San Antonio is a really neat town. The downtown area is easily walkable and the Riverwalk and the Alamo are great places to see and visit. I have listed below 6 things to know when planning your trip to San Antonio.
1) Stay on or near the San Antonio River Walk. The River Walk is the heart of town and where all the action happens. Several hotels have back entrances to open out right on the River Walk. I stayed last time using my Marriott points at the Town Place Suites which is one block off of the River Walk. It was clean and very nice. A bucket list type of place to stay would be the Omni La Mansion del Rio. It is gorgeous and the location could not be better.
2) Take the River Walk boat tour. They don’t cost that much, $10/person adult with additional discounts available for locals, children, US military and senior citizens. I was amazed with the history I learned from my boat captain/tour leader. It was a fun and enjoyable experience—even with children. I used Rio San Antonio Cruises. I didn’t need to make a reservation, I just bought tickets for my party and boarded. There seemed to be boats leaving every 15 – 30 minutes.
3) The Alamo is downtown. Like one block off of the River Walk area. I assumed it would be out in the desert somewhere the first time I visited. It surprised me to see it surrounded by tall buildings and city hustle and bustle. It doesn’t take long to tour the Alamo and is free to visit. Remember the Alamo!
4) Know where to get the best local Texas BBQ and Tex Mex. I ate at Rio Rio Cantina and really enjoyed it. They had a really good iced Horchata drink that we really enjoyed. I had BBQ at both the Republic of Texas which had a great location and okay BBQ (I think that they were trying too hard) and Bill Miller BBQ. Bill Miller BBQ was reasonably priced and seemed more local and authentic to me. It’s on a street corner and definitely not fancy but was busy with locals so that was good enough for me.
5) Check the event schedule for San Antonio and the River Walk in general. You may want to schedule a trip around an event or perhaps to avoid an event. We caught the Fourth of July Artisan Show which was cool seeing all the local made items for sale. Other notable events include Mardi Gras and the Holiday Lights.
6) A visit to San Antonio in the summer can be crazy hot. It was close to 110* F during my first visit there. The River Walk area is noticeably cooler as it sits lower and has the breeze off of the water. If you plan to visit in the summer, perhaps a side trip to Schlitterbahn or Hamilton Pool (this one is probably closer to Austin though) is in order.
One other note, I noticed that San Antonio has a place where you can rent Segway’s to travel around town quickly and see a lot in a short amount of time. I did not try this in San Antonio but have done this in other cities and really enjoyed the experience. This isn’t for everyone, but something for you to consider. I would think that you could not take the Segway through the River Walk area for safety and accessibility reasons though.
Check out these links to the places mentioned above and enjoy your trip to San Antonio–rk