This was listed under "Other Attractions" in most of the guidebooks I read, but I think this is a must-see in San Antonio. One of the Missions (San Jose) has been reconstructed to show the entire mission layout. The others have only the buildings that remain after nearly 300 years. All four have working Catholic churches. There is a visitor's center with an excellent orientation film and a museum. Each mission has explanatory displays. The missions are part of the National Parks Service. There is no public transportation to two of the missions, and the distances are too great for walking, so if you don't have a car and you want to see them all, and I highly recommend that you do, a tour is your only option. Even with a car, the route is not very well marked, and you could have a difficult time finding all the sites. We took a tour with Historic Texas Tours. They are smaller and more personal that the other tours offered in San Antonio. They have a 15 passenger van, so that is the maximum size of the group. It was only my husband and I and another couple on our tour. Shelly, our very friendly guide, has studied the history of the missions and had an amazing amount of information at her fingertips. She has a relationship with the NPS staff at each of the missions, and we got to see things that may not be available to other tour groups. She had no tour booked for the afternoon, so she stretched our 3 hour tour out to 4 hours to give us more time at each site. I wholeheartedly recommend Texas Historic Tours as a way to see the missions. We also went on the Foodie Tour with Shelly, and thoroughly enjoyed that too. Because they are small, if you are planning a trip during the busy season, I would recommend booking early so you don't miss the chance for these truly excellent tours.
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