FIPS 55-3 Code
US National Archive Codes
Coordinates Latitude: 29.4241219 Longitude: -98.4936282
Demographics & Economic Data
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At the time of European encounter, Payaya Indians lived near the San Antonio River Valley in the San Pedro Springs area. They called the vicinity Yanaguana, meaning "refreshing waters". In 1691, a group of Spanish 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 to the east, as well as prevent illegal trading with the Payaya. He directed Martín de Alarcón, the governor of Coahuila y Tejas, to establish the mission complex. Differences between Alarcón and Olivares resulted in delays, and construction did not start until 1718. 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 were the start 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 Concepción, the Siege of Bexar, and the Battle of San Jacinto, and served as mayor of San Antonio. He was forced out of 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 U.S. 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 American Civil War, San Antonio had grown to a city of 15,000 people.
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 U.S. 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 or Latinio, 7.0% black, and 36.2% non-Hispanic white.The San Antonio Missions National Historical Park and The Alamo became UNESCO World Heritage sites in 2015 and the city was designated a UNESCO "City of Creativity for Gastronomy" in 2017, one of only 26 gastronomy creative cities in the world.
San Antonio is approximately 75 miles (121 km) to the southwest of its neighboring city, Austin, the state capital, about 190 miles (310 km) west of Houston, and about 250 miles (400 km) south of the Dallas–Fort Worth area. The city has a total area of 465.4 square miles (1,205.4 km2)—460.93 square miles (1,193.8 km2) of which is land and 4.5 square miles (11.7 km2) of which is water. The city's gently rolling terrain is dotted with oak trees, forested land, mesquite, and cacti. The Texas Hill Country reaches into the far northern portions of the city. San Antonio sits on the Balcones Escarpment. Its altitude is 650 feet (198 m) above sea level.
The city's primary source of drinking water is the Edwards Aquifer. Impounded in 1962 and 1969, respectively, Victor Braunig Lake and Calaveras Lake were among the first reservoirs in the country built to use recycled treated wastewater for power plant cooling, reducing the amount of groundwater needed for electrical generation.
Downtown San Antonio, the city and metro area's urban core, encompasses many of the city's famous structures, attractions, and businesses. The central business district is generally understood to cover the northern half of the "Downtown Loop"— the area bordered by Cesar Chavez to the south. Due to the size of the city and its horizontal development, downtown accounts for less than one half of one percent of San Antonio's geographic area.
North Central is home to several enclaves and upscale neighborhoods including Castle Hills, Hollywood Park, Elm Creek, Inwood, and Rogers Ranch. The area is also the location of upper-middle-class neighborhoods (Deerfield, Churchill Estates, Hunter's Creek, Oak Meadow, and Summerfield).
Northwest Side 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. The Medical Center District is also located in Northwest Side. Companies with headquarters in the area include Valero and NuStar Energy.
The South Side area of San Antonio is characterized for its predominantly Latino and Hispanic neighborhoods, an average above 81 percent. Large growth came to South Side when Toyota constructed a manufacturing plant. Palo Alto College and the Texas A&M University-San Antonio are located in the area.
East Side San Antonio is home to the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, the AT&T Center, and the Freeman Coliseum. The area has the largest concentration of black residents.
The West Side is predominantly Hispanic and working class, with pockets of wealth in the northwest and far west. It includes the diverse neighborhoods of Avenida Guadalupe, Collins Garden, Las Palmas, Prospect Hill, San Juan Gardens, Loma Park, Loma Vista, Memorial Heights, and Westwood. It is also home to the historic Our Lady of the Lake University and St. Mary's University.
Natural vegetation in the San Antonio area (where undisturbed by development) includes oak-cedar woodland, oak grassland savanna, chaparral brush, and riparian (stream) woodland. San Antonio is at the westernmost limit for both Cabbage palmetto (Sabal palmetto) and Spanish moss.
San Antonio has a transitional humid subtropical climate (Köppen: Cfa), featuring very hot, long, and humid summers and mild to cool winters. The area is subject to descending northern cold fronts in the winter with cool to cold nights, and is warm and rainy in the spring and fall.
San Antonio receives about a dozen subfreezing nights each year, typically seeing snow, sleet, or freezing rain about once every two or three winters, but accumulation and snow itself are very rare. Winters may pass without any frozen precipitation at all, and up to a decade has passed between snowfalls. According to the National Weather Service, there have been 32 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 December 7, 2017, when 1.9 inches (5 cm) of snow coated the city. On January 13, 1985, San Antonio received a record snowfall of 16 inches (41 cm).San Antonio and New Braunfels, 40 miles (64 km) to the northeast, are some of the most flood-prone regions in North America. The October 1998 Central Texas floods were among 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.Tornadoes within the city limits have been reported as recently as February 2017, although they seldom occur. An F2 tornado lands 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 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.
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, 1,327,407 people resided in San Antonio city proper, an increase of 16.0% since 2000. The racial composition of the city based on the 2010 U.S. Census is as follows: 72.6% White (non-Hispanic whites: 26.6%), 6.9% Black or African American, 0.9% Native American, 2.4% Asian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, 3.4% two or more races, and 13.7% other races. In addition, 63.2% of the city's population was of Hispanic or Latino origin, of any race.According to the 2000 U.S. Census, the city proper had a population of 1,144,646, ranking it the ninth-most populated city in the country.
