$1000 Vacation: San Antonio

The second $1000 vacation I’ve cooked up brings you to San Antonio, Texas. I’m suggesting San Antonio because I once spent the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve here in 1999 when I performed at the Alamo Bowl as a high school band student. The city was incredibly beautiful and I’m suggesting some of the same activities for this trip as the one I went on because I still remember how amazing they were a decade later.

The Hotel

Photos of Riverwalk Plaza Hotel & Suites, San Antonio

This photo of Riverwalk Plaza Hotel & Suites is courtesy of TripAdvisor

You’ll stay 4 nights at the Riverwalk Plaza Hotel & Suites. The hotel is conveniently located along the city’s Riverwalk (more on that below) and includes an outdoor heated pool. If you choose to drive into town, the hotel offers covered parking for $12. If you don’t have a car the hotel is conveniently located near a Via trolley station. For your stay you’ll be booked in a single queen room that overlooks the pool or city. Your room will cost $99/nt for a total of $462.33. Check the site often because prices do shift around as availability changes.

The Fun

Holidays are upon us

Photo credit: flickr user Definitive HDR

Day 1: Begin your trip to San Antonio with a helpful and beautiful tour. The San Antonio River Tour is a 35 minute tour that covers 2.5 miles. You’ll learn a lot about the history of the city and the tour will also help you learn the layout of the city. Each tour costs $8.25. After your tour walk around the Riverwalk and shop at River Center. The Riverwalk Holiday Lights will be on display and it makes for a spectacular sight. ($16.50)

Day 2: Head out to the Riverwalk area again to the Witte Museum. Admission on Tuesdays is free between 3 and 8 PM. The museum currently features a (free) exhibit on textiles and wardrobe as well an exhibit on shipwrecks, SHIPWRECK! Pirates & Treasure, for $5. ($10)

the Alamo

Photo Credit: flickr user Jim Nix / Nomadic Pursuits

Day 3: You can’t go to San Antonio without visiting the Alamo. The Alamo fell on March 6, 1836 so 2011 is the 175th anniversary. It’s an important historical site and is free to the public. If you’re feeling very adventurous you can visit all 5 of the missions in San Antonio. (free)

Day 4: Thanks to San Antonio’s wonderful weather, you can visit the San Antonio Botanical Garden year round. The gardens are open from 9 AM to 5 PM and will take around 2-3 hours to explore. At this time of year you’ll have the chance to see poinsettias blooming and the current exhibit is Amazing Butterflies. Admission is $8 but you can sign up here to get a $1 off coupon. ($14)

Day 5: Your final adventure is a nice walk through a historical neighborhood. The King William Historical District homes occupy land that once belonged to Mission San Antonio de Valero. It was settled by German immigrants in the 1860s and was named after King Wilhelm I of Prussia but after WWI its name changed several times before settling on the Americanized version, King William. In the 20th century the area fell into disrepair before being restored and named a historic district. Print out a walking tour map and search this district for architectural details and Germanic influences in the neighborhood. Most homes are Victorian though some are Gothic and some Queen Anne style. (free)

The Food

Breakfast and lunch are up to you on this trip with a $20 budget each day per person ($200 of your budget). Since your hotel offers continental breakfast feel free to use all $20 on lunch or eat cheap and pocket the difference. I’ve scouted out the city for some dinner ideas. All the prices below are estimates but do include a guess at tax and tip when applicable.

Day 1: Boudro’s is a great way to start your visit to San Antonio. It’s upscale but laid back, it’s new American food but with Texan influences. Get a steak here and you can’t go wrong. Best of all you’ll be right along the Riverwalk and enjoying all it has to offer. Prepare to be set back $90 for soft drinks, guacamole, and steaks. Be sure to make reservations.

Entomatada at Picante Grill

Day 2: Time for some Tex Mex! Picante Grill is just across the street from the Witte Museum and once you get inside you’ll see it’s a lot more Mex than Tex. The enchiladas get rave reviews across the board so eat some chips and salsa with a double order of enchiladas and drinks for around $27.

Day 3: In an effort to avoid Tex-Mexing you out, I’m suggesting some Belgian food for today’s dinner. La Frite Belgian Bistro is conveniently located near the Alamo and mixes together French and Belgian influences.  Their moules (mussels) get rave reviews. Prices vary widely but you can expect to splurge and spend about $60 for entrees and soft drinks. Make sure to make reservations.

Day 4: After a day at the Botanical Gardens, come back to your hotel and rest before heading out again. When you’re ready you can swing by Schilo’s Delicatessen, just between the Alamo and Riverwalk. Schilo’s is one of the oldest restaurants in the state and serves German style deli food. To get the real German experience you’ll need to try their Reuben sandwich, split pea soup, and their homemade root beer. Expect to spend $30.

Day 5: Make breakfast your big meal today and save your $20 for lunch and dinner. Head to Guenther House before your walking tour and fill up on their big breakfast between 7 AM and 3 PM. The grounds here are so beautiful weddings are held outside but inside you’ll find some amazing food like biscuits and southern sweet cream waffles. A meal here will run you about $30.

The Total

View $1000 San Antonio Trip in a larger map

Hotel: ………$462.33
Food: ………$437.00
Activities: ……$40.50
TOTAL: …….$939.83

San Antonio is amazingly affordable. Even with upscale dining this trip still comes in under budget. You can use your extra cash to pay for parking or transportation or even spend some cash while shopping. You could even look at upgrading your room to a king bed or a balcony view of the river. Whatever you do, make sure to have fun!

Check back tomorrow for another $1000 vacation idea.

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I'm Julie, I love to travel, I'm very hyper and I like to "hype" things and from that, TravelHyper was born. I'm a Missouri native and I cover St. Louis travel ideas as well as my own travels. I also like to focus on places I want to visit and budget travel ideas by creating trip plans. There's so much world out there and I hope you'll find that it's worth seeing and that vacation doesn't have to be out of reach to you.

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