An Escape to Picturesque San Antonio

Life's everyday pressures and daily routine activities were getting to us. We decided to escape from it all and make something enduring at the same time. Since we lived in Texas, the best destination that came to our minds was the enticing San Antonio! It was one of the most quenching vacations we've ever had.

If you're looking for contentment and peacefulness, then San Antonio is just the place where you need to be.


An Escape to Picturesque San Antonio

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by smileygirl on June 16, 2003

If you ever decide to visit San Antonio, Texas, don't leave without doing their famous Paseo del Rio, (aka River Walk). This is one of San Antonio's most praised tourist attraction.

You'll find your own little piece of heaven in this beautiful city. We found ours on the River Walk. It was beautiful, it was peaceful, it was blissful. Just what we were looking for in our Escape Getaway Vacation. ${QuickSuggestions} Once you've decided to visit San Antonio, don't forget to visit San Antonio's Online Visitor Center Website.

When you order their brochures, you will receive valuable coupons, list of attractions, accommodations, current events and so much more. It's really helpful to have this information before you go to San Antonio.

If saving money is what you are seeking, then the best thing to do is to book a San Antonio Package Deal. I'm not sure if this company is still in business or not, but we went with AventurA. They graciously accommodated our requests to a "T". Just flawless.${BestWay} When planning our trip, we decided it wasn't crucial to rent a car. We were going to stay at the Hawthorn Suites River Walk,which is located handily on the River Walk.

If you are planning on broadening outside of the River Walk Downtown area, then it is appropriate for you to rent a car to enhance your needs.


Hawthorn Suites Riverwalk

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by smileygirl on June 17, 2003

Just exquisite!! Hawthorn Suites are tastefully done in a luxurious decor. We requested a double/double, non-smoking room with a view. They have pacified all of our expectations with much appreciation. The incomparable thing about Hawthorn Suites is the Riverwalk alongside it.

Some features this hotel has to offer: ROOM AMENITIES:

  • studio suites
  • 2 2-Line phones w/ data port
  • wet bar
  • coffee maker
  • microwave oven
  • refrigerator
  • ironing board
  • ENTERTAINMENT:

  • In-Room Movies
  • HBO
  • cable TV
  • RECREATION:

  • outdoor pool
  • exercise room
  • YMCA - $5 guest fee (across from hotel)
  • SPECIAL FEATURES:

  • guest laundry
  • handicap accessible
  • business services
  • valet services
  • free daily newspaper (Mon-Fri)
  • River Taxi pick-up at hotel
  • MEETING FACILITIES:

  • Two Rooms
  • largest capacity: 125
  • food and beverage catering available
  • ATTRACTIONS:

  • Riverwalk- Adjacent
  • Alamo-- nearby
  • Alamo Dome-- nearby
  • San Antonio Missions-- 3 miles
  • Fiesta Texas Theme Park-- 15 miles
  • SeaWorld of Texas-- 18 miles
  • Municipal Auditorium-- adjacent
  • The only unfavorable thing I have to say about this hotel is the location. It IS in truth a good ways to get to the Downtown Riverwalk Area. However, on a cool beautiful day, it''s incomparable. You can luxuriate in the beauty that only the River Walk can provide. In conclusion, our stay with Hawthorn Suites was very gratifying and enjoyable. We would delight in another stay with them.

    Please note: Some pictures were taken from San Antonio Rez Center''s website.

    Hawthorn San Antonio Riverwalk
    830 N ST MARYS
    SAN ANTONIO, Texas, 78205
    210 527-1900

    Holiday Inn Riverwalk

    Member Rating 2 out of 5 by smileygirl on June 17, 2003

    We made our reservation at Holiday Inn to be in the midst of it all. We wanted to be surrounded by Downtown Riverwalk. Little did we know, sometimes location doesn't necessarily mean nice, elegant rooms.

    The exterior of the Holiday Inn Riverwalk was very impressive. With 23 floors, it's massive. It couldn't have been in a better location with its unblemished views of the Downtown Riverwalk.

