When you think about Texas history, what comes to mind? Answers will vary from one person to the next, but at or near the top of anyone’s list of memorable Texas history is the Alamo. Located in downtown San Antonio, this historic military fort and former Spanish mission is one of the most recognizable structures on the historic register and one that everyone should try to visit at least once.
Remember the Alamo
Here at Money Saving Parent headquarters, we consider ourselves Alamo veterans. Each time we visit San Antonio, a visit to the famed structure ranks highly on our list and for good reason. I have personally visited several times and each time I walk through the grounds, read about the history in the Long Barrack, or visit the gift shop for a souvenir, I am taken aback. I often imagine what conditions must have been like for those 13 days when the Alamo was under siege. I always discover something new each time I visit and I come away with a new respect and interest in this important part of Texas history.
What to See
The Alamo is comprised of several sections, each with its own unique appeal. Most visitors will want to start at the main entrance, on Alamo Street, and make their way through the church. Those who want an official tour can purchase an audio tour and enjoy the guided education. Others will prefer to just walk the grounds, visiting the amphitheater, the Long Barrack, the Wall of History, the Cavalry Courtyard, and other attractions before ending their visit in the Gift Shop. Everywhere you go, there is something to see and learn and photo opportunities abound. However, cell phone and camera use are not permitted inside any of the buildings, so please limit your picture taking to the open grounds and nothing more.
Family Friendly Experience
The Alamo is a great place to visit with the family and this is particularly true when kids are a little older and can appreciate the historic significance of the structure and its stored past. First time visitors are often surprised to discover that it’s right there, in the middle of downtown just steps away from several hotels and the famous San Antonio River Walk. During our stays in San Antonio, we have always been within reasonable walking distance and prefer to reach the structure on foot, whenever possible. Our kids don’t quite grasp the historical importance of the Alamo just yet, but the like the open spaces, the structures, and the gift shop. They never say they are bored, and as long as I don’t hear those words, I consider a visit to any attraction a success.
Another pleasant surprise is that the Alamo is open to everyone free of charge! This, again, is often a shock to first time visitors most of whom assume that an attraction of this magnitude has to carry an admission price. Many do not know this, but the Alamo is not part of the National Park Service. It is actually operated by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. They are able to make enough money from gift shop sales and other sources to keep the admission free of charge.
Visit the Alamo
If you find yourself in San Antonio for any period of time, a visit to the Alamo should rank highly on your list of things to do. It’s located within walking distance of the River Walk and most downtown hotels and it’s offered FREE of charge. The history contained within these walls is fascinating and every visit turns up something new and interesting about this piece of Texas history. It’s a nice place to take your family in the beautiful city of San Antonio, Texas.
Copyright 2014, Bryan Carey