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48 Hours in San Antonio: Everything You Should Know for the Perfect Weekend Getaway

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

Everyone needs that weekend getaway every once and a while. I needed it recently after a grueling first half of the spring semester, so my family and I immediately began planning for Spring Break vacations. We knew we didn’t want to go to the beach as we live just 20 minutes away from one at home, so we started looking elsewhere and landed in San Antonio. I may have only been there for 48 hours, but I really loved my time and have some key recommendations and tips for navigating the city. Here are six tips for an amazing weekend in San Antonio! 

Don’t plan an entire day around the Alamo

The Alamo is packed with history and is one of the most recognizable memorials in the United States, but I wouldn’t set aside an entire day around seeing it. The church is right in the middle of the city and has free admission, which also means it will be very crowded. Despite this, the grounds aren’t very large and have just amount the same amount of information on signs as in an AP United States History textbook on the battle. As a history nerd, I would definitely visit and take a walk around, but don’t plan to spend your entire day there, because you will have quite a bit of time left over if you do.

You don’t have to stay on the riverwalk

My personal favorite part of San Antonio is the iconic riverwalk. This is a very busy part of the city filled with restaurants, shopping and music. I am, however, glad I didn’t stay in one of the riverwalk hotels. While these do have great views of the excitement, they are very expensive, and I could imagine very loud at night. I would recommend staying in a hotel or Air B&B on the street level a block or two away. The riverwalk is still highly accessible as there are stairs and elevators leading down to it every couple hundred feet, but it will be quieter and more affordable, and you will still get the entire San Antonio experience. 

Take the boat tour!

One of the first things you will notice when walking down to the riverwalk is the multi-colored tour boats circling the river. These are tour boats that take guests on about 2.5 miles of the 15-mile riverwalk and provide lots of interesting facts about the riverwalk and the city itself. From restaurants to photo ops, such as at the famous kissing scene on the bridge in the film Selena, these guides know their stuff and will give great recommendations. I would recommend taking the tour before the lunch rush because once that starts the lines will be hours long for the rest of the day. The tour is about half an hour long, and if you prefer to take the boats around instead of walking, they have a shuttle option as well. 

Explore away from the riverwalk

While the riverwalk is the most popular part of the city, there is much more to explore on the street level. From beautiful churches to fun markets, there are lots to do and see. I visited the Historic Market Square, which had lots of great memorabilia and entertainment. I also got breakfast there one morning and had some of the best pastries from Mi Tierra Café y Panadería and they were so good! It is a large city, so explore!

Prepare to spend money

There really is no way to sugarcoat it, this is not the cheapest city to visit. The famed riverwalk has tons of amazing restaurants, but a meal for four people does run about $100. It definitely is worth it. I had the best tacos ever at The Iron Cactus, but you do cringe a little when picking up the check. Souvenirs are also very pricey, but many are handmade and hold a lot of sentimental value. If you are planning on purchasing some crafted Texan cowboy boots, be prepared to drop four figures. I advise planning in advance and setting aside some money early because there is so much to explore and you don’t want to miss out due to a price tag.

Do your research!

This can be said about traveling nearly anywhere but look into the city before you visit! Talking to people who have been there before, reading books and articles, and doing an internet dive are great ways to learn about the city’s hidden gems that the tour guides won’t tell you about once you are already there. 

So, start booking those tickets, San Antonio is the perfect weekend away!

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Michaela Galligan is a second-year student at Florida State University originally from Tampa, FL. She is studying political science and editing, writing, & media studies with a minor in communications and hopes to one day enter the field of political journalism and reporting. She is passionate about politics, football, music, traveling, and all things FSU.