Travel Diary: Exploring San Antonio Beyond The Guidebook!

21st Jul 2017


Photo of Travel Diary: Exploring San Antonio Beyond The Guidebook! by Srishti Kapoor

I took my trip to San Antonio last year in July. It was not only one of the most exciting trips ever but also the most memorable one. My journey began in Dallas Texas and then my second stop was the romantic city of all, San Antonio!!

Believe me when I say it is the most romantic city of all. With all the amazing places to take your partner for a nice date, to walking on the river walk under the beautiful fairy lights, the place is immensely beautiful. I am not saying you shouldn't travel solo, with family or a friend, I totally loved exploring the city with my friend. We both explored, wandered, and had the best girls time out of our lives.

So, now when it came to planning the trip and budgeting it, it was a big deal. I was a student working part-time, craving to travel and had a fixed budget of $400. So, to travel from Dallas to San Antonio I took a Greyhound bus ticket which costed me $30 (pretty cheap). The bus trip was AMAZING! I could see the countryside, the amazing views, the people were warm and welcoming and most important I saved tons of money!

Day 1

Day 1

Hello San Antonio, It was a beautiful sunny morning, I and my friend had booked an Airbnb accommodation for $250 for two nights. It was a bed and breakfast, beautiful house with the very welcoming host. Very close to the city and close by restaurants to visit. So here we were, all set for our first day at San Antonio!

My camera was ready so was I, to explore and capture memories. The streets and blocks of San Antonio preserved Romanesque Revival and Neo-Gothic Revival Architecture revamped for modern use, which gave the city a historic feel as well. On the streets there were carriage tours, near the riverwalk there were riverboat rides, beautiful waterfront outdoor patios, brick-laced corridors. There was so much beauty all over, that I fell in love with the place.

Photo of San Antonio, TX, USA by Srishti Kapoor

San Antonio is one of the major city of Texas with a rich colonial heritage. The Alamo, an 18th-century Spanish mission preserved as a museum, marks an infamous 1836 battle for Texan independence from Mexico. Being one of the most famous places to visit The Alamo was on our first-day exploration list. After the visit to the Alamo I didn’t really want to follow the travel guidebook to explore the city, but rather walk around and talk to the local people and go explore. The people at the restaurant and the uber drivers really helped me in telling what are the best places to eat, see and go to rather than following the guidebook. And I am glad I asked them!

Photo of Travel Diary: Exploring San Antonio Beyond The Guidebook! by Srishti Kapoor

After the Alamo, we walked to the riverwalk. When in San Antonio never miss the amazing margarita. As soon as we walked down the stairs towards the river walk it was a paradise to my eyes! A PARADISE TO A PHOTOGRAPHER, A FOODIE, A OUTDOOR ENTHUSIAST. The aroma of different kind of cuisines, beautiful views and a glass of refreshing margarita! *Blissful*.

Photo of The Alamo, Alamo Plaza, San Antonio, TX, USA by Srishti Kapoor

We walked around the whole river walk area and the downtown area nearby. For dinner, for all the people who love bbq and are visiting San Antonio, "The County Line" is the go-to restaurant for dinner. The best bbq I have ever had, beautiful outdoor patio by the river, live music! Just the perfect way to end a memorable day exploring.

Day 2

Day 2

On my list, today was a lot of walking and exploring! It was gonna be a long day. Packed my backpack, bottle of water, a few munchies loads of sunscreen and I was all set to go. Places me and my friend had planned to cover include:

*McNay Art Museum

*The Missions - Mission Concepcion, Mission San Jose, Mission San Juan, Mission Espada

*Madhatter teahouse and cafe - Alice and the wonderland

*Cruise at Riverwalk

*Riverwalk dinner

I and my friend both are artists. Especially for me, I have an eye for architecture and art. McNay museum had to be on my list. The colorful stairs, the paintings, the ceramics, the beautiful walls and the tiles of various vibrant colors. I just couldn’t get enough of that beautiful place. From the Museum, just across the street was the bus stop that ran buses to the missions - national historical park. The bus service in San Antonio is pretty cheap $1.30 full day regular fair. I downloaded the bus app and hoped on and off at each of the four missions.

Photo of McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TX, USA by Srishti Kapoor

There are four (Mission Concepcion, Mission San Jose, Mission San Juan, Mission Espada) Missions which mark great history and are pretty huge. A lot of history to read about and architecture to capture. If you don't have enough time to visit all of them, my personal favorite was Mission san Jose. I just loved the architecture. Also, I collect coins as souvenirs from all the places I travel to, perhaps I got myself one from the Mission too! a memory to hold on to. The entry to the museum is free and the bus stops are right outside the missions which makes it super convenient to travel.

Photo of Mission San Jose, Lackland AFB, San Antonio, TX, USA by Srishti Kapoor

In the summer heat and after hours of walking and traveling, me and my friend were starving and dead tired. To get some boost of energy back in our bodies we took the next bus to the famous mad-hatters teahouse and cafe while wandering in the Kings Willam historic district. I had my Alice and the wonderland moment at Mad-hatters. The place is eccentric wooden house, with a chalkboard menu in the main room with a wooden table and mixed matched chairs. Staff was really friendly and warm. After having delicious sandwiches and cheesecakes, we both were back to our energetic self, set to explore as much as we can in the time we had left.

Photo of Madhatters Tea House & Cafe, Beauregard Street, San Antonio, TX, USA by Srishti Kapoor

Next stop, cruise at Riverwalk. Better to go on weekdays rather than on weekends. We couldn’t do the river cruise on day 1 because the wait time was about 2 hours. Each ticket is for $12. It is an exciting and entertaining narrative of the rich history of the San Antonio River Walk. The cruises are about 35 minutes long and cover one and a half miles of the beautiful San Antonio River Walk. The Cruise captions are extremely enthusiastic and knowledgeable. It was a great experience as I could meet the local people, speak to them about their rich heritage, culture and know about their history.

Photo of River Tours San Antonio, River Walk, San Antonio, TX, USA by Srishti Kapoor

With this, we were almost at the end of our exciting trip. We grabbed some food dinner and beer for dinner, scrolled over our pictures, recollected all the beautiful memories we had made in San Antonio and realized how we both fell in love with SAN ANTONIO! WHAT A BEAUTIFUL PLACE.