Founded as a Spanish mission and colonial outpost in 1718, San Antonio became the first civilian settlement in Texas in 1731. The city contains five 18th-century Spanish frontier missions, including the Alamo.
On our 8 day Texas Roadtrip, San Antonio was our fourth stop. We only stayed one night here, but I could definitely see myself going back.
We stopped at a Buc-cee’s on our way from Austin to San Antonio to grab a quick lunch/snack. If you’ve never been to a Buc-cee’s, they are only in Texas (with the exception of one) and HUGE. They don’t allow semi’s, but are bigger than most truck stops I’ve ever seen. After spending a good hour in there looking around, we were back on the road.
We got into San Antonio around 1:oopm, and decided to go ahead and check in to our hotel. We stayed at the Crockett Hotel, which is in the middle of town and close to most everything. It’s literally right behind the Alamo, so it was convenient for a one night stay. They allowed us to check in early, and were nothing but kind. The room was clean and we slept well, I would definitely stay here again.
Our first stop, of course, was The Alamo. They were working on preserving the building while we were there, so there was some construction and rooms blocked off. We walked around the grounds for probably close to an hour just taking it all in. We decided on a self tour instead of a paid one, and I feel like that worked out great for us.
On February 23, 1836, a Mexican force numbering in the thousands began a siege of the fort. Though vastly outnumbered, the Alamo’s 200 defenders–commanded by James Bowie and William Travis and including the famed frontiersman Davy Crockett—held out for 13 days before the Mexican forces finally overpowered them. For Texans, the Battle of the Alamo became an enduring symbol of their heroic resistance to oppression and their struggle for independence, which they won later that year.
After seeing the Alamo, we walked towards the Historic Market Square. Everywhere was decorated for Day of the Dead, which was taking place just a few days after our visit. We walked around the market square a bit, hoping it would have been more lively, before making our way back towards the River Walk.
I guess because it was a Wednesday afternoon and chilly out, the town seemed so dead and quiet. There was an unexpected cold front coming through the day we were there and it was extremely windy. I was disappointed in the weather, as I had hoped to ride a boat down the river.
The River Walk is 15 miles long and full of shopping, food, bars, and sightseeing. It was one of the neatest things I’ve ever seen, all these places along the river just one story below street level. It’s definitely somewhere you could spend hours on a nice day.
We stopped in the Esquire Tavern to warm up and have a drink. It opened in 1933, the day after prohibition ended, and has been a San Antonio favorite ever since. The tavern is known to have the longest bar in Texas, measuring 100 feet, and is also considered the oldest bar in San Antonio.
We made our way back to our hotel to get out of the cold, and chilled at Ernie’s bar for awhile. They had some great happy hour specials, as well as free hot popcorn. While hanging out at the bar, John met an interesting man. He claimed to be Post Malone’s cousin, but we’ll never know how much truth there was to it. We sat and listened to him tell some crazy stories for over an hour before heading back to our room.
For dinner, John picked Moses Rose’s Hideout. It’s named after the man who, as the tale goes, declined to defend the Alamo in 1836 (thus, it’s a hideout). This place is kind of a hidden bar, as they don’t have a typical entry door. You walk into a small room, with various signs and things around you, and have to figure out how to get in (kind of the opposite of an escape room).
Once inside, we had a good laugh. The people at the bar had watched us on a television trying to get in, then clapped as we entered. The atmosphere was nice, a laid back hangout spot with sports bar vibes. I had a brisket grilled cheese and John had the brisket tacos, both were wonderful!
After eating, I was craving some dessert. We walked towards the Riverwalk, because I had seen an ice cream sign earlier in the day, and stumbled upon Gourdough’s Public House. This place was recommended to me by a fellow blogger for a place to go while in Austin, but when in Austin we didn’t make it. I told John we had to go check it out, besides it was a little too chilly for ice cream
Their donuts are DELICIOUS, so delicious in fact that I’ve found myself craving it since we went. They have donut sandwiches, donut burgers, and even coffee cocktails. This is the perfect place for brunch, lunch, dinner, or even dessert! I had the Nutty Valentine which was covered in Nutella and strawberries, and John had a Thai in the Sky coffee cocktail.
We made our way back to the hotel after taking a couple more pictures at the Alamo. At night, it was easy to see the Crockett Hotel sign lit up right behind the Alamo.
I loved San Antonio, and would definitely go back. However, next time I think I’ll make sure it’s going to be warmer! 🙂
“San Antone, San Antone, I been gone for way too long. But you gotta go when you gotta go, like Crockett at the Alamo, y’all can find me down in San Antone.” – Randy Rogers Band