Where To Start: Mission Concepción heads the trail, but it's a good idea to stop first at the main visitors center, located in the 3300 block of Roosevelt Avenue at Mission San José, about 4 miles from downtown. Pick up a trail map, and take time to view an informative 23-minute film to get an overview of the Coahuiltecans and the missions. Join a guided tour. (Don't miss Alfred Schwab's entertaining tour if you're there on a Monday.)
- Hours: Grounds and visitors centers are open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Days.
- Food and Lodging: Warm up with chipotle chicken soup, spicy enchiladas, and other Tex-Mex specialties at Rosario's, located near the beginning of the trail at 910 South Alamo; (210) 223-1806. AmeriSuites ( 227-6854) and a new Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites ( 354-1333) offer affordable lodging near the start of the trail downtown.
- Mariachi Mass: San José's musical Mass held at noon on Sunday welcomes visitors. Get there early if you want a seat. For more information call (210) 922-0543. Tourists are asked not to intrude on other regular services. Visitors are usually welcome, if it isn't crowded and you're respectful.
"Discover San Antonio's Mission Trail" is from the November 2004 issue of Southern Living. Because prices, dates, and other specifics are subject to change, please check all information to make sure it's still current before making your travel plans.