SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS - This past weekend I took a vacation in the beautiful city of San Antonio, Texas.  It was my first visit to the city, in fact it was the first time I had ever been in the state of Texas.  From the time I booked my trip I have heard nothing but great things about the city from others that have been there before, so I was anxious to see it for myself.  The city did not disappoint me.

We arrived at about noon on Thursday.  We took a 10-minute cab ride from the airport to our hotel downtown, which cost about $30.  The cabs in San Antonio all take credit/debit cards, so no need to worry about having enough cash on hand.   After getting settled into our hotel (we stayed at the historic Crockett Hotel, which local legend has it is haunted - but I didn't see any signs of ghosts), we headed straight for the the city's well-known river walk.  Just about any bar/restaurant, serving any kind of food, you can imagine can be found there.

Jim Maurice

Friday was a day reserved for sightseeing and being a tourist.  We started at the legendary Alamo.  To my surprise it's absolutely free to see it.  The Daughters of the Republic of Texas maintain the sight and only ask for free will donations.  You can also rent an audio device for a self-guided tour for $6, which I did and highly recommend.  Depending on how much you are into history, you may want to reserve a few hours for your visit to the Alamo.

Jim Maurice

Next was a 35 minute river cruise on the San Antonio River.  It cost $8.50 a person, our boat driver/tour guide was humorous and and informative, and it was money well spent. Did you know the creation of the river walk was one man's dream back in the 1920's?  And, after a flood in the 1950's, the city leaders considered filling-in the river.  Thankfully for them that didn't happen.

Jim Maurice

San Antonio hosted the World's Fair in 1968, and one of the main attractions built for the fair was The Tower of the America's.  It still stands at the second tallest tower in the United States, taller than the Space Needle in Seattle, and just behind the one in Las Vegas.  The elevator to the top has windows looking out, which I wasn't too fond of, but the views once I got up there were breathtaking.  Another free stop on our tour.  There is a restaurant at the top of the tour, if you choose to eat or have a drink.

Jim Maurice

Saturday's main outing was the ride on the open-air double decker bus.  This was the most expensive thing we did at $19 a person.  It lasted about an hour, and I would say it was a little over priced.  The one nice thing is that you could hop on and off the bus as it went, if there was something on the tour that you wanted to get a better look at.  For example, we stopped and spent an hour at the city's market.

A couple other thoughts:

If you're into history, a stop for a drink at the Menger Bar in the hotel by the same name (right across from the Alamo) should be on your list.  That's the bar where then-future President Teddy Roosevelt formed his Rough Riders.

Unless your planning on visiting other attractions like Sea World, or Six Flags, everything else is pretty much downtown and well within walking distance.  No need for a rental car really.  Just be sure to bring comfortable shoes.

Now it's your turn!  Have you been to San Antonio?  What were the highlights for you?  Did I miss something that you would recommend for my next visit?  Write your comments below.