San Antonio Journals

San Antonio

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A travel journal to San Antonio by Jeffrey

San Antonio Riverwalk Photo, San Antonio, Texas More Photos
Quote: San Antonio is a great destination, whether for families, or a romantic get-away. The Spanish culture, and its impact on the language, architecture, and food make for a very rich experience.

San Antonio

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Overview

Quote:
There are many attractions and things to do in San Antonio, and many of them are centrally located downtown. I enjoy the Riverwalk, and the endless entertainment it provides with restaurants, shopping, bars, and cafes. The Alamo is very close to the Riverwalk as well. There are open markets (not on the Riverwalk) that provide a great local flavor.Quick Tips: Best Way To Get Around: Depending on what you plan to do, you may or may not need a car. I have visited many times without renting a car. If your plan is to stay in a hotel on the Riverwalk, you can walk to attractions, shop, and eat in different places and not run out of places, and use taxi's or hot...Read More

Omni La Mansion del Rio

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Hotel | "La Mansion del Rio Hotel"

Omni La Mansion del Rio Photo, San Antonio, Texas
Quote:
La Mansion del Rio is a historic hotel in downtown San Antonio on the famous Riverwalk. Although historic, it has all modern conveniences. Additionally, the staff is extremely attentive and helpful. La Mansion del Rio Hotel resides partially in The Old St Mary''s College that was built in the 1850''s. La Mansion opened in 1968, for the San Antonio World''s Fair. The interior is Spanish style with mission-style floor tile, arches and columns. Now, La Mansion has 357 rooms and suites on 7 floors. Rooms either have a courtyard view or a view of the Riverwalk. Either view is nice, but the Riverwalk may be noisy (on ground floor) as the world goes by from the area bars, cafes, restauran...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 26, 2001

Omni La Mansion del Rio
112 COLLEGE STREET
San Antonio, Texas 78205
210-518-1000

San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter

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Hotel

San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter Photo, San Antonio, Texas
Quote:
The San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter is a large full service Marriott. It is in downtown San Antonio, right across the street from another Marriott, the San Antonio Marriott Riverwalk. This Marriott is adjacent to the Rivercenter Mall (see other journal entry). It is a 25 floor property. Floors 1 through 5 have the lobby, restaurants, bar, fitness center, pool, and meeting facilities, and the guest rooms and suites are on floors 6 through 25. This Marriott (both Marriotts) are in immediate proximity to the Riverwalk, and all downtown sites. Rooms are available with rates with or without breakfast in the second floor Garden Restaurant or via room service. We opted for a ra...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on February 12, 2001

San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter
101 Bowie Street
San Antonio, Texas 78205
(210) 223-1000

Hilton Palacio del Rio

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Hotel

Hilton Palacio del Rio Photo, San Antonio, Texas
Quote:
The Hilton Palacio Del Rio is a 21 floor hotel in downtown San Antonio at the corner of Alamo and Market Streets. The rear entrances and rooms in the back of the hotel face the San Antonio Riverwalk. You can take elevators down to the Riverwalk and its restaurants, cafes, pubs, and shops. This Hilton, like many things downtown, was built for the 1968 World''s Fair. The common areas of the hotel are decorated in Spanish/Mexican style decor, including fancy wood floors, and mission style lighting, and lots watercolor paintings and glass crystal. We got a great room rate of $89 per room per day, including continental breakfast. Watch out for parking. At $23.50 a day (plus t...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 2, 2001

Hilton Palacio del Rio
200 South Alamo Street
San Antonio, Texas 78205
(210) 222-1400

Rio Rio Cantina

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Restaurant

Rio Rio Cantina Photo, San Antonio, Texas
Quote:
Rio Rio Cantina is a large, colorful, lively (loud), and very popular bar and eatery on San Antonio's Riverwalk (street entrance is on East Commerce). Inside, is a small bar called the Naked Iguana ("where nobody knows your name, but everyone's willing to learn"). Rio Rio has a Mexican decor, and Mexican/Tex-Mex cuisine, including beef, chicken, seafood, and vegetarian dishes. Appetizers ($7-$15) include nachos (severals ways), quesadillas, flautas, guacamole, and more; Specialty dishes ($10-$16) include chimichangas, enchladas (many ways), and others; Specialty meat dishes ($12-$16) are baby back ribs, fajitas, and more; Seafood dishes ($16-$19) include shrimp and fresh fish; ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 6, 2001

