San Antonio Travel Guide

San Antonio Summary

Pros

  • Home of The Alamo
  • History everywhere you turn -- missions, golden-era movie theaters, and "Wild West" plazas
  • Tex-Mex cuisine at its best
  • Old-timey markets in La Villita sell classic Texan wares including vibrant blankets and turquoise
  • River Walk, lined with popular restaurants and bars
  • Amusement parks such as Splash Town, Six Flags, and Sea World
  • Home of the San Antonio Spurs
  • Walkable city
  • Brackenridge Park has a little bit of everything -- waterfalls, golf, polo, a Japanese tea garden, and an outdoor theater
  • A popular zoo

Cons

  • Hot (all the time), particularly in the summer, when the average high is 95 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Crime rate more than double the national average
  • Tons of amusement parks and themed bars makes for a more kitschy than cultural vibe
  • Numerous nearby air bases means the frequent drone of planes

What It's Like

Without a doubt, San Antonio is best known for The Alamo -- the site where numerous Texans gave their lives during the Texas War of Independence, and that many more Texans referred to in the "Remember the Alamo!" rallying cry. The city capitalizes on The Alamo's popularity and offers numerous tours of the mission, as well as tours of other 18th-century missions in the San Antonio Missions National Historic Park. Check out one or two for their beautiful wall paintings (some may feel that more than that will get a bit repetitive). San Antonio is a dream for military history buffs, and it doesn't end with the Alamo: The nearby Brooks Air Force Base has a museum on the evolution of aircraft, and Lackland Air Force Base has a museum on the history of the United States Air Force.

San Antonio is a cultural city as well, and Latin communities thrive in the area. La Villita, the oldest neighborhood in San Antonio, boasts an old-fashioned market, complete with wool blankets and turquoise and silver jewelry. During the summer, festivals are held almost every week and flamenco dancers often perform. To escape the oppressive summer heat, the young and hip cool down with maragaritas on River Walk, a winding street lined with restaurants and bars, while families opt to visit theme parks such as Splash Town and Six Flags. San Antonio is particularly kid-friendly, with numerous amusement parks, bike paths, HemisFair Park (a park and convention center complete with gardens and playgrounds), and a zoo.

Where To Stay

San Antonio can be broken into three sections -- the north, south, and center. The northern area is where the majority of museums can be found, such as McNay Art Museum, as well as high-end shopping in Alamo Heights. The San Antonio Botantical Gardens are also here. The south is home to the missions that make up San Antonio Missions National Historic Park. Southtown is also in southern San Antonio (not surprisingly). Southtown is crowded during the day for its art galleries and at night for its popular clubs. Central San Antonio is the historic area -- the Spanish Governor's Palace, The Alamo, and La Villita can all be found here. River Walk also runs through central San Antonio.  

View all San Antonio Hotels

Facts

Languages:

English

Airports:

San Antonio International Airport

Peak:

June - August

Vaccines:

No

Currency:

U.S. Dollar

Electricity:

120 V, 60 Hz

Tipping:

15-20% at restaurants

Oyster Travel Guides

Downtown/Riverwalk Travel Guide
Downtown/Riverwalk Travel Guide
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Northwest San Antonio Travel Guide
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