San Antonio, Austin & the Hill Country – March 11th – 16th 2020

Capture the spirit of Texas in San Antonio! Uncover centuries of history… dine on fabulous cuisine… visit the beautiful Texas Hill Country… and tour fascinating Austin. Relax and enjoy a true vacation!

Click here for a flyer – San Antonio, Austin & the Hill Country

Day 1 – Wednesday March 11th – Home to San Antonio
Our home for the next five nights is the Drury Plaza Hotel – San Antonio Riverwalk. 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—forming the perfect ambience. The hotel offers a Manager’s Reception/Happy Hour, nightly from 5:30-7pm, with hot food and cold beverages every night in the lobby. The menu changes nightly. Tonight, we’ll dine at the Paesanos… an authentic Italian restaurant featuring delicious pasta and seafood, paired with the perfect glass of wine. Drury Plaza Hotel on the Riverwalk (D)

Day 2 – Thursday March 12th – San Antonio Local Touring
After breakfast… meet our wonderful local guide, Sharon Knibbe… She will join us today, Friday, and Sunday, to share her vast knowledge of this beautiful area. First stop: the IMAX Theater – Price of Freedom… The heroism of the 189 Texans and settlers who defended the besieged Alamo fort for 13 days against the Mexican army of General Santa Anna is recreated. Although the Alamo fell and the defenders were slain, the memory of the battle served as a rallying cry in the fight for Texas’s independence from Mexico.  Next, we’ll tour the Alamo… Originally named Mission San Antonio de Valero, the Alamo served as home to missionaries and their Indian converts for nearly seventy years. Construction began on the present site in 1724. In 1793, Spanish officials secularized San Antonio’s five missions and distributed their lands to remaining Indian residents. Next, it’s the Market Square…  Discover authentic Mexican dining and music enriched with a fascinating legacy of public markets full of bright, bold colors and beautiful treasures. San Antonians have been shopping at Market Square since the 1820’s, before Texas joined the United States! This afternoon, we’ll stop for lunch and a tour of the Buckhorn Saloon & Museum… The Buckhorn Saloon is where it all began, where history was made and legend lives. It is where Teddy Roosevelt recruited Rough Riders and Pancho Villa is rumored to have planned the Mexican Revolution. For over 131 years, The Buckhorn Saloon has been known as a gathering place for good conversation, great food and spectacular wildlife exhibits. Next, Sharon will guide us on a tour of the Missions… After 10,000 years, the people of South Texas found their cultures and their very lives under attack. In the early 1700s Apache raided from the north, deadly diseases traveled from Mexico and drought lingered. By entering a mission, they foreswore their traditional life to become Spanish, accepting a new religion and pledging fealty to a distant and unseen king. Your evening is free to explore San Antonio Riverwalk. Don’t forget the nightly Manager’s Reception/Happy Hour! Plaza Hotel on the Riverwalk (B, L)

Day 3 – Friday March 13th – San Antonio & Austin
Today we’ll see some truly stunning scenery as we make our way to Austin. We’ll start with a tour of the Capitol… The Capitol building in Austin is taller than the US Capitol and is an extraordinary example of late 19th century public architecture. The capitol rotunda features portraits of every person who has served as president of the Republic of Texas or governor of the State of Texas. Later, you’ll have some time for lunch on your own, at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum… saying that it’s as big as Texas is no exaggeration! Since 2001, The Bullock Texas State History Museum has been engaging audiences, to interpret for themselves, the continually unfolding “Story of Texas.” Next, we’re off to the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library & Museum… “It is all here: the story of our time with the bark off… This library will show the facts, not just the joy and triumphs, but the sorrow and failures, too.”  Spoken by Lyndon Johnson at the dedication of the LBJ Presidential Library in May 1971, these words capture the 36th President’s intent to make all the records of his administration available to all Americans—and to let them render their own verdict as to his place in history. The Library houses 45 million pages of historical documents; 650,000 photos; and 5,000 hours of recordings from President Johnson’s political career – including about 643 hours of his recorded telephone conversations! You’ll have some free time to explore historic Old Town Gruene… Arriving in Texas in the mid-1840s, German farmers became the first settlers of what is now known as Gruene. Even with the remarkable growth of this once sleepy little town, the main focus of Gruene is, and continues to be, bona fide Texas. Tonight, we’ll indulge in dinner at McAdoo’s in New Braunfels… In 1915, William G. McAdoo, then the Secretary of the Treasury, was commissioned to build the city of New Braunfels its first federally built United States Post Office. Plaza Hotel on the Riverwalk (B, D)

