7 Cheap Things to Do in San Antonio | Photo of a small, simple adobe church | Photo by Rita Pouppirt

Rita Pouppirt

7 Cheap Things to Do in San Antonio

•  3 minute read

Looking for a fun vacation that won't drain your wallet? Then San Antonio, Texas might be just the place for you.

Ever wanted to visit the Alamo? Enjoy the gorgeous sights that Texas has to offer? Then check out these cheap things to do in San Antonio. I visited the city for a week, and absolutely loved it. Follow my advice, and you’ll be well on your way to a fun, but affordable vacation.

 

1. Check Out the River Walk

Along the River Walk, you’ll find stores, food, and plenty of sweets. Be mindful about souvenir shops, though. Their prices can be marked up. Try checking out the Rivercenter Mall first to see if you can get your basic souvenir needs out of the way without breaking the bank.

For example, my family loves tea. They found the perfect shop to buy salts, spices, teas, and tea accessories, while I curbed in my obsession with sugar skulls in the next store.

 

2. Want to Go Out Drinking?

A lot of the bars and restaurants along the River Walk make large drinks that four or five people could easily share. Be on the lookout for those.

 

3. In the Mood for Fast Food?

Whataburger is a fast-food place that is located only in select states. It is an equivalent to In-N-Out Burger (which is currently in only six states), with its own charm and flare.

Raising Cane’s is a personal favorite of mine, but thankfully that chain is slowly expanding to other states.

An honorable mention goes to Lulu’s Bakery & Café, known for its chicken fried steak and three-pound cinnamon roll. It was delicious, but the cinnamon roll is something that a group needs to tackle (unless you want to eat the leftovers with your coffee daily throughout your stay).

 

4. Go Grocery Shopping

Even if you have to ride-share to get there and back, buy snacks, drinks, and other essentials in one of San Antonio’s grocery stores. Small convenience shops and hotel mini stores can be extremely expensive.

For me, being a California native, the grocery prices in San Antonio were so much cheaper.

I was glad that I made a trip, though I wish I’d done so at the beginning of my weeklong stay.

 

5. Strategize Your Stay Accommodations

The next time I travel to San Antonio, the first things I’ll plan are the sights I want to see. From there, I would book my hotel (or alternative accommodations, if that ends up cheaper) based on where I want to go. Sites like Groupon can help find deals in the area you want to say.

Some parks and museums were within walking distance of one another. For couch potatoes and people who would prefer to avoid humidity, that would mean lower ride-share costs or less gas used if renting a car.

 

6. Visit the Parks, Museums, and Gardens

The list of parks, museums, and gardens is endless fun. Need something for the kids? Check out the DoSeum. It has interactive exhibits and creative programs.

Is your inner adventurer singing to you? Enjoy the Natural Bridge Caverns. Figure out the style of trip you want and find the places that can best help make your trip memorable. San Antonio is bound to have something that your heart desires.

 

7. Remember the Alamo

Visiting the Alamo is free. The gift shop, on the other hand, made my wallet cry.

The Alamo is an important sight in Texas history and a testament to standing one’s ground. Plus, it’s a lovely area to walk around and take in. The Alamo is surrounded by a park, and just across the street is the Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum and Ripley’s Haunted Adventure. If you’re in the mood for weird and unsettling, be sure to check them out.

For those into the paranormal, there are also ghost hunt tours. San Antonio Ghosts Tours offers a nighttime walking tour called the Alamo Ghost Hunt Tour. It also visits missions that are rumored to be haunted.

 

Final Thoughts on the Many Cheap Things to Do in San Antonio

This is only a starter guide to your adventure in San Antonio. Even if these attractions don’t sound appealing, find what sings to your heart — and your wallet — and give it a try.

Traveling or taking a vacation doesn’t have to be expensive. There are plenty of fun activities that you can find for cheap, or even free.