Today was a big day. We kicked it off by going to the zoo, then made a short stop with lunch at the ever-famous Riverwalk, and rounded it all off by visiting the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas.
Here’s a little rundown of our day!
San Antonio Zoo
The San Antonio zoo is a big place. Thankfully, the owners seem to have acknowledged that Texas is very hot, and so most of the walkways are shaded by giant cyprus trees. Dozens of wild egrets have built nests in these trees, and this was actually one of my favorite parts!
When you buy your ticket, you have the option to upgrade to the safari pass. The safari pass includes admission to the butterfly sanctuary and a ride aboard their tiny train.
We got them, and I think it was a good choice because the butterfly sanctuary was easily one of the best exhibits at the zoo. There were many more butterflies here than I’d ever seen in other butterfly houses. I also saw some species that I’d never seen before; there were ones with iridescent blue wings, and even ones with violet and orange wings!
The tiny train was alright. It did stop at various points on the journey so that you could get off and check out the surrounding area, but it didn’t really drive by anything that couldn’t be seen from foot.
Overall, I had a really fun time at the San Antonio Zoo, and I’d say it’s worth a visit if you’re willing to brave the heat!
When I told friends and family that I was visiting San Antonio, they all, without fail, told me that I had to see the Riverwalk.
The most striking feature about the Riverwalk is that it’s man made. The winding river was built to imitate Venetian canals, and it’s lined with walking paths, modern art, and of course, Tex-Mex restaurants!
We were easily able to find a staircase leading down from the street to the Riverwalk because downtown San Antonio has clear signage to direct you towards the different landmarks. We walked alongside the river for awhile, watching ducks and tour boats cruise along. Every time a tour passed, we listened closely for little snippets of the river’s history, and I learned that the Riverwalk was originally built from the pre-existing river as part of the New Deal!
After our short walk, the heat of the day became unbearable, and we stopped for lunch at one of the tex-mex places.
As much as I loved Riverwalk, we didn’t stay long due to the heat. Thankfully, we made our way back after dark and were able to enjoy it far better, and for a longer time!
It would have been a sin to come to San Antonio without seeing THE Alamo!
I always knew the phrase, “Remember the Alamo”, but I was never sure what the Alamo was, or why I needed to remember it.
Turns out, ‘the Alamo’ refers to the people, the fort, and the independent nation of Texas after they seceded from both Mexico and the United States.
Texas wasn’t its own country for very long, but they were the only state to ever successfully declare independence, and that’s what’s so fascinating about it!
The Alamo fort in San Antonio is an old mission church that was briefly occupied by the Texan military during its independence. It’s also the site of the famous Battle of the Alamo, where the Texans lost their independence, and where the famous line, “Remember the Alamo!” was cried.
You can get into the fort for free by waiting in line, and when I visited, this line was relatively short because it was the middle of the day and VERY hot. The first building you enter is the most recognizable, it’s the church itself. The church is pretty empty, and there’s not much to look at, but it’s still cool to just stand there and think of the history that took place inside. There’s also a bit of graffiti up near the rafters where young soldiers had written their names.
After you leave the church, there’s a large garden area surrounded by high stone walls. There are quite a few artifacts and memorials scattered around, like cannons and bronze statues of Alamo heroes. When I visited, there was also an animated old man telling stories about the battles and explaining the history of the place. I listened for a little bit, but it was just so hot, and I moved on quickly.
Some other structures worth mentioning are the Wall of History and the Long Barrack, but I didn’t spend much time there.
Annnnnnnd there you have it! That was my experience visiting the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas!
Despite my incessant complaints about how hot it was, I LOVED San Antonio! It was definitely my favorite city we visited this road trip.
It was an easy city to navigate too, and full of history and good food. I also appreciated how different San Antonio was than any place I’d ever been, it’s definitely got a very “Texas” feel to it.
I am a bit disappointed in myself for letting the heat get to me, and I didn’t spend as much time as I would have liked at the Alamo as a result.
Oh well! I guess that means I’ll have to come back 🙂
Next up on our itinerary is the capital city, Austin!