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Info San Antonio
San Antonio, officially the City of San Antonio, is the seventh most populated city in the United States of America and thesecond most populated city in the state of Texas, with a population of 1,409,019. It was the fastest growing of the top 10 largest cities in the United States from 2000 to 2010, and the second from 1990 to 2000. The city straddles South Texas and Central Texas and is on the southwestern corner of an urban megaregion known as the Texas Triangle.
San Antonio serves as the seat of Bexar County. Recent annexations have extended the city's boundaries into Medina County and, though for only a very tiny area near the city of Garden Ridge, into Comal County. The city has characteristics of other western urban centers in which there are sparsely populated areas and a low density rate outside of the city limits. San Antonio is the center of the San Antonio–New Braunfels Metropolitan Statistical Area. Commonly referred to as Greater San Antonio, the metropolitan area has a population of nearly 2.4 million based on the 2015 US Census estimate, making it the25th-largest metropolitan area in the United States and third-largest in the state of Texas. Growth along theInterstate 35 and Interstate 10 corridors to the north, west and east make it likely that the metropolitan area will continue to expand.
San Antonio was named for Saint Anthony of Padua, whose feast day is on June 13, by a 1691 Spanish expedition in the area. It is notable for Spanish colonial missions, the Alamo, the River Walk, the Tower of the Americas, the Alamo Bowl, and Marriage Island. Commercial entertainment includes SeaWorld and Six Flags Fiesta Texas theme parks, and according to the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau, the city is visited by about 32 million tourists a year. The city is home to the five-time NBA champion San Antonio Spurs and hosts the annual San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, one of the largest such events in the country.
The US armed forces have numerous facilities in San Antonio: Fort Sam Houston, Lackland Air Force Base,Randolph Air Force Base (which constitute Joint Base San Antonio), and Lackland AFB/Kelly Field Annex, with Camp Bullis and Camp Stanley located outside the city. Kelly Air Force Baseoperated out of San Antonio until 2001, when the airfield was transferred to Lackland AFB. The remaining portions of the base were developed as Port San Antonio, an industrial/business park. San Antonio is home to six Fortune 500 companies and the South Texas Medical Center, the only medical research and care provider in the South Texas region.
The missions of the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park along with the Alamo, became part of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites on July 5, 2015. The San Antonio Missions became the 23rd U.S. site on the World Heritage List, which includes the Grand Canyon and the Statue of Liberty.
|POPULATION :||• City 1,436,697 (est.)|
• Metro 2,328,652 (25th)
|FOUNDED :||Foundation May 1, 1718|
Incorporated June 5, 1837
|TIME ZONE :||• Time zone CST (UTC−6)|
• Summer (DST) CDT (UTC−5)
|AREA :||• City 465.4 sq mi (1,205.4 km2)|
• Land 460.93 sq mi (1,193.7 km2)
• Water 4.5 sq mi (11.7 km2)
|ELEVATION :||650 ft (198 m)|
|COORDINATES :||29°25′N 98°30′W|
|SEX RATIO :|
|ETHNIC :||White 26.6% |
Black or African American 6.9%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 63.2%
|AREA CODE :||210 (majority), 830 (portions), 726 (planned)|
|POSTAL CODE :||78201-66, 78268-70, 78275, 78278-80, 78283-89, 78291-99|
|DIALING CODE :|
San Antonio is the third largest city in the state of Texas and the 7th largest in the United States. It's the 24th largest metropolitan area in the country. Visited by more than 31 million annual visitors, San Antonio is a beautiful city at the axis of three different geological terrains: Hill Country, South Texas Plains and Prairie and Lakes. There's a lot to do in this city: fine art museums, historical missions and plenty of amusement parks in addition to great dining and lots of drinking. The culture and people are vibrant and interesting. San Antonio's downtown is one of the most lively in the nation.
San Antonio is considered to be the cradle of Texan liberty. Its most well-known landmark is the Alamo, the site of the famous battle (1836) where Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie were killed. Though it must be said that when most visitors see the Alamo for the first time, their common reaction is "Hm, I thought it would be bigger."
No other city in Texas reflects the state's Spanish and Mexican heritage better than San Antonio. Hispanics make up a considerable fraction of the population though and it shows in most places. The Hispanic atmosphere of San Antonio makes it a truly unique U.S. city. This becomes most evident during Fiesta week, a yearly celebration that attracts 3.5 million people to its 110 plus events from all over to enjoy parades, music, festivals, fairs and food and drink in the charming downtown streets of the city.
San Antonio, with a population upward of 1.5 million, and a metro population of nearly 2.4 million, still enjoys a small-town feel despite the hustle and bustle. Its people are friendly, open and bicultural, and the concentration of population around its center makes it easy to get just about anywhere within a 30-40 minute drive.
- San Antonio Visitor Information Center, 317 Alamo Plaza, 800-447-3372. For visitors coming to San Antonio, a good starting place to see is the downtown Visitor Information Center and Official City Store located right across the street from Alamo. It is a wealth of information about San Antonio. Representatives there can assist you in getting a map of the city, help you get around, or anything else you may need in San Antonio. In the Summer of 2009, the San Antonio Convention & Visitor's Bureau launched a savings website, the San Antonio Vacation Experience, for families and groups traveling to the city.
At the time of European encounter, Payaya Indians lived near the San Antonio River Valley in the San Pedro Springs area, calling the vicinity Yanaguana, meaning "refreshing waters". In 1691, a group of Spanish Catholic explorers and missionaries came upon the river and Payaya settlement on June 13, the feast day of St. Anthony of Padua. They named the place and river "San Antonio" in his honor.
It was years before any Spanish settlement took place. Father Antonio de Olivares visited the site in 1709, and he was determined to found a mission and civilian settlement there. The viceroy gave formal approval for a combined mission and presidio in late 1716, as he wanted to forestall any French expansion into the area from their colony of La Louisiane, as well as prevent illegal trading with the Payaya. He directed Martin de Alarcón, the governor of Coahuila and Texas, to establish the mission complex. Differences between Alarcón and Olivares resulted in delays, and construction did not start until 1718. Fray Antonio de Olivares built, with the help of the Payaya Indians, the Misión de San Antonio de Valero (The Alamo), the Presidio San Antonio de Bexar, the bridge that connected both, and the Acequia Madre de Valero.
The families who clustered around the presidio and mission formed the beginnings of Villa de Béjar, destined to become the most important town in Spanish Texas. On May 1, the governor transferred ownership of the Mission San Antonio de Valero (later famous as the Alamo) to Fray Antonio de Olivares. On May 5, 1718 he commissioned the Presidio San Antonio de Béxar ("Béjar" in modern Spanish orthography) on the west side of the San Antonio River, one-fourth league from the mission.
