texas history—so it should be on every Texan’s bucket list. Even if you and your family aren’t history buffs, it’s a must-visit.

There are quite a few other historical and cultural spots the whole family will enjoy, such as the Witte Museum (where your kids can discover dinos and more) and the Spanish Governor’s Palace (which will give you a glimpse back in time).

Don’t forget the River Walk, even if you’ve been there a few times there’s always something new to discover. The 15-mile stretch is home to sights, food, shops and a boat ride along the river. The river barges offer guided tours and provide some great information about the River Walk and the history behind it. While you’re there, don’t miss the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the San Antonio Missions by the Mission Reach. It’s free to visit and includes four Spanish colonial missions.

Want to see more of the city in a structured way? The city has a variety of tours. You can bike your way through the city, take a ghost tour for a spooky night out or hop on a double-decker bus to visit some of the San Antonio’s most popular spots.

If the little ones are tired of seeing buildings and learning about history, there’s plenty of other activities that will knock their socks off.

One kid-favorite is the San Antonio Aquarium, where they can see a plethora of fish and other aquatic life, or the San Antonio Botanical Garden for beautiful flowers. Another huge hit, of course, is the new LEGOLAND Discovery Center (perfect for ages 3–10). Is your family a fan of roller coasters? Spend a day at Six Flags Fiesta Texas where you can get your thrill on. Maybe your kids just want to play. Stop by the DoSeum for great interactive fun and hands-on experiences.

If you have a kiddo with special needs, San Antonio is also home to Morgan’s Wonderland and Morgan’s Inspiration Island. Both spots are fully accessible amusement parks. (How cool is that?) The rides are wheelchair-accessible, and they have wheelchairs that can even go into the splash parks. Fun for all!

Since you’re on the southern edge of Texas Hill Country, take some time to get outside and enjoy nature. You’re a quick drive away from Government Canyon State Natural Area, which boasts 40 miles of hiking and biking trails. Other awesome outdoor spots within a short drive include Lost Maples State Natural Area, Pedernales Falls State Park and Enchanted Rock (just north of nearby Fredericksburg).

Want to try something a little different? Book a guided tour of Cave Without a Name in nearby Boerne. You’ll go 80 feet underground and see some amazing rock formations while learning about the cave.

Visiting during the summer? Jump in the water! Tubing is a big hit at nearby Guadalupe, San Marcos, Comal and Frio rivers; most access points and tubing companies operate out of New Braunfels, Canyon Lake and San Marcos. Texas Tubes is one group you can float with; Tubehaus is another; Don’s Fish Camp is a solid choice too.

Plus, just north of San Antonio is Canyon Lake, a beautiful and scenic lake that features eight public parks with camping, fishing, swimming, boating and even scuba diving available.

WHERE TO EAT

There is definitely no shortage of great grub in Alamo City.

For breakfast, stop by NOLA Brunch and Beignets. The menu is a southern foodie’s dream with tasty New Orleans fare along with fried chicken, grits and classics like scrambled eggs or praline bacon. You might even get to listen to some live jazz while you’re there!

Looking for something a little simpler? Check out Lulu’s Bakery and Café where you can order the 3-pound cinnamon roll. That’s right. Three. Pounds.

For a solid burger and live music, consider stopping into Tycoon Flats. The place has practically everything: beer garden, Tex-Mex, a play area. You can’t go wrong.

Speaking of playgrounds, if you’re looking for some delicious barbecue while in town, stop by Alamo BBQ Company. There are great kid-friendly menu options as well as an outdoor playground. You can catch live music here too.

One more spot for some outdoor play-slash-food time is StreetFare SA. This food truck park has a huge outdoor seating area with an accompanying playground (which has tire swings, climbing ropes, slides and much more). There’s also a dog park in case you have Fido with you.

Out and about and can’t decide on something the whole family wants to eat? Stop by The Pearl Brewery, a local mall and home to the Bottling Department Food Hall. Inside, you’ll find a huge range of foods from places including Mexico, Japan and the Caribbean. There’s a great courtyard where you can hang out and the kids can run around.

Finally, if you need a date night, consider taking a trip over to the La Cantera resort and making a reservation at Signature, which was named one of the 100 most romantic restaurants on OpenTable. The scenery here is gorgeous and the food is *chef’s kiss.*

A couple other sweet—but a little more relaxed—spots for date night are Down on Grayson and Bliss. Reviews of Down on Grayson mention its breezy patio and the menu that features everything from parmesan fries to fish tacos; locals love Bliss for its intimate atmosphere and charcuterie options.

Where are you looking forward to visiting while in San Antonio? Tell us at editorial@dfwchild.com.

Image courtesy of iStock.