I love the Mission District and visit there every time I am in the Hill Country of Texas. These beautiful old buildings are among the oldest in North America and well worth the notice of anyone who loves architecture and history. Some of the churches in the mission district are still operating today.
All four missions are located within half a mile of each other, and you will not have any trouble travelling from one site to the next. We have found that, unlike The Alamo, the four "other" missions are not heavily crowded, nor are they lavishly updated and landscaped. They are very much like they were when first built.
A tour of the missions is a completely different experience than a visit to The Alamo, and they deserve their own time if you want to get the most of your visit to San Antonio. Admission and parking are free of charge, and dogs are allowed on leashes, except in the gift shop, museum and theater.
One word about the climate. South Texas is extremely HOT in the summer. The last time we toured the missions was in late June and the temp was 109 degrees F! Most of the buildings are not air conditioned. If you have a choice, plan your trip in autumn, winter, or fall for the best chance of good weather. Fall and spring are the best, with spring being glorious! If you go in on or around Easter, you are likely to see some wonderful fields of bluebonnets and other Texas wildflowers in the countryside surrounding San Antonio. But if really hot weather doesn't bother you, then even a summer tour could be fun. Just take lots of water and wear those ICE BANDANNA neck coolers to keep you and yours safe and comfortable.
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