On February 14, 1719, the Marquis of San Miguel de Aguayo proposed to the king of Spain that 400 families be transported from the Canary Islands, Galicia, or Havana to populate the province of Texas. His plan was approved, and notice was given the Canary Islanders (isleños) to furnish 200 families; the Council of the Indies suggested that 400 families should be sent from the Canaries to Texas by way of Havana and Veracruz. By June 1730, 25 families had reached Cuba, and 10 families had been sent to Veracruz before orders from Spain came to stop the re-settlement.
Under the leadership of Juan Leal Goraz, the group marched overland from Veracruz to the Presidio San Antonio de Béxar, where they arrived on March 9, 1731. Due to marriages along the way, the party now included 15 families, a total of 56 persons. They joined the military community established in 1718. The immigrants formed the nucleus of the villa of San Fernando de Béxar, the first regularly organized civil government in Texas. Several older families of San Antonio trace their descent from the Canary Island colonists. María Rosa Padrón was the first baby born of Canary Islander descent in San Antonio.
During the Spanish Mexican settlement of Southwestern lands, which took place over the following century, Juan Leal Goraz Jr. was a prominent figure. He claimed nearly 100,000 sq miles (153,766 acres) as Spanish territory and held some control for nearly three decades: this area stretched across six present-day states. San Antonio was designated as Leal Goraz's capital. It represented Mexican expansion into the area. With his robust military forces, he led exploration and establishing Spanish colonial bases as far as San Francisco, California. Widespread bankruptcy forced Leal Goraz Jr.'s army back into the current boundaries of Mexico; they fell into internal conflict and turmoil with neighboring entities.
San Antonio grew to become the largest Spanish settlement in Texas; it was designated as the capital of the Spanish, later Mexican, province of Tejas. From San Antonio, the Camino Real (today Nacogdoches Road), was built to the small frontier town of Nacogdoches. Mexico allowed European-American settlers from the United States into the territory; they mostly occupied land in the eastern part. When Antonio López de Santa Anna unilaterally abolished the Mexican Constitution of 1824, violence ensued in many states of Mexico.
In a series of battles, the Texian Army succeeded in forcing Mexican soldiers out of the settlement areas east of San Antonio, which were dominated by Americans. Under the leadership of Ben Milam, in the Battle of Bexar, December 1835,Texian forces captured San Antonio from forces commanded by General Martin Perfecto de Cos, Santa Anna's brother-in-law. In the spring of 1836, Santa Anna marched on San Antonio. A volunteer force under the command of James C. Neill occupied and fortified the deserted mission.
Upon his departure, the joint command of William Barrett Travis and James Bowie were left in charge of defending the old mission. The Battle of the Alamo took place from February 23 to March 6, 1836. The outnumbered Texian force was ultimately defeated, with all of the Alamo defenders killed. These men were seen as "martyrs" for the cause of Texas freedom and "Remember the Alamo" became a rallying cry in the Texian Army's eventual success at defeating Santa Anna's army.
Juan Seguín, who organized the company of Tejano patriots, who fought for Texas independence, fought at the Battle of Concepcion, Siege of Bexar, and the Battle of San Jacinto, and served as mayor of San Antonio. He was forced out of that office, due to threats on his life, by sectarian newcomers and political opponents in 1842, becoming the last Tejano mayor for nearly 150 years.
In 1845, the United States finally decided to annex Texas and include it as a state in the Union. This led to the Mexican–American War. Though the US ultimately won, the war was devastating to San Antonio. By its end, the population of the city had been reduced by almost two-thirds, to 800 inhabitants. Bolstered by migrants and immigrants, by 1860 at the start of the Civil War, San Antonio had grown to a city of 15,000 people.
Post-Civil War to present
Following the Civil War, San Antonio prospered as a center of the cattle industry. During this period, it remained a frontier city, with a mixture of cultures that was different from other US cities. In the 1850s Frederick Law Olmsted, the landscape architect who designed Central Park in New York City, traveled throughout the South and Southwest, and published accounts of his observations. In his 1859 book about Texas, Olmsted described San Antonio as having a "jumble of races, costumes, languages, and buildings," which gave it a quality that only New Orleans could rival in what he described as "odd and antiquated foreignness."
In 1877, following the Reconstruction Era, developers constructed the first railroad to San Antonio, connecting it to major markets and port cities. Texas was the first state to have major cities develop by railroads rather than waterways. In Texas, the railroads supported a markedly different pattern of development of major interior cities, such as San Antonio,Dallas and Fort Worth, compared to the historical development of coastal port cities in the established eastern states.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the streets of the city's downtown were widened to accommodate street cars and modern traffic. At that time, many of the older historic buildings were demolished in the process of this modernization.
Since the late twentieth century, San Antonio has had steady population growth. The city's population has nearly doubled in 35 years, from just over 650,000 in the 1970 census to an estimated 1.2 million in 2005, through both population growth and land annexation (the latter has considerably enlarged the physical area of the city). In 1990, the United States Census Bureau reported San Antonio's population as 55.6% Hispanic, 7% black, and 36.2% non-Hispanic white.
San Antonio has a transitional humid subtropical climate (Köppen: Cfa). The weather is hot in the summer, comfortably warm or mild winters subject to descending northern cold fronts in the winter with cool to cold nights, and warm and rainy in the spring and fall. Dewpoints in the summer months average at around 68 °F (20 °C).
San Antonio receives about a dozen subfreezing nights each year, typically seeing some sort of wintry precipitation about once every 2-3 winters (i.e. sleet/freezing rain), but accumulation and snow itself are very rare. Winters may pass without any freezing precipitation at all, and up to a decade has passed between snowfalls in the past. According to the National Weather Service, there have been 31 instances of snowfall (a trace or more) in the city in the past 122 years, about once every four years. Snow was most recently seen on February 4, 2011 when 0.5 in (1.3 cm) of snow coated the city. In 1985, the city received a record snowfall of 16 inches (41 cm).
San Antonio and New Braunfels, forty miles to the northeast, are some of the most flood-prone regions in North America. The October 1998 Central Texas floods were one of the costliest floods in United States history, resulting in $750 million in damage and 32 deaths. In 2002, from June 30 to July 7, 35 in (890 mm) of rain fell in the San Antonio area, resulting in widespread flooding and 12 fatalities.
Instances of tornadoes within the city limits have been reported as recently as October 2011, although they seldom occur. An F2 tornado will land within 50 mi (80 km) of the city on average once every five years. San Antonio has experienced two F4 tornadoes, one in 1953 and another in 1973. The 1953 tornado resulted in two deaths and 15 injuries.
In San Antonio, July and August tie for the average warmest months, with an average high of 95 °F (35 °C). The highest temperature ever to be recorded was 111 °F (44 °C) on September 5, 2000. The average coolest month is January. The lowest recorded temperature ever was 0 °F (−18 °C) on January 31, 1949. May, June, and October have quite a bit of precipitation. Since recording began in 1871, the average annual precipitation has been 29.03 inches (737 mm), with a maximum of 52.28 inches (1,328 mm) and a minimum of 10.11 inches (256.8 mm) in one year.
