Are you visiting San Antonio this year? We feel very strongly that a must see in San Antonio is the Alamo. As a great representation of determination and true grit, it’s a beautiful shrine in the heart of downtown. Though we have seen the Alamo countless times before, this visit was special. Here’s why and also 5 Things You Must See at the Alamo.
Every child growing up in Texas learns about the Alamo. As a sign of our state’s independence from Mexico, it is an important piece of our State history. Even if you are not from Texas, the Alamo is such a visual reminder of a time where people laid down their life for their beliefs. It’s an incredible place to show your children and learn the story about. And for this reason, I always encourage anyone visiting Texas and San Antonio to put a trip to the Alamo at the top of your list.
The Alamo stands out in the middle of all the modern buildings in San Antonio. This small, white chapel looks like it just doesn’t belong among the hustle & bustle. And that’s what I love about it. Walking beyond those stone walls, there is an immediate hush, as if they block out all the sound and take you to a place of remembrance.
I grew up in Texas and my children have too, so we all have visited the Alamo on various occasions – mostly school trips with their friends – so I was determined to make this trip different. I wanted my children to be able to take away something more than it being an “old, white church”. By slowing down our pace and taking a long walk all round the grounds, we were able to find some really neat things that you might miss just breezing through.
So the next time you visit the Alamo, remember these 5 Things You Must See at the Alamo.
5 Things You Must See at the Alamo
5 Things You Must See at the Alamo: Alamo – The Price of Freedom
Before you ever step foot in the Alamo, we recommend learning more about what happened here by watching the terrific movie, Alamo: The Price of Freedom and the Rivercenter Mall IMAX Theatre. This is only a 45 minute movie that tells the story of the 189 Texans, Tejanos and settlers who defended the besieged Alamo for 13 days against the Mexican Army of General Santa Anna. It’s a great way for kids to learn about the battle before they see the Alamo and will help them to understand the importance better.
R We There Yet Mom Tip: The Rivercenter mall is less than a block away from the Alamo. Park in the mall parking garage and have your parking ticket validated at the box office. You can then walk over to the Alamo from there.
5 Things You Must See at The Alamo: The Shrine
After taking the obligatory photo out front, there is a short wait to walk through the Shrine itself. Luckily, the place to line up is shaded. The Shrine is large and there is a lot to see. Make sure you walk through the rooms on the left and the displays on the right. There are a lot of artifacts to see, such a Daive Bowie’s knife & vest. And the back wall has a special memorial to all the men & women who have lost their lives fighting for freedom there.
There are a few special rules to remember & respect when visiting the Alamo. Be prepared to put your phones & cameras away as there is no photography allowed inside the Shrine. This is actually great, as it allows you to focus on what you are seeing rather than just taking pictures. Gentleman are asked to remove their hats and no open containers are allowed. And as this is hallowed ground, you are asked to speak in a quiet tone.
R We There Yet Mom Tip: Visit the Alamo on weekdays and in the afternoon. School field trips tend to all happen in the morning and we find the Alamo to be quiet in the afternoons.
5 Things You Must See at The Alamo: The Gardens
The Alamo itself is surround by large, looming, hundred-year-old tress that help keep the grounds cool and quiet. Take some time to walk fully around the Alamo grounds, reflecting on what happened here.
The timeline of the site of the Alamo and the city around it is very interesting, but probably not for the kids. What will interest them is the Six Flags that all at one time flew over Texas and the cannons that were found at the site.
I love to see the well and the amazing Oak tree that are just to the left of the entrance of the Alamo. The shade is amazing and I can’t help but think of all the history this tree has seen. Though only planted at the site in the early 1900’s, it’s strong roots and branches are such a visual representation of steadfast courage.
R We There Yet Mom Tip: Once exiting the Alamo, follow the path behind it to the right over to a beautiful garden with a water feature. It’s very quiet and not very crowded. Even on a hot day, it’s cool and a great place to sit down & relax a bit.
5 Things You Must See at The Alamo: The Diorama
Make sure to take the time to go into the gift shop. Even if buy silly trinkets that have the Alamo all over them is not you thing, there is an incredible diorama that has been there for years. I remember gazing at it when I was a child. It’s really neat to see the grounds as they were when the battle took place.
R We There Yet Mom Tip: There is a diorama in the Alamo itself you can also check out, but we find the one in the gift shop to be much more detailed.
5 Things You Must See at The Alamo: The Phil Collins Collection
In 2014, singer Phil Collins generously donated his collection of Alamo artifacts to the Alamo. His lifelong passion with the Battle of the Alamo allowed him to amass a large collection that he wanted to share. Pieces from his collection are on display across the street from the Alamo in History Shop at 713 E. Houston St. Plans are being made to build a Visitors Center & Museum where they will be housed permanently.
Whether you are taking a long-distance road trip or driving a few hours down the road, you never leave home without a few necessities, right? Well, before we traveled down to San Antonio last week, my family an I grabbed a few essentials – movies, travel games, water bottles, books, and of course, a great road tripping snack. My family enjoys a little crunch while watching the miles pass by and they were really excited about all the fun flavors Cape Cod Potato Chips has to offer. The Buffalo Cheddar Waffle Cut soon became a favorite with my kids, though I preferred the Sweet Mesquite BBQ.
I am partnering with Cape Cod Potato Chips this summer to let you know all about a fun promotion they have going on. They want to see all the road tripping happening across the country and are asking you to post photos showing your favorite moments. Simply post using the hashtag #RoadTripChip.
And in honor of the #RoadTripChip, Cape Cod is providing one of my readers with their own #RoadTripChip prize package. Enter below for a chance to win. Giveaway begins Wednesday, July 6 and ends Wednesday, July 13, 2016 at midnight. One winner will be chosen randomly and will be contacted by email on Thursday, July 14, 2016. Good luck!
Interested in what else there is to do in San Antonio? Click here for 40 Things to do in San Antonio, TX.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I was compensated by Cape Cod to take my own #RoadTripChip. All opinions are my own.