We kicked off our 12 trips in 12 months goal for 2017 by taking a weekend trip to San Antonio, TX! I’m hoping to document all our trips in a manner that is both helpful & fun for y’all. Let me know what y’all like, dislike & if there are any questions! Let’s get started in San Antonio, TX friends!!
Where we stayed:
- aLoft San Antonio – I found this hotel on the Hotel Tonight app, I chose a hotel that wasn’t downtown since we hadn’t planned to do much downtown. And with downtown hotels, they charge you for daily parking/valet which I’m not cool with. And they had free wi-fi which is always nice! aLoft staff was extremely friendly & helpful. The room was very clean, trendy & thoughtfully set up. It was located next to a Target which was great to grab a carton of Almond milk for Emily to put into the room’s mini-fridge.
Where We Ate (worth mentioning, not including room service & food trucks):
- Ocho – We settled on Ocho for an early morning breakfast, walking in 30 minutes after they opened (7 am) we were the only ones on this dreary morning. Which anyone with children knows, that is GOLDEN! A gorgeous restaurant, overlooking the famous San Antonio Riverwalk all to ourselves was a dream come true. This picturesque restaurant was as delicious as it was beautiful. My husband (J.P.) was amazed by all the toppings for his steel-cut oatmeal; seriously it spoiled him & he’s talked about the rum-soaked raisins a few times now. And me, well I was very smitten with the coffee & pouched eggs (I’m on Whole30 this month so food choices were limited for me).
Free parking at the hotel.
- Down on Grayson – The vibe here felt a little too cool for us. HAH! We grabbed chairs in the outdoors area to relax while we waited for a table, we opted to eat outside since the weather was so nice. And the whole loud kid thing makes you want to be somewhere that their possible shrieks can’t be easily heard. With street noise, chattering groups, happy pups (dog-friendly!) & other children…we blended in nicely. The sliders collected happy smiles from both Micah & J.P., as did the french fries. I enjoyed a monstrous chicken & kale salad that didn’t disappoint, the chicken was so flavorful and juicy! Our waiter was BEYOND friendly & helpful for all my crazy Whole30 questions, SO NICE!
Free parking in the lot under freeway.
What we did:
- The Saga – When we got into town on Friday night we decided to check into our hotel & then bop straight over to the San Fernando Cathedral to catch the light show I had been so curious about. It didn’t disappoint! It is the history of San Antonio projected onto the gorgeous San Fernando Cathedral with music to go along with it. We got there at the end of the 9 pm show, watched the end & then waited for everyone to scatter to get prime seats for the next full show. Free show.
TIP: There are food trucks & vendors, grab a hot dog, cup of corn and drink while you are there.
TIP: Get there a bit early (at the end of a show) for the prime pick of seats.
TIP: If you don’t have a hotel downtown, expect to pay for lot parking. We paid $11.
- San Antonio Mission National Historical Parks – So instead of going for the Alamo, for our historical bit of San Antonio, we went to the four missions that make up the San Antonio Mission National Historical Parks. The missions did NOT disappoint, from the crumbled living quarters, the smaller but gorgeous churches & then there was the Mission San Jose…which is the crown jewel of all the missions. They are all around 250+ years old & it’s amazing to see buildings that took to the test of time. Free parking & free entry.
TIP: Start at Mission Espada & work your way up for a big impact. They get better as you go on, but the last will disappoint after Mission San Jose.
TIP: Bring snacks, it took us roughly 4 hours to get through all four missions. Even starting when they open at 10 am brings you past lunch.
TIP: Totally stroller friendly but bring something better than an umbrella (lesson learned).
- Sunken Japanese Tea Garden – Breathtaking. Oh my goodness. There’s this view as you walk out of the tea house and overlook the garden that is just amazing. You can see tons of the garden, the 60ft waterfall & it’s just unbelievable. I stood in awe for a moment, thinking how could this possibly be here? Such a jaw-dropping garden & so unassuming as you drive by. Free entry & free parking.
TIP: Do NOT bother with a stroller, like at all. Impossible.
TIP: Stop into the tea house for a delicious tea & sweet treat.
- Tower of the Americas – I saw so many things online saying to just avoid this place…I should have listened. With the mixture of long lines, high prices (pay for parking AND entrance to towers) & well can I say long lines again? If it would have been cheaper or had a much shorter wait, it may have scored better but this was a big WOMP-WOMP (that’s the game show noise when you lose :p )! But hey, not everything can be sunshine & rainbows, right? Nothing free about this.
TIP: Avoid. HA
How much we spent:
- Hotel – $185
- Food – $225.72 (includes all food & drinks we didn’t bring with us)
- Activities – $58.72
- Gas – $25.96 (559 miles w/ 45 mpg @ $2.09/gallon)
- Souvenirs – $10.77 (Starbucks San Antonio Mug)
Notes about our trip:
- Bringing a bunch of bananas, a bag of cuties, boxes of raisins & snack bars pulled the kids (and hubby) through the longer than used to stretches without food.
- Getting to places as they open is awesome for beating crowds, especially nice when you have children for a less crowded experience.