Check out these 11 hidden gems in San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio is a popular tourist destination with attractions like the Alamo, the River Walk and Six Flags Fiesta Texas. But if you’re looking for something more unique and offbeat, there are plenty of hidden gems to discover in this vibrant city. Here are 11 of them:

Explore the culture and cuisine of El Mercado

El Mercado, or Market Square, is the largest Mexican market in the US. It is a colorful and lively place where you can find authentic Mexican food, crafts, music and entertainment. You can shop for souvenirs, enjoy a margarita, watch a folkloric dance, or taste some of the best tacos in town.

Snap a photo with the world’s largest cowboy boots

Everything is bigger in Texas, including cowboy boots. At Northstar Mall, you can see a pair of boots that stand 35 feet tall and 30 feet long. The boots were originally built for a shopping center in Washington D.C. in 1979, but were moved to San Antonio in 1980. They are made of steel and fiberglass and weigh over five tons each.

Pay your respects to the Alamo cat graves

The Alamo is a historic site where Texas defenders fought against Mexican forces in 1836. But it is also home to some feline residents who have been living there for decades. The Alamo Cats are a colony of stray cats that are cared for by the staff and volunteers of the Alamo. Some of the cats have been buried in a small garden near the entrance, where you can see their graves marked with stones and plaques.

Go bat watching at the world’s largest bat colony

Bracken Bat Cave is home to the largest colony of bats in the world, with an estimated 20 million Mexican free-tailed bats. Every evening from March to October, you can witness the spectacular sight of millions of bats emerging from the cave at dusk to hunt for insects. You can book a tour with Bat Conservation International to visit the cave and learn about these amazing creatures.

Admire art from around the world at the San Antonio Museum of Art

The San Antonio Museum of Art is a hidden gem that showcases art from around the world and across time. The museum is housed in a former brewery that dates back to 1884 and has been renovated into a stunning space. The museum has collections of ancient, medieval, Renaissance, Asian, Latin American and contemporary art, as well as special exhibitions and events.

Relax at the Japanese Tea Garden

The Japanese Tea Garden is a peaceful oasis that offers a serene escape from the city. The garden was created in 1918 on the site of an abandoned quarry and features a pond, a waterfall, a pavilion, stone bridges and lush vegetation. The garden also has a cafe that serves tea, snacks and light meals.

See some oddities at the Buckhorn Saloon and Museum

The Buckhorn Saloon and Museum is a quirky place that combines a historic bar with a museum of oddities. The saloon was established in 1881 and has been serving drinks and food ever since. The museum features over 500 animal mounts, including horns, antlers, skulls and taxidermy specimens. The museum also has exhibits on Texas history, culture and wildlife.

Ride the Brackenridge Park Train

The Brackenridge Park Train is a fun way to explore one of the largest and oldest parks in San Antonio. The train is a miniature replica of a 1863 locomotive that runs on a 3.5-mile track around the park. The train stops at various attractions, such as the San Antonio Zoo, the Witte Museum.

Discover the hidden garden of Miraflores

Miraflores is a hidden garden that was created by Dr. Aureliano Urrutia, a prominent Mexican physician and politician who moved to San Antonio in 1914. The garden features sculptures, fountains, and architectural elements that reflect Urrutia’s Mexican heritage and artistic vision. The garden was neglected for decades, but was recently restored and opened to the public.

Do something with the kids at The DoSeum

The DoSeum is a museum for kids that encourages learning through play and exploration. The museum features interactive exhibits that cover topics such as science, technology, engineering, art and math. Kids can build robots, create art, design cities, and more. The museum also has an outdoor adventure area with a treehouse, a water play zone, and a musical bridge.

Stroll through the King William Historic District

The King William Historic District is a charming neighborhood that showcases the architecture and culture of San Antonio’s German immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The district features elegant mansions, quaint cottages, and cozy bungalows, as well as art galleries, cafes and shops. You can take a self-guided walking tour or hop on a trolley to explore the district.

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