San Antonio Texas Travel

San Antonio Texas Travel

When you think of major US travel destinations, San Antonio Texas rarely makes the list. Ok, it never makes the list. New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Miami yes, but San Antonio? No, never, not once. The thing is, there are so many cities in the US that have a ton to offer, and you can beat the crowds by discovering them. With this economy, taking nearcations has become very popular. You might want to consider this little city with its intriquing history and charming demenor for your next family trip. Heres why:

It was colonized by Spain in the early 1700’s and since then Native Americans, Old Mexico and the deep South have mixed and blended to make for an interesting city.

Start your visit to San Antonio with a little history…. the Alamo.  It’s undoubtedly the number one tourist attraction in all the state of Texas.  It was  built in the 18th century as one of San Antonio’s five Spanish colonial missions.  Later it gained fame as the site of an epic 1836 battle during the Texas Revolution.

That’s when Davey Crockett and Jim Bowie fought and died in the Alamo.  When you first see it, you’ll think it’s smaller than you expected…. and it is!  That’s because it was built as a mission and not as a fort.  Admission is free, though you will have to pay for parking at a downtown lot.  It’s right in the heart of town, near the River Walk.

If you want to see more of the five missions beyond the Alamo, see San Antonio Missions National Historic Park.  It will take you to the other four missions.  You can travel from mission to mission on the eight mile Missions Bike and Hike Trail.

There is a map of downtown San Antonio posted every few blocks on the sidewalks making it easy to explore the Alamo and the River Walk.

The River Walk or Paseo del Rio is also downtown.  Twenty feet below the hustle and bustle of downtown streets, the River Walk follows the San Antonio River’s gentle bends.  Along it you will find restaurants, hotels, museums and historic sites.  You can walk along the banks, or you can take a cruise on the river which goes on for a couple of miles while a tour guide gives you fun filled facts.

One place you’ll find along the banks of the river is the historic district of La Villita.  It was originally established by Spanish soldiers stationed at the Alamo.  In 1835 the Mexican Army surrendered and gave Texas its independence at La Villita.  The next year was when the Battle of the Alamo was fought to try and win Texas back.  More recently the historic buildings have have been turned into restaurants and also galleries and shops for arts and crafts.

Historic Market Square is near downtown.  Also known as the Mexican Market or El Mercado, it’s the largest Mexican market in the state.  It pulsates with friendly people and bold colors.  Stroll beneath the “papel picado” (Mexican tissue paper streamers).  Buy beautiful silver and turquoise jewelry…. handmade necklaces and earrings, belts and buckles from Mexico are here.  Find Mexican candies and even buy a pinata to put them in.  If you just want to soak it in, relax by the fountain and enjoy the sounds of mariachis.

With deep Latino roots, you will get some great Tex-Mex food here.  You’ll also find some great San Antonio Texas barbecue, but their culinary repertoire is large and diverse, so don’t worry about going hungry.  Just bring good walking shoes and an appetite for history and fun.

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