Climbing up and down stairs. Boarding public bus and standing 1-2 hours in museums. Walking 2-3 miles at a moderate pace. Ability to board a river barge.
At the hotel, you’ll get to choose from a breakfast buffet that includes these tasty treats: scrambled eggs, bacon or sausage, biscuits and gravy, pancakes, yogurt, granola, fresh fruit, bagels, toast, muffins, jellies and jams, oatmeal, cold cereal, coffee, juices, tea and milk.
Since the first footsteps of the Spanish Conquistadors landed on the soil of Texas over 500 years ago, there have been fascinating stories of conflicts and compromises, love affairs and bitter hatreds among the many peoples of Texas. Award-winning Professor Emeritus, Dr. Caroline Castillo Crimm, will lead you on an enthralling, fast-paced, two-hour trip through Texas history from its earliest beginnings to the modern day. As she envelops you in the history of Texas, you will be drawn into the lives of those early citizens and find yourself torn by the same challenging choices that the people of the day had to make in order to survive. Those never-to-be-forgotten stories of the past will help you understand the Texas you will see over the next few days. Discover the city's wide variety of architectural styles in downtown San Antonio on a guided walking exploration. Visit the San Fernando Cathedral, founded in 1731, the oldest continually operating religious community in Texas. You’ll appreciate the efforts of the historical conservation society in preserving the city’s past while encouraging new development.
Take a break along the walk to enjoy a sumptuous luncheon buffet, featuring salads, soups and a custom, made-to order pasta bar, with terrific desserts!
Led by a local expert, we’ll continue the walking field trip to explore some of San Antonio’s most iconic sites. We’ll also learn about the development of the River Walk and its impact on the transformation of the area. The Spanish colonial mission we know as the Alamo was established in 1718, and moved to its current location in 1724. Its history is fascinating and complex. After the gallant defense by 182 Texans against Gen. Santa Anna’s army in 1836, “Remember the Alamo!” became a rallying cry for Texas independence. You'll hear the story of the Alamo, then get some time to go inside to visit the Shrine, view artifacts, and watch a short movie. The Menger, oldest continuously operating hotel west of the Mississippi, was established in 1859 and set the standard of luxury for its day. Among the historic events that took place here, Teddy Roosevelt recruited his “Rough Riders” cavalry brigade. Your expert guide will take you inside for a peek at the elaborately appointed lobbies and the Menger bar, to see memorabilia from Roosevelt's time.
We'll enjoy dinner at a restaurant near the hotel with a variety of entree choices. Water, tea and coffee are included.
Step outside to the River Walk— the heart of the city —for a barge ride on the San Antonio River, located 20 feet below street level and just steps from the famed Alamo. See how stone pathways connect shops, restaurants, hotels and museums with a blend of historic and modern architecture that resonate the depth of this centuries-old metropolis. The barge driver will tell you all about the history of the area and the buildings you pass as you float along the river. If you like, after the barge, you may walk across the plaza adjacent to the hotel to the San Fernando Cathedral to see it like never before during a light show put together by French artist Xavier De Richemont. This 24 minute show tells the story of San Antonio from its beginnings to present day. The Cathedral of San Fernando was built from 1738-50 by settlers from the Canary Islands who had been granted land by Spain's King Philip V. Santa Anna raised the red flag of “no quarter” from the church tower during the siege of the Alamo. One of the most interesting of the cathedral’s holdings is what purports to be the final resting place of Davy Crockett, William Travis, and Jim Bowie.