Founded by the Spanish Empire in the early 18th century, San Antonio began life as a humble Christian mission in the wilderness. Today, the city is the second largest in Texas and home to well over a million people.
The city’s Spanish roots give it a diverse flair unrivaled in the south of America, and visitors can enjoy the multicultural blend of Texan life and cuisine in a historic setting.
San Antonio has been the center of events in Texan history; you can explore old missions and pay your respects at the infamous Alamo, before indulging in beer, food and wine tours around the city and the surrounding countryside.
It’s a great city to travel to. To help you plan your trip, here are the best San Antonio tours to take while you’re visiting.
1. San Antonio Explorer Pass
San Antonio is full of great tourist attractions that you won’t want to miss while you are visiting the city. If you are planning on touring around as many different sights and museums as possible during your stay, then a great way to save money and to be rewarded with excellent discounts is to purchase the San Antonio Explorer Pass.
The pass can get you up to 45 percent off the entrance fee to many of the most popular places. If you are planning on packing in lots of activities in San Antonio, then it’s a fantastic money saver.
2. San Antonio Hop on Hop off Bus Tour
It’s never easy finding your way around a new city when you first arrive, particularly a sprawling metropolis such as San Antonio, but with the Hop on Hop off Bus Tour, you don’t have to worry about a thing.
This open-topped bus allows you to jump off at any of the 18 designated stops that you fancy. The stops include all of the best sights in San Antonio, including the likes of the Alamo and the River Walk. It’s great value. While you are driving through the city, you can listen to the fascinating audio guide too.
3. San Antonio River Walk Cruise and Hop on Hop off Bus Tour
This great tour option gives you not only the fantastic Hop on Hop off Bus pass around San Antonio but also a wonderful cruise along the River Walk.
You’ll be given a relaxing boat ride along the San Antonio River, taking in the most pleasant and popular section known as the River Walk, that meanders through a charming park and is surrounded by lively restaurants and cafes on the banks.
4. San Antonio: The Grand Historic Tour
This is the ultimate tour for history lovers; you will spend a full day touring around the best of San Antonio’s historic sights and attractions.
Accompanied by a knowledgeable local guide, you’ll travel around sights such as the Alamo and the UNESCO World Heritage Spanish Missions, before dropping into some old western style saloons and enjoying lunch at a Mexican market.
5. The Real San Antonio Small Group Guided Tour
If you prefer to escape the tourist crowds but would like to enjoy San Antonio’s great sights and history accompanied by a local guide, this small group tour is perfect for you.
You’ll visit the Spanish Missions, the Alamo, the River Walk, and much more in the comfort of a minivan, while your guide gives you a thorough rundown of the city’s history and culture along the way.
6. Small Group World Heritage San Antonio Missions Tour With Guide
Another great small group tour to book onto while visiting San Antonio is this informative visit to the Spanish Missions. The old missions are found in a protected National Historical Park and are UNESCO World Heritage listed – a recognition of the importance of the sites in local history.
The Spanish Missions date back to the early 18th century and were some of the first buildings built here by Europeans. You’ll visit several throughout the day and learn a lot about San Antonio’s colonial history.
7. Downtown Delicacy – San Antonio Walking Food Tour
Take a break from all the history and join this great tour to delve into the local culinary scene of San Antonio. The Walking Food Tour takes you through Downtown’s best restaurants and most innovative eateries, giving you the chance to meet local chefs and try their cuisine.
You’ll be eating plenty of Tex-Mex style dishes, and even though you’re walking from stop to stop, you’re bound to put on a few pounds and guaranteed to want more.
8. 1.5 Hour Segway Tour of San Antonio and The Alamo
If walking isn’t for you, then this Segway Tour of San Antonio and The Alamo will have you exploring the best sights while still enjoying the fresh air.
Whizz around the city on Segways as you’re led through the streets by a local guide. You’ll be given instructions on how to handle your new ride, but don’t worry, they are notoriously easy and rather relaxing to control. You’ll pass through historic downtown and visit the iconic Alamo and much more on this fast-paced tour.
9. San Antonio: 2.5 Hour Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure
For something a little bit different while you’re visiting San Antonio, why not join a local Scavenger Hunt. For two and a half hours, you and your teammates will be running around the city solving puzzles and searching for clues.
The Scavenger Hunt is run from your own smartphone, meaning that once you’re booked, you can simply start playing whenever you desire. The adventure takes you through the city center and to all the major tourist sites as you attempt to win the game.
10. San Antonio Ghost Tour
Another unusual but enthralling tour to join while in the city is the San Antonio Ghost Tour. This trip leaves after dark; you’ll spend the evening exploring the city streets and learning about the darker side of history.
Local paranormal enthusiasts will regale you with legends and myths from San Antonio’s past taking you to spots that have long been believed to be haunted. It’s an intriguing if somewhat scary way to see the city.
11. The Buckhorn Saloon and Museum and Texas Ranger Museum Tour
Immerse yourself in authentic Texan history on this excellent tour to The Buckhorn Saloon and the Texas Ranger Museum. At The Buckhorn Saloon, you can see some truly wonderful Texan exhibits – and a slightly bizarre collection of hundreds of taxidermied local animals collated over more than one hundred years.
You’ll enjoy lunch and a few craft beers at the saloon, before moving on to the equally interesting Texas Ranger Museum to learn how the state’s Rangers came into being, and their exploits over the years.
12. Texas Hill Country and LBJ Tour From San Antonio
Head out of the city for the day and into the surrounding Texas Hill Country, driving through small, rural towns and into the Winelands of Fredericksburg.
Along the way, you’ll follow the legacy of LBJ – President Lyndon B. Johnson – as you visit his ranch in the Texas Hills and see the former president’s home.
13. Ranger Creek Brewstillery Tour
What’s a Brewstillery, you might ask? It’s a combination of craft beer brewery and whiskey distillery; at Ranger Creek, you can find the only one of its kind in the San Antonio region.
Here you can taste some of the best local brews in San Antonio, as you sample both beer and bourbon after touring around this unique establishment.
14. San Antonio Craft Cruisin’ Sunday Brewery Tour
Beer lovers will want to join onto this unique brewery tour while visiting San Antonio; you will be guided around three separate brew houses in this city.
Explore the best local brews and sample some excellent craft beers as you learn about the ever innovative beverage scene in San Antonio from your local guide – and from the brewers themselves at each of your destinations.
15. Fredericksburg Hill Country Wine Tour
Head out into the Texas Hills from San Antonio to visit the German-influenced region of Fredericksburg that took to wine production. You’ll learn about this unique part of Texas from your local guides, as you call in at the best wineries in the area.
Enjoy beautiful views over charming vineyards, before learning about the local wine production processes, enjoying a Texan lunch and, of course, indulging in more than a few wine tastings along the way.