Due to San Antonio's low density rate and lack of significant metropolitan population outside the city limits, the metropolitan area ranked just 30th in the U.S. with a population of 1,592,383 in 2000. San Antonio has a large Hispanic population with a significant African American population.Subsequent population counts indicate continued rapid growth in the area. As stated above, the 2010 U.S. Census showed the city's population at 1,327,407, making it the second-most-populous city in Texas (after Houston), as well as the seventh-most-populous city in the United States.
The 2011 U.S. census estimate for the eight-county San Antonio–New Braunfels metropolitan area placed its population at 2,194,927. The 2017 estimate for Greater San Antonio was 2,473,974, making it the third-most populous metro area in Texas (after the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and Greater Houston) and the 24th-most populous metro area in the U.S. The metropolitan area is bordered to the northeast by Austin–Round Rock–San Marcos, and the two metropolitan areas together combine to form a region of over 4.7 million people known as the "Austin-San Antonio Corridor" or "Austintonio".About 405,474 households, and 280,993 families reside in San Antonio. The population density is 2,808.5 people per square mile (1,084.4 km2). There are 433,122 housing units at an average density of 1,062.7 per square mile (410.3 km2).
The age of the city's population is distributed as 28.5% under the age of 18, 10.8% from 18 to 24, 30.8% from 25 to 44, 19.4% from 45 to 64, and 10.4% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 32 years. In San Antonio, 48% of the population are males, and 52% of the population are females. For every 100 females, there are 93.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 89.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $36,214, and the median income for a family is $53,100. Males have a median income of $30,061 versus $24,444 for females. The per capita income for the city is $17,487. About 17.3% of the population and 14.0% of families are below the poverty line. Of the total population, 24.3% of those under the age of 18 and 13.5% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
According to information gathered by Sperling's BestPlaces, Christianity is the most prevalent religion in the San Antonio area. Its prevalence is due to San Antonio's Spanish and Mexican Catholic heritage. As a consequence the largest Christian church in the city is the Catholic Church (32.1%). San Antonio's Catholic community is served by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Antonio which was established on August 28, 1784 under the then Diocese of Galveston. It was elevated to archdiocese status in 1926. In 2014 the San Antonio Archdiocese claimed 2,458,351 members.
Baptists make up San Antonio's second largest Christian group (8.1%). The largest Baptist bodies in the city and metro area are the Baptist General Convention of Texas and Southern Baptist Convention. Other Christian bodies in San Antonio and the metro area include Methodists (2.8%), Lutherans (1.7%), Pentecostals (1.5%), Latter-Day Saints (1.5%), Presbyterians (0.8%), and Episcopalians (0.7%). Per Sperling's BestPlaces, Christians including the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, United Church of Christ, Jehovah's Witnesses, and others make up 8.1% of San Antonio's "Other Christian" populace. Outside of Christianity, Islam is the second largest religion practiced in San Antonio (1.2%). Eastern religions such as Buddhism, Sikhism, and Hinduism also have a significant presence in San Antonio. 0.3% of the area identifies with Judaism.
San Antonio has a diversified economy with a gross domestic product (GDP) of approximately $96.8 billion. This ranks the city fourth in Texas and 38th in the United States. San Antonio's economy focuses primarily on military, health care, government-civil service, financial services, oil and gas, and tourism. Within the past twenty years, the city has become a significant location for American-based call centers and has added a sizable manufacturing sector centered around automobiles.
Located about 10 miles northwest of Downtown is South Texas Medical Center, a conglomerate of various hospitals, clinics, and research (see Southwest Research Institute and Texas Biomedical Research Institute) and higher educational institutions.
Over twenty million tourists visit the city and its attractions every year, contributing substantially to its economy, primarily due to The Alamo and the River Walk. The Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center alone hosts over 300 events annually with more than 750,000 convention delegates from around the world. Tourism provided over 130,000 jobs, and it had an economic impact of $13.6 billion in the local economy. The City of San Antonio received $195 million in the same year from the hospitality industry, with revenues from hotel occupancy tax, sales taxes and others.
San Antonio is the headquarters of six Fortune 500 companies: Valero Energy, Andeavor (formerly Tesoro Corp), USAA, iHeartMedia, NuStar Energy, and CST Brands, Inc.. H-E-B, the 13th-largest private company in the U.S. is also based in San Antonio.
Other companies headquartered in the city include Bill Miller Bar-B-Q Enterprises, Carenet Healthcare Services, Security Service Federal Credit Union, Visionworks 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, SAS, and Whataburger. The North American Development Bank, a development institution jointly held by the governments of the U.S. and Mexico, is headquartered in San Antonio as well. Other notable companies that maintain sizable presences in the city include Hulu, OCI, Kaco New Energy, Silver Spring Networks, Toyota, Argo Group, EOG Resources, Microsoft, Cogeco Peer1, and Boeing.
In 2015, San Antonio was ranked at No. 50 by Forbes magazine on their list of the "Best Places for Business and Careers", while being listed as the 15th best market for job growth.
The city is home to one of the largest concentrations of military bases in the U.S., and has been nicknamed Military City, USA. The city is home to several active military installations: Lackland Air Force Base, Brooke Army Medical Center, Randolph Air Force Base, and Fort Sam Houston. The defense industry in San Antonio employs over 89,000 and provides a $5.25 billion impact to the city's economy.
San Antonio has lost several major company headquarters, the largest being the 2008 move of AT&T Inc. to Dallas "to better serve customers and expand business in the future." In 1997, Titan Holdings and USLD Communications had sold their operations to larger companies. After a Los Angeles buyout specialist purchased Builders Square, the company's operations were moved out of San Antonio.
