SPE logo

Travel and Accommodations

Registration

Guest Tours

Event ticket purchase required. Purchase tickets now »

Note: Guests should wear comfortable clothing and walking shoes for these tours. A hat and sunscreen are also recommended. Motor coach transportation provided.

Viva! San Antonio

1000–1500, Sunday, 7 October
Ticket price: USD 85
Alamo
This tour begins with exploring San Antonio’s first and most famous mission, the Mission San Antonio de Valero, or as most people know it, The Alamo. In 1836, a small band of Texans held out for 13 days against the army of General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. The defeat of The Alamo has come to symbolize courage and sacrifice for the cause of liberty. Next, we will tour the well-known Riverwalk of San Antonio on a river barge. We will navigate through the main channels of the river bend, pointing out landmarks and answering questions about San Antonio’s famous Paseo Del Rio. Your final stop is El Mercado, the largest Mexican marketplace outside of Mexico. Here the delightful experience of bargain-hunting and unique shopping awaits you. This tour includes lunch at La Margarita, fine Mexican cuisine. 

 

Natural Bridge Caverns and Gruene

0900–1500, Monday, 8 October
Ticket price: USD 70

Cavern Hidden beneath the rolling hills of the scenic Texas Hill Country is Texas’ largest network of caverns, the Natural Bridge Caverns. You will be led on a walking tour through the North Cavern, exploring its depths, design, and geological beauty. The distance is ¾ mile (1.21 km) and descends 180 feet (54.86 meters) below the surface. You will then have the unique opportunity to explore the historic town of Gruene. Stroll through the charming town filled with its quaint atmosphere, unique shops, and art galleries. Sip a “cold one” at the oldest dance hall in Texas, Gruene Hall, or enjoy lunch on your own at one of its unique restaurants.

Gruene Hall

 

The Gristmill River Restaurant is located in the ruin of a 100-year-old cotton gin overlooking the Guadalupe River, and features the best of southern dining. Another dining option is the award-winning River House Tea Room. Make sure to visit the Gruene General Store, as it has been selected as one of the 40 best places to visit in Texas. Check out their soda fountain and homemade fudge selection. Another notable stop is the Grapevine Wine Bar. The Grapevine offers more than 20 wines for complimentary tastings every day. (Proper identification is required for alcohol sampling.) Strollers are not recommended.

 

Shop and Wine Tour in Boerne

0930–1530, Tuesday, 9 October
Ticket price: USD 70
Beautiful Texas Hill Country surroundings have made Boerne a well-known destination for tourists seeking scenery and serenity. Visitors will discover that this friendly community with its German “old-town” feel is also a perfect place to find unique treasures and bargains. Boerne offers eclectic shops and boutiques with antiques, apparel, accessories, home décor, art, crafts, and gifts that can’t be found in malls or big-box stores. Along the way you’ll find scrumptious delights at an eclectic collection of restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, and bakeries. Lunch is on your own, so you can stroll and dine when you like. Limestone Grille is historic Ye Kendall Inn’s award-winning restaurant with a beautiful view of Cibolo Creek. If you want a fresh and healthy meal, you can visit The Creek, a relaxed restaurant that also sits beside Cibolo Creek. Next, you will journey through the world of wines at The Boerne Wine Company, where hands-on discovery begins with generous samples in a comfortable setting. Wander through rack-upon-rack of interesting vintages, pour a taste or two into stemware, and then relax in the barreled-ceiling tasting room. Tour includes a USD 15 pre-paid wine card for your sampling pleasure. (Proper identification is required for alcohol sampling.)

 

Architecture and Art

1000–1300, Wednesday, 10 October
Ticket price:  USD 45

Artisan Glass BlowingThis tour will take you to the most elegant residential area in the city of San Antonio, the King William District. In the late 1800s, prominent German merchants settled in this area. Many years later, it was zoned as the state’s first historic district. To this day, it maintains an air of unique exclusivity in everything from the architecture and landscaping, to the subtle details of the homes, streets, and businesses. The first stop on the tour is Garcia Art Glass, one of San Antonio’s finest local glass art studios and galleries. Here you can watch skilled and well-recognized artists demonstrate the unique and wondrous art form of glass blowing. You will have the opportunity to tour the gallery filled with San Antonio-inspired blown glass art. You will also tour Villa Finale, the home of Walter Mathis, the leading preservationist in San Antonio. The historic home and its collection of decorative arts, Texas furniture, and Texan campaign ceramics were given to the National Trust for Historic Preservations in 2004. Eat a hearty breakfast, because lunch is on your own after the tour.

 

Photos courtesy of the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau.