SAN ANTONIO: Explore the Riverwalk, Art Museums, and More Near Your San Antonio Hotel
San Antonio, Texas, is a busy American city and is the most visited city in the state. San Antonio hotels are in abundance in the city and tourists will be spoiled for choice with hotels in proximity to the Alamo.
When to visit based on priceThe best time of year to realize lower prices is between the months of June and December.
Key attractionsOne of the most fun adventures in San Antonio is spending time on its famous San Antonio Riverwalk. You can enjoy hours strolling the shops, museums and galleries, and take a break every now and then to experience one of the fine restaurants along the river. For the man in your life, he will probably recognize the infamous bar “Coyote Ugly” where you can still listen to loud country music as your hostess dances on the bar. This place was made famous by the movie of the same name.
A part of our history, and the site that rings “freedom”, a visit to the famous old Mexican Missionary, The Alamo is a definite must if visiting San Antonio. As you walk the halls, the rooms and grounds, you can almost hear Santa Anna’s trumpeters and cannon fire in the air. It will put a chill down anyone’s spine as you read about what happened here, and the lives lost. Davey Crocket, Daniel Boone, Jim Bowie and more were killed defending their state of Texas.
Having funMost people know what a Segway looks like, but few have been on one. This is a perfect place to try one, and to see the streets of San Antonio. Have no fear; they give you an instructional class before venturing out. It’s easier than it looks, so hop aboard for a trip of a lifetime.
For the family traveling with children, it’s off to SeaWorld Celebration, San Antonio, for rides and sea adventures, Exhibits and demonstrations with sharks, dolphins and many other animals of the deep. Located on over 250 acres, you get to experience Alligator Alley, Penguin Encounter, Dolphin Cove and more.
For the thrill seekers in the family, it’s off to Six Flags Fiesta Texas, with it’s six individual theme adventures. There are rides for all ages, and a great place to spend a day of fun.
When on vacation, a day at the zoo is always a fun time. The San Antonio Zoo is no exception to that rule. In fact, it’s the 3rd largest zoo in the U.S. and one of it’s oldest too. This amazing zoo opened it’s doors in the 1800’s and today boasts some 3,500 animals ion it’s 56 acres.
ShoppingSan Antonio made Forbes magazines 25 Best Cities to shop in, so you’re in luck.
You can start at the Alamo Quarry Market shops with over 75 stores including Nordstrom’s, Lucchese Boot, Chico’s and more. For a break in the action, there’s Flemings Wine Bar.
Another choice is the North Star Mall, with well over 200 shops to choose from. You’ll find Armani, Saks Fifth Ave, Montblanc and Apple to name a few. You’ll know you arrived when you see the cowboy boots in front, some forty feet tall, and the largest in the world.
NearbyA short trip from San Antonio is the “Cowboy Capitol of the World”, Bandara, where there are live performances on Main Street on weekends, and trail riding for the brave of heart.
When most of us think of Texas beverages, we think of whiskey and Schooner Bock Beer. But did you know that Texas has been producing some fine wines in them hills? Take a day trip up to the northern Hill Country to the town of Fredrickson where you can visit wineries, sip a few, and have a pleasant lunch too.
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Wyndham - RiverwalkNot only is it a conveniently located spot, but this hotel provides travelers with some of the finest amenities, accommodations, and services throughout this cosmopolitan city....ViewRooms from$118.15
Hyatt Place San Antonio - Northwest/Medical CenterA luxurious experience with a staff that is always available to address your every need....ViewRooms from$86.48
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Best “see and do” ideas for San Antonio, Texas vacation
There is however, no possible reason if you are visiting San Antonia not to spend some time within the stonewalls of the Spanish Mission they call the Alamo. Traveling with children, you will watch them as they listen to what happened there on tours. With legends like Jim Bowie and Davie Crocket were among the 189 others who fell for freedom. If visiting during summer heat, one thing for sure that’s a treat, is its much cooler inside the stonewalls. One thing to remember, this experience in history for you and the family, is free.
Another thing that is a “must see” are the old historic missions from the 1700’s located just three miles from downtown San Antonio. The San Antonio Missions National Historical Park is where you can experience San Juan, Concepción, San José and Espada Missions. They were built as Indian towns, and as the Spanish Catholic Missionaries converted the Indians, they took them over.