Climate data for San Antonio
|Record high °F (°C)||89|
|Mean maximum °F (°C)||79.8|
|Average high °F (°C)||62.9|
|Average low °F (°C)||40.7|
|Mean minimum °F (°C)||25.1|
|Record low °F (°C)||0|
San Antonio is located near 29.5°N 98.5°W. It is about 75 miles to the southwest of its neighboring city, Austin, the state capital. The city is also about 190 miles west of Houston and about 250 miles south of the Dallas–Fort Worth area. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2000 the city had a total area of 412.07 square miles (1,067.3 km2)—407.56 square miles (1,055.6 km2) (98.9%) of land and 4.51 square miles (11.7 km2) (1.1%) of water. The city sits on the Balcones Escarpment. The altitude of San Antonio is 772 feet (235 m) above sea level.
San Antonio has a diversified economy with about a $96.8 billion metropolitan Gross Domestic Product. This ranks the city 4th among Texas metropolitan areas and 38th in the United States. San Antonio's economy is focused primarily within military, health care, government civil service, financial services, oil and gas and tourism sectors. Within the past twenty years, San Antonio has become a significant location for American-based call centers and has added a significant manufacturing sector centered around automobiles.
Located about 10 miles northwest of Downtown is the South Texas Medical Center, which is a conglomerate of various hospitals, clinics, and research (see Southwest Research Institute) and higher educational institutions.
Over twenty million tourists visit the city and its attractions every year, contributing substantially to the city's economy, primarily due to The Alamo and River Walk. The Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center alone hosts more than 300 events each year with over 750,000 convention delegates from around the world. Tourism employs 94,000 citizens and makes an economic impact of over $10.7 billion in the local economy as revealed in the Economic Impact Study conducted every two years by the San Antonio Tourism Council and the research team of Dr. Richard Butler and Dr. Mary Stefl of Trinity University. Tourism also brings new annual revenues to the City of San Antonio and other governmental entities with the hotel & motel tax, sales taxes and other revenues from hospitality agreements and contracts. This number exceeded $300 million in 2012.
San Antonio is home to six Fortune 500 companies: Valero Energy Corp, Tesoro Corp,USAA, iHeartMedia, NuStar Energy and CST Brands, Inc.. H-E-B, the 14th largest private company in the United States is also headquartered in San Antonio. Other companies headquartered in San Antonio include: Bill Miller Bar-B-Q Enterprises,Carenet Healthcare Services, Security Service Federal Credit Union, Eye Care Centers of America, Frost Bank, Harte-Hanks, Kinetic Concepts, SWBC, NewTek, Rackspace, Taco Cabana, Broadway Bank, Zachry Holdings/Zachry Construction Company, Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union and Whataburger.
In 2015, San Antonio ranked No. 50 on Forbes' list of the Best Places for Business and Careers, with a ranking of 15th best market for job growth.
Downtown San Antonio
The urban core of the city and metropolitan area, Downtown San Antonio is a popular destination for tourists, due to attractions such as the Alamo, River Walk, Tower of the Americas, Alamodome, St. Paul Square,Pearl Brewery, Market Square, and theShops at Rivercenter, which consists of over 100 stores, 21 restaurants, AMC movie theatres, and the Improv Comedy Club. Downtown is bounded by Josephine St to the north, Colorado St to the west, I-10/U.S. 90, Probandt, and S Alamo St to the south, and I-37/ U.S. 281, and Monumental St to the east.
Located in the city's inner north-central corridor about two miles (3 km) north of Downtown and laid out roughly down the north-south axis of Broadway, the Alamo Heights area (ZIP Code 78209) is bordered to the south by Hildebrand Avenue, to the north by Interstate 410, to the east by Fort Sam Houston, and to the west by US 281. The enclaves of Alamo Heights and Terrell Hills are included in this area. This area also includes a large swath of Broadway from Mulberry to Loop 410. Inside this area is also Mahncke Park (the neighborhood and the park), McNay Art Museum, the Witte Museum, Brackenridge Park, Botanical Gardens, San Antonio Zoo, San Antonio Country Club and Japanese Tea Gardens
Bounded by Hildebrand Avenue to the north, Broadway to the east, I-10 to the west and I-35 to the south, Midtown features an assortment of neighborhoods ranging from the working class Beacon Hill to the up-and-coming Five Points to the established upper middle class Monte Vista. Each neighborhood has distinctive housing characteristics, from Victorian in Beacon Hill to French Eclectic, Neoclassical and Italian Renaissance in Monte Vista.
Uptown, officially Uptown Central, consists of a very large area separated into two large segments.
Uptown Broadway is home to a concentrated area of "old money" bedroom communities. These communities are Alamo Heights, Olmos Park, Lincoln Heights, and Terrell Hills. Combined the total population of these three communities is almost 16,000 people on 4.2 square miles (11 km2). That is a density of nearly 4,000 people per square mile (1,500 km²).
North Central is home to many small municipalities landlocked within the city of San Antonio. Some of these cities are the San Antonio CO-OP district, Castle Hills, Dellview,Hill Country Village, and Hollywood Park. The area also includes the upscale neighborhoods of Elm Creek, Inwood and Rogers Ranch, as well as the upper-middle-class neighborhoods of Deerfield, Churchill Estates, Hunter's Creek, Oak Meadow, and Summerfield.
Far North Central
Far North Central is home to many of San Antonio's most luxurious homes. Such upscale master-planned communities in this area include Scenic Oaks, Sonterra, Canyon Springs, Encino Park, and Stone Oak.
Celebrities in residence include "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Bruce Bowen, Joe Horn, Eva Longoria, Shawn Michaels, Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Malik Rose.
The Northeast Side, a very suburban area, is home to Randolph Air Force Base,Schertz, Converse, Universal City, Selma, Kirby, Windcrest, and Live Oak. Four school districts educate this side of the city, including Judson, Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City and North East. The northeast side also houses The Forum, which is one of San Antonio's largest shopping centers consisting of a variety of shops and restaurants (located on the corner of Loop 1604 and I-35). Rolling Oaks Mall also serves this area (located on the north side of I-35 at Loop 1604 and Nacogdoches Road).
Near Northwest Side
The Near Northwest is home to the Jefferson, Woodlawn Lake, Monticello Park, Inspiration Hills, Donaldson Terrace, and Hillcrest Neighborhoods.
Near the center of the community is the historic Thomas Jefferson High School and Jefferson Memorial Tower at Jefferson United Methodist Church.
The Northwest Side of San Antonio is home to a wide range of neighborhoods, suburbs, and businesses unique to the Alamo City.
The community is the location of the main campus of the University of Texas at San Antonio, the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and the Northwest Campus of the University of the Incarnate Word, which includes the Rosenberg School of Optometry.
