EXPLORING THE MISSIONS
Remember the Alamo, but don’t forget its four sister missions.
9101 GRAF RD
MISSION SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO
The most isolated mission, San Juan was once a self-sustaining farm. Note the Romanesque archway and follow the historic Yanaguana Trail to the edge of the San Antonio River.
PADRE DR AT PARK RD
A perfect put-in point for canoes and kayaks (with a chute to boot) as well as a paddling zone for SUPers.
807 MISSION RD
Dedicated in 1755, this is the only mission that hasn’t needed a major facelift. Look up in the convento room to see the “Eye of God” fresco.
10040 ESPADA RD
Only the chapel, granary, and two of the compound walls remain, but the Mission San Francisco de la Espada’s three bells still ring out every Sunday.
NEAR 10040 ESPADA RD
ESPADA ACEQUIA & DAM
The Spanish-style stone irrigation system, built by Franciscan friars in the 1740s, still flows continuously and the dam is the oldest in the U.S.
6701 SAN JOSÉ DR
MISSION SAN JOSÉ
The “Queen of the Missions,” situated on six acres, was once the home of 300-plus Native Americans. The ornate Rose Window and the weekly mariachi Mass are popular draws.
300 ALAMO PLAZA
San Antonio tourists often forget that the 1836 battle site was built as a Roman Catholic mission. In 1883, the Church sold the Alamo to the state of Texas for $20,000. Today, an average of 1.5 million people visit the site every year.
Archeologist Susan Snow coordinated the San Antonio Missions’ nine-year quest for UNESCO World Heritage status, approved in July 2015. It is the first site in Texas to receive the international designation.