History, Mystery and Charm - Welcome to the Shrine of Texas History


Of all the cities in the world, San Antonio ranks the best as an all around vacation destination. From historic monuments like the Alamo, Mission San Jose, and the Spanish Governor's Palace, to the meandering Riverwalk that parades through the historic downtown district, San Antonio is full of charm, hospitality and great attractions.


It's one of the most remarkable cities on Earth, and a visit to this historic and romantic community could very well change your life. From the colorful environment to the abundant culture on every corner, San Antonio is an ideal vacation destination and a favorite one of Winter Texans everywhere.


If you're coming to San Antonio, there are a few things you should bring with you. Golfers should bring their clubs - with more than 300 days of sunshine a year, you're sure to get out on the fairways at dozens of area courses. And don't forget your camera - there are sites like the Alamo, Market Square, Fiesta Texas, and La Villita that provide memorable Kodak moments. But one of the most important things to bring is your appetite, because San Antonio's is known around the world for its good food and culinary delights to please any palette.


And if you are planning a family vacation to San Antonio and have promised the kids the time of their lives, you won't disappoint them. With a variety of world-class theme parks and museums located a near downtown, you'll find this city is full of perfect day trips guaranteed to please everyone in the family.


The city has a rich cultural presence, with many museums and art galleries. La Villita is an arts community in the downtown. Once the residences of Spanish troops, the area has been transformed into a unique gathering place for artists to produce and sell their works. There are also two major art museums, as well as many galleries around the city. The arts are well represented as well, with a major theatre serving as home to both performing arts and the San Antonio Symphony. Cultural centers also encourage Hispanic and African-American artistic efforts, including dance, literary, music and jazz.


San Antonio has become one of the 10 largest cities in the United States, based largely on its thriving tourism, education and bio-technological research industries. The city has also been a traditional home to the U.S. military; five major bases in the city and surrounding environs make San Antonio a major military center. The city is home to a number of different cultures, and features many festivals and parties each year to celebrate this diversity, adding to the growing economy and a thriving tourist trade.


San Antonio captures the spirit of Texas. Now the eighth largest city in the U. S., the city has retained its sense of history and tradition, while carefully blending in cosmopolitan progress. The city has always been a crossroads and a meeting place. Sounds and flavors of Native Americans, Old Mexico, Germans, the Wild West, African-Americans and the Deep South mingle and merge. Close to twenty million visitors a year delight in the discovery of San Antonio's charms.


Amidst the daily hubbub of the busy metropolitan downtown, sequestered 20 feet below street level, lies one of San Antonio's jewels - the Paseo del Rio. Better known as the "River Walk," these cobblestone and flagstone paths border both sides of the San Antonio River as it winds its way through the middle of the business district. The River Walk has multiple personalities - quiet and park-like in some stretches, while other areas are full of activity with European-style sidewalk cafes, specialty boutiques, nightclubs and gleaming high-rise hotels. The River Walk stretches for approximately two-and-a-half miles from the Municipal Auditorium and Conference Center on the north end to the King William Historic District on the south. Rio San Antonio Cruises, the river's floating transportation system, provides a novel method of sightseeing and people-watching in downtown San Antonio.


With over 300 days of sunshine annually and an average temperature of 68.8 degrees Fahrenheit, visitors to San Antonio will find an abundance of outdoor sports and recreation to challenge them.


The first public golf course in Texas was built in San Antonio in 1916, and the city has been busy hosting golfers since then. A flurry of golf course construction since 1993 has made the city even more attractive to visiting golfers with additional upscale, public courses opening every year. La Cantera Golf Club was named the best new public course in the U.S. in 1995.


When the stars come out over the South Texas Plains, it's time to head to the nightclubs and dance halls, two-stepping to a country-western band or swaying to a Tejano super group. Or maybe it's traditional jazz or a sing-along at an Irish pub or piano bar? What about Hard Rock Cafe on the River Walk, or one of many rock-n-roll clubs the city is famous for?


San Antonio also offers a wide variety of spectator sports -- the San Antonio Spurs, San Antonio Antonio Rampage of the International Hockey League and the San Antonio Missions minor league baseball team.


Frank Tolbert, a noted Texas historian and journalist, once said, "Every Texan has two homes his own and San Antonio." Come visit your new home in Texas - San Antonio!

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