Tag Archives: Texas

Get a Great View of San Antonio

Get up above the crowd for superb San Antonio sightseeing on an open-top, double-decker tour bus. You’ll tour downtown San Antonio with on a comprehensive, narrated tour.

The tour includes stops at The Alamo, The Tower of the Americas, The Spanish Governor’s Palace and nine other must-see sights in the city. The 50-minute tour will get you acquainted with the city and educate you about the history and culture of the area. Then, if you choose to, you can add a hop-on, hop-off pass and ride the tour during operating hours as much as you care to for 24 hours. Feel free to spend as much time as you need further exploring the Site of the 1968 alamoWorld’s Fair, Hemisfair Park. It is now a part of the University of Texas San Antonio, where you can explore over 50,000 square feet of exhibits representing 27 ethnic groups who settled in Texas. Or shop till you drop at El Mercado,  the city’s Mexican marketplace, where you can bargain for gifts from South of the Border and enjoy the many Mexican restaurants. Hop off for a taste of the Old West at the Buckhorn Saloon, San Antonio’s classic 1881 saloon and museum. Sip a refreshing drink as you stroll through 33,000 square feet of artifacts from Texas history and world record wildlife exhibits.

You can easily see all the most fun and colorful parts of San Antonio, and never worry about driving or parking when you take advantage of the Grand Double Decker Tour with the hop pass.

SeaWorld San Antonio Gets Scary

SeaWorld San Antonio Marine Theme Park combines all the best of amusement parks thrills, marine life interactive exhibits, live entertainment, boardwalk games, shopping and dining into 250-acres of activities and adventures. Just when you thought it couldn’t possibly be any more fun… It is!

San Antonio is being invaded this October by zombies, carnival misfits, clown gangs, the undead, voodoo, vampires and every other urban legend you can imagine. SeaWorld presents Howl-O-Scream each Friday, Saturday and Sunday beginning at 7pm. And they promise it will be truly scary. In fact, they crank the scare factor up to such an intense level, they recommend only those 13 and up should be around for the terror.

SeaWorldHowl-O-Scream features ten ‘haunted’ mazes, like Frightmare Forest, where your worst dreams are coming true and corpse creepers emerge from everywhere. Plus, they will have several different ‘Terror-tories’ like Psycho Path, where the asylum mayhem has escaped to the outside, and Vampire Point, described as disturbing and grotesque.

Admission to Howl-O-Scream is included with your SeaWorld admission. So if you’re up for a good scare, visit San Antonio SeaWorld, and stick around for the insanity.

San Antonio Grand Tour

The city of San Antonio is packed with so much history, with the Missions, the Alamo, and Museums.  Plus the incredibly beautiful Riverwalk with unique shops and eateries set amongst the immaculate landscaping, and manicured walkways along the San Antonio River.  It is a perfect vacation destination to visit the past and relax in the present.

To make the most of your vacation, book a San Antonio Grand Tour, to visit all the historic sites with an area expert to narrate, as you ride comfortably in a modern air-conditioned tour bus.  The Grand Tour includes the famous Alamo, then a riverboat ride down the San Antonio River along the Riverwalk district.  Remember which shops and restaurants you want to visit later.

River Walk San Antonio Grand TourAfter your riverboat ride, you’ll visit Mission Concepcion, Mission San Jose, and stop in at the Buckhorn Saloon and Museum, featuring exhibits of more than 500 wildlife species, and unique specimens including a 78 point buck, and a record-breaking Marlin, which weighed in at 1056 pounds when it was landed.

You’ll also be treated to stops at the Japanese Sunken Garden, The Texas Ranger Museum and El Mercado.  You’ll see all the city’s most famous landmarks on this fascinating tour.

Texas Hill Country Tour

If you’ve been to San Antonio, you’ve probably visited the Alamo, and been enthralled by the antiquity and rich history of the city.  But the area surrounding San Antonio is also steeped in historical gems, throughout the rugged landscape and beautiful rolling hills of Texas Hill Country.

