When you only have twenty-four hours to stay in an attraction rich city like San Antonio, you have to be pretty strategic in what you do. Joe and I recently completed a 2,224 miles road trip through the Texas Hill Country (read all about it: Texas Barbecue Road Trip). One of our last stops was San Antonio, Texas.
A Day in San Antonio
You can’t go to San Antonio without visiting the Alamo. After all, it is Texas’s most visited landmark! I had read that it was small and underwhelming, but being a history nerd, I didn’t find that to be the case at all. It was packed full of interesting facts and artifacts. Just knowing the sacrifice that had occurred on that site really moved me!
Important information: Free to the public, open 9-5:30 (extended to 7 p.m. in the summer)
When crunched for time, there is no better way to get a good overview of a city, then a “hop on/hop off” tour. San Antonio is no exception. You can pick and chose which attractions appeal to you and learn about the city in-between stops. We picked the Alamo Trolley Tours for their route and price. The trolleys make a continual loop, stopping at the major historical missions and shopping venues.
Important Information: Tickets can be bought directly across from the Alamo in the Alamo Trolley Center or at the Market Square Visitor Center. Cost for narrated tour with hop pass : $25.95 for adults, $12.95 for kids 4-12.
1718, the first mission was established along the San Antonio River. Within twenty years, five missions would be built along the river, with The Alamo being the most famous. All of the missions are registered National Historic Landmarks and most still hold church services. Mission San Jose and Mission Concepcion are hop on/hop off trolley stops. Mission San Jose also houses the San Antonio National Historic Park Visitor Center.
Important Information: Guided tours and admission to the San Antonio National Historic Park are free.
Another hop on/hop off stop we took advantage of was Market Square. Market Square is the largest Mexican Market in the United States. If you want a Mexican souvenir, this is the place to shop. The shops have souvenirs (yes, a lot are tacky) by the boatload! The atmosphere is fun with street food vendors and musicians. Luck would have it, Joe found a pig for our collection! (read I Like Big Pigs, and I Can Not Lie!)
The San Antonio Riverwalk is one of Texas’s most visited attractions and a just a few steps along this romantic venue and you will discover why. First started as a means to help control the flooding of the San Antonio River, the Riverwalk is now an urban oasis, full of hundreds of shops and restaurants surrounded by lush landscape. No visit is complete without a narrated boat tour!
We knew we wouldn’t have much time in San Antonio so I tried to find a place close to the Riverwalk, but not super expensive. We chose the Marriot Plaza (there are several Marriots downtown). It is only about a ten minute walk to the Alamo and the Riverwalk and not outrageously expensive. You do have to pay for parking so what we did was check in early (9 a.m.) and just had our bags held, parked, and then left the hotel and spent the day exploring. The super comfy bed was a welcome sight after our many hours of walking and exploring the city.
So have you ever been to San Antonio? What was your favorite part? Please comment below. Keep up with all of our travel, camping, and cycling tips by following us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Leave us your email (blue box at the bottom of the post) to subscribe to our weekly newsletter and never miss a post!