San Antonio, Texas, home to The Alamo, site of an 1836 battle that helped Texans win independence from Mexico, is a diverse city with cultural attractions, galleries, shopping, dining, nightlife and outdoor recreation. The Alamo, whose original name was Mission San Antonio de Valero, was the city’s first mission and marks the heart of the San Antonio. Its Long Barracks Museum and Library features exhibits on the Republic of Texas and offers a narration on the fall of The Alamo. While the chapel and the long barracks are all that remains of the original structure, several other missions in San Antonio serve as reminders of the city’s cultural and religious roots.
Along the banks of the San Antonio River, which winds through the city, is the River Walk, adorned with lush landscaping, pathways, waterfalls, quiet pools, outdoor art and patios. Visitors also will find restaurants, galleries and shops on the River Walk. In addition, a new, 1.3-mile stretch leads to the San Antonio Museum of Art, renowned for its Latin American folk, as well as the 125-year-old Pearl Brewery, a vibrant urban village. Visitors can stroll along the River Walk or float down the waterway via a river taxi. There’s also a guided tour aboard a river cruiser.
Just north of San Antonio is the Texas Hill Country, which was settled by Germans and Eastern Europeans. Here, visitors will find storybook farms and ranches, as well as more than 20 wineries. Hill Country is also a great place to shop for locally made goods, including quilts and ceramics, as well as foods, like jams, jellies and bread. Entertainment is equally home grown, with music ranging from “oompah” to boogie.
Hill Country also offers a plethora of outdoor recreation at places like rugged canyons, scenic overlooks, spring-fed creeks and rolling prairies. Hiking, rock climbing, fishing, swimming and river tubing are popular here. Visitors can even go underground to explore Natural Bridge Caverns and the Cave Without a Name.
San Antonio’s cuisine features foods from the many cultures that settled the area, including Mexican and German, in addition to local cuisines, like Southwestern, barbecue and Tex-Mex.
San Antonio International Airport is approximately 8.5 miles from downtown; and airport shuttles, taxis and car rentals are available. Once downtown, visitors can ride a reproduction of a rail streetcar that traveled the streets of San Antonio more than 50 years ago. In addition, the River Taxi stops at 39 locations along the River Walk, and the Sightseer Special (Bus 7) runs daily among the San Antonio’s major attractions. San Antonio is criss-crossed by several Interstates: the I-10, I-35, I-37 and I-410.
San Antonio has a subtropical climate, with alternately dry or humid weather, depending on prevailing winds. Summers are hot, with daytime temperatures reaching the mid 90s, while winters are mild to cool. May, June and October are the rainy months, making late fall through early spring a prime time to visit.