Already the second most populous city in the state of Texas and the seventh in the United States, San Antonio is just now receiving the attention and respect that it deserves as a world class tourist destination for singles, couples and families.
The historical accuracy of the old town part of San Antonio and the natural beauty of the adjoining Texas Hill Country are wonderful complements to each other. There is no finer place in the world to enjoy the wonders of the past while experiencing the thrills of the present.
San Antonio offers the best of Texas and that is not faint praise. It is a cosmopolitan city with something for everyone. Here ar some of the best attractions to be found n and around the River City.
For the History Buff - The Alamo Mission
Every student of history as well as Pee Wee Herman remembers the Alamo. It was the site of one of the most heroic actions ever undertaken by a smaller force against insurmountable odds. Regardless of their heritage, anyone would be small minded to doubt the fortitude and courage of that small band that died that die in the defense of Texas independence.
The building itself is set in the picturesque heart of the San Antonio. Centuries old, this traditional Spanish mission is a touchstone for both Texans, their Spanish predecessors in the regionand anyone else who values liberty, freedom and self-determination.
While the Alamo, itself, is a Texas landmark without precedent or parallel, it is also the focal point for a thriving artistic and cultural community in San Antonio. If you love the arts from paintings and sculpture through music and dance to any of the other the arts, visit the Alamo. The surrounding neighborhood is a vibrant community that understands history. community and art.
For the Kids - Schlitterbahn Water Park
Though their parents may be a little confused, every school kid in Texas, from the remote western reaches of El Paso through the Fifth Ward ghettoes of Houston to the cosmopolitan suburbs of Dallas, knows that the finest water park in world is located at Schlitterbahn near San Antonio.
The Schlitterbahn or “Slippery Road” is a huge attraction for anyone interested in getting wet and wild in the Texas summer sun. Nevertheless, the atmosphere is always, completely family oriented and kid-friendly. There are dozens of attractions, from the prodigiously sized wave pool to the numerous water slides that stretch 50 feet and more into the west Texas sky.
When you are ready for break, the kids can play in any number of safe and protected areas with sprinklers and playgrounds while you enjoy a quick respite at the adult pool. The Schlitterbahn resort also features on site accommodations with a wide variety of dining options. There are even a few tree houses to rent for the most intrepid visitors. It is no wonder that Schlitterbahn has been named one of the most outstanding water parks in Texas for the past 15 consecutive years.
For the Hopeless Romantics - The Downtown Riverwalk
Credit: CC-BY 2.0Time was, there was very little for a couple to do in San Antonio except take a walk down by the river. In such a case, a man would be dependent on his own personality and wit to charm the young lady of his dreams. Luckily, for everyone involved, those days are over. San Antonio now boasts one of the most exciting and romantic travel destinations in all of Texas, the Riverwalk.
For those who have never been to the River City, the Riverwalk is a man-made palisade constructed along both banks of the San Antonio River that wends through the heart of the downtown area.
The pedestrian walkway, itself, is just above the level of the river and there are any number of bistros, shops and restaurants located just steps away from the river. The entire walk is an outdoor festival that encompasses many of San Antonio’s festivals and cultural events. Access points are located throughout the city. The atmosphere is truly remarkable as it can be as romantic or exciting as you choose. There are even leisurely boat cruises throughout the day and evening that will satisfy the curiosity of children or couples.
For the Outdoor Lovers - The Hill Country
Credit: ZereshkDespite its growing cosmopolitan image, not everything in San Antonio revolves around its urban setting and lifestyle. Indeed, the city is a gateway to one of the most beautiful sections of its state, the Texas Hill Country.
A rolling landscape that goes on forever, a diverse cultural climate and the ever present, welcoming hospitality of the Lone Star State define the hill country. Take a drive northeast from San Antonio and you will find antiques, craft fairs and some of the most exciting cultural events anywhere in the United States.
In particular, the area has several state parks including Abilene State Park and Palo Duro Canyon where one can camp, hike, climb and swim. They are, indeed, some of the most beautiful spots on the planet. Otherwise, try tubing down the Guadalupe River or go spelunking – that’s cave exploring to you and me - or just camp out below the skies that are big and bright. Y’all can’t go wrong by enjoying the wide open spaces and the magnificent hospitality when you are deep in the heart of Texas.
For more refined tastes, the Hill Country is also boasts a thriving Texas wine industry with a formidable array of award winning vintages. There are over 30 wineries to visit and hundreds of wines to choose from. Don’t decide, try them all. Some of the best places to visit to sample the local viniculture are Wimberley Valley Winery, the Santa Maria Cellars and the Flat Creek Estate.
Texas at Its Best
All of Texas is remarkable but the people of San Antonio have made a special effort at welcoming visitors from around the world. It is now a preeminent vacation choice for tourists from Central and South America as well as the rest of the United States. In many cases, these visitors will actually forego a trip to Europe or Asia for the pleasures and excitement of a trip to San Antonio. None of them ever regret the decision.