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Old 06-11-2014, 04:58 PM
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Default San Antonio

We've just moved here, and we're not going to be here too long. Anyone familiar with the area have any must-see or do things to pass along while we're here? We did grab about 40 pamplets from hotels with a ton of attractions, but wanted some personal experiences, what to see or pass on seeing.

Any info helps! You ladies were a huge help when we moved to WA!!
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Old 06-11-2014, 05:19 PM
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Default San Antonio

Lynnette used to live in San Antonio, I think. And, maybe Jen Merkley too? I get so confused when talking about places in Texas. It's just too huge! Lol.
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Old 06-11-2014, 06:15 PM
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Lynnette lived there. I wish I did, lol, it's much prettier there than El Paso.
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Old 06-11-2014, 08:21 PM
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Do every single cave available - I'm not sure if they have the same names anymore, but the cave system in the area is great. Go eat at the original Rudy's BBQ on 10 & Leon Springs Rd. It's a chain BBQ that started in a gas station a long time ago. (then drive by my grandmother's old old in the little neighborhood there and tell me how it looks now lolol) There's a children's museum in downtown that is really good. I love the Japanese Gardens and he zoo and the little train that runs outside of it. The Whitney Museum is there in that area, too. The market in downtown is a fun place to visit, and the RIverwalk is a must, and then do it again at Christmas time. If your kids are little, skip the Alamo, but if they're a little older, it's a good visit (but can be underwhelming because it is quite small from what everyone expects - also in downtown). There is a state park on Hwy 46 north of town on the River that is fun to spend the day at, and going into San Marcos to go tubing is really fun. It's nice to drive through the hill country towards Comfort and Kerrville off I-10 is lovely, too. I'd skip Ripley's, but never did the Clown Museum. Of course there's always Fiesta TX & Seaworld. The brewery tour was kind of cool, but not as a kid, most likely. We loved eating at Mamacita's just north of the I-10/410 intersection. I never did the Hall of the Americas (the cultural museum in downtown), and the Hemisphere Tower is one of those sure..gotta do it one time at some point things. I'm sure there's lots of other things, but I can't remember them right now.
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Old 06-11-2014, 08:22 PM
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By the way - welcome to Texas
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Old 06-11-2014, 08:41 PM
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The Riverwalk and The Alamo were the big attractions when I graduated from basic training, but I didn't do either. I wish I had.
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Old 06-11-2014, 08:59 PM
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The Riverwalk is gorgeous. I always enjoyed my time there. The Alamo was fun, too. Like Vanessa said those were the big things to do when there for AF training.
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Old 06-11-2014, 09:50 PM
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The Riverwalk was my favorite thing when we visited in February. Make sure you do the boat tour. A good tour guide will tell you about the different buildings and stuff.
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Old 06-11-2014, 10:17 PM
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We visited there for a week on our honeymoon and absolutely loved it. We did the usual stuff...Six Flags, Sea World, The SA Zoo, Tower of the Americas, The Alamo, the Riverwalk (we did a boat tour and it was great) and also wandered around the mall that is right there as well and we also spent a day at the Schlitterbahn waterpark in New Braunfels. Our kids love to look through our photo albums from our trip and have been begging us to visit there again with them. If we do go, I'd also like to take a day or two to drive down to the coast and visit a few of the beach areas.
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Old 06-11-2014, 10:35 PM
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See, this is much better than all the pamphlets I got!!! lol Or, I may just hire Darcy as a personal tour guide

We for sure will do the Alamo, whether the girls are interested or not!! And the Riverwalk is recommended by everyone, so that too. I'm going to be looking all these up figuring out where everything is and planning out trips. We have done a little bit already, since we got here early. We drove to Padre Island to the beach, and did the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch - with plans to go back to the Natural Bridge Caverns. And I guess that's it lol - we've been so busy on our trip, it feels like we did so much more, but some of it was during the trip on our way before we got here... We've got so much more to cover!! And we did already have one awesome thunderstorm... I've really missed those.

Jen, I was honestly surprised that there was so little between El Paso and San Antonio. We drove forEVER without seeing anything!!!
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Old 06-11-2014, 10:59 PM
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The Alamo is okay, but it's the other missions that make up San Antonio Missions National Historical Park that are the must-see IMO.

