The next place I am discussing in my “Around Houston” series is our very own romance capital of Texas, also fondly called Venice of Texas, San Antonio!!
The first post in the series was on Austin: ~ Around Houston: Austin!!
From our place in Houston, San Antonio is about 2 hours and 45 minutes away, all along I-10. It’s often our favorite to take our out-of-town guests to, simply because it is so close and has such a wide variety of things to offer.
San Antonio is a major city in south-central Texas with a rich colonial heritage. One of the most popular sites to visit here is the Alamo, an 18th-century Spanish mission preserved as a museum, marks an infamous 1836 battle for Texan independence from Mexico. There is also the miles-long River Walk is a landmark and gives San Antonio its romantic and Venitian vibes!
This is in no way an exhaustive list. I would still suggest you Google things to do, and plan for yourself. Please feel free to use this as a guide. So without further ado, here we go-
Where to stay:
Holiday Inn San Antonio River walk (217 N St Mary’s St) – Located right on the river walk, this is a comfortable hotel and walking distance (along the river walk) from the main attractions, restaurants and bars are at.
San Antonio Marriott River walk (889 E Market St) and San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter (101 Bowie St) – These are another comfortable options located on the river walk (they are just across the street from each other, interconnected too). They are also connected to a mall with a huge food court as well as are walking distance (along the river walk) from the main attractions, restaurants and bars.
Things to see/do (in no particular order):
This is a #1 must see when visiting San Antonio. Heroes died here fighting for freedom. While visiting The Alamo you can walk the battle grounds, see inside the Alamo where the women and children hid while the war waged on outside. You can see a short film and view artifacts talking about the war and its importance in the freedom of Texas from Mexico. Inside you also have a gift shop to buy souvenirs from.
– River Walk / River Walk tour:
Pedestrian promenade lined with cafes, bars, restaurants and shops. Walking along is so much fun with all the people watching, photo-opps, live music and an absolutely romantic vibe. There are way too many cutesy spots, to get pix along at the riverwalk, to list them all, so best is to walk and see them on your own. They have water taxis (Rio Taxis) available to take you around along the river walk if walking too much does not appeal to you. Definitely do the river walk tour (River Tours) to get insightful information about the architecture, things to do and history of the river walk. Here is the website: http://riosanantonio.com/ for the river walk taxis and tour. Also, this is your one stop shop for all information related to the River walk http://www.thesanantonioriver walk.com/
– SeaWorld Park and Aquatica Waterpark:
This place is super fun! Takes an entire day though and you will get super tired from all the fun in the sun! This theme park offers roller coasters, rides, shows, tours, attractions & family-friendly activities for thrill seekers & animal lovers. The water park is an absolute must visit!
– Shops at La Centera:
Indulge in some shopping with this outdoor shopping experience. This area is great for shopping, dining, and entertainment.
– Six Flags Fiesta Texas:
This one is crazier than anything else! This park boasts dozens of thrill rides, shows, and activities. If you are a ride lover, this is a must visit. I haven’t been to this particular one but from my experience at other Six Flags, all I can say is adrenaline rush much!
– San Antonio Missions National Historical Park:
This is a national historical park and part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site preserving four of the five Spanish frontier missions in San Antonio. We haven’t been here yet, but definitely on my list for the next time we go to San Antonio!
– Tower of the Americas:
The 750-foot-tall Tower of the Americas provides guests the most spectacular view of the Alamo City. The gorgeous panorama views from the revolving Chart House Restaurant is definitely an experience, or simply take in the scenery from the Observation Deck, or you can also opt to experience the thrilling 4D Theater Ride.
– Botanical Gardens and Japanese Tea Garden:
These beautiful gardens will connect you to nature all while giving you multiple opportunities to use #naturelove and #nofilter!! Haha!
– Menger Hotel:
Established in 1859, this is one of the historic hotels in America is beautiful and has lots of antique things to view – if you are interested in knowing it’s history, this link would take you right where you would want to be: http://www.mengerhotel.com/history-timeline. The Menger Bar is also a must stop while visiting this hotel, they are one of the oldest and still in operation offering a wide variety of drinks. The hotel and the bar is supposedly haunted, but don’t let that stop you!!
– Ripley’s Believe it or not:
This place is for twisted fun! It’s weird to say the least and yet intriguing and interesting. Don’t go by the small entrance, it’s actually very big inside and has lots to read and learn. Keep a couple of hours on hand to do justice to everything you will find here!
– Largest Cowboy Boots (7400 San Pedro Ave., San Antonio, TX)
– Natural Bridge Caverns and Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch:
A fun stop near San Antonio. These caverns are the largest known commercial caverns in Texas. It gets its name from the 60 ft natural limestone slab bridge that spans the amphitheater setting of the cavern’s entrance. The span was left suspended when a sinkhole collapsed below it. The cavern tour is a must! The temperature inside the cave is 70F year-round and the humidity rate is a constant 99 percent. The deepest part of the public tour is 180 feet below the surface, although undeveloped areas of the cavern reach depths of 230 feet. They also have an obstacle course which my sister and hubby enjoyed a lot. The Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch is a drive-through wildlife safari park where the animals come right to your car! So cool 🙂
This is a fun gas station on I-10, which is a good mid-way break if you are driving to San Antonio from Houston. It not only offers extremely clean restrooms to use but also has a super cool store with lots of Texan things to shop while as well as a long list of refreshments to choose from. They have a Dipin Dots inside!!!!!! Bucee’s has multiple locations though so if you don’t have time to stop by this particular one, do not get disheartened, there are many more to enjoy!
There are way too many options on the river walk and otherwise to list them all, but here are the ones on the river walk that are tried and tested by us and we enjoyed them all:
– Café Ole
– Rita’s On the River
– Paesanos Riverwalk
– Iron Cactus Mexican
– Hard Rock Café
– Rainforest Café
– Many ice cream places to choose from
– Coyote Ugly
-Dick’s Last Resort
– MadDog’s British Pub
– The Esquire Tavern
These will be individual blog posts under this new series of Around Houston, stay tuned!):
– Austin (~ Around Houston: Austin!!)
– New Braunfels
– San Marcos
– Misc. counties in Texas Hill Country like Wimberley, Marble Falls, Dripping Springs, Kerrville, Bandera, Llano among others.
Now for my favorite part – Photo-dump!!
Ready to head to San Antonio and wondering where to start to get road trip ready? No worries, I got you covered, go on get yourself ~ Road Trip Ready! 🙂
Hope you enjoyed this post and all set make some memories of your own in the wonderful city of San Antonio! Enjoy!!