How to make the most of two outside days in San Antonio … not really long enough, but when our week’s weather turned rainy and cold, we managed to enjoy the two days of nice (if chilly) weather we were given. So many things to do in San Antonio … so little time. If you’re a foodie, you could really really OD! Luckily, we’re not foodie’s, but we do have a couple of suggestions.
Day 1 – Classic San Antonio: The Alamo & Riverwalk
Day 1 features what everyone comes to San Antonio for … the Alamo and the Riverwalk.
Start your morning with coffee and breakfast at one of the dozens and dozens of sidewalk cafes along the Riverwalk. Stroll through the area, ending up at The Alamo for a self-guided tour. Take in the movie and as you stroll the grounds, take a moment to be still and reflect on the impact that this tiny seemingly insignificant mission had on the history of our country. Hear the footsteps of the doomed men and imagine how they must have felt cooped up in this tiny space with cannon balls falling all around them. I’m amazed they held out as long as they did! Without this catastrophic loss, the USA might be missing several of its western states. Remember the Alamo!
Riverwalk Boat Ride
From the Alamo, wander over to the Riverwalk for the classic boat ride – sort of an electric gondola ride through the canals of the Riverwalk. The boat ride provides some history and an overview of the Riverwalk which will be useful in wanderings later. There are three starting points, we started from the Riverwalk Mall just because it was the first place we stumbled into while wandering from The Alamo.
The boat ride does a loop and returns you to the same spot you started. From here we decided to start walking and ended up walking the entire downtown Riverwalk (not to be confused with the Riverwalk Missions Trail Bike Trail which is something like 15 miles long … more on that soon…)
When we started to get hungry, we stopped for a snack at the first open table we found right on the river – so much for planning – our plan was to find an open table!
Tower of the Americas
If you have time to kill before Happy Hour starts at the Chart House Bar at 4:30, stop at the Riverwalk Mall and take in the Alamo IMAX movie. If you’re a veteran, you get in for $10 but be sure to bring proof (some states will add “Veteran” to your drivers license making it easier – David’s going to ask next time he gets his license renewed).
Happy Hour at the Chart House Bar at the top of the Tower of the Americas was a great idea! The Tower was constructed as part of the 1968 World’s Fair. At 750 feet overall and almost 560 feet to the Bar, the views of the city are superb.
When we got to the Tower (taller than the Seattle Space Needle, second only to the Las Vegas Stratosphere Tower!), tickets to the Observation Deck for both of us was going to be $20. Hmmmm…. Didn’t take much difficult brain power to deduct that we skip the fee by heading to Happy Hour at the Chart House Bar where a beer was $4, wine was $6 & appetizers ranged from $5 – $9. Appetizers, two beers and a glass of wine was less than $30 and NO tickets necessary! We got there at 4:30, when Happy Hour started and by 4:45 every table was full despite the fact that Happy Hour lasts until 7 PM. Best value in San Antonio!!! The only caveat is that the bar doesn’t rotate like the restaurant, but it’s fixed with the view of downtown San Antonio and the Alamo – that’s the best view side anyway! So if you don’t mind giving up the movie and 4D ride (included in the observation tower ticket cost), go for Happy Hour and ENJOY!
Day 2 – A Bike Ride Through History – Missions Riverwalk Greenway
Time to get some exercise: bike riding the Missions Trail – a wonderful bike path provided by the City of San Antonio that links every San Antonio area Mission – 4 more besides The Alamo. The Missions are located approximately 3 miles apart along the San Antonio River. The bike path is a relaxing ride through history.
We deliberately picked Travelers World RV Park because it’s directly on the bike path. Setting off, we chose to stop at the Missions National Historical Park Visitor Center where we could watch the movie (!!!) and get a bit of background for what we were about to visit. There were also free Ranger Walks, but we missed them primarily due to weather. 🙁
Here’s the Mission San Jose at the Visitors Center.
From the Visitor Center we chose to ride to the “end of the missions trail” which was Mission Espada. From Mission Espada we rode back to Mission Conception and then returned “home” via the bike path. All in all just under 18 miles. Nice day!
The final stop of the day, Mission Concepcion which was under renovation but still worthwhile!
So much history & so much exercise. Time for a gal to sit back & relax in a zero gravity chair outside our Lance 1685! 🙂
What did you do in San Antonio? Please leave a comment and share! Our time here is up, on to Texas Hill Country!