Every year in mid March, Texas coach’s gather in San Antonio for the Texas State High School Basketball Championships. We also gather in San Antonio each May for the Texas Association Basketball Coaches clinic to network, share ideas, and talk about how we can’t break the press. I have been coaching in Texas for 13 years now and have lived in Texas my whole life. You can say I have visited San Antonio quite a bit over the years. So, today I want to share a coach’s guide to San Antonio, Texas because coaches travel frugally and we love to have some fun eating.
The best part of a coach’s trip is to see how much your school district will pay, and then you get to figure out your budget from there. So, this March we got the school to let us borrow a district suburban with one free tank of gas, pay for the room from booster club money, and we used Hilton points to lower the price as a negotiating tool, and we had a coach who knew some people at UIL and they just gave us court side seats to all the games for three days for free dollars. So, my budget was set at $200 for 4 days and I knew I could live large. If that sounds like a good deal it was, but in years past I have been able to go even cheaper getting everything paid for, and in other years I had to pay $300 for the hotel alone and drove my own car with a budget close to $900 for everything. It varies year to year, and from school district to school district.
So let’s see the trip through pictures this year:
Let’s just say the suburban ride down from Dallas was done limo style for this 6’10” guy, and the other coaches who were 6’7″ and 6’4″ and it was a total of $25 in gas we put in on the way home. The free tank on a suburban can go a long way.
I made my budget in cash, so I would know when to stop spending. I took out $200 and came home with $86 after four days of eating out for all meals. I took advantage of WhataBurger for breakfast, lunch, and dinner around the corner when I felt like I spent too much on a big meal. Which my largest bill was around $20 for just me to eat Vampire Tacos at the Yard House!! Worth it…
Four tacos from Torchy’s!!! and they have a secret menu of complete awesomeness!! $15 meal but it was worth it. So many flavors…that’s empty queso at the top too with chorizo and green chiles in it.
Court side seats…for free…it’s good to know people sometimes. This was a first for me, but I’m spoiled now and need to keep using this guy for tickets.
A view from the room, with the Alamodome within a ten minute walk saves on parking fees, and the River walk behind me within one minute to entertainment. Parking can be $30 in the city, so get a good basecamp and walk to save money or to digest your food. Just walking after large meals is better anyways.
Queso on my chicken fried steak? Hell yeah!! It was awesome by the way. $10.50 for this glorious meal! No greens either, so it’s not mom approved.
The Riverwalk is free entertainment and lots of food everywhere to try. Stay close by because this is the place to be in San Antonio.
Every good Texan must at least remember the Alamo on your visit, but as a tourist attraction, it’s not very exciting. But, you can stand outside and remember for free! Say you saw it and it’s probably good.
LuLu’s Cafe has a 3 pound cinnamon roll for $11.99 that fed 5 coaches one night after watching some late games. This is an experience you have to try. They also have a 21 ounce chicken fried steak, sides, and a roll, eating challenge, but no one was up for it at almost midnight. So, maybe in May…
And this is Texas, so sometimes your steak is really fresh. No this was stuffed and my kids like Bevo the longhorn from UT, so I told them I met Bevo.
San Antonio is a great place to visit for vacation, and if you are a coach then you will find that eating a lot is the main attraction to any coaching event, and San Antonio has lots of variety to eat. We even pick our teams tournaments by which place has the best hospitality rooms to snack in. San Antonio is the place to eat and see a rich culture. Good luck on the eating challenges though, and please don’t try to eat the whole 3 pounds of cinnamon roll. You might have sugar overload and end up in the river. Happy travels!!