25 Landmarks in San Antonio, TX, to Visit

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An ancient missionary building near shrubs and an old well
Many flock to San Antonio due to its must-see attractions and lively vibe

San Antonio is a progressive, vibrant city with a fascinating historical past. The landmarks in San Antonio, TX, are a testament to this. The article below gives you a brief insight into why San Antonio should be on your bucket list of places to see.

A few places of interest covered include San Antonio Missions Historical Park, the famous Alamo, and the scenic River Walk. Read further to learn more about all the interesting landmarks in Alamo City.

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25 San Antonio Landmarks

San Antonio Landmarks Video

Check out our highlights video of San Antonio landmarks.

San Antonio Landmarks Map

A map of San Antonio landmarks. Use the map to explore all of the points of interest.

San Antonio Landmarks Map

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A landscaped garden with a pond and a gazebo
Relax and stroll around the Japanese Tea Garden to admire its lush landscape

Japanese Tea Garden

In 1915, Mrs. Emma Koehler donated land that was part of an abandoned quarry to the city. Over the next few years, City Parks Commissioner, Ray Lambert, converted the land into a lily pond. This was the start of the Japanese Tea Garden in San Antonio.

Today, it features stone arch bridges, a pagoda, and a waterfall, all of which is surrounded by beautiful Japanese plants. The site has also been approved as a Texas Civil Engineering Landmark, a Registered Texas Historic Landmark, and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004.

☂️ Visit the Japanese Tea Garden with a tour

Casa Navarro State Historic Site

Casa Navarro, built between 1832 and 1855, is one of many historical landmarks in San Antonio. It was the original residence of José Antonio Navarro, one of two Texans whose signatures are on the Texas Declaration of Independence.

In 1964, tours were facilitated of this Texas State Historic Landmark. You can still visit today to explore the property and learn about its history. It was additionally listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972 and chosen as a National Historic Landmark in 2016.

Stairs leading to a paved riverside near trees and colorful parasols
The San Antonio River Walk is where most locals and tourists go to dine and have fun

San Antonio River Walk

Decades in the making, the 15-mile-long San Antonio River Walk is a very well-known attraction. Essentially a pedestrian walkway, the River Walk runs over and under bridges, and its two sidewalks host many shops and restaurants.

The River Walk is a mecca of entertainment, dining, and shopping. Tourists and locals also flock to experience seasonal activities and festivities. It is also the gateway to major landmarks such as the Alamo. For something different, take a River Walk cruise in San Antonio at night.

☂️ Visit the San Antonio River Walk with an experience

La Villita Historic Village

La Villita Historic Village occupies a block next to the well-known San Antonio River Walk. It was listed in 1972 on the U.S. government's National Register of Historic Places.

The area is home to shops and galleries populated by artisans and entrepreneurs. The village's architecture is also unique, featuring eclectic styles ranging from early Victorian and Texan limestone to adobe houses.

☂️ Visit La Villita Historic Village with an experience

A domed church with a bell tower next to the grass under a blue sky with white clouds
Mission San Jose is the largest among all San Antonio missions

Mission San Jose

Mission San Jose was built to house indigenous refugees when other missions nearby became overcrowded. The "Queen of the Missions," so named due to its size, was founded in 1720.

The facade of the mission's church and the magnificent windows are great examples of Spanish Colonial Revival architecture and features. As part of the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, it was honored when it was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015.

☂️ Experience Mission San Jose with a tour

Natural Bridge Caverns

This famous Texas landmark became known as the "natural bridge" cavern when a limestone slab remained suspended after the collapse of a sinkhole. The Natural Bridge Caverns are the largest open-to-the-public caves in the state of Texas.

While excavating the entrance, exciting archaeological discoveries were made. These finds included prehistoric weapons dating back to 5000 BC and parts of the head of an extinct black bear. Visitors can explore 180 feet below ground in 70 degrees Fahrenheit heat and humidity of approximately 90%.

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A glass-paneled cone-shaped structure with a lush landscaped garden in front
San Antonio Botanical Garden has many pretty themed gardens to explore

San Antonio Botanical Garden

The San Antonio Botanical Garden is renowned throughout the United States. It is a complete package of plant diversity, tranquillity, and learning.

Themed gardens to explore include a rose garden, a Japanese garden, and a children's garden. The 38-acre attraction also features a research and conservation facility and an activity center where music, art, and theater converge.