Far West Side
The Far Northwest/West Side is one of the fastest growing areas in Metropolitan San Antonio. A large part of this area is outside of the San Antonio city limits, but is served by Bexar County Government. Here you will find Sea World San Antonio, Northwest Vista College, QVC, Wells Fargo, Coventry Health Care, CitiCorp and several other large employers.
Inner West Side
Known for its Mexican and Tejano culture, the Inner West Side is showcased in places like the Guadalupe Street commercial and entertainment district and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Little Flower. It is also home to the historic Our Lady of the Lake University and St. Mary's University. The Inner West Side is a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood.
This area is located south of Downtown. TheSouth Side is characterized as a predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods, upwards of about 85 to 97 percent. Immediately south of Cesar Chavez Boulevard along South Presa/South Saint Mary's/South Alamo streets and, more recently, South Flores is a district of Downtown San Antonio known as Southtown.
Bordered roughly by IH-37 to the west, IH-35 to the north, IH-10 to the south, and Loop 410 to the east, the East Side is home to the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, the AT&T Center and its older neighbor, the Freeman Coliseum. Other northern cities include Windcrest, a northeastern suburb known for its extravagant Christmas light displays.
Near East Side
The Near East Side is located between IH35 and Alamo Heights. The suburb of Historic Government Hill is located directly south of Ft Sam Houston, Development began during the construction of the Army base in 1876. It is the oldest Historic suburb of the "Gilded Age" of the city's history. The East Side is a multicultural neighborhood.
Prices in San Antonio
MARKET / SUPERMARKET
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||$1.90|
|Bottle of Wine||1 bottle||$14.00|
|Dinner (Low-range)||for 2||$26.00|
|Dinner (Mid-range)||for 2||$41.00|
|Dinner (High-range)||for 2||$|
|Mac Meal or similar||1 meal||$7.00|
|Beer (Imported)||0.33 l||$4.20|
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||$3.00|
|Coctail drink||1 drink||$9.00|
|Men’s Haircut||1 haircut||$14.00|
|Mobile (prepaid)||1 min.||$0.11|
|Pack of Marlboro||1 pack||$6.00|
|Toilet paper||4 rolls||$3.00|
CLOTHES / SHOES
|Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)||1||$42.00|
|Dress summer (Zara, H&M.)||1||$38.00|
|Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)||1||$72.00|
|Local Transport||1 ticket||$1.30|
60 $ per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- meals in cheap restaurant
- public transport
- cheap hotel
212 $ per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- mid-range meals and drinks
Transportation - Get In
San Antonio International Airport (IATA: SAT). Serves over 30 national and international destinations with non-stop service and many more with one-stop direct service. For destinations, check with individual airlines. Ground transportation from SAT to Downtown available by shuttle ($19 one way per person), by taxi ($25-35 one way, up to 4-6 persons depending on the size of the taxi), or by public bus (Number 5) which stops just outside Terminal B (brings you downtown in about half an hour for $1.20 exact change and runs approximately every 30 minutes). San Antonio International Airport has completed construction of Terminal B and finished remodeling Terminal A. Terminal C construction has been postponed until at least 2014.
Amtrak, 350 Hoefgen St. The Texas Eagle provides service north to Chicago; the Sunset Limited train runs west to Los Angeles and east to New Orleans. Before Hurricane Katrina, the Sunset Limited was a transcontinental route with service to Orlando; currently the route is truncated.
- Greyhound, 500 N St Marys St, Downtown. (Across the street from Bill Miller's Parking Lot)
- Megabus. Service from Dallas, Austin, and Houston. Bus stop is located in the parking lot on the south corner of 4th St and Broadway St. Fares from $1 and up.
- Autobus Americanos. Mexican trans-border bus line with services to various points in Mexico. Bus stop is located at 301 Broadway in San Antonio.
- Turimex Internacional. Mexican trans-border bus line with services to various points in Mexico. Bus stop is located at 518 N, Alamo in San Antonio.
- Omnibus Mexicanos. Mexican trans-border bus line with services to various points in Mexico. Bus stop is located at 930 Broadway in San Antonio.
Most visitors to San Antonio arrive by either I-35, I-10, I-37 or US 281. I-10 comes from El Paso to the west and Houston to the east. I-35 comes from Austin to the north and Laredo to the south. May be reached by automobile in about 1 hour from Austin, 4 hour 15 minutes from Dallas/Fort Worth or less than 3 hours from Houston.
San Antonio is in the middle of Texas. Therefore, it is not accessible by boat. Although there are many tubing opportunities around San Antonio, thanks to the huge abundance of rivers in the area. The River Walk, in downtown San Antonio, does offer a River Taxi that shuttles people to hotels, restaurants and shops along its banks.
Transportation - Get Around
By Public Transit
San Antonio's bus system is known as the VIA Metropolitan Transit. It also runs the downtown trolley service (actually a bus) for a small fare. Bus fares range from about $1.10 to $2.50 depending on the service with a one-day $4 pass (for purchase at some retail outlets see VIA's Website under Fare information) for all routes. There are 4 different types of routes: Express, Skip, Frequent, and Metro. The Express routes usually run from the sub-urban areas (mostly Park and Rides) to downtown.Most of them run about once every 30 minutes. Skip service usually runs along the streets with high traffic, they are called Skip routes because they usually Skip bus stops that are serviced by the frequent routes. Skip routes also usually run about every 30 minutes. Frequent routes can also be found on high traffic roads and as the name implies, the stops are very frequent. Although Frequent routes come by about once every 15 minutes, it is usually faster to wait a little longer and take the skip routes if you are going a long distance,for example on San Pedro ave, it is usually quicker to wait for the #3(Skip) as opposed to the #4 (Frequent) if you wanted to get from downtown to North Star Mall. Metro service is usually found in neighborhoods around the city, frequency varies with each route, but they usually run about once an hour. Discount fares are available to children between the ages of 5 and 11, senior citizens 62 and older, Medicare recipients, persons with disabilities and students. A reduced fee ID is required for reduced fares and can be acquired from VIA Information Centers (students may get the necessary forms from their campus administration). Bus schedules and route information can be found at VIA's website [www], by calling the VIA information line 210-362-2020 or for the hearing impaired at 210-362-2019, or at the San Antonio Visitor Information Center.
A bus line of interest to the visitor is line #7 SIGHTSEER SPECIAL, which runs hourly daily ($1.10 one way) and links the various museums and attractions north of downtown (e.g., Botanical Garden, Witte Museum, San Antonio Zoo, San Antonio Museum of Art) with Downtown. There are also three (Red, Yellow, Blue) downtown Streetcar lines [www] , which run about every 10 minutes ($1 one way) from Alamo Plaza to the Market Square area, Alamodome, HemisFair Park, and the King William Historic area.