    Being on the 17th floor was sheer perfection. We had a magnificent view of the the Riverwalk from our balcony. No complaints there. Our dissatisfaction mainly lies within our room. If I could summarized it all into one single word, it would have to be -- small. We felt like there was not enough breathing room. After staying at the Hawthorn Suites Riverwalk, we felt our money was not well spent at Holiday Inn Riverwalk. How we wanted to go back to our nice, luxurious room at Hawthorn Suites.

    Holiday Inn does have a lot of features to provide for their guests. Here are some to name a few.

    HOTEL FEATURES:

  • 313 Guest Rooms
  • 12 Suites
  • 23 Floors
  • Cocktail Lounge
  • 1 Restaurant
  • Rental Car Desk
  • PERSONAL SERVICES:
  • 24 Front Desk
  • A/C Public Areas
  • ATM Machine
  • Concierge Services
  • Dry Cleaning/Laundry
  • Express Check-in/Check-out
  • Gift Shop
  • Ice Machine
  • Newsstand
  • Porter/Bellman
  • Public Transportation Within Walking Distance
  • Safety Deposit Box
  • Vending Machine
  • Wake Up Calls
  • AMENITIES:
  • Government Rates
  • Interior Corridor
  • Kids Eat Free
  • On-Site Fitness Facility
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Pets Allowed
  • Whirlpool
  • If you're looking for enamored views, exclusive attentiveness, then Holiday Inn Riverwalk will present all that. Nevertheless, if you are looking for a more stylish room in a hushed tranquil setting, then perhaps somewhere else would be more satisfying (like the Hawthorn Suites!).

    Please note: Enclosed pictures and some information came from this Holiday Inn's Website.

    Holiday Inn Riverwalk
    217 N St. Mary St.
    San Antonio, Texas, 78205
    (210) 224-2500

    Rodeway Inn Downtown

    Member Rating 1 out of 5 by smileygirl on June 17, 2003

    Must I say? I suppose I should warn you about this hotel, which is how they like to describe this "establishment".

    Rodeway Inn Downtown is a place that should be avoided at all costs. One word to define this place is:

    FILTHY.

    Please let me clarify my harsh judgement against Rodeway Inn Downtown. I had my parents, brother, sister in law, niece (who at the time was a little over a year old), my son, and of course, my husband on this trip. We've made reservations for three rooms to accommodate our three families at Rodeway Inn.

    First room had a mildewy smell that stank beyond belief. Second room's carpet was almost black from lack of cleaning. The third room had a leaky faucet underneath the sink. We called maintenance and they immediately came. He tried to fix our leaky plumbing, but to no avail. It had beans stuffed in the pipes. So, drip, drip, drip is all we've heard for the past two nights. As for the other two rooms, a housekeeping was requested, but not a single person came. For two days, we called and complained about the lack of service we were getting. Nothing. Nada..

    During all of this time, I kept assuring myself and my family that this isn't the end of it. What astounded me the most is, I couldn't believe Rodeway Inn could be a part of Choice Hotels Corporation. Normally, they have nice establishments. Not this one. Somehow this "hotel" was overlooked. I can certainly see why.

    To make a long story as short as possible, as soon as we got home from our vacation, I immediately called Choice Hotels Corporation to voice my concerns. Come to find out, there were many others who had the same kind of complaints about this particular "hotel".

    I am pleased to say Choice Hotels did everything in their power to make amends of our disastrous stay at Rodeway Inn Downtown. They not only refunded our money for ALL three of our rooms for the two nights stay. They also gave us vouchers to stay at another one of their hotels to give them another chance.

    And you know, I never did take advantage of those vouchers. Perhaps you will have better luck than we did at Rodeway Inn Downtown. But don't say I didn't warn ya!!

    Please note: Enclosed pictures came from San Antonio Rez Center's Website.

    Rodeway Inn Downtown
    900 NORTH MAIN
    San Antonio, Texas, 78212
    210-223-2951

    The Tower Restaurant

    Member Rating 4 out of 5 by smileygirl on June 17, 2003

    If you want to get a glimpse of San Antonio from atop, dining at The Tower Restaurant is the most optimum choice.

