THINGS TO SEE & DO IN SAN ANTONIO

When you think of San Antonio, you think of the Alamo. But I think the highlight of San Antonio is the Riverwalk. You get the sense you’re not in Texas when you walk along the river, with all those Spanish colonial buildings and jungle-like trees shadowing the walkways. It’s like a maze walking along the paths since there’s a lower level (where the Riverwalk runs) and a street level, so Google Maps was really helpful in getting around. There are also no rails along the river path, so be careful not to fall in since some of the pathways can be narrow.

The two restaurants I tried on the Riverwalk were Boudro’s and County Line. Boudro’s (on the List) is a higher end South Texas bistro restaurant with focus on seafood. As the List suggested, I got the smoked shrimp and gulf crab enchiladas while my partner got the Wood-Grilled Ribeye Sandwich. The enchiladas were stuffed with real fresh crab with 2 jumbo shrimps placed on top of it. If you are into seafood, this dish will be great for you. The pecan rice pilaf and black beans were just okay, though the sauce was the star of the dish. My partner thought his rib eye sandwich was average at best, with the meat being a little chewy. But still for $16, I thought it was a good deal at a nice restaurant. The other restaurant we tried was The County Line, a Texan BBQ joint. If you’re super hungry, they offer an All-You-Can-Eat Deal for $35/person (at the time of writing this). Since we weren’t that hungry, we ordered the BBQ Platter for 2 (5 Meat Smokehouse Combo for $31) which could’ve really been for 3 people. It was a lot of meat, and a lot of deliciousness. We also got their Famous Homemade Bread for an additional charge, but I think I would’ve been okay with just getting their complimentary bread.

Now, once you’ve had your fill of the Riverwalk, you should definitely check out the Alamo. Especially since it is free to do so. And since all the hotels, attractions, and points of interest are very close to one another, you will be able to walk there. The List suggests for people to watch the IMAX film “Alamo: The Price of Freedom” at the AMC Theatre inside a shopping mall called Rivercenter, which we did. The 42 minute film (made in 1988) portrayed the fight soldiers took to try and free the new Republic of Texas. I thought it was entertaining, minus the bad but funny fighting scenes. If you don’t end up seeing it, the Alamo is just steps outside the mall. You can’t take photos inside the Alamo, but there really isn’t much to see inside there. I’d say 15 minutes…and you’ll be ready to leave. And on the way out, you’d be able to catch the Cenotaph, which is a memorial tomb for the fallen soldiers.

If you’re looking for something a bit more festive, walk about half a mile towards the historic Market Square. On the weekends, it’s lively with mariachi bands, Mexican shops, and restaurants. I went on a Friday late afternoon and it wasn’t very busy, with only a few shops opened. So I’m thinking it would be busier on the weekends. However, you probably want to go to Mi Tierra Cafe & Bakery when it is not busy because when I left there was a long line to get seated. You can’t make reservations for a table, but they are also opened 24 hours. The List suggested getting the chicken enchiladas, but didn’t specify which one because there were two different kinds (mole or verdes). I asked the server which dish I should choose, and she recommended the Enchiladas Verde de Pollo. Let me tell ya, those enchiladas were delicious! And I would also recommend you getting them. However, the bakery items I got were just average Mexican bakery items and I was not wowed by them.

Now, if you are looking for accommodations, I stayed at two hotels during my time in San Antonio based off the List. The first night we stayed at the Omni La Mansion del Rio, which is the more affordable one of the two. It was a little run down with the rooms having either a private patio or shared patio, and it was located so close to everything. If you want to have free wifi and free coffee in the morning at the Morsels Cafe, you have to be a Select Guest member which is free to join.

If I thought the service was friendly and helpful at the Omni, it was five times that at Mokara Hotel. When I approached the building, there was already a doorman waiting to open the door for me. Every time. When we asked for extra bath salts, it took less than 5 minutes for them to bring it to our room. Oh, did you know they even have a bath butler who will prep your bath tub for a soak? Well, if you didn’t, now you do! And I definitely took advantage of it. Mokara is also known for their spa, which gives complimentary access to their hotel guests. The men’s side had a jacuzzi, steam room, sauna, and a relaxation waiting room with tea, water, and snacks. Usually with spa’s you have to make an appointment for service in order to use the facilities, so for it to be complimentary was a treat! So, like me, take advantage of it!