- BEST RATED -
- BEST VALUE -
San Antonio is home to a variety of shopping venues with a wide selection of shops and stores. With ten major shopping malls within an hour drive of downtown as well as La Villita and Market Square in the heart of downtown San Antonio.
- Alamo Quarry Market, 255 E Basse Rd, , fax: , e-mail: [email protected]. M-Sa 10AM-9PM, Su noon-6PM.
- La Villita (La Villita Historic Arts Village), 418 Villita, , fax: . daily 10AM-6PM, closed holidays. 30 shops and galleries offer distinct handcrafted items by artists from San Antonio and surrounding areas.
- Market Square - El Mercado, 514 W Commerce, , fax: , e-mail: [email protected]. 10AM-8PM, summer; 10AM-6PM, winter. Stores closed New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Visitors can browse through the 32 shops at "El Mercado," and 80 specialty shops in Farmers' Market Plaza. Market Square is also the scene of many Hispanic festivals where food and beverage booths spring up alongside the Guadalajara lamps and the strains of mariachi music blend with the excitement of Mexican dances.
- Rivercenter Mall, 849 E. Commerce, . M-Sa 10AM-9PM; Su Noon-6PM. Located on the River Walk and connected to the Marriott Rivercenter and the Menger Hotel. It is also within walking distance of the Alamo. Houses over 100 retail shops including an IMAX theater.
- The Shops at La Cantera, 15900 La Cantera Parkway, Suite 6698, , e-mail: [email protected]. M-Sa 10AM-9PM and Su noon-6PM.Located in northern San Antonio adjacent to Six Flags Fiesta Texas. The Shops at La Cantera is an open-air mall anchored by Macy's, Nordstrom, Dillard's, and Neiman-Marcus. La Cantera offers stores on the higher-end of shopping such as Juicy Couture, Hugo Boss, Lacoste, Vera Bradley, Lucky Brand, Anthropologie, the Apple store, Aveda, Burberry, Gilly Hicks, Sleep Number, Sephora, Urban Outfitters, and more. Most people, though, come to La Cantera to eat and enjoy happy hour at some of the best,upscale yet casual restaurants in the city. Kona Grill offers $3, $4, $5 appetizers such as: sushi, pizza, egg rolls, etc. with discounted spirits and beer. Yardhouse has hundreds of beers on tap available in a 1.4 liter yard in a classic rock-inspired setting. There is a WIDE array of food, the general rule for chains is to skip the dishes you find everywhere and try the specialties. Here, try the seared ahi sandwich. Other eateries are Grimaldi's Brick-Oven Pizzeria, P.F. Chang's, Perry's Steakhouse and Z Tejas - a southwestern-themed restaurant with great non-Tex-Mex food and fantastic happy hour specials.
- North Star Mall, 7400 San Pedro, , e-mail:[email protected]. M-Sa 10AM-9PM and Su noon-6PM. San Antonio's internationally-acclaimed shopping destination center boasts over 200 specialty stores and restaurants. Located adjacent to the San Antonio International Airport, North Star is conveniently situated in the heart of the city. North Star is home to the largest cowboy boots in the world. They stand 40 feet high and 20 feet long! Stores include Saks Fifth Avenue, Pottery Barn Kids, Armani Exchange, Arden B., Montblanc, J.Crew, Oakley, The Cheesecake Factory, Talbots, Janie and Jack, Apple, bebe, Coach, Sephora, Guess, and Steve Madden.
The Pearl Brewery (now an urban development) hosts a farmers market on Saturdays from 9AM to 1PM and Wednesdays from 4PM to 7PM. On Saturdays the market is right next to the San Antonio River which forms an excellent green area, you can walk or take the river shuttle up from your hotel downtown.
- Mexican Manhattan, 110 Soledad Street, , e-mail: [email protected].M-Sa 11AM-10PM. Overlooking the San Antonio River.Mid-range.
- Casa Rio, 430 E. Commerce St, , e-mail: [email protected]. Su–Th 11AM–10PM; F–Sa 11AM–11PM. A great Tex-Mex restaurant if you're on a budget. This is the oldest restaurant on the River Walk, opened in 1946. You can enjoy good local-style dining in a colorful and romantic setting. Mid-range.
- Ruthie's Mexican Restaurant, 11423 West Ave, . Great Latin food. $.
- Schilo's Deli, 424 E. Commerce St, . M–Sa 7AM-8:30PM.If you're tired of Tex-Mex, Schilo's is a great place for good German food at budget prices, right above the River Walk (next to Casa Rio). Try their Evening Specialties, available after 5PM, excellent value. Split Pea Soup is a long-time favorite.
- Taco Cabana. Another great Tex-Mex place in San Antonio. It's a chain located in Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico.
- Teka Molino, 7231 San Pedro Ave., , e-mail:[email protected]. M-Sa 7AM - 9PM. Teka Molino is a famous Tex-Mex restaurant located on San Pedro, two blocks from North Star Mall. Locals are familiar with their famous puffy tacos, carne guisada, guacamole cups, bean rolls, and home-made tortillas.
- Lulu's Bakery and Cafe, 918 N. Main St. Located just north of Interstate (about a 15 minute walk from the Alamo). This diner/bakery offers huge portions at very low prices. Their cinnamon rolls are as big as a human head, and their chicken-fried steak takes up the whole plate. Not very touristy, more of a local place. Not to be confused with Luby's cafeteria which is just across the street and much more expensive.
- Main Street Pizza, 1906 N. Main St, e-mail: [email protected]. Just east of San Antonio College, about 2 miles north of downtown. Popular with students at San Antonio College (SAC) as well as Trinity University because of its affordable prices, good food, and proximity to the campuses. Offers fried calamari, calzones, pizzas of all sizes, manicotti, and an eclectic mix of other traditional Italian food. Daily specials are available.
- Green, 200 E Grayson St, Suite 120 (Near Downtown at Pearl Brewery), . Su 9AM-9PM; M–Th 8AM-9PM; F 8AM-8PM. San Antonio's only all-kosher, all-vegetarian eatery. Be sure to try the soups and specials. Dinner is $7-$15. Second location at 10003 NW Military, Suite 2115, in Alon Center.
- Rosario's, 910 S. Alamo St. A Mexican restaurant that is somewhat lacking in character but serves good food in decent-sized portions. It's a popular place, but it occupies a large space and is far enough from the Riverwalk that there usually isn't much of a wait for a table. $7-15.
- Joe's Crab Shack, 212 College St #100 (River Walk). A great good time, especially when the waiters all stop and line dance in the aisles. Good food, silly T-shirts, on the north side of the River Walk loop. A great place to host a birthday party or special occasion. The "fish bowl" drinks are fun for two to share. Dinner $9-21.
