If you have never been to Texas and want to sample the flavor of the big and tasty state, San Antonio is the city to see. We had a wonderful family trip to the fun city and SeaWorld over a long holiday weekend.
We had fun chanting “Remember the Alamo” and we will always remember our interesting tour of downtown San Antonio. The Battle of the Alamo is a truly amazing story of outstanding bravery for freedom. Visiting the historic site is “a must” do but arrive early to avoid the long lines or consider visiting at night. The areas surrounding the Alamo, The River Walk and Market Square, are absolutely beautiful in the evening when cruising in a horse-drawn carriage.
Cinderella Carriage ride around San Antonio
San Antonio is the perfect long weekend destination because you can blend learning about Texas’s rich history with sampling excellent local cuisine (bbq & tex-mex), wonderful shopping and exciting family entertainment at SeaWorld.
Lodging and Parking:
- The Sheraton Four points San Antonio and the Crowne Plaza: are both nice, not outrageous & very central to the River Walk and the Alamo
- Marriott Residence Inn: we stayed there but we would not recommend it because the place needs serious remodeling and new furniture
- Use the concierge service of any of your credit cards such as American Express or VISA to book family friendly entertainment
- VBRO or Dwellable.com: are great options for rentals and B&Bs
- Parking is a bit dicey around the Alamo but the locals recommend parking in the Rivermall for $8. The best bet is booking a hotel walking distance from the attractions
3 No-Fuss Family Friendly restaurants
- Boudro’s: a wonderful Texas bistro on the River Walk with outdoor seating
- La Margarita restaurant and Oyster Bar: Tex Mex cuisine near Market street
- Mi Tierra Cafe & Bakery: The landmark has graced the Market Square for the better part of 60 years with its amazing Tex Mex menu and cheery atmosphere
Unique Attractions: The Chaps and the Spurs
- San Antonio Spurs Basketball: One of the NBA’s finest teams featuring Tony Parker and Tim Duncan
- San Antonio Rodeo: every February the cowboys and the bulls hit the town
- Six Flags Fiesta Texas: always a good time for families but save your pennies
SeaWorld: The biggest park of the franchise, this is a “must do” attraction
- Try to visit off-season or on a Sunday and arrive at 9:45am before the park opens to avoid the long lines
- We recommend that you have your big kids ride the major roller coasters first thing on empty tummies
- Buy tickets in advance for online savings. The Boy Scouts also offer great discounts in their annual coupon book drive. The $65 ticket is slightly cheaper than Disney but what makes it worthwhile is the high quality shows and the park’s emphasis of marine animal education and habitat protection
- Also, book any tours in advance: we highly recommend the Beluga whale tour for $40 per person. The tour allows you to meet the dolphins and beluga whales that star in the amazing Azul Show. It also guarantees great seats to the show and a kiss by a beluga afterwards. Our daughter has sung Raffi’s “Baby Beluga” non-stop so we just had to meet one.
The Beluga Whales Sing to Us
- We also recommend the $15 per person behind the scences tour of the One Ocean show. The kids really enjoyed feeding the stingrays and petting a bamboo reef shark. The tour also included visiting the bottle neck dolphin training pools and rare rescue animals like the monk Seal now on the endangered species list
- You can book private tours at 210-523-3608 and we highly recommend Jenna who gave us our beluga tour
Our daughter with our SeaWorld Guide
- Download the free SeaWorld Texas App in advance so you can plan which shows to hit. The distances between the different animal pavilions are long so plan your time carefully and definitely bring strollers for children under 7 or even for tired moms
- The food is quite decent compared to most amusement parks. We loved the ribs and bbq at Shamu’s smokehouse. The lunch only cost $43 because we split the huge sampler plate, a chicken salad, and two kids meals along with free waters
- Other shows the children loved: the Cannery Caper with the Sea Lions, Amazing Animals and the Bottleneck Dolphin feeding. Also, don’t miss the baby penguin exhibit
- The Rio Loco ranked as our favorite ride but you do get wet. The ride allows bystanders to take part in the soaking of unsuspecting riders for the low price of a quarter–usually a welcome addition in the Texas summer but a cruel trick during the off-season.
So put on your cowboy boots and ride on down to San Antonio!