From the River to the Water Park
4. Two Words: River Walk
The centerpiece of the city is a two-and-a-half-mile cobblestone path that borders the San Antonio River and meanders just below street level through the popular downtown district. Lined with kitschy tourist shops, sidewalk cafes, restaurants, and hotels, it's a neat place for a walk any time of day. (But hold little ones by the hand or keep them in strollers; there are no guardrails!) You can also hit the river on a relaxing 40-minute boat ride (Rio San Antonio Cruises river tours, 210-244-5700; $7.75 per person, $2 kids under 5). In the evenings, the mood along the river changes. Find a babysitter, and take a romantic stroll with your sweetie or check out one of the honky-tonk bars.
5. It's Always Party Time!
San Antonio loves celebrations: There's nearly one a month, often more. Popular fiestas include a big fireworks display on the Fourth of July, a jazz festival in September, holiday parades in November and December, a rodeo in February, a 10-day carnival in April, and a famous Cinco de Mayo party. Log on to sanantoniovisit.com for a list of all the fun festivals.
6. Not Quite Disney, But...
There are plenty of great theme parks. Head to Six Flags Fiesta Texas to kick things off (sixflags.com/parks/fiestatexas; $47 for adults, $32 for kids under 48 inches, free under 2). Located about 10 miles from downtown, the park has five themed areas of rides, including the ultra-thrill experience, Tony Hawk's Big Spin. Another family favorite is SeaWorld, which is just as good as the one in Orlando. Besides the cool marine wildlife displays and dolphin shows, the park has some super-fun water rides (seaworld.com; $49 for adults, $39 for kids 3 to 9, free under 2). And save time to cool off at Splashtown, a 20-acre water park with more than 50 different rides and slides, including kiddie ones for the youngest crowd (splashtownsa.com; $25 for adults, $19 for guests under 48 inches, free under 2).