What a sight to behold: glass-walled elevators ascend more than 500 feet to the observation deck, providing a panoramic view ... More
Tower of the Americas
What a sight to behold: glass-walled elevators ascend more than 500 feet to the observation deck, providing a panoramic view of the city. Standing a total 750 feet tall, the tower was constructed for HemisFair, the 1968 World's Fair and symbolizes the progress made by the people of the Western Hemisphere. Tower of the Americas is one landmark that you surely can't miss on your trip to San Antonio. This tower is open to public everyday from 10a onwards.
We really enjoyed the Tower of the Americas. It gives you a different perspective on everything. In the tower you have a map, all the way around the tower cab showing where each landmark is in the city. So you can pick it out on the map, and then actually see it from a bird's eye view. You also can walk on the outside tower deck which is neat. (However, make sure you have your jacket on windy days!) They allow you to stay in the tour as long as you want to. It's a good deal.
Also check out the free movie about Texas history before going up in the tower!
The Chart House Restaurant in the Tower of the Americas touts itself as a high-end restaurant with excellent foods and service. Unfortunately, the food quality and the service were poor. The so called medium cooked prime rib end-cut that my wife and I ordered had a quarter-inch thick crust that you could not saw through. I doubt it was the advertised certified black-angus meat. The manager kept asking me what do you want me to do about it, and he kept saying that other guests liked the prime rib implying that I could not tell a good prime rib from a bad prime rib. Later he dragged the so-called chef out to apologize for the poor food. What a disaster! The manager never did offer a refund/price reduction, or another selection! The windows that over looked the city were filthy, and there were face/nose and hand grease prints on the interior glass. Yuck!
We ascended the Tower on New Year's Eve day and found it to be a worthwhile attraction. The grounds around the tower are quite well laid out and the water features very interesting and very photogenic.
But where are the flags? First of all, not a single American Flag was spotted anywhere on the grounds nor could any be seen out and away from the grounds unless you weaved your way to the Wood Judicial building (there you will find a small flag on a pole). The only thing approximating flags were the solid metal pennants with yellow stripes through them on the base entrances to the Tower.
The picture on the Tower of America website showing a cluster of flags including the American flag is non-existent as of December 31, 2007 on the actual Tower site. I asked "why" of the head tour guide who was taking tourist green screen photos inside and he said that mine was a good question. Well, a good question deserves a good answer. Perhaps one or more of your politicos in San Antonio would like to grapple with this one?
The food and the atomosphere is outstanding. It's a little pricy, but well worth it. If one has a history of motion-illness it's probably best not to sit next to a window (or facing one). Otherwise, I highly recommend it. -- You should make reservations, especially if your dining on a Friday or Saturday.
Our recent visit to the Tower of the Americas was awesome. I am not usually a fan of heights but it was a great experience. If you are scared of heights I would definitely recommend staying away from the glass window on the elevator because you can see everything. The observation deck was neat and since the weather was nice we were able to see a great distance. I also highly recommend taking the time to watch the 4D theater ride on the ground level....I think I was laughing ninety percent of the time during the theater ride because you experience sights, sounds, feeling, and smell! If you experience this ride you will see what I am talking about! All in all it was a great time for a low price of $7 per person, but this is a combination ticket for the observation deck, restaurant access, and the 4D theater ride. Have fun!
The view of San Antonio can't be beat, but for $10 you can go up the tower and skip the restaurant. We had a small group, the food took over 1 1/2 hours to get to our table. Some of the food was so salty that it was inedible, the rare tuna was overcooked, so was the steak. The food is very expensive and tasted very average if not just plain bad. I do not recommend this, it is a tourist trap
The veiw was beautiful, but I don't think that the food was worth the price. It seems like you are paying for the view. The food was accually my least favorite part about dining there, but overall it was a good experience.
An observation tower such as this, in the middle of a city like San Antonio, does itself no justice. The only thing that is redeeming about this thing is that it is really tall. When compared to other such towers, such as the Space Needle in Seattle, Washington, the Tower of the Americas falls flacid to meet my expectations of such a construct.
In the Space Needle you get a view of Mt. Rainier and the rocky mountain chain, Seattle's art district, and the Puget Sound of the Pacific Ocean.
To give contrast, and stay on topic, the Tower of Americas has a view that effectively sums up to staring at endless plains of an unshaven hiney. It's nice to be able to say, "Hey I can see my house from here," but with the way the Tower is positioned pretty much all you see is the commercial district which is up close, and the sprawling suburbs and ghettos that spread out as far as the eye can see.
The food, as well, was overpriced, though pretty good. Still, if you want spend a lot on a meal, go to Ruth's Chris Steakhouse which will cost about the same but be tastier.
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