They say everything is big in Texas, and they’re right.
Recently, I went on a girls trip to San Antonio, which is the seventh largest city in the country with a population of more than 1.4 million people. There are several things to do there, the River Walk being one of the main attractions. It’s a canal one level below street level that winds its way around downtown with shops, restaurants and hotels lining its banks.
A riverboat ride is the best way to experience all the River Walk has to offer. The area is clean, the landscaping is lush and the architecture is charming with several styles represented. It almost reminded me of taking a jungle cruise at Disneyland.
The history here is abundant with street names like Crockett, Bowie, Houston and Alamo. There are plaques everywhere commemorating significant people, places and events.
The main attraction is The Alamo. It’s located in the heart of downtown in Alamo Plaza. Entrance into the mission church sanctuary and surrounding grounds are free. Docents roam the grounds dressed in traditional costumes of the day and can answer any of your questions. I was a bit let down when I saw the plaza filled with tourist places like Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium, Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks and The Amazing Mirror Maze, but nevertheless, a memorable place to visit and well-maintained.
Most of our stay was spent in Kerrville in an area known as Hill Country, an hour’s drive northwest of San Antonio. I thought Texas would be vast expanses of flat, dry land. Not true here.
The Guadalupe River winds its way through a forest of trees, green hills and walls of limestone rock. There are plenty of outdoor adventures from kayaking, canoeing, nature trails, fishing, tubing, biking and parks galore to have a picnic in. Add in packs of wild deer and it’s a neat place to explore. The Hill Country Arts Foundation hosted an arts and craft festival during our visit. The center of their property is a life-size replica of Stonehenge and a couple Easter Island monuments on the grounds. They had a band playing in the henge and food trucks all around for a taste of the local arts scene.
Several restaurants in Kerrville back up to the river with outdoor patios. We went to 1011 Bistro for dinner with beautiful views of the river. I have never seen a more dazzling sunset than here. It started with a golden glow in the dining room, then pink streaks. You didn’t know where the earth ended and heaven began.
About a half hour’s drive from Kerrville is the quaint town of Fredericksburg. It has a German heritage that you’ll see in some of the architecture, a variety of Biergartens and a wonderful WWII interactive National Museum of the Pacific War. Fredericksburg is home of Adm. Nimitz, who was the commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet during World War II. His home is right there on Main Street.
What’s also unique in this town, with a population of around 10,000, is they get about 30,000 to 40,000 visitors per weekend. That’s because there are more than 45 wineries and vineyards in Texas Hill County, Fredericksburg being the epicenter, according to Jessie, who did our wine tasting at Lost Draw Cellars. He said Texas has several award-winning wines, but due to their laws, they are not easily exported out of the state for us Californians to appreciate. In fact, this area is the second-fastest-growing wine tourism destination in the United States after Napa Valley.
Jessie recommended a great spot for lunch at the Woerner Warehouse. It’s in an old furniture warehouse that now houses hip, vintage furniture finds and a cafe in the front half. It may sound odd, but the food was delicious and the experience was unique. ￼