Blake Walsh

25 Best Things to Do in San Angelo, TX

  • Published 2023/03/10

Located on Texas’ beautiful Concho River, the city of San Angelo is a calm refuge for travelers.

The presence of the Concho River makes it one of the state’s cities with the most scenic views.

Other things that set the city apart from others include its bounty of heritage monuments and offices, a historic 1660s US army post, and its prestigious airbases and museums that showcase the US’ and Texas’ rich history.

There are multiple restored buildings in San Angelo, each with an array of priceless artifacts and national memorabilia.

This entire aspect aside, the city is also blessed with eye-catching nooks and corners of nature.

The International Waterlily Collection is a prime example of that, along with the vast San Angelo State Park and the lovely San Angelo Nature Center.

The Concho River Walk is decked with 19th- and 20th-century buildings, which add a vintage feel to the city.

Moreover, being a Texan City, San Angelo does not fail to have an active nightlife with numerous pubs and bars.

All these things add up to make this city a perfect location for a memorable getaway.

Check out this list of the best things to do in San Angelo, Texas:

Treat Your Senses at the International Waterlily Collection

The International Waterlily & Water Gardening Society has named San Angelo’s stunning International Waterlily Collection the world’s premier collection of waterlilies.

Once you enter the premises, the garden will make you feel like you are in a scene from a Shakespearean Eden or mythological cornucopia.

The famous scientist, poet, and florist Ken Garden can be credited for building this lily empire.

The International Waterlily Collection is located in the Park Street area.

Stop by this gem in Texas and walk around the multiple ponds that feature gorgeous varieties of lilies, each with a lovely name like Violas and Peace.

The waterlilies are imported from various places around the world, including Africa and Europe.

This collection is not only limited to lilies alone and houses some of the most precious native Texan plants that will soothe your senses.

Learn about so many plants and flowers while witnessing magical waterlilies floating smoothly on the water.

Walk by the fragrant rose bushes and click all the pictures you want with your dear ones.

Entry to this place is free, too.

Take a Trip to the Notorious Miss Hattie’s Bordello Museum

Entrance of Miss Hattie’s Bordello Museum

Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The famous Miss Hattie’s Bordello Museum is undoubtedly one of San Angelo’s most visited and exciting tourist attractions.

Located at Concho Avenue, this place does not allow children below six years of age for the right reasons.

Enter the museum and get thoroughly amused by a detailed history of how these places used to work while learning a bit about Miss Hattie and her girls.

The cards, bottles of liquor, chairs, costumes, bedrooms, memorabilia, couches, and all the props are preserved as they were at those times.

The old bordello operated in Texas from the 1902s until the Rangers of Texas shut it down in 1952.

Enjoy a Scenic Stroll along the Concho River Walk

The waters of Concho River

Chelsea Mendenhall /

One of the most scenic walking areas in San Angelo, the Concho River Walk is located around the Veterans Memorial area.

Both a park and a heritage walking area, this place has something for everyone to enjoy.

There is a vast kindergarten playground for the toddlers to keep themselves busy.

Senior citizens can simply sit by the riverside benches and watch the serene views.

The adults can do a range of things, from taking a walk around the scenic riverside to going biking, feeding ducks at the banks, and a lot more.

The entire area is enveloped with lush grass and autumn-hued trees by the river.

Learn about the Intriguing Fort Concho

Exterior of Fort Concho

Vami IV, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

One of the most prestigious sites in Texas, the Fort Concho area has a lot to offer.

The grounds comprise a cavalry that was built just after the Civil War in 1867 and served until 1889.

It is located along Oakes Street.

The famous “buffalo soldiers,” as they are called today, belonged to this place.

There are priceless artifacts, such as the canons used, machinery, and others.

The fanciest thing about this attraction is that historical scenes are enacted thoroughly by performers.

They show everything from horseback riding to arming themselves and the routine acts.

This unique place deserves a visit.

Spend Some Quality Time at San Angelo State Park

The grounds of State Park of San Angelo

Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

True adventure calls for finding interest in nature’s solitude and beauty.

San Angelo State Park is nothing like the typically restrained and limited parks.

Visit this park and lose yourself in the serene whimsy of these lands.

A lake at San Angelo State Park

Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There are endless fields mixing into the pink horizon, as well as mustard yellow sunflower fields in full bloom.

There’s also wildlife to add to the adventure.

Freely enjoy any activity you want to pursue, from endless biking and horseback riding to running and camping.

The place is filled with camping sites and picnic areas, promising you a thrilling experience.

