Optional Excursions

San Antonio Missions Tour
Monday, November 5, 1:30–5:00 p.m.
 
The Mission Trail Tour is an excellent way to see the city of San Antonio and learn its history. This tour will take guests through four of the five Spanish frontier missions in the San Antonio Missions National Historic Park. Mission Concepción was established in 1716 in East Texas by Franciscan friars but was moved to San Antonio in 1731; it is the best preserved of the missions. Mission Espada was established in 1690 near present-day Augusta but was moved in 1731 to San Antonio; Mission San José y San Miguel de Aguayo was established in 1720; and Mission San Juan Capistrano was established in 1716 in East Texas but moved to San Antonio in 1731. These beautiful old churches showcase the early colonial history of the area.

Cost: $36 per person
 
    
King William Food Tour
Tuesday, November 6, 1:30–5:30 p.m.
 
The King William Historic District is one of San Antonio’s oldest and most charming neighborhoods. This tour is designed to introduce guests to the culinary finds while including some of the history of this unique, downtown neighborhood. From its humble beginnings, this neighborhood began with the building of the Pioneer Flour Mill and has blossomed into a fantastically preserved example of San Antonio’s rich history. This tour includes sampling foods at up to four restaurants. These “ample” samples are usually quite filling and can be considered a late lunch. Water is provided at every stop upon request. Alcoholic beverages are available at some of the stops and can be purchased and consumed by guests, while the tour is at that restaurant.

Cost: $40 per person
 

Additional Attractions: The Best of San Antonio

The Alamo
http://thealamo.org/visitors/sanantonio.php
The most famous spot in Texas is on the east side of Alamo Plaza, where 189 defenders fell on March 6, 1836, after repeated attacks by Mexican General Santa Ana’s army. Mission San Antonio de Valero (the Alamo) was established in 1718 as the city’s first mission. The chapel, one of the most photographed facades in the nation, and the long barracks are all that remain of the original fort.
  
Japanese Tea Garden
www.saparksfoundation.org/japaneseteagarden.html
The Japanese Tea Garden, adjacent to the Sunken Garden Theater in
Brackenridge Park, features beautiful floral displays, a waterfall, and a safe
habitat for koi and aquatic plants. It is an extraordinary example of the
use of an old rock quarry which dates back to 1899, and remnants can still
be seen in the garden’s architecture. The site is designated as a Texas Civil
Engineering Landmark, a Registered Texas Historic Landmark, and it is
listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
 
King William Historic Area
www.kingwilliamassociation.org
In the late 1800s, the King William District, a 25-block area near downtown on the south bank of the San Antonio River, was the most elegant residential area in the city. Prominent German merchants originally settled the area. It was zoned as the state’s first historic district and has once again become a fashionable neighborhood.
   
River Walk (Paseo Del Rio)
www.thesanantonioriverwalk.com
Paseo Del Rio in the heart of downtown is the pride of the city. Lush green foliage lines the banks of this peaceful, historic river. Cobblestone walkways lead visitors to the river-level restaurants and shops. The river bubbles to the surface on the grounds of the University of the Incarnate Word and flows to downtown, threading its way through the city one level below the hustle and bustle of city streets. River cruisers travel the River Walk’s three miles past unique retail shops, restaurants, and nightclubs.
  
San Antonio Botanical Garden, Lucile Halsell Conservatory
www.sabot.org
At this 33-acre living museum, one can enjoy colorful seasonal floral displays, a serene native forest walk, exotic plant specimens from around the world, modernistic glass pyramids, and even an authentic log cabin. Highlights include the Old Fashioned Perennial Garden, Rose Garden, Sacred Garden, Garden for the Blind, Kuamoto En (an authentic Japanese garden), and extensive native collections representing the Hill Country, East Texas, and Southwest Texas. The futuristic Lucile Halsell Conservatory features plants from around the world.
 
San Antonio Museum of Art
www.samuseum.org
The San Antonio Museum of Art reclaimed the historic Lone Star Brewery, built in 1884, and turned the immense building into one of the most impressive art museums in Texas. Its permanent collection spans the continents. Asian art, European and American paintings, and antiquities from Greek and Roman eras attract art aficionados of all ages. The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Latin American Art houses the museum’s extensive collections of pre-Colombian art, Latin American folk art, Spanish Colonial art, and contemporary Latin American Art.
 
San Antonio Zoological Gardens and Aquarium
www.sazoo-aq.org
Ranked as one of the best zoos in the nation, the San Antonio Zoological Gardens and Aquarium features exhibits of more than 3,500 animals of 750 species. At the headwaters of the San Antonio River, the zoo encompasses 35 landscaped acres and includes one of the largest bird collections in the world.
 
Tower of the Americas
www.toweroftheamericas.com
Built for the 1968 World’s Fair, the Tower of the Americas offers the best panoramic view of San Antonio. It recently underwent a series of renovations to the observation deck and rotating restaurant at the top; the latter now features upscale dining and a sophisticated bar area. A glass elevator takes visitors up to the Flags Over Texas observatory, with heartstopping views all the way. Also brand-new is the Skies Over Texas 4-D ride, a swooping, spectacular tour of life in the Lone Star State.