San Antonio River Walk
A weekend beneath the streets
Sounds like we need a superhero tagging along for safe-keeping, right?
While it would have been amazing having Spiderman along, we settled for traveling to the city of San Antonio, Texas with grandparents and my twin sister and her family. They're superheroes in their own right, but that's a tale for another time.
Looking for a great city to visit on a multigenerational trip? San Antonio is a great pick on many levels. The San Antonio River Walk is a system of walkways along the banks of the San Antonio River, one story beneath the streets of the city. Flanked by restaurants, shops, nature, and art, the River Walk twists and turns under bridges and is a tourist attraction all of its own. We carved out three nights and four days in the famous Alamo city.
You don't need a rental car.
San Antonio's VIA Metropolitan Transit system worked great for our group of thirteen. When we flew into San Antonio, we used a taxi and an economy rental car to reach our hotel. That way we had access to a car for late night errands if need be. But honestly, we didn't drive it that much. I dare you to get away without renting a car at all. Our kids aren't city kids so it's fun showing them how to use different modes of transportation.
Y'all. Treat yourself to Hotel Contessa. This was the most fabulous hotel for all of us. Kids loved the super cool roof top pool! Well appointed suites complete with a small microwave and fridge (important when traveling with kids.) Yummy breakfast. And a fun courtyard that spills out from the restaurant towards the riverwalk. Perfecto. ~ 306 West Market St.
You are literally within steps of cool restaurants along the river. We were hungry after our flight and checking in. Landing at the Acenar Restaurant, which features Texas regional Mexican dishes, we were grateful for the the shaded riverside patio tables and relaxed atmosphere. Honestly, that first meal was my favorite meal all weekend. Everyone loved their dishes and secretly, I dreamed about dining there again before the weekend was over. ~ 146 E Houston Street
Here's what your family should do in San Antonio:
Don't miss a ride with The River Walk Guide. Entertaining, the guide tells San Antonio's action-packed story during a 35 minute, one and a half mile cruise up and down the river. A great way to get an overall picture of San Antonio's downtown and all this beautiful, historic city has to offer.
Remember the Alamo!
The Alamo is the very heart of San Antonio. Even if you're not really into history, the story of the Alamo, Texas's most visited landmark, is fascinating.
Heroes, like Davy Crockett, died here in 1836 fighting for Texas and freedom. Inspiring America for years to come, Crockett and his friends called for aid and refused to surrender even though faced with unsurmountable odds. Their great sacrifice helped lead the way to Texas becoming a state in 1845.
FREE to visit year-round! A gorgeous 300-year-old former Spanish mission turned fortress, this is the best place to see and experience the famous battle front and center so you too will, "Remember the Alamo!"
Not gonna lie, we had a blast at Sea World.
I know some of the attractions there are controversial as I type. But the fact is we went (in 2013). And we loved it. From ages 4 to 66, our group was entertained. Touch pools, swimming mermaids, zany characters, thrilling rides, junk food, and exhilarating shows.
Hop on the city bus to Sea World and you might just be in for an unexpected cultural experience! Like I said, our kids aren't city kids, so riding the city bus to Sea World sounded fun...
Riding the bus ended up being quite the memory-maker.
Or should I say eye-opener? Visiting the weekend before Halloween, the late night bus introduced us to an adult scantily wrapped in caution tape who happened to stand right next to my dad. Ahem. You try keeping your 4 year old's eyes and comments elsewhere. The bus driver joked "Caution has left the building!" after the passenger stepped off the bus. Oh my.
Briscoe Western Art Museum
Party time. We literally happened to be in San Antonio right when this cool, new western museum was celebrating their grand opening. Free party food, kids' activities, and cool exhibits. Fill your noggin with art, history, and culture of the American West. We'd totally go back. ~ 210 West Market Street
San Jose Mission
A national historical park of Texas, the San Jose Mission is worth an afternoon of exploring and learning about this community that existed over 250 years ago. Our brains may or may not have been overflowing with Texas history at this point.
Learn more about the mission here and decide if your group is up for squeezing it in. When there, encourage your kids to earn their junior ranger badge. (And stamp your National Park Passports if you were smart enough to bring them along.)
One last thing
Remember the buddy system. When traveling with kids and adults of all ages, we use the buddy system. We partnered up in the city, at Sea World, in museums, everywhere really. Peace of mind for moms, dads, grandparents and kids.
What tips do you have for multi-generational family trips and what cities have you visited? We'd love to hear so please comment below!
All photographs taken by Tanya Raedeke. Please do not use without written permission. Thank you!