You can enjoy fabulous views of the area from the comfort of a modern climate controlled tour bus on a San Antonio Hill Country Tour.  Bring the whole family for a day of sight-seeing and pleasure.

Your first stop is the German community of Fredricksburg where you’ll have free time to shop in the many boutiques for and dine in one of the restaurants, like Rathskellar Restaurant, known for authentic German cuisine.  Lyndon_B._Johnson_birthplace_NPSFredricksburg is a goldmine for history lovers, who can spend some time at the National Museum of the Pacific War featuring exhibits like the Admiral Nimitz Museum, George H. Bush Gallery, Japanese Garden of Peace and more.

Then hop back on your bus and ride to Stonewall, TX, where you’ll stop and visit the LBJ Ranch, home of Lyndon Baines Johnson.  The sprawling ranch along the Pedmales River was known as the “Texas White House.”  The staff at the ranch will delight you with tales of Johnson and his wife, Lady Bird Johnson.

King William Carriage Tour

The King William Historic District, South of downtown San Antonio along the San Antonio River.  Encompassing land that was once irrigated farm land, the area was subdivided in the 1860s, and a great number of German immigrants settled there, building large impressive homes in Greek Revival, Victorian, and Itanlianate styles.

By the early 1900s the area began to wane as a fashionable district, and many of the fine estates were converted to apartments, and the neighborhood declined until the 1950s when an interest in preservation of the area took hold.  The neighborhood was listed on the National Register as a Historic District in 1972, and it is a much desired place to live, as well as a rare treat to visit.

Imagine touring the streets and viewing the well manicured gardens and elegant homes from your seat on a white, Victorian, horse-drawn carriage.  The King William Carriage Tour is a relaxing ride, through the 25-block historic district.  Choose a narrated tour to learn more history of San Antonio, or if you prefer a quiet, perhaps romantic ride, opt for the non-narrated tour.

The Institute for Texan Cultures

Among the great cultural attractions in San Antonio is the Institute for Texan Cultures.  Not far from the Alamo and the Riverwalk, you’ll enjoy learning more about the history and peoples responsible for the current Texan Culture.  The state’s primary center for multicultural education, the museum and library celebrate the many ethnicities that comprise Texas population.

Through research, collections, exhibits, festivals and programs the center strives to create an understanding and appreciation for Texas, and Texans.  Hundreds of thousands of archived photographs, an entire library of records, and hundreds of artifacts to provide tangible links to the stories they share of Texans past and present, famous and common.

Gain a greater understanding of the diversity of Texas, and the rich cultural history through the engaging exhibits at the Institute for Texan Cultures.

Enchanted Springs Ranch

Have you ever watched a Western movie, and thought you’d really like to live there, or at least visit that little town with dirt streets, boardwalks, a saloon with horses hitched out front, and maybe a gunslinger or two?  The kind of town where more cattle are driven through the main street than automobiles, and the Sheriff wears a gold star?

Well, you probably aren’t going to pick up and move, but you can visit an old West town just outside of San Antonio Texas.  A place where longhorn cattle and cowboys are out on the range and the streets are home to horses and wagons.  Enchanted Springs Ranch, a town actually built to be a filming location for the movies and shows we love, invites guests to wander around and stop in at the blacksmith or gunsmith shop, they may even let you try your hand at their profession.  Entertainment provided by period costumed townsfolk includes Pistol Packin’ Paula, two time world champion Gunslinger.

Enchanted Springs RanchJump on a hay-ride and see why this place is called enchanted.  See the beautiful hills with clear spring-fed creeks and rivers, whose banks grow thick with berries and wild fruit and harbor deer, antelope, wild turkey, and abundant wildlife.  Maybe you’ll get a view of some cowboys and vaqueros working or driving a herd of Longhorn on this working ranch.