- Liberty Bar, 1111 S. Alamo St (located on the second floor - take the elevator on the side of the building),. A bohemian eatery in a building with character. The menu lists everything that they make from scratch, ranging from breads to sauces. The entree choices vary from pizzas to pot roast to lamb burgers to "Puntas Norteñas" (tough to describe, easy to eat). There is a full bar with very knowledgeable bartenders, and a really solid beer and wine list. The buttermilk pie is a house special desert that numerous patrons swear is extraordinary, although if you aren't already pre-disposed towards buttermilk you might be just as happy with the other pie selections. $10-$25.
- Mi Tierra Cafe & Bakery, 218 Produce Row (In the Mercado), . Open 24 hours. Blow $5 on the Mariachis, they're among the best in town (they tune because they care). The interior looks like Christmas vomited on a flea market, yet somehow the result is a charming and unique decor. Tex-Mex, Mex-Mex and Nuevo Mexicano food that is reasonably priced and definitely above average in terms of taste and quality. Service is prompt. Splendid bakery in the front section.Rumored to have free WiFi Entrees $9-20.
- Sushi Zushi, 203 S. St. Mary's (at Market, in the International Center across the street from the Drury Plaza Hotel), . M-W 11AM-10PM; Th-F 11AM-11PM; Sa 11:30AM-11PM; Su 11:30AM-10PM. Three other locations in San Antonio area. Extensive Japanese sushi menu, including other Japanese dishes like soup, salad, udon, soba, etc. Japanese comfort foods are good value. Tasteful, modern setting.
- Paesanos River Walk, 111 W. Crockett Street #100, . Su-Th 11AM–10PM; F–Sa 11AM–11PM. Classic Mediterranean and contemporary Italian dining on the San Antonio River Walk. Paesanos River Walk breaks the boundaries of traditional Italian cuisine to explore modern Mediterranean specialties. Enjoy the legendary Shrimp Paesano or Oven-Baked Pizzas piled high with grilled chicken and artichokes, or venture forth to Lemon Peppered Salmon or to our tempting Daily Specials. Choose from inside or terrace seating and enjoy views to the famed San Antonio River Walk.
- Boudros, 421 E. Commerce, . Su-Th: 11AM-11PM, Fr-Sa: 11AM-midnight. From Commerce St. entrance, take the elevator down to the River level and walk through the restaurant to the riverfront entrance. A very popular Texas bistro, with locals and tourists alike, right on the River Walk. Hearty portions. Blackened prime rib is its signature dish. Reservations are advisable, especially weekends.
- Azuca, 713 S Alamo St, . Best tortas de jamon (ham sandwiches) north of Mexico City.
- Biga on the Banks, 203 S. St. Mary's (International Center), . Biga on the Banks has a reputation for innovation. Owner and Chef Bruce Auden is known for his culinary creativity. Reservations recommended. $25-$50.
- Il Sogno, 200 E Grayson St. (in the Historic Pearl Brewery Complex), . Chef Andrew Weissman offers a contemporary flair to authentic Italian cuisine. Excellent antipasto bar and great wine list. With appetizers and wine, expect $50-100/person.
- Little Rhein Steak House, 231 S. Alamo St., . 5PM-10PM. A friendly gathering place with rustic charm, high quality steaks and its historically significant location. Located on the San Antonio River, the building was erected in 1847 and is basically unaltered since its original construction. Enjoy some of these delicious menu items. Escargots, in Garlic Butter, House Smoked Salmon, Field Greens, Caesar Salad, Prime Strip Loin, Prime Ribeye, Filet Mignon, Lobster Tail, Prime Lamb Chops, just to name a few.
Sights & Landmarks
- The Alamo, 300 Alamo Plaza (park at any of the pay lots in the area), . Daily 9A-5:30P. Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Considered to be hallowed ground and the Shrine of Texas Liberty, the Alamo is a former mission which was also the site of the Battle of the Alamo (1836). Admission is free, although donations are appreciated. Revenues from an adjacent gift shop fund the historic preservation efforts.
- Aztec on the River (aka Aztec Theatre), 104 N St Mary's St (On the River Walk, at the corner of E. Commerce and N. St. Mary's Streets), , e-mail: [email protected].The Aztec on the River was touted as the Riverwalk's most exciting entertainment attraction. This historic 1926 movie palace was meticulously restored in 2006, complete with a Mighty Wurlitzer theatre organ.
- , 228 S. Laredo St.,, e-mail: [email protected]. Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM Su noon-5PM (Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day). Homesite of Jose Antonio Navarro, a 19th-century Texas legislator under Mexico, the Republic of Texas and the U.S. The park is the site of Navarro's furnished house, first residence, and store. $4, 6-18 $3, 5 and under: Free.
- King William Historic Area, Bounded by Durango, South St. Mary’s, Eagleland and the San Antonio River. A 25-block area south of downtown and east of the San Antonio River. In the late 1800s, prominent German merchants settled the King William area, making it the most elegant residential area in the city. It is Texas' first Historic District. Accessible from Alamo Plaza via the Blue VIA Streetcar. Highlights include the magnificent mansions along King William St. from Beauregard St. to Guenther St. Don't miss the Steves Homestead (1876) on King William St. or the Guenther House (1859) and Pioneer Flour Mills on Guenther St. If you happen to arrive in San Antonio early in the month, try to catch First Friday, like the name implies, it happens the first Friday of the month. On First Friday you can find all kinds of little booth selling things ranging from flowers to art to funnel cakes. There is usually live music.
- River Walk (Paseo del Rio). The River Walk area, one level below the street level of San Antonio, is an excellent place to explore by day and party by night. The River Walk has guided barge tours by Rio San Antonio Cruises departing regularly. Numerous restaurants, shops, and hotels line the River Walk on both sides of the most popular and developed downtown loop, which winds its way below the streets bounded by Houston to the north, Alamo to the east, Villita to the south, and St. Mary's to the west. The east end of the River Walk is extended to the Convention Center and to the Rivercenter Mall. Further development of the River Walk is proceeding north and south of downtown. No visit to San Antonio is complete without a stroll along the River Walk. Note: Along many sections of the River Walk, there is nothing between the edge of the sidewalk and the River. Be very careful with young children, baby strollers, wheelchairs, intoxicated persons etc.
- San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. Four Spanish frontier missions, part of a colonization system that stretched across the Spanish southwest in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, are preserved here. They include missions San Jose, San Juan, Espada, and Concepcion. These, plus four other missions around San Antonio, have been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The national park, containing many cultural sites along with some natural areas, was established in 1978 and covers about 819 acres.
- San Antonio Zoological Gardens and Aquarium, 3903 N. St. Mary’s Street, , e-mail: [email protected]. Open 365 days a year. 9AM-5PM from Labor Day to Memorial Day; 9AM-6PM, Memorial Day to Labor Day. The zoo is home to over 3,500 animals representing 750 species of animals on 56 acres. Adults $14.25; seniors (62+) and children (3-11) $11.25; under 2 free, group rates available.