If caves turn you on, and would like to “cool off” you definitely should explore the Natural Bridge Caverns. They are named for the 60-foot long natural limestone bridge you will walk over at the entrance, spanning the amphitheater. One of the things children really like here is the ability to learn how to pan for fossils and gems. Before it became a tourist attraction, it was part of the Natural Bridge Mining Company. If caves aren’t your thing, or as an added value, there is also a zip-line tour above the caverns, and you can even enjoy lunch in the restaurant / bar, a real treat for Mom and Dad.
When you are planning that visit to the caverns, there is something nearby to complete your all day adventure. The Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch offers you 400 acres of wildlife. There are more than 500 animals roaming about for you to experience, many from the endangered species list. What’s special about this wildlife ranch is you drive trails through it, never disturbing the wildlife.
If you want to check out something off the beaten track, with a refreshing surprise, I suggest you check out the Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling Company on Whirlwind Drive. They produce small batches of Whiskey and craft beers. They offer a nice ever changing tavern menu, and it’s a super place for a brew and a sandwich for lunch, followed by a shot of good old Texas Straight Bourbon. If interested in a brewery/distillery tour, they offer those on Saturdays.
San Antonio, Texas, your guide to best Happy Hour experiences!
The first place on our list for a great del on food and beverage at a local Happy Hour is Lüke in the downtown Embassy Suite Hotel, located on East Houston. Even if you’re not staying there, it’s worth a trip just for this deal. Just about anywhere in town you will find a beer costing you about $7 a mug, but during Happy Hour here, half price, not only for beer but wine also.. And, if you like Lone Star your in luck because it’s only $2 a bottle. Cocktails also enjoy special marked down prices, as do all the small plate dishes. This is a seven-day a week experience, and on weekends is extended until 8 PM. And oyster lovers, are you in for a treat, with fresh raw or fried oysters only $.50 each during Happy Hour. The Happy Hours 3-6PM weekdays, 3-8PM weekends.
Chuy’s is a Tex-Mex restaurant, located on San Pedro Ave in San Antonio. It’s a local favorite for happy our or anytime, and rated in top 7 for happy hour in San Antonio,. They happy hour house Margarita’s are only $3.95, the beers $2.75 and then there’s a specialty, their frozen white peach sangria for $5.50. And it only gets better because you get beans, ground beef, salsa and chips with queso sauce, for free.
Although Houlihan’s located on the Loop is a “chain” restaurant, it still offers a great deal for Happy Hour, with discounts of small plates, well drinks and beer. During the Happy Hour you get beers for half price. You can eat inside or outside, and enjoy a cheap alternative to a large, expensive dinner.
Another exciting local dive for happy hour is the Kona Grill located on La Cantera Parkway, where Happy Hour runs from 3-7 PM daily. Get reduced drink and meals including fresh Sushi and other seafood dishes. Well known for quality food, enjoying discounts on food and beverages here can save you some serious coinage.
In downtown San Antonio, there are some fine choices too, beginning with the Achiote Café located on E. Market. Happy Hour runs from 3-6PM Monday – Friday, and offers appetizers for $4 each, a draft for $2.50, wine selections for $3.50 a glass, and even Sake at $3.50. What a deal.
Then there’s Landry’s Seafood House on N. Presa Street, well known for it’s outstanding fresh seafood. Check them out between 4-7PM M-F, and grab a $2 Domestic Beer, Premium draft for $2.50. All well drinks are $3, and their excellent Martini’s for $5. When you get a bit hungry, choose from a nice selection of small plate appetizers running between $3-5 each and there you have a really cheap night out.
San Antonio River Walk, it’s Events and Holidays
The Mardi Gras River Parade and Festival is a free event to the public and occurs on February 14th, rain or shine. The center of attention is on the colorfully decorated river barges floating all of San Antonio River into a floating party on New Orleans Bourbon Street. Watch or participate with the hundreds of partygoers who dress in extremely lively costumes, with live entertainment, music and of course libations flowing.
The streets are lined with arts and crafts, doors are open at the River Walk restaurants, and lines form for a bowl of jambalaya or gumbo and a cocktail. The festival itself runs from 11am until 7pm and later. The parade is from 3pm until 5pm and makes two complete laps.
This is one party that if in town you won’t want to miss, and possibly pick up a few unique keepsake beads or other treasures from local vendors.