San Antonio is a popular tourist destination. The Alamo Mission in San Antonio ("The Alamo"), located in Downtown, is Texas' top tourist attraction. Because of the mission, San Antonio is often called "Alamo City".The River Walk, which meanders through the Downtown area, is the city's second-most-visited attraction, giving it the additional nickname of "River City". Extended an additional 13 miles between 2009–2013, the landscaped walking and bike path line the San Antonio River from the "Museum Reach" beginning in Brackenridge Park through downtown, "Downtown Reach", past the Blue Star's "Eagleland" to the "Mission Reach" ending near Loop 410 South past Mission Espada. Lined with numerous shops, bars, and restaurants, as well as the Arneson River Theater, this attraction is transformed into an impressive festival of lights during the Christmas and New Year holiday period (except for the Mission Reach), and is suffused with the local sounds of folklorico and flamenco music during the summer, particularly during celebrations such as the Fiesta Noche del Rio.
The Downtown area also features San Fernando Cathedral, The Majestic Theatre, Hemisfair (home of the Tower of the Americas, and UTSA's Institute of Texan Cultures), La Villita, Market Square, the Spanish Governor's Palace, and the historic Menger Hotel. The Fairmount Hotel, built in 1906 and San Antonio's second oldest hotel, is in the Guinness World Records as one of the heaviest buildings ever moved intact. It was placed in its new location, three blocks south of the Alamo, over four days in 1985, and cost $650,000 to move.
The city is home to three animal attractions. SeaWorld, 16 miles (26 km) west of Downtown in the city's Westover Hills district, is the number 3 attraction and one of the largest marine life parks in the world. The very popular and historic San Antonio Zoo is in the city's Brackenridge Park. A third animal attraction was developed by British company Merlin Entertainments to accompany SeaWorld as a second aquarium attraction and indoor counterpart. The new attraction is inside the Shops at Rivercenter in Downtown San Antonio and is one of Merlin's Sea Life Aquariums. The San Antonio Aquarium is the third and final attraction.
San Antonio is also home to several commercial amusement parks, including Six Flags Fiesta Texas, Splashtown and Morgan's Wonderland, a theme park for children with special needs. Kiddie Park, featuring old-fashioned amusement rides for children, was established in 1925, and is the oldest children's amusement park in the U.S.
San Antonio is home to the first museum of modern art in Texas, the McNay Art Museum. Other art institutions and museums include ArtPace, Blue Star Contemporary Art Center, the Briscoe Western Art Museum, Buckhorn Saloon & Museum (where visitors can experience something of cowboy culture year round), San Antonio Museum of Art, formerly the Lonestar Brewery, Say Sí (mentoring San Antonio artistic youth), the Southwest School of Art, Texas Rangers Museum, Texas Transportation Museum, the Witte Museum and the DoSeum. An outdoor display at North Star Mall features 40-foot (12 meters)-tall cowboy boots.
The city's five missions, the four in the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park plus The Alamo, were named UNESCO 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; it is the first site in Texas. The new Mission Reach of the River Walk was completed in 2013, and created over 15 miles of biking, hiking, and paddling trails that connect the Missions to Downtown and the Broadway Corridor.Other places of interest include the San Antonio Botanical Garden, Brackenridge Park, the Japanese Tea Gardens, the Sunken Garden Theater, The Woodlawn Theatre and the Majik Theatre, a children's educational theater.
In 2015 work was authorized to begin on the restoration of the former Hot Wells hotel, spa, and bathhouses on the San Antonio River on the city's south side.
The city's only top-level professional sports team, and consequently the team most San Antonians follow, is the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association. Previously, the Spurs played at the Alamodome (which was speculatively built in an attempt to lure a professional football team to the region), and before that the HemisFair Arena. They moved into the SBC Center in 2002 (since renamed the AT&T Center), built with public funds.
The AT&T Center is also home to the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League, who are owned by the Spurs organization. San Antonio is home to the Triple-A San Antonio Missions who play at Nelson Wolff Stadium and are the minor league affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers.
San Antonio had a professional soccer franchise when the San Antonio Thunder played two seasons in the original NASL during the 1975–1976 seasons. Professional soccer returned with the birth of the San Antonio Scorpions of the modern NASL in 2012. The Scorpions won the 2014 Soccer Bowl, the first soccer championship in city history. On December 22, 2015, it was announced that Toyota Field and S.T.A.R. Soccer Complex were sold to the City of San Antonio and Bexar County, a deal which was accompanied by an agreement for Spurs Sports and Entertainment to operate the facilities and field a team that plays in the United Soccer League. San Antonio FC began play in the soccer-specific stadium, Toyota Field, in 2016. As a result, the San Antonio Scorpions franchise of the NASL was shut down. San Antonio has two rugby union teams, the Alamo City Rugby Football Club, and San Antonio Rugby Football Club.
The San Antonio metropolitan area's smaller population has so far contributed to its lack of an NFL, MLB, NHL, or MLS team. City officials are said to be attempting to lure the National Football League permanently to San Antonio. Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue stated San Antonio was successful in temporarily hosting the New Orleans Saints following Hurricane Katrina, and that the city would be on the short list for any future NFL expansions. The city has also hosted the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Oilers preseason camps in the past, and the Cowboys practiced in San Antonio through 2011. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones acknowledged his support for the city to become home to an NFL franchise.The city has played host to a number of major and minor league football teams, primarily at Alamo Stadium and the Alamodome. The San Antonio Gunslingers of the United States Football League and the San Antonio Riders of the World League of American Football played for two seasons each in the 1980s and 1990s, respectively; while the San Antonio Wings of the World Football League and the San Antonio Texans of the Canadian Football League each played a single season. In 2018, the Alliance of American Football announced that the San Antonio Commanders would play in the city beginning in 2019. The Commanders opened play at the Alamodome in February 2019. San Antonio was also home to the minor-league Toros of the Texas Football League (later the Continental Football League, then Trans-American Football League) from 1966-1971; and the minor-league Charros of the American Football Association from 1978-1981.