    OUR EXPERIENCE:
    It is highly recommended for you to make a reservation for the bottom deck, should you want to be by the window while dining. Or-if you prefer, you could go to their bar upstairs while you wait. One Word Of Warning: Be prepared for their exorbitant prices. We bought some drinks to pacify us till our table was ready. Mind you, we only ordered soft drinks. Each of those glasses were $4 each. I was astounded by their prices, to say the least. Our experience at the bar made me very wary about the upcoming food menu prices. I was not looking forward to it.

    Once we arrived our our table, we've noticed to our displeasure we were not seated at the bottom deck, as per requested. Come to find out, this section was reserved for an upcoming party. Needless to say, despite our disappointment, we still had a pleasing overall view of San Antonio. Tis the reason why it would be to your advantage to make a reservation.

    Menu has arrived and as I had feared, the food choices were pricey. We tried to keep things simple by ordering a cheeseburger instead of their fabulously high menu choices. Believe it or not, we still walked out with a $60 bill. This was highly unexpected and kind of expensive to capture San Antonio's beauty in the sky. Nevertheless, the food was something to be desired -- again and again.

    BRIEF HISTORY ON THE TOWER RESTAURANT:
    This awe-inspiring landmark was completed for the 1968 World Fair. Today, it still stands proudly as one of the tallest free-standing architecture in the Western hemisphere, measuring 750 feet to the top of the antenna.

    Grappling this massive structure is over 2400 tons of reinforced concrete which is placed below ground level for support. The tophouse, with its 19,000 square feet of floor space, was assembled on the ground. As the building was raised, the tophouse was elevated to the top.

    The restaurant revolves at the rate of one revolution per hour, allowing guests to feast their eyes on the city of San Antonio. A phenomenal experience that deserves to be appreciated.

    In closing, we would like to say our acquaintance with The Tower Restaurant was truly a unique experience. However, next time (which there will be), we'll be highly knowledgeable and prepared for their expensive prices. Hope your visit with them is a pleasant experience!

    The Tower Restaurant
    600 HemisFair Park
    San Antonio, Texas, 78201
    210-223-3101

    Mission San Antonio de Valero- The Alamo

    Member Rating 4 out of 5 by smileygirl on June 17, 2003

    While visiting the somber sight of the Alamo, it brought back many memories of school studies. You never realize how crucial history really is until you set your eyes on a piece of the past. Visiting the Alamo will always be something that tugs at our hearts and minds. We're sure you will be affected the same way.

    HISTORY OF THE ALAMO:
    Mission San Antonio de Valero, which later on became famous as the Alamo, was established in 1718, the first of five Spanish missions founded in San Antonio to Christianize and educate resident Indians. As the mission grew, the church structure that stands today in midtown was begun in about 1755. It's mission role completed, the old buildings were abandoned by 1836 when the site, became the "Cradle of Texas Liberty".

    Rebelling against Mexico's dictator, Santa Anna, a band of 189 Texas volunteers fought Mexican army for 13 days, February 23 to March 6). The Alamo defenders died to the last man, who such names were: William Travis, Davy Crockett, and Jim Bowie. The aftermath of the Mexican Army was tragic.

    While Santa Anna gave forth an announcement of their glorious victory, his aide, Colonel Juan Almonte, secretly noted, "One more such 'glorious victory' and we are finished". True to Colonel Juan Almonte's prediction, this happened on April 21, when Sam Houston's Texans conquered the Mexican Army at the Battle of San Jacinto and captured "the Napoleon of the West" who was Santa Anna himself.

    ALAMO CENOTAPH:
    Before admitting into the Alamo, you will find a monument that has names inscribed in marble of those who died at the Alamo.

    HOURS OF OPERATION

  • Hours: 9am-5:30pm Monday-Saturday
  • 10am-5:30pm Sunday
  • Closed December 24 and 25
  • Restricted hours March 6
  • GENERAL ADMISSION:

  • Donations accepted
  • Special events for groups include before and after hours tours
  • Overall, we would visit the Alamo again because it brings back a true sense of meaning to the word, "History". The Alamo will always go down in History.

