San Antonio Texas: Day 1 of 3

After a fun day of flying, eating some of very delicious ramen, playing in Zilker Park, and commuting from Austin to San Antonio, we slept it off well that night, woke up energized in the morning and ready to go out and have fun in San Antonio! We first woke up and experienced our first premium breakfast buffet included at no extra cost in our hotel. After breakfast we went west of our hotel to the San Fernando Cathedral.

San Fernando Cathedral

We went to the Cathedral not by walking, not by bus, instead we traveled by motorized scooter. We rented a couple of Lime Scooters and rode to the Cathedral and rode around a bit in front of the cathedral. The kids loved it! On a more serious note, being in front of the cathedral was like being in Europe. The Gothic architecture of the cathedral was amazing to admire and I almost forgot that we were still in the USA, let alone Texas!

We decided to go into the Cathedral and since it was Sunday morning, Mass was about to start, so we picked a seat. A nice man approached us and invited us to stay for Mass. We did not since we had so many things to see that day, so we left right before they started. It was beautiful inside the cathedral.

From the cathedral we walked through part of Riverwalk to the Alamo.

The Alamo

If you think the Alamo is only for the Texans, you are gravely mistaken. The story of the Alamo and how Texas gained independence from Mexico is more than just Texas State History, it is US History and the Alamo is Ground Zero of the war that was fought to gain independence.

Note: They did not allow photos or videos to be taken inside the main building and the armory.

It’s interesting to visit the different buildings in the Alamo to learn what they were used for during the days prior to the wars and after the wars. In the armory you can see the different weapons that were used during the battles.

While there, be sure to go toward the back of the property where the theatre is located and you can watch a 7-minute video that quickly details the history of Texas from Mexican territory to eventually becoming a state in the USA.

We finished our visit in by visiting the gift shop and buying a few souvenirs. Once we were completely done, we left the Alamo and traveled to across the street to enter Riverwalk to eat at Bier Garten for lunch.

Bier Garten Riverwalk

If you like German food and drinks, look no further than Bier Garten located just between Riverwalk and the Alamo. You can eat sausages, saur kraut, sandwiches, burgers (for those of you who are not adventurous), and many choices of drinks including soda, German beers, American beers, and cocktails.

We ordered the Bier Garten Sampler platter for my wife, older daughter Ariana, and I. Our younger pickier eater, we ordered french fries. The sausages and the dipping sauces and mustards were all really good!

Mirror Maze

After we finished eating, we visited a mirror maze where the kids and my wife went through and had a lot of fun getting lost in a maze with mirrored walls.

During this time, I took a video of Riverwalk, which you can see below.

Riverwalk


After the Mirror Maze, we decided to take a walk around Riverwalk, we ended up seeing all of it and we walked all the way around until we arrived at our hotel. We walked by many restaurants, bars, and shops. We made a quick stop at Rain Forest Cafe, but we did not eat there, we just admired the indoor jungle and the fake animals inside. We continued to see different parts of Riverwalk including a stage where a scene of the movie Miss Congeniality was filmed.

We noticed Riverwalk Cruise boats going by often and we decided we needed to take this boat ride, so we did so on Day 2.

Riverwalk was amazing, and I was thinking to myself, I could see us living here and hanging out at Riverwalk often!

Free Dinner at the Hotel?

It’s always a plus when hotels offer free breakfast in the morning, especially if it’s a gourmet breakfast buffet such as they have at the Drury Plaza Hotel San Antonio Riverwalk, but did you know that some hotels including our Hotel offer free dinner? They call it Happy Hour, because they have a bar that serves various drinks, but they have a fairly large dinner buffet. It’s not fancy food, but it’s filling, and it’s FREE!!!

We decided to eat dinner at the Hotel after a long, fun, and tiring day. Also we were still pretty full from lunch at Bier Garten, so eating lightly seemed to be the better option this evening. That evening, they had a taco bar, soup bar, salad bar, and nacho bar. It was perfect for refilling our stomachs a little bit to carry us through the night, and it was relaxing.

After dinner we all got into our swim suits and ascended up to the 9th floor of one of the wings of our hotel and went swimming. We went to the indoor pool since it was too chilly to go to the outdoor pool.

Laser Light Show on the Cathedral

After the pool, ascended up to the 14th floor of our hotel to witness the light show on the same San Fernando Cathedral mentioned above.  Truly spectacular.

It’s amazing how much we got to see on our first full day in San Antonio.  This city is amazing!

14 thoughts on “San Antonio Texas: Day 1 of 3

  1. Michel

    I would love to visit Texas and that old Cathedral looks amazing. Whenever I think of Texas, I think of ranches with lots of horses for some reason. Maybe I watched too much Dallas as a kid.

    The mirror maze looks like a lot of fun, and I am sure your children had a ball. Was it the kind of maze you could get lost in?

    Judging by all the gorgeous photo’s it looks like you all had an amazing day, and although I have never considered visiting Texas, you have made me want to do just that.

    • Josh Fulkerson

      Thanks for the comment!  I also imagined Texas with a lot of ranches and horses, cowboys, and lifted trucks, and it is very much like that outside the cities, but in the cities it’s culturally diverse and the people are very friendly.  You should visit Texas.  It was one of our better vacations.  

