I feel like I missed a memo. While I was growing up in Alaska I was taught that I needed to defend myself against Texans who would try to claim that “everything is bigger in Texas” and then I’d need to yell at them that three of their state can fit in my state. You think Texas is proud? Pshhh you should see Alaskans! While I was prepping for the fight (that honestly no one has with me. People really don’t care how much land your state has to it’s name. This and stop drop and roll were disproportionally stressed to me growing up), I missed the memo that Texas is low key awesome.
I said it. This Alaskan can humbly accept that though everything isn’t bigger in Texas (We’ve already covered that Alaska is the biggest and best) some things are just plain better in Texas. My mom used a mileage ticket to fly me from Twentynine Palms to San Antonio to meet her while she went to her conference here. I didn’t know what to expect really, I went in blind and I have effectively been blown away. I think part of it is I thought it was going to be tumbleweeds and cowboys. I didn’t see either during my whole trip in San Antonio and instead was greeted with a bounty of trees and some of the best food I’ve ever had.
So, I am now a self-ordained recruiter for the tourism sector of San Antonio. Let me tell you what you need to do and why you will want to go now.
Like right now.
Like stop reading and book a trip I’m so serious this is one of my favorite U.S. cities.
- That river walk that everyone talks about is actually pretty awesome.
Everyone will tell you to go here anyways but it’s far greater than the image in your mind is. I have been to the River Walk in Chicago but the restaurants are typically a level above from the water and it’s cold as heck most months. And I have also walked along the Seine in Paris and it had a pungent smell that can only be describe as a mix of urine and disappointed tourists with a dash of pollution. The River Walk in San Antonio takes it up a level. Restaurants line the River Walk and are right on the water. Performers’ music fills the air and the subtle symphony of water taxis cruising along the way. Along the River Walk you can pretty much dine on any cuisine that you desire as the diversity of Texas’ culture is showcased here. My picks of where to eat on the River Walk?
- The County Line: I have never had brisket before and I had it here and I’m never going back. They have famous in house bread that is served warm and with a honey butter spread. I ordered the brisket with corn on the cob and garlic mashed potatoes. Okay, confession. I went here twice. I got steak the second time and they described it as “melt in your mouth” which I thought was weird until I had one bite… melt in your mouth can be a thing when referring to steak. And I think it changed my life.
- Waxy O’Connor’s: I actually had dessert for dinner here but their homemade apple pie was amazing and came with caramel drizzled all over the pie. They also have Shepherd’s Pie and Chicken Pot Pie, great comfort food and sports bar vibes.
- The Chocolate Factory: I’m embarrassed with how much money I spent here… they are very expensive but have pretty much any sort of chocolate concoction you can dream of.
- Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville: I had the Cuban sandwich and was full for the rest of the day. Great portions and right by the mall and river.
- The Iron Cactus: Please get their table side guacamole and marvel as they make guac an art form. Order one of everything is my recommendation.
- San Antonio knows how to do holidays.
I was in San Antonio over Halloween weekend and I couldn’t believe how intense they took it! Haunted house after haunted house, trick-or-treating on the river walk, a zombie walk down town, Dia de Los Muertos en la plaza: everywhere and everything! I was told by a San Antonio that this is just how they do things. In April they have a two- week long party! Why? BECAUSE THEY WANT TO. San Antonio is the epitome of fun. Once a year they drain the river to do some cleaning so what do they do? They have a fiesta! Christmas? Party! Halloween? You got it! San Antonio is festive and fun and a vibrant city that takes holidays to a new level.
- The whole state has a small town vibe.
I can really appreciate this coming from Alaska. I felt hospitality in every interaction despite being in a city. In Chicago I feel that I am constantly on guard for someone eager to steal my things or mess with me. In San Antonio? There were multiple occasions where in a big city someone would have taken advantage of the small town girls bewildered and lost but in San Antonio? Please were eager to help, give recommendations, and stud their response with a lot of “ya’ll” even though we giggled every time they did that.
- Texas is the perfect place for #treatyourself2016
We didn’t just go to Texas, we TREATED OURSELVES! Here are my favorite ways that we placed tourist and treated ourselves
- Go to Tower of the Americas and dine at the restaurant at the top. This rotating restaurant gives you full views of the entire city. We only did dessert but we ordered the lava cake with ice cream. I don’t think I could forget that taste if I had to. You won’t be able to go back to lava cake from Domino’s after this.
- Mani and pedi’s with my mom because that’s what you’re suppose to do when you hang out with your mom.
- Wildlife Ranch African Safari is a zoo where you drive your care through the safari park and get an opportunity to see a variety of African animals. You also get to feed them with the complimentary feed given to you with your purchase! A zebra got real friendly with my window and we saw a lot of unique creatures
You have to go to the Alamo. It’s right in the heart of downtown and free to walk through the main part and you learn a lot about the history that Texas is so proud of.
- Trips are a thousand times better with family.
As you plan your trip to Texas (as I’m sure you will after you learned that Texas is not a barren wasteland that’s too hot and too country) be sure to bring family. I spent my time in Texas with my mom and we laughed and enjoyed the experience of a new adventure together. We also had the opportunity to spend a day with our cousin Lori Meredith.
Ya’ll have a good visit in Texas now!