I am very proud to introduce a new affiliate partner with Dallas Single Mom called Viator for all of your VIP tour and travel experiences. I got the chance to go on my first Viator tour in Texas’ very own San Antonio for a night tour of The Alamo, downtown San Antonio and a riverboat excursion. Viator is associated with TripAdvisor and offers tourists unique travel experiences that they may not be able to get anywhere else that offer the best advantage of beating the crowds. Viator offers nearly 9,000 tours and attractions, in over 400 destinations worldwide. What does Viator mean? The word is taken from Latin and means Traveler.
For my first tour with Dallas Single Dad we got a chance to experience one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions at night. San Antonio is a place where his cousin lives and being able to experience the city, the culture, history and the famed landmark, The Alamo, was a very memorable experience as our first trip together as a couple. I was excited and the fact that it was a working trip of sorts, made it a memorable experience. Before the kids headed back to school, we got some adult time and with 6 kids between us we know that it is few and far between. Here is what you can expect on a Viator tour in San Antonio and you can read my official response at Exploring the Alamo on a VIP After Hours Night Tour. This tour ranges in price from $50 to $80 and is well worth the experience if you want to avoid crowds and heat. If you are going the cheapest route possible, this is likely not the tour for you however when you don’t have to wait in line so that you have time to enjoy other parts of San Antonio then this it the tour that is well worth the money. If you enjoy history having the tour guide exclusive to your group and able to maneuver through the Alamo with relative ease exposes you to things they wouldn’t normally be able to show during regular hours. For families, it’s necessary to keep up with the group but on our tour there was a family of four (one in a stroller) that was able to keep up. However San Antonio has large crowds during school vacations and holidays so keep that in mind. Between Dallas Single Dad and myself we have 6 children so it’s natural for us to keep an eye on kids.
Viator VIP Night Tour in San Antonio
Parking is a nightmare in downtown San Antonio so I suggest heading to some of the $6 parking lots about 3 blocks from the Alamo itself. Anywhere closer will be about $20 or more. Better yet if you are staying in downtown San Antonio I believe the tour company can arrange for a pick up or utilize an Uber to take you there. As we arrived we were not surprised by the large crowds and the humid stickiness that greeted us. The Alamo, was beginning to close but there was still a ton of people trying to get a glimpse inside. Escaping the heat and the noise from the crowds outside, there is calmness within the vestibules of this once massive church. The tour group stands around a scaled model of the Alamo, following the detail of what it looked like when it was converted from a Spanish Mission, San Antonio de Valero, to a military garrison. If you close your eyes you can imagine what it was like for Texas rebel soldiers to listen for the opposing Mexican Army’s advance during the Texas Revolution in 1836. For the many years I have lived in Texas and the countless times I have visited The Alamo, I have never had the opportunity to have such a detailed tour and enthralled experience as the one I got to participate in during the Viator VIP: San Antonio at Night Including After-Hours Tour of the Alamo.
If you are looking for a true VIP tour experience to Texas’ #1 travel destination and one of the most visited historical sites in the US, than this tour will be to your liking. The night time tour brings you closer than ever to a unique experience full of sights, history, culture and intrigue of the Texas Southwest, away from the crowds and in your own private open top double decker bus and river boat. Exploring San Antonio and many of the city’s famous sites at night is a much more comfortable experience away from the heat and it’s where the city truly comes alive.
I have visited the Alamo and downtown San Antonio on many different occasions and I had never had a guided tour of the landmark. I was unaware of my options and the long lines and crowds made waiting in the Texas heat a deterrent. The Alamo, part of the San Antonio Missions site has been granted World Heritage Status by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) providing more fame and resources for continued restoration and preservation. This is all the more reason to take this particular tour as more recognition means more visitors to such an important part of Spanish, Texas and US history. The first stop of this tour includes a guided tour inside the Alamo itself and along part of the garrison complex and houses. We were lucky to have a tour guide that also teaches Texas history at the local community college so his expertise and passion for details were very noticeable.
