Sightseeing in San Antonio…in under an hour!

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My mother loves exploring the history behind every city she visits. So when she visited San Antonio with us in December, we decided to take her on a sight-seeing tour of the city.



But with a wiggly 2 and a half year old and 6 year old in tow, we had to think of a tour that was not very long, fun and packed with a good chunk of city sights and history.


After scouring through a few expert sites and reading through a bunch of reviews, we decided to do the City Sightseeing Hop On- Hop Off bus tour.



The open top, double-decker, bus was what sold us in the first place, followed by the fact that the tour was less than an hour long.

I also loved that we had the option to get off at any of the stops, explore the area and hop on another bus from the chain, once we were done.



Sightseeing in San Antonio


The route goes through 9 prominent vantage points in the city…



and your pass is valid for 24 hours from the point you first get on the bus.

So for a tourist to the city, this is an awesome deal at 21 US$ per adult and 11$ per child.


The tour started from the Alamo… an apt starting point from the historical angle…



and took us through the old streets lining San Antonio’s downtown,



with a surprise or two along the way!



What stood out for me, on the tour, was how beautifully the old buildings merged in with the new.


The exquisite work on the pillars, arches, spirals…

and ofcourse the infamous fire escapes,



all piece together to reflect the Spanish influence and charm this city effuses.


The tour took us past the beautiful River Walk but with a comfortable, sleeping toddler, we decided to stay put and just enjoy the pre-recorded commentary that played.



We also drove by the much coveted Guenther Street neighborhood where gorgeous historic homes, if ever on sale, go for nothing less than 2 million buckaroos!



Way out of my price range …

but (sigh!) the locale is absolutely gorgeous!



Who wouldn’t want to live here?



If you plan to take this tour, make sure you hop onboard with a camera.

You can capture a good chunk of the personality of this city in less than an hour…



and yes, swallow a generous dose of history while you’re at it!




From all the cities you have visited so far, which would you say has the best sightseeing attractions for a tourist?


San Antonio on Dwellable


    1. We love traveling and since the kids are at that perfect age, we’re trying to venture out more 🙂

  1. I would have to say Charleston SC and Savannah GA! I would love to go see all that you did though!

    1. Oh yeah, this definitely is a lot of fun ‘cept try not to venture out when it’s too cold. Brrrr 😉

  2. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE San Antonio!! There is so much to do there. My favorite restaurant in the world is on the Riverwalk.
    I think my favorite sight-seeing place is Charleston, SC.

    1. Which restaurant is that Dede? We’ve tried one Italian restaurant (forgotten the name) that was absolutely yum. Need to try out some more on our next trip!

  3. So neat! My brother moved down to TX and once the kids get a bit bigger we’ll be able to visit & fly into SA. I can’t wait to see it firsthand so I love seeing your pictorial tour! Thanks for sharing – looks like a great place to visit!

    1. Your kids will love the place. (and so will you!) There’s so much to do in SA-great attractions, lots of history…and yum food!

  4. What a fantastic pictorial tour…thank you !…you would make a superb guide too as you have caught all the places of interest and history in the hour long tour…the red double decker bus is a neat concept ! Looking forward to more 🙂 xxx

  5. I have never been to St Antonio but it does look beautiful! When I travel I tend to focus more on the “normal life” of the people of the city but of course I want to see all the places described in every guidebook 😉 I think London has a lot to offer and it seems to be my fav place on earth! I also liked Barcelona, it was a place where I didn’t put my camera to my bag not even for one second, so many breathtaking places to photograph!

    1. Wow Barcelona sounds gorgeous! London’s on our list once my son grows a little more to appreciate the beauty of traveling more. Hubs did London when my daughter was a few months old and says that’s his fave place in the whole wide world to be!

  6. those are gorgeous pictures! I cannot wait to visit San Antonia some day! I have never visited Texas. Ever. What is UP with that? I am totally remedying this situation.

    1. Well you’d better put that on your travel bucket list. There’s way too much to see and do in Texas. We keep saying we need to visit other cities but get drawn back into SA on each holiday. I really think we should move there completely!!

      1. I was there I think 4 years ago when my BIL was graduating from Air Force bootcamp. We had one day in the city and went to almost all the same place. My daughter was 1, so I have pictures of her in pretty much the same areas. It was the last day at the river walk before the drained river for the season.

        1. Wow! We have plans to to the Lackland tour the next time round. My son is CRAZY about planes. Fighter planes are the cherry on the icing!

  7. Great photos! I went to San Antonio and few years back and LOVED it! I need to take my kids there now! Fun place for sure!

    1. There’s lots to keep the kiddos happy-SeaWorld, the Zoo, Six Flags and a bunch of stuff in Downtown. Plan a trip soon!!

  8. My husband is from TX so he’s been to San Antonio many times. I would love to go some day and see The Alamo. I am a huge history buff.

    1. You will love San Antonio, Ellen. So much history wrapped up in the city. And there’s so much to do. I’d love to live there!!

  9. I went on a tour like this when in NYC. I loved how it gave you a good overview. I think what really makes these tours stand out if having a good guide! I’ve never been to San Antonio – or anywhere in Texas – but I would definitely take this tour. It’s too much to try and figure it out to see all the highlights myself!

