The Alamo#2 in Best Things To Do in San Antonio
If there's one thing San Antonio is known for, it's the Alamo. Once a Franciscan mission, it was here that 189 Texans fought and lost their lives in 1836 during a 13-day siege by Mexican ruler, President Antonio López de Santa Anna. The fight sparked Texas' struggle for independence and today, the Alamo stands as a tribute to these men, displaying artifacts belonging to some of the Alamo's most famous defenders, including Davy Crockett and James Bowie. Once you've finished visiting the Alamo (either on your own or by guided tour), head around back where a small museum and research library offer further insight into the siege. Alternatively, take a pass through the gift shop, where you can find a variety of souvenirs to help you "Remember the Alamo."
Recent visitors said the site can get rather busy, so try to visit early in the morning or later in the evening. Most visitors also agree that even when it's packed with tourists, the Alamo is a must-see in San Antonio.
Located in the heart of downtown San Antonio, the Alamo is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with extended hours late May through early September until 7 p.m. Admission to the grounds is free, but if you're interested in booking a tour it will cost anywhere from $7 to $40 depending on which package you select. The best way to get to the Alamo is by bus (all three VIVA buses stop at the site) or car, and a visit to the Alamo would pair well with a stop at the River Walk, just west of the site. For more information, visit the Alamo website.
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#1 Brackenridge Park
When the River Walk seems too busy, seek refuge from the heat and the swarms of tourists in Brackenridge Park. Its 343 acres offer much in the way of relaxation: rustic stone bridges and shaded walkways are perfect for strolling, and the Japanese Tea Garden and San Antonio Botanical Garden beckon to botanists. Dress casual so you can take advantage of Brackenridge's jogging trails, golf course and athletic fields. The park also hosts outdoor concerts in the natural Sunken Garden Theater. In and around the park, you'll also find popular attractions like the San Antonio Zoo and the Witte Museum.
Past visitors appreciated the park's train, which runs through the zoo and offers an excellent opportunity to get around the large area. They also recommend bringing some bird seed to feed the ducks that float down the San Antonio River.
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