San Antonio ~ Best of Texas
Eight Spectacular Days! Just look at what’s included.
Day 1 – Travel eastward, through southern Arizona and New Mexico. Enjoy desert and mountain vistas on the way to El Paso Texas. This popular stop caters to vacationers with its sunny climate, interesting rock and mineral deposits, hunting for mule deer, pronghorn antelope and upland game birds.
Day 2 – A hotel breakfast is included this morning. Today step back in history, experience life at a military outpost in the late 1800’s. Historic Fort Stockton consists of original and reconstructed military buildings — officers’ row, the 1868 guardhouse, barracks, and the parade grounds. Nearby, see the world’s largest road runner!
Later, arrive in San Antonio. Check in at the Drury Plaza Riverwalk Hotel for a four night stay. This hotel is beautiful. Formerly the Alamo Bank, this 24-story skyscraper was renovated to maintain its historical character while creating modern comfort. The lobby features 50-foot ceilings, travertine flooring and stained glass windows. The hotel provides lots of extras. Mingle with your fellow travelers at the daily complimentary 5:30 – 7pm Kickback Reception. The rotating menu features a variety of hot food, including chicken strips, macaroni & cheese, hot dogs, baked potatoes, broccoli cheddar soup and more! Plus, beer, wine, mixed drinks and soft drinks are served everyday. It’s a snack for some, meal for others and free for all! Also, enjoy free popcorn and soda 3:00 – 10:00 pm. All rooms are equipped with refrigerators and microwaves, hairdryers, irons and ironing boards. The hotel has indoor and outdoor pools and whirlpools. Breakfast is included each morning — scrambled eggs, sausage, Belgian waffles, biscuits and gravy, fresh fruit, bagels, pastries, juices, hot and cold cereals, toast, milk, coffee, tea and more.
Day 3 – San Antonio offers a blend of charm, vibrancy and color. Its old world Spanish flair and cultural mix make it one of America’s most picturesque cities. It is visited by over 26 million people annually.
Our hotel is ideally located on the famed River Walk, a two-mile oasis that winds its way through the city’s central business district, offering respite from street-level activity. Aside the meandering San Antonio River, cobble- and flagstone paths wind through quiet, park-like areas and lead to European-style passages with sidewalk cafes, galleries, boutiques and nightclubs amid high-rise hotels.
This morning, glimpse into the past and celebrate the dynamic present of San Antonio during a guided walking tour, led by your Tour West escort, followed by some free time to explore on your own. Tour The Alamo, the most famous spot in Texas where 189 defenders fell after repeated attacks by Mexican General Santa Anna’s army. The chapel, one of the most photographed facades in the nation, and the Long Barracks are all that remain of the original fort, located inside beautifully landscaped grounds.
Don’t miss out seeing the historic Menger Hotel’s Colonial Room. Opening in 1836, just 23 years after the fall of the Alamo, this is the oldest continuously operating hotel west of the Mississippi. This is also where Teddy Roosevelt recruited his famous Rough Riders cavalry brigade. The hotel is renowned for its exquisite architecture, including a stunning 3-story lobby and a meticulously restored wing adorned with 19th-century Victorian panache, rare antique furniture, and paintings. Stately columns rise from the burnished lobby floor, and antique furnishings, light fixtures, and artwork lend an air of historic luxury. Many cherished traditions continue to this day, most notably the Colonial Room’s famous mango ice cream – once made fresh from the mangos growing in the courtyard garden. This very same ice cream was served at both of President Bill Clinton’s inaugurations.
Explore the River Walk’s downtown section aboard a river cruiser. Learn about San Antonio’s rich history from a professional storyteller who is also the boat captain. See “Come From Away” at the Majestic Theater with main floor seating, a Best Musical winner all across North America. This show takes you into the heart of the remarkable true story of 7,000 stranded passengers and the small town in Newfoundland that welcomed them. Cultures clashed an nerves ran high, but uneasiness turned into trust, music soared into the night and gratitude grew into enduring friendships. On 9/11, the world stopped. On 9/12, their stories moved us all.
Day 4 – We head out of town to Stonewall to tour the LBJ Historic Park and Ranch. It tells the story of the 36th President and provides a unique perspective into one of America’s noteworthy citizens. The president spent about 25 percent of his term at what was called the Texas White House, and it’s easy to see why. Set on 674 acres, the property also includes Johnson’s reconstructed birthplace, the one-room school where he learned to read and his grave in the family cemetery.
