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Tuesday,  June 18, 2024 8:32 PM 

On location in San Antonio - Day 2

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  •   04-23-2015  9:17 am

On location in San Antonio - Day 2

Following a small taste for what San Antonio, Texas have to offer travellers, day two of my trip to San Antonio featured another jam-packed itinerary delving deeper into the city’s attractions and culture.

Salvador Garza, associate dirctor of sales, San Antonio CVBThe Canadian travel team members started the day meeting with destination and hotel representatives from Lone Star State communities such as Fredericksburg, Fort Worth, McAllen and Denton, who are leveraging unique elements of Texan music and modern art to draw tourists looking for a mix of tradition and contemporary culture.

The team then made its way over to the city’s northwestern corner where SeaWorld San Antonio is located, for a closer look at the park and its aquatic inhabitants. Preparing to open for its summer season running from late May to mid-August, the team of Canadian travel trade reps were the only guests wandering the grounds, with the opportunity for personal interactions with the park's many attractions. 

It was also feeding time for the park’s stingrays and birds and with no other guests in sight to do the honours, it fell to a small group from the Canadian travel industry to hand-feed fish to the rays in Ke-Re Reef, followed by providing snacks of berries and mealworms to more than 40 species of birds in Roa’s Aviary, many of which were content to perch upon hands, heads and in at least one case, a camera.

Returning downtown for another taste of Fiesta, we enjoyed a Night In Old San Antonio (or at least an hour), one of the premier events held during the Fiesta celebration where crowds gather for four nights of music and food from dozens of vendors.

Nancy Avellar, former chair of NIOSA and our guide for the event, told PAX that the wide range of cuisine on offer – from Tex-Mex standards like fajitas to German and Chinese dishes – showcases the city’s diversity and history, during an event held on the same streets where Spanish soldiers were once garrisoned during the Texas Revolution. Where else would you find a German beer garden with guests sporting both sombreros and lederhosen?

Toward the end of the afternoon, we returned to the River Walk for a proper tour of this popular San Antonio draw, offering miles of stone walkways and bridges along the banks of the San Antonio River and a lively bar and restaurant scene to go along with it. We explored the paths as the sun set for the day, then took a river for dinner and a tour of the waterways.

While enjoying the culinary offerings of local restaurant Boudro’s to the alternating sounds of mariachi and rock bands (both on shore and aboard other vessels passing down the river), the team also got a lesson in San Antonio history and trivia from our captain. As we drifted by the area’s many landmarks, he enlightened us about the location of the pub with the longest wooden bar in Texas (The Esquire), the site of what’s believed to be the oldest tree along the river (a 300-year-old Montezuma Cypress) and pointed out the many conservation efforts by the city to preserve the character of its historic downtown buildings.

Stay tuned – tomorrow we get up-close with history including a visit to the Alamo, followed by a visit to the heart of Texas Wine Country.

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