My hubby and I recently took our first trip to the state of Texas.…another state marked off of our list!
We flew out of Nashville to Austin on April 8th, 2022 and returned home on April 12th.
We used our Southwest reward points to fly for free. We were going to fly into San Antonio but flying into Austin was not only cheaper but they had better non stop flight options and the rental cars were cheaper in Austin.
Click here for 68 fun things to do in San Antonio
We flew out of Nashville at 8:00 am and arrived in Austin at 10:15 am.
Once we landed, we picked up our midsize rental car from Avis.
I usually always use Travelocity to book our hotels and rental cars and I’ve never had any issues.
Once we picked up our car, we headed to San Antonio…the drive is approx. 1 hr 15 mins.
Just an FYI, it is HOT in Texas! It was in the high 80’s, low 90’s when we arrived and snowing the day we left TN!
On the way, we spotted an In-N-Out Burger….so, we just had to stop! We love their burgers and love the fact they are a Christian company!
They opened their first restaurant in 1948 in California.
Thankfully, when we arrived, it wasn’t very crowded.
This place keeps it simple..they only offer burger and fries and it’s super cheap but their burgers and fries are so good!
Tip – If you like onions, try ordering your burger or fries “animal style”. They will top them with cheese, grilled onions and thousand island ranch.
Check out their “not so secret” menu here
They put scriptures on all of their wrappers/boxes.
After lunch, we continued our drive to San Antonio.
On the way, we passed a sign for the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch.
I had read about this place during my research and thought it sounded cool…since, we couldn’t check into our hotel until 4, we decided to check it out. The ranch was only 30 mins from our hotel.
Read reviews here
The wildlife ranch is a drive through park that opened in 1984 and sits on 450 acres. You can view and feed more than 700 animals representing over 45 species from all over the world.
The entrance fee is $24.99 per person during the week and $28.99 on weekends.
You can buy animal feed when you purchase your ticket at the gate…the feed was $4.65 a bag. We purchased 3 bags and had plenty.
When visiting the wildlife ranch, you can also visit the Natural Bridge Caverns afterwards.
Read reviews of the Caverns here
After entering the park, we first spotted the Safari Camp Grill.
The cafe serves burgers, fries , chicken strips, BLTs, grilled cheese, fried chicken and more.
We just wanted some coffee….after having to get up at 4 am to catch our flight, we were exhausted!
After getting our coffee, we headed back outside.
Near the cafe, there are several animal exhibits so we decided to check those out before starting our drive through the wildlife park.
Some of the animals we saw:
After checking out the exhibits, we started our drive through the park.
Our first animal encounter was bighorn sheep..
The animals would walk right up to your car looking for food.
I didn’t know what several of the animal species were but you get a booklet at the entrance gate to help you identify the animals.
Here are some of the animals we encountered on the drive:
The emus and ostriches were aggressive!
About half way through the drive, you will arrive to the Safari Sweet Spot where you can purchase ice cream, fudge, drinks and more…there are restrooms located here as well….we made a quick stop to take our pic in front of the Wildlife Ranch sign.
After we finished our drive, we made another stop at the entrance because we noticed we had missed some of the exhibits.
Some of the exhibits we missed:
After leaving the ranch, we continued our drive to our hotel.
We arrived to San Antonio around 5:30 pm and checked into our hotel, the Grand Hyatt San Antonio River walk.
The hotel is beautiful and is located right on the river walk….there’s even a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse located inside the hotel.
Shots of our room
We had a room on the 22nd floor with views of the Tower of Americas, a 750 ft tall observation deck that gives you 360 degree views of San Antonio and has a revolving restaurant at the top.
Read reviews for the hotel here
Tip: The hotel charges $40 a day to park in their garage but if you book with Travelocity and choose the parking option, you only pay $15 a day
Tip: For a more reasonable hotel option, check out the Drury Inn & Suites.
After getting checked in, we headed to see the River walk.
The rive walk is really cool! You could spend days here visiting all of the shops & restaurants.
The San Antonio River Walk is a 15 mile long network of walkways which run alongside the banks of the San Antonio River. Five miles of the River Walk runs through downtown San Antonio.
Read a complete visitor’s guide of the River walk here and read about the history of the river walk here
After checking out the river walk and some of the shops, we headed to the Saltgrass Steakhouse for dinner.
It’s located right on the river walk
I ordered the Urban cowboy, which was a 12 oz New york strip topped with shrimp ..I ordered a sweet potato as my side and our dinner also included a salad…the steak and shrimp were delicious but I had to send the sweet potato back because it wasn’t done.
My hubby ordered the blackened redfish with macaroni and cheese…he said it was good, but he liked my steak better.
Read reviews for Saltgrass here
After dinner, we once again walked around the river walk.
It was so colorful!
However, the reason why is, it was Fiesta Week….we had no idea that was going on and it was very crowded!
One of the river boats all lit up….
After walking around for a while, we headed back to our room and called it a night!
View of the Tower of Americas from our hotel room
Thanks for reading!
Stay tuned for Day 2 in San Antonio!
UPDATE: Read Day 2 here, Day 3 here, Day 4 here and Day 5 here
I loved this post – I honestly can’t believe we lived in Austin for 7 years and never visited San Antonio.
Hi Ashley – hope you are doing well. That’s usually the case for most people…you visit other places but not the ones you live the closest to. We never go to Nashville. We really enjoyed San Antonio, especially the River walk.