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San Antonio, Texas

San AntonioSan Antonio is a great place to visit, especially along the historic  River Walk. This canal is actually part of the San Antonio river that the city has taken and turned into  a canal that runs through the downtown area of the city. It is  lined with hotels that back onto the canal and has been named the River Walk. There are numerous outdoor patios and restaurants. As well as boat rides with tour guides that you can even book your supper on. A really happening place were thousands stroll along either side of the canal every day. If you have not been here, it is well worth the visit. Especially in warm weather when you can sit outside and enjoy the sun and a nice cold beer.

Some restaurants will also have music in the evening for everyone to enjoy. On cool nights many will also place heaters at strategic points to keep diners warm while they enjoy their dinner. There is definitely a Mexican influence in this part of the United States. There are many Mexican restaurants and so we had our first Mexican meal of the trip.  Very enjoyable! You can stroll along both sides of the canal for perhaps half a mile review the restaurants and then decide which one you want to return to for your dinner or lunch. There is not much open for breakfast.

We stayed at the Hampton Inn, downtown off Bowie street. The Hampton Inn has free parking, free wifi and free breakfast included with the price of the hotel which is a good deal, especially for downtown hotels. It is also with easy walking distance to all of the major downtown attractions.  The Hampton Inns are always clean and always dependable.

The Alamo

You cannot visit San Antonio, without visiting the Alamo.  The Hampton Inn downtown is about two blocks from the River Walk and also two blocks  from the Alamo, one of the most historic places in Texas. On past trips we have toured the Alamo and seen the movie that depicts the story of the last stand at the Alamo as the Texans tried to with stand Santa Anna’s Mexican armies onslaught! It is a really moving piece and well worth seeing by everyone!

You can picture yourself being there facing over whelming odds knowing that help is not going to get to you in time. Every man is willing to fight to the last man standing because Santa Anna has promised the sword to every Texan in the fort.  The story is compelling and exciting and memorable. It brought tears to our eyes as we pictured how patriotic these frontiersman were. Although Sam Houston did not reach the fort in time to save the Texans, he did defeat the Mexican army and retake the Alamo from the Mexicans, setting up the situation for Texas to become a US state.

Historic District

On the morning of our second day we went for a long walk into the historic district of downtown San Antonio. This is an area were homes were built-in the late 1800’s and most are mansions with grand pillars supporting upstairs balconies on grounds that are well manicured. There is a historical society which authenticates and ensure standards are followed in the maintenance of the homes along with any changes that may be considered by the owners. Some are open for tours, although on Sunday when we visited they were all closed. There are also a few that operate as bed and breakfast accommodations, which would be really neat to stay at.

Chilli’s on the River Walk

We ended up at Chilli’s for supper on our second night and it turned out that it was happy hour. Happy hour in Chillis is for patrons sitting at the bar whenever there is a football game on and of course at this time of year there is almost always a football game playing. A large draft was $3.25 and all appetizers were half price! The Green Bay Packers won and are on the way to the Super Bowl!

This last picture on the left was included to show how beautiful the area is. It is not related to Chillis.

A warning about San Antonio. While it is a safe place to walk around, the city applies a hefty tax on rooms. For a room that cost me $116 at the Hampton Inn, there was tax of $18 added to the cost, which I find pretty hefty and much more than many other cities we have stayed in. I guess the money is used to fund the River Walk maintenance etc.

For more places to visit in the US as snow birds, click here.

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