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“Missions are a must-see!”

San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
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Ranked #4 of 266 things to do in San Antonio
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Owner description: Historical area that stretches nine miles and contains four important 18th-century missions.
Toronto, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Missions are a must-see!”
Reviewed 14 April 2012

Start of your tour with San Jose. This mission has been very well preserved-rebuilt and has far more areas to explore. Be sure to watch the beautiful introductory film (which plays on the half hour in visitors centre) that will give you a glimpse of the short history of the missions, through the eyes of a descendant. A walk through of San Jose shows you the living quarters, the church, a running flour mill, a stone carver (who was laboring to make new legs for the angel above the church doors). Following this site visit with the other missions, will give you an appreciation for the work that went into building the missions and what was sadly lost.

The Alamo is a must-see as well, as it has its own very important story to tell. There are presentations on a regular basis in the courtyard. There is a film in the theater but we unfortunately did not get a chance to see, but those coming out said it was well done. Prior to our visit, I read "Susanna of the Alamo by John Jakes" to my children, so they had a better understanding of the important battle that was fought here. Depending on the day, children can make make their own corn husk doll to take away and play some traditional dice games from the day.

Espada has a pretty little church (that is still in use today). Although there is little left of the former native quarters and surrounding walls, the site itself, is still lovely to walk through and visit. Down the road from here, be sure to visit and walk the trail that follows the historical aqueduct system.

Visited April 2012
1 Thank JamesGang2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“take a day and explore”
Reviewed 14 April 2012

Spent a wonderful afternoon walking through all the missions. Enjoyed the history, the beauty, and the weather.

Visited March 2012
Thank jyl_63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dallas, Texas
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“The missions are a great trip back in time”
Reviewed 13 April 2012

My wife grew up actually walking past one going to school, but like most people did not really appreciate the history until now. It is interesting that they are all (except for the Alamo) functioning parishes with weekly masses according to the Catholic Travel Guide. This would make them especially interesting if you are Catholic and looking for a place to attend Mass on Sundays. I don't know if there are weekday Masses or not.

Visited May 2011
Thank Tristan1997
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 6 Contributor
179 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“#1 highlight from SA trip!!”
Reviewed 12 April 2012 via mobile

We rented a car for a day a drove to caves in morning than missions in afternoon. Visited 3 but spent an hour or so at the San Jose- if you enjoy some history this is a do not miss. Also if you have 7-teenagers I think they will enjoy walking around sites referenced in their history lessons. The other two were nothing like San Jose but I wanted to check them out. La Esapada was a bit off the beaten path and the sign read "do not leave valuables in car...break ins have occurred" and the other was under reconstruction. Still-don't miss Mision San Jose!! Enjoy!

Thank teachersms
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“You Don't Have to be a History Buff to Enjoy”
Reviewed 12 April 2012

All four missions are worth seeing, but San Jose and Concepcion more easily accessable and spectacular.
We caught a part of Sunday mass at San Jose... beautiful.

Visited February 2012
Thank rvrrambler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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