The beautiful city of San Antonio, USA

San Antonio

San Antonio is the only major city in Texas that was founded before the state gained independence from Mexico. Spanish missionaries and military officers, German merchants, Southern planters, cattle ranchers and architects lived here. Their presence is still felt in downtown San Antonio’s culture and culinary scene. The city is known primarily for partying, eclectic architecture and the Alamo.

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Highlights.

San Antonio is the most accessible city in Texas, famous for its waterfront stretching through downtown. In most big cities, downtown is teeming with business people, dressed in office clothes, rushing to business meetings and lunches. But not in San Antonio. Instead, downtown is crowded with tourists in shorts checking off maps. In fact, many people are surprised that two of the state’s most popular places, Riverwalk and the Alamo, are right in the center of town and surrounded by historic hotels, tourist attractions and gift stores. The number of tourists is discouraging (so much commercial money centered around the Alamo – a wild David Crockett attraction?) but the vibrant Texas-Mexican culture is noteworthy.

San Antonio hosts many festivities, some comparable to a Shrovetide carnival. You’ll find confetti and bands raining down, and the city is the American musical capital of the Tejano style, a unique blend of Mexico and Germany.

Attractions

The Alamo Fortress (Alamo Plaza; www.thealamo.org) is the most frequented tourist spot in Texas and a famous San Antonio landmark. In February and March 1836, in a small and elegant mission church, 188 Texas volunteers confronted the army of the Mexican dictator Santa Ana for 13 days, outnumbering them many times over. All the defenders died, including Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett. Their deaths caused Sam Houston to shout, “Let’s remember the Alamo!” in San Ha Cinto a month later–and that shout inspired his soldiers to defeat the Mexican army, which eventually brought Texas independence and subsequent acceptance into the United States as the Lone Star State.

The Alamo is now a museum of that epic battle. At the Alamo, you can tour the barracks, the former missionary dwelling, and the mission church. The Wall of History offers a list of events to help tourists understand the historical sequence of battles. Among the memorabilia is the Bui Knife, a curved blade edged weapon created by Colonel James Bui, who led the defense of the Alamo. There was another commander, William Travis, who gave the order, “Victory or death.” Among the heroic defenders of the Alamo, Davy Crockett is best known for showing wonders of courage while living in Tennessee until he lost the legislative election. Then he told his constituents: “Go to hell, I’m going to Texas,” where he died.

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You can visit the place where the Spanish ruled Texas, the Spanish Governor’s Palace (Tel: 210-224-06-01; www.sanantonio.gov), a rather gloomy structure dating back to 1749 and still decorated at the entrance with the Hapsburg eagle of the ruling Spanish dynasty. The building is furnished with things of Spanish and Mexican domination. You can also see old Mexican earthen houses and stone courtyards in the residential neighborhood of La Vilita, stretching along the street of the same name south of the river. Shopping for Mexican goods in the old El Mercado (515 West Commerce Street) will leave you with a vivid impression.

The local San Antonio River is the city’s pride and vacation spot. The Paseo del Rio promenade stretches for nearly 5 kilometers along a horseshoe-shaped bend through the city. Leaving the crowds at the top, you can stroll past banana trees, summer cafes and ice cream parlors in the shade of bougainvillea bushes, nightclubs and artisan shops. You can take a river cab or take a trip on the river at the bridge on Market Street, and the tourist boats invite you to dine by candlelight. Across the river to the Alamo Fortress is the Paseo del Rio waterfront park.

The best city museum is considered the Herzberg Circus Museum (210 Market Street), where the operating models represent the history of the circus from its first steps in England to its heyday on American soil under Phineas Taylor Barnum. Clown costumes, a midget wagon nicknamed “General Tom Tam,” and a real circus arena evoke a longing for bygone days.

A 360-degree view of San Antonio and the surrounding area is provided by the World’s Fair Park (Tel: 210-207-85-72), a remnant of the 1968 fair where the observation tower of America, 199 meters high, is located. The park is also home to the Cultural Institute of Texas, where they study the art of the 26 nations that make up the state of Texas.

