After chatting away to glory during the 2 hour drive from Austin to San Antonio, we parked the car in San Antonio downtown. Although San Antonio looked appealing with a perfect blend of old and contemporary buildings, the blazing heat made us want to sit indoors with the air conditioner turned high. As soon as we opened the car door, the heat waves came crashing into us. Sigh…
While walking towards the Alamo, we dropped at Francesca Coffee Shop to grab cold drinks. Iced frappuccinos, gelatos, cold coffees, you name it and we gulped down our throats in no time!
At the heart of San Antonio is The Alamo, which plays a watershed moment in the history of Texas! The former Roman Catholic Mission was famous for the site of the Battle of the Alamo in 1836, is now a museum. And it’s free to visit! Don’t forget to stroll around the beautiful gardens before you leave this historic site.
Buckhorn Saloon and Museum
I was captivated not only by the pervasive collection of exhibits in the Buckhorn Museum, but also by the wildly eccentric nature of these exhibits. From artifacts such as different kinds of revolvers to collections of tusks and exotic wildlife to the outlandish American Sideshows, this museum will unequivocally impress people of all ages and kinds.
The Buckhorn Museum carries with it, a fascinating history. When Albert first opened the Buckhorn Saloon, he accepted exchange of horns for drinks from travelers. Very soon, a massive collection of horns gathered up. Since then, the saloon + museum changed hands a couple of times and now is privately owned by the Stroh’s Brewing Company and open to visitors from all around the globe.
Cuban Lunch at Ocho
Tuckered out and hungry, we scrambled through Yelp to find a good restaurant for a late lunch and ended up having Cuban food at Ocho. Ocho offers gorgeous outdoor seating by the San Antonio river and indoor seating as well. No fun sitting outdoors when the weather is blistering hot, so we got seated indoors. After perusing the menu, we started the meal with Chorizo Con Queso and Chicken Quesadilla. Minced meat baked with cheese bubbling on top and served with tortillas, Chorizo Con Queso was certainly our favorite!
Our entrée choices were Salmon Con Arroz Gandules and Pollo Envuelto. Although the wait time was long, the meal turned out to be absolutely worth the wait. Salmon was perfectly cooked and the chicken was juicy and tender.
Filling up our tummies with lip-smacking food gave us the energy to walk to the oldest cathedral in the country.
San Fernando Cathedral, the oldest in the country
Being the oldest operational cathedral in the country, we couldn’t leave San Antonio without visiting San Fernando Cathedral, the oldest operational cathedral in the country.
It was not architecturally extravagant from both the outside and the inside. A church mass was going on when we entered, and we joined the mass for a few minutes before stepping out.
Our parched throats craved for more than just water. With Starbucks at every nook and corner, is there a reason to be worried? We quenched our throats with iced drinks before heading out to the much-awaited and popular RiverWalk in San Antonio.
San Antonio RiverWalk
Having no stamina to walk the RiverWalk, we decided to take the boat ride and still enjoy the vibrant experience. The sun had just set, the buildings were lit and it was the perfect time to take the boat ride. The place was absolutely fascinating, brimming with restaurants, bars and artisans selling jewelry, paintings, pictures, etc. Our boat tour guide fascinated us with historical fun facts about the buildings and the bridges spanning across the San Antonio river.
By the time we were done with the boat ride, it was late, we were enervated and so ready to go home and hit the hay.