Bison grazing at San Angelo State Park

Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Head to the Breathtaking San Angelo Visitor Center

The San Angelo Visitor Center is truly a uniquely built structure,

It looks more like a heritage museum, and the indoors are meant to royally impress you.

The visitor center is located along the banks of the award-winning Concho River Walk.

Here, you’ll find little creatures like ducks and squirrels.

There is also a vast scenic fountain built with rocky sculptures, and it will surely steal your attention.

The visitor center has multiple art installations that add to its value and beauty.

In addition, there is a man-made stream guaranteed to impress you.

Inside, there are brochures and guides that will tell you about the history of San Angelo.

Meet the Animals at the San Angelo Nature Center

The wildlife of Texas is well-known, and San Angelo is no exception.

The Nature Center is located along Knickerbocker Road and also serves as a wildlife reserve.

There are sitting areas, grounds, and a playground area for children.

The major point of interest is the long list of animals they shelter here, ranging from macaws to different varieties of reptiles, like endless snakes, chameleons, and rodents, to turtles and tortoises.

Not only can you look as closely as you want to—but you can also pet many of them!

Take your dear ones to the nature center for a fun day.

Tour the Most Unique Chicken Farm Art Center

This peculiar landmark is located on Martin Luther King Boulevard.

Filled with amazingly separating ambiances, the Chicken Farm Art Center is one of the most unique art galleries you will ever visit.

As they call it, it is San Angelo’s cornerstone of the art communities.

This gallery was formed in 1971 and proudly promotes West Texas’ finest artists and art pieces.

Filled with colorful pieces of abstract and modern art, this place features a restaurant and a B & B.

It also hosts several art and music events throughout the year.

It houses more than 15 resident artist studios.

Check Out the City’s Beautiful and Historic Murals

Apart from systematic galleries, San Angelo’s true unrestrained artistic temperament becomes evident through the breathtaking and magnanimous murals present around the city.

These larger-than-life paintings cover almost all of San Angelo’s history.

They also cover how the lifestyles of San Angelo’s people have evolved over the years, even centuries.

These murals have a great history etched in them and speak of Texas’ stories.

As they are scattered all around the city, this increased the city’s artistic value, giving it a much more artsy appeal.

You will find cavalry stories, war stories, and airbase events painted in these beautiful murals.

Look around the Railway Museum of San Angelo

Exterior of San Angelo Railroad Museum

Billy Hathorn, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This outstandingly detailed museum is located on Chadbourne Street.

Whether or not you are a trail enthusiast, the collections here will amaze you.

The museum used to be a passenger depot and was built in 1910.

All the memorabilia, from century-old staff costumes to teacups, plates, and old wartime trunks, were preserved and kept on display for tourists.

There is rail equipment that goes as far back as the 1850s, multiple running model layouts, and hundreds of historically significant photos from throughout the century.

To add to all this, there are as many as seven life-sized railroad engines and cars inside this museum.

Take a Walk through the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts

Exterior of Museum of Fine arts in San Angelo

Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The precious San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts is located on Love Street.

As massive and significant as it looks on the inside, it justifies its appearance with some highly royal collections.

It houses valuable items that range from folk art to ethnic representation to custom uniforms, art pieces from all around Texas, and much more.

There are preserved sets of royal cutlery, enough to blow your mind with their beauty.

World-class sculptures, ceramics, and paintings are on display here, too.

The San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts hosts various events throughout the year.

It’s also used as a venue for several live musical performances.

Drink to Your Heart’s Content at the SoCo Taphouse and Brew Company

After touring so many places, you will surely end up needing an entertaining and rejuvenating break.

Grab a drink and quench your thirst at the SoCo Taphouse and Brew Company, one of the most famous brewing companies in San Angelo.

Their selection of drinks, specializing in beers, is famously adored by many.

It also gets plus points for its warm and cozy ambiance and decor.

The owners and staff are the friendliest people around and will give you a detailed tour of the taphouse.

The seating arrangements allow you to bond with the locals who often visit to vibe with travelers over a glass of beer.

Take a Trip to the Serene Lake Nasworthy

Trees surrounding Lake Nasworthy

Billie J Anderson /

If you are looking for a quiet refuge in San Angelo that’s situated in the arms of nature but also in an active location, Lake Nasworthy will be your sweet spot.

Named after John R. Nasworthy, a Texan historical figure, this lake provides water to the city and the nearby areas.

The waters of Lake Nasworthy

Billie J Anderson /

Out of the many activities that visitors practice here, diving and swimming in the beautiful waters are their favorites.

Other activities you can enjoy here include fishing, playing water-based games, and boating by the lake.

