San Antonio is one of the gems of Texas, located along the beautiful River Walk and adjacent to one of the beacons of Texas history, the Alamo. Ranked in the top 10 nationally in terms of population, the city known as Mission City/Alamo City/Riverwalk City is also the second largest in the state of Texas.
With a deep and varied cultural history, San Antonio has a rich Hispanic heritage in addition to its strong Texas roots. Also home to a large military presence, several universities, multiple sports teams, museums, gardens, and a first class zoo, there is truly something for everyone in this south Texas city.
For those traveling in to the game, from within Texas or any number of states elsewhere, we present your official "Frogs O' War Alamo Bowl Guide".
Things to Do:
Are you traveling with little ones?
Botanical Garden: It's looking like rain over the weekend, but if the sun does peak through, this is a must-see.
DoSeum: Little kids love to touch stuff they aren't supposed to; here, it's actually encouraged!
Magik Theatre: Ok, not going to lie, this looks like fun for adults, too.
San Antonio Aquarium: If the weather is poor, this is a great place to stay out of the rain while being surrounded by water.
San Antonio Zoo: Who doesn't love a good zoo? This is a good zoo.
Are you single and ready to mingle?
Bonham Exchange: Big party? Check. New Year's Eve Festivities? Check. Historic Building? Check.
Betty's Battalion: A big time military hang out, Betty's has cold beer, live music, and lots of stories.
Howl at the Moon: If you can get the players to have dueling Oregon and TCU fight songs, you win.
Places to Eat:
Bliss: Trip Advisor's top rated restaurant is fine dining at it's finest, boasting an eclectic menu spearheaded by chef Mark Bliss, a Northern California native. With an exceptional wine menu and ambience, it's a local favorite, but on the pricey side.
La Panaderia: On the more approachable side is the highly rated La Panaderia, considered by many to be home to the best sandwich in the city, and maybe the state. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the store is known for their homemade bread and dedication to their home town.
Pollos Asados Los Norteños: This hole-in-the-wall joint will give you a true taste of the city, and while they don't have a website, just follow your nose to the billowing plume of chicken-y smoky goodness.
Places to Drink:
Menger Bar: Located inside the historic Menger Hotel, the oldest continuously operating hotel west of the Mississippi, the bar has hosted every major cattle dealer in the country, as well as Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders. In the style of an Old English Pub, be sure to to order up some history with your beverage of choice.
Tex's Sports Bar: A little cliché, but if you are looking for a spot to catch other games without leaving the River Walk, this is the place. It also may make for a good meet up spot for TCU fans! The Ticket Sports Pub is another similar option.
The Esquire Tavern: The oldest bar on the River Walk, Esquire features a bar top that is over 100 feet long of wood-soaked history. Be sure to try a Texas is the Reason, in honor of our very own Warrior Horned Frog.
Tacos get their own category because this is Texas, and San Antonio does the state's signature menu item as good as anyone.
Henry's Puffy Tacos: Known across the state and the nation, Henry's is one of the oldest--and best--purveyors of the fold of fried perfection that is the puffy taco. Born in San Antonio, you have to try it while you're in town; they serve a pretty killer margarita too.
Rosario's: Home to one of the best tacos in the world (according to Texas Monthly) Rosario's makes a killer Tilapia concoction covered in cabbage slaw and chipotle mayo.
Taquitos El Guero: Not the fanciest joint, but this food truck makes a killer taco--that is if you can make it down to Commerce St. There are plenty of temptations on the menu, but the house favorite is the carne asada gringa.
Natural Bridge Caverns: Discovered in 1960 by students at St. Mary's University, the Caverns are home to over two miles of underground passageways and rooms.
Institute of Texan Cultures: A part of the UTSA campus, the museum works in conjunction with the Smithsonian to tell the story of the people of Texas through ethnic and cultural history exhibits.
The Alamo: When in Rome... You can't go to SA without stopping by this famous fort, where a group of Texians and Tejanos held a much bigger army at bay for an unbelievable 13 days. The heart of Texas is located inside the remnants of this once grand building, and the energy coming from it is palpable.
Valero Alamo Bowl Fan Zone: From noon until kickoff, you can party at Sunset Station for this free event. With live music, cash bar, and special appearances by the Oregon and TCU Bands (4pm), this is a can't miss stop on your way to the stadium.
TCU Tailgate: Anthony Travel is once again hosting the official TCU Tailgate pregame. Held from 2-5pm at Historic Sunset Station, the full package event is sold out, but there is a "Horned Frog Hangout" being hosted in the same venue with a cash bar and standing room only.
Kickoff: The game kicks off at 5:45pm at the Alamodome. Tickets remain in limited supply through the Alamo Bowl website and third party brokers.
I know I didn't hit all of the best spots, so leave your favorite places, travel tips, and insider info in the comments below, and see you in San Antonio!