Brackenridge Park, El Mercado, & the Riverwalk.

Head to Austin to tour the Capitol and Harry Ransom Center.

Like Darcy said, the caverns! Loved visiting them...Natural Bridge was my favorite.

Go to Fredericksburg, visit the Nimitz Museum of the Pacific War, hike at Enchanted Rock State Park.
Visit San Marcos & New Braunfels...hit Landa Park, go tubing. And there is always the ginormous outlet mall.

In the winter, eagle watching on the cruise at Canyon of the Eagles (amazing place to stay). And in the spring, you will have to do the bluebonnet tour & photo ops. And you'll need to buy Meg's bluebonnet kit

And if you are wanting a bit of a longer road trip, you could head to Brenham and get some Blue Bell at the Creamery
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Old 06-12-2014, 01:03 AM
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We went to Natural Bridge Caverns in February and it was really cool, too. They have some dirtier tours that sounded really awesome for more adventurous people!
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Old 06-12-2014, 09:04 AM
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I'm taking notes! We move to Del Rio Texas later this year (oh don't even get me started on how not excited I am about that!) and San Antonio is the closest thing...3 hours away! So I'm planning on going there twice a month for getting out of town and keeping the boys from getting too bored. So Darcy I may be bugging you more.
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Old 06-13-2014, 05:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sprauncey1 View Post
We move to Del Rio Texas later this year (oh don't even get me started on how not excited I am about that!)
Heehee... Yay for PCS season!
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Old 06-13-2014, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyd View Post
Lynnette used to live in San Antonio, I think. And, maybe Jen Merkley too? I get so confused when talking about places in Texas. It's just too huge! Lol.
Ha, yes, that would be me. Although I'll say, we don't have kids (yet ) so most of what we liked revolved around food. But here's my recommendations anyway in case they help!

Things to do:
Alamo & Riverwalk - Yes, the Alamo is smaller than everyone expects but it's within walking distance of the Riverwalk so there's really no reason NOT to visit it since it's literally right there. I recommend parking in the surface lot near the Rivercenter Mall. It's the least crowded and gives you easy access to both the Alamo & the Riverwalk.

If at all possible I'd avoid it during the hot crowded summer months but if you aren't there for that long, don't worry about it. You can also take a riverboat cruise through the river walk which while totally touristy is fun because they tell you about the architecture, river walk, etc and show you areas you don't get to see just walking around.

Most of the restaurants on the Riverwalk are totally touristy and not that great but Acenar is one we liked a lot. Boudro's is another popular one but since it's right in the middle of the Riverwalk it tends to be crowded. Casa Rio is the place with the colored umbrellas you see in every single SA Riverwalk shot. The food isn't that great but it's fun to say you've eaten there.

Seaworld/Six Flags - Not sure if you're military but if you are, Seaworld offers one free trip per year for military and up to 3? dependents I think. This is the website for it. You can also get discounted tickets for Six Flags through the MWR.

San Antonio Missions National Monument is worth a visit. There's also the San Antonio Missions which are a double-A baseball team with an awesome mascot (Ballapeno!) but we went in the summer once and that was brutally hot.

Schiltterbahn is a waterpark in New Braunfels that's a lot of fun. It's regularly listed on the Travel Channel as one of the top waterparks in the country. The older section with the cement tube slides is definitely an "experience." Six Flags & I think Sea World both have water parks as well and there's also a Splash Town off of I-35 if you're wanting to escape the heat.

Visit Austin - depending on where you are in San Antonio, it can be anywhere from an hour to an hour and half drive to get to Austin (2 hours to the north part) but it's definitely worth a visit at least once to do Congress Street, Barton Springs Pool and all the food trucks.

Places to eat: Now for my favorite part...

