Best Mission Tour in San Antonio 2024 1

Best Mission Tour in San Antonio 2024

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Greetings, Internet Stranger! I’m Stella Jane, author of the travel guide Get Lost, and welcome to a perfect mission tour in San Antonio day. I’ve visited the four largest cities in Texas: Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, and Austin, and though I’ve liked them all, San Antonio is my favorite. It has amazing history and food, plus wonderfully friendly people.

For this mission tour in San Antonio day, we’re heading out to explore some of San Antonio’s world famous missions. These are stunning and historically important buildings you won’t be able to find anywhere else in the world. Then we’re going to see San Antonio’s most famous mission. What is its name? I simply can’t remember…

Oh well, I’m sure it will come to me soon. Let’s head off on our adventure!

Stella’s Top 3 Picks: San Antonio

#1 TOP PICK

Best Mission Tour in San Antonio 2024 2

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
MISSION TOUR
✔️ Expert local guide
✔️ Get off the beaten track

#2 PICK

Best Mission Tour in San Antonio 2024 3

SAN ANTONIO GHOST TOUR
✔️ Tons of fun
✔️ Most popular tour on Viator

#3 PICK

Best Mission Tour in San Antonio 2024 4

ALL OTHER SAN ANTONIO TOURS
✔️
Find your favorite!
✔️ Get the best deals

mission tour in San Antonio day

Morning: Tour the Missions

San Antonio’s missions are one of the features that makes SA such a special city, and we’re definitely going to want to see them on our mission tour in San Antonio day. Unfortunately, they’re not really possible to get to using public transportation, and who wants to have to deal with renting a car and driving around unfamiliar places when you’re on vacation?

That’s why I took this wonderful tour of San Antonio’s missions, which helped me appreciate why these Spanish colonial buildings are important enough to be UNESCO World Heritage sites, a truly rare honor. The group was small, just me and a few other solo ladies, so we had all our guide’s attention. And it’s way cheaper than renting a car!

Check rates and availability for yourself by clicking here.

Then get ready for…

Approximately Top 5: San Antonio Missions

mission tour in San Antonio day
1) Mission Concepcion

What a lovely place to begin our mission tour in San Antonio day. Mission Concepción is probably the prettiest mission in San Antonio. Our guide, whom I shall call Framber, said that you can look at a mission and tell how good the priests who ran the mission were at getting along with the American Indians.

The Spanish priests who ran the missions depended on locals to get stone from the quarry and build the missions for them. If the locals didn’t want to work with the Spanish, it was hard to get much construction done. You can see that the priests at Mission Concepcion got along well with the locals because the stonework is quite advanced.

mission tour in San Antonio day

You also get to go inside the chapel at Mission Concepcion. Framber said that the Spanish government wanted the priests at the mission to refuse to feed or assist the locals in any way unless the American Indians promised to convert to Christianity.

However, the priests refused, I guess because they remembered that Jesus had pretty strong thoughts about feeding the poor.

mission tour in San Antonio day
2) Mission San Jose

Mission San Jose is also quite a beautiful stop on our mission tour in San Antonio day, but Framber said that it’s clear that the priests here didn’t get along with the locals as well because there is a large wall around the mission to protect it from invaders. That wouldn’t have been there if the relationship with their neighbors had been good.

The most interesting feature at Mission San Jose is the beautiful rose window. The young man who created the window had a fiancée who died, and then the young man died himself of a broken heart. So sad! But at least he built this stunning window so everyone will remember him.

mission tour in San Antonio day
3) Mission San Juan

At the first two missions we spent most of the time staying by Framber’s side. But at Mission San Juan, we were given some time to explore. One of the most interesting spots at Mission San Juan is the burial ground, where both priests and indigenous people were buried.

