San Antonio was named for Saint Anthony of Padua by Spanish explorers who visited the city in 1691. Today, the second largest city in Texas is notable for its historic Spanish colonial missions, lively River Walk and lots more.
In addition to the featured attractions listed in the tabs below, Vinnie also recommends the following things to do in San Antonio - Natural Bridge Caverns, with its ancient rock formations; the McNay Art Museum, which features some 20,000 pieces ranging from medieval to modern periods; and the San Antonio Fire Museum, where you’ll find collection of old and antique fire engines.
No visit to San Antonio is complete without a visit to the historic Alamo, founded on its present site in 1724 as Catholic mission. It was converted to a frontier outpost and military garrison by the end of the century first under the authority of the Spanish and then independent Mexico. The Battle of the Alamo was a pivotal event in the Texas Revolution of 1836. Admission to the Alamo is free. It is open from 9 a.m. to 7 pm. in June, July and August and until 5:30 p.m. the rest of the year. You won’t want to miss the city’s four other Spanish colonial missions. Together, with the Alamo, they form a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The San Antonio River Walk is a network of walkways along the banks of the San Antonio River, one story beneath the streets of the city’s downtown. It is lined with hotels, shops, restaurants, bars and entertainment venues. Among the sites is Marriage Island, a heart-shaped islet in the middle of the river (in front of the Hotel Contessa) where some 225 couples get married every year.
There are several ways to enjoy the river from the water: boat tours, dinner cruises, river taxis and charters. Rio San Antonio Cruises offers guided 35-minute tours for $8.25 ($2 for children and $6 for seniors/military) and has three loading docks. On-line tickets are recommended.
The 2,264-seat Majestic Theater is a national historic landmark and the current home to the San Antonio Symphony and the “Broadway in San Antonio” series as well as a variety of concerts and performing arts attractions. Built in 1929, its architecture is inspired by Spanish Mission, Baroque and Mediterranean traditions. The theatre is owned by the City of San Antonio.
You don’t have to be a competitive runner to participate in a casually paced guided run around the city with designated stops at historic landmarks. Two companies conduct tours on Saturdays and Sundays: City Running Tours, $25, and River City Run, $30, including t-shirt.