The Alamo may be San Antonio’s best-known attraction, but the city has a lot more going for it than just the past. Named as one of National Geographic Traveler’s must-see destinations and one of the "50 Best Places to Travel in 2018” by Travel + Leisure, this 300-year-old city is creating some real buzz. But there’s another reason to visit. San Antonio also the home of Morgan’s Wonderland and Morgan’s Inspiration Island, the world’s first fully accessible theme park and water park.
Everyone knows the phrase, “Remember the Alamo.” While you are in San Antonio, come and see what you shouldn’t forget. The Alamo, which played such a pivotal part in the Texas Revolution, is located on 4.2 acres in downtown San Antonio and provides plenty of opportunity for reflection and quiet contemplation in the shrine, gardens and, of course, the famed church building.
While all public areas of the Alamo are accessible, the historic structures may present certain challenges, especially since the original flagstone floors are uneven in some areas.
Enter and exit the original church building using the front doorway only.
Wheelchairs are available free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis from the information desk inside the church (valid ID or license required).
Accessible restrooms are located at the back of the grounds, near the covered arbor area. Accessible water fountains are located near the restrooms.
“The Alamo: Crossroads of Texas History” film is captioned.
Tour scripts are available. To arrange an ASL interpreter, email at least a week in advance.
An Alamo brochure is offered in braille and is available upon request.
Tactile experiences are available with advance notice. The cannons and the monuments on the grounds are touchable. EmailLauren Strack or call 210-225-1391 x124 at least a week in advance.
Parking: No on-site parking. Free short-term parking available at the City of San Antonio downtown parking facilities for vehicles with disabled permits or plates.
Public Transportation: Bus #11, #40 or #301 to Alamo Plaza in Front of 215 ½ (2-minute walk).
The Alamo may be the most famous mission (community with a church at the focus) in San Antonio, but there are another four missions that together make up the San Antonio Missions National Park. While they are one park, they are spread over quite a distance – you need to drive between them – and accessibility varies. To get a good sense of the park, visit Mission San José, the largest of the missions. Nicknamed the “Queen of the Missions,” San José shows visitors how all missions might have looked over 250 years ago. It also houses the park’s Visitor Center, making it an ideal jumping off point or the only place you visit.
A wheelchair is available for loan. Restrooms are accessible.
Ranger-led tours at Mission San Jose are on the paved paths of the mission.
Gente de Razón, the park’s 23-minute video, is captioned and shown at the park’s Visitor Center daily. Captions are available in English and Spanish.
Braille or large print brochures are available at the Visitor Center.
The Visitor Center has a relief map of the San Antonio River Valley as well as tactile exhibits of each mission church facade and compound.
Parking: Designated accessible parking.
Public Transportation: Bus #40 and #42 to Roosevelt and Napier (4-minute walk).
If you visit San Antonio, you absolutely have to spend time exploring the River Walk. The river in question, the San Antonio River, has been an important lifeline for the city for centuries and today is one of the city’s most popular attractions. The River Walk, which is located below, street level and runs through the heart of downtown San Antonio, is a mix of public park, shopping destination, and culinary and cultural center – and really, just a whole lot of fun.
Most of the River Walk is accessible and the city is working hard to make the entire stretch accessible. There are various entry and exit points along the Riverwalk that are accessible, either via ramp or elevator.
Parking: Various points throughout the downtown area.
Plenty of people come to San Antonio just to visit Morgan’s Wonderland. Opened in 2010, it’s the world’s first theme park designed with individuals with disabilities at its core. When we say it’s completely wheelchair-accessible, we mean it! The 25-acre park offers free entry for anyone with a disability. With over 25 attractions, there really is something for everyone here, from rides and playgrounds to an eight-acre catch-and-release fishing lake.
Parking: Free on-site parking.
Public Transportation: Bus #502 to David Edwards at Heroes Stadium (6-minute walk).
Morgan's Inspiration Island
Robin Jerstad/Jerstad Photographics
Following on from the success of Morgan’s Wonderland, Morgan’s Inspiration Island is the world’s first ultra-accessible splash park. The tropical island theme park features five water play areas that offer a variety of “splashy” elements, including raintrees, falls, pools, geysers, jets and tipping buckets; the River Boat Adventure ride; food outlets; a sundries shop; a panoramic viewing deck and private cabanas for rent.
Every element of the park is wheelchair-accessible. The park offers three types of waterproof wheelchairs, available free-of-charge on a first-come, first-served basis, including proprietary chairs propelled by compressed air.
There are seven accessible changing rooms with adult-sized changing tables. Two of these rooms are equipped with Hoyer lifts for transferring purposes.
Service animals are not allowed on the splash pads. There is a designated service animal relief area located at Tortuga Bay where waste-disposal bags are available. Owners must accompany their service animals to the designated service animal relief area.
Parking: Free on-site parking.
Public Transportation: Bus #502 to David Edwards at Heroes Stadium (6-minute walk).