The graves were moved during an archaeological examination of the area, and then the bodies were reinterred in a joint ceremony between the Catholic church and local indigenous religious leaders. Mission San Juan is still an active church, so keep in mind that you’ll see a priest or two wandering the grounds.

mission tour in San Antonio day
4) Mission Espada

Our final mission of the mission tour in San Antonio day was Mission Espada, also known as Mission San Francisco. It was actually the first mission ever in Texas. The Franciscan priests came here to convert the indigenous locals, but they weren’t terribly successful because the mission was sometimes attacked by the Apache or the Comanche.

For that reason, Spanish officers were sometimes stationed here to protect the soldiers, but usually not that many. I was sort of curious as to how many Spanish officers constituted “not too many”. I bet even one seemed like too many for the locals.

mission tour in San Antonio day
5) Espada Aqueduct

The Espada Aqueduct is a fun little bonus at the end of the tour. Like the missions, it’s run by the National Park Service. The Aqueduct is an impressive feat of architecture that brought water to the Espada Mission. More than that, it’s located in a lovely, tranquil location, away from any crowds. The perfect place to end the tour!

24 Hour Tip

That’s all of the Mission-style fun I’m going to share with you for now.

Check rates and availability for yourself by going here

I hope you enjoy your mission tour in San Antonio day!

mission tour in San Antonio day

Afternoon: Remember, Remember the 5th of November

Though we had tons of fun touring the missions, we still have to visit the most famous mission on our mission tour in San Antonio day. Of course, I am referring to Mission San Antonio de Valera.

Oh, you haven’t heard of Mission San Antonio de Valera? Perhaps that’s because it’s more commonly referred to as The Alamo.

There’s definitely enough time in our mission tour in San Antonio day to see the whole Alamo. But first, I must feed you!

mission tour in San Antonio day
24 Treat: BBQ at Pinkerton’s

If there’s one food Texas is famous for, it’s barbecue. In fact, just try to tell a Texan that some other state does barbecue better. I triple dog dare you.

And if you’re looking for good barbecue near the Alamo, I recommend Pinkerton’s. At Pinkerton’s, you can either order your barbecue by weight, or you can order it in a sandwich. I recommend just going with a brisket sandwich because it’s easier.

For sides, I recommend getting one cold, like the crispy cole slaw, and one hot, like the peppy cheesy jalapeno rice bowl. Your belly will be nicely full and ready to attack the Alamo.

mission tour in San Antonio day

It’s…the Maine! No, it’s the 5th of November! Or perhaps it is…the Alamo!

That’s it. There’s a reason the Alamo, which was the garrison of the Mexican army in San Antonio, is the pride of Texas. It was the site of one of the most important battles in the Texas Revolution against Mexico.

Remember, Texas once belonged to Mexico, and Mexico had once belonged to Spain. However, Mexico separated from the mother country during the Mexican Revolution. About 14 years later, Texas decided to follow suit and separate from Mexico.

At the time of the Texas Revolution, the leader of Mexico was one General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. He’s usually called Santa Anna for short. When Texan rebels attacked and took the city of San Antonio, Santa Anna and his troops responded by unleashing hell upon the gents at the Alamo.

To make a long story short, the Texans at the Alamo lost and were almost all killed very dead. But later, when Santa Anna fought other Texan troops under Sam Houston, it was the Texans who were triumphant.

“Remember the Alamo” was their rallying cry as they won their independence. Now you know why the Alamo has historically been such an important place for the Texan patriot.

mission tour in San Antonio day
24 Hour Treasure

I adored the ranger tour of the Battleground surrounding the Alamo. I think it’s the best way to understand why the battle at the Alamo took on such significance for Texans.

If you want to take this tour, be sure to check the website to see costs and times. You can reserve your spot in advance online! Definitely worth it! To persuade you to take the tour, I share…

THREE FUN FACTS ABOUT THE ALAMO

mission tour in San Antonio day
1) Who died at the alamo?

The most popular Texan to die at the Alamo was one David Crockett. He was a native of Tennessee (greenest state in the land of the free).

He served as a member of Congress under Jackson but lost his seat because he refused to support Jackson’s odious Indian Removal Act. Crockett’s response was to get up in front of Congress and tell them, “You may all go to Hell. I will go to Texas.”