Rio Rio Cantina
421 East Commerce St
San Antonio, Texas 78205
+1 210 226 8462

Zuni Grill

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Restaurant

Zuni Grill Photo, San Antonio, Texas
Quote:
The Zuni Grill was great fun. It is a very cool contemporary southwest (not Tex-Mex or Mexican) restaurant. It has an entrance and patio that is right on the Riverwalk, and a street entrance to the upper-level. I really like the colorful cool decor and art they use. The architecture and layout are neat too. As with the decor, the menu is contemporary southwest cuisine. The Zuni Grill serves a small breakfast menu and buffet ($5-$8) that is very hearty and good. Lunch and Dinner Appetizers ($4-$10) included soups, nachos, salads, and seafood dishes. Lunch Entrees ($7-$9) included sandwiches, pizzas, and quesadillas. Dinner Entrees ($14-$25) were a wide mix of beef, veal, seafood,...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 26, 2001

Zuni Grill
223 Losoya
San Antonio, Texas 78205
(210) 227-0864

Mi Tierra Cafe

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Restaurant | "Mi Tierra"

Mi Tierra Cafe Photo, San Antonio, Texas
Quote:
Mi Tierra (or My Home cooking?) is a family-operated Mexican Restaurant and Bakery in the El Mercado (or Market) in Market Square. Mi Tierra is a San Antonio institution since 1941, and is an extremely colorful and lively 24 hour restaurant and bakery, with great food, great service, and Mariachis that take requests. Our visit to Mi Tierra was the high point of a recent visit to San Antonio where nothing seemed to go right. We were expecting large crowds and long waits (like the rest of our weekend), so we were very impressed and pleased when we were seated right away at 10am on a Sunday morning....and next to the Mariachi band no less. The crowd soon followed....this place is enormously popu...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 12, 2001

Mi Tierra Cafe
218 Produce Row
San Antonio, Texas 78207
(210) 225-1262

Hard Rock Cafe

Restaurant | "Hard Rock Cafe in San Antonio"

Hard Rock Cafe Photo, San Antonio, Texas
Quote:
The Hard Rock Cafe in downtown San Antonio is located right on the San Antonio Riverwalk (see journal entry). While the menu and theme are like other Hard Rock Cafe's, this location has several unique fun qualities. One of the first things you notice is that there is a FULL SIZE white Cadillac automobile hanging on the outside of the building, on the street entrance. Not to be outdone, the inside has a FULL SIZE black Cadillac hearse hanging upside down from the ceiling, with video monitors where the windows belong. There is also a large guitar-shaped bar inside. This location also has an entrance and large patio facing the Riverwalk. In January they have/use space heaters...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 26, 2001

Hard Rock Cafe
111 West Crockett Street
San Antonio, Texas 78205
(210) 224-7625

San Antonio Riverwalk

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Attraction | "The Riverwalk"

San Antonio Riverwalk Photo, San Antonio, Texas
Quote:
As much a San Antonio landmark as anything else, the San Antonio Riverwalk is about 2.5 miles long and is lined with some of San Antonio's best restaurants, hotels, bars, cafes, and shopping, including the Rivercenter Mall. The Riverwalk was designed and constructed in the 1930's to control flooding in downtown San Antonio. It wasn't until several years (decades even) later that businesses stopped using the Riverwalk as their back door, and the potential realized to restore the basement levels of these building at Riverwalk level to become an entertainment area. This potential was first widely realized and showcased during the 1968 World's Fair in San Antonio. Since the 1970's, the p...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 26, 2001

San Antonio Riverwalk
200 South Alamo Street
San Antonio, Texas 78205
(210) 227-4262

Tower of the Americas

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Attraction

Tower of the Americas Photo, San Antonio, Texas
Quote:
The Tower of the Americas is a 650 foot tower with observation deck/gift shop, cocktail lounge, and restaurant levels, that is located downtown in Hemisfair Park that was built for the 1968 Worlds Fair. The tower is operated by the City of San Antonio Department of Parks and Recreation Admission ($1-$3 based on age) is charged for the long scenic glass elevator ride to the observation deck. However, you can avoid the admission charge by taking the elevator to the lounge (one floor/level below the observation deck) and enjoying the view with a drink and/or appetizer. Then, you are welcome to take the elevator up to the observation deck at no cost. They also have a restaurant one floo...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 14, 2001

Tower of the Americas
600 Hemisfair Park
San Antonio, Texas 78205
(210) 207-8615

El Mercado-Market Square

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Attraction | "El Mercado (Market Square)"

El Mercado-Market Square Photo, San Antonio, Texas
Quote:
Market Square has multiple indoor and outdoor markets and individual shops specializing in Mexican goods, arts and crafts, and is said to be the largest and most authentic market outside of Mexico. They definitely cater to the tourists....but don't let that stop you...the local color is great. There are markets indoors and outdoors, selling mostly souvenirs and gifts, in private booths and stands. Food and refreshments are available everywhere. There are also musicians, bands and constumed dancers that are always putting on a show somewhere in the area. Among its shops is the "oldest pharmacy in San Antonio," which is an apothecary-style relic. Restaurants include Mi Tierra (see ot...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 14, 2001

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

Yanaguana Cruises, Inc.