The mission road south of town leads to missions that were the stronghold of Spanish colonization in the 18th century, with Catholic priests converting Indians to Christianity and the garrison subduing the unruly and scavenging for gold. Of all the military-religious fortifications, the best preserved is the San Jose Mission in San Miguel de Aguayo (8 km south on Federal Highway 281; tel: 210-922-05-43; www.sanjosemissionchurch.org) . A Spanish Baroque gate leads to this “queen of missions” founded in 1720. Inside you can see the humble soldiers’ dwellings, the barn and the workshops of the natives.

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Accommodation

San Antonio has a huge number of hotel rooms, so you’ll have plenty of accommodation options right in the center of town. Because of tourism, rates become significantly higher on weekends. San Antonio also has the lion’s share of B&Bs, and they tend to offer good rates and are located in lovely old houses in the more historic parts of town.

Bars and restaurants

It’s easy to find places to eat and enjoy good drinks on the Riverwalk, but they’re geared toward tourists, so don’t be surprised to find a wagonload and a small cartload of them. There are also plenty of eateries on S St Marys and S Alamo St in the Southtown-King William neighborhoods. Look for the run-down places with Mexican food scattered generously along the length of N Flores St.

San Antonio Attractions

San Antonio Historical Park in Texas Scottish Cathedral Sea World Park San Antonio Multi-use Center Alamodome Botanical Gardens San Antonio Cathedral St. Fernando Waterfront San Antonio Wonderland Park

This site compiles San Antonio attractions – photos, descriptions and travel tips. The list is based on popular guidebooks and is presented by type, name and rating. Here you’ll find answers to what to see in San Antonio, where to go, and where the popular and interesting places in San Antonio are.

San Antonio Historical Park in Texas

San Antonio Historical Park in Texas (photo)

This historic park includes five old Spanish colonial temples (missions) – San Antonio de Valero (Misión del Alamo del Parras), San Jose, Concepción, San Juan and Espada. Some of them are still operating successfully.

The area of the park is 334 hectares. Every year it receives more than 500 thousand tourists.

The park was founded in 1983, and the structures that are in its territory date from 1690 to 1720. They were all meant to fulfill one purpose – to spread Christian teaching among the local population.

Today the missions are an interesting monument of Spanish Baroque architecture.

Coordinates: 29.36166700,-98.48027800

Scottish Cathedral

Scottish Cathedral (photo)

The Scottish Cathedral, founded in 1924, is a significant landmark in San Antonio. The structure is a five-story building in the Classical Revival style. It resembles a Greek temple with a pointed portico, Corinthian columns, and bronze sculpted doors depicting George Washington and Sam Houston.

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The temple building serves as the headquarters and meeting place of the Scottish Masonic Society, founded in the early 17th century. In the museum of the cathedral is a unique collection of artifacts and documents related to the life of the temple. In the library there are rare manuscripts and printed books of great historical value.

The concert hall hosts performances of classical and pop music stars, as well as various cultural events. The Scottish Cathedral is also used for weddings and other celebrations.

Coordinates : 29.42789800,-98.48450300

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Sea World Park in San Antonio

Sea World Park in San Antonio (photo)

San Antonio’s Sea World Park is the largest educational, themed marine life park in the world. No child or adult will be bored here. The park opened in 1988 and was ranked among the top 10 most popular attractions in Texas in its year of operation.

Sea World Park is located in the Westover Hills area of San Antonio and covers 100 acres. It is the largest of Sea World’s network of three parks, the other two being in San Diego and Orlando. You will meet sea creatures from different latitudes and seas: dolphins, orcas, harbor seals, penguins and even sharks and alligators.

The park is also famous for its exciting and varied shows. You can see the water skiing tricks, the performance of aerial gymnasts and synchronized swimmers and the famous show with a whale. A wonderful place for family holidays, where you want to come back again and again.

Coordinates: 29.45835200,-98.70130600

In photo mode you can view the sights in San Antonio by photo only.

Alamodome multifunctional center

Alamodome Multipurpose Center (photo)

The Alamodome Multifunctional Center is a large dome-shaped structure designed for congresses, general meetings, exhibitions, sports competitions, special events and much more. The facility opened in 1993.

The Alamodome Center is located in downtown San Antonio near hotels, restaurants and many attractions. The building’s dome is part of a new class of post-modern architecture that has been especially popular in Texas since 1980.