The Valero Texas Open is a professional golf tournament on the PGA Tour held at San Antonio since 1922. It has been played at TPC San Antonio since 2010. Previous venues include the Brackenridge Park Golf Course, La Cantera Golf Club and Pecan Valley Golf Club; the latter also hosted the 1968 PGA Championship. The Alamo Ladies Classic was an LPGA Tour event held from 1960 to 1973.
The first Rising Phoenix World Championships was held at Grand Hyatt, San Antonio in 2015.
San Antonio is home to the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps, a world class competitor in Drum Corps International. The Crossmen are consistent finalists in the DCI World Championships, having placed in the elite top 12, 28 times with their most recent finals appearance being in 2018.
The University of Texas at San Antonio fields San Antonio's main NCAA Division I athletic teams, known as the UTSA Roadrunners. The teams play in Conference USA. The university added football in 2011, hiring former University of Miami coach Larry Coker as its initial head coach. Roadrunner football began play in 2011, with a record of 4-6. UTSA set attendance records for both highest attendance at an inaugural game (56,743) and highest average attendance for a first year program (35,521). The Roadrunners moved to the Western Athletic Conference in 2012, and to Conference USA in 2013. University of the Incarnate Word also fields a full slate of NCAA Division I athletic teams, known as the Incarnate Word Cardinals; however, their football team competes in the football championship subdivision in the Southland Conference.
Trinity University fields all the typical collegiate sports, but at the NCAA Division III level. Trinity competes in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC). The Trinity baseball team won the 2016 Div. III College World Series.
San Antonio hosts the NCAA football Alamo Bowl each December, played among the Big XII and Pac-12 each December in the Alamodome.
The city is also home of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, played annually in the Alamodome and televised live on NBC. The Bowl is an East versus West showdown featuring the nation's top 90 high school football senior players. The game has featured NFL stars Reggie Bush, Vince Young, Adrian Peterson, and many other college and NFL stars.
The University of Texas at San Antonio fields the only collegiate men's rugby team in the city. UTSA competes in Division III Texas Rugby Union.
Crime in San Antonio began to rise in the early 1980s. In 1983 San Antonio had the 10th highest homicide rate in Texas with 18.5 homicides per 100,000 residents. The number of juveniles arrested in San Antonio for violent crimes tripled between 1987 and 1994, according to the Texas Law Enforcement Management and Administration Statistics Program. The number of youths arrested for unlawfully carrying firearms doubled over the same period.
In 1993 San Antonio was nicknamed the "Drive-By City" after San Antonio Police Department recorded over 1,200 drive-by shootings or nearly 3.5 per day. That figure dwarfed the number in other Texas cities, and it unofficially marked San Antonio as the state's drive-by capital. Although no part of the city was immune, the vast majority of the violence occurred on the East and West Sides, particularly where poverty was prevalent. Gang members killed each other and innocent bystanders to protect their home turf and drug-selling interests. Housing projects such as Alazan-Apache Courts, Cassiano Homes, East Terrace and Wheatley Courts served as hubs for different groups, sometimes housing multiple rival gangs. By the end of 1993 the city hit a peak in homicides with 230 killings, the highest since 1991 when 211 were killed.In 2016, the number of murders hit 151, the highest toll in 20 years. A majority of the San Antonio homicide victims were Hispanic and African American men between ages 18 and 29. 40% of the killings were either drug-related or domestic incidents.
The City of San Antonio runs under the council-manager system of government. The city is divided into 10 council districts designed to be of equal population. Each district elects one person to the city council, with the mayor elected on a citywide basis. All members of the San Antonio City Council, including the mayor, are elected to two-year terms and are limited to four terms (except for those who were in office in November 2008 and are limited to a total of two terms). Houston and Laredo have similar term limits to San Antonio. All positions are elected on nonpartisan ballots, as required by Texas law. Council members are paid $45,722 and the mayor earns $61,725 a year. The current mayor is Ron Nirenberg, who was elected in 2017 with 54.59% of the vote.The council hires a city manager to handle day-to-day operations. The council effectively functions as the city's legislative body with the city manager acting as its chief executive, responsible for the management of day-to-day operations and execution of council legislation. The current city manager is Sheryl Sculley.
The city operates its own electric and gas utility service, CPS Energy. The San Antonio Police Department (SAPD) is the city's municipal body of law enforcement. The San Antonio Fire Department (SAFD) provides the city with fire protection and EMS service.
