San Antonio Off The Beaten Path

  • Natural Bridge Caverns
    Natural Bridge Caverns
    by DSwede
  • Interior of the caverns
    Interior of the caverns
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    Japanese Tea Garden
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Most Recent Off The Beaten Path in San Antonio

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    La Cantera Area

    by BellaMora Written Nov 1, 2008

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    This is another away from downtown spot that is my favorite in the city. The Rim is a gorgeous shopping center that has a high-end movie theatre, Jc Pennys, Ross, Cost Plus World Market, and plenty of eateries too. Maggiano's will be there soon along with Lion Rose, and some others. Across the way is La Cantera mall near the Westin Resort. My favorite mall in the city.

    Take 10W to La Cantera/Fiesta Texas to the Rim. Its a nice drive from downtown (30mins) but well worth the visit.

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    William Reuter Building 1891

    by Yaqui Written Oct 14, 2008

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    This wonderful historical building was designed by architect James Wahrenberger in 1891 for William Reuter. It has the wonderful carved stone cornices and you cannot miss it from across from the Alamo on located on the corner of Crockett Street and Alamo Plaza. It was a saloon and ladies parlor and the second was offices and the top floor was a lodge hall for Knights of Pythias. It is listed has a Historical Landmark by the Texas Historical Commission.

    217-219 Alamo Plaza on the corner of Crockett Street.

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    The Casino Building 1854

    by Yaqui Written Oct 14, 2008

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    This was San Antonio’s first social club and theater. It was started by German immigrants who needed a place for gathering and social activities. It was charted in 1857 and opened its door in 1858. It was a place for dinning, music, lectures, plays and family entertainment. It was said that General’s Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant have been guest here. The casino club lasted for almost sixty-nine years old till it sold in 1923. In 1946, it turned into a men's club. Till the 1960’s it was listed as several other clubs. There were Casino clubs listed in the San Antonio telephone directory into the early 1960's. Today it is condominiums.

    From the riverboat tour it stands out for its gothic design and the lovely three tiered dome. It was called by the tourist guide as the German Apartments. It is listed as a Historical Landmark.

    102 W Crockett St, San Antonio, TX 78205

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    Watermark Hotel - 1900's

    by Yaqui Written Oct 14, 2008

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    Built 1900’s, as the L. Frank Saddlery Building that was four story and 70,000 square foot building is where they made custom saddles the largest saddlery west of the Mississippi, and by 1918 was one of the largest saddleries in the country. They made custom saddles for Theodore Roosevelt and his Rough Riders and for John Wayne. It was once served as a furniture store until the World Fair in the 1960s needed to accommodate the many anticipated visitors. It was converted into a four star hotel called La Mansion in 1968. In 2003, it went through extensive remodeling and is now called the Watermark Hotel & Spa and still offers luxury and premium services.

    212 West Crockett Street
    San Antonio, TX 78205

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    Flora - Mexican Heather

    by ATXtraveler Written Oct 13, 2008

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    One of the most used landscaping plants in San Antonio is Mexican Heather. The actual plant name is Cuphea hyssopifolia of the Lythraceae or loosestrife family.

    Mexican Heather is a beautiful low growing plant with purple or some white blossoms, and is used primarily as a cover plant. Unlike some of the cactus plants, you will have no worries accidentally running into this plant, as it is much softer on the skin than the prickly cacti.

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    Flora - Yucca Plants

    by ATXtraveler Written Oct 13, 2008

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    Having grown up in the desert, I was fairly impressed to run into one of my favorite plants, the Yucca on my recent trip to San Antonio. The Yucca is a relative of the Agave plant, which brings us our favorite Mexican liquor Tequila, but the Yucca is a more robust desert dweller. There are about 50 different species of Yucca, this one in the photo is the Yucca filamentosa, also known as Adam's Needle.

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    Las Misiones Capital Campaign

    by ATXtraveler Written Oct 13, 2008

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    The National Park Service has ensured that all of the locations you visit are free of charge, however without additional infusion of capital, restoration projects are sometimes held back and not completed as quickly as a place that charges admission.

    If you enjoy the San Antonio Missions National Parks, please do consider making a donation to the Las Misiones Capital Campaign, which will help restore some of older fresco paintings inside the buildings, along with other much needed work.

