Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.
Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.
Afternoon: Program Registration: 4:00 p.m. After you have your room assignment, ask front desk staff or check signs in the lobby for the location of our Road Scholar meeting room to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing the up-to-date schedule that reflects any changes and other important information. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Periods in the daily schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Our Group Leader will then present an introduction of San Antonio, explaining how the River Walk was developed and offering a short explanation about how various cultures converged on the area to make it the unique place that it is today. Each day at 5:30 p.m., the hotel has a reception on the second floor to which all are invited for free with a rotating menu of hot food and cold beverages. Save room for dinner!
Dinner: At the hotel, we'll have a catered dinner with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.
Evening: At leisure. Continue gettting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night's rest for the day ahead.
Activity note: Getting on/off public transportation. Walking up to 2 miles and climbing stairs; downtown streets.
Breakfast: In the hotel’s second floor mezzanine, have what you like from the breakfast buffet with choices such as scrambled eggs, bacon or sausage, biscuits and gravy, pancakes, yogurt, granola, fresh fruit, bagels, toast, muffins, jellies and jams, oatmeal, cold cereal, milk, juices, coffee, tea, water.
Morning: We’ll be joined by a professor from St. Philip’s College who will explain why Texas is the most universally famous place in America in a two-hour lecture focusing on the sweeping events and fascinating characters that make Texas the amazing place it is: what John Steinbeck described as "a state of mind…a mystique closely approximating a religion…the obsession, the proper study, and the passionate possession of all Texans.”
Lunch: We’ll walk to a nearby restaurant for a buffet lunch with salads, soups, made-to-order pasta, dessert, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.
Afternoon: We’ll embark on a walking field trip with by a local expert 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. We'll hear the story of the Alamo, then visit the Shrine, view artifacts, and watch a short movie. The Menger, the 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. Our expert will take us inside for a peek at the elaborately appointed lobbies and the Menger bar, to see memorabilia from TR's time. We’ll understand more about Texas pride as we visit these historic sites. Late afternoon, we’ll board a river barge for a narrated ride and learn how the city was able to turn a flood control project into a beautiful attraction that has become the center point of the city. We’ll 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. We’ll return to the hotel at the end of our field trip for some time to relax or enjoy the hotel reception.
Dinner: We'll walk to a nearby restaurant that offers a variety of entrée choices; coffee, tea, water included, other beverages available for purchase.
Evening: A San Antonio native will regale us with stories about the city's interesting past and colorful characters.
Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Walking up to 1 mile, standing in museum up to 2 hours.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: We'll start the day at the San Antonio Mission National Historic Park where an expert will lead as we explore the missions that make up the historic park. Learn about the early settlement and efforts of the Spanish to convert local people to the Roman Catholic Church and an agricultural lifestyle. See how the Spanish used “acequia” (irrigation systems) to develop self sustaining agricultural communities along the San Antonio River. We will then have a culinary adventure with all you need to know to begin Tex-Mex cooking at a family owned restaurant. With the head chef and owner, learn how to prepare a delicious Mexican meal with picante while hearing the story of how her mother struggled to start the restaurant and how the family business has expanded to satisfy the hunger of thousands of happy customers.
Lunch: At the family restaurant, savor a delicious meal of Tex-Mex cuisine.
Afternoon: Art enthusiasts will delight in a field trip to one of San Antonio’s finest art institutions. Enjoy a visit to the McNay Museum of Art, a Spanish Colonial Revival-style home which opened as the first museum of modern art in Texas in 1954. Today, its visitors are captivated by magnificent works of art by modern masters including Paul Gauguin, Vincent Van Gogh, Edward Hopper, Georgia O'Keeffe, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Finish off this day of exploration with a stop that takes us back in time to the Spanish colonial era of San Antonio in the 18th century at San Fernando Cathedral. The oldest church sanctuary in the United States, it was completed in 1750 and is still an active parish of the Archdiocese of San Antonio. Construction began on the cathedral shortly after the Canary Island colonists, granted land and title by Spain’s King Philip V, settled here in 1731.
Dinner: At a local restaurant, enjoy a choice of entrées, plus coffee tea, water.
Evening: Optional activity- If you like, this evening 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, projected on the front of the Cathedral. 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.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: We’ll be joined by a local university professor on the intriguing story of German immigrant Mary Menger, who operated two large San Antonio enterprises in the mid 19th century and demonstrated that a woman can thrive during a time when men dominated local commerce. As a widow and single mother, Menger profited from both the Western Brewery and Menger Hotel, becoming San Antonio’s largest employer. After a short break, we'll catch a narrated 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.
Lunch: We'll enjoy lunch at a river walk restaurant near the hotel with a variety of entrée choices, which inclueds tea, coffee and water.
Afternoon: The rest of the afternoon is an opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.
Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.
Evening: At leisure.
Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles, standing for up to 2 hours. Ability to board public transportation with minimal assistance.
Breakfast: Full breakfast buffet at the hotel.
