San Antonio Journals

San Antonio: The Fiesta City

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An October 2003 trip to San Antonio by wildhoney269

San Antonio River Walk Photo, San Antonio, Texas More Photos
Quote: Our visit to San Antonio, Texas, was to celebrate the joint 40th birthday party for my sister and brother-in-law. We opted to stay at a hotel downtown so we could split our weekend between family activities and some sight-seeing of this charming and historic town.

San Antonio: The Fiesta City

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Overview

San Antonio River Walk Photo, San Antonio, Texas
Quote:
We arrived in San Antonio on Thursday, got checked into the hotel, met up with some family, and went for a great Tex-Mex dinner at Chuy's. After we got back to our hotel, we walked over to Durty Nellie's on the river to sing along at the piano bar. Friday was our first full day to explore the city. Starting out at 9am, the first stop on our walking tour was at the famous Alamo. Arriving this early on a weekday is a benefit, because this major attraction was not very crowded. We wandered around downtown, vi...Read More

The Fairmount Hotel

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Hotel | "The Fairmount, A Wyndham Historic Hotel"

The Fairmount Hotel Photo, San Antonio, Texas
Quote:
We chose this smaller, classic San Antonio hotel as an alternative to the other high-rise hotels along the River Walk. The Fairmount has 37 rooms and none are alike. A funky history, a courtyard that could be in Paris, and a tiny bar with a smell of oven-fired pizzas from the adjacent restaurant, Polo's, is part of its charm. Its location is not right on the River Walk, but just across the street from the entrance at La Villita and within walking distance from the downtown historical buildings, the Al...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 27, 2003

The Fairmount Hotel
401 S ALAMO
San Antonio, Texas 78205
210-224-8800

La Villita

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Attraction

La Villita Photo, San Antonio, Texas
Quote:
San Antonio's first neighborhood is now a thriving arts and crafts community. La Villita, Spanish for "little town," settled over the centuries by Spanish, Germans, and, in the '30s and '40s, a community of artists, was once the site of an Indian village. A number of the buildings have been continuously occupied for more than 200 years. This little village on the river was restored by a joint effort of the city and the San Antonio Conservation Society. Located near the River Walk on the south side of the San Antonio River, it is laid out like a Mexican village, populated with boutiques, craft shops, eateries, art galleries, workshops, theatres, artists and a few original adobe buildings. ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 27, 2003

La Villita
418 Villita
San Antonio, Texas 78205
+1 210 207 8610

El Mercado-Market Square

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Attraction | "El Mercaro (Market Square)"

El Mercado-Market Square Photo, San Antonio, Texas
Quote:
El Mercaro, or Market Square, is the largest Mexican marketplace outside of Mexico. You should plan a visit here if you like to hunt for bargains, shop for souvenirs, or appreciate the colors and sounds of Mexican traditions. Expect to find Mexican restaurants, arts and crafts, shops, bakeries, etc. Items for sale are either in stores or set up in carts. Market Square is the best cultural shopping experience in downtown San Antonio. Located west of the River Walk, it is a good fifteen minute walk to reach Market Square. On your journey above ground you will pass the San Antonio government buildings, ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 27, 2003

El Mercado-Market Square
514 West Commerce Street
San Antonio, Texas 78207
(210) 207-8600

Blum Street Cellars

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Attraction

Blum Street Cellars Photo, San Antonio, Texas
Quote:
This is the perfect store for the epicurean. Located near The Alamo, between to The Menger Hotel and Rivercenter Mall, this little shop invites the visitor to sample some wines and other items. In the front of the shop are several household items, such as plates and dinnerware. They also sell ceramic tortilla holders. Their wine cellar features a wide-variety of Texas wine. All visitors are invited to one sample for free. You can purchase additional samples as well at three tastes for $1.00...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 27, 2003

Blum Street Cellars
River Center Mall
San Antonio, Texas 78207
(210) 222-2586

Chamade Jewelers

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Attraction | "Chamade"

Chamade Jewelers Photo, San Antonio, Texas
Quote:
Chamade is a wonderful jeweler which offers a wide range of jewelry items. Several different artists where showcased in various places through the shop. Fine jewelry such as 14, 18, or 22 karat gold bracelets, chains, and rings, and south sea pearl strands can be found with a platinum selection, estate jewelry and Texas charms. Their Native American collection is impressive and they sell ethnic offerings from the Hopi, Navajo and Zuni reservations. Chamade is a member of the Indian Arts & Crafts Association, ensuring their merchandise is authentic. In addition to jewelry, other Native American items are available such as handcrafted concho belts, bolo ties, squash blossoms, and shell necklace...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 27, 2003

Chamade Jewelers
504 Villita St
San Antonio, Texas 78205
+1 210 224 7753

Village Gallery

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Attraction

Village Gallery Photo, San Antonio, Texas
Quote:
The Village Gallery is the downtown gallery for McQueenry Pottery, which is based in McQueeny, Texas. The style used results in pieces of three or four different colors. The colors and dye used are strong and clear instead of "watered" like I have seen them in other stores. All of the pottery is hand made and is lead free, safe to use in the microware, oven and dishwasher. Pieces are created from their own clay and glazes with the majority of the materials coming from the local area. The glazes are bright and alive and they emphasize functional stoneware and porcelain pottery pieces. Some earthenware pieces are also being produced. Standard pottery pieces such as dishes, bowls, goblets, m...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 27, 2003

Village Gallery
502 Villita St
San Antonio, Texas 78205
+1 800 533 5021

Japanese Tea Garden at Brackenridge Park

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Attraction | "Japanese Tea Garden"

Japanese Tea Garden at Brackenridge Park Photo, San Antonio, Texas
Quote:
The concept of the Japanese Tea Garden is a very good one, but unfortunately I can not recommend it to anyone. This is because the day we visited, there was no water in the ponds, no water in the waterfall or in the fountains. The plants seemed a bit dried up as well. The Japanese Tea Garden is not within walking distance from downtown. It is in Brackenridge Park which is near the San Antonio Zoo and a few museums. The story of the Japanese Tea Garden in San Antonio is an interesting one and is provided on a large plaque outside of the garden entrance. Built from an old rock quarry, the Japanese Tea Garden concept grew from what was originally just a lily pond. Prison labor was used t...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on November 5, 2003

Japanese Tea Garden at Brackenridge Park
3853 North St. Mary's Street
San Antonio, Texas 78212
(210) 735-0663