Our Holidays of San Antonio, Texas



This winter, my family and I had an opportunity to visit and explore the top attractions and dining destinations of the historical San Antonio, a city of rich colonial heritage and full of exciting attractions and delicious restaurants.

We used www.visitsanantonio.com to plan our trip and find things to do in one of the most populous cities in North America.

Starting off our trip, we visited a premier natural attraction, the Natural Bridge Caverns, a series of underground caves with a ropes course and zipline in the Texas Hill Country, a drive-through wildlife safari park. As we descended into the depths of the earth, we were amazed by the beauty of the stalactites and stalagmites that adorned the cave walls. 180 feet below the surface is the deepest part of the public tour, although undeveloped areas of the cavern reach depths of 230 feet. Our kids enjoyed learning about the interesting history and geology of the caverns. The light show was truly a magical experience, which is in the final chamber of the cave. Choreographed to music, the lights add a whole new level of wonder to the already breathtaking cave formations.

The Pearl area. (All photos courtesy of Lina Shah)

That evening, we drove back to the Pearl brewery area which is a very youthful and vibrant part of the city, for dinner at Mi Roti Caribbean restaurant. Named for roti, a West Indian flatbread customized to a new level, it offered sophisticated wraps. We were privileged to meet Chef Nicola Blaque who is on a mission to elevate and modernize Caribbean Street food. The food was authentically Caribbean and delicious.

The next day, we spent the morning at the San Antonio Art Museum, which was displaying a fascinating exhibit of Impressionist paintings. All the galleries are eye-catching with vibrant colors and delicate brushstrokes of the masterpieces on display. The museum also had a variety of interactive elements, including a virtual reality experience that allowed me to step inside a Monet painting.

For lunch, we picked Botika, a South American and Southeast Asian restaurant on Pearl Parkway, which combines the flavors of these Asian and Peruvian regions. We tried a variety of dishes, including Ceviche, Dumplings, and Curry, and each one was more delicious than the last. The restaurant’s atmosphere was lively and inviting, making it the perfect place to relax and enjoy a meal.

Fort Sam Houston

The other day, we started with the Fort Sam Museum located in Fort Sam Houston, dedicated to the history of the U.S. Military. The museum was filled with fascinating exhibits on the various wars that the U.S. has fought and the role that military personnel have played in shaping the country’s history.

Next, we went to Hopscotch, a creative art space featuring 15 distinctive immersive and interactive light installations & optical illusions, plus a popular lounge and a store that specializes in handmade crafts and gifts. This was a can’t-miss – such a unique collection of art in a fun and friendly environment is inimitable.

We also visited the Witte Museum, which was hosting a special exhibit on monster fish featuring a variety of exotic and unusual fish, including piranhas, arowanas, and more.

Dinner was planned at Tre Trattoria, a beautiful trendy Tuscan Italian restaurant located in the historic Hops House, with a breathtaking view of the San Antonio River. It was cosy and intimate, and the food was delicious.

The Alamo

Of course, we can’t forget the Alamo! This historic mission played a significant role in the Texas Revolution. At Alamo Church, we learned about the historic buildings, priceless artefacts, and dramatic living history, and enjoyed peaceful gardens.


That evening, we dined at Boudro’s Texas Bistro, one of the most treasured and popular attractions on the San Antonio River Walk. We enjoyed a delicious prickly pear margarita and the tableside guacamole presentation with Texas-style food.

Chinese Tea Gardens

We visited the Japanese Tea Gardens, also known as Sunken Gardens in Brackenridge Park. The garden offers a lily pond, with limestone bridges, stone-lined walkways, Japanese Koi ponds and a huge pagoda and a 60-foot waterfall.  An interesting historical fact is that after the Pearl Harbor attack, the garden was renamed the Chinese Tea Garden.

Lunch was at The Best Quality Daughter Restaurant, a creative Asian fusion cuisine served in a funky dining room inside a restored circa house at The Historic Pearl.

Later, we went to The Alamo Quarry Market, a premiere lifestyle center, a shopping and dining destination, and had dinner at The Green Vegetarian Cuisine, meatless and plant-based, vegetarian & vegan versions of everyday dishes in funky, industrial digs.

Light Escape

The next day, we had a Velvet taco and visited the San Antonio Botanical Garden to see Light Escape, a popular attraction where visitors can experience immersive light installations, which only happens during the winter holiday season. The Garden is a museum of plants, a tranquil escape, a living classroom, a research and conservation facility, and an entertainment venue where art, architecture, music, and theatre experiences come to life.

On Christmas Day, we had a relaxing time on the Riverwalk. We took the famous Go Rio Tour of San Antonio’s backwaters and learned about the historical sights, wonders and culture of a unique American city.

Our return flight was from Austin, and we visited the Pinkmas Ice-Cream Museum and Wonderspaces, an art exhibition in Austin. At Pinkmas we enjoyed, the unicorn playground, vintage diner and sprinkle pool, along with testing out a variety of ice creams and learning about their history interactively. The Wonderspaces has 15 different extraordinary art installations, which will amaze all ages of people.

We then enjoyed dinner at Tres Amigos, a Mexican restaurant.

Overall, we had a fantastic time exploring all that San Antonio has to offer. There are so many interesting attractions and delicious restaurants to discover in this vibrant city.

Lina Shah is a Freelance Writer, Editor, Teacher, Social Worker and Financial Professional. Inspired by her father, she is a multi-talented suburban Chicagoland wife and a mother of two, who also enjoys cooking, social gathering and event planning.



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