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San Antonio: Heart of the City, Heart of the Hill Country

Program Number: 14419RJ
Start and End Dates:
3/10/2013 - 3/15/2013; 10/11/2015 - 10/16/2015; 10/25/2015 - 10/30/2015; 11/8/2015 - 11/13/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Price starting at: $815.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: History & Culture Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 13; 5 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

Bold colors, brave battles, big fandangos and bigger appetites — San Antonio stands a breed apart from other American cities. As gateway to the borderlands and crossroads of culture, it showcases the best of North and South, old and new. Experience San Antonio as the embodiment of the strike-it-rich spirit of Texas, a city embracing contemporary culture while paying homage to its storied past.


• Stroll along the landscaped walkways of the River Walk and surrounding communities with an expert leader for an absorbing overview of historic home design and that of the city’s other architectural treasures.
• In the majestic Hill Country, just a short ride from the heart of the city, explore Fredericksburg to learn of its rich German heritage.
• Recall the era of LBJ as you go behind the scenes at his ranch and Texas White House.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to 1.5 miles, some uneven terrain, flights of stairs without railing, getting on and off trolley car, motor coach unassisted.

Coordinated by Barshop Jewish Community Center of San Antonio.

San Antonio

Explored in 1691 and 1709 by Spanish expeditions that named the San Antonio River and San Pedro Creek, the city of San Antonio today incorporates its colorful past into its present, offering the bustling River Walk, botanical gardens of native Texas flora, and the Missions National Historic Park, which includes the famous Alamo.

Historic hotel in the heart of downtown, just 18 steps from the Alamo grounds. Outdoor pool, fitness room located in sister property.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Hector Cardenas

After a 34-year career as a paramedic and firefighter for the San Antonio Fire Department, Hector Cardenas retired and began a second career sharing his love of his native city as a group leader. The Vietnam War veteran has also long been a community activist, focusing on issues from urban housing to public parks. Hector continues to help San Antonio by serving on the boards of several community groups and commissions.
Meals and Lodgings
   The Crockett Hotel
  San Antonio, TX 5 nights
 The Crockett Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Description: The hotel is centrally located in the heart of downtown, just 18 steps from the Alamo. The hotel stands where Davy Crockett once did and was carefully renovated to preserve its original grandeur in 1982, earning it a place on the National Register of Historic Structures.
  Contact info: 320 Bonham
San Antonio, TX 78205 USA
phone: 210-225-6500
  Room amenities: In room movies, wireless Internet access, coffee makers, hair dryers, irons. Rooms have been redecorated in soothing shades of sage, plantation shutters line the windows, custom made bedspreads.
  Facility amenities: Complimentary Internet access, same day dry cleaning, outdoor pool, access to the fitness room at the adjoining sister property. "Charlie's Bar".
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Call for best price. Mention Barshop JCC Road Scholar at time of call.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Call for best price. Mention Barshop JCC Road Scholar at time of call.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Check into hotel after 3 PM. You will be staying at The Crockett Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after morning class at approximately 10am. Check out by 12 noon. You will be staying at The Crockett Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. Participants must sign a liability waiver to participate in this program.
  Parking availability:
Parking is available at the hotel for a discounted rate of $18 per day + tax; in/out privilages & security. Mention JCC Road Scholar at arrival to receive this discounted rate. Other parking is in the area for $8-$18 per day, without in/out privilages.
To Start of Program
  Location:  San Antonio, TX
  Nearest city or town:  San Antonio
  Nearest highway: IH 10 or IH 37
  Nearest airport:  San Antonio Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: San Antonio, TX
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details


From Airport






Per Person/One Way:


Approximately $23 from airport to hotel, 1-4 people per cab.
Prices are subject to change.


Late hour fee of $1.00 from 9pm - 5am.


SAT; San Antonio International


From Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
"Go" Airport Shuttle
phone: 210-281-9900
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


$32 round trip between airport and downtown hotels or $18 one way.
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


Service between airport and downtown hotels 7AM - 1:30AM, service to airport begins at 4AM. 


GO Airport Shuttle features 14 passenger Sprinters. As ambassadors of San Antonio we recognize the importance of making a positive first impression when our guests arrive at the airport. Whether it’s a transfer for one guest or 10,000 our staff is trained to treat each guest as if they were our last. We provide safe, reliable affordable, and environmentally friendly shuttle transportation to meet all our guests needs.

