San Antonio, Texas: Walkabout

Although I was in San Antonio 5.5 days I didn’t get around to everything I had planned. There is so much to do in San Antonio!!! It is one of my favorite cities. Great food, great museums, plenty of activity, walk-able and usually good enough weather to be comfortable outside. I had been there years ago and as I was planning this trip I knew I would include San Antonio as a stop.

The weather turned cold and rainy and I wasn’t feeling well (possibly that visit into Mexico?) so I spent more time than usual in my hotel. I did wander around aimlessly for awhile and I am including some things I normally would have explored more in detail as well as things I just thought were cool or interesting.

Above: St. Joseph’s Catholic Church built to serve the increasing German population of San Antonio. The cornerstone was laid in 1868 and the church was finished in 1871. The inscription on the cornerstone reads: “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people”. In 1944 the Joske’s department store (seen to the church’s left – now a Macy’s) offered to buy the church for development and the congregation voted unanimously to refuse the offer. Since then the shopping and entertainment center Shops at Riverfront Complex has developed all around the church property. The parish is multi-cultural. Spanish masses feature mariachi music and English masses include a German choir once a month.

In addition to the HemisFair site I missed seeing the San Antonio Missions National Historic Park. There are four missions in the national park. Each are about 2.5 miles apart. The city has a special bus service that runs to all four missions and there is a 10 mile bike path that runs from the Alamo to the other four missions. Bikes are available to rent.

I also missed the San Antonio Botanical Garden and the Japanese Tea Garden. The weather was just not conducive to enjoying gardens. I remember the San Antonio Botanical Garden from when I was in San Antonio before. My favorite part of it was the Texas Native Trail which showcased the diverse regions of Texas. At one time the Japanese Tea Garden was a rock quarry but it has now been transformed with walkways, arched stone bridges, an island, a Koi pond and a 60′ waterfall.

I remember from the past trip going to a museum that covered the cultures of the six flags to fly over Texas. The closest thing I could find to that was the Institute of Mexican Cultures in the HemisFair Park. I wish I could have seen it. I also didn’t get see the San Antonio Museum of Art, which is right on the River Walk north of downtown and the Witt Museum that focuses on regional history, culture and art and science. The Witt has things children would be interested in.

So I have plenty of things to go back to see and know I will visit again.