- San Antonio Botanical Gardens, 555 Funston Place, .9AM-5PM; Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Another peaceful place to walk is in the San Antonio Botanical Gardens. In the Spring they have the Spring Children's Vegetable Garden Program. Adults $10; 3-13 $7, under 3 free; Seniors, military and students $8.
Museums & Galleries
- Blue Star Contemporary Art Center, 116 Blue Star, , e-mail: [email protected]. A part of the Blue Star Arts Complex, the art center is a non-profit, non-collecting contemporary art center that advances the growth and understanding of contemporary art, artists and the curatorial process.
- Buckhorn Saloon and Museum, 318 E. Houston Street, .Daily 10AM, closing time varies with season. See website for deails. Located a short two blocks from the Alamo and 50 feet from the River Walk. Adults $19.99; Children (ages 3-11) $14.99.
- Institute of Texan Cultures (aka ITC), 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.(HemisFair Park; main entrance is off Durango near Bowie), , e-mail: [email protected]. M-Sa 9AM-5PM, Sun noon-5PM. A one-story 50,000 sq. ft. museum featuring Texan history, brought to life by docent-interpreters, and the cultures of over 20 national/ethnic groups of people who have made Texas their home. Admission fee. Snack machines. Accessible from downtown via the Purple VIA Streetcar. $10; Children, seniors, military, students $8.
- Instituto de México (Mexican Cultural Institute), 600 HemisFair Park, . M-F 10AM-6PM, Sa 11AM-6PM, Su 11AM-5PM. ()Website in Spanish) Contemporary Art from Mexico. Free.
- McNay Art Museum (The McNay), 6000 N New Braunfels, , e-mail: [email protected]. Su noon-5PM, Tu-W, Fr 10AM-4PM, Th 10AM-9PM, Sa 10AM-5PM. Free admission on Thursday evenings and the first Sunday of the month, except for select exhibitions and special events. Fine arts exhibits, library. museum store. $20; Senior, military, student $15.
- The DoSeum, 2800 Broadway, , e-mail:[email protected]. M-Th 10AM-5PM, F-Sa 9AM-6PM, Sun noon-5PM. Groups, parties, events, hands-on learning play. $12.
- San Antonio Museum of Art (aka SAMA), 200 W Jones (2 blocks west of Broadway), , e-mail: [email protected]. Tu, F 10AM-9PM, W-Th, Sa-Su 10AM-5PM. Four floors of fabulous permanent collections, from Antiquities to Asian to Contemporary Art, as well as changing exhibits. Bring your sketchpad or camera (no flash, permanent collections only). Cafe SAMA serves only snacks. On the #7 Sightseer Special bus line, or via any of the buses along Broadway (#9,10,14) with several blocks walk. If you can do only one museum visit, this is the one to explore in San Antonio. $10; senioers $7; students and military $5; 12 & under free. Free Tuesdays 4PM-9PM.
- Southwest School of Art & Craft, 1201 Navarro and 300 Augusta, , e-mail: [email protected]. Vary by gallery. See website for hours..Art/museum gift shop in the Ursuline Campus as well as student work in the hallways and cafe. On bus lines, and the Ursuline Campus backs up to an older, parklike section of the River Walk. Free.
- Texas Transportation Museum, 11731 Wetmore Rd, . F 9A-3P, Sa-Su 10A-5P. An outdoor museum which includes a private railroad, historic cars and trucks. F Adult - $6, Child - $4; Sa-Su Adult - $8, Child - $6.
- Witte Museum, 3801 Broadway, , e-mail:[email protected]. M 10AM-5PM, Tu 10AM-8PM, W-Sa, 10AM-5PM, Sun noon-5PM. Dinosaurs, textiles, natural history, science treehouse, and more. A museum complex with lots of different activities going on - fun with kids! Adult $10; Seniors and military $9; 4-11 $7; free Tuesdays 3PM-8PM.
Things to do
- SeaWorld, 10500 SeaWorld Drive, toll-free: , e-mail:[email protected]. Vary seasonally. See website for hours.. A marine life theme park which is home to the world-famous Shamu the killer whale. There are also thrill rides, a small water park, as well as sharks, an aquarium, penguins, seals and sea lions, and an opportunity to pet and feed dolphins.$55.
- Six Flags Fiesta Texas, 17000 IH-10 West, . Hours vary seasonally. See website for hours.. Home to several thrill rides and exciting shows, Fiesta Texas is an entertaining theme park geared to people of all ages. It has a really interesting water park and the ride the Boomerang is recommended. $71.99 at the gate, $51.99 online.
- Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, 26515 Natural Bridge Caverns Rd., . Hours vary seasonally. See website for hours.. Home to a great Drive-thru Safari Park! $22; Seniors $20; 3-11 $13.50.
- San Antonio Spurs. San Antonio is home to the five-time NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs that currently play at the AT&T Center.
- San Antonio Rampage. The AHL affiliate of the Florida Panthers that currently play at the AT&T Center.
- San Antonio Missions, 5757 US HWY 90 West, . The Class AA minor league affiliate of the San Diego Padres; plays in Wolff Municipal Stadium.
- San Antonio Scorpions. San Antonio's professional soccer club, Scorpions FC, is in the NASL and plays at their privately built stadium, Toyota Field.
- San Antonio Stars. San Antonio's WNBA team plays at the AT&T Center.
- San Antonio Talons. The Talons are San Antonio's Arena Football team. They play at the Alamodome in the AFL.
- UTSA Roadrunners, , fax: , e-mail:[email protected]. The city's main college sports attractions are the teams of the University of Texas at San Antonio, whose main campus is located off Loop 1604 just west of the northern interchange with I-10. UTSA is currently a member of Conference USA, which sponsors FBS (top-level) football. Most venues are on campus, but the football team plays at the Alamodome. Notably, the football team drew more than 35,000 fans per game for its first-ever season in 2011.
- Incarnate Word Cardinals, . The teams of the University of the Incarnate Word, whose campus is on Broadway near Breckenridge Park and the zoo, are a fairly new addition to Division I, having joined the Southland Conference in 2013. Unlike UTSA, the football team plays on campus and in the second-level FCS.
- Alamo Helicopter Tours (San Antonio Helicopter Tours), 8535 Mission Rd., Suite 104 (From Downtown head east on East Market St and merge onto I-37/US-281 South via ramp to I-10. Take exit 135 to merge onto SE Military Dr/TX-13-Loop W. Sharp left at Mission Road. Located at the Airport Main Terminal Building.), . M–Sa 10AM–5PM. Offers exciting and breathtaking views of San Antonio and the Texas Hill Country, including sites such as the San Antonio River, Downtown, the Botanical Gardens and Historic Mission. $77.50-$1795.00.
- San Antonio Walks, 317 Alamo Plaza (directly in front of the Alamo), , e-mail: [email protected]. M-Sa 9:15AM, 12:15PM, 4PM; Su 9:15AM, 12:15PM. Professional guided tour. This is not a highlight reel, but real storytelling about the city's rich history. Captivating and educational. Voted: Best Tour in San Antonio. Member: Texas Travel Industry Association. $21; Under 6 Free (cash only).
- Segway Tours, 260 East Houston St, , e-mail:[email protected]. San Antonio Segway Tours enables you to tour downtown San Antonio on a Segway. Learn to ride a Segway and tour beautiful and historic downtown San Antonio. Tours leave from and range from 1 hour to 2.5 hours. Tours depart 7 days a week, 6 times daily. $39-$59.
San Antonio is home to several historic vaudeville theatres; The Empire, Aztec, Alameda, and the Majestic. There are also many live music venues including, Sunset Station, White Rabbit, Scout Bar, Blue Star Arts complex, Pearl Brewery, Cowboys, La Tuna's, Randy's Rock Bottom Tattoo Bar, and The Ten Eleven and many great local bands.
- Majestic Theatre, 224 E. Houston St, , e-mail:[email protected]. Recognized as one of the most ornate facilities in the country, the Majestic has long held a special place in the archives of Texas theatrical and architectural history. Located at 224 E. Houston Street in the heart of downtown San Antonio, the Majestic was designed and built in 1929 by John Eberson for Karl Hoblitzelle's Interstate Theatres, and stood proudly for many years as the largest theatre in Texas and the second largest motion picture theatre in the country. It was intended to be the most modern and ornate building in South Texas - complete with new sound and projection equipment - and was the first theatre in the state to be totally air-conditioned.
Festivals and events
- Fiesta!!!. Fiesta is a yearly event held in San Antonio in late April. Fiesta is a 10-day, city-wide, fun-filled, multi-cultural celebration. Many family-oriented events take place during this time, as well as many events geared towards adults. With over 100 different events, it's the biggest party and greatest community benefit in the state of Texas. One of the most fun events of all Fiesta, is Oysterbake on the St. Mary's University campus. It kicks Fiesta off with a bang, has plenty of food (chicken on a stick, oysters, fried oysters, corn, corn in a cup, meats on sticks, pizza, you name it. Friday of Oysterbake is usually more family-oriented with an '80s or '90s band headlining the festivities. (Previous headliners: Eddie Money, Loverboy, Night Ranger, Smashmouth) Saturday is a jam-packed day of fun, food, music and booze. More modern acts will headline the main stage, there will be a country stage, and a tejano stage. Previous acts include: Three Days Grace, Chevelle, Puddle of Mudd, Hinder, Lit, 10 Years, Buckcherry (bad year), and The Veer Union. If you're single, Oysterbake on Saturday is your time to shine. Otherwise, you'll have an awesome time with friends or family. Leave the toddlers at home on Saturday! Don't be that parent.
- San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo. The San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo is an annual agricultural fair and entertainment event in early February. It provides world class rodeo action and entertainment to people of all ages. The San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo has been nominated for the Largest Indoor Rodeo of 2009, the winner to be announced February 2010. Everyone who's anyone in country music plays during rodeo time, simple as that.
- Texas Folklife Festival. The Texas Folklife Festival is an annual four-day celebration in the second week of June, of the diverse ethnic and cultural groups that settled our state. Some 45 groups bring their stories, crafts, music, dances, and foods to share with visitors in a vibrant blend of education and entertainment.
- Bat migration, River Walk. Texas is one of the best places in the world to observe bat migrations. Every night at dusk in the summer, thousands of bats emerge from their "hangouts", including under urban bridges, and many people come to watch. Local conservation organizations host weekly events to explain the migration.
San Antonio's downtown is the hub of the city's nightlife, with hundreds of dining options, bars and clubs mostly on the Riveralk and throughout street level. Other major nightlife locales, include Southtown Arts District, home to First Friday Art Walk, a large art block party with crowds upward of 20,000 along Alamo St. Scores of dining, galleries, theatres and lodging options, that include more than 10 historic 19th century B&B's adjacent to the Riverwalk. Wander down through the River Walk and take your choice of bars and eateries. You can't go wrong. There are also several bars/restaurants in the Mercado block of tourist shops.
- Drink Texas, 200 Navarro St, Suite 100, . 2PM-2AM daily.
- Swig Martini Bar, 111 West Crockett St., No. 205, . Swig features specialty martinis, cocktails, cigars and live music. The ambience is vintage 1940s with an exciting urban twist. Sit back and relax where the classic American cocktail meets its contemporaries-where Cary Grant meets Cameron Diaz. Enjoy friendly, attentive service in a relaxed upscale atmosphere. Martini time-with a twist.
- Mad Dogs British Pub, 123 Losoya St # 19. British-themed bar & grill located on the Riverwalk.
- Howl at the Moon, 111 W. Crockett #201, , e-mail:[email protected]. Su-Th 7PM-2AM; F-Sa 6PM-2AM. Howl at the Moon is a singing, clapping, stomping, dance-on-the-piano, rock 'n' roll dueling piano show! It's part concert, part piano bar & all centered around audience interaction & 2 baby grand pianos. Howl at the Moon offers an experience beyond the average bar with live entertainment, comedy, & sing-a-longs throughout the night. Howl at the Moon is the perfect place for corporate parties & special events. Don't fret if you can't get there for your party or event–with their "Piano Shows To Go," they'll bring all the excitement & fun to you! On Thursday nights, bring your Texas college ID for free admission and drink specials -- usually $1 domestic, $2 Corona or Dos XX, and $3 UV Vodka $4 Bull Blasters. Great place to meet people on Thursdays.
- Zinc, 207 N. Presa St., . M-F 11AM-2AM; Sa-Su 3PM-2AM. Zinc serves wines from all corners of the globe with an emphasis on champagne and domestic varietals.
- Honky Tonk, 157 E Houston St, , e-mail:[email protected]. Located in the downtown, this sports bar is offering all the major events from large screens. Snacks and burgers is available.Beers from $5.
- SoHo Wine and Martini Bar, 214 W. Crockett St, . 4PM-2AM. Extensive drink menu, in addition to your usual favorites SoHo also provides an impressive array of fun specialty house martinis such as the Ginger Tini, The Espresso Tini and the Carmel Apple Tini.
- Retox bar, 1031 Patricia Dr (Blanco/West Ave), . 2PM-2AM. Retox is local live music venue, retox is classified as a upscale dive bar. Voted best sounding bar in 2009, 2010, 2011. Voted number 1 happy hour by gotime.com.$.
Safety in San Antonio
San Antonio is a relatively safe city. As long as you take elementary precautions, you'll have a great time. Even when there are crowds for such events like the Alamo Bowl, it is still relatively safe. Just remember that the River Walk always has something going on, but if you're in one of the quieter spots at night, exercise some caution. Inner city neighborhoods, particularly on the West and South Sides, should be avoided at night, though they are of little interest to tourists. In San Antonio, if it looks iffy, don't go there at night.