If you’ve been following my blog, you know that we’re talking about food allergy friendly vacations this month. Think of it as a way to inspire you for your next vacation. This week I want to talk about San Antonio, Texas…specifically, Sea World San Antonio (http://www.seaworld.com/sanantonio/) and the San Antonio Zoo.
We live in Texas and when we’re looking for a quick weekend getaway, San Antonio is our go-to place. Almost every year since my son turned two, we have visited Sea World San Antonio and always had a ball. My son has severe peanut, tree nut, sesame, and chickpea/garbanzo food allergies and I have celiac…so having a ball on vacation isn’t always as easy as it is for those who have a little more freedom when it comes to food.
Several months in advance of our vacation, I would contact the Guest Relations Department of Sea World San Antonio about our trip. In most cases, a representative has taken the time to talk to me about their food policy and help us plan our vacation accordingly.
Sea World San Antonio did have some fruit, drink, and frozen dessert options that would have been safe for our family, but not many meal items would work due to cross-contamination. So, Sea World was nice enough to send us a letter signed by guest relations allowing us to bring our own food into the park. Although Sea World will allow guests to bring in small ice chests, baby food/bottles, fountain drinks, bottled water, juice boxes (without straws), and single servings of snacks, it doesn’t allow guests to bring their entire meals. So, make sure to contact Sea World ahead of time to receive this special letter allowing you to bring in your food-allergy safe food and medication.
Although Sea World isn’t nearly as accommodating for special dietary needs as Walt Disney World, I still found them more than willing to work with us on a compromise. We’ve enjoyed a trip there almost once a year every year since my son turned two. (*Special Note: Be sure to visit Sea World and San Antonio online as they often offer great coupon savings and will sometimes even send you a booklet full of coupon savings to use during your trip.)
Another great stop for your trip to San Antonio is the zoo (http://www.sazoo-aq.org/). It is quite possibly one of the best zoos in Texas. It has great interactive exhibits for the kids, a hands-on children’s center, water activities (put your kids in their suits or clothes that can get wet), and a fabulous train ride. Again, here the zoo allowed us to bring our food without question. We simply packed a lunch and bought our drinks there. It was a FABULOUS time and took us most of the day because there was so much to do and see! (*Special Note: Be sure to visit their website before going to the zoo, as it is common for them to offer an online coupon for ticket savings!)
Lastly, you can’t visit San Antonio without taking the time to visit The Alamo (http://thealamo.org/main/index.php)and The Riverwalk (http://www.thesanantonioriverwalk.com/). Be sure to take the riverboat ride in San Antonio…at night if you can. The scenery is beautiful and there is so much to see and do (not to mention fabulous shopping)! The market (a local market with great cultural finds) is also a great place to visit. We’ve safely eaten at the Lone Star Cafe (http://www.lonestarcafe.us/) on the Riverwalk and the Baskin Robbins (just make sure to visit their website ahead of time and speak to the chef to explain your dietary needs).
But where is a good hotel to stay that can accommodate your food allergy needs? Stay tuned for my post later this week on the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort located just a short mile or two away from the Sea World San Antonio Entrance.