I bought a bumper sticker with this saying on it at the Alamo Gift Shop even though I do not own a car. If you don’t love Davy Crockett after hearing that story, there may be no hope for you.

mission tour in San Antonio day
2) Who else died at the alamo?

Not all the Texans who fought at the Alamo were as lovable as Crockett. For an example, take James Bowie. (Please.) He was a slaveowner, he was a drunkard, he was an accomplice of Jean Lafitte the pirate, and he once disemboweled a sheriff during the course of a duel.

DISEMBOWELED HIM WITH A KNIFE. That’s why the Bowie knife is named after him. And to think I used to believe the knife was named after David Bowie.

mission tour in San Antonio day
3) Did anyone live after the Alamo?

Many of the Texans at the Alamo were slaveowners, not just Bowie. In fact, one of the few survivors of the Battle of the Alamo was Joe, one of the slaves of William Travis.

Travis was one of the officers fighting for Texas at the Alamo. It’s thanks to Joe’s first hand account of the battle that we have some information of Santa Anna’s treatment of the Texans during and after the conflict.

Once you are done with your ranger tour, take your self-guided audio tour of the inside of the Alamo. It is small and you’re not allowed to take pictures, but it is fascinating to step inside such an important place for American history.

I especially liked the display of flags showing the states and countries where the men who died fighting at the Alamo came from.

mission tour in San Antonio day
24 Hour Tip

If someone tells you that your stolen bicycle is in the basement of the Alamo, do not believe them. The Alamo does not have a basement.

mission tour in San Antonio day
24 Hour Treasure: The Riverwalk

Do I like rivers? Do I like walks? I’ve got two legs and a heart, don’t I? And after a long day of learning about Texas history, eating Texas food, and shopping for Texas objects, nothing will be more relaxing than watching the sun set over the San Antonio Riverwalk.

But what is the San Antonio Riverwalk, you ask, Internet Stranger? I kind of feel like you should be able to figure it out on your own. It is a lengthy walkway set up around the gorgeous, winding San Antonio River.

mission tour in San Antonio day

The Riverwalk is lengthy, serpentine, and constantly expanding. You could spend a full day exploring it, but I don’t recommend doing that because I think walking along the San Antonio River at 2AM doesn’t sound very safe.

I suggest buying a ticket for one of the 35 minute river cruises. It’s a perfect and relaxing way to see the city. You can find out where the boats leave right here. The boats are sometimes crowded, but not always.

When I cruised the Rio San Antone, there was only one other lady on the boat, and our guide kept yelling out to passersby that we had bought out the boat and “these two ladies were total ballers”. That’s right, I AM a total baller. And now all of San Antonio knows it.

Stella’s Top 3 Picks: San Antonio

#1 TOP PICK

Best Mission Tour in San Antonio 2024 2

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
MISSION TOUR
✔️ Expert local guide
✔️ Get off the beaten track

#2 PICK

Best Mission Tour in San Antonio 2024 3

SAN ANTONIO GHOST TOUR
✔️ Tons of fun
✔️ Most popular tour on Viator

#3 PICK

Best Mission Tour in San Antonio 2024 4

ALL OTHER SAN ANTONIO TOURS
✔️
Find your favorite!
✔️ Get the best deals

mission tour in San Antonio day

Best mission tour in San Antonio day

Evening: Dinner at Mixtli

We’re in for a real treat at the end of our mission tour in San Antonio day. Mixtli is definitely my favorite restaurant in San Antonio, and I have definitely been to at least ten restaurants in San Antonio, so you should definitely trust me. But it has also been honored by the prestigious James Beard awards, so you should also definitely trust them.

