The Tower of the Americas is the tall structure in downtown San Antonio, specifically in Hemisfair Park. For more than 11 years, I had looked at it and wondered about it, until the night earlier this month that we were in Hemisfair Park for Diwali.
They say that “Everything is big in Texas” actually holds true when it comes to San Antonio. There are lots of big zoos, big museums, big art centers, big science centers and finally big parks. Parks are found very abundantly in San Antonio. And they are not just any ordinary parks. They are all very very pretty and soothing and they are all very huge.
One of the largest and oldest parks in San Antonio is Hemisfair Park. This park was the site of the 1968 Texas World Fair. San Antonio hosted this fair in honor of its 250th birthday. It was the first world fair that was ever held in the south-western US and opened its arms to more than thirty different nations from all over the world. The main aspect of Hemisfair Park is the Tower of the Americas.
Hemisfair Park is located in downtown San Antonio. For the location, the park is quite tranquil. It was built by removing what was referred to as blighted areas of the city. This downtown park is also home to the convention center, a couple of museums, and some fantastic fountains, apart from the tower of the Americas. The tower of the Americas that this park boasts is almost 750 ft high.
How tall is the Tower of the Americas?
This 750 ft. tall tower was erected as the centerpiece of the 1968 HemisFair World’s Fair. A ride to the high located observation deck provides a 360-degree view of the city of San Antonio. There is also a slowly rotating restaurant on top. There is however a fee to visit the observation deck.
San Antonio Tower
We decided to actually go up the elevator to the top of the tower. Tickets are $14.50 for adults, but I think it was money well spent. We bought our tickets and went inside the structure to stand in line at the elevator. On the ground floor, there is a cafe, restrooms, a 4-D theater that you can go in as part of the admission price, and a souvenir shop. We stood in line for about 10 minutes and then got on one of the elevators.
Up to the top, we shot. According to the elevator attendant, it was moving at 200 miles per hour. Not sure if that is true but that is what he said. There is a window so you can see the outside as you go up, but it was crowded so we could not see much. The attendant told us that the Tower of the Americas was built in 1986. Did I say 1986? He said yes. I said, you mean 1968 as I knew it was built the year my sister was born! He then acknowledged his mistake and we arrived at the top.
First, we walked around inside the top, looking out the windows that go all the way around the circle. You cannot go all the way around inside because there is a very expensive restaurant that is closed with black curtains to the public unless you are eating there. Of course, I stuck my camera in there anyway…There is also a small cafe with a few tables and chairs and some restrooms.
Go down a few stairs and out a door and there is an enclosed breezeway all the way around that is not blocked off. The view of San Antonio, especially at night is breathtaking. It was cold and very breezy that high up. My hair got messed up very quickly, but it was exhilarating.
That night, because of Diwali, there were fireworks while we were at the top so we watched. They were incredible, spectacular, beautiful.
After the fireworks were over, we had to wait about 30 more minutes before they allowed the elevators to start taking us down again. Of course, there was a long line so we were up there for quite a while. Once we got downstairs, we went to the 4-D theater to wait for the next show.
After we got inside, we were given large 4-D glasses and a movie about Texas came on. It was really cool, a lot of fun to watch and experience. I would like to go again. It was a good night.
How much is the Tower of Americas?
Tower of the Americas Ticket Prices includes unlimited access to Observation Deck, Flags Over Texas, and the 4D Theater Ride.
- Adults: $14.50
- Seniors & Military: $12.50
- Children (4 – 12): $11.50
- Children (0 – 3): FREE
Prices do not include tax. Discounted packages are available for educational tours.
Observation Deck Hours
Sunday – Thursday: 10 AM – 10 PM
Friday – Saturday 10: AM – 11 PM
Tower of the Americas
739 E César E. Chávez Blvd, San Antonio, TX 78205