It takes a visit to the Alamo to truly understand its importance in Texas history. Located in the heart of San Antonio, the Alamo today stands where it was founded in 1718 and withstood a 13-day battle more than a century later. It has since been restored and converted into a memorable museum with a beautiful garden.
San Antonio Missions National Historic Park
San Antonio’s missions were erected and used as tools of colonization by the Spanish, and functioned as churches as well as living communities. The four missions in the park are each unique and well-restored despite being centuries old. Guided tours are free and guests are welcome to explore the grounds on their own.
The River Walk’s reputation as the city’s most popular attraction is well-deserved: This network of walkways provides endless recreation and dining options for pedestrians — and if you get tired of walking, you can always take a boat tour instead. From early morning joggers to nighttime partiers, the River Walk is always full of life.
Start your day Texas-style: with a tasty taco. Filled with delicious staples like eggs, potatoes, cheese and bacon, breakfast tacos are easy to find in San Antonio. And don’t stop there — treat yourself to a puffy taco while you’re at it. The puffy tortillas are made of fresh masa and are crisp on the outside while soft on the inside.
In true Texas spirit, San Antonio has no shortage of barbecue places. Chow down at classic joints like Rudy’s, where the creamed corn is just as popular as their mouthwatering meat, or The County Line, which boasts homemade white bread. No matter where you go, you’ll be sure to get huge portions and need lots of napkins!
Chili Con Carne
Chili has deep roots in San Antonio — dating back to the late 1800s, when Mexican American women known as “chili queens” would gather in public places to sell bowls of the hot stuff to passersby. You can get chili at many Mexican restaurants in town, but the most specialized is food truck Institute of Chili.
The Friendly Spot Ice House
Ice houses came into popularity before modern refrigeration was invented; the Friendly Spot operates in the same spirit and lives up to its name. The open-air bar offers free Wi-Fi, welcomes pets and kids (with a small playground for the young ones) and shows movies and sports on its big screen. Choose from 76 beers on draft and more than 250 bottled options.
Mi Tierra Cafe & Bakery
Lovers of Tex-Mex are sure to have a good time at Mi Tierra Cafe & Bakery no matter what the hour — this charming restaurant seats more than 500 and is open 24/7. While enjoying your food, you can also take in the strummings of the roving mariachi band, which you can tempt to play by your table for a tip.
The Esquire Tavern boasts the distinction of being the oldest bar on the River Walk. Opened in 1933 to celebrate the end of Prohibition, Esquire Tavern’s legacy and prime location aren’t its only attractions. The bar and restaurant serves up impeccably crafted cocktails and phenomenal burgers over its 100-foot wooden bar.