I was probably 13 or 14 years old when I visited San Antonio with my mom, sisters and grandmother. If I can fins any, I’ll try and dig up some old pictures but it was a very short trip. My grandmother took us to see the Alamo and a few other local attractions before left for Austin. This month, I’ll be traveling to San Antonio with my mom, sister and my own children as we sight see and visit my Uncle and Aunt.
If you have a day or if you have a week San Antonio is a great place to visit. In recent years more and more visitors have been attracted to this Texas cities vibrant music and culture scene, making it a top destination. If you’re looking for a great destination that combines Native American, Mexican, Spanish, even German cultures this is the place to go.
If you fly into San Antonio, shuttles are available from the airport to downtown hotels. Once in the city you can use the streetcar system of buses that are fairly inexpensive and go to the major tourist interest points. If a cab is more your style there’s plenty available and a pickup can call and be arranged or hailed from the street. Gray Line Limo also operates tour buses that operate different routes to experience the city’s offerings.
WHAT TO DO
It might be the most well-known location in San Antonio. The River Walk and San Antonio River were first described in 1536 by a shipwrecked Spanish captain. By 1716 plans were drawn up for a fort along the river and in 1736 the first bridge traversing the river was constructed. Years of developments bring us to the modern day where the walk is dotted with restaurants, attractions, and entertainment. Take a short boat tour of the River Walk or indulge in a dinner cruise. This is a great affordable way to learn more about the area.
Make sure to stop into the San Antonio Museum of Art that features a large collection of Egyptian, Greek, and Roman art as well as an impressive Latin American art collection. Best of all Tuesday evening visits are free. Remember the Alamo in your visit plans, but don’t allocate a large chunk of time to this historical site as it’s quite quick to move through. Tour the Alamo Gardens, plaza, long barrack museum, and Alamo shrine. San Antonio Missions National Park is the site of four mission churches that date from the 18th century. Learn more about the Spanish Colonial period of the region and tour these historical sites alone or with a docent.
WHAT TO EAT
You’ll likely want to eat some Texas style barbecue while visiting the Lonestar State and San Antonio delivers with dozens of restaurants dedicated to just this. Rudy’s BBQ and Texas Pride are two favorites. After barbecue (or maybe before) Tex-Mex cuisine is a must. Taqueria Mexico and Mi Terra Café are worth considering to satisfy your taste buds. For a top quality burger and fries, San Antonio locals stop at Chris Madrid’s for your choice of six different burgers and sizes.
WHERE TO STAY
There’s no shortage of both new and old hotels in San Antonio. If you want to stay downtown try the Hotel Havana, built in 1914. This small hotel offers just twenty-seven unique rooms as well as a downstairs restaurant and lounge. The Menger is a much larger hotel that overlooks the Alamo. It boasts the largest heated swimming pool in San Antonio.
Have you visited San Antonio in the past? Where was your favorite location to visit?