The city stretches into several national congressional districts and is represented in Congress by:
Ted Cruz (R)
John Cornyn (R)
House of Representatives
Texas District 20: Joaquin Castro (D)
Texas District 21: Charles E. "Chip" Roy (R)
Texas District 23: Will Hurd (R)
Texas District 28: Henry Cuellar (D)
Texas District 35: Lloyd Doggett (D)
Greg Abbott (R)
Unlike most large cities in the U.S., San Antonio is not completely surrounded by independent suburban cities, and under Texas state law it exercises extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) over much of the surrounding unincorporated land, including planning major thoroughfares and enforcing rules for platting and subdivision. It pursues an aggressive annexation policy and opposes the creation of other municipalities within its ETJ. Nearly three-fourths of its land area has been annexed since 1960.In the 2000s the city annexed several long narrow corridors along major thoroughfares in outlying areas to facilitate eventual annexation of growth developing along the routes. The city planned to annex nearly forty additional square miles by 2009. In May 2010, the City of San Antonio agreed to release thousands of acres of land in its extraterritorial jurisdiction along Interstate 10 to Schertz. The agreement releases a total of 3,486 acres (14.11 km2) of San Antonio's ETJ lands north of I-10 to Schertz. The ETJ lands are in an area bordered by FM 1518 to the west, Lower Seguin Road to the north, Cibolo Creek to the east and I-10 to the south.Involuntary annexation is a controversial issue in those parts of unincorporated Bexar County affected by it. Residents attracted to the outlying areas by lower taxes and affordable real estate values often see annexation as a mechanism to increase property tax rates (which are primarily driven by school district taxes, not city taxes) without a corresponding improvement in services such as police and fire protection, while the city regards its annexation policy as essential to its overall prosperity.Since the city has annexed a large amount of land over time, San Antonio surrounds several independent enclave cities, including Alamo Heights, Terrell Hills, Olmos Park, Hollywood Park, Hill Country Village, Castle Hills, Windcrest, Kirby, Balcones Heights, and Shavano Park. These are not districts of the City of San Antonio like Lincoln Heights and Brackenridge Park but independent cities in the San Antonio region completely surrounded, but not directly controlled, by the City of San Antonio.
State and federal representation
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) operates the Parole Division Region IV headquarters in the San Antonio Metro Parole Complex. San Antonio district parole offices I and III are in the parole complex, while office II is in another location.The Texas Department of Transportation operates the San Antonio District Office in San Antonio.The United States Postal Service operates San Antonio's Main Post Office. Other post offices are located throughout San Antonio.
San Antonio hosts over 100,000 students in its 31 higher-education institutions. Publicly supported schools include UT Health San Antonio, the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), Texas A&M University–San Antonio, and the Alamo Community College District. UTSA is San Antonio's largest university.
Private universities include Trinity University, St. Mary's University, Our Lady of the Lake University, University of the Incarnate Word, Webster University, Baptist University of the Américas, Hallmark University, Oblate School of Theology, and the Southwest School of Art, which enrolled its first BFA class in 2014. The San Antonio Public Library serves all of these institutions along with the 19 independent school districts within the Bexar County/San Antonio metropolitan area.The city is home to more than 30 private schools and charter schools. These schools include: Keystone School, St. Gerard Catholic High School, Central Catholic Marianist High School, Incarnate Word High School, Saint Mary's Hall, The Atonement Academy, Antonian College Preparatory High School, San Antonio Academy, Holy Cross High School, Providence High School, The Carver Academy, Keystone School, TMI – The Episcopal School of Texas, St. Anthony Catholic High School, Lutheran High School of San Antonio, and Harmony Science Academy.
San Antonio is home to U.S. Air Force Basic Military Training (AFBMT). The Air Force only has one location for enlisted basic training: the 737th Training Group, at Lackland Air Force Base. All new Air Force recruits go through the same basic training at Lackland. Each year, over 35,000 new recruits go through AFBMT. In addition, METC (the Military Education and Training Campus), which provides the medical training for the U.S. military at Fort Sam Houston, hosts 30 programs and over 24,000 annual graduates. It is the largest medical education center in the world.
San Antonio is also home to a campus of The Culinary Institute of America
Media and entertainment
San Antonio has one major newspaper, the San Antonio Express-News, which has served the area since 1865. The Express-News circulates as the largest newspaper service in South Texas. The Hearst Corporation, which owned a second newspaper, the San Antonio Light, purchased the Express-News from News Corp. in 1992 and shut down the Light after failing to find a buyer.
Hearst, using the Express-News brand, also produces Conexión, a weekly magazine written by an entirely Hispanic staff with a Hispanic spin on weekly events. The San Antonio Current is the free "alternative" paper published weekly with local political issues, art and music news, restaurant listings and reviews, and listings of events and nightlife around town. The San Antonio Business Journal covers general business news. La Prensa, a bilingual publication, also has a long history in San Antonio. They closed their doors in June 2018. Edible San Antonio, San Antonio's bimonthly food magazine, is published every eight weeks. The 64-page full-color magazine, distributed free across the city, is printed in soy ink on recycled paper and covers the city's food scene with an emphasis on local food and sustainability. The San Antonio River Walk Current covers general San Antonio news. The San Antonio Observer is the only African-American Newspaper in San Antonio since 1995 and the largest in all of South Texas.
About 50 radio stations can be heard in the San Antonio area—30 of them are in the city proper. San Antonio is home to iHeartMedia, the largest operator of radio stations in the U.S. Its flagship, WOAI AM-1200, is known for its local news operation, considered among the best in the country. It is a 50,000-watt clear channel station that reaches most of North America at night. The first radio station to broadcast in south Texas was KTSA AM-550 in 1922.
The region's National Public Radio member is Texas Public Radio, a group of three stations; KSTX 89.1 FM is NPR news/talk, KPAC 88.3 is a 24-hour classical music station, and KTXI 90.1 is a mix of NPR news/talk and classical music broadcast for the West Central Texas Hill Country. KSTX also broadcasts "Riverwalk Jazz", featuring Jim Cullum Jazz Band at The Landing, a fixture on the River Walk since 1963.
