Remember the Alamo was a battle cry in the past but now it that has expanded and the entire city of San Antonio is worthy of more than just a passing glance. San Antonio is the second largest city in Texas and the most visited in the state. Each year it is estimated that 20 million tourists visit the city, bringing approximately $8.7 billion to the local economy. And it’s no wonder why the city is such a draw with its storied history, beautiful landscape, and exciting attractions.
If you’re a traveler who enjoys having an experience with others, then the large variety of group tours in San Antonio may be just the ticket to your perfect vacation.
The Ghosts and Legends of San Antonio is a great walking tour that lets you see the spookiest parts of the great city in the relative safety of a group with a knowledgeable tour guide. Get a behind the grave look at San Antonio and learn about the wailing La Llorona, the myth of the rattlesnake, legends of the famed pirate, Jean Lafitte, and discovery some interesting tidbits about the Alamo.
The Hill Country Tour starts in San Antonio but takes you outside of the city to the historic downtown Fredericksburg and the Lyndon Baines Johnson Ranch. Located on the beautiful Pedernales River, the Ranch is where the “Texas White House” is located and you can learn more about the 36th President of the United States and his famous wife, Lady Bird Johnson. The ranch was established in the 1860′s as a cattle ranch and today it is still run the same way so you can see how ranchers lived more than 150 years ago. Additionally there is a reconstruction of LBJ’s birthplace that was designed according to LBJ’s personal specifications. Upon leaving the Ranch you’ll head to Fredericksburg, a city that once served as home for many German pioneers. The streets are littered with remnants of German past and culture and the antique and gift stores give you a chance to collect a souvenir or two.
San Antonio Grand Tour
The San Antonio Grand Tour is the mac daddy of all tours, covering just about everything you would ever want to see in the San Antonio area. The Grand Tour goes to the Alamo, IMAX Theatre, Riverboat Ride, Mission San Jose, Mission Concepcion, Japanese Sunken Gardens, Market Square and a handful of lesser known tourist locations. On the Grand Tour you will not only get to tour the Alamo and learn about the brave men who fought to protect their land, but you’ll also get to view the IMAX version of the 1836 battle and relive 13 days of history. After that excitement, a relaxing three hour riverboat ride down the Paseo Del Rio with its canopy of foliage is just what you need. Historic Market Square picks up the excitement again with 32 shops at the El Mercado and 80 specialty shops in the Farmers’ Market plaza. Both missions offer a glimpse into the past and the devotion of the people to their faith and humanity. Finally, the Japanese sunken gardens lead you through an oasis of serenity in what once was a stone quarry.
If you love the exercise then San Antonio Walks is a great way to see the city and learn the history of the region. The guides are well versed in the city of San Antonio and can not only weave a good yarn or two, but they’re available to answer any questions you have about the city. San Antonio Walks covers The Alamo, San Fernando, Main Plaza, Presidio, La Villita, San Antonio River, the Missions, European & Indian influences in the area, the Texas & Mexican Revolution, Cowtown, Saloon Days and many other local hotspots. There are public tours and VIP tours and you can even arrange for your own tour at a time which is most convenient for your schedule. The walks aren’t long and they’re not strenuous at all. Because of the knowledgeable staff, I’d recommend scheduling a walk midway through your trip so you can ask questions that have come up with other tours and so you can explore some sites you otherwise may have skipped.
San Antonio Highlights Tour
If you’d like to see what San Antonio has to offer but aren’t really sure that the Grand Tour is what you’re looking for then the San Antonio Highlights Tour might be more your speed. This tour is a pared down version of the Grand Tour, taking you to some of the most popular destinations but leaving you more free time to then explore the city on your own. The Highlights Tour makes stops at The Alamo, Market Square, Mission Concepcion and Mission San Jose.
San Antonio Trolley Tour
For a brief overview of the city of San Antonio and comfort to boot, the San Antonio Trolley Tour is a great option. This 60 minute air conditioned tour takes you on an insightful drive by of The Alamo, The IMAX Theater, Rivercenter Mall, Riverboat Rides, Institute of Texan Cultures, Mission San Jose, Mission Concepcion, Market Square, San Fernando Cathedral and La Villita. This tour is the perfect way to get the lay of the land and some inside information so you can then decide which landmarks you want to visit and see up close and personal.
San Antonio’s Sea World offers several great tours that let you learn more about your favorite animal in a really intimate way. Their selection of tours include a Saving a Species Tour, Penguins Up-Close Tour, Viva Up-Close tour, Seafari Tour, and the Ultimate Seafari Tour. In addition to these great tours, Sea World also offers additional experiences for adventure or scouting groups, school groups, and educational groups. If you’re planning on doing a day at Sea World the special tours make it all that much more memorable and exciting. For many it’s the experience of a lifetime.
San Antonio is known for its beautiful River Walk and what better way to experience it than from the river itself. The Rio San Antonio Cruises boat tour takes you through the most interesting two and a half miles of the San Antonio River and loads you up with information about the history and cultural tidbits from the area. This is another tour that is a great primer to a day of exploration. Learn everything you can about the River Walk and then take the time to explore by yourself and visit what most interested you.