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San Antonio Missions National Park

Four Spanish missions dating back to the 1700s have been preserved in this riverfront park. 

The city of San Antonio was built around missions, set up in the 1700s by the Spanish to resemble the towns of their homeland. The small, gated communities had farmland, churches, craftsman workshops and living spaces. They closed in the 1800s but four of these walled communities have been preserved and can be visited in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. They’re dotted along the San Antonio River, starting with Mission Concepcion, just south of downtown. Explore by car, on foot or by bike. 

The four fortresses — Mission Concepcion, Mission San Jose, Mission San Juan and Mission Espada — are easy to find if you’re driving. Another option is the Mission Hike and Bike Trail, eight miles (13 kilometers) of beautiful trails that wind between each site along the river, through old neighborhoods and parkland. This trail is easy enough for even young children as it’s mostly flat, and is a great way to see this area’s natural and historical wonders.

The grand buildings that comprise the mission have awe-inspiring arches, carvings, colorful frescoes and bell towers. The surrounding fertile farmland supplied much of the produce for the blossoming city of San Antonio.

The beautiful church at Mission Concepcion is the best preserved building. It still has remnants of original paintings on the walls and ceilings. San Jose was the most prosperous mission — 300 people once lived here — and the granary and gristmill have been restored. This is where you’ll also find the Visitors’ Center. At Mission San Juan, the chapel and bell tower are still in use. And the acequia (irrigation system) at Mission Espada still partially operates a aqueduct and dam.

Learn more about daily life during the 18th-century Spanish Colonial period and take a free, guided tour through one of the missions. They run daily and last for roughly 45 minutes to an hour. There are movie sessions, a small museum and regularly scheduled church services, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time at this historical park. 


Guide to Exploring around San Antonio Missions National Park


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Lodging Near San Antonio Missions National Park

See all 540 Properties near San Antonio Missions National Park
Historic House on San Antonio River and Mission Trail Next to Mission San Juan
Reviewed on Nov 23, 2018
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Historic House on San Antonio River and Mission Trail Next to Mission San Juan

Historic House on San Antonio River and Mission Trail Next to Mission San Juan

San Antonio, TX
     
    4.9 of 5
    0.0 out of 5.0

    Riverhouse is such a cool property. Hemmed in by the river, the San Juan and lots of green space, it is as private as is possible inside the loop. It is convenient not only to the mission trail, but to any point in the city. We definitely enjoyed our second stay and look forward to staying again ...

    Gem In The Heart of Unesco World Heritage Site
    Reviewed on Mar 21, 2019
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    Gem In The Heart of Unesco World Heritage Site

    Gem In The Heart of Unesco World Heritage Site

    San Antonio, TX
       
      5.0 of 5
      0.0 out of 5.0

      We will definitely stay at this property again. We were given a tour of the home when checking in. The home's layout is absolutely beautiful. The courtyard was our favorite part of the property. Tom and Dolorez equip the home with everything their guests need. We just wished we had more time to enjoy ...

      Embassy Suites by Hilton San Antonio Brooks Hotel & Spa $98
      Reviewed on May 16, 2019
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      Embassy Suites by Hilton San Antonio Brooks Hotel & Spa

      Embassy Suites by Hilton San Antonio Brooks Hotel & Spa

      7610 South New Braunfels Avenue, San Antonio, TX
         
        4.7 of 5
        3.5 out of 5.0

        Everything was excellent; I especially enjoyed the onsite restaurant. The food was terrific and the staff was helpful.

        Holiday Inn Express & Suites San Antonio - Brooks City Base $66
        Reviewed on Apr 22, 2019
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        Holiday Inn Express & Suites San Antonio - Brooks City Base

        Holiday Inn Express & Suites San Antonio - Brooks City Base

        8222 City Base Lndg, San Antonio, TX
           
          4.4 of 5
          2.5 out of 5.0

          Close to the area we we came for. Plenty of restaurants close by. Good breakfast. Will stay there next year when we have tournaments there

          Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites San Antonio $72
          Reviewed on May 20, 2019
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          Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites San Antonio

          Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites San Antonio

          11400 SE Loop 410, San Antonio, TX
             
            4.2 of 5
            2.5 out of 5.0

            Very pleasant the staff was nice and friendly. The rooms were clean.

            Hampton Inn & Suites San Antonio Brooks City Base $87
            Reviewed on May 13, 2019
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            Hampton Inn & Suites San Antonio Brooks City Base

            Hampton Inn & Suites San Antonio Brooks City Base

            8202 City Base Landing, San Antonio, TX
               
              4.5 of 5
              2.5 out of 5.0

              Our stay was absolutely excellent!!!! Everything was clean and perfect. Staff was very friendly and great service!!!

              La Quinta Inn by Wyndham San Antonio Brooks City Base $69
              Reviewed on May 16, 2019
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              La Quinta Inn by Wyndham San Antonio Brooks City Base

              La Quinta Inn by Wyndham San Antonio Brooks City Base

              3180 Goliad Rd, San Antonio, TX
                 
                3.7 of 5
                2.5 out of 5.0

                Stairs only property. Was on second floor. Would have been nice if they had warned me.

                Fairfield Inn & Suites San Antonio Brooks City Base $98
                Reviewed on Mar 18, 2019
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                Fairfield Inn & Suites San Antonio Brooks City Base

                Fairfield Inn & Suites San Antonio Brooks City Base

                3234 Goliad Road, San Antonio, TX
                   
                  4.6 of 5
                  2.5 out of 5.0

                  Good location. Good amenities. Room was nice but small. Cable TV was really good.