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

    Paseo del Rio- The Riverwalk

    Member Rating 5 out of 5 by smileygirl on June 19, 2003

    Paseo del Rio, which is simply acknowledged as The Riverwalk, is well known for mesmerizing many people''s hearts. Once you''ve been there, you''ll want to go there again and again.

    My family and I have been to The Riverwalk three times and yet, each and every single time, we have found something afresh and changed. Strolling through midtown surrounded by giant cypress and palm trees, flowering shrubs, tropical foliage, you''ll find something that will captivate your very soul.

    The Riverwalk, edged by elegant hotels, gift shops, savoring restaurants and cafes, will introduce you to a place that is truly blissful here on earth. Simply put . . . there is no other place like The Riverwalk.

    As you wander along The Riverwalk, you''ll notice the riverboats drifting by.

    YANAGUANA CRUISE:
    Sit back, relax and learn the history of San Antonio''s Riverwalk. Enjoy trawling on the river as you soak in all of the enchanting sights before you. This scenic riverboat cruise lasts about 30 minutes and truthfully, doesn''t seem long enough. We could have gone on and on.

    ACCESSING THE RIVERWALK:
    There are several ways to get to the Riverwalk. They are:

  • From Alamo Plaza
  • Rivercenter Mall
  • City streets, which include:
  • -- South Alamo
  • -- South Broadway
  • -- Presa
  • -- Navarro
  • -- St. Mary''s
  • -- Market
  • -- Commerce
  • -- Crockett
  • MORE INFORMATION:
    For Yanaguana Cruise ticket prices, cruise services, hours and dining reservations, please visit Yanaguana Cruise, Inc.

    For more information on San Antonio, please visit San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau .

    OUR OVERALL EXPERIENCE:
    As you probably can tell, we were immensely delighted with our San Antonio experience on The Riverwalk. We wouldn''t hesitate to visit them again.

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

    Plaza Theatre of Wax

    Member Rating 4 out of 5 by smileygirl on June 18, 2003

    Before you make a decision on doing the Plaza Theatre of Wax, please take notice there is the attraction, Ripley's Believe it or Not, at this very same location for your convenience.

    We did both attractions, but to tell you the truth, I really don't remember Ripley's Believe It or Not tour. The only thing that I do remember is some of the things were not intended for small children's eyes. Please take this into consideration before doing Ripley's Believe It or Not tour.

    Here you will venture into a museum where you will see hundreds of lifelike wax figures come to life in several Hollywood, Horror, History, and Religion theme settings.

    Some of the wax figures you will have the opportunity to meet are:

  • Kevin Costner
  • Whoopi Goldberg
  • Tom Hanks
  • Elvis Presley
  • Wizard of Oz Characters
  • Jim Carrey
  • Christopher Reeves
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger

  • And so much more!

    HOURS OF OPERATION:

  • Open Daily except Christmas Day
  • Mon-Thu: 9:30am - 6:00pm
  • Fri-Sun: 9:00am - 7:00pm
  • ADMISSION PRICES

  • ADULT:
  • - Combo: $16.95
  • - Single: $13.95


  • CHILD (AGES 4-12):
  • - Combo: $8.95
  • >
  • - Single: $5.95


  • SEASON TICKET PRICES:

  • - Adult: $24.95
  • - Child: $14.95
  • Overall, we had a wonderful time visiting Plaza Theatre of Wax. I wish we could say the same for Ripley's Believe It or Not. It took almost two hours to do both attractions.

    For more information on both of these attractions, please visit Plaza Wax Museum's Website. Don't forget to click on the coupon for discounted tickets!!

    Ripley's Believe It Or Not! / Plaza Theatre Of Wax
    301 Alamo Plaza
    San Antonio, Texas, 78205
    +1 210 224 9299

    Ripley's Believe It or Not!

