Follow our one-day itinerary on your first day.
Driving is probably the easiest way to get from one place to the next on this second day, and parking should be easy for the most part: You’ll start out a bit north of downtown, head farther north to the Broadway Cultural Corridor, and then move south of the city’s hub. The neighborhoods closest to downtown, King William and Southtown, are the only stops where you might have a little difficulty finding a space for your car.
1. Tre Trattoria
Kickstart your day with caprese avocado toast or house-made gnocchi and mushrooms—or Nutella pancakes if you prefer—at Tre Trattoria; it’s in a historic building on the grounds of the San Antonio Museum of Art, but not in the museum itself. If the weather permits, dine on the patio overlooking the river.
2. San Antonio Museum of Art
You didn’t think I’d send you to the San Antonio Museum of Art for breakfast and not suggest you look at the art, did you? Housed in the old Lone Star Brewery, the museum is best known for its Rockefeller Center of Latin American Art, but smaller Asian, Egyptian, and Greek collections are definitely worth browsing.
3. San Antonio Botanical Garden
A short walk west of the museum, a 2018 expansion of the San Antonio Botanical Garden not only added kid-friendly attractions to one of the best botanical gardens in the Southwest, representing landscapes from all over the region; it also provided adults with new points of interest like the Culinary Garden, featuring an outdoor chef’s teaching kitchen and exploration station. Tapping into San Antonio’s awareness of its potential water shortage, the gardens offer useful ideas about xeriscaping as well as other tips for home gardeners. For lunch, try Rosella, the cafe in the botanical gardens, set in a landmark 1896 carriage house.
4. King William Historic District
It's about a 15-minute drive south to the King William Historic District, just beyond downtown. Declared the most beautiful historic neighborhood in Texas by Thrillist, which praised its Greek Revival, Victorian, and Italianate architecture, the area was settled by prosperous German merchants in the 1870s. To explore the 25 blocks in the designated historic neighborhood, you can pick up a self-guided tour booklet outside the offices of the San Antonio Conservation Society at 107 King William St.; or just wander along King William Street, where most of the grandest houses reside. The King William district occupies land that once belonged to Mission San Antonio de Valero (aka the Alamo); you’re now near the Mission Reach section of the River Walk.
5. The San Antonio Missions
Drive farther south for another 6 minutes to reach the first of the five historic religious complexes that comprise the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. They're only 2 or 3 miles apart from each other, and never far from the life-sustaining San Antonio River. With so much focus on the Alamo as a battle site, it’s easy to forget that the missions were farming communities founded by Franciscan missionaries to bring religion to the natives; the other four missions are still active parishes. Make your first stop San José, the largest, best known, and most beautiful of the Texas missions, which has been reconstructed to give visitors a complete picture of daily life in a mission community. If you have time for a second mission, check out San Juan Capistrano, where, in a unique partnership with the National Park Service, the San Antonio Food Bank farms 50 acres, with all crops going to feed the hungry. It has a short nature trail, too.
Head back north toward the King William District, stopping just before you get there to reach one of the city’s hottest restaurant districts, Southtown. If you want only alcohol and ice cream—no judgment!—Boozy’s Creamery is another option.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.