Then, discover picturesque landscapes, incredible natural beauty and delightful old world atmosphere in Fredericksburg, a charming town where the German heritage is alive. Main Street is lined with original 1800’s stores stocked with unique treasures. We’ll start at the visitor center to view the city’s welcome DVD. More than 80 historic points of interest can be seen on a self-guided walking tour. History buffs my elect to visit Gillespie County Pioneer Museum, Fort Martin Scott, or the National Museum of the Pacific War. The downtown is peppered with specialty shops.
Day 5 – During your free time, do some independent exploration. Examine well-known museums. The Buckhorn Saloon features wildlife from all over the world; including fish, birds, and animal oddities – – over 520 species of wildlife, many of which are record holders. The Texas Ranger Museum, houses hundreds of artifacts including revolvers, automatic handguns, sawed off shotguns, badges, photographs. The highlight is ‘Ranger Town’, a recreation of San Antonio at the turn of the century, complete with a saloon, jail, blacksmith shop and telegraph office. The Bonnie and Clyde exhibit complete with a ‘34 Ford V8 Deluxe is a guest favorite. Visit the King William District, an idyllic neighborhood of large, impressive 19th century houses designed in the Greek Revival, Victorian, and Italianate styles. Explore San Antonio’s missions, or the gorgeous Japanese Tea Garden.
We dine as a group at Tower of the Americas. The 750-foot-tall tower provides the most spectacular view of the Alamo City. Enjoy the gorgeous panorama from the revolving Chart House Restaurant.
Day 6 – A visit to San Antonio Shoemakers (SAS) factory and general store wraps up our San Antonio sights. SAS is a family-owned business, proudly handcrafting shoes in the USA. The general shop exudes turn-of-the-century charm with antiques and Americana novelties.
Bid farewell to San Antonio, and travel west to El Paso. Overnight accommodations in El Paso.
Day 7 – We head to Las Cruces, New Mexico, in the fertile Mesilla Valley between the majestic Organ Mountains and the meandering Rio Grande for some local exploration today.
A visit to Heart of the Desert Pistachio Farm and Winery is first on the agenda. This is New Mexico’s first and largest producing pistachio groves. The farm consists of 85 acres of pistachio groves with approximately 12,000 trees spaced from 17’ x 17’ to 24’ x 24.’ Daily field care, harvesting, processing, and marketing the finished product all take place on site. Take a guided walking tour to visit the field, the processing plant, and packaging and shipping departments. Taste the most authentic pistachio ice cream you’ve ever had.
Next, discover White Sands National Monument. Rising from the heart of the Tularosa Basin is one of the world’s great natural wonders – the glistening white sands of New Mexico. Here, great wave-like dunes of gypsum sand have engulfed 275 square miles of desert and created the world’s largest gypsum dune field. A park ranger will join us on the coach for an orientation.
Visit Old Mesilla’s historic plaza. From the Gadsden Purchase, to the Civil War, to the Butterfield Stage Coach Trail, to the trial of Billy the Kid, Mesilla has been a prominent part of the rich history of the Southwest. Today, quaint gift shops, galleries, and world-renowned dining and drinking establishments occupy the Plaza and its surrounding historical buildings. Enjoy a final group dinner with all your new friends.
Overnight accommodations in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Day 8 – Travel back to Arizona with amazing memories of this trip.
This is a moderate activity level tour. Some stairs and/or inclines or uneven ground is present at the destinations. Moderate walking is required, usually at your own pace, during free time and guided walking tours. Tours of this many days in duration involve disembarking and boarding the bus numerous times. Persons of limited mobility should consider the appropriateness of this tour in relation to their physical abilities.5:30am depart Yuma 6:00am depart Foothills
$1849 pp/do… Escorted tour includes 4 nights accommodation in San Antonio at the Drury Plaza Riverwalk Hotel, breakfast each morning in San Antonio, a daily evening kickback reception with hot food and cold drinks at the Drury, 3 additional nights accommodation with included breakfasts. Total of 9 meals (7 breakfasts and 2 dinners). Performance of “Come From Away”, narrated river cruise, The Alamo, LBJ Ranch tour, excursion to Fredericksburg/Hill Country, admission to White Sands National Monument and services of a step-on ranger guide, and deluxe motorcoach transportation. $2689 single.
Seat rotation will apply, sequence of tours and attractions subject to change based on availability and weather.
February 26 – March 4, 2020
Wednesday – Wednesday
For a description of tour policies, including cancellation penalties, click “Policies and Procedures” at the very bottom of this page.