San Antonio, Texas, has so many interesting things to do and see that you cannot see them all in just one visit. Any trip to San Antonio should begin in the downtown part of the city. Here is here that all visitors can see the history that is so prominent in the city.
San Antonio is known as “Alamo Country,” because in the heart of town is the Alamo. A tour of the famous mission reiterates the famous battle of 1836 where defenders including Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie. The stone walls are still in tact and wreaths commemorate the fallen in this battle. Books and documents pertaining to Texas are housed here, also. Talks and tours are given throughout the day. Each two hour tour is led by a docent who is well versed in Texas history. The tours and admission to the Alamo is free, but donations are accepted.
Across the street from the Alamo is the Guinness World Records Museum. Hands on exhibits are available. The museum is filled with items that have made the famous world book. Admission to the museum is $18.99 with discounted admissions available.
The Jose Antonio Navarro home is part of the Casa Navarro State Historic Site. This home is one of Texas famous patriots, who signed the Texas Declaration of Independence. There are three structures that can be toured including this home, a store, and another residence. The cost is only $2 for this tour.
The Texas Ranger Museum is also located in the downtown area. There are many exhibits depicting the famous Texas Rangers. There are photographs, weapons, and other items in association with the history of the organization. The admission price is $16.99.
Buckhorn Saloon and Museum was built in 1881. It depicts the old West during this period. There are over 520 mounted species of wildlife exhibited there. This includes the local aquatic animals. The Texas Hall of Fame is housed in this building, also. Admission price is $16.99.
The Louis Tussuad’s Plaza Wax Museum and Ripley’s Believe it or not are located across from the Alamo. There are 250 wax figures that await visitors in the Museum. Ripley’s collection contains over 500 exhibits. The cost for both of these is $21.99.
The outdoor theater, located on the River walk, is home to plays and other performances throughout the year. It is unique because the seats are made of grass and face the River.
The Hemisphere Park is a 92 acre area where the San Antonio 1968 World’s Fair was held. It is now the center of recreation and entertainment. It is within walking distance of the Riverwalk.
Instituto de Mexico offers exhibits by Mexican and local artists. These offerings include films, lectures, concerts and workshops. The cost is free.
The Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center is a popular convention venue. The Center is located in the downtown area, close to the Riverwalk. This Center is unique with its murals and the river flowing beside it.
The Riverwalk offers visitors a stroll on the San Antonio River. Nestled along the peaceful river are shops, restaurants and hotels. The river taxi is available to take tourists the entire length of the river for a small nominal fee.
The Tower of the Americas is located near the Convention Center. This tower offers visitors a view from 750 feet above the city. It is reached by glass fronted elevators. There is a revolving restaurant located on the top. You can see 100 miles of Texas from the top. The observation deck view and ride cost $10.95.
Market Square is located a short distance from downtown. It contains a Farmer’s Market extraordinaire. Fresh produce, restaurants, and Hispanic themed shops are located there. Sidewalk artists are at work around the Market area. Parking is ample, and the restaurants are open in the evenings when the Market closes.
The beautiful San Fernando cathedral, built in 1731, and St. Joseph Church are located in the downtown area. St. Joseph Church building is located in the heart of downtown. The interior of the church looks just as it might have in the early days of its founding. It is open for tours throughout the day, when services are not being held.
Shoppers find the city to be a mecca of shops. The Rivercenter Mall is located on the Riverwalk, in the heart of downtown. The food court offers lunch time entertainment. The atrium structure of the food court allows visitors to see the River. Outdoor eating is also available at tables with views of the river.
Special events are happening in the downtown area. In January the river is drained and the River Walk Mud Festival is held, complete with parades and entertainment. The river is dyed green for St. Patrick’s Day. Fiesta SA is held in April commemorating the Texas hero. Christmas is Fiesta Navidenas which features concert and 2500 lit candles lining the River Walk. A complete list of events can be obtained by contacting the San Antonio Visitor Information Center at 800-447-3372.
The city is very accessible. The town offers the Alamo Trolley Service, which has trolley service around the town. Routes are color coded to the area serviced. All operate in the downtown area and save a great deal of walking. Most attractions can be visited by traveling on the trolley.
There is a .one hour excursion through the entire city on the Alamo Trolley for a cost of $19.95. The San Antonio City Tours offer a half day or a whole day tour. Day tours include an IMAX theater presentation. These tours start at $32.50.A boat tour is available for the entire Riverwalk area. The cost of this tour is $7.75
Food in San Antonio is always good and varied. Mexican fare is served, but some of the best steaks are available. All hotels offer restaurants for their guests. Be adventuresome and try some of the little eateries that are located on the streets of the downtown area.
The Riverwalk becomes more alive after dark with all genre of musical sounds floating through the air. Some of the nighttime entertainment features piano playing and community sing along. Jazz is coming from another site and modern music from another spot. Mariachi bands play on the River on barges.
The hotels that line the Riverwalk are the more expensive. The others that are in the downtown area that do not back the Riverwalk are less expensive. The Riverwalk hotels range from $109 to $300 per night. Alamo Inn,. La Quinta, Motel 6, and Red Roof room rates range from $70 to $200 per night. There are many other franchise motels available.
San Antonio is one of those cities that keeps a tourist coming back to see more. There are many other spots to see outside of the downtown area. These listed are easy to get to on foot or by convenient transportation.
References: San Antonio Visitors Information Center