This post continues our time in San Antonio.
Read Day 1 here, Day 2 here & Day 3 here. – Read Day 5 here
We started our morning at the Japanese Tea Garden.
The garden was completed in 1919 by prison labor and was once an old rock quarry.
There is no charge to enter the gardens.
The brick and stone smokestack that still stands is part of the old cement kiln.
The garden is so peaceful and beautiful!
The pagoda was created with stone and was roofed with palm leaves from trees in City parks.
I loved all the beautiful flowers and koi pond.
There’s a small waterfall located at the garden as well.
More shots of the garden
After spending about an hour here, we left and headed to our next stop, the San Antonio Botanical Garden.
The garden is opened from 9-7 Mar-Nov and 9-5 Nov-Feb…admission is $16 for adults and $13 for children ages 3-13.
Purchase tickets here & download a map of the gardens here
The garden sits on 38 acres and invites guests to participate in the year-round planting, cultivating, harvesting, and preparation of tantalizingly fresh vegetables, herbs, and fruits.
There’s a very nice restaurant located inside the garden called Jardin as well as a gift shop and a snack shop.
See restaurant menu here
There were lots of flowers blooming all around the garden.
They had 3 glass dome planetariums you could visit.
The first one we visited was full plants and colorful orchids.
Next, we walked into the cactus room.
Then headed to the next glass dome…
The domes were very cool!
Next, we headed to the Fern Grotto.
We loved the lily pond!
The grounds were so beautiful!
So many flowers!
Next we headed to the Hill Country section of the gardens.
The 11 acre section features historical structures such as the Auld House, Shumacher House, East Texas Log Cabin, and South Texas Adobe House, and a Bird Watch area.
Next was the cactus trails
After this section, we headed to the Japanese Tea Garden.
The authentic Japanese Garden was designed by landscape artists and craftsmen from Japan.
After visiting the Japanese Garden, we left to find something to eat.
My hubby wanted a burger so we decided to eat at Whataburger.
Whataburger is headquartered and based in San Antonio and opened their first restaurant in Corpus Christi in 1950.
I wasn’t overly impressed with their burgers…
After lunch, we decided to head back to the missions since we didn’t get to go inside any of them the first time we visited.
We stopped at the San Jose Mission first….
Known as the “Queen of the Missions”, this is the largest of the missions and was almost fully restored to its original design in the 1930s.
Mission San Jose turned 300 years old in 2020.
Spanish missions were not churches, but communities with the church the focus.
Shots of the inside of the church.
Next, we headed to the Espada Mission..
This was the first mission in Texas, founded in 1690. In 1731, the mission was transferred to the San Antonio River area and renamed Mission San Francisco de la Espada. A friary was built in 1745, and the church was completed in 1756.
A shot of the inside the church.
Next, we headed to the Concepcion Mission.
Dedicated in 1755, Mission Concepción appears very much as it did over two centuries ago. It stands proudly as the oldest unrestored stone church in America.
In its heyday, colorful geometric designs covered its surface, but the patterns have long since faded or been worn away. However, original frescos are still visible in several of the rooms.
Shots of the inside of the church.
After visiting this mission, we decided to visit the San Fernando Cathedral in downtown San Antonio.
As we were walking to the church, we passed the Bexar county courthouse.
The courthouse was completed in 1896 and is listed on the National Register of Historic places.
San Fernando Cathedral was founded on March 9, 1731 and is the oldest, continuously functioning religious community in the State of Texas and the oldest standing church building in Texas.
Shots of the inside.
Tip: Don’t miss the 24 min light show that is displayed on the church every Tues, Fri, Sat & Sun.
The remains of Davy Crockett, James Bowie and William Travis are in the church.
Read more about the three heroes here
After leaving the church, we headed back to our room to change for dinner.
We had decided to have dinner at Boudros.
Tip: I highly recommend you make a reservation if you plan on eating here.
Boudros has been one of the most treasured and popular attractions on the San Antonio River Walk since 1986.
It stays very busy….we didn’t make a reservation and ended up waiting an hour for a table!
Read reviews here
This place is very expensive but since it was my birthday, we splurged. 😉
We started out with the seared scallops…they were delicious!
For our main course, we both ordered the grilled prime rib with garlic mashed potatoes and grilled veggies.
It was soooo good!
Then, for dessert, we ordered the creme brulee …it too, was out of this world!
See menu here
After dinner, we decided to take a horse carriage ride through downtown.
A shot of the River walk
Walking through downtown.
We passed the Alamo on the way ..
There were several carriages to pick from…and all of them were so beautiful.
I finally chose one and we headed on a 20 min tour of downtown
After our 20 min ride, we headed back to our hotel to call it a night.
On the way, we passed this mural so we just had to get a pic.
Thanks for reading!
Stay tuned for Day 5.