If the kids act up, or Mom gets cranky, just let the Sheriff know, and he will promptly lock ’em behind bars.  Don’t worry about him throwing away the key though.  All you have to do to be released, is a little entertaining.  A quick rendition of “I’m a little teapot” is typically the only restitution required.

Texas Hill Country Winery Tour

When you think about Texas, you probably don’t immediately think of wine.  And when you think of wine, you aren’t likely to think Texas.  Well, you have another think coming.  Texas actually ranks fourth in wine producing states, behind California, New York, and Washington.

The history of wine production in Texas goes back at least to the 1600’s when Spanish Missionaries are recorded to have produced wine for sacramental use.  However, of the dozens of grape varieties grown in the region today, fifteen are native to the state, more than any other region on earth, so its likely wines were produced there before recorded history.

The Texas Hill Country, outside of San Antonio is home to a 9,000-acre wine region, where the climate produces wines that have been compared to Portuguese vintages, and vines were planted and cultivated hundreds of years before grape propagation began in California.

San Antonio Wine TourFor a fun, scenic and educational day-trip from San Antonio, grab some friends and take a wine tour.  A luxurious mini-bus for transportation ensures that you have a designated driver, so you can feel free to sample the wines at the wineries you visit.

San Antonio Wine Tour stops include:

Becker Vineyards – Tour the winery and cellar set in a 19th Century stone barn reproduction that is surrounded by fragrant lavender fields.  Sample hand-crafted, award-winning wines.

Grape Creek Vineyards – Offers a taste of Tuscany in Texas.  Sample premium quality wine in the romantic Italian Villa tasting room, visit their unique cellar at the state-of-the-art wine production complex..

Torre di Pietra Winery – It’s all Texas style here, from the award-winning Texas grapes, to the live Texas music on the Piazza.  With your wine you are encouraged to sample their assortment of cheeses, crackers and wine-infused chocolates

Fredricksburg Texas – This quaint German built town will provide a lunch stop on your tour.  You’ll find authentic German, Persian, Spanish and Mexican restaurants.  Explore the neighborhoods shops and culture before meeting up with your wine tour group .

The natural beauty of the vineyards in Hill Country, the rich cultures of Fredricksburg, the scent of lavender, it will all come back to you each time you uncork a bottle of your favorite Texas Hill Country wine.

Birthplace of Route 66 Festival

The Mother of all Road-Trips – The Most Famous Highway in the World

A true slice of American Pie, ‘Historic’ Route 66 is synonymous with nostalgia.  The name alone conjures images of greasy burgers, root beer floats, full-service gas stations, neon lights and convertibles.  It is an American Icon unlike any other, representing freedom of the road, independence, the American dream, and is a 2000 mile tribute to America’s love affair with automobiles.

By any other name
Shortly after its commission in 1926, it was nicknamed The Great Diagonal Way because the stretch from Chicago to Oklahoma City runs Northwest-Southeast.  It was dubbed The Main Street of America by the US Hwy 66 Association.  John Steinbeck’s novel, The Grapes of Wrath refers to The Mother Road, a title which prevails today.  And many know it as The Will Rogers Highway.

Route 66 ChicagoThe Route
You can find the Eastern terminus at the East entrance to Chicago’s Grant Park.  As you drive watch for the 20 ft. space man holding a rocket in Wilmington Illinois.  You’ll be needing a pit-stop about the time you reach McClean, so stop at the oldest truck stop on the route.  Dixie Truckers Home has been open for nearly 70 years,  closed only one day, due to a fire.

In St. Louis you might stretch your legs with a walk across the Chain of Rocks Bridge over the mighty Mississippi River.  No longer open to motor vehicles but a unique engineering treasure with a 24 degree bend in the middle.