If you're looking for GOOD Mexican food skip Mamacitas and Mi Tierra - both are tourist traps and not nearly as good as other places in town. Some of our favorite places:
Paloma Blanca - my personal fave. They have a nice outdoor patio and strong margaritas if you're into that. This is the place we'd always take out of town visitors because it's delicious and not usually too crowded.
Rosario's - near the Riverwalk and regularly voted the top Mexican restaurant in SA. Downside is it's really loud inside and gets crazy busy on the weekends. The enchiladas verdes there are amazing though.
La Fonda on Main - this one is off the beaten path so it's never crowded and it has a really neat outdoor patio under large oak trees. The salsa sampler is really tasty too.
La Gloria - This place is at the Pearl Brewery and more of a casual street foods of Mexico place but the food is AMAZING - the chef was featured on the Texas season of Top Chef. Get yourself a Molcajete & a La Catrina from the bar and you'll be set.

Non-Mexican places:
Magnolia Pancake Haus - This place was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and is by far the best breakfast place in SA. The wait can be long on weekends so keep that in mind. If you're a fan of apple pie, I recommend the Apfel Pfannekuchen - it's a giant German apple pancake and seriously SO good.

The Cove - This place was also featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives since it's technically at a car wash, haha, but the food is amazing. It's all sustainable/local burgers, natural sodas and they added a craft beer bar as well. Definitely kid-friendly with picnic tables and a play area. They also have live music on certain nights as well.

Coopers BBQ - if you're looking for real Texas BBQ, skip Rudy's and go to Cooper's in New Braunfels. The brisket and ribs are delicious as is the cobbler. Adam still stops here and grabs food on his way home when he goes to San Antonio for work since no where here in Houston compares. It's also George W. Bush's favorite place which while I don't care for his politics, I figure he knows his Texas BBQ, haha.

Lulu's Cafe - so I only mention this place because they offer a cinnamon roll literally the size of your head LOL that was featured on Man vs Food. We only went once just to say we had it but it might be a fun experience for your girls. It's definitely an old-school diner.

Hmm, I think it's mostly it. I'm sure there's more but those were the highlights of SA for us anyway. There's also a few events I'd recommend (Fiesta/NIOSA, Wurstfest, Holiday River Parade) but I wasn't sure how long you'd be around. Whenever we go back, we mostly go back for the food.

Last edited by Nettio; 06-13-2014 at 03:46 PM. Reason: Added one more!
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Old 06-15-2014, 06:39 PM
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We live in San Antonio now! You got some great suggestions . I'm not sure how old your kids are, mine are all kinder and younger so their interests are a bit different lol. The Witte Museum on Broadway - near brackenridge park - is free on Tuesdays from 5-8 and has a nice selection of exhibits without being huge and overwhelming. They have a gorgeous dress exhibit right now. Theres a little known food truck park called Boardwalk on Bulverde that's extra fun - 8 or so food trucks, all different cuisines, ringing a bunch of picnic tables and a playground. Live music some nights, and usually BYOB.
The natural bridge caverns are very neat.
If you have little ones, the children's museum in downtown and the McKenna kids museum in new braunfels are must-dos, but probably not worth it if your kids are over 1st-2nd grade.


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Old 06-15-2014, 06:40 PM
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Oops - Witte is free from 3-8


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Old 06-15-2014, 08:16 PM
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wow, this makes me want to plan a vacation to San Antonio! haha...
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Old 06-15-2014, 08:47 PM
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Coopers BBQ - if you're looking for real Texas BBQ, skip Rudy's and go to Cooper's in New Braunfels. The brisket and ribs are delicious as is the cobbler. Adam still stops here and grabs food on his way home when he goes to San Antonio for work since no where here in Houston compares. It's also George W. Bush's favorite place which while I don't care for his politics, I figure he knows his Texas BBQ, haha.
^^This sounds like something dh would be very interested in!!

Thanks so much for all the suggestions! Lol, there is a ton to do here, so that's awesome! We're most likely going to be leaving in November, so we should have enough to stay busy
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Old 06-15-2014, 11:36 PM
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Now I wish I was in San Antonio too!
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Old 06-16-2014, 01:02 AM
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Come on down!! It's nice and warm here
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Old 06-17-2014, 11:34 PM
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It was over 90 in Indiana today. Plenty warm here! LOL
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Old 06-19-2014, 11:41 AM
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How about some water holes?

Hamilton pool in Dripping Springs, Barton Springs in Austin.

Dance Hall?

Greune Hall in New Braunfels- the states oldest continually running dance hall. It is a lot of fun.

Did someone post about Enchanted Rock and Fredricksberg?
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