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Old 02-09-2013, 12:27 PM   #1
KCS
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San Antonio Sea World and New Braunfels, TX ???

We want to go to San Antonio for Spring break. We will to go to Sea World. Can you tell me good places to stay and other things to do there. We were also thinking of floating or tubing in New Braunfels. Please give me some tips.
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Old 02-09-2013, 12:44 PM   #2
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We were stationed last in San Antonio and LOVED it!!! We want to go back so badly!!!! I don't know much about tubing the river as we have small kiddos and that was never really an option, but Sea World is nice. They just re-did the kids section and it's a lot more kid friendly than it used to be. The water park is really good, definitely bring your swim suits.

Make sure you go down to the river walk-- the little boat river cruise is fun and relaxing. You see some very pretty areas and learn a lot of the history. There's some great restaurants down there too.

I recommend Alamo Cafe-- there's one on I-10 and there's another location somewhere I think.... but super yummy tex-mex, fresh homemade tortillas and it's very inexpensive! For nicer dining, try Paesanos- there's 3 locations I think, I know one on the river walk and one off of 1604 on the northwest side of town. Their shrimp paesano is to die for!!!

The zoo is nice-- they've recently done a few areas, and it's reasonably priced. There's some great shopping at La Cantera and The Rim.

I'm afraid I'm not great at the hotel thing, since we never really stayed in hotels of course, but I can tell you the nicer areas of town would be the northwest side off of 1604 between 151 and I10, the north side of town near 281, and then right around the river walk has some nice hotels that are pretty heavily booked by tourists.

HTH!!! Have a great trip!
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Old 02-09-2013, 01:40 PM   #3
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We live about 1.5 hours from San Antonio, so I can't speak for the hotels. You didn't mention how many days you're doing at Sea World. Frankly after two days our family felt like they had seen it all. I would highly recommend the Schlitterbahn water park, rated one of the best in the country. We also like Six Flags Fiesta Texas if you want to do another theme park. If you have time, go to downtown San Antonio to tour the Alamo and take a boat ride or stroll along the Riverwalk. As for restaurants, be sure to go to Rudy's BBQ. It's a very casual restaurant that's a big hit with the locals.

As for the zoo, it's okay but we were a bit dissapointed when we went last year. There are no giraffes anymore!
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariel on Land View Post
For nicer dining, try Paesanos- there's 3 locations I think, I know one on the river walk and one off of 1604 on the northwest side of town. Their shrimp paesano is to die for!!!
I will second Paesanos and their shrimp. As a rule I do not eat seafood at a restaurant unless I am at the coast; this is the only exception. I prefer the location off of 1604 to the riverwalk location.

There are plenty of places to rent tubes in New Braunsfels and last year there were quite a few San Antonio Groupons for some of them, so you subscribe to the San Antonio Groupon emails. The only draw back is it can still be a bit chilly at Spring Break.
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:19 PM   #5
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Oops, just realized Schlitterbahn is not open until the end of April! So I guess that wouldn't be an option for you. Sorry about that!
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:36 PM   #6
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I second the suggestion to eat at Rudy's and would also suggest New Braunfels Smoke House. Yum!

Jill in CO
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:54 PM   #7
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There is a Hilton right across the highway from Sea World. We stayed there when it was the Radisson. Nice being that close, easy to take a break and go back to the hotel. They also have fire pits where you can buy a smores package at the front desk and make smores.

The Hyatt Hill Country is VERY nice - it's right down the street also from Sea World and has a lazy river that you can float down.
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
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I second the suggestion to eat at Rudy's and would also suggest New Braunfels Smoke House. Yum!

Jill in CO
I second New Braunfels Smokehouse. I'm not much help otherwise as I've only been San Antonio once, back in 1996, but I definitely remember my lunch at that Smokehouse! I was in college at the time and we went to the Alamo and RiverWalk - I enjoyed both, but I'm sure a lot has changed in 15+ years! Funny because just today I was thinking about planning a short trip to San Antonio!

Have fun!
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:32 PM   #9
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My family is also going to San Antonio for spring break. But since we have family in the area, we don't have much experience in staying at hotels. When we do, we normally stay at Embassy Suites or the Marriott a little off from the Riverwalk.

Depending on what area you're from, tubing might be too cold of an activity for spring break. We love New Braunfels but usually don't do any water activities until late April or May. It is a really fun way to spend a day if you don't mind it being chilly water, though!

In San Antonio, there's the Alamo to see along with the Riverwalk. In the main touristy area there, there's things like Ripley's Believe it or Not and a Wax Museum. You can also take the little boat that goes through the Riverwalk, it's pretty fun to do. There's also themed dining like Rainforest Cafe and I think Hard Rock Cafe at the Riverwalk. Our family lives about 5-10 minutes away from the Six Flags there and there's shopping/dining/movie theater right nearby in La Cantera that's really nice.

There's the zoo that my family enjoys seeing each year, and a botanical garden right nearby that's a good way to spend a few hours. There's Sea World and Six Flags Fiesta Texas, both of which are wonderful family theme parks. We also like going to San Marcos about an hour outside of San Antonio to go to the outlet mall there, and to see the Natural Bridge Caverns. They're so interesting to go down and see! There's also a drive through safari park at the same place, but we've never gone through that so I can't say how it is.
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:51 PM   #10
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We have been living here in the San Antonio area for about 1.5 years now and love it. I have found a lot of info on the VisitSanAntonio website and tripadvisor.