Its cleverly engineered structure and facade system allow the stadium to be transformed into a basketball and soccer field as well as a hockey arena. The capacity of the stadium is 65000 spectators and can be enlarged to 75000.

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The Alamodome Club, located at the top of the dome, is an ideal venue for corporate parties, events, banquets, presentations and other special programs and provides a spectacular panoramic view of downtown San Antonio and its surrounding area.

Coordinates: 29.41534600,-98.47810200

San Antonio Botanical Gardens

San Antonio Botanical Garden (photo)

The beautiful Botanical Garden of San Antonio provides an opportunity to explore a large collection of a variety of palms, cacti and other hot climate plants. A special feature of the garden is a small garden for the blind called the Sensory Garden.

The San Antonio Botanical Garden opened in 1980, and was built through the combined efforts of citizens and local government for about 20 years.

Today, there are several themed sections. One of them is devoted to the collection of plants of the rainforest, for which glass greenhouses in the form of pyramids were built. Visitors are also introduced to the amazing plants of the desert and the typical nature of West Texas. The park grounds are decorated with orchid flowers, magnificent lily ponds, and cacao trees.

The garden is equipped with a comfortable concert field and observation deck with a tower.

Coordinates: 29.45904900,-98.45760600

St. Fernando Cathedral

St. Fernando Cathedral (photo)

The first stone of the Catholic Cathedral of St. Fernando was laid in 1731 by natives of the Canary Islands at the invitation of the Spanish King Philip V. Located in downtown San Antonio, it is the oldest active cathedral in the United States today.

The cathedral is located in the historic center of San Antonio. It is not unusual in architecture, but visitors are especially attracted to the baptismal font, a gift from King Charles III of Spain.

In the cathedral there is a sarcophagus with the remains of the heroes of the Battle of the Alamo, installed in 1938. In the left and right entrances you can see the plaques, a reminder of the defenders of the fortress.

Today, the cathedral remains the heart of Catholic life in the city. Sunday services are attended by about 5,000 parishioners. And services are held in English and Spanish. The building of the cathedral is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Coordinates: 29.42456100,-98.49408900

San Antonio Promenade

San Antonio's waterfront (photo)

The Spanish-Mexican style pedestrian area is a famous tourist spot in San Antonio. The waterfront stretches along both banks of the San Antonio River in the heart of the city. The romantic setting and variety of cafes attract tourists here day in and day out.

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Historically, the banks of the San Antonio River were famous for their scenery and beckoned anyone looking for a picnic spot or traditional nightlife. The city itself is located 250 kilometers north of the Mexican border, in the middle of the state of Texas. Related to this is the fact that 70% of the population of modern-day San Antonio is made up of Mexicans. They regularly hold carnivals and celebrations, which are full of Spanish traditions.

The waterfront of San Antonio can rightly be called a tourist center due to the many cultural and historical sites. The pedestrian zone is 4 km long and is located at a level below the nearby city streets. This amazing place combines an artificial landscape of coastal gorges and waterfalls, as well as a large selection of theaters, bars, restaurants, nightclubs and boutiques.

Coordinates : 29.42669800,-98.49201400

Morgan’s Wonderland Park

Morgan Wonderland Park (photo)

At Morgan’s Wonderland Park you can not only try different rides, but also take a mini off-road vehicle cruise in a maze. Visitors of different ages will find something to do depending on their preferences.

The park, located in the city of San Antonio, is home to the 1930s-style Wonder Train Express. Travelling around the scenic area and lake on the train can be done as a family. The Amphitheater will be an ideal place to watch plays or holiday concerts. And for fishing lovers there is a special place by the lake.

The park service can organize a party to celebrate birthdays. The youngest ones are offered a choice of colorful carousels and playgrounds. While walking along the shore, you can enjoy the amazing scenery and quiet spots for solitude.

The park area of Morgan’s Wonderland is divided by themed areas and architectural buildings. The tour is accompanied by pleasant music that matches the age-old traditions of Japan, Germany, Mexico and the African flavor.

Coordinates: 29.53961700,-98.39289300

The most popular attractions in San Antonio with descriptions and photos for all tastes. Choose the best places to visit famous places in San Antonio on our website.

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