    Member Rating 1 out of 5 by smileygirl on June 19, 2003

    INTRO:
    Since we paid for combo tickets, which included the Plaza Theatre of Wax and Ripley''s Believe It or Not!, we decided to do Plaza Theatre Wax first. If we had known better (about Ripley''s Believe It or Not), we would have only bought tickets for Plaza Theatre of Wax.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION:
    Here you will have a chance to view over 500 one of a kind artifacts, paintings and oddities from famous collector, Robert Ripley.

    Such items you will find at Ripley''s Believe It or Not are:

  • World''s Smallest Painting
  • Hand Carved 1,000 Piece Minature Circus
  • Authentic Dinosaur Eggs
  • And so much more
  • INFORMATION:
    For more information on hours, general admission, and directions, please visit Ripley''s Believe It or Not Website.

    IN CLOSING:
    As you know, our overall experience at the Ripley''s Believe it Or Not was not gratifying at all. If you like to view strange, bizarre, weird, and unusual things, then you would be very interested in the Ripley''s Believe It or Not attraction. Good luck and have fun!

    Ripley's Believe It Or Not! / Plaza Theatre Of Wax
    301 Alamo Plaza
    San Antonio, Texas, 78205
    +1 210 224 9299

    Sea World of Texas

    Member Rating 5 out of 5 by smileygirl on June 19, 2003

    I will never forget the moment when I first laid eyes on SeaWorld.The first thought that came to mind was, "vividly clean". SeaWorld sparkled so bright and colorful, you would think this park had just opened up.

    INTRODUCTION:
    Here you will find SeaWorld, the largest marine life park, situated in San Antonio, Texas. Home lives the wobbling walruses, frolicsome otters, lovable dolphins, charming sea lions, and of course, the giant killer whales, which I prefer to call them, our gentle, lovable whales.

    Never will you get bored as you stroll through this park. There is something here for everyone for all ages. Whether you are adventuresome and want to ride the thrill rides, or whether you want some quiet solitude time watching the mammals put on a wonderful show for you, it's all here at this fascinating park.

    SEAWORLD'S ATTRACTIONS:

    Some of the wonderful things you can look forward to when visiting SeaWorld are:

    SHOWS:

  • -- The Shamu Adventure
  • -- Fools with Tools
  • -- Summer Nights
  • -- Pet Tales
  • -- Viva!
  • -- Rocking Ski Party
  • -- Sea Star Theater


  • ANIMAL ATTRACTIONS:
  • -- Animal Tours
  • -- Dolphin Cove
  • -- Penguin Encounter
  • -- Sharks/The Coral Reefs


  • THRILL SEEKING RIDES:
  • -- The Great White
  • -- Rio Loco
  • -- Steel Eel
  • -- Texas Splashdown
  • For more information on general admission, park hours, fascinating shows and rides, please visit: SeaWorld of Texas website.

    Overall, our SeaWorld trip was fascinating, memorable, and thrilling. We can't wait to visit SeaWorld of Texas again!

    SeaWorld San Antonio
    10500 Sea World Dr
    San Antonio, Texas, 78251
    (800) 700-7786

    Brief History of San Antonio

    Member Rating 0 out of 5 by smileygirl on June 17, 2003

    In 1718, at an Indian Village at the southern edge of Texas Hill Country, Spain established Mission San Antonio de Valero, which was later called the Alamo. A customary fort (presidio), San Antonio de Bexar protected the Alamo from mission endeavors.

    Several other Spanish missions soon followed, but the city's real growth came from civil settlement in 1731. At this same time, this was Spain's first step to colonize Texas. Original colonists were Spanish Canary Islanders, to whom many families proudly trace their roots. San Antonio remained the chief Spanish , then Mexican took refuge in Texas until the Texas Revolution. Today, San Antonio is colorfully accented by its multicultural heritage.

    San Antonio is well known for its many art museums, universities, theaters, symphony orchestra, golf courses, and San Antonians' love for fiestas!

    Come join in the celebration and appreciate what all San Antonio has to offer.


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