The Alamo is one of the most famous sites in United States history, forever linked to the 13-day Battle of the Alamo in 1836, which ended with the deaths of defenders James Bowie, William Travis, and Davy Crockett. Today, the 18th-century Mission San Antonio de Valero complex, now known as the Alamo, welcomes more than 2.5 million visitors per year to its chapel, barracks, gardens, and small museum.
To understand early Texas history and Texas independence, a visit to the Alamo is essential. Visitors are free to tour the grounds on their own, or sign up for a guided or audio tour. The mission complex is a stop on most sightseeing and hop-on, hop-off bus tours, which often also include stops at Mission San Jose, Market Square, and Mission Concepcion. Travelers can combine a visit to the Alamo with a cruise along the San Antonio River Walk, or, for those interested in the Alamo's ghostly residents, visit the complex as part of a haunted San Antonio tour.
- This site is a must-see for history buffs.
- Don't forget to wear comfortable clothes and walking shoes.
- San Antonio can get hot; be sure to wear sunscreen and drink plenty of water.
- All public areas of the Alamo are wheelchair accessible.
- Keep in mind that photography is not permitted inside the Alamo Church or Long Barrack Museum.
How to Get to the Alamo
Alamo Plaza is located in the heart of Downtown San Antonio, just a block away from the San Antonio River Walk. Visitors with a car will find ample parking in the area, though often for a fee. The complex is also located along the VIVA missions and VIVA centro bus routes.
When to Get There
While the Alamo is open 364 days per year (closed Christmas Day), many travelers prefer visiting in the off-peak season between early September and early March, mainly due to cooler weather and sparser crowds. Try getting there first thing in the morning or at dusk when the mission is beautifully lit.
Diving into History at the Alamo
The Alamo's regular calendar of events features free history talks several times per day in the Calvary Courtyard, as well as living history presentations that sometimes include period impressions and live demonstrations of fire starting, leatherworking, or textile making. A 17-minute film telling the 300-year Alamo story is shown in the Long Barracks Theater and the Alamo Arbor.