Road Trip Reflections | TX | March 2024 - Part 3, Missions of San Antonio

My pup Valentine and I have been on an indefinite road trip, living nomadically since October 2023! If you'd like to see more posts & vlogs about our travels & adventures, please click here.
  

I had heard about the missions here and thought it would be cool to check them out and made it a goal to visit all of them.

While I am not religious and don't agree with a lot of things that happened at the missions, I was interested in visiting them to learn about the history and see the architecture. It felt like a special opportunity to get to see something that was part of history and still standing, especially since they were a short drive away.

Overall all of the missions--except for the Alamo (you can read more about it below)--were:

  • Easy to find
  • Had plenty of free parking right in front of the missions
  • Were dog friendly (they are allowed on the grounds just not inside the buildings)
  • As a solo traveler I felt safe in all of these locations

They are all so different and beautiful and it's so hard to pick a favorite! Below are photos from each of the missions and a few stories from the visits :) You can find all the exact addresses on the Mission Map

MISSION CONCEPCION

I got pretty excited driving up and seeing our very first mission here! It's kind of crazy to me how something that's hundreds of years old is just sitting there--no fence or gate or anything-- and you can drive right up and basically park in front of it and go check it out! 

I went on a Friday afternoon and there were people coming and going but it wasn't crowded at all which was really nice. 

The patterns and designs on the walls were my favorite part!

MISSION ESPADA

This was our first mission stop on a late afternoon Saturday and again, it wasn't crowded which was nice. The sky was so beautiful and I loved the trees and greenery there. It was very peaceful hearing the birds singing as we walked through the grounds.

MISSION SAN JUAN

There were more people at this mission but the grounds was large enough where you don't feel crowded. Don't miss the Yanaguana Trail right behind the mission. It's a short loop through the trees and I saw the biggest butterflies I had ever seen --they were so beautiful! 

SAN JOSE

By the time I got to San Jose, it was after noon and there were a bunch of tour groups there so it was a lot more crowded and noisy. As I walked through, the crowd situation got a bit better and there were really nice views from all sides and perspectives. I loved the red arch, the pattern on the walls, and the Rose Window was a beautiful feature as well--I think structure wise San Jose was my favorite! 

THE ALAMO

And the last mission we visited was the Alamo. It's located in downtown and part of it is under construction so parking was a hot mess! I drove around looking for parking for 15-20 minutes and I actually gave up and decided to just do the River Walk. I parked quite far but at certain point realized I had gotten very close to this mission and decided to go to street level and try to find it. It was just around the corner!

It was very crowded at this mission with lines to go inside and people everywhere! There was a little girl--maybe 10 or 11 years old--who said to hi Valentine and was so sweet. She also had a sketchbook and pencil in her hands and that made me like her even more! :)

We got a quick snap with the Alamo then I followed the crowds around the back outdoor area. At that point Val was kind of fussy and I took her out of the stroller. That's when an officer walked up to us and I had a feeling Valentine wasn't allowed there but I didn't realize since it was all outside. So when he got close I asked if that was the case and he said yes so I said sorry and turned around to leave. He was very nice and said he's sorry dogs aren't allowed and that Valentine would probably be better behaved than some of the kids there and I was like thank you for recognizing that she is a good baby lol. 

Out of all of the missions this one was my least favorite--mostly because of the parking and crowdedness but I also felt like some of the other missions had more interesting details and their locations were much nicer. But I'm glad I got to see it and check all 5 missions off my list!

Have you been to the San Antonio missions? Which one was your favorite and if you haven't been, which one would you want to visit? I'd love to hear!

I was lucky enough to get to see so many things in San Antonio so this recap is split into a few parts--you can find them all here.

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