Morning: From campfires to cracker barrels to front porches, folks have been gathering around campfires for centuries and tales told well still work their magic. Texas history and folklore come alive through riveting tales – some true, some tall – told by our award-winning storyteller, so gather round, sit back, and enjoy. Chuckle at humorous stories and Texas myths told by our storyteller.
Lunch: We’ll venture to “South Town” for a meal at a popular local restaurant.
Afternoon: We’ll head to the historic King William neighborhood to hear the interesting stories of immigrants and others who were instrumental in the economic development of the city. We’ll see mansions and cottages of varied architectural styles built by successful families after the Civil War. Walk along the San Antonio River and imagine when this part of the city served as farm land to support the Alamo complex in mission days. We’ll visit downtown’s newest museum, the Briscoe Museum of Western Art. Learn more about the development of Texas and the Old West as we enjoy seeing art and artifacts from the region.
Dinner: We’ll have a festive farewell dinner at a River Walk restaurant featuring a choice of entrée while enjoying live mariachi music.
Evening: At leisure. Linger over dinner or return to the hotel and prepare for check-out and departure in the morning following our closing session.
Activity note: Hotel check-out by 12:00 Noon.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: Take a peek at the system of folk medicine that came to be used by the early Texans, who were often forced to find substitutes for remedies that had been available in their previous environs. They began to share “cures” with people from other cultures such as Native Americans, Mexicans, Germans, Poles, Swedes, and many others. A local educator will join us as we look inside the medical cabinets of these early settlers with a long-time local educator. This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!
Wonderful trip. If your interested in San Antonio, try Road Scholar. Great experience.. and
Our group was too big. RS sacrificed quality for quantity.
This was our first Road Scholar trip and we thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The hotel accommodations were excellent. We saw parts of the city we wouldn’t have been aware of had we gone on our own. We met a lot of really nice people on the tour. We had a positive experience and will likely do more tours with Road Scholar.
The San Antonio signature trip rocks! The quality of the speakers = remarkable, Their knowledge, love of Texas, delightful wit and humor made each lecture super fun. Same to be said for the awesome leader Betsy Kiker- professional, low key, with a unique and charming style that was warm and humorous, Betsy is a superb advocate for San Antonio and Road Scholar. Her infectious love for her "hometown" was the secret ingredient that made the group a cohesive, happy bunch! Millie was also quite wonderful. This tripTotally Exceeded my expectations.
This trip is great - great city, great hotel location, great leaders/instructors, great history of Texas.
This program helps you understand a very important aspect of our nations growth and development, as well as the people who took part in that event.
This was a interesting program , had knowledgable staff ..... I traveled alone and found several others to sit, visit and explore with so was pleased about that.
This was an exciting program. I loved visiting a part of Texas I was unfamiliar with. San Antonio is a wonderful, diverse, open city, and very beautiful. The River Walk is exceptionally lovely. People I met were open and friendly. I recommend the trip wholeheartedly.
The program was right for me. I would highly recommend it to others.
I strongly recommend the Road Scholar Program for adults who love to travel, learn more, and meet new people, but have no travel partner. FH
I have wanted to take a trip to San Antonio for years, finally did it! I loved the entire trip. We had some wonderful presentations, my favorites were Allen Hamilton, his presentation on the history of Texas was witty and informative. I would take his class on history if I lived there. The other presenter I enjoyed immensely was Donna Ingham, Tale teller and author. Our group leader Della Savage was fun and cordial and helpful. I loved our hotel, the openness of it, fast elevators, wonderful afternoon kickback receptions at 5:30. Very generous giving everyone three free drinks of their choice and lots of happy hour food even more so with salad, soups, nacho, chips, grilled chicken or beef, salsa, hot dogs, popcorn, etc... The breakfasts were plentiful, scrambled eggs, sausage patties, pancakes, oatmeal, cereals, etc...The itinerary was interesting and we were kept busy. Many trips after dinner you have nothing to do but being on the River Walk was always interesting walking around, very colorful. Our barge ride was peaceful in the morning, the pool on the 23rd floor was very nice, great Jacuzzi. One of the highlights was one evening we enjoyed a fantastic 24 minute video on the façade of the San Fernando Cathedral, with music telling the story of San Antonio. It was mesmerizing! The Briscoe Western Art Museum was beautiful and very interesting. Our Tex Mex Cooking demonstration was fun and the variety of Margarita's were so colorful. The salsa was the best I've ever tasted. Wasn't crazy about the enchilada or puffed taco. I filled up on salsa and chips and the guacamole. Learning about the Alamo was very interesting, they have a short movie, I also went to the IMAX show, a 48 minute show on "The Alamo" The Price of Freedom. Our visit to the Menger Hotel and history was very interesting. One tip is to find someone to share a cab with, cheaper in the long run and you won't have to wait long, the shuttle is slow and not reliable.
This was definitely one of the best Road Scholar trips I have been on! San Antonio is a beautiful, fun, diverse, and cultured city. The city was only enhanced by the educational components that Road Scholar provides. The hotel, with its "free" breakfast and happy hour, and close proximity to everything was also great! Go in the spring, when everything is in bloom!
This was a wonderful program - San Antonio is a beautiful and historic city. The Riverwalk is a great walking area in the city. We had a wonderful time with a cooking demonstration, met new friends, and enjoyed every part of this program - cruise on the river, interesting and humorous speakers, and a walk through the historic King William area, to name a few of the activities.
I learned a lot I didn't know about San Antonio history AND Texas history.
This program far exceeded my expectations for a learning tour of San Antonio, a city we have visited in the past. All the presenters were excellent, both in their knowledge of their subjects and enthusiasm in presenting it to us. The location of our hotel was walking distance of most of this exciting city's attractions. This was well worth our time and money, and I recommend it to you, even if you have been to the city previously.
The Signature City San Antonio Program introduced me to the beauty of the San Fernando Cathedral, provided me with insight into the events leading up to the Alamo and introduced me to the delights of Riverwalk! I thoroughly enjoyed the trip.
This was a wonderful program, well organized, with an excellent tour guide. Della is very professional and was well prepared. Presenters are top notch. If you like history and culture and wish to learn about San Antonio and all it has to offer this trip is for you! You will not be disappointed. I highly recommend it.
What a wonderful trip! This is a not-to-miss experience!
This is a super program in the center of a beautiful city! Accommodations are delightful and within easy walking distance of interesting sights/sites. Presenters are entertaining and informative.
Great way to visit San Antonio. An intro to Texas history and that of San Antonio. Visit the major "must-see" sites. Excellent program leader (Ginger Burkholder) and presenters. Good hotel location (on the River Walk) for free time activities.
This was a wonderful program, and I highly recommend it! The group leader, Ginger, was delightful. Her enthusiasm and warmth made everything interesting. Before going to San Antonio, I did not realize how many interesting things there were to see and do there -- e.g. the Alamo, the missions, the museums, and the light show at the Cathedral (called "the Saga"--don't miss it!) The hotel is right on the Riverwalk and within walking distance of many of the sights. The restaurants on the Riverwalk have great food and a wonderful ambience. The cooking class featured authentic Mexican cuisine. I tried a prickly pear margarita for the first time and fell in love with it!!
Great tour all aspects were outstaning
Thank you for the opportunity to submit an evaluation of the great experience in San Antonio.
This was a great trip. We really enjoyed our time in San Antonio.
This was a fantastic experience from start to finish. The group leader and instructors were knowledgable and passionate about their city; the program content was varied and comprehensive with lots of history and culture; the hotel is in the heart of downtown and and convenient to everything, especially the gorgeous River Walk; and the program participants were interesting, curious and great fun to be with. We also enjoyed the added bonus of perfect spring weather for the entire 5 days! I highly recommend this program.
The San Antonio Signature City experience was undoubtedly one of Road Scholar's best. It is well planned to understand the background and present day objectives of the city. The atmosphere of the River Walk permeates the experience.
I HIGHLY recommend this trip to anyone who is interested in learning about the wonderful history of Texas and San Antonio. The trip was well organized, informative and a lot of fun! We experienced the culture and history of San Antonio, and it was truly memorable.
Wonderful accommodations in a charming city! There's a reason San Antonio is a top U.S. destination.
Good program on an interesting city. I thought the walking was a little bit more than described. Leadership and instructors were good. Some of the food could have been better, but don't let this stop you from going.
San Antonio is a tourist friendly city and has many attractions but the weather (rain) interfered with this program all week. I also think that the group of 38 was too large, but overall it was still worth doing as it seems all Road Scholar programs are. I always learn something!
This program is very informative, particularly to individuals who are not that well informed about the history and culture of Texas. Thee length of the program is good and the hotel is located well in the center so that so activity on our own was quite possible. Except for part of one day we were not hampered by the weather and the managers did well to account for the rain. The instructors were extremely knowledgeable of the subject and did well to put their knowledge across. The use of personal amplification devices was very helpful during field trips to make things understandable. The material provided prior to the trip was very helpful in being properly prepared upon arrival. We found the activity level moderate, and in spite of my 92 years could keep up with the activities with difficulty. This was my 17th Elderhostel/Toad Scholar Program and our third City Program, and we found them all very helpful.
If you haven't been to Signature City San Antonio, you're missing a vibrant, unique city on the San Antonio River. The Alamo is a must see for Texas history's sake and the extensive Riverwalk is uniquely enjoyed both by day and evening after dark. Our Road Scholar instructors were superb, history was never this much fun and the deadpan teller of tall tales had some whoppers. You might wish to try dill pickle juice to relieve nighttime cramps so says the instructor on folk medicine. The free thrice-weekly "Saga" story projected onto the face of the San Fernando Church nearby the Drury Hotel is a must see. This was our third Signature City with RS and it won't be our last.
The program provides an enjoyable introduction to the history and culture of San Antonio.