21173
Texas

Great American Get-Together in San Antonio

Join us for our gala event in San Antonio! From Hill Country to the River Walk, you’ll go big in this bold and exciting city.
Rating (5)
Program No. 21173RJ
Length
8 days
Starts at
1,999
Special Offer
Click on Dates & Prices below to see special offer details.
Flights start at
FREE
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8 days
7 nights
17 meals
7 B 5 L 5 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. After you have your room assignment, come to the Road Scholar table in the lobby to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, other important information, and to learn when and where the Orientation session will take place. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. Orientation- at 4:30 pm., 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. Breakfast each day is in the hotel (later morning on weekends), with lunch and dinner at restaurants in the downtown and River Walk areas. Each afternoon/evening, beginning 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! Travel for field trips will be by public bus or trolley and private motorcoach. Periods in the schedule labeled “Free Time” and “At Leisure” offer opportunities to make the program more meaningful and memorable while going out to explore on your own, engaging in available activities independently, making new friends among fellow Road Scholars, or simply relaxing. The Group Leader will always 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.

Dinner: In the hotel ballroom on the fourth floor, we will have a catered buffet meal with beverage choices of coffee, tea, water included. During dinner, we will enjoy listening to “conjunto” music, a unique blend of sounds from Northern Mexico and the U.S.

Evening: The “conjunto” performers will tell us about and play more of their music. 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, Alamo, Menger Hotel & River Barge Ride
San Antonio, TX
B,L,D
Drury Plaza Hotel San Antonio Riverwalk

Activity note: Climbing up/down stairs to access River Walk area of city and restaurants. Getting on/off a trolley. Walking up to 2 miles, standing 1-2 hours.

Breakfast: In the hotel’s second floor mezzanine, we’ll choose from a breakfast buffet including 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.

Morning: An expert from St. Philip's College will explain why Texas is the most universally famous place in America in a two-hour lecture of Texas history in the hotel’s ballroom, 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: At a historic hotel, located near Alamo Plaza, we will enjoy a delightful buffet lunch, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Led by a local expert, we’ll embark on a 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. 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 to see memorabilia from Roosevelt's time. We’ll understand more about Texas pride as we visit these historic sites. In late afternoon, we’ll board a narrated barge 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.

Dinner: At a local restaurant featuring plated meals with your choice of entree. Beverages include coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase. Continue to get acquainted with new friends in your small group over dinner.

Evening: We’ll be joined by a local expert — a lifetime resident of the city — who will explain why we’ve seeing sugar skulls and altars with flowers and personal items around town. It’s because we’re here during the celebration of Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead. We’ll learn about the ways people honor their ancestors and deceased family members.

DAY
3
LBJ's Legacy, Marketplace, McNay Art Museum, Cathedral
San Antonio, TX
B,L,D
Drury Plaza Hotel San Antonio Riverwalk

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles, standing 1-2 hours. Boarding a motorcoach with minimal assistance.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: In the hotel ballroom, we'll learn about the broad panorama of legislation passed in the 1960s during the Johnson administration, as described by a university professor whose area of expertise is late 20th century U.S. history. President Johnson's vision for a more just and honorable country contributed to the passage of the most important civil rights legislation in the 20th century. Find out why Texans recently celebrated LBJ's legacy upon the 50th anniversary of the passage of the watershed legislation passed during the mid 1960s.

Lunch: At a favorite local restaurant in El Mercado, the largest Mexican marketplace in the country, we will enjoy a traditional Tex-Mex meal with mariachi entertainment. Beverages include coffee, tea, water.

Afternoon: We will enjoy a docent-led field trip 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. We will also see the San Antonio Public Library, an architecturally striking vibrant red building designed by renowned architect Ricardo Legoretta. We’ll take in the building’s crowning artistic jewel, the colorful Fiesta Tower by renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly. The tower, comprised of 900-plus unique hand-blown glass ornaments, rises nearly 27 feet from the library’s atrium. Next, we go on an expert-led visit to the heart and soul of the city, the San Fernando Cathedral. Built in 1738, the cathedral is still in operation and played an important role in the religious and secular history of the city.

Dinner: We will enjoy a plated dinner at a favorite local restaurant. Coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure

DAY
4
LBJ Ranch, Fredericksburg, Barbecue Dinner & Dance
San Antonio, TX
B,D
Drury Plaza Hotel San Antonio Riverwalk

Activity note: Walk 1-2 miles, standing in museum for 1-2 hours. Driving distance approximately 75 miles, about 90 minutes.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will board a motorcoach from the hotel for a full day exploring Texas hill country. Our first stop will be the LBJ National Historic Park that contains a visitor center, reconstructed boyhood home, cemetery, and the Johnson residence, known as the Texas White House, National Park Rangers will be on hand and tell us more about Lyndon, Lady Bird, and their Texas home. After our field trip, we’ll ride to Fredericksburg.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like at one of the many restaurants along Main Street in Fredericksburg. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Afternoon: Take this opportunity for self-directed exploration in Fredericksburg to see and do what interests you most. This small city founded by German settlers in 1846 is on the National Register of Historic Places. Our Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions, give directions, and provide brochures about local points of interest and restaurants. We recommend the National Museum of the Pacific War, located in the historic hotel run by the family of Admiral Chester Nimitz. Learn about the early history of the area at the Pioneer Museum Complex or the Vereins-Kirche (Society Church), the oldest public building in town. Next, we’ll meet a rancher whose ranch has been in his family for decades. He’ll tell us about the cattle industry in Texas and share information about interesting geological features on his land.

Dinner: Experience authentic Texas barbecue as you enjoy a private party with other Road Scholars and listen to an award-winning area band.

Evening: We'll kick our heels up to tunes provided by a local band. Everyone will have the opportunity to learn a line dance, if you wish!

DAY
5
Special Choice Field Trip, Free Afternoon & Evening, Movie
San Antonio, TX
B,L
Drury Plaza Hotel San Antonio Riverwalk

Activity note: Most special interest field trips require limited or moderate amounts of walking. Nature walk requires ability to walk 3-4 miles at a moderate pace along paved, relatively flat walkway. Downtown walk involves 2-3 miles of walking on flat sidewalks. Lunch for today differs based on field trip options.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet (beginning a half-hour later on weekends).

Morning: We will choose from one of the following field trip options: 1) Cooking demonstration/ class and west side murals. Learn how to prepare a delicious Mexican meal with picante style from a local expert at a family-owned restaurant. On the way to the demonstration, we'll drive through the city's west side to see colorful murals. 2) Nature/ Bird Watching. Enjoy a guided walk alongside the San Antonio River extension trail. We will learn about the city's urban renewal efforts. Spot birds and other wildlife with a master naturalist. 3) Hispanic Culture/ West Side Visit. Explore an area rarely seen by tourists with a visit to the city's west side. Learn more about the diversity of the city and view some of its colorful murals. View a cross section of the many murals, visit a Mexican bakery, drive down Guadalupe St. and Park (where John Paul II held mass in 1987); and drive by other historic and important places in the life of West Side residents. 4) Explore Downtown Architecture. See and identify a wide variety of architectural styles through a guided walk of the downtown area and how the city has blended in new structures while maintaining the city's historic feel.

Lunch: Differs between field trip options: 1) At a local family-owned restaurant, we will enjoy a Mexican meal, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase. 2) & 3) At the hotel, we will enjoy a meal including soup, salad, sandwiches and more, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase. 4) At a local West Side restaurant, we will enjoy a plated meal of authentic Tex-Mex plates, including coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Free afternoon and evening for your to enjoy what interests you the most.

Dinner: At 5:30 p.m. enjoy the kickback reception on the 2nd floor of the hotel, featuring free hot food and cold drinks, during each day of your stay. Dinner is on your own to explore some of the city's culinary gems.

Evening: Free for you to explore the many attractions of the city on your own. Or, you may choose to stay in the hotel and enjoy a Texas-themed movie with other Road Scholars.

DAY
6
Morning Lectures, Spanish Missions, Evening Performance
San Antonio, TX
B,L
Drury Plaza Hotel San Antonio Riverwalk

Activity note: Climbing up/down stairs to access River Walk area of city and restaurants. Getting on/off a trolley. Walking up to 2 miles, standing 1-2 hours. Please note breakfast begins a half-hour later on weekends

Breakfast: Hotel buffet (beginning a half-hour later).

Morning: In the hotel ballroom, a local expert will tell us 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 could 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 and became San Antonio’s largest employer. After a short break, we'll embrace the essence of San Antonio by examining what its historical and cultural influences are today. Two culturistas will explore aspects of local food, music, family traditions, and festivals that are part of what makes San Antonio one of America’s four unique cities, as per Mark Twain. As you meander through the streets of the city you will see words and names such as Flores, Mi Tierra, La Villita, San Fernando, Presa, and Alamo, names given by San Antonio’s early settlers 300 years ago. They represent the mix of cultures and traditions that make the city so memorable.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll choose from a wide variety of dishes, plus coffee, tea, water.

Afternoon: We will travel by private motorcoach to San Antonio Mission National Historic Park, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for an exploration of the missions that make up the complex. With experts, we will learn about the early settlement and efforts of the Spanish to convert people to the church and an agricultural form of life. We will discover the beauty of Mission San Jose y San Miguel de Aguayo, the Queen of the Missions, restored by the WPA in the 1930s, and other nearby missions. We’ll also learn about how Spaniards used irrigation (acequia) systems to develop self-sustaining agricultural communities along the San Antonio River.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy the foods of your choice. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: Regrouping at the hotel, history will come alive with a visit from William Barrett “Buck” Travis, one of the heroes of the Alamo. A local reenactor will tell us about this colorful character and his influence on the Republic of Texas.

DAY
7
San Antonio River, Choice Field Trips, Farewell Dinner
San Antonio, TX
B,L,D
Drury Plaza Hotel San Antonio Riverwalk

Activity note: Boarding a motorcoach with minimal assistance. Walking and sanding for up to 1-2 hours in museums.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: A local expert will tell us the interesting history of the San Antonio River. We’ll learn about the importance of the river in the city’s development and how what was once an ugly creek prone to flooding has become San Antonio’s best known achievement. We will choose from one of the following field trip options: 1) Cooking demonstration/ class and west side murals. Learn how to prepare a delicious Mexican meal with picante style from a local expert at a family-owned restaurant. On the way to the demonstration, we'll drive through the city's west side to see colorful murals. 2) Hispanic Culture/ West Side Visit. Explore an area rarely seen by tourists with a visit to the city's west side. Learn more about the diversity of the city and view some of its colorful murals. View a cross section of the many murals, visit a Mexican bakery, drive down Guadalupe St. and Park (where John Paul II held mass in 1987); and drive by other historic and important places in the life of West Side residents. 3) Explore Downtown Architecture. See and identify a wide variety of architectural styles through a guided walk of the downtown area and how the city has blended in new structures while maintaining the city's historic feel.

Lunch: Differs between field trip options: 1) At a local family-owned restaurant, we will enjoy a Mexican meal, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase. 2) At the hotel, we will enjoy a meal including soup, salad, sandwiches and more, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase. 3) At a local West Side restaurant, we will enjoy a plated meal of authentic Tex-Mex plates, including coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Moving on, we’ll reach the Institute of Texan Cultures, an educational center showcasing 26 different ethnic and cultural groups groups that settled the Texas frontier. The Institute of Texan Cultures is located downtown on the UTSA HemisFair Park Campus, a short walk from the Alamo and the River Walk. The HemisFair campus was built to host the 1968 World’s Fair and began the revitalization of the city. The 182,000-square-foot complex features 65,000 square feet of interactive exhibits and displays that tell the stories of Texans. We will examine displays with Road Scholar exclusive, after-hours admission to the museum and learn about the rich diversity of cultures that sent settlers to Texas.

Dinner: Under the dome theater of the museum, we will enjoy a farewell dinner featuring a buffet meal, with coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase. We’ll also enjoy a performance from musicians and dancers.

Evening: We will return to the hotel and prepare for check out and departure in the morning.

DAY
8
Program Concludes
San Antonio, TX
B

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

Breakfast: Hotel buffet. 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!






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