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11 Great Places You should Definitely Visit in San Antonio

san antonioSan Antonio is located in the southern part of Texas. It is known mainly as a large industrial center, as well as the most important tourism center, which annually attracts about 20 million travelers. The river with the same name flows through the city, along which an incredibly beautiful embankment equipped. This place is the most picturesque and the busiest in the city, it was here in the late 17th century Spanish explorers landed.

There was a significant event on June 13, 1691, this day in Spain the day of St. Antonio is traditionally celebrated. That’s why the city got the name San Antonio: In the seventeenth century on the feast day of St. Anthony (June 13), the Spanish missionaries stumbled upon a small Indian community that lived in the place of modern San Antonio. The missionaries called the river the name of the saint and founded a mission. This mission became the center of a small community that eventually grew in size and evolved into the city of San Antonio. Already in 1716, in this territory, it was decided to create a new civilian settlement, a military garrison was established around which residential and farm buildings gradually began to appear. Ahead of the actively developing city, many important events awaited, including a fierce war of independence and a new influx of immigrants.

One of the distinguishing features of the modern city is its multinational culture. It is reflected in literally everything: in unique architecture and cultural traditions, in cooking and modern way of life of citizens. San Antonio has a lot of interesting national symbols, its cultural calendar is amazed by the abundance of colorful festivals, which are worth seeing with your own eyes. San Antonio is a unique city with amazing symbols and traditions, which is worth a visit to all lovers of travel.

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Place to visit number 1: Alamo Mission

Alamo MissionThe main historical symbol of the city and the most important tourist attraction of Texas is the fortress of Alamo, the history of this outstanding structure is very unusual. This is the former Catholic mission of San Antonio de Valero, the construction of which was started in 1744, shortly after the Spanish settlers founded a new city. In the museum Alamo you can see old tools, boards with the names of all the dead defenders of the fortress, objects of everyday life and wax figures of soldiers. The fortress, which covers an area of just over four acres, now looks like a small park. They carefully take care of old trees, many flower beds and shrubs, various cacti. The entrance to the fortress and the museum is free.

Some interesting historical facts:

  • It is noteworthy that the mission was never completed, and at the end of the 18th century it was completely desolate.
  • Since the beginning of the 19th century, the building was converted into a barracks for Mexican soldiers, in this status it was located until 1835.
  • It is believed that it was the Mexican soldiers who gave the new name to the building. For a long time the building was used for army needs and was seriously damaged during military operations, and in 1912 its reconstruction began.

For local residents, it is a symbol of the acquisition of long-awaited independence, the history of the appearance of the fortress and its amazing transformations is very unusual. San Antonio is famous for its original theme parks, which is why it traditionally attracts travelers with children.

Interesting: Today, the partially restored mission is the main symbol of Texas independence.
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Place to visit number 2: San Antonio River Walk

 San Antonio River WalkAnother outstanding landmark of the city is the picturesque promenade of San Antonio River Walk. It stretches along the San Antonio River and is the most popular tourist area. The embankment lies one level below the level of the street and highways. Throughout its length, Riverwalk is a walking area with an artificial landscape, consisting of picturesque coastal canyons, winding paths, waterfalls, fountains, bridges, rare trees and tropical flowers. On both sides of the river there are numerous restaurants, bars, theaters, nightclubs and shops. Boats, catamarans and river taxis are on the river, offering their services. In the spring, during the annual Fiesta San Antonio festival, a river parade with boats decorated with flowers is held on the river. Here you will be able to find:

  • the most popular hotels,
  • restaurants,
  • fashion boutiques,
  • nightclubs.

Many travelers tend to get to the embankment in the evening, when it is decorated with original artistic lighting. It is also worth noting that close to the promenade there are several important cultural centers, including the La Villita trade fair and the Arneson River Theater.

Interesting: Construction of the embankment began in 1939, at present its length is about 5 kilometers.
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Place to visit number 3: The McNay Art Museum

The McNay Art MuseumThe McNay Art Museum was named after its founder, Marion Kugler McNay. After her death in 1950, Marion bequeathed her collection of more than 700 works of art, as well as the house and the surrounding land to create the first modern art museum in Texas.

The museum opened its doors for visitors for the first time in 1954. Over time, the museum’s premises expanded, it featured:

  • a gallery for art exhibitions,
  • a gallery for the exhibition of sculptures,
  • a lecture hall and classes for the educational programs of the museum.

Since the museum was founded, its collection, left as a legacy of Marion McNeigh, has expanded to almost 20,000 works. The museum collection includes works of the Renaissance, as well as paintings, sculptures and photographs of masters of the XIX and XX centuries.

Interesting: The spacious and beautiful premises of the museum can be rented for weddings and other solemn events.
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Place to visit number 4: The Tower of the Americas

 The Tower of the AmericasThe Tower of the Americas is a skyscraper that has become a true symbol of San Antonio. The height of the skyscraper is 230 meters.

This is the tallest building in San Antonio. In the tower you will find:

  • a restaurant,
  • two observation platforms.

You can get to it using one of the three external elevators. The restaurant in the tower is noteworthy because it constantly rotates. Visitors of the restaurant will definitely enjoy amazing panoramas of the city.