Then there’s the exciting St Patrick’s Parade & Festival held March 15th and again free to the public. On this day, the name San Antonio River is changed to “The River Shannon”, because as you will see, it’s dyed green to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
In fact this is accomplished by dumping some 100+ pounds of an environmentally safe green dye into the river from the floats.
This event is totally family friendly, and offers fun for all, with a river parade, food, music and lots of fun. It’s actually like one big carnival with games and live music on the Arneson Stage.
The Taste of the River Walk sponsored by Bud Light is a blast on the river, running on the River Walk September 9-11th. For this event you will nee to get tickets, which can be purchased on-line and is a favorite for locals as well as visitors. It’s a very affordable event and well worth all the specialty foods you will get to sample along the way as part of your fee. In fact, there are over 36 restaurants that participate in this event, and let’s say now, 35 tasty appetizers can quickly turn into one great dinner.
And talking about some of the “tastes” you will enjoy? How about Fettuccini, Bottle-Rocket Shrimp and Sirloin Steak for a start? And that’s just three delicious examples of the food in store for you.
Murphy’s Pub Crawl is most certainly an “adults only” fantastic event with a main theme, Fun and Cocktails. The safe part is it’s well organized and you are never behind the wheel. It’s held on March 12th between the hours of 6:00PM and 10:00PM with seven pubs involved. The event tickets are very inexpensive and will turn a quick happy hour into an evening of happy hours, and happy hour food.
You will start at Rio Rio pub at 6:PM where you can purchase your passes, and proceed every half hour to another pub until ending at Dicks.
Some things to just want you to jump on the Internet and make your hotel and airline reservations to San Antonio to investigate River Walk.
If your hotel is on the River Walk everything is within walking distance, on foot. There’s no need for a rental car, cab or to cross any busy street. You will just be walking from place to place on the cobblestone paths.
Family Fun: If you’re here during rodeo season, Feb-Nov. why experience a rodeo?
San Antonio is one of the most affordable cities in all of Texas. You won’t find any high dollar “cover charges” to get into clubs, and cocktails are much cheaper than anywhere else, especially during happy hour.
Speaking of prices, all restaurants post their menus outside so you can get an idea of which to enter, whether budget-friendly or fine dining. They also usually post happy hours and specials.
Affordable Hotels in San Antonio
So, why not find a hotel in the heart of the city, walking distance to the river walk and the Alamo while still saving a few dollars to use on a fine meal? Check out these San Antonio hotels for a stay that is big on exploring while small on the wallet.
Hotel Valencia - This hotel has a great location within walking distance to all the Riverwalk attractions but what it does best is customer service. This mid range hotel is not expensive but you’ll find the décor and the ambiance to appear as if you are in a VIP state of mind. This is what middle class luxury feels like mixed in with some genuine Texas hospitality. The rooms are spacious and clean and the rooms with a view are a must.
Hilton Palacio Del Rio – Before I give you the details on the hotel you have to understand that if you have too much of a good time at Nelly’s Irish Pub there is very little to see from your hotel room. So, yes, it is a fun place to be but wait until your last night before you decide that singing Irish Folk Songs and meeting new friends is a good thing (It is a fun spot.) The location is convenient and while the property is not huge it does feel spacious enough. Make sure to ask for a view of the river and DO NOT Valet park as it will get very expensive.
Hotel Havana - This hotel is slightly further away from the downtown action but makes up for that distance with a historic feel and a boutique feel. You can find plenty of spots to sit and chat or just enjoy the ambiance of the place. You can feel the history of the place although to be honest it is as if they brought in a little fabricated historical element. As in it feels like you might meet Earnest Hemingway in the bar.
Drury Plaza Hotel Riverwalk – This is another hotel located right in the heart of all the action or lack thereof of the Riverwalk. The views are impressive and the rooms are spacious and well appointed. Parking is always s an issue in this part o town so be prepared to pay more than you see fit or prepare for a long walk to a discounted spot. There are free amenities that attract a more budget friendly crowd but for the location and the price this is a good spot when visiting San Antonio.
The Emily Morgan – The truth is you’ll stay here because it has a fantastic view of the Alamo. I mean it is right next door! The touristy nature of this area is good if you are on a budget because you will find affordable food options nearby and you are close to everything. Parking is an issue so park your car in a cheap lot and try to forget about it. Do not choose valet as it will cost you a small fortune. The rooms are nice but some are smaller than others so make sure to ask at check in about the size and the view included with your room.