Sep 30, 2014

Travel Tuesday // San Antonio in the summer

Travel Tuesday is here again!
I am behind on sharing some of my travels this summer. In the coarse of three weeks from mid-June to early July, I went to San Francisco (see posts), San Antonio (Texas), and Cannon Beach (Oregon). It was a blessed balance of rest and adventure, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to take that time off work. 

I was in San Antonio for ten days and got to see lots of new places that I did not see my first trip, while also hanging out with sweet friends I've known for many years, and spending lots of quality time with my handsome Texan. Here are a few of my favorite areas in San Antonio during this trip:

 Pearl 
an up-and-coming neighborhood near the banks of the San Antonio River, you'll find delicious restaurants (we loved The Boiler House), Farmer's Market (CrapeLandia's food stand has delish gluten-free crepes!), events, and shopping. The area is perfect for a long walk, exploring the sites and smells of this hip corner. 
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Japanese Tea Gardens
What started as a small lilly pond in the early 1900s eventually became a lush garden with a large open-air pagoda, multiple koi ponds, a waterfall, and quiet shaded areas to explore. Located near Brackenridge Park and the San Antonio Zoo, it would be easy to want to spend the whole day in this peaceful area. When G and I went, the gardens were under a huge renovation and many of the koi ponds were drained. Yet, I still thought it was so gorgeous and restful because of the exotic vegetation and architecture. 
[my favorite view of the pagoda and bridge] 

The River Walk
I adore this area! The River Walk is one story below the streets of downtown SA and is an exciting network of walkways along the banks of the San Antonio River. It is packed with countless restaurants, stores, bars, and souvenir shops, not to mention tons of tourists and sidewalk entertainers. It is easy to get lost in the crowd on weekends, but also so fun to people watch! My favorite restaurants on the River Walk so far are Iron Cactus Mexican Grill & Margarita Bar, The Original Mexican Restaurant (where G paid a quartet Mariachi band to play us a song!), and Saltgrass Steak House. Don't forget to hop onto the River Cruise and enjoy the view floating along the river.

San Antonio Missions
Along with the River Walk, I definitely wanted to see the missions this second time around in San Antonio. Back in January, I visited three of the five missions, and I got to see the other two this time around. They each had their own quirks and personalities, not to mention colorful history. Four of the five (the Alamo is excluded due to its location in downtown SA) are protected within the San Antonio Mission National Historic Park and are accessible by car or the bike rentals available at each mission. They were established by in the 1700s by Catholics to indoctrinate the local indians in exchange of protection within fortified walls. Eventually disease within the close-living occupants reduced the native population in addition to stronger native enemies including the Apache and Comanche tribes (2). 

Mission San José
  1. Mission Concepcion
 [these two photos above were taken on my first trip in January]

  1. Mission San Francisco de la Espada
    [I did not get a good shot of the church and instead we relaxed near the ruins]

    1. Mission San Juan Capistrano 

There's lots to see in San Antonio and I am excited to explore some more of this historic southern city in a few weeks!

Check here for other traveler's stories on A Compass Rose's Travel Tuesday link-up

7 comments:

  1. I never would have thought of San Antonio as a place with so much to do, but looks like it's a lot of fun. Will have to keep these things in mind if I ever make it out there.

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    1. Yes, Natalye! There are tons of things to do! I posted a few other posts back in the spring when I first visited. It's a historical town full of character!

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  2. I love San Antonio so much! We have dear friends of my parents there and any time we are back in Texas, we always go see them!! I rarely get down to the center, like I did as a kid. I hope to change that on our next visit!! I have yet to visit the Japanese Garden!!

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    1. I am beginning to love it too! :) Yes, the Japanese Tea Garden is amazing!

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  3. The pictures look awesome! What a great opportunity to travel to those beautiful places :)

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  4. The missions look beautiful! Thanks for sharing :)

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  5. I really enjoyed San Antonio for the few hours I was there--mostly, the River Walk! Thanks for sharing new places to visit :)

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Elle Alice