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Attraction | "Yaraguana Riverwalk Boat Cruises"

Yanaguana Cruises, Inc. Photo, San Antonio, Texas
Quote:
The Riverwalk boat cruises are the consummate San Antonio tourist activity. In all my visits to San Antonio, I had never ridden the boats. However, while riding them, I saw more of the Riverwalk than ever before.

The Yaraguana Boat Cruises ($5.25 for adults and $1 for kids) provide about a 40 minute complete tour of The Riverwalk. The driver (?) provided light narraration that was informative, funny at times, and surprizingly thorough.

They also provide dinner cruises, but it was too cool for that. Plus with all the great restaurants around, they likely provide better options.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 14, 2001

Yanaguana Cruises, Inc.
315 E Commerce St
San Antonio, Texas 78205
+1 210 244 5700; +1

The Alamo (Mission San Antonio de Valero)

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Attraction | "The Alamo"

The Alamo (Mission San Antonio de Valero) Photo, San Antonio, Texas
Quote:
If you enjoy history, won't want to miss The Alamo. It has an important role in Texas history. The Alamo was built in 1724, and in February and March of 1836, the Alamo and its nearly 200 defenders (among them Davy Crockett) fell, after a 13 day battle with General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna's army. Today, The Alamo is much different than in 1836. It is much smaller. In fact, the original Alamo extended well across present-day Alamo Street and Alamo Plaza in front of the Alamo, and beyond present-day Houston Street. There are 11 different buildings/areas to visit today. Most of the indoor areas are considered sacred/shines, and photos are not allowed. There is a large museum and...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 12, 2001

The Alamo (Mission San Antonio de Valero)
300 Alamo Plaza
San Antonio, Texas 78205
(210) 225-1391

La Villita

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Attraction | "La Villita (Little Village)"

La Villita Photo, San Antonio, Texas
Quote:
La Villita (Little Town) is a small area (about one square block) in downtown San Antonio that is from the original settlement of San Antonio. It is now a walled village whose restored buildings contain many shops, art galleries, artist studios, and restaurants. It is a Nationally Registered Historic District. La Villita is downtown right on the Riverwalk, near downtown hotels. La Villita was developed as a settlement adjacent to the Alamo. After the Alamo was abandoned in the late 1700's (before it became a military fortress), La Villita was a village of huts for Spanish soldiers, which were replaced with adobe style houses after a flood in 1819. La Villita is said to have been fairly la...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 11, 2001

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

San Antonio Botanical Garden

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Attraction | "San Antonio Botanical Garden & Conservatory"

San Antonio Botanical Garden Photo, San Antonio, Texas
Quote:
I was amazed. This is one of the best botanical gardens and conservatories I have ever been to. The San Antonio Botanical Garden and Lucile Halsell Conservatory (operated by San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department) are on 33 acres that opened in 1980. The botanical gardens have many native, floral, and exotics gardens, and the conservatory has incredible futuristic glass structures with a tropical lake/pond in the middle of them. You enter the grounds through the Daniel Sullivan Carriage House, which was built in 1896 (and is now a historical building), and moved from its original downtown location stone-by-stone. There is a small gift shop and a restaurant inside. After our ea...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 14, 2001

San Antonio Botanical Garden
555 Funston
San Antonio, Texas 78209
+1 210 207 3250; +1

Rivercenter Mall

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Attraction

Rivercenter Mall Photo, San Antonio, Texas
Quote:
Rivercenter Mall is a 4-level entertainment complex of over 125 shops, with anchors including Foley's, Dillards, and Marriott Rivercenter Hotel (see journal entry). It is also adjacent to the historic Menger Hotel, which is next to the Alamo (see journal entry). There are IMAX and AMC theaters nearby, but I did not visit. The mall has entire walls of glass facing the Riverwalk.....a very beautiful scene. There are bridges and walkways to a small island in The Riverwalk where dancers put on shows in colorful and beautiful Mexican outfits. Although it is a small inlet of The Riverwalk, the boats (water taxis and tours) go in as part of their route. Unexpectedly tucked away on the str...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 12, 2001

Rivercenter Mall
849 East Commerce St.
San Antonio, Texas 78205
(210) 225-0000