Mixtli is a tasting menu restaurant, which means there’s no menu. You just show up and enjoy the fabulous Mexican dishes prepared by the talented chef. You definitely won’t eat exactly what I did because the menu changes regularly, but I want to give you an idea of what to expect:

mission tour in San Antonio day

My first course is something a bit unusual…snap peas…squash, serrano chile…and flying ants. These are actually a Mexican delicacy, and they add a fun crunch! Right off the bat, Mixtli is proving that they are for adventurous eaters.

mission tour in San Antonio day

Up next was a beautiful seafood appetizer, with mussels and trout roe. My favorite part was the use of squid ink in the masa, which turned the masa black and gave it a briny flavor. What a clever idea! I couldn’t wait to see what excitement would get dished up next.

mission tour in San Antonio day

This gorgeous dish was just a one bite scallop–two bites if you count a slurp of the butter sauce. Just don’t eat the seaweed. I totally would have tried, but fortunately the waiter warned me.

mission tour in San Antonio day

Now the courses are getting more substantial with a tender Iberico pork, peanut mole, and a leaf called hoja santa that tastes a little like eucalyptus. Almost every dish in this menu had at least one food I had never tried before, and I have tried a lot of foods.

mission tour in San Antonio day

Another new dish–seafood barbacoa! I’ve had barbacoa before, but never seafood. This was made with olives, clams, seaweed salsa, and blue corn tortilla. It was enticingly spicy, and the brine from the olives added that special more-ish touch.

mission tour in San Antonio day

After the largest dish on the menu, we switch to a snack of a white bean and pickled mushroom tostada with white cheese. This was a fun little palate cleanser, and I especially enjoyed the white cheese, which was a rare white cheese that can only be find in Oaxaca. (The theme of this menu was Oaxaca.)

mission tour in San Antonio day

Our final savory course was ribeye with sweet potato and a special occasion black mole. My favorite thing about this menu was the opportunity to try all these wonderful different moles. (And it’s Texas, so you know the ribeye is good.)

mission tour in San Antonio day

As is typical with a tasting menu, we get a palate cleanser before the dessert. This was a lemon thyme granita with a yogurt sorbet. I don’t even know how yogurt can be sorbet because yogurt has milk in it and sorbet doesn’t, but maybe this is why I am not a tasting menu chef.

mission tour in San Antonio day

And our beautiful dessert is corn masa pudding with Oaxacan chocolate and popped sorghum. It’s the corn-chocolate explosion that you didn’t even know you needed. The perfect end to our mission tour in San Antonio day

mission tour in San Antonio day

Where to Stay?

San Antonio, as I mentioned, is huge. So there’s no shortage of places to stay here. But I chose to spend my mission tour in San Antonio day at the Drury Inn and Suites.

The location was conveniently near The Alamo, and there was breakfast included every morning. Plus, they have a fun “happy hour” special where you can get free drinks and snacks, which was a delightful and relaxing treat. So I recommend it wholeheartedly!

If you’re looking for a great deal on this hotel, just click here.

And if you’d rather explore tons of other hotels in San Antonio, no matter what your budget, click here! This search engine will help you find the best places for your taste and budget so you can really enjoy your mission tour in San Antonio day.

mission tour in San Antonio day

That’s a Perfect mission tour in San Antonio day

What would you want to do with a mission tour in San Antonio day? Are you ready to start booking your hotel in San Antonio? And were you aware that I am a total baller? Please email me at stellajane@aroundtheworldin24hours.com and let me know.

Note: If you want to know how I put my travel itineraries together, just click here. Keep in mind that while each article is about how to spend 24 hours in a place, that doesn’t mean you should ONLY try a one day in San Antonio itinerary.

Try a one day in Dallas itinerary. You can experience 24 hours in Dallas. Check out 24 hours in Austin. Go for a one day in Houston itinerary. Why not go for 24 hours in Houston? Get going on the best Houston TX tours. Enjoy the best Austin TX food tour.

Experience the best tours in Austin Texas. Why not go for a what is there to do in Austin itinerary? You can check out 24 hours in San Antonio. Try out the best Hill Country San Antonio TX tour.

Best Mission Tour in San Antonio 2024 8

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