  2. Son

    Hello there,

    What a great trip report. When I think about Texas I usually think barbeque and cowboys, not beautiful gothic cathedrals which is something I really enjoy looking at. Also your food pictures are making me really hungry right now, that pretzel looks unbelievable. Looks like Texas is a fun filled state with lots of cool things to do. Look forward to reading day 2 and 3 of your trip. Thanks for sharing.

    • Josh Fulkerson

      Thanks for the comment.  I imagined Texas the same way you do.  Now I see Texas very differently.  When you get out of the city limits and drive through the country, it is very cowboy.  The cities including San Antonio and Austin are very progressive, very ethnically diverse.  

  3. Stella

    Hi there, I really enjoyed the beauty of the cathedral…

    Very easy on the eye.  It looks like you and your family had a very enjoyable time which I am sure your daughters will have fond memories of when they get older.

    Please comment on the photos at the bottom of the page as I was wondering what they were about.  Thanks a lot and look forward to hearing from you!

    • Josh Fulkerson

      Thanks for the comment!  That cathedral is amazing, one of my favorite parts.  The photos at the bottom of the page were of the free Happy Hour (which is really free dinner) our hotel offers.  They offer a large variety of simple foods, but if someone is on a budget, they can literally have breakfast and dinner covered by the hotel.  We stayed at the Drury Plaza Hotel Riverwalk.  

  4. matthew

    Hi it sure looks like you guys had an amazing first day in SAN Antonio Texas.

    It is not somewhere my family or I have travelled to before.  You have opened my eyes to it, so thank you for that. 

    The river walk seems nice and peaceful which is right up my street. 

    Everywhere you went looks so tidy and clean, is this the case?

    How expensive is the food and drink in SAN Antonio?

    I am looking forward to seeing what you guys get up to in the next few days of your trip.

    Keep having fun and thanks for sharing. 

    • Josh Fulkerson

      Thanks for the comment.  San Antonio is clean and the Riverwalk is very peaceful.  Food and drink on the Riverwalk is a little bit more expensive than normal, but in other parts of the city it is priced normally.  

  5. Amazon affiliate program review

    Hi Josh, 

          I personally have gone abroad only Once.  This was to a place I don’t believe is in your list of places to go.  But, it is close to Russia.  Give up ?   Kiev and Kharkov Ukraine.  All are ‘Basically’ Russian speaking with a Ukrainian twist. I was searching for a Russian girl (Ukrainian) to marry.  When I arrived I told my young interpreter Katya that all the girls on the catalog were not meeting me.  So, she had Tons of girl friends of which I met two→ Yana and Tatiana.  It was fun and we exchanged cultural differences and drank Vodka. I liked Yana and called her after the trip was over.  She was not having it so no marriage but a Great Experience ! 

    Enough of that.  Your site had very little to criticize other than Ukraine is left out.  Great Country.  I think your articles, blog posts or whatever we call them now are short but you have a lot of them which may make up for that.  Pictures are abundantly all over the place.  Great snapshots !  Great site Josh…………………..Scotty B ♫

    • Josh Fulkerson

      Thanks for the comment.  I enjoyed reading your experience going to Ukraine.  My wife is from Russia, so I have been to Russia a few times.  Here is a list of blog posts on it.

      https://persistenttraveler.com/russia

      I would actually love to visit the Crimea, although it’s not really part of Ukraine anymore.  

  6. Nate MC

    Some cool photos you’ve taken! I’ve never been to San Antonio, but I’ve heard of its Riverwalk. I would love to go to that and check out the restaurants and shops. It looks like it’d be a cool place to visit at night, to see it all lit up.

    If someone was to visit Texas and had only time to visit one city, would you recommend either San Antonio or Austin? 

    • Josh Fulkerson

      Thanks for the comment.  Riverwalk is awesome, it’s one part of the city that makes me want to live there.  Out of Austin and San Antonio, I would choose San Antonio, not to diminish Austin, it’s an amazing city too, but that Riverwalk is hard to beat.  

  7. Tyler

    This was a really good view of San Antonio. I’ve never been and didn’t imagine half of how beautiful it looks.

    I’m not one to follow organized religion (I believe what I believe, and take what makes sense), but the architecture of cathedrals always impresses me. They are beautiful buildings, and that one definitely follows suit.

    Did you know the Alamo had a part in the history of chewing gum also? Santa Anna used to chew the sap of Sapodilla trees (from Mexican jungles) to calm his nerves, and it was discovered by General Houston when he held him captive. The sap is called Chicle, which is where Chiclets got their name.

    The River Walk looks incredible. Much of San Antonio looks like Europe, as you said.

    I’m a little curious, what happened to the scooters after you reached the cathedral? haha

    • Josh Fulkerson

      Thanks for the comment.  That part around the cathedral reminded me of being in Spain.  It’s hard to find gothic cathedrals in the USA.  That’s an interesting factoid on the chewing gum and now explains why gum in Spanish is chicle.  I never knew that, thanks for that information!  The scooters are rental scooters and they work through an app on the phone.  If we lock them on the app, the wheels can’t unlock, but we have to pay for the time we use them whether we ride them or lock them.  If we end our ride, they become available for the next person to use. 

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