Depending on when your spring break falls, it may be warm enough. Our Aquatica park will be opening in just a month, so we are eager for that as we became Seaworld AP holders last summer. Sea World is okay, we will go and let our daughter ride the roller coasters, maybe see a show. We enjoy the Aquatica park, except for the food. This Sea World has lousy food. So we bring in our own snacks and water now.
Six Flags we have avoided because we haven't enjoyed any SF park we have been to as adults.

People always talk about visiting the Alamo, but I would encourage you to visit all of the area Missions, depending on ages of any kids. There is a Mission Trail you can follow. Each has its own charms, and it is hard to pick a favorite. Most of our visitors have really enjoyed seeing Mission Espada and Mission San Jose. On Sundays many of them hold a Mariachi Mass.

There is a nice zoo at Brackenridge Park, as well as a train ride that circles the park.
Botanical Gardens are nice also.

Good places to shop abound. As mentioned by someone else, The Rim and La Cantera are nice shopping areas. We also like The Quarry.
There is a ton of construction on 1604 currently, so that may affect shopping in those areas. It's a nightmare currently.

The Witte Museum is a lot of fun. Free entry on Tuesday nights.
Right down the street is the McNay Museum, free entry on Thursday nights .
And the SA Museum of Art free on Tuesday nights.

Saturdays the Pearl Brewery Farmers Market is a happenin' spot, you can grab chicken and waffles for breakfast there.

Monster Mini Golf is lots of fun, we always take visiting family there. Indoor blacklight mini golf, and they play great music.

For food, we really enjoy Casa Rio on the Riverwalk. It is the original Mexican restaurant on the river, food and service have always been spot on. Some of the restuarants on the riverwalk are not so great.

At Market Square, we really like Mi Tierra. Be prepared to wait, but it is worth it. Market Square is a huge Mexican market, lots of street vendors around.

On Broadway, we like a burger place called Cheesy Janes. Great burgers and shakes, fun diner like feel in a restored gas station.

Another local burger chain is Chester's Hamburgers. Fantastic burgers, onion rings and shakes.

If you are up for a drive, off of I-10 a few miles off of 1604 is a bbq joint called Texas Pride. http://www.texaspridebbq.net/ Great BBQ, and the line is always out the door. They also have a backyard area for kids to play in.

There are usually some good Groupons up for activities like mini golf, museums, and sometimes the attractions near the Alamo.

For New Braunfels, don't know if it will be warm enough to go tubing yet. If it is, there are tons of places to rent tubes. You can tube the comal, the guadalupe or San Marcos rivers.
We don't usually eat up that way though, so can't help to much with restaurants. Have heard great things about the Smokehouse though.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:32 AM   #11
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Agree, it may be quite cold if you try to tube this time of year. But if you do, the Comal is more family friendly than the Guadalupe. The Guadalupe, tubing wise, is better, but draws a lot of the area college students, and can be a bit of a drunk fest at times. If you're going to eat in New Braunfels, I recommend Grist Mill in Gruene (it's a teeny very quaint town sort of inside New Braunfels), which has great chicken fried steak. I can no longer recommend the Smokehouse. In our opinion, it has really, really gone downhill (and had a turkey recall in 2010 for listeria!). One great place a little outside town is the Clear Springs Restaurant -- great fried catfish, and the best onion rings we've ever had. You also have to stop at Buccees. It's kitschy fun. Seems like the world's biggest convenience store, but it's a destination in its own for fun road trip food and souvenirs. Their freshmade jerky is out of the world. You can't miss the gigantic beaver sign from the highway Rudy's is good bbq, we like it a lot. But if you want GREAT bbq, travel over to Lockhart and go to Smitty's (some people like Kreuz's too...we're Smitty people.) Just be prepared for no sauce!

San Antonio is really neat -- definitely the Riverwalk. You can buy passes for the river taxis, even arrange to have dinner on one. I can't say I've cared for the food on the Riverwalk, but it's passable (just high volume tourist food). They did just finish the Museum Reach leg of the River Walk. They have the old Pearl Brewery Complex over there, which does have some very good restaurants (pricier, though). I haven't been over there since they completed the river section, but it's supposed to be lovely. We aren't huge fans of Sea World, but for kids it's a nice day out. The Missions are pretty neat, as is the Market. I wouldn't do the zoo. If you're local, it's an okay way to pass the time. But it's dismal compared to some of the great zoos (the elephant enclosure is downright depressing).

You can also go up the road aways, and visit Austin if you want some rafting. You can at least canoe in the Colorado there without worrying about getting wet (well...don't rock the boat!) Austin is beautiful. Though depending on when your spring break is, may be full of SXSW'ers. In which case, you have no hope of getting a hotel, and it will be a madhouse.

Definitely do a driving tour of the Hill Country -- Fredericksburg, etc. Very pretty, and hopefully the bluebonnets will have started to emerge.
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:02 PM   #12
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When is your spring break?
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Old 02-10-2013, 04:08 PM   #13
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Our Spring Break is March 18-22, so yeah maybe too clold for tubing. Thank you for all your wonderful tips. Can't wait for our trip now!!
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Old 02-10-2013, 04:12 PM   #14
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Our Spring Break is March 18-22, so yeah maybe too clold for tubing. Thank you for all your wonderful tips. Can't wait for our trip now!!
I wonder when TX spring break is. They open everything up that week....i am thinking 2nd week in March?
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:13 PM   #15
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San Antonio's spring break starts in March 11th. Hope you enjoy your visit!
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