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    Casa Rio restaurant

    by Yaqui Written Oct 11, 2008

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    This is probably the one of the most photographed restaurants with even knowing it. What make this place very unique are all the lovely table umbrellas. Open in 1946 by Alfred Beyer and was even the first commercial businesses at River Level. Originally, an appliance store at street level, he was losing money, so he remodeled the basement to utilize that space since it was at river level and opened a restaurant. During the remodel, they even discovered remnants of a Spanish-era home, which were preserved as part of the restaurant.

    430 E. Commerce St.

    Between Commerce St. & Market St.

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    Nix Professional Building

    by Yaqui Written Oct 11, 2008

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    Built in 1931 with an Art Deco architectural design. It was the first hospital and had the distinction of being the tallest skyscraper hospital with offices for doctors and its own parking garage in the states till Memorial Hermann Medical Plaza in Huston was built. What other unique characteristic is that from certain angles it has the illusion of a flat wall from the riverside. Just some neat information that the riverboat tour guides share. They are a wealth of local information if you every need to know more. Just ask them.

    414 Navarro, San Antonio, Texas 78205

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    Emily Morgan Hotel

    by Yaqui Written Oct 11, 2008

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    Know as the grand dame of San Antonio, it is just a hop and skip away from the Riverwalk and just across the street from the historical Alamo. Built 1924 by J.M. Nix and first known as the Medical Arts Building costing 1.5 million to build. It was designed to accommodate at least 100 doctors and office space for 400. Designed by Architect Ralph Cameron with gothic architecture, she still echoes the luxury of the past and present day in hotels amenities. She is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as contributing to the Alamo Plaza Historic District.

    Folklore is Santa Anna did not respond the Texas Charge since he was supposedly being entertained in his tent during siesta time by Emily Wells, a 20-year-old mulatto girl. Emily had come from New York and was indentured servant to Colonel James Morgan. The song The Yellow Rose of Texas was supposedly written for her, but who knows!

    There's a yellow rose in Texas
    That I am going to see
    No other darky (sic) knows her
    No one only me
    She cried (sic) so when I left her
    It like to broke my heart
    And if I ever find her
    We nevermore will part.

    705 East Houston Street

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    NIMITZ MUSEUM COMPLEX

    by mtncorg Written Jun 5, 2008

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    Chester Nimitz grew up here in Fredericksburg - about 70 miles north of San Antonio. He was so impressed by the bearing of a couple of Army officers that he met from nearby Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio that he applied for acceptance in to West Point. Since that year's appointments had already been made, he accepted an appointment to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland instead. Thus began his long naval career that would take him from the family hostelry - the Nimitz Hotel within which the Museum is today housed - to the top of the American naval effort against Japan in World War II> The museum recounts the Nimitz family history here in Fredericksburg, as well as recounting the famous admiral's career in detailed exhibits. Cost of entry is $7 and includes entry to the George H. W. Bush Gallery of the Pacific War, the Memorial Courtyard and the Pacific Combat Zone.

    Nimitz Hotel housing Nimitz Musem A young George H. W. Bush and his Avenger Plaza of the Presidents Memorial Courtyard at the Nimitz Complex Entrance to the Pacific Combat Zone
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    LBJ RANCH

    by mtncorg Written Jun 5, 2008

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    Lyndon Johnson's family had come to this area in the 1850's and the story of his family can best be experienced by visiting the Johnson Settlement near the LBJ Boyhood Home in Johnson City. But it is here at the LBJ Ranch that you can really get an understanding of LBJ. The 36th President, Johnson was the last President who could claim experience with the older rural frontiers and the urban world of today. LBJ bought the Ranch in 1951 from his aunt and uncle. This was his home when he was not in Washington, D.C., until his death in early 1973 at only 64. To visit the Ranch, you need to board the National Park tour buses - $6 charge - at the Visitor Center just off US 290. The tours run on the hour and run past wildflower gardens and the old river ford entrance to the Ranch. Next comes the reconstructed LBJ Birthplace and the Johnson Family Cemetery before you reach the Ranch, itself. The Ranch and home here have been left to the National Park Service. The house will slowly be opened to the public in subsequent years - the West Office is due to be opened this summer - with the death of LBJ's wife, Lady Bird, last summer (2007). The tour goes past several old cars that the Johnsons used and out onto the landing strip that LBJ had installed after an enforced stay on the Ranch that he had to endure during an extended flood of the Pedernales River - there being no bridge at the time.

