help me plan my 2 day San Antonio trip

Jan 5th, 2013, 04:12 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 105
help me plan my 2 day San Antonio trip

I plan to visit San Antonio for 2 full days this April. In actuality, I will be flying in shortly before 4pm prior to the first full day, and will be leaving very early after the 2nd full day (so, Ill be in San Antonio, 4 days, per se)

I will not have a rental car, and likewise, Im planning a pedestrian-style trip utilizing mass transit, riverwalk boats, etc.

I will be staying at a hotel within easy walking distance of the Alamo, in fact, the trolley picks up in front of the hotel itself, so transportation is readily available to me.

I need recommendations for not only restaurants, but how to plan the attractions I wish to see and do, and how best to do them in what order that bests maximizes time efficiency, shortest route, etc.

List of things Id like to do:

*see the alamo, * stroll on riverwalk and ride riverwalk boat, * ripleys believe it or not, *hard rock cafe, *coyote ugly, *rivercenter mall (and other recommended shopping venues), *tower of americas, *horse carriage ride

I also heard that there's a recently renovated Japanese Tea Garden, but Im uncertain how to get there using mass transit as it doesnt seem to be located in the Alamo tourist district. Is it accessible via the riverwalk boat system, or does the trolley have a stop by it, or is there a bus that takes me there? its not a necessity on my itenerary, but if time permits i would like to see it.

where does the horse drawn carriage pick up at? in front of the alamo?

im also very interested in what are some of the most recommended eateries in the riverwalk area that arent chain restaurants. something heralded by locals as being very good.

when i fly into the airport, are taxis readily available, or do i need to schedule one to take me to my hotel? is a shuttle service available? my hotel unfortunately doesnt offer its own shuttle service, so i will have to look independently for my own way from the airport to the hotel.

I am taking amtrak back home, as i thought a slow scenic train ride would be nice.

the train station is about a 12 minute walk from the hotel, but i may look into seeing if a bus can take me a bit closer, or if i should call a taxi as well. im uncertain how shady or seedy certain parts of san antonio may or may not be.
osakaorchid is offline  
Jan 6th, 2013, 03:36 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 50
I am heading there this week, let me check things out for you!
lauriew1234 is offline  
Jan 6th, 2013, 06:45 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 4,009
Bohannon's for dinner is a must, but it's pricey. Excellent fish and steaks. Try the jalapeno chutney they offer as a starter. It's kind of a bread and butter pickle flavored jalapeno snack served with the bread. It's not on the RiverWalk, which is very fun, but touristy.

Food on the RW tend to be a bit expensive due to the location, and not the best in San Antonio.

I'd highly recommend going to Mi Tierra at Market Square for some of the best Tex-Mex food I've ever had. Save room for dessert! They have their own bakery. They also serve breakfast and lunch.

In the Alamo area - Try the Liberty Bar for Mexican. It used to be in an old white clap-board two story building, but it's moved to the Germand district at 1111 Alamo. Yum! I haven't been to the new location, but the old one was great. Old sloping hardwood floors in meandering white washed rooms of what had been a general store, I believe.

The other must do - Go to the Menger Hotel and have a margarita on the rocks in the bar. This was the first bar in Texas to serve drinks with ice. Look for the bullet holes! It's where Teddy Roosevelt recruited the Rough Riders. The hotel even has a few ghost stories that can be told by a staff member named Ernesto. (Offer a gratuity if he gives you the tour.) Just ask at the front desk.

Go to the Alamo early in the morning. It took us longer to get through the Alamo because we wound up reading EVERYTHING. Read up on Davey Crockett before you go. From Tennesee, he adopted Texas as his home. "You may all go to hell and I will go to Texas."

The river walk barges are fine, but we preferred to walk it. It's just not that far. I suppose you might enjoy the guides, however.

Taxis are plentiful to/from the airport and getting around the city is easy on foot. It's a walking town. I traveled to San Antonio for three years on a monthly basis for work.
Continental_Drifter is offline  
Jan 10th, 2013, 10:35 AM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 14,466

Taxis are plentiful to/from the airport and getting around the city is easy on foot. It's a walking town.

Actually, this is not true at all. It is of course possible to do the tourist thing without a car as long as you take a taxi to and from downtown, but it is not a "walking town" and if you wanted to go anywhere else besides the Riverwalk and environs, such as the Japanese tea gardens, you will have to work at it.

If you aren't familiar with it, google offers a great feature on its maps page. Google your hotel. Click on the google map that comes up. There should be an option to click Get Directions. Your hotel should come up in either A or B. If it's in the wrong slot, click the arrows to the right to move it to the other. Then above the addresses, you will see icons for a car, bus bicycle and walking. You can get directions for any of these methods by clicking on the icon.

We like Rosario's for Tex Mex. It's not on the riverwalk but it is downtown. You can sit at the bar and order lunch or dinner, we do that all the time when we don't want to wait for a table.
follow_your_bliss is offline  
Jan 10th, 2013, 10:37 AM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 14,466
Also, you don't say when in April you are coming, but if it's during Fiesta, all bets are off:
follow_your_bliss is offline  
Jan 10th, 2013, 01:00 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 105
no, its not during fiesta, im coming before all that havoc.
osakaorchid is offline  
Apr 4th, 2013, 07:14 AM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 87
Not sure if you've already taken your trip, but in case it helps others with similar questions:

- everything you mentioned except for the Tower are all right next to your hotel, easily walkable.
- note that the Alamo is kind of anti-climactic. The other missions are much more interesting. It's fun to do them as the "Mission Trail", since they're close together and each is very different.
- Rivercenter Mall is just OK, not a destination.
- next to the Tower is the Institute of Texan Cultures, which has historical artifacts from all the different people groups who have populated Texas over the last centuries.
- There are a lot of funky art galleries in Southtown if you like that sort of thing. On First Friday, it becomes one huge block party, so keep that in mind (may be a pro or con depending on your interests).
- The new part of the Riverwalk is a pleasant, uncommercialized stroll. You can walk all the way up to the Pearl Brewery, where there are good restaurants and a nice Saturday morning farmer's market.

- there is a new bike share service that would get you to the Tower and even all the way down to the Missions!

- The best non-touristy restaurants are off the river, in Southtown (Rosario's, Madhatter's, Azuca, Feast, Frite, Guenther House for breakfast). There are a few good ones on the less trafficked part of the river: Acenar, Biga on the Banks. Paesano's is right in the craziest part and serves good Italian.

Hope you have a fun time! You're coming just at the end of the good weather, so hopefully you luck out and have cool, sunny days!
meriberi is offline  
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