Interesting: A 30-meter spire, mounted on the roof of the skyscraper, is used for television and radio broadcasting.
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Place to visit number 5: The Cathedral of San Fernando

The Cathedral of San FernandoThe Cathedral of San Fernando was founded in 1731. Currently, it is the oldest continuously functioning religious community in Texas. One can say that this is the main church of the city, which has become not only its geographical, but also a cultural center.

The Cathedral of San Fernando is visited by a large number of not only believers, but also tourists. The Church attracts them with its beauty and majesty.

The clergy of the church are famous for their cordiality. Everyone who ever asked for help got it. At the cathedral you will find:

  • the Catholic mission,
  • the Sunday school.

In the cathedral you can often see commemorative plaques reminiscent of the heroes-defenders of the Alamo Fortress.

Interesting: In the sarcophagus of the cathedral there are the remains of the heroes, discovered during archaeological excavations.
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Place to visit number 6: The Arneson River Theater

The Arneson River TheaterThe Arneson River Theater is located in the historic center of the city on the eponymous waterfront. The peculiarity of the theater is that it is possible to enjoy theater performances in the open air.

During theater performances, theater attendees sit directly on grass-covered steps.

Today, the Arneson River Theater is visited by thousands of tourists. Here you can enjoy:

  • performances of folklore groups and other musical concerts,
  • taking part in games,
  • dance,
  • see opera performance.

Interesting: Next to the theater there is a stone bridge called Bridge Rosita, it is often used in presentations.
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Place to visit number 7: The district court of Bekhar

 The district court of BekharThe district court of Bekhar attracts many tourists every year because of its historic structure, erected in the city center in 1896 by the project of James Gordon.

Why is it worth visiting this place:

  • The court building is an architectural monument of San Antonio because of its red facade, executed in the Romanesque style.
  • In 1999, the building survived its last renovation, thanks to which the city authorities managed to preserve its primeval grandeur.
  • Two square towers of a building of different heights are decorated with numerous balustrades and relief columns and along the entire perimeter of the building there are tall rectangular windows.

At the top level of the courthouse there is an elegant balcony decorated with an arcade with numerous stucco details and relief images.

Interesting: You can visit the courthouse only as part of the excursion group by appointment.
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Place to visit number 8: La Villita

La VillitaThe historic art village of La Villita is located on the southern bank of the San Antonio River within a downtown, between the streets of South Alamo and Nueva.

The settlement originated in the 19th century and was populated mainly by Mexican and then by Texas soldiers. After a major flood, the flimsy buildings changed strong structures of clay and brick. By the beginning of the 20th century, German and French immigrants – businessmen, bankers, artisans – began to settle here, but after a while the district turned into a slum. The rebuilt River Walk was able to breath new life in it.

Today, La Villita is one of the most interesting sights of San Antonio, where you will be able to find:

  • art galleries,
  • craftsmen’s shops,
  • even an own soap maker concentrated here.

Interesting: Unusual handmade souvenirs can be bought right here.
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Place to visit number 9: San Antonio Children’s Museum

San Antonio Children’s MuseumThere are children’s museums in the USA practically in all major cities, their principle is to develop and teach children through the game.

In San Antonio, the group of volunteer enthusiasts started the creation of the Children’s Museum in 1991, and in 1995 the museum welcomed its first visitors.

During the existence of the museum, the Children’s Museum was visited by more than two million people. The museum is a non-profit organization, which exists for membership fees and voluntary donations from citizens and organizations, which allows continue:

  • the creation of new high-quality interactive programs,
  • provide exhibitions,
  • organize festive events for children of different ages.

Interesting: The museum has three floors with a variety of practical artifacts that can be touched, played with, that develops children’s imagination, promotes early development and learning, especially in creativity.
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Place to visit number 10: San Antonio Botanical Garden

San Antonio Botanical GardenThe beautiful Botanical Garden of San Antonio provides an opportunity to explore a large collection of various palm trees, cacti and other plants of hot climate. A feature of the garden is a small garden for the blind under the name Sensory Garden.

The Botanical Garden in San Antonio was opened in 1980, and it was built thanks to the joint efforts of citizens and local authorities for about 20 years.

Today, there are several thematic sections. One of them is devoted to a collection of plants in moist tropical forests, for which glass greenhouses in the form of pyramids are built. Visitors are also introduced to the amazing desert plants and typical representatives of the nature of western Texas. The territory of the park is decorated with:

  • flowers of orchids,
  • magnificent ponds with water lilies,
  • cocoa trees.

Interesting: The garden is equipped with a comfortable concert space and a viewing platform with a tower.
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Place to visit number 11: Alamodome

AlamodomeAlamodome is a gigantic structure designed for both various sports competitions, and for mass entertainment events. It is located at the entrance to San Antonio, immediately outside the downtown.

Alamodome was opened on May 15, 1993, its construction cost about $ 186 million. The five-level stadium seats 65,000 spectators, but the number of seats can be increased to 72,000. Unlike other giant stadiums, it is completely covered. Here there are:

  • football matches,
  • basketball matches,
  • hockey (NHL games),
  • figure skating,
  • speed skating competitions.

Alamodome has two permanent Olympic skating rinks.

Interesting: In addition, the Alamodome has conference rooms and huge areas for a variety of exhibitions and concerts.
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