San Antonio Museum of Art

Located in Downtown San Antonio, this museum occupies the premises of the former San Antonio brewery, Lone Star Brewery. Following a costly and extensive renovation, the gallery opened its doors to the public in 1981.

The San Antonio Museum of Art holds a vast collection embodying history and cultures spanning 5,000 years. It features artworks from across the world, from Asian art to Latin American and European pieces.

☂️ Explore San Antonio Museum of Art SAMA on a tour

A white adobe church near a lawn on a sunny day
There's a lot to learn when you visit San Antonio Missions National Historical Park

San Antonio Missions National Historical Park

One of the city's most prominent national parks, San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. Running adjacent to the San Antonio River, this park encompasses 84 different historical sites in San Antonio, Texas.

If you're looking for a free thing to do in San Antonio spend a day exploring the four Catholic missions, Concepcion, San Jose, San Juan, and Espada, founded to bring Christianity to the indigenous people.

Six Flags Fiesta Texas

Opening in 1992, Six Flags Fiesta theme park spans around 200 acres of fun and thrilling rides and many other amusement park attractions. Visiting the theme park is a must on your San Antonio bucket list!

The 205-foot-tall Scream, a drop tower ride, is a crowd favorite and is visible from all corners of the park. There are also some more relaxed rides and those that are appropriate for small children. The Hurricane Harbor San Antonio water park sits next door as well.

A Gothic-style church with two towers on a sunny day
San Fernando Cathedral is one of the oldest cathedrals in the US

San Fernando Cathedral

This imposing, Gothic-style building is one of the oldest cathedrals in Texas. Construction of the cathedral took place between 1738 and 1750. Notably, the cathedral is home to the buried remains of those who defended the Alamo in 1836.

Extensively renovated in 1868 and 1874, the mother church of the San Antonio Archdiocese was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. You can tour the church today to admire the Colonial and Gothic Revival architecture.

☂️ Explore San Fernando Cathedral on a tour

Aztec Theatre

Listed in 1992 on the National Register of Historic Places, The Aztec Theatre is a beloved historical and architectural landmark. The theater features Meso-American architecture, and its interior is plush and authentic, with columns and relics from that era.

It opened its doors in 1926 with seating for 3,000 and remains one of the city's popular entertainment facilities.

An old stone chapel with a lush lawn and a flag pole in front
The Alamo is one of the most iconic landmarks in San Antonio, TX

The Alamo

An interesting Texas fact is that San Antonio's Alamo was the target of a famous battle during the Texas Revolution. The Battle of the Alamo in 1836 lasted 13 days and saw the Alamo Mission being captured by Mexican troops; it cost the death of most of its occupants.

In a revenge battle, native Texans, including Davy Crockett, defeated the invaders in April 1836, eventually leading to the formation of the Republic of Texas. The Spanish Mission is now regarded as one of the most famous landmarks in San Antonio, Texas, and is well worth visiting.

Hangar 9

This famous aircraft hangar is located at the former Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio. Originally constructed out of wood in 1918, the hangar is one of the only ones to remain from World War I.

Due to its status as the oldest construction for storing and repairing aircraft in Texas, it was listed in 1976 as a National Historic Landmark. Hangar 9 is now a thriving event arena.

A red brick building with spires in front and a green roof
Bexar County Courthouse is made mostly of red sandstone and Texan granite

Bexar County Courthouse

Finally completed in 1896 after many delays, the Bexar County Courthouse is a renowned San Antonio landmark. It is mainly built of sandstone and native Texan granite in a Romanesque Revival style with brightly colored red and green tiles.

Prior to the current Bexar County Government, the fifth seat of government, the first four seats involved Spain, Mexico, the Confederate States, and the Republic of Texas. The building earned its place on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.

☂️ Visit the Bexar County Courthouse with an experience

San Pedro Springs Park

Natural springs and a lake on the former land of the Payaya people became the centerpiece of the San Pedro Springs Park in San Antonio. Spanning 46 acres, it's the oldest park in Texas. Prehistoric artifacts have even been discovered on the grounds.

In 1965 and 1979, respectively, the park was added as a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors to the park can follow trails, play tennis, and more. There's also a children's playground, among other amenities.