801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Boulevard, San Antonio, TX 78205-3296
Institute of Texan Cultures Chuckwagon
Learn all about what makes the Lone Star state unique at the Institute of Texan Cultures. The museum, which is located close to The Alamo and the Riverwalk, tells the stories of the many people from around the globe who settled in Texas throughout the years and investigates the state’s ethnic and cultural history. The family-friendly site, which is a Smithsonian Affiliate, includes many interactive elements to keep the kids entertained and engaged.
The Institute has a number of wheelchairs available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Parking: Complimentary accessible parking is available in the lot nearest to the main entrance.
Public Transportation: Bus #26 #30 and #225 stop in front of the Institute (1-minute walk).
The Witte Museum may specialize in Texas, but it’s a whole lot more than just another history museum. This longtime San Antonio favorite underwent a recent transformation bringing it bang up-to-date and offering more than ever before. There’s the H-E-B Body Adventure Powered by University Health System that consists of four floors of interactive adventures and is designed to increase your health IQ and wellness. There’s a dinosaur gallery and lab where embryonic paleontologists can excavate dinosaur bones. Or how about the learning about the peoples of the Pecos, which focuses on the prehistoric hunter-gatherers of Texas? And then, there’s all the Texas, including a large collection of South Texas historical artifacts and the McLean Family Texas Wild Gallery, which showcases everything that’s special about the state (including its critters and creepy crawlies!).
All Witte Museum buildings, including the main building, the Body Adventure, the Research and Collections Center and the South Texas Heritage Center are accessible.
Wheelchairs are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Parking: Free parking in the Brackenridge Park Parking Garage on Avenue B
Public Transportation: Bus #9, #10, #11, #14 or #209 to Broadway and Tuleta (1-minute walk).
If you like contemporary art, a visit to Blue Star Contemporary is perfect for you. And, if you don’t know anything about art, but know what you like, this is the place to come. Its mission is “to inspire the creative genius in us all by nurturing artists through innovative contemporary art.” With over 20 on-site and off-site exhibitions a year, there’s sure to be something that catches your eye.
Blue Star Contemporary is wheelchair accessible.
Sign language and large-print gallery notes are available upon request.
For more information about the accessibility of the building and programs, call the education manager at 210-227-6960.
Parking: Park at the Blue Star Arts Complex lot.
Public Transportation: Bus #46 or #246 to Probandt and Cevallos (2-minute walk).
Six Flags Fiesta Texas Batman Upside Down 2
If you are looking for big rides and big thrills, head 15 minutes out of town to Six Flags Fiesta Texas theme park. The park, which has been providing an adrenaline rush to visitors for over 25 years, has more than 60 rides, slides, shows and attractions. There are nine rollercoasters, in case you are counting, including Batman™: The Ride, the world’s first 4D free-fly coaster. There are also a variety of live shows, game booths and other attractions, giving you ample opportunity to get your breath back and your blood pressure back down!
The park offers an “Attraction Accessibility Pass” to provide equal access to its attractions.
Wheelchairs and electric convenience vehicles are available for rent just inside the main gate (deposit and photo ID required).
Many of the rides and attractions have queues that are wheelchair accessible. Alternate entrances are generally at the ride exit are clearly posted.
Most, if not all, rides require transfer from the wheelchair to the ride seat.
Assisted listening devices are available upon request. ASL interpretation is available if requested at least seven days in advance. Call the operations office at 210-697-5468 to make arrangements.
Service animals are permitted on Fiesta Texas Railroad and Amerigoround. A Service Animal “Relief Area” is located adjacent to the shade arbor in Crackaxle Canyon near Fender Benders.
Parking: Accessible parking for both cars and vans is available on a first-come, first-served basis (valid placard or license plate required).
SeaWorld San Antonio offers a combination of marine mammal park, oceanarium and animal theme park, which translates as a whole lot to see at this 250-acre park. There’s the Sesame Street Bay of Play, an interactive kids’ area; the Penguin Encounter, where visitors can view over 200 penguins while traveling on a moving walkway; and a large aquarium housing stingrays, tropical fish and a variety of sharks. There are also shows, roller coasters and thrill rides, not to mention animal encounters.
All exhibits are wheelchair accessible All theater entrances are accessible by ramp. Companion seating is available.
Wheelchairs and electric convenience vehicles (ECV’s) can be rented on a first-come, first-served basis. Advance reservations are recommended and can be made on the SeaWorld website or by calling 210-520-4SEA.
Written show scripts are available for all shows and are available from Guest Services. ASL interpretation can be provided with a minimum of two weeks’ notice. Email or call 210-523-3165/3169.
Visually impaired guests must have someone (companion or park ambassador) read the ride safety requirements prior to boarding. If you plan on visiting the park alone, assistance can be provided with a minimum of two weeks’ notice. Email or call 210-523-3165/3169 to make arrangements. or email. The guide will be provided for the first two hours of the visit.
Service animals are discouraged from riding any of the attractions, however, they are permitted on Rio Loco, Big Bird’s Spinning Reef and Grover’s Roundup. A Service Animal rest area is located by the patio across from Steel Eel and near Shamu Smokehouse.
Parking: Directly in front of the park for guests with a legal parking permit. Most spaces are accessible to vans.
Find out more here, including a downloadable accessibility guide.
Top Tip: Purchase and print your tickets in advance to skip the lines on busy days.