On a road trip to Texas in November of 2010, we spent a few days in the San Antonio area and had a blast. We enjoyed spending some time at the River Walk as well as our tour of The Alamo. I heard it was small, but I was quite surprised at how small it really was when seeing it for the first time. It’s amazing that this is where the Spanish colonization first took hold, Mexico armed its independence and even the Confederacy stood its ground.
Located in downtown San Antonio, Texas, the Alamo houses exhibits on the Texas Revolution and Texas History. Visitors are welcome to stroll through the beautiful gardens. Just a short distance from the River Walk, the Alamo is a “must-see” for all who come to San Antonio.
We had an interesting time walking around the 4.2-acre complex containing only a portion of the original Alamo mission. Admission is free, and open every day of the year, except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. More than 2.5 million people a year come to see the place where a small band of Texans held out for thirteen days against General Antonio López de Santa Anna.
For those of you who don’t know much about the Alamo, besides, “Remember the Alamo” here is a little information about this famous battle. On February 23, 1836, the arrival of General Antonio López de Santa Anna’s army outside San Antonio nearly caught them by surprise. Undaunted, the Texians and Tejanos prepared to defend the Alamo together. The defenders held out for 13 days against Santa Anna’s army.
William B. Travis, the commander of the Alamo sent forth couriers carrying pleas for help to communities in Texas. On the eighth day of the siege, a band of 32 volunteers from Gonzales arrived, bringing the number of defenders to nearly two hundred. Legend holds that with the possibility of additional help fading, Colonel Travis drew a line on the ground and asked any man willing to stay and fight to step over — all except one did.
As the defenders saw it, the Alamo was the key to the defense of Texas, and they were ready to give their lives rather than surrender their position to General Santa Anna. Among the Alamo’s garrison were Jim Bowie, renowned knife fighter, and David Crockett, famed frontiersman and former congressman from Tennessee.
The final assault came before daybreak on the morning of March 6, 1836, as columns of Mexican soldiers emerged from the predawn darkness and headed for the Alamo’s walls. Cannon and small arms fire from inside the Alamo beat back several attacks. Regrouping, the Mexicans scaled the walls and rushed into the compound.
Once inside, they turned a captured cannon on the Long Barrack and church, blasting open the barricaded doors. The desperate struggle continued until the defenders were overwhelmed. By sunrise, the battle had ended and Santa Anna entered the Alamo compound to survey the scene of his victory.
Although the Alamo fell in the early morning hours of March 6, 1836, the death of the Alamo defenders has come to symbolize courage and sacrifice for the cause of Liberty. The memories of James Bowie, David Crockett, and William B. Travis are as powerful today as when the Texan Army under Sam Houston shouted “Remember the Alamo!” as it routed Santa Anna at the battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836.
While the facts surrounding the siege of the Alamo continue to be debated, there is no doubt about what the battle has come to symbolize. People worldwide continue to remember the Alamo as a heroic struggle against impossible odds — a place where men made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom. For this reason, the Alamo remains hallowed ground and the Shrine of Texas Liberty. We definitely felt the solemness of the place and everyone was so respectful. They did ask everyone to lower their voices and for the men to remove their hats.
After we toured the Alamo Church, we walked around and saw people sitting around the Calvary Courtyard. We asked a guide and he said they were getting ready to do a 15 Minute history talk. We thought that was cool and we stuck around to listen. It was very interesting and we learned a lot about the Texas revolution and more stories about the Battle of the Alamo. The tours only happen once a day at 3:00 pm and the area is pretty small. I highly suggest getting there early to get a seat or you will have to stand around. Very informative, especially if you have kids in your group.
Liked I said we enjoyed our visit and would highly suggest visiting this amazing building, especially for families. The kids will learn so much about Texas history and maybe even a few of the adults, lol. Here is a link to their website with more information if you are planning your own trip. Make sure to see it in the evening if you can. It is a whole different experience. I hope you enjoyed reading my post. Please share your thoughts or comments about your visit. What did you think the first time you visited the Alamo?
Alamo Visitor Information
Peak Season (May 28 – Sept. 6): 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Off-Peak Season (Sept. 7 – May 27): 9 a.m.- 5:30 p.m
Free for a self-guided tour. However there are several other tour options
Alamo Guided Tour
This hour-long guided tour is lead by a guide who shares the heroes and events of the Alamo, including the Battle of the Alamo. This tour also includes entry to the Alamo Church and Alamo Exhibit.
Child (12 and under) $30
Adult Military (w/ID) $36
Child Military (12 and under w/ID) $27
Daily – 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m.
Young Texans Tour
This 45-minute tour introduces the incredible story of the Alamo for kids of all ages. It ends with an exciting cannon drill demonstration.
Child (12 years and under) $25
Adult Military (with ID) $27
Child Military (12 years and under with ID) $22
Alamo Private Tour
Minimum of 15 participants
Maximum of 60 participants
If you have less than 15 participants, the price is $600 in total
After hours tour
Ever want to visit the Alamo without the crowds or in the dark? This is the tour for you. It is similar to a private tour, but after the Alamo has closed for the day.
Minimum of 20 participants,
Maximum of 60 participants
If you have less than 20 participants, the price is $1,000 in total
Tours take place after 5:30 p.m. when the Alamo is closed to the public. During peak season hours, after-hours tours are limited to one tour per night, beginning at 7 p.m.
The Alamo is found in downtown San Antonio, and it is very easy to get to from most parts of the city. It is within walking distance of many of the downtown area hotels. You can also get around San Antonio using public transport and several buses stop within a short walk of The Alamo. You can see the local public transit network schedules and information here.
The Alamo does not offer parking but downtown San Antonio has a number of public parking lots close by.
Buses may unload their passengers at the Houston Street gate, however, buses are not permitted to park there.
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