    The LBJ White house on the Pedernales River River ford entrance to the LBJ Ranch Grave of LBJ - big marker - and Lady Bird - floral Reconstructed LBJ birthplace Ranch Road Number One goes past LBJ Ranch
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    HILL COUNTRY

    by mtncorg Written Jun 5, 2008

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    The AAA Hill Country map covers an area approximately triangular in shape with Austin and San Antonio at two of the apexes and Fredericksburg-Kerrvill at the third. Within this area, undulating oak covered hills mark the transition zone from the wide coastal plains to the Edwards Plateau. A much more rugged region lies to the immediate west between the towns of Bandera and Leakey. Here, you will find real 'hills' unlike the slight affairs you find near Fredericksburg and Johnson City, both of which are considered as being deep inside Hill Country. The area is home to the much beloved touristy town of Fredericksburg, the nearby LBJ historic sites - LBJ Ranch near Stonewall and LBJ Boyhood Home in Johnson City - as well as popular State Parks - Enchanted Rock, Pedernales Falls, Lost Maples, Guadalupe River. For water lovers, there is the large Canyon Lake and the inner tubing flows of the Guadalupe, Pedernales and San Marcos Rivers.

    Heart of Hill Country; atop Old Tunnel
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    OLD TUNNEL

    by mtncorg Written Jun 5, 2008

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    About fifteen miles south of the town of Fredericksburg along the Old US 87 Road is the Old Tunnel Wildlife Management Area, home to about five million Mexican free-tailed bats and 3000 cave myotis bats. Two viewing areas are provided for visitors to watch the bats which come out at sunset during the warmer months - May to October. The upper area is free of charge for viewing, much like the Congress Street Bridge in Austin. There is a half-mile trail that takes you down from the upper observation area to the old rail bed from where you can look into the tunnel that was originally used by the Fredericksburg-San Antonio railroad. The trail also takes you to the lower observation area where the $5 fee also includes a program delving into both the rail history and more on bat biology. The lower area is limited to the first 70 people who show up from Thursday to Sunday evenings.

    The Old Tunnel near Fredericksburg Lower Bat observation seating at the Old Tunnel Description of rail history at the Old Tunnel Description of the bats at the Old Tunnel
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    JOHN N. GARNER HOUSE - UVALDE

    by mtncorg Written Jun 5, 2008

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    Almost ninety miles west of San Antonio is the modest town of Uvalde. This was where John Nance 'Cactus Jack' Garner hailed from. Garner enjoyed a long and memorable political career entering the US House of Representatives in 1902. He had moved to Uvalde in 1893, serving as a county judge and State legislator where he introduced bills to divide Texas into five separate States - in order to counter New England congressional strength - and to change the State flower - the bluebonnet - with the cactus. Both bills were defeated, but Garner did gain a nickname for his efforts. Eventually, Garner became the Speaker of the House and was a formidable opponent for the Democratic choice for President in 1932. When he stepped aside for Franklin Roosevelt, FDR made Garner his Vice Presidential candidate. After their election, Garner used his intimate congressional knowledge to become the most powerful vice president in history - Dick Cheney could only so aspire - and the second most powerful American politician during the 1930's. After two terms as Vice President, Garner broke with FDR over FDR's decision to run for a third term in 1940. Garner then retired to this house that his wife, Ettie, had been the original stimulus for. Ettie - who had long served her husband as his personal secretary and advisor - died in 1948 and Garner gave the house to the town to serve as its library while he moved to a little white house in the back. That house was demolished after his death in 1967, but the main house has become a museum dedicated to the life of one of the true godfathers of Texan politics. The museum is administered by the University of Texas at Austin.

    Open Tuesday-Saturday 9 am to 5 pm. Located on Park Street which is a residential street away from the two main highways which run through Uvalde. The house is north of the main east-west highway, US 90, on which their are directional signs to look for. It is west of the main north-south highway, US 83 - Getty Street - on which there were no directional signs because of ongoing construction at the time of my visit.

    333 N. Park St. Uvalde, TX 78801

    The John Garner House in Uvalde John and Ettie Garner Garner as a young congressmen with Pres Wilson What is a Texan without a hat? Exhibit explaining construction of the house
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San Antonio Off The Beaten Path

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