You can also have picnics and cookouts or go camping here.

Go for a Visit to Goodfellow Air Force Base

Firefighter Memorial at Goodfellow air force base

An Errant Knight, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Goodfellow Air Force Base is located in the Kearney Boulevard area.

Despite being a base on the smaller end, this attraction is worth a visit.

This military base is of supreme importance to Texan history.

There is a famous exchange area here, too.

You will also get to see some of the most well-trained firefighters at this base, as one of the best firefighting schools in Texas is present here.

The rescue personnel is a treat to watch.

There is a movie theater and an events center here as well.

Make sure you carry a proper ID, and you are good to go.

Catch a World-Class Performance at Be Theatre

A trip to San Angelo is never complete without getting to see a good show.

The city is home to exciting theaters such as Be Theatre, which you must add to your itinerary.

Be Theatre is located at Gillis Street and provides a varied range of shows and events.

It is highly affordable, and for a small theater, the quality of its shows is at par with national standards.

Classics, romances, tragedies, comedies, dramas, musicals, monologues, cabarets, events, and many other shows are performed here.

Be Theatre also hosts an interesting improv event.

In addition to the noteworthy shows, the theater’s seating is comfortable and the staff is friendly, making it an excellent place for tourists to visit.

Sample the Ale of Zero One Alehouse

Here’s another San Angelo local treat: the Zero One Alehouse, located at 20 West Beauregard.

They brew their own beers, and you won’t find anything as good outside this place.

There are three to six varieties on tap at any one time, so make sure to try out at least one; maybe even more if you can take it.

You should also try out some of their house specialties to get the full experience out of it.

Go to The Grill and Sample Their Specialties

The Grill, located at 5769 Sherwood Way, is one of the most celebrated and beloved restaurants in the area.

It combines an eclectic menu with top of the line wines to ensure that all their patrons leave their establishment completely satisfied.

When you’re there, make sure to try out some of their specialties, such as their Rotisserie chicken, Baja fish tacos, and baby back ribs.

They also have a wide array of sandwiches you can sample if you’re just looking for a quick bite.

And, of course, don’t forget to finish off your meal with some desserts!

Taste Scrumptious Mexican Food at Franco’s Cafe

Franco’s serves some of the best Mexican food in San Angelo, and you definitely want to stop by their place at least once.

The building may look plain on the outside, but once you’re inside, be prepared to be served with out-of-this world dishes.

Sample their taco plates and fajitas, and you’ll learn what heaven on earth tastes like.

There are also steaks and soups available if you’re looking for a bigger and more filling meal.

They even serve breakfast all day, so make sure to try that out if you’re looking for something unique.

Eat as Many Burgers as You Can at Twisted Root Burger Company

Exterior of Twisted Root Burger Company

Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

When you head to the historic downtown area of San Angelo, make sure to make some room in your schedule for a visit to the Twisted Root Burger Company.

The building, built in 1958, has been transformed into a burger joint that’ll give you one of the most unique dining experiences while you’re there.

This restaurant doesn’t have traditional flavors, but revels in standing out and giving you a burger you haven’t experienced elsewhere.

Their toppings are also made in house, so you can be sure that they’ve been created with all the love and care in the world.

Taste the Old and New World Flavors at Peasant Village

If you’re more into casual dining, then the Peasant Village at 23 S Park Street is the place for you.

Owned and operated by amazing chefs, this restaurant combines new and old-world flavors and techniques to create flavors you can’t find anywhere else.

Their menu features a few interesting dishes you’ll definitely want to try.

Sample their seafood platter or the sixteen-ounce choice ribeye, and don’t forget to pair it with your preferred accompaniment to further enhance your dining experience.

You can also ask about the evening special if you’re looking for a meal that’ll surprise you.

Learn about the Celestial Bodies at the ASU Planetarium

Explore the planets and journey into space at the ASU Planetarium.

You’ll find this attraction inside the Vincent Building of the Angelo State University campus with tickets available at the venue.

It features public programs using a state-of-the-art Sci-Dome HD digital projector and a spacious dome theater.

Take the “Cosmic Journey” where you’ll have a virtual tour of the solar system and see the wonders of the planets and the moons surrounding them.

“First & Farthest” takes you to the early days of rockets and man’s first landing on the moon; join the space explorers in their amazing feats as they explored the universe.

“From Earth to the Universe” takes you to spectacular scenes through the Milky Way, the galaxies way beyond, and the life cycle of colorful stars.

This program was directed by Theofanis N. Matsopoulos, a Greek filmmaker, with a moving soundtrack produced by Norwegian composer, Johan B. Monell.