KRTU 91.7 is a non-commercial radio station based at Trinity University. Unlike most other college radio stations in the US, the station plays jazz 17 hours a day and college rock/indie rock at night. College alternative station KSYM, 90.1 FM, is owned by the Alamo Community College District and operated by San Antonio College students; like KRTU, it plays the Third Coast music network during the day and alternative music at night.
Most Latin stations in the area play regional Mexican, Tejano or contemporary pop. On January 12, 2006, Univision-owned KCOR-FM "La Kalle 95.1" changed its format from Hispanic-Rhythmic Contemporary Hits to Spanish Oldies, then named "Recuerdo 95.1". On November 10, 2006, Univision flipped KLTO Tejano 97.7's format to reggaeton in an attempt to reintroduce the format to San Antonio. Then 97.7 was flipped again to feature a rock format. The station no longer broadcasts anything in English. While still owned by Univision, it broadcast music by artists such as Linkin Park, before being sold to the Educational Media Foundation and flipping once again to Air1.
95.1 was then flipped back to the "La Kalle" format again after being flipped to feature a "95X" format. KLTO was acquired and is operated as a simulcast of KXTN-FM Tejano 107.5. San Antonio radio is diversified, due to an influx of non-Tejano Latinos, mostly from the East Coast, who serve in the city's various military bases, as well as immigrants from Mexico. Therefore, just like in the rest of the country, radio station conglomerates have been changing formats in San Antonio to reflect shifting demographics.
Despite the relatively large size of both the city proper and the metropolitan area, San Antonio has always been a medium-sized market. It presently ranks 33rd in the United States, according to marketing research firm ACNielsen. By comparison, the other two Texas cities with populations of over a million people, Houston and Dallas, are among the 10 largest markets. This is mainly because the nearby suburban and rural areas are not much larger than the city itself. Additionally, the close proximity of Austin truncates the potential market area.
San Antonio-based TV stations are WOAI channel 4 (NBC), KSAT channel 12 (ABC), KENS channel 5 (CBS), KABB channel 29 (Fox Broadcasting Company), KCWX channel 2 (myNetworkTV), KMYS channel 35 (The CW) and KLRN channel 9 (PBS). The market is also home to six Spanish-language stations, three religious stations, three independent stations and one Internet-based station (210 TV). As of 2010, the San Antonio market has 65% cable TV penetration.
Yearly events, such as Fiesta San Antonio (the city's signature event) and Fiesta Noche del Rio, add a variety of entertainment options to the area, as well as strengthening the economy. Fiesta San Antonio alone carries an annual economic impact of $340 million. The city also plays host to SAFILM-San Antonio Film Festival every summer in August. About to celebrate 25 years, the film festival is the largest in South Texas.
The San Antonio International Airport (SAT) is located in uptown San Antonio, about eight miles north of Downtown. San Antonio International Airport is the 6th busiest airport based on passenger boardings in Texas and 44th in the United States. It has two terminals and is served by 11 airlines serving 42 destinations. In May 2017 Air Canada opened its reach to Texas creating a non-stop flight between San Antonio and Toronto.
Stinson Municipal Airport is a reliever airport located six miles (10 km) south of Downtown San Antonio. The airport has three runways and is also home to the Texas Air Museum.
A bus and rubber tired streetcar (bus) system is provided by the city's metropolitan transit authority, VIA Metropolitan Transit. VIA's full fare monthly unlimited Big Pass is $38 per month. VIA began operating a Bus Rapid Transit line known as VIA Primo in December 2012, which connects Downtown San Antonio to the South Texas Medical Center, the main campus of the University of Texas at San Antonio, and the independent enclave city of Leon Valley.
In August 2010, VIA Metropolitan Transit unveiled buses that are powered by diesel-electric hybrid technology.
The 30 hybrid buses were put into service on VIA's express routes to serve daily commuters across the city. This set of buses follows the introduction of new vehicles powered by compressed natural gas, which were unveiled in May 2010. In the fall of 2010, VIA took delivery of three new buses that are powered by electricity from on-board batteries. These buses serve the Downtown core area, and are the first revenue vehicles VIA operates which have zero emissions.VIA offers 89 regular bus routes and two Downtown streetcar routes. This includes express service from Downtown to park and ride locations in the south, west, northwest, north central and northeast sides of the city, with service to major locations such as UTSA, Six Flags Fiesta Texas and SeaWorld. VIA also offers a special service to city events including Spurs games and city parades from its park and ride locations. VIA has, among its many routes, one of the longest local transit routes in America. Routes 550 (clockwise) and 551 (counterclockwise) travel 48 miles (77 km) one way as they loop around the city.
San Antonio is served by two Amtrak routes - the daily Chicago to San Antonio Texas Eagle and the thrice-weekly New Orleans to Los Angeles Sunset Limited. On the days that the Sunset Limited operates, a section of the Texas Eagle continues west with it, offering Chicago to Los Angeles through service. The old Sunset Station is now an entertainment venue owned by VIA and neighbored by the current station and the Alamodome.Freight service from San Antonio to Corpus Christi is provided by the Union Pacific Railroad. The predecessor route, including passenger service, from 1913 to 1956 was provided by the San Antonio, Uvalde and Gulf Railroad, or "The Sausage", as it was commonly termed. The SAU&G was merged into the Missouri Pacific Railroad in 1956 and subsequently subsumed by the Union Pacific.San Antonio became the largest American city without an intra-city rail system when Phoenix, the former largest city without such a system, procured one in 2008. A proposed passenger rail line, LSTAR, would link San Antonio to Austin.
