The Missions: Mission National Park is a free park featuring four of the five Missions of San Antonio. A visit to each of the four is well worth the time, and they have a great bike path along the San Antonio that connects the Missions with the Riverwalk. At each Mission, visitors may enter the sanctuary as long as no events are taking place (these churches are still in use today). The Visitor Center is at Mission San José, the largest of the Missions. The Missions are a great place to take in Spanish architecture in the US, while learning about the early history of Texas. For more on the Missions, click here.
The Alamo: The Alamo is the fifth Mission of San Antonio that was later renamed. Just off the Riverwalk in downtown San Antonio, The Alamo is easy to get to and sure to be one of your favorite sites. Looking to better understand the culture of independence in Texas? This is the place to visit. For more on The Alamo, click here.
The Riverwalk: Words really can’t describe what it feels like to walk along such an oasis in the middle of the country’s seventh largest city. It is refreshing and tranquil, yet festive and exciting all at the same time. The Riverwalk sits below the city street level, so most of the traffic and noise stay above. They have boat rides to take, but honestly I preferred walking to riding. Even on slower weekdays, the Riverwalk restaurants fill up in the evening adding to the festive atmosphere. La Villita offers shopping and there are outdoor concerts at times.
Japanese Tea Garden at Brackenridge Park: Brackenridge Park is a large recreational park that also contains some special features such as the San Antonio Zoo, but a nice place to visit for FREE in the park is the Japanese Tea Garden. The tranquil water features and brightly blooming flowers make for a nice stroll with koi and turtles following along. It is a crowded spot and a popular place for quinceañera photos.
King William Historic District: It took me a minute to place King William. With all of the Spanish influence in San Antonio, I was at a loss to identify King William at first. Then, I remembered Kaiser Wilhelm and learned that a lot of Texas Hill Country was settled by Germans. This same German influence is what named the historic district. If you stop at the visitor center near the Alamo, you can pick up a map outlining the path and giving descriptions of the homes in the historic district. It was a very lovely walk in a quiet area along the River and the variety of homes was surprising.
One last tip, if you make it to the historic district, be sure to eat lunch at Cascabel Mexican Patio. They serve authentic, homemade Tex-Mex food like you can get nowhere else in the country. It is one of those best kept secrets, as most tourists eat on the Riverwalk. This restaurant had nice outdoor seating and was full of locals. Their hours cater to the lunch crowd, so don’t plan on a dinner there. Feast your eyes…
A video recap with more footage…