San Antonio annually meets millions of tourists who want to discover its secret. The influence of neighboring Mexico, the presence of Spanish culture, broad avenues, and palm trees like in Los Angeles, a little Italian Venice — one can see various faces of San Antonio. It is a fantastic combination of history and modernity, with many parks and entertainment centers, delicious food, and a unique flavor. San Antonio is charming and does not give a single chance to remain indifferent to this city.
Attractions of San Antonio
The most interesting places in San Antonio and its surroundings are mainly related to the history of the city. Architectural sights, temples, and old fortresses take travelers back in time. Modern buildings, museums, parks, and entertainment facilities, on the other hand, make it clear that the city continues to develop and improve. This means that in San Antonio, every tourist will find something interesting for themselves because the choice of attractions is vast.
A brief history
In 1716, a mission was sent to the river valley to establish a Spanish settlement. The construction of the fortress began, which was completed in 1718. In the following years, settlers from the Canary Islands and other Spanish colonies arrived here.
San Antonio developed and grew rapidly and soon became the largest Spanish settlement in Texas. In the years that followed, the city experienced several wars. And in 1845, when the U.S. announced the inclusion of Texas, the American-Mexican war began. The welfare of San Antonio was shaken, and in 1860, there was a civil war.
After the war, San Antonio became a center of animal breeding. In 1877, the first railroad was built here, which was the beginning of unity with American society.
Since the end of the XX century, there has been active population growth. In 35 years alone, the population doubled. The area of San Antonio was also increasing — the city was developing at a rapid pace.
Before the trip, you should calculate the approximate budget that you will require for the travel:
The best time to visit San Antonio
San Antonio attracts rodeo and country music lovers in early February and hosts a folklore festival in the second week of June.
In San Antonio, both cash and non-cash payments are common. You can pay with a card in almost all shops and places. If you choose to pay in cash, you should prepare small banknotes in advance, as they may not find change even from a hundred.
If your trip to San Antonio is scheduled for the summer, don't forget to take sunscreen products. The sun can be very aggressive during the day, so give preference to maximum protection.
Texas has strict traffic regulations. So if you plan to rent a car to drive in San Antonio and the surrounding area, watch your speed, park in the designated areas, and don't break the rules. Penalties for breaking the regulations are quite high.
What should a tourist do in San Antonio?
- Visit the Alamo Mission. It is one of the most popular and significant sights in the city, which is closely linked to history and local culture. It was founded in the XVIII century during the Spanish mission and has experienced many military battles. Today, there is a museum with a unique exhibition, as well as a cozy garden for walks and recreation.
- Take a tour of the Catholic missions. There are five of them in San Antonio, along with the Alamo. Each is unique in its own way and worth the attention of travelers, and together they form a large historical complex. During the tour, you can see the temple, ancient fortifications, visit the museum, and just walk around the territory.
- Go to the river promenade. River Walk or Paseo del Rio is a beautiful urban park with a network of paths along the San Antonio River. Picturesque nature, well-maintained recreational areas, numerous shops, and restaurants — there is everything for your comfort. If you are tired of walking, you can buy a barge ticket and take a walk on the river accompanied by a professional guide.
- Visit famous temples. San Fernando Cathedral is the oldest in Texas and is on the National Register of Historic Monuments. Saint Joseph Church is a Catholic temple that resembles castles from Grimm's fairy tales. Numerous churches complete the list. They are built outside the downtown and tell more about the history of Texas.
- Arrange a museum day. San Antonio offers travelers a huge choice and knows how to surprise even experienced tourists. Museums of Art, Aviation, Texas Rangers, Hot Glass (with master classes), Children's Museum are just some of the interesting exhibits you can visit in the city.
- See the Fairmount Hotel. San Antonio has many hotels to suit every taste, but the Fairmount is a unique place. It is the only hotel in the city that is listed in the Guinness Book of Records. Its opening took place in 1906, and already in 1985, the building literally "moved" to another place. According to the authorities, the hotel hindered the improvement of the city's infrastructure, so it was moved three blocks away. The Fairmount was the heaviest building that could ever be moved entirely.
- Spend the day at the zoo. Beautiful, well-groomed territory, more than 3500 thousand animals, and more than 750 of the represented species will give a lot of pleasure to both children and adults. There is also an aquarium, which gathers a large number of inhabitants of the underwater world.
- Try the chili. America is the home of this spicy dish. It was first presented in 1893 as part of the world gastronomic exhibition, which was held in Chicago. Today, chili is served in most restaurants in San Antonio and is considered to be one of the city's trademarks.