  10. I went to San Antonio last September. It has so many things for tourists. I don’t usually go on tours, but went on a bus tour in London a long time ago.

  11. San Antonio has to be one of my favorite Texas cities – there is so much culture there! Thanks for the great overview.

    Thanks for linking up this past week! I hope you continue to do so each week!

  12. We have traveled a good bit but our stay here in Orlando Fl seams to be offering the most adventures for us.

  13. We’ve been to San Antonio once and found it to be extremely charming. My favorite memories were dining on the river canal, taking a barge down the canal, and exploring the old market and the beautiful mission ruins.

  14. I’d have to say my love of Colorado Springs, Colorado takes precedence! Beautiful mountains, and mountain sculptures, ghost towns, and Alpine slides to whizz down a mountain on.

  15. San Antonio is one of my favorite cities 🙂 I used to travel there for 3-8 weeks at a time for work (you know it’s bad when the hotel staff greets you by name when you’re checking in!). There are so many wonderful things to see. The downtown city walk area is one of my favorites 🙂

    I lived in St. Augustine, Florida, for 4 years while attending college, and it is great for sight-seers, too. There are wonderful old forts, the fountain of youth, beaches, and the Bridge of Lions where you can sometimes catch sight of dolphins swimming! And, of course, the college I went to – Flagler College – which is on the national historic registry. It’s beautiful!

  16. I would say that the cities I wanted to explore the most so far were Chicago, Detroit, and New York. I didn’t get to spend more than a few hours in either Detroit or New York. I lived in Chicago for several years, however, and always found it interesting when I discovered something new! The river tours never bored me!

  17. What a great idea! We have 4 little ones so a traditional history tour is not an option for us right now. We live in TX too so I will keep this in mind!
    My favorite city so far has been Sydney, Australia. sigh.

  18. I really enjoyed this. I did not get to see San Antonio while I was in Texas. My favorite place to visit is St. Augustine, FL. I just love the history there. Savannah, GA is also beautiful.

  19. How fun! I love tours that allow you to hop on/off the bus at your leisure. It makes it more fun – and allows you to explore at your own pace. We live fairly close to Boston, and take advantage of the tour bus there. It’s so fun and I learn something new every time!

  20. What a great post! I’ve never been to Texas, I love the pictures you provided. I haven’t been on a road trip that allowed for much sight seeing really ever 🙂 I stay pretty much within my home state of Wisconsin and enjoy the beautiful scenery I have 🙂

  21. We haven’t done any sightseeing in Texas but San Antonio looks wonderful. I love the double deck bus and that you can get off and on at your leisure.

  22. What a wonderful way to show your mom the city! I love traveling, but don’t get as much opportunity to do it as I’d like. My favorite city in the would be Washington, D.C. There’s so much history there. Overseas my favorite was Prague. Again, a lot of history, beautiful art and architecture.

  23. So far I think that New Orleans and Miami were one of the best cities that I have visited. Loved your pics and I think that I would enjoy San Antonio as well.

  24. My husband has family in Texas, and we plan to visit soon. I think they are only about 1-2 hours from San Antonio, so we may drive down and check out this tour while we are out there. I haven’t done too many sightseeing tours, but the ones in Los Angeles and Nashville are fun!!

  25. I had a blast touring London, England. I don’t think we were able to take it all in, in an hour–even a full day wasn’t enough. Lots of different historical sites alongside modern. Fun city. I was able to have a tour day with just my husband, but we did venture in with the kids on a different day. So much to do and see.
    My husband visited San Antonio. It looks like a great place to visit.

  26. I have to say British Columbia/Victoria was my favorite tourist spot. I haven’t been to Texas yet but after seeing your pics it seems a wonderful place to go. Thanks for sharing.

  27. It has been way too long since we went on a vacation for any length of time. I hope to change that once my husband is working again and has vacation time.
    I LOVE the River Walk…. In highschool, I got to go w/the orchestra because we went to finals in UIL. It was GORGEOUS and so peaceful. I feel in love with it. (I’m a native Texas, born and raised here in the Dallas area).
    And I remember as a kid, as often as we could we’d go up to Indiana to visit some of my mom’s and grandmother’s relatives. I remember stopping in Arkansas and seeing some of the sights. I think we went to Look out Mountain once too. Carlsbad Cavern (Texas), and up in Ohio we stopped at the snake mounds (that was pretty awesome, realizing that the only way the mound of dirt that I was looking at could be seen for what it was (a HUGE snake) was from the air and that the mounds were made LONG before planes).
    My mom, when she and my grandparents were moving to Texas, traveled as much of the US as they could, seeing the great ancient forests in California, the Grand Canyon and many other places. As a homeschooling mama, I would SO love to take my kids to places to see first hand where history happened. Hopefully one day!

  28. Great pics and what a fun tour! We lived in San Antonio for about 9 months and I didn’t know about this tour. You got a great deal! Honestly, to answer your question abuot the best tourist options, I think (and did think before living there) that San Antonio is one of the best bangs for your family buck out there. There’s a lot to do and see there! Great post!

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