On this tour we learned about the origins of the original Coahuiltecan who settled there, Spain’s establishment of missions along the Rio Grande River, the decline of Spanish rule and eventually the Texas Revolution. Within the walls of the Alamo church, tour guests are guided along to areas within the once operating church that held supplies and ammunitions. The guide did a great job in verbally creating a visual of the siege at the Alamo in the winter of 1836 when Texas declared independence from Mexico. We talked about notable historical figures such as Alamo commander William Barrett Travis, famed knife fighter James Bowie and former congressman Davy Crockett along with Mexico’s President and General Antonio López de Santa Anna. These central figures along with many other fighters helped to shape history and create a crossroads of sorts within the Alamo complex. On one part of this initial tour, our group was shown cannons, knives, clothes and memorabilia in the long barrack museum. In another part of the church building researchers began to unearth the original frescoes dating back to the 1700’s. During this part of the tour you could see the copper leaf foils outlining some of the fresco artwork and the guide described that the real detail can only be seen via UV light. As you walk along the grounds and the other buildings, painted windows greet you to what you may have seen the day the Mexican soldiers and General Santa Anna started their approach. There were replicas of the uniforms worn by both the Texian rebels and the Mexican army. The guided tour of the Alamo ends back in front the Alamo church building and where the Alamo tour started showing a plaque on the ground of where the famous Davy Crockett was stabbed by sword or bayonet. A truly memorable experience that reverberates the famous saying, “Remember the Alamo,” a slogan that once invigorated the cause for Texas independence from Mexico.
Private Bus Tour of San Antonio
Convenient to Alamo Plaza are London style double decker buses that traditionally are available all day for drop offs and pickups for a fee. On this special VIP tour you are treated to a private open air double decker bus that leaves visitors in a great position to take photos of Alamo Plaza. Adjacent to the plaza is the Menger Hotel, the oldest Hotel west of the Mississippi and established in 1859 that many say is haunted. I have been told the Menger bar on the Crockett street side of the hotel has a great cucumber martini. The bus whisks you away to explore downtown San Antonio where the nightlife really heats up. Along the way you are greeted to the evening sights both old and new all surrounding San Antonio’s famed Riverwalk. I really enjoyed seeing the King William district bounded on one side by the San Antonio River that makes up the downtown River walk. With large and ornate homes current revitalization efforts and establishment as a historic district adds more to the open air bus tour. As we make our way back to downtown San Antonio we had the pleasure of seeing the large freedom tower along with the Tower of the Americas. The tour bus eventually stops at Market Street to make way for the private riverboat tour. Getting off the bus we got a goody bag with some souvenirs to take back to remember our trip and then you head down the many stairways to the Riverwalk below.
It was Fourth of July weekend so the tour took a little longer than we expected rather than the 3 hours it usually was. We opted to take the riverboat tour the next day. The riverboat tour is a must do if you are visiting downtown San Antonio. It provides a unique experience with views you would not be able to see just walking around the streets of downtown San Antonio. For the VIP experience with Viator, your tour group will get their own private riverboat tour as your guide provides a lot of facts and history about San Antonio. I’ve taken the riverboat tour many times in the past and I seem to always learn something new. Gliding along the beautiful San Antonio River provides camera ready photography of the city. This special tour also provides views of many buildings and landscapes that were created for the World’s Fair called HemisFair ’68 held in San Antonio in 1968.
Afterwards we visited with family and the next day enjoyed breakfast along the Riverwalk. Due to the holiday weekend, our tour was a little longer than we expected but we didn’t mind at all. I learned so much about Texas history and San Antonio’s place as a true crossroads of cultures and history. All of the guides we had on this tour provided a lot of knowledge, fun and entertainment.
What are your favorite places to visit while in San Antonio? Enjoy some travel discounts to parks and attractions in San Antonio and other attractions nationwide. If you have never been to San Antonio would you be interested in a free quote on family vacation packages? If so, contact me since I am also a travel agent.
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