Saturday, 12 May 2018

6 Things To Do In and Around San Antonio, Tx

I have itchy feet. Always in the spring my feet begin to get really itchy and it’s not due to allergies. It’s a classic symptom of Travel Bug. Other symptoms include compulsively Googling flights and hotels in exotic destinations, big sighs when you hear about someone else’s upcoming trip, and twitching thumbs as you like every travel photo on Instagram.  To sometimes help with the travel bug, short of booking a trip, I look back on some of my previous trips that I’ve been fortunate enough to have taken.

The last time I had a bad case of the travel bug, I was able to take advantage of some Boxing Day seat sales and began planning my trip to San Antonio, Texas in February to visit my dear friend Selena.

I’ve been to Texas once before as a very young child, the last impression I had of the place was that the grass was really spiky as I tottered around and a dog ate my Barbie, obviously it was a traumatic trip.

I knew going back was going to be entirely different experience, but I was surprised by how much I actually liked the Lone Star State. I think I had a particular image (read stereotype) in mind of what I would encounter while in San Antonio and not only did it not exist it was even better than what I had anticipated. That said, I’m still slightly devastated by the lack of cowboy hats I encountered on a daily basis.

These are the things I most liked about my trip to San Antonio

Pearl Weekend Market
{Erin Out and About} Pearl Weekend Market, San Antonio

This place reminds me of one of my favourite places in Toronto, The Distillery District, except this place is much cooler and has a weekend market. The vendors are from within a 150 mile radius and sell local produce and artisan foods. There are also some trendy restaurants, retails shops and a fabulous looking hotel, all located within walking distance to the San Antonio River. We spent a good chunk of our day here, checking out all the stalls, popping into the stores, eating market food for breakfast and people watching.

{Erin Out and About} The River Walk, San Antonio

In the heart of San Antonio is The River Walk, located one story below street level along the banks of the San Antonio River. This area reminded me of the canal system in East London, but on steroids. It is certainly a tourist destination and very cool to spend time along, but be aware that it is more of a tourist trap than an authentic experience. That said, I had a great time doing a bit of bar hopping and walking the length of the "River Walk" area, watching the barges filled with people. It was Mardi Gras when I was there and a big party atmosphere, but I was told that this is a normal vibe for the walk.

San Antonio Rodeo
{Erin Out and About} San Antonio Rodeo, San Antonio

{Erin Out and About} San Antonio Rodeo, San Antonio

"Let's rodeo, San Antonio!" When Selena told me she got us tickets to the rodeo I honestly didn't know how I felt about it. I'm all for doing new things, but I wondered if I was going to have issues with watching. It was the same trepidation I felt when Eimear and I planned to see the Cholitas wrestling in Bolivia. Turns out I loved this too. It was exciting to watch, no animals appeared to be hurt or stressed and by the end I wasn't sure if I was cheering for the people or the animals. Mutton Bustin' broke my heart though, every single 3-4 year old cried when the fell off the sheep.

{Erin Out and About} San Antonio Rodeo, San Antonio

Mission Churches
{Erin Out and About} Mission Churches, San Antonio

{Erin Out and About} Mission Churches, San Antonio

First thing people asked when I told them I was going to San Antonio, was if I was going to go see The Alamo. The answer was obvious, I wouldn't go all that way and not go to the Alamo. But did you know there are actually five mission churches from the same time period and some in better condition. I spent an afternoon exploring each of them. It's possible to walk the 14.5 km Mission Trail from The Alamo to Mission Espada. I was short on time and had the use of a car. It made the trek much more enjoyable especially considering for one reason or another I could only get inside two of the missions.

{Erin Out and About} Mission Churches, San Antonio

New Braunfels
{Erin Out and About} New Braunfels, Texas

New Braunfels is a city northeast of downtown San Antonio, and has an interesting history. In 1845 Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels, Germany established the town named after his home town, and organzied hundreds of Germans to immigrate to Texas. To this day the area maintains its German heritage, even hosting Wurstfest to honour the humble sausage. The popularity of this festival has certainly grown since its inception in 1961. 

I was already enamoured with this little city and then Selena brought me to Krause's Biergarten and Cafe and then I was in love. I felt like I was back in Europe and could see this place being a fun time on a warmer day. They even had many of my new obsession on tap, Austin Eastcider. OH WHY can't I get it in Ontario?!

{Erin Out and About} New Braunfels, Texas

Gruene Hall
{Erin Out and About} Gruene Historic District, New Braunfels, Texas

Gruene is a historic district now part of New Braunfels and dependant on the tourist economy, but it's worth a visit. It's tiny but it packs a lot in there. We managed to only visit the General Store, Gruene Hall, Mozie's and The Grapevine. Had we had more time, I could have spent the afternoon at Gruene Hall listening to the music and dining at the old gristmill turned into a restaurant with a view of the river. 

{Erin Out and About} Gruene Historic District, New Braunfels, Texas

Do you get itchy travel feet? What do you do to scratch that itch?

{Erin Out and About} Things to do in and around San Antonio

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