San Antonio Attractions - Historical Sites

Worth The Travel

Mission Concepcion
807 Mission Road San Antonio, TX Map It
(210)XXX-XXXX

Further along the Mission Trail, you will encounter Mission Concepcion, which still boasts original fresco work, and Mission San Juan Capistrano with a lovely woodland trail beginning at the arches at the south end of the original granary building.  Each has it’s special charm.

Mission San Francisco de Espada
10040 Espada Road San Antonio, TX Map It
(210)XXX-XXXX

Mission San Francisco de Espada is farthest south, but its three dramatic bell towers are worth the extra distance. The Espada Acequia and Dam are close by, showcasing water technology used at the time.

Each of the missions remains an active parish (don’t be surprised to see traditionally robed Franciscan monks walking around) with regular service in the chapels.

Hours:
Closed only Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day
Admission:
Free
Mission San Jose
6701 San José Drive San Antonio, TX Map It
(210) 932-1001

We recommend starting at the “queen of all missions” Mission San Jose. It’s a beautifully preserved large wallled compound which shows much of how life was for the Indians and priests.  An informative documentary is shown every 30 minutes, and if you are lucky enough to come on Sunday morning, don’t miss the wonderful Mariachi Mass which begins at noon. The bells of the chapel ring out often in song.

Hours:
Open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving Day, December 25, and January 1.
Admission:
Free
San Antonio Mission Trails
San Antonio, TX
(210)XXX-XXXX

This well-marked trail along San Antonio river traces the earliest history of San Antonio as a wilderness outpost of Spain. The trail begins well south of downtown and you will need either a car or a bike to get from site to site. You can pick up a map and historical brochure at the Visitor Information Center across the street from the Alamo, which is the first of the five Spanish missions found in San Antonio.

Hours:
Open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving Day, December 25, and January 1.
Admission:
Free

On The Riverwalk

Paseo Del Rio – Riverwalk
San Antonio, TX Map It
(210) 227-0074

What began as a Works Progress Administration Landscaping and flood prevention project in the 1940’s has gone on to give San Antonio its most defining feature – the world famous Riverwalk. Once an area of seedy character and somewhat ill repute, the Riverwalk became a star at the 1968 World’s Fair and inaugurated an urban renaissance that continues today. The Riverwalk is now home to luxury hotels, fashionable shops focusing mostly on Texana and Mexican crafts and hundreds of fine restaurants. Walk as much as you like, then take a tour on one of the river barges – the drivers can teach you a lot.

Hours:
210-227-4262
Admission:
Adults $7.75, kids 1-5yrs $2.00
San Fernando Cathedral
115 Main Plaza San Antonio, TX Map It
210.227.1297

The San Fernando cathedral has always been at the center of San Antonio. From its founding on March 9, 1731 by a group of 15 families who came from the Canary Islands at the invitation of King Phillip V of Spain, this church retains the love of the San Antonians. Recently renovated, the stations of the Cross and the Altar, along with much of the art work, are extraordinary. Some of the Heroes of the Alamo have been entombed in one of the chapels.

Admission:
Free
Tower of the Americas and Hemisfair Park
701 Bowie San Antonio, TX Map It
210-223-3101

From the hotel, you can take a short walk down S. Alamo to encounter the gates of Hemisfair Park. Hemisfair Park is home to lovely fountains, reconstructed historic homes, terrific wooden playgrounds, the never-crowded, yet exquisite museum of the Instituto de Mexico, the children’s Magik Theater (see www.magiktheater.org for their schedule and prices), the Institute of Texan Cultures, and of course the defining feature of the San Antonio sky line, the Tower of the Americas.  This needle-shaped structure has an observation deck, plus a bar and revolving restaurant. Go up right at sunset for breath taking views and a cocktail (ride free).

Hours:
Skies Over Texas: 4D Theater Ride Sun-Thu 10am-10pm Fri-Sat 10am-11pm Flags Over Texas: Observation Deck Sun-Thu 10am-10pm Fri-Sat 10am-11pm Chart House: Legendary Dining Sun-Thu 11am-10pm Fri-Sat 11am-11pm Bar 601 - Happy Hour Mon-Fri 4:30pm-7pm Not available on holidays & special occasions
Admission:
Ticket for observation deck & 4D Theater Ride $10.96 adult, $8.95 child.

Greater San Antonio

The Alamo

The Alamo is at once more and less than we expected. Neither grandiose nor dramatic, the humbly sized mission and beautiful surrounding gardens are surprisingly intimate. Once the battleground of such American icons as William B. Travis, Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie against the fierce and ultimately victorious forces of Mexican General Santa Ana, the Alamo has become a Texas icon, symbolizing freedom and bravery. In 2000, curators discovered some frescoes in the sacristy, previously closed to the public, which you can now enter. The colorful flowers, fruits and other images – probably painted by Indians in the 18th century -  are surprisingly vibrant. 

Hours:
Open everyday except Christmas. Mon-Sat 9am-5:30pm, Sunday 10:00am-5:00pm.
Admission:
Free

Downtown

The Alamo
300 Alamo Plaza San Antonio, TX Map It