Springfield, Missouri is the place where the beloved highway was named on April 30, 1926, and a plaque commemorating the event stands in downtown Park Central Square.  Interestingly, on the Missouri State Highway map issued in 1926 the road is labeled Route 60.Route 66 Park Central Square Springfield

Kansas has the fewest miles of any of the eight states graced by the revered roadway.  Then to Oklahoma which boasts the most miles of Route 66.  Bring along a can of spray-paint and add to the decades of layers of graffiti on the 10 Cadillacs planted in the sand at ‘Cadillac Ranch’ Amarillo, Texas.

In downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico you can actually stand at the corner of Rte 66 and Rte 66.  A change in course created a place where the route actually crosses itself.  Cruise through Arizona, past the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert, then you’re on your way to the Western terminus, at Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, California.

The Memories
The celebrated highway gave birth to a number of other truly American icons.  Route 66 saw the inception of the Motel.  Meramec Caverns in Missouri began the trend of advertising by painting barns along the road, which grew to the modern ‘billboard.’  Fast food was conceived on route 66 and the very first McDonalds opened along the way in San Bernadino in 1945.  Also on 66 was the invention of the ‘drive-thru’ which is credited to Red’s Giant Hamburg, Springfield MO.  When Red retired in 1984,  a crowd gathered and waited in line for hours to get a last Giant Hamburg.

Eight states, three time zones, and 88 years of road-trip bliss.  About 80% of the hallowed thoroughfare is still drivable today.  Much romanticized, a symbol of freedom.

The fourth annual ‘Birthplace of Route 66’ Festival and Car Show will be in Park Central Square, Springfield Missouri, August 8, 9, 2014.  Classic cars, live entertainment, food vendors, and more celebrating America’s Main Street.

Walk the Walk – San Antonio’s Riverwalk

Deep in the heart of San Antonio lies an urban oasis of lush backdrops, paved pathways, arched bridges made of stone, picturesque waterfalls and the welcome cool shade of cypress trees lining the smooth flowing water of the San Antonio River.  The San Antonio Riverwalk is a meticulously landscaped 2-1/2 miles along the river from The Alamo through the downtown district of all the best dining, shopping, museums and architecture.

A level below the automobile street and a world away, the Riverwalk is a scene to absorb and from it you can access The Rivercenter Mall, The San Antonio Museum of Art, The Pearl Brewery, and dozens of boutiques, eateries, bars, and attractions.

So many dining options you’ll have a hard time deciding.  You can find Old World, Italian, BBQ, French fine dining, and of course, Tex/Mex.  This is the place to find the very best fajitas, enchiladas, and chile rellenos North, South, East, aaand West of the Pecos!  The Iron Cactus Agave Bar Room features more than 100 kinds of tequila.Riverwalk Cruise

The Rivercenter Mall is home to more than 100 retail shops,  restaurants, movie theaters and the Marriott Hotel.  With your favorite stores from Macy’s and Hot Topic and specialty shops like Life in Alamo City and The Dallas Cowboys Pro Shop you will find this an ideal location for a shopping bonanza.

You can walk along the River enjoying the scenery and stopping at your leisure at the fine shops, restaurants and museums.  You also have the option of biking, or renting a segway for your trek up and down the beautiful riverbanks.  For a very relaxing treat, reminiscent of an Old West Venice, you can cruise along the waterway in a boat.  You’ll float along past the Alamo, The San Fernando Cathedral, and La Villita, San Antonio’s first neighborhood.  Your guide on the river cruise will share area history and point out all the highlights along the way.

OmniThere are plenty of hotels right along the Riverwalk too, so you can stay where you play and have quick and easy access to all the galleries, dining and night-life the Riverwalk has to offer, plus enjoy the view from your room.  The Omni La Mansion del Rio is a Spanish style Hotel that really captures the areas culture, plus they have an indoor pool with dive-in movies, a spa and fitness center and they are famous for the Sunday Champagne Brunch.  Overlooking the Riverwalk and only three blocks from the Alamo its an ideal location for experiencing all the best of the San Antonio Riverwalk.