By Carla Olivo, Marine Spouse
If you are stationed in the San Antonio Area, you know firsthand how interesting a duty station it is! Whether you are at Randolph AFB, Lackland AFB, or Fort Sam Houston, there is plenty to see and experience in the Texas Triangle. Here is a list of some of the “once in a lifetime” things to do and places to see in and around Alamo City.
Your San Antonio Bucket List
Grand Views from the Tower of the Americas
The 750 foot-tall Tower of the Americas was built in the center of Hemisfair Park for the 1968 World’s Fair. To this day, it remains the tallest structure in San Antonio. The observation deck provides a spectacular view of the city. A revolving restaurant, the Chart House, is a favorite for experiencing the remarkable panoramic view.
Take a Dip in the San Pedro Springs Pool
The San Pedro Springs Park is the second oldest public space in America, second only to Boston Common. This natural springs pool is chilly but beautiful, and there is no admission.
Attend at least one Fiesta San Antonio event
More than a century ago, Texas declared its independence from Mexico. Remember the Alamo Weekend is the first weekend in March. Originally started in 1891 as a one-parade event to honor the memory of the heroes of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto, it has evolved into one of this nation’s premier festivals. Some 3.5 million party-goers from across the state and around the nation enjoy Fiesta San Antonio. It takes 100 local nonprofit organizations and the more than 75,000 volunteers to pull off this Texas-sized festival. San Antonio’s 11-day signature spring event is not to be missed.
Bats, Bats, and More Bats!
Some get creeped out. Others enjoy the novelty. However you feel, there is nothing quite like a bat-viewing party! From March through October, more than 20 million Mexican free-tailed bats make their home in Bracken Cave just outside the San Antonio city limits. Each evening at dusk, 50,000 bats emerge to dine on mosquitoes and other insects. Beginning in mid-July and running into August, Bat Conservation International hosts a Tuesday-evening information session and bat-viewing party across from the Camden Bridge along the Museum Reach.
San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo
Each February, the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo takes center stage. Held on the AT&T Center grounds, the event features rodeo events and youth livestock competitions, live music, carnival rides, and a variety of expos. The rodeo is sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) and the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA)
If the military brings you to Texas, you can’t leave without a pair of Texas boots. The Little family has been making custom boots in San Antonio for more than a century. This handmade footwear isn’t cheap, but the experience of owning your own unique pair of Texas boots makes them worth it..
The Menger Hotel Bar
Established in 1859, the Menger Hotel is the oldest continuously operating hotel west of the Mississippi River. In 1898 Teddy Roosevelt recruited the Rough Riders here to fight in the Spanish-American War. Enjoy a cocktail and some of the hotel’s refreshing signature mango ice cream in the cool, dark confines of this historic (and some say haunted) bar.
If you have anything to add to our San Antonio Bucket List, please comment below. For all your PCS needs, check out PCSgrades.com for reviews of on-base housing, local neighborhoods, moving companies, realtors, and mortgage lenders. Let your fellow military families know what you think about the San Antonio area, the housing, the neighborhoods, the schools.