San Antonio is served by these major freeways:
Interstate 10: McDermott Freeway (Northwest) runs west toward El Paso, Phoenix and Los Angeles. Jose Lopez Freeway (East) runs east toward Seguin, Houston, New Orleans and Jacksonville
Interstate 35: Pan Am Expressway (Northeast/Southwest)—runs south toward Laredo and runs north toward Austin, Dallas–Fort Worth, Oklahoma City, Kansas City, Des Moines, and Minneapolis-St. Paul
Interstate 37: Lucian Adams Freeway (Southeast)—runs from San Antonio through its junction with US Highway 281 south (Edinburg and McAllen) near Three Rivers and into Corpus Christi through its junction with Interstate 69E/US Highway 77 south (Kingsville, Harlingen and Brownsville) to its southern terminus at Corpus Christi Bay.
Interstate 410: Connally Loop—simply called Loop 410 (four-ten) by locals is a 53-mile (85 km) inner beltway around the city.
US 90: Cleto Rodriguez Freeway (West) through Uvalde and Del Rio to its western terminus at I-10 in Van Horn. Prior to I-10 East and US 90 West expressway being built US 90 traveled through the west side via West Commerce St. (westbound) and Buena Vista St. (eastbound) and Enrique M. Barrera Pkwy. On the east side it traveled along East Commerce St. to its current alignment which runs concurrent with I-10 East to Seguin.
US 281: McAllister Freeway (North) to Johnson City and Wichita Falls. Southbound, it runs concurrent with I-37, then I-410 for 4 miles (6 km), then heads south to Pleasanton. Prior to I-37 and McAllister Fwy. being built US 281 traveled through the north side via San Pedro Ave. and the south side via Roosevelt Ave.
State Highway 151: Stotzer Freeway runs from US Hwy 90 West through Westover Hills which includes SeaWorld to its western terminus at State Loop 1604.
State Loop 1604: Charles W. Anderson Loop—simply called 1604 (sixteen-oh-four) by locals—is a 96-mile (154 km) outer beltway around San Antonio.Other highways include:
US 87: Southbound to Victoria along Roland Avenue then Rigsby Avenue. It runs concurrent with I-10 for 52 miles (84 km) where it goes to San Angelo northbound.
US 181: Starts 0.5 miles (0.8 km) south of I-410/I-37/US 281 interchange and heads toward Corpus Christi via Beeville. Prior to I-37 being built, US 181 traveled along Presa St. from Downtown to its current alignment.
State Highway 16: From Freer, it runs concurrent with I-410 for 17 miles (27 km) along southwest San Antonio, over to Bandera Road to Bandera
State Highway 130: Starting at its southern terminus at I-35 South, it travels along East S Loop 410 until I-10/US-90, where it runs concurrently with the interstate until outside of Seguin, turning into a state toll road.
State Highway Spur 421: Also known more commonly as "Culebra Rd." and "Bandera Rd." inside Loop 410.
State Highway Spur 422: Known as the Poteet Jourdanton Freeway. It was originally planned to have a high speed direct connection to I-35.
State Loop 345: Fredericksburg Road by locals; is the business loop for I-10 West/US-87 North.
State Loop 368: Broadway and Austin Highway by locals; is the business loop for I-35 North.
State PA 1502 (Wurzbach Parkway): Limited-access, high speed road parallel to north IH-410. It has connections to I-35 (via O'Connor Rd.) and I-10 (via Wurzbach Rd.) across the north side of town.
State Loop 353: Nogalitos Street and New Laredo Highway is the business loop for I-35 South.
State Loop 13: Is the city's inner loop on the south side serving Lackland AFB, Port San Antonio, South Park Mall and Brooks CityBase traveling along Military Dr. on the south side and WW White Rd. on the east side to its junction with I-35/I-410. The northern arc of the loop is now I-410.Along with FM 471, FM 1957, and State Highway 211
Also, the city has multiple streets with the same (or similar) names. As examples:
"Military Dr.", "Military Hwy.", and "Military Dr. West"—Military Drive loops around the western and southern parts of the city. Military Highway, also called "Northwest Military Drive" by the locals, serves the northwestern part of the city. Military Drive West serves the far western portion of the city. None intersect each other.
"Wurzbach Rd.", "Wurzbach Pkwy.", and "Harry Wurzbach Rd."—Wurzbach Rd. serves the northwestern part of the city. Wurzbach Pkwy., an expressway, is an east–west road serving the northwestern and northeastern parts of the city (and can be considered an extension of Wurzbach Rd.). Harry Wurzbach Rd. runs past Fort Sam Houston and Terrell Hills on the city's northeast side, and it does not intersect Wurzbach Rd. or Wurzbach Pkwy.
"Hausman Rd." and "S. Hausman Rd." are two roads serving Helotes and the far northwest side of the city. Hausman is a major road, and a route used by locals of Helotes and NW San Antonio as an alternative to Loop 1604 connecting to I-10. S. Hausman is a suburban road that does not connect with Hausman (despite its name).Of the five largest cities in Texas, San Antonio is the only one without toll roads. (Houston, Dallas, Austin, and Fort Worth have toll roads.)