Day 4 – Saturday March 14th – San Antonio Free Day
Today is all yours… There are so many options close to the hotel. Enjoy a boat ride on the San Antonio River or visit a museum: Briscoe Western Art Museum, Witte Museum and the San Antonio Museum of Art are all close by. The River Walk also features many shops and boutiques for you souvenir hunters! Tonight, we’ll depart for Aldaco’s Mexican Cuisine… Enjoy a cooking class with Blanca! This is a hands-on experience as we learn great techniques on how to make the perfect Enchilada Verde & Avocado Salsa. The class is always full of surprises! You will also walk away with the secret on how to mix a tasty margarita and recipe card to share your new found knowledge with your friends. We’ll enjoy our cooking creations right after class, that includes the “Original” Margarita! Plaza Hotel on the Riverwalk (B, D)

Day 5 – Sunday March 15th – San Antonio & Hill Country
Once again, we’ll welcome our fabulous local guide, Sharon! We start our day at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Ranch… President Johnson had a deep attachment for place and heritage. The LBJ Ranch was where he was born, lived, died and buried. After the President’s death in 1973, Mrs. Johnson continued to live at the Ranch part time until her death in 2007. The President and Mrs. Johnson donated their private home to the National Park Service but retained lifetime rights to use the house. Following the death of Mrs. Johnson on July 11, 2007, preparations began to make the home available for public tours. President Johnson’s office (the west room) was opened to the public on the 100th anniversary of his birth, August 27, 2008. The living room and dining room were opened in June 2009. By December 2011 the entire first floor was opened to the public. Lunch will be on your own in Fredericksburg today… Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, it has over 80 points of historic significance. Stroll past many of Fredericksburg’s famous structures and see the pride taken in both homes and businesses by the local residents. Free self-guided walking tour maps of the district are available at the main Visitor Information Center. Later, Sharon will take us to a beautiful Wild Seed Farm… The public’s love of wildflowers and demands from landscape contractors and the highway department, motivated Mr. Thomas to turn his sideline turf seeding business into a full-time wildflower farm – he developed a machine to plant the tiny seeds and another to harvest them. Tonight, the piece de resistance: The Knibbe Ranch Dinner Tour… We’re in for a special treat tonight: Sharon will take us to her family’s Ranch for dinner and a hay-ride/tour! Founded over 150 years ago in 1852, the Ranch is one of the few remaining Century Heritage Ranches in the State of Texas. Century Heritage Ranches must be owned and operated by the same family in a direct line of descent. In 1848, Hans Heinrich Dietrich Knibbe, of Bissendorf Germany, immigrated to Texas. He acquired 22,000 acres of land and raised oxen. He built a sawmill, a flourmill, and a shingle mill on the land. In the late 19th century, Spring Branch became quite a thriving community with: The Spring Branch post office; The Knibbe General Store; The Knibbe Brothers cotton gin; a blacksmith shop; the Spring Branch dance hall; and the Spring Branch one-room school. All these sites are still on or near the present ranch! Plaza Hotel on the Riverwalk (B, D)

Day 6 – Monday March 16th – San Antonio to Home
We’ll head home with great memories from the Great State of Texas! (B)

$2,638 Double $3,118 Single

A $100 per person deposit will hold space; balance is due by December 10th 2019