Uncover the rich cultural heritage of San Antonio as you explore historic sites, discover unique museums and learn how to prepare then feast on an authentic Mexican meal!
Rating (5)
Program No. 1981RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
899
Print All
Map details are not available for this location.
View Map
Expand All
6 days
5 nights
12 meals
5 B 4 L 3 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
San Antonio, TX
D
Drury Plaza Hotel San Antonio Riverwalk

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration: 3:00 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: 4:00 p.m. 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. 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! 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.

Dinner: At the hotel, we'll have a catered dinner with water included.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night's rest for the day ahead.

DAY
2
Texas History, River Walk, Alamo, Menger Hotel
San Antonio, TX
B,L,D
Drury Plaza Hotel San Antonio Riverwalk

Activity note: Getting on/off public transportation; riding about 1/2 mile (2 stops). 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: In our meeting room at the hotel, 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. Our two-hour lecture will focus 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 nonalcoholic beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We’ll embark on a field trip by foot with 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 its gallant defense by 182 Texans against General 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. We will then visit the historic Menger hotel, across the plaza from the Alamo. The Menger, the oldest continuously operating hotel west of the Mississippi, was established in 1859 and set the standard of luxury for its day. Historic events that took place here include Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders cavalry brigade recruitment. 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. We’ll then hop on public transportation to explore La Villita Historic Arts Village. From here, we will return to the hotel on foot along the river for some time to relax.

Dinner: We'll walk to a nearby restaurant that offers a variety of main course choices; coffee, tea, water included, other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Tejano Traditions, Historic Neighborhood, Spanish Missions
San Antonio, TX
B,L
Drury Plaza Hotel San Antonio Riverwalk

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving 1/5 hours total, up to 15 miles. Walking up to 1 mile and standing for up to 2 hours at museums. Ability to board a motorcoach with minimal assistance several times a day.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: In our meeting room, we will learn about historical and cultural influences on San Antonio and its modern character from two experts. We will explore aspects of local food, music, family traditions, and festivals. These elements, born from a mix of cultures and traditions, help make it, as Mark Twain allegedly said, one of America’s four unique cities.

Lunch: We’ll venture to South Town for a meal at a popular local restaurant, where we will enjoy a choice of plated main courses. Coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We'll take a quick look at a neighborhood filled with historic homes by foot, before traveling by motorcoach to explore the San Antonio Mission National Historic Park, where an expert will lead as we explore the missions that make up the historic park. We’ll learn about the early settlement and efforts of the Spanish to convert local people to the Roman Catholic Church and an agricultural lifestyle. We will also see how the Spanish used “acequia” (irrigation systems) to develop self-sustaining agricultural communities along the San Antonio River.

Dinner: The cost of this meal has been excluded from your program cost for you to enjoy dinner at the location of your choice. There is a wide variety of restaurants within a short distance from the hotel.

Evening: A San Antonio native will regale us with stories about the city's interesting past and colorful characters. Afterwards, we will set out with our Group Leader to the San Fernando Cathedral to watch a light show by the French artist Xavier De Richemont. This show tells the history of San Antonio, projected onto the cathedral.

DAY
4
German Immigrant Talk, River Barge Ride, Free Time
San Antonio, TX
B,L
Drury Plaza Hotel San Antonio Riverwalk

Activity note: Getting on/off barge; riding about 1 hour.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We’ll be joined in our meeting room 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. We will learn about the history of the area and the blend of old and new from our barge driver as we float along the river.

Lunch: We'll enjoy lunch at a river walk restaurant near the hotel with a variety of main course choices, with coffee, tea, water included.

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.

DAY
5
Folk Medicine, Cooking Demo, McNay Art Museum, Cathedral
San Antonio, TX
B,L,D
Drury Plaza Hotel San Antonio Riverwalk

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach, driving 10 miles total, under 1 hour. Walking up to 1 mile, standing over 1 hour.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We'll start the day by taking 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 in the meeting room as we look inside the medical cabinets of these early settlers. 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, we’ll 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, we’ll savor a delicious meal of Tex-Mex cuisine. Coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We'll travel by motorcoach to the McNay Museum of Art, a Spanish Colonial Revival-style home that 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. We will break into smaller groups and explore the museum with docents. We’ll 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 cathedral was built from 1738 – 1750 by settlers from the Canary Islands who had been granted land by Spain’s King Philip V. The oldest church sanctuary in the United States, it is still an active parish of the Archdiocese of San Antonio. Santa Anna raised the red flag of “no quarter” from the church tower during the siege of the Alamo.

Dinner: We’ll enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant and reflect on our week's experiences.

Evening: At leisure. Linger over dinner or return to the hotel and prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

DAY
6
Program Concludes
San Antonio, TX
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 12:00 Noon.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on another rewarding program in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






Click here to provide website feedback
Website Feedback