You’ll also learn about the history of astronomy and the invention of the telescope to its development into the giant telescopes we have today.

A trip to ASU Planetarium is a worthwhile experience for the whole family.

Enjoy the Activities at Pecan Creek Farm and Ranch

Take your family for some fun farm experiences atPecan Creek Farm and Ranch.

They’re located on Door Key Road offering a unique West Texas agriculture setting where you can have fun, learn, and relax.

Visit during the fall season and enjoy running around the corn maze, or find your perfect pumpkin on the pumpkin patch.

Drop by to see the chickens and learn facts about their eggs, then go meet other animals at the petting zoo.

Kids can learn about different farm tools as they have fun at the Ag Playground.

Remember how root cellars were used to store food items and root vegetables? The farm features root cellars where kids can play hide and seek and learn how food was preserved during the early days.

Likewise, you can try the corn cannons and fire at the range and see how this ammo played an important part in food production and farm life.

If you want to slow down, Pecan Creek Farm and Ranch offer a relaxing scenery you’ll surely enjoy.

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth Cravings with COWBOY-UP Chocolates

Certified chocoholics will definitely enjoy every bite of delicious treats fromCOWBOY-UP Chocolates.

Known as “Home of the Texas Truffle”, you’ll find this sweet stop at East Concho Avenue.

James Crowder’s love for chocolates and baking led to the start of the business concept in 2003, and little did he know his “Concho Caramel” creation would also be the start of his sweet career.

You’ll surely love their unique treats like the Almonds de Leche, Bourbon Pecan Bar, and Bronco Brittle with a Kick.

If you like some bite-size nibbles, try the Buckaroo Buttercrunch, Concho River Rock, and Cowboy Coffee Buzz.

You can also choose from assorted chocolate bar varieties like the Oink Bar, Peachy Keen Bar, Pecans de Leche Bar, and others.

Likewise, have some tasty toffees and brittles, too.

If you’re looking for personalized gifts for events or special occasions, COWBOY-UP Chocolates also offer hand-crafted Texas Truffles and western-themed sweets you can order.

Try Fresh Coffee and Assorted Fares at The Grind Coffee & Cafe

Get your coffee fix and enjoy delicious food atThe Grind Coffee & Cafe.

You can drop by at North Chadbourne Street from Monday to Saturday.

The coffee shop offers a relaxing place where you can hang out and enjoy great food and drinks; they have free WiFi, games and cards, a lending library, and a kids’ area where your little tots can play.

Their must-try coffee special is the Coava coffee, a flavorful blend that’s ground fresh daily at the shop.

Enjoy other coffee brews like Iced Caramel Macchiato, Frappuccino, Cold Brew, Latte, Cappuccino, and more.

They also serve tea like Dirty Chai if you prefer non-coffee drinks.

Try delectable treats like waffles, coffee cake, cinnamon rolls, or toast varieties like Nutella Toast with strawberries or the Kickstart Toast.

Other items on the menu include smoothie bowls, breakfast sandwiches, loaded BLTs, and turkey or ham wraps.

They have delicious weekly specials you can try from Monday to Friday.

You can also grab some cool merchandise by The Grind Coffee & Cafe like shirts and coffee mugs.

Check Out the Amazing Exhibits at the Mayer Museum

Your family will have an exciting and fun learning experience at Mayer Museum.

Right inside Angelo State University, this free attraction is open from Tuesday to Saturday.

The museum hosts interesting current exhibits and engaging permanent exhibits designed for all ages.

Take time to view the Biology exhibit and browse through the extensive natural history collections featuring specimens from Texas and around the globe.

Young explorers can try the interactive fossil games and see other specimens at the Kid Cave; they can also learn about different minerals in the Geology section.

Likewise, kids will be amazed by the Dinosaurs Exhibit where they’ll find the huge Tyrannosaurus Rex to the trilobites that existed before the dinosaur era.

To inspire you with art, you can step inside the Visual and Performing Arts exhibit to view works by local, national, and international artists, along with unique works by university students and faculty.

Drop by the K. Michael Conaway Archive and Exhibit to learn about the former U.S. Congressman’s contributions to West Texas and the nation.

Learn and be inspired at the Mayer Museum.

Final Thoughts

San Angelo is a calm refuge for all travelers, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any fun and excitement to be found there.

The biggest problem in planning a getaway there is having too many things to do and too many places to see.

But that just adds to the fun and charm of the place, something so full of history and culture.

So live life to the fullest and try out as many things as you can.

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