We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

First timer...lots of questions

NJ
Level Contributor
68 posts
2 reviews
Save Topic
First timer...lots of questions

Hello all,

My husband and I have never been to San Antonio. We are visiting Sept. 14-21. We are staying at the Hyatt Wild Oaks Ranch. After doing some research, this is the itinerary I have so far for us. My biggest concern is if I'm trying to cram to much into each day.

Sat - arrive around 11am. Probably hang out at the resort. Go to walmart to get stuff for the room.

Sun - Visitors center, riverwalk, Alamo, and Missions Historical Park

Mon - Zoo & Botanical Gardens

Tues - Fredericksburg

Wed - National Bridge Caverns & Safari

Thurs - ? (maybe hang out at resort)

Fri - Seaworld

Sat - head home :-(

Do I have too much packed into Sunday? How long does it take to see all the Missions and The Alamo?

Any other suggestions on things to do on our off day if we decide not to stay at resort? We like historical sites, hiking, wildlife. We prefer to tour on our own. We will have a rental car and don't mind driving a couple of hours to visit any sites.

What are some good places to eat? We like mexican, bbq, and steaks.

Thank you for any tips or advice. We look forward to our trip.

Michelle

Czech Republic
Destination Expert
for San Antonio, Lubbock, Prague
Level Contributor
15,845 posts
81 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: First timer...lots of questions

additional things downtown

Market Square, San Fernando Cathedral, river boat cruise, shops at La Valilita, guacamole salad from Boudro's, Schilo's German Deli

take a walk through Historic Menger Hotel, King Wiliam Historic District

If you decide on a resort (northside), check out tejasrodeo.com

or Helotes Country Store for a honkey tonk/country music..free music Sunday afternoons

Edited: 20 May 2013, 06:38
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
4,473 posts
205 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: First timer...lots of questions

It can take an entire day to see all of the Missions. The Alamo is right downtown, and I would plan to spend about an hour at it touring the inside and the grounds. The other missions are a bit spread out, so factor in time getting between them. We spent about four hours one day visiting the first two - Mission Concepcion and Mission San Jose - but we do like to take lots of pictures and wander around the grounds and gardens. You can easily see the Riverwalk one evening. I recommend taking one of the river taxis to see it from the water.

San Antonio, TX
Destination Expert
for San Antonio
Level Contributor
7,449 posts
74 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: First timer...lots of questions

I'm the wrong person for asking about doing too much. We just put 1,300 miles on our car this past weekend. I tend to over-book my itinerary, knowing that if something turns out to be great, I can always just stay there longer.

I'd be tempted to head downtown for Saturday night if you're not too tired. The boat tour is a good way to sort of get the lay of the land. There are several nice restaurants and bars where you could relax but still check out the Riverwalk. (It is about half an hour each way from your hotel.)

I don't think you have too much for Sunday. You might want to start at Mission San José (it open's at 9:00am) and do the others while its cool and quiet. You can then head to the Alamo and Riverwalk for lunch. Time for the missions (including the Alamo) really depends on you. And hour and a half for the Alamo and about the same for The Park Visitor Center at Mission San José. Sunday there are masses and visitors are welcome www.nps.gov/saan/planyourvisit/churchinfo.htm

Wednesday after National Bridge Caverns, I'd suggest going to Gruene for dinner and Music (there's some shopping there too.) http://gruenehall.com/

San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
10,978 posts
30 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: First timer...lots of questions

You were given some good suggestions.

I agree you don't have to much for Sunday. I agree you should definitely do the river tour cruise which is a 45 min narrated cruise along the riverwalk with lots of info + it will give you your bearings for the riverwalk. www.rioSanAntonio.com

I agree with Octoboy about doing the other missions before the Alamo also you could add San Fernando Cathedral www.sfcathedral.org

You can grab a bite at Boudro's www.boudros.com or @ Market Square www.marketsquaresa.com @ La Margarita www.lamargarita.com or Mi Tierra www.mitierracafe.com

On Monday you could add in Japanese Tea Garden www.wildtexas.com/parks/bracken.php or Historic Sunset Station www.sunset-station.com.

LOL I'm like Octoboy I do a lot on my trips as well. I like to see & do everything that I can while visiting.

Edited: 23 May 2013, 09:52
NJ
Level Contributor
68 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: First timer...lots of questions

Thank you all for the wonderful suggestions! Any suggestions on where to park near the Riverwalk? Also, which Mission should we start at?

Thanks again!

Michelle

San Antonio, TX
Destination Expert
for San Antonio
Level Contributor
7,449 posts
74 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: First timer...lots of questions

I'd start at Mission San Jose'. It has a nice interpretive center that talks about all of them.

Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
4,550 posts
48 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: First timer...lots of questions

If you have time to spare after zoo and botanical gardens you are in the vicinity of the McNay Museum:

http://www.mcnayart.org

Also, the Japanese Tea Gardens is right there also and I went through it last year in about half and hour. It's beautiful.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXEqyU8n-yM

Parking? There are lots of outdoor surface lots and indoor garages. The Rivercenter Mall by the Alamo also has public multi level garage.

http://www.sanantonio.gov/dtops/parking/

Also, you didn't mention a visit to the Mercado and that is also where the famous Mi Tierra Mexican restaurant is located:

http://tinyurl.com/nrm3d8w

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKUxOD0tJic

Here's a suggestion. The Riverwalk, downtown streets, Market Square, boat ride and Alamo, for me, would take up a whole day. How about moving the Missions to Thurs and then have a nice dinner on way back to hotel early evening at a nice restaurant you might have seen driving to and from your hotel?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfWW-ZcQclc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyiJDso4_r8

The wonderful visitors center for maps/brochures/info is across the street from the Alamo. Have fun!

Edited: 25 May 2013, 05:46
San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
10,978 posts
30 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: First timer...lots of questions

As Octoboy mention you could start @ Mission San Jose since they open at 9 a m.

What do you plan to do in the downtown area ??? so we can suggest best place to park.

If you are gonna do the Alamo, river tour cruise you may want to park at Rivercenter Mall.

Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
4,550 posts
48 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: First timer...lots of questions

Sorry, I mentioned McNay which is an art museum in the area of Botanical Gardens. What I meant to mention in Brackenridge Park and on Broadway was the Witte Museum

http://www.wittemuseum.org

Sorry. I was in awe of McNay too. It is a donated Spanish motif villa with beautiful grounds and self tour of home.

Edited: 25 May 2013, 14:25
NJ
Level Contributor
68 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: First timer...lots of questions

While we're downtown we plan on going to the Alamo, The Riverwalk, do a boat tour of the Riverwalk and maybe go to Merchants Square. We don't mind walking a lot if we have to.

.