Driving Directions
  Airport Head northeast on Airport Blvd Slight right to stay on Airport Blvd Take the US-281 S ramp Continue straight, Take the ramp on the left onto US-281 S Continue on I-37 S Take exit 141B toward Houston St/The Alamo Merge onto Elm St Turn right at E Houston St Turn left at Bonham St
  Downtown Amtrak Station Head north on Hoefgen Ave Take the 3rd left onto E Commerce St Take the 3rd right onto Bowie St Turn left at E Crockett St Take the 1st right onto Bonham Destination will be on the right
  Houston Follow I 10 west to downtown San Antonio Exit #574, Johnson City, to I-37 Exit #141, Commerce Street Right on Bowie Left on Crockett Right on Bonham St
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Check-in / Registration / Orientation
(Sunday, March 10)
 Afternoon: Check-in at the hotel begins at 3 p.m.; relax until Orientation.
 Dinner: Enjoy a dinner of salad and lasagna at the hotel.
 Evening: Before dinner, begin your week with an Orientation and Introduction at the Crockett Hotel. You will pick up your packet, which contains the week’s itinerary, list of Road Scholar participants, your name tag, maps of San Antonio and Fredericksburg, and brochures. During a “Getting to Know You” session, discuss the roles of the many people who will make your week educational and fascinating.
Accommodations: The Crockett Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Visit the Alamo and take a private barge cruise through the River Walk.
(Monday, March 11)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Take an 18-step walk to the Alamo for an educational adventure on hallowed grounds. Tread softly in the shrine where David Crockett and other heroes died to create the Republic of Texas. Hear the Alamo story told under the six flags of Texas. Experience the Alamo video and Long Barracks Museum on this site that represents nearly 300 years of human activity. Afterward, explore the historic Menger Hotel and hear of the many famous people who have stayed here. Discover the close connection of this hotel and Teddy Roosevelt.
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch at the Buckhorn Saloon, established in 1891, a true Texas treat in the middle of downtown. Belly up to the bar in this old-fashioned saloon-turned-café. This is where it all started ... where Teddy Roosevelt recruited the Rough Riders, and where Pancho Villa is rumored to have planned the Mexican Revolution. Many of the original furnishings still grace today's Buckhorn Saloon, including the back bar that was handcrafted of marble and cherrywood.
 Afternoon: Hear the presentation “Destination Texas” from Dr. Gilberto Hinojosa of the University of the Incarnate Word, rated among the Southwest’s top liberal arts schools. Learn about Texas history and engage in a Q&A with Dr. Hinojosa. Later, board a private barge for an exploration of the River Walk and sit in comfort as you listen to entertaining narratives of the rich history of the San Antonio River and the historic River Walk. The barge conveniently unloads steps from where you will eat dinner.
 Dinner: Enjoy a dinner menu that has something for everyone.
Accommodations: The Crockett Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Explore the missions and the San Antonio Museum of Art.
(Tuesday, March 12)
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Continue to delve into the Spanish influence on Texas culture during an exploration of two of San Antonio's five missions, including Mission San Jose, or “Queen of the Missions” with its imposing stone walls, bastions, granary and magnificent church completed by 1782. Built by Indian labor at the direction of Spanish artisans, view the meld of the New and Old World cultures. A fascinating video, "Gente de Razon" (People of Reason), gives an overview of mission life.
 Lunch: Savor a delicious lunch at the renowned Mi Tierra Café in "El Mercado" (Mexican Market) and be serenaded by Mariachi music while you dine.
 Afternoon: After lunch, enjoy seasonal entertainment in the market or explore San Fernando Cathedral. Built by Spanish citizens from the Canary Islands, it is the oldest active parish church in the United States. San Fernando Cathedral has always been at the center of San Antonio life since its founding in 1731. More than 5,000 people participate at weekend Masses, and more than 900 baptisms and 100 weddings are held here annually. Later, explore the San Antonio Museum of Art, which is dedicated solely to promoting a deeper understanding of human cultures, values and traditions by displaying and interpreting art works from all cultures and periods.
 Dinner: Enjoy sumptuous Mediterranean cuisine at the locally owned Boardwalk Bistro.
Accommodations: The Crockett Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Take a chartered bus to the LBJ Ranch and hear live Texas music during a home-cooked, Southwest buffet dinner.
(Wednesday, March 13)
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Board a private charter for a drive into the famous Texas Hill Country. At the LBJ Ranch in Stonewall, Texas, explore President Lyndon Johnson's birthplace, first school, ranch house and final resting place. Few presidential sites give a better reflection of a president than this ranch, a virtual portrait of a larger-than-life historical figure. The video, "LBJ's Texas," is the prelude to our exploration. Be sure to ask about LBJ’s automobile collection, especially the beloved white 1964 Lincoln Continental convertible he used to survey his ranch.
 Lunch: After coaching to Fredericksburg, enjoy lunch on your own on Main Street.
 Afternoon: Enjoy free time to explore the quaint shops and wineries along the Main Street of Fredericksburg. Or experience one of the finest war museums in the country, the National Museum of the Pacific War, the only institution in the continental United States dedicated exclusively to telling the story of the Pacific Theater battles of World War II.
 Dinner: Enjoy dinner and music in the unique ambience of the Waring General Store, established in 1903. By the way, you’re in luck — it’s “Steaknite.”
Accommodations: The Crockett Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Explore the Institute of Texas Cultures and a 1859 flour mill.
(Thursday, March 14)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Board a trolley for an expert-led exploration of the Institute of Texas Cultures, which celebrates the state's rich ethnic and cultural history. Learn the stories of immigrants from around the globe — more than 23 major ethnic groups — who settled in Texas and contributed to what is today the 15th-largest economy in the world.
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch at the historic Guenther House Restaurant on the site of the original 1859 flour mill on the banks of the San Antonio River.
 Afternoon: Travel by trolley to the King William Historic District. By the latter half of the 19th century, the King William Historic District had grown into a fashionable neighborhood popular with another large cultural demographic, the German immigrants. Explore the Victorian home of Edward Steves, a notable German merchant.
 Dinner: Enjoy a Farewell Dinner.
Accommodations: The Crockett Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Hear from a "cowboy" on your final day of the program.
(Friday, March 15)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: To cap your week, a “cowboy” from the Institute of Texan Cultures brings a collection of artifacts to the hotel. Saddle up for your opportunity to learn what the “Texas Cowboy” is all about … yee-haw! You will leave San Antonio with a newfound knowledge, appreciation and love for the city — and maybe even a Texas accent.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  San Antonio, TX San Antonio Chamber of Commerce
For additional information, visit
  San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau
See this site for more information of what to do in Downtown. The location of the hotel leaves you free to explore the RiverCenter Mall, The Wax Museum and to walk to various other destinations. For additional information, visit
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