An old aqueduct with water surrounded by trees
Espada Aqueduct was built in the mid-1700s

Espada Aqueduct

In 1731, Franciscan friars constructed an aqueduct to carry water for irrigating the Mission San Francisco de la Espada. The aqueduct is currently in use within San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. This engineering feat earned it the title of being a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark and a National Historic Landmark.

Carl Hilmar Guenther House

The 1859 Carl Hilmar Guenther House numbers among the older houses in the King William Historic District. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.

The first owner hailed from Germany and founded mills now known as the Pioneer Flour Mills. It now houses a restaurant, gift shop, and small museum.

Kit Leong/Shutterstock.com
A facade of a building with a roofed entryway and many windows
In 1985, the whole Fairmount Hotel structure had to be moved to a new location

The Fairmount Hotel

The Fairmount Hotel in San Antonio was built in 1906 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. It was known as a "drummer" hotel when it opened because its low rates attracted drumming-for-business traveling salesmen.

In 1985, in a significant engineering feat, the hotel was moved six blocks to its current location. Today it still retains its historic charm and hosts many tourists in its 37 guest rooms.

The Saint Anthony Hotel

Known as San Antonio's first grand and opulent hotel, the St. Anthony Hotel has hosted royalty, film stars, and many other well-known patrons throughout its history. The 10-story building opened its doors in 1909, boasting facilities like telephones and private bathrooms, unheard of at the time.

In 1910, it expanded from 210 to 430 rooms. Due to its innovative technological advancements, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.

Kit Leong/Shutterstock.com
The Majestic Theatre is one of the historic landmarks in San Antonio, TX
The Majestic Theatre is the oldest theater in San Antonio

Majestic Theatre

The Majestic Theatre opened in 1929 and was the first theater in San Antonio to have air conditioning. It's notably the largest and oldest theater in San Antonio. Seating 2,264, the San Antonio Symphony played at the venue from 1989 to 2014. Today, you can watch concerts and musicals.

In 1975, 1991, and 1993, respectively, the San Antonio, Texas, landmark achieved a hat trick and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, made the list of Texas Historic Landmarks, and was designated a National Historic Landmark.

Milam Building

Built in 1928, the Milam Building was the tallest structure in San Antonio at the time of construction. It stands at 21 stories and 280 feet high.

Named in honor of Benjamin Milam for his contribution to the Texas Revolution, the high-rise office block was also the first to have air conditioning in the US. You can see it on your journey along the River Walk. This landmark was even listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2015.

Kellee Kovalsky/Shutterstock.com
A Spanish Colonial-style home with a tiled patio with potted plants on it
When around Downtown, make sure to visit Spanish Governor's Palace and its museum

Spanish Governor's Palace

Named "the most beautiful building in San Antonio" by the National Geographic Society, the Spanish Governor's Palace is the only example of an aristocratic 18th-century Spanish Colonial house left standing in Texas. It was completed in 1749 and has been a National Historic Landmark since 1970.

Once a Spanish Governor's residence, as the name suggests, it's now one of the most famous buildings in San Antonio. Today, the city owns the building, which has been converted into a museum.

☂️ Explore the Spanish Governors Palace with a tour

St. Mark's Episcopal Church

The Episcopal Church became a parish in 1858 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1998. A notable marriage at this landmark was between Lady Bird and Lyndon B. Johnson in 1934.

In addition, the Belfry at St. Mark's is home to a bronze bell fashioned from the "Come and Take It" cannon. This cannon allegedly fired the first shot in the Battle of the Alamo. St. Mark's Episcopal Church is located in the middle of the River Walk.

A bronze statue of a woman carrying a child
The Susannah Dickinson statue can be found at the Alamo Plaza

Susannah Dickinson Statue

Upon entering the Alamo Plaza, you are met with one of the famous San Antonio monuments. Susannah Dickinson and her daughter, Angelina, both sheltered in the sacristy of the Alamo Mission church during the Battle of the Alamo.

They were among the few survivors of the bloody and hard-fought battle. Susannah played a part in the history of those 13 days by recalling what took place.

In Summary

San Antonio, Texas, is a fascinating, history-laden city. This article has hopefully brought its many landmarks to your attention and perhaps fostered a desire to visit Alamo City!

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Written by Audrey Wilson

AudreyMW FORMER WRITER Born and living in South Africa, Audrey has lived in four countries extensively and traveled to many others across the globe. Travel is in her blood, and she plans to see more of the world.

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