Getaway Guide: Road Trip To San Antonio

June 23, 2012 6:00 AM

San Antonio’s rich history, diverse culture, beautiful scenery and fabulous attractions offer something for everyone to enjoy. The most popular tourist destination in the state, San Antonio welcomes approximately 26 million visitors annually from all over the world. Less than a four and half hour drive from Dallas-Fort Worth, it’s a perfect spot for a weekend getaway any time of the year.

Getting There
Take I-35 south for a straight shot taking around 4.25 hours, but for a scenic route take Highway 281. If you do travel on I-35 make a detour around the Austin via the SH 130 toll road (a roughly $4.50 toll fee) from Georgetown for 52 miles before joining I-35 South again. The River Walk vicinity downtown is the most accessible area to the major sights. It’s best to park your car and take the streetcars, buses and boats, or rent bikes from area kiosks.

What to Do

the alamo Getaway Guide: Road Trip To San Antonio

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The Alamo
300 Alamo Plaza
San Antonio, TX 78205
(210) 225-1391

Price: free

A symbol of Texas’ fight for independence, the Alamo was established in 1718 as the first of the five catholic missions to be built in the area and is the city’s most widely recognized landmark, hosting more than two million visitors a year. Make sure to catch the history talks every half hour outside of the main entrance for an insight into Texas history. Then head over to San Antonio Missions National Historical Park to check out the other four catholic missions — some of the last remaining in North America. These architectural treasures are a delight for all ages and are well worth a visit.

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Hemis Fair Park’s Tower of the Americas
200 S. Alamo
San Antonio, TX 78205
(210) 223-3101

Price: $10.95 adults/$8.95 child

Built for the 1968 World’s Fair, the 750-foot-tall Tower of Americas resides in a 14-acre park featuring waterfalls, playgrounds and several museums celebrating Latin culture. Soar through the air on the Skies over Texas 4-D theater ride for a thrilling flight through the Lone Star State, then take a ride to the Tower’s observation deck for food, drinks and a 360-degree bird’s-eye view of the city.

sea world san antonio Getaway Guide: Road Trip To San Antonio

Photo Credit: Sea World San Antonio/Facebook

Sea World 
10500 Sea World Dr.
San Antonio, TX 78251
(210) 523-3000

Price: $59.99 adults/$49.99 child age 3 to 9/online orders $10 off/$15 parking

Family fun can be found in every corner of this three-parks-in-one aquatic adventures. It offers shows, exhibits, rides, a water park and the animals who make this park really unique. See Shamu the killer whale perform, and don’t miss the popular show, Azul, featuring Beluga whales, dolphins, colorful birds and human acrobats performing in a style reminiscent of Cirque du Soleil. Try to take one of the park’s tours, especially the behind-the-scenes tour, during which visitors get up close and personal with the animals.

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The River Walk
110 Broadway, Ste. 500
San Antonio, TX 78205
(210) 227-4262

Price: free/$15 24-hour taxi pass/$8.25 river tour

Known as the Venice of Texas, the downtown River Walk is a maze of walkways meandering along an eight-mile, soon to be 20-mile, path that rests along the banks of the San Antonio River. Filled with restaurants, bars, nightclubs, shops and hotels, there’s so much to do around here that you probably will want to stay in the area. Don’t miss a visit to the historic art village of La Villita located near the Hilton and be sure to hop on a cruise down the river for an interesting 45-minute tour.

el mercado Getaway Guide: Road Trip To San Antonio

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Historic Market Square
514 W. Commerce
San Antonio, TX 78207
(210) 207-8600

Price: free/$4 Museo Alameda

For a taste of Mexican culture, head a few blocks over from the River Walk to this junction of lively markets, restaurants and art galleries. Visit El Mercado, the largest marketplace this side of the border, offering great Mexican food, entertainment and unique gifts. Bargain hunt at the Farmers’ Market, watch local artists at work and view the largest Latino art collection in the United States at the Museo Alameda. 


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La Gloria Street Foods of Mexico
100 E. Grayson
San Antonio, TX 78215
(210) 267-9040

A visit to San Antonio is not complete without Mexican food, and this award-winning restaurant features some of the most authentic street foods of Mexico this side of the border. Located on the grounds of the historic Pearl Brewery just off the Museum Reach, the restaurant offers tapas-sized dishes for sharing, and an outdoor area for the kids to play, making it a perfect spot for a meal stop.


soho wine martini bar Getaway Guide: Road Trip To San Antonio

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SoHo Wine & Martini Bar
214 W. Crockett St.
San Antonio, TX 78205
(210) 444-1000

Located right off the River Walk, this New York-style bar rocks with live music, an amazing staff, an impressive drink menu and a great atmosphere. The mixologists here whip up tasty creations including crème brûlée martinis and candy cane tequila, plus there’s a good selection of wine, spirits, beers and cigars.

Where to Stay

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Ocho Lounge at Hotel Havana
1015 Navarro St.
San Antonio, TX 78205
(210) 222-2008

Price: $116 – room rates; $6 – drinks

This is a hot spot that’s a really cool place to spend the night or just stop for drinks and food along the Museum Reach area of the River Walk. The Ocho Lounge offers seating in the glass conservatory overlooking the river and in a candlelit space downstairs perfect for an intimate rendezvous. Its extensive bar menu includes some of the best mojitos around, and it features a Latin-inspired food menu offering meals, sandwiches and tapas.

Related: Historical Markers Tell Tale Of Texas

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El Tropicana on the River
110 Lexington Ave.
San Antonio, TX 78205
(877) 214-9768

Price: from $80

If you’re looking for something with pizzazz that’s in a great location and reasonably priced, then this 1960s retro-style hotel may be right up your alley. Located along the Museum Reach area of the River Walk and accessible to the river taxis, this hotel is close enough to the action for easy access without the constant crowds. Hotel amenities include a restaurant, fitness center, pool and tiki bar.

CBS Dallas Insider tip: Use the parking garage across the street for half the price of the hotel parking.

Related: Best City Escapes From Dallas/Fort Worth

With a passion for adventure, Ilene Jacobs has spent 25 years traveling around the globe. A native of Dallas,Texas, she has also lived in Europe studying and working in marketing and tourism. Ilene is constantly researching interesting places to visit and enjoys sharing her findings with her readers. Her work can be found at

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