Place Names of San Antonio plus Bexar and Surrounding Counties

Author: David Green

Description: This second, much-enlarged edition of Dr. David Green's pioneering book on place names now identifies, often for the first time, more than 700 familiar and less familiar names in eight counties in South Texas. There are dozens of new illustrations of namesakes. Chapters on San Antonio s names reveal origins in numerous categories streets, parks, schools, libraries and learning centers, landmarks, military bases, suburbs. Another chronicles the blizzard of names on the streets and buildings of the South Texas Medical Center. Origins of many Spanish names are included, as are those of a few names less officially designated, such as Pace Picante Sauce and the Quarry Market. Vanished families reappear, forgotten achievements gain new recognition, and those who just happened to be around when a name was needed get their credit, too. This is a book with answers that will be referred to again and again.

San Antonio: Portrait of the Fiesta City

Author: Susanna Nawrocki

Description: The spirit of this unique city in Texas is captured in this entertaining text and Langford's vivid colour photographs. The book is a thorough introduction to San Antonio, detailing the city's history, architecture, military tradition, and cultural events. The authors outline the history of what is perhaps San Antonio's best-known landmark, the Alamo. They also highlight more recently developed points of interest in San Antonio, focusing on the River Walk, the development that turned the San Antonio River into a graceful, romantic, and historic centrepiece for the city. They recommend several of the city's many Botanical Gardens, the San Antonio Museum of Art, Brackenridge Park, and HemisFair Plaza. And they present San Antonio's varied menu of cultural opportunities, from a day spent at the rodeo or Sea World to an evening at the Grand Opry House or the San Antonio Symphony. Finally, the authors summarise the city's most popular fiestas and festivals. Throughout, Mark Langford's colour photographs celebrate the diversity and spirit of San Antonio.

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