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How To Make The Most of 24 Hours in San Antonio


In real life, getting away for an entire weekend can be hard, and sometimes expensive. Due to my busy schedule and small budget, I was only able to get away to San Antonio for 24 hours. You could spend a whole week in this culturally rich town and not see everything, but here is a guide to make the most of your quick get away without feeling like you need a vacation from your vacation.

Where did I stay?

With it being San Antonio, and having a first timer with me, I chose the River Walk for the convenience of being able to walk to so many close attractions and restaurants. After a long drive, being in a car was the last thing I wanted to do. I found a great fit for my budget at the Havana Hotel and although the hotel was listed on all the booking sites (Hotels, Expedia, Orbitz, etc.) I found the best deal on the hotels website itself. For some reason, the cheapest room wasn’t even listed on the other websites, and in addition, I scored a 15% Texas resident discount. All in all, the hotel for one night, including parking and tax, cost $123.00. I could have spent less on a hotel chain, but this was one of my favorite hotels to date, and you can’t put a price tag on experiences like that.

Bonus: B Cycle Station directly next to the hotel.




Where did I eat?

After a little research, I found that the hotel had not one, but two bars, each with a different atmosphere and experience. Since it was a Sunday, by the time we got around to visiting the basement bar, Havana Bar, it was closed. But thankfully we were able to drink and eat at Ocho. I wanted to eat dinner on the River Walk, so we opted for a shared appetizer and two drinks. He ordered the mojito and I, the house margarita. The appetizer couldn’t have been more perfect with guacamole, verde sauce, salsa, picked veggies, and chips. The ideal sampler to get us through to dinner, and it was only $10.00.

                     
























A few hours later we decided on a dinner spot right on the River Walk, making sure to eat outside. I will say, this meal was not planned ahead of time, but I was pleasantly surprised by Rita’s on the River Mexican food. Two margaritas, shredded chicken nachos and a split chalupa plate hit the spot and left us wanting to nap, but in a good way.


How were the drinks?

Wonderful. Before dinner, we stopped at the Beir Garten for a few beers and a well-deserved rest after walking three or so miles. Such a refreshing place to relax with the cooler air setting in and the river only a few feet from where we sat. Hanging tree lights and what I assume was 80’s night, set the tone for vacation mode to really set in. Interesting fact: you can order beer and margaritas to go, as long as you stayed on the River Walk.
After dinner we were waiting around to meet up with some friends and stopped at Charlie Wants a Burger for a drink to kill some time. The NBA game 7 finals were playing so no room to complain there. Reverse happy hour was in full effect, so we each ordered a $7.50 large margarita and watched the Cav’s make basketball history.
When we finally met up with my friends, we headed over to Waxy O'Connor's Irish Pub where we switched to a few mixed drinks and live music. Nothing beats a night of drinking when you don’t have to drive or Uber back.






But what about brunch?

Can’t forget about the most important meal of the day. Shout out to my mom for reminding me of this hidden gem only a few miles from the hotel. The Pioneer Flour Mills is a historic time capsule within itself, and in 1980, The Gunether House, named after the family who started the Pioneer Mill, opened as a restaurant and museum. Some of the best waffles and biscuits and gravy I’ve ever had. We ate outside and the weather was perfect. I’ve heard it gets pretty busy on the weekends, thankful to have gone on a Monday morning.





Anything to do on a budget?

How does free sound? Before we left on Monday, I was happy to find something I’ve never done before. The Missions at the San Antonio State Park were nothing short of breathtaking. The visitors center held a small shop full of Texas books, music and gifts, a museum that walked you through the history of the SA Missions and a video that showed every 30 minutes. We were happy to get out of the heat and enjoyed both the museum and short video. There is a B Cycle station right by the visitor’s center and you can ride to the other missions in the park, but we decided just to tour the main mission next to the center.






The small amount of time we had in San Antonio was well spent, but left me wanting more. Thankfully, it’s only three hours away from Houston – 2 ½ if you drive fast.


Disclaimer: I spent a couple of days before in San Marcos, which is a town about 45 minutes north of San Antonio, which is why it was easy for a quick getaway. I probably wouldn’t have made the drive from Houston to San Antonio to only stay 24 hours. This trip would be ideal if you lived, or were visiting, an hour radius from San Antonio. 

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