San Antonio Travel Guide

Jeremy and I just returned home from a great long weekend getaway in San Antonio, Texas.  We had a great time as this was the first time either of us had been there, and it was a nice way to celebrate our college graduation before Jer heads off to his adult job.  As the Type A person I am, I had every detail of the trip planned down to the last minute.  I wanted to make sure we hit all the best places to eat and see while we were there.  Below you will find my recommendations and opinions of some of the great things we got to experience while we were in San Antonio!

Dining:

Breakfast Options:

Pancake Joe’s

1011 Donaldson Avenue, San Antonio, TX

We visited Pancake Joe’s the first morning of our trip, and when we pulled up I was honestly unamused.  I contemplated going to find somewhere else to eat just because I didn’t think the food could be good, but we went in anyway.  It was located in the middle of a strip mall, but the parking lot was full to capacity, so it had to be good.  Of course, there was a wait, we ended up having to wait 20 minutes for a table. It wasn’t too bad, but if you are going on a Saturday, I would plan on being early, so you don’t have to wait too long.  Y’all if you are ever in San Antonio, make a point to go to Pancake Joe’s, they offer various specialty waffles and pancakes that you can’t try anywhere else, and they are delicious.  I ordered the Cinnamon Roll Waffle, and Jer ordered the Banana Nut Pancakes and a made to order Omelet.  We both thoroughly enjoyed our meals.  For the amount and quality of food we got, it was reasonably priced.  We both agreed it was a 10/10, so if you have a chance try it out!

Colonial Room

204 Alamo Plaza, Menger Hotel, San Antonio, TX

The Colonial Room Restaurant was located in the Menger Hotel.  We had a little bit of difficulty trying to find it, but it was a cute and quaint restaurant.  For my Disney buffs, it reminds me of an older version of the Grand Floridian Café.  The restaurant is known for their buffet, so that is what Jer went with, and he really enjoyed it.  They had a made to order omelet station as well as a made to order waffle station.  I wasn’t too hungry, so I ordered the Blueberry pancakes.  Overall, I was not impressed.  The blueberries lacked flavor, so I was disappointed overall.  The restaurant was nice, but I would have rather gone to Pancake Joe’s again.

Dinner Options Ranked:

#1: Charthouse at Towers of the Americas 

739 E César E. Chávez Blvd, San Antonio, TX 

Hands down my favorite place we ate it. I had been to a Charthouse before, but Jeremy had not.  The food was great, but it was an incredible experience overall.  The restaurant was located at the top of the 750-foot tower, and it did a slow 360-degree spin, so you could see every angle on San Antonio while you were enjoying dinner.  It is a bit more on the pricier side, but it is perfect for a nicer date night on your trip.  With your dinner receipt, you also get access to the observation deck at the top of the tower!

#2: Ristorante Paesanos

111 W. Crockett Street, Suite 101, San Antonio, TX

This was located along the River Walk.  We had an amazing Italian dinner here and coming from Jeremy that means it was extremely good!  We had the option to eat outside which was nice because we could enjoy the view, but they also had a bunch of heaters surrounding the tables to keep you warm during the winter months.

#3: Casa Rio

430 E Commerce St, San Antonio, TX

So Casa Rio is actually known as the original Mexican restaurant along the River Walk. We stopped in for lunch on our last day, and we were told that the outdoor patio area along the actual river was not open for lunch, so we had to eat inside.  The food was good.  There were countless Mexican options available along the river, so I really don’t think you could wrong picking any of them.  We just leaned towards Casa Rio because we enjoyed the menu the most!

Top 5 Things to do!

San Antonio Zoo

This was on the top of our things to do list.  I love visiting zoos and I have heard pretty good things about the San Antonio one!  Being from New Orleans and having the Audubon Zoo in our backyard, I came in with high expectations.  The San Antonio Zoo did not disappoint. They had all your standard zoo animals, but they also had a bunch of special offerings. For example, we got to see a sloth; he was sleeping, but I was still in awe.  There was also a special exhibit of bats, and they freaked me the heck out.  The best thing we did was the giraffe feeding we participated in.  It was $7 to get three lettuce leaves.  We got two tickets, and we were able to get up close and personal to take pictures and feed the giraffes.  Definitely, recommend this experience!

Six Flags Fiesta Texas

Being a Disney annual pass holder, I was not expecting to be amazed by Six Flags.  They had some pretty decent rides, but the overall atmosphere wasn’t that of a typical theme park.  The rides were pretty aggressive, honestly.  I would definitely recommend the park for thrill seekers!  We spent about half a day there.  The lines were not long at all even on the MLK holiday, and we were able to get everything we wanted done!

 

Alamo – Walking Tour

Of course, we had to visit The Alamo, what San Antonio is known for.  I had booked us an hour walking tour ahead of time.  It was $15 per person.  Honestly, I did not have that much knowledge about what took place at this historical site.  The tour was pretty informative and gave a complete story of all the events that had happened there.  The majority of our tour was spent in the plaza right outside of the Alamo.  We actually only spent about 10 – 15 minutes inside the Alamo.  I would definitely recommend the tour if you are like me and do not know much about the history and culture behind this landmark.  Otherwise, it is free to enter the Alamo, so you are able to explore on your own without a tour guide.

 

Natural Bridge Caverns Tour

One of the most unique things we were able to do with our time was visit the Natural Bridge Caverns.  We booked the discovery tour which took you on an hour-long tour of the caverns.  The caverns are actually the largest caverns in Texas and some of the largest in the United States  It was amazing to see all of the natural wonders under the surface.  It was one of my favorite things we did on our trip.  If you plan on taking the tour, you should try to plan in advance because the Natural Bridge Caverns are a little far away from San Antonio.  It took us about 45 minutes to an hour to get there, but it was totally worth it!

 

Go Rio River Cruises

Our last day adventure was taking a narrated Go Rio River Cruise along the River Walk.  We pre-booked our tickets through their main site, so we just had to show up at the main admission’s booth to board a boat.  The cruise was nice.  It would have been nicer if it had warmed up a little.  It was the coldest day on our trip, and the wind was wild especially along the river.  It was a 35-minute tour that took you all throughout the River Walk, and the tour guide explained different historical features as well as quirky facts about the River Walk.  It was nice, but if you skip it you will not be missing much!

Hotel:

SpringHill Suites San Antonio Downtown/ Riverwalk Area

524 South Saint Mary’s Street, San Antonio, TX

Honestly, we picked our hotel because it had the cheapest rates for our stay, but it ended up working out pretty well.  We were not located directly on the River Walk, but we were close enough that we could walk if we wanted to.  The one downfall of the hotel was the parking was horrible.  They had one tiny lot available for all guest, and if there were no spaces available you could park in the paid lot behind the hotel.  This wasn’t a problem per se, but I would have preferred to park in the hotel’s lot.  I can’t imagine what their parking lot looks like when it’s not crowded because it wasn’t very busy while we were there.  Also, we enjoyed the fact that they offered a free breakfast every morning, but it ended at 9, and I was never ready by then. But overall, it was a nice hotel if you are looking for a cheaper but walkable option towards the River Walk!

Overall, we had a great time with some yummy food and great adventures!  Let me know your favorite weekend travel destination in the comments!

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