San Antonio has about 136 miles (219 km) of bike lanes, routes or off-road paths. Off-road trails travel along the San Antonio River, linear greenways, or city parks. Although largely disconnected, the progress to create a bicycle-friendly environment was recognized when San Antonio was designated a bronze-level "Bicycle Friendly Community" in 2015 by the League of American Bicyclists.
A bike sharing service was approved by the city council on June 17, 2010. The initial program consisted of 140 bikes at 14 locations supported by a "central hub". It is expected to serve both residents and visitors. San Antonio Bike Share, a non-profit, was formed to oversee the operation, locally operated and maintained by Bike World. B-Cycle, the same system used in Denver, supplies the bike share system. It began operation in March 2011.
A 2011 study by Walk Score ranked San Antonio the 40th-most walkable of the fifty largest cities in the United States. With an average Walk Score of 33, San Antonio is one of the most car-dependent major cities in America.
In popular culture
Movies predominantly filmed in San Antonio include Wings (1927), I Wanted Wings (1941), Viva Max! (1969), Sugarland Express (1974), Piranha (1978), Cloak and Dagger (1984) and Pee Wee's Big Adventure (1985). The 2014–2017 NBC television series The Night Shift took place in San Antonio, with its themes focusing on the city's medical and military presence.
San Antonio is twinned with:
– Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico (1953)
– Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico (1974)
– Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain (1975)
– Gwangju, South Korea (1981)
– Kaohsiung, Taiwan (1981)
– Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain (1983)
– Kumamoto, Japan (1987)
– Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India (2008)
– Wuxi, Jiangsu, People's Republic of China (2012)
– Windhoek, Namibia (2016)
– Darmstadt, Hesse, Germany (2017)
– Moguer, Spain (2018). Hometown of the founder Father Antonio de Olivares.
– Suzhou, Jiangsu, People's Republic of China (2010 friendship city)
– Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel (2011 friendship city)
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 also has a significant African-American population.
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.
During the summer it can get hot, and sometimes humid. Temperatures in the 90s and 100s (°F) are typical from May to September, though there are some days that stay cooler. April and October have also been known to get into the 90s even 100s, and during the winter it typically is cool and rainy. Carry a light sweater, you never know when the weather may change in San Antonio.
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 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. The San Antonio Convention & Visitor's Bureau has a savings website, the San Antonio Vacation Experience, for families and groups traveling to the city.
1 San Antonio International Airport (SAT IATA). 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).
2 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; now the route is truncated.
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.
Greyhound, 500 N St Marys St, Downtown. (Across the street from Bill Miller's Parking Lot)
Megabus. Service from Dallas, Austin, and Houston. The bus stop is in the parking lot on the south corner of 4th St and Broadway St.
Autobus Americanos. Mexican trans-border bus line with services to various points in Mexico. Bus stop is at 301 Broadway in San Antonio.
Turimex Internacional. Mexican trans-border bus line with services to various points in Mexico. Bus stop is at 518 N, Alamo in San Antonio.
Omnibus Mexicanos. Mexican trans-border bus line with services to various points in Mexico. Bus stop is at 930 Broadway in San Antonio.
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.
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 $2.75 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, by calling the VIA information line +1 210-362-2020 or for the hearing impaired at +1 210-362-2019, or at the San Antonio Visitor Information Center.
Cabs are available to be hailed downtown, at the airport, or at military bases. In other areas you should reserve a cab in advance.
Yellow Cab, ☎ +1 210 222-2222.
AAA Cab, ☎ +1 210 599-9999.
1 The Alamo, 300 Alamo Plaza (park at any of the pay lots in the area), ☎ +1 210 225-1391. Daily 9AM-5:30PM, 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.
2 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), ☎ +1 210 812-4355, 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.
3 Casa Navarro State Historical Park, 228 S. Laredo St., ☎ +1 210 226-4801, 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. 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.
4 San Antonio Missions National Historical Park (Missions are about 2.5 miles apart). 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.
5 San Antonio Zoological Gardens and Aquarium, 3903 N. St. Mary’s Street, ☎ +1 210 734-7184, 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.
6 San Antonio Botanical Gardens, 555 Funston Place, ☎ +1 210 536-1400. Daily 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 and galleries
7 Blue Star Contemporary Art Center, 116 Blue Star, ☎ +1 210 227-6960, 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.
8 Buckhorn Saloon and Museum, 318 E. Houston Street, ☎ +1 210 247-4000. Daily 10AM, closing time varies with season. See website for deails. A short two blocks from the Alamo and 50 feet from the River Walk. Adults $19.99; children (ages 3-11) $14.99..
9 Institute of Texan Cultures (aka ITC), 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd. (HemisFair Park; main entrance is off Durango near Bowie), ☎ +1 210 458-2300, e-mail: [email protected] M-Sa 9AM-5PM, Su 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.
10 Instituto de México (Mexican Cultural Institute), 600 HemisFair Park, ☎ +1 210 227-0123. M-F 10AM-6PM, Sa 11AM-6PM, Su 11AM-5PM. (Website in Spanish.) Contemporary art from Mexico. Free.
11 McNay Art Museum (The McNay), 6000 N New Braunfels, ☎ +1 210 824-5368, 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.
12 The DoSeum, 2800 Broadway, ☎ +1 210 212-4453, e-mail: [email protected] M-Th 10AM-5PM, F-Sa 9AM-6PM, Sun noon-5PM. A vibrant museum for children, although with exhibits that might also appeal to adults. Groups, parties, events, hands-on learning play. $12.
13 San Antonio Museum of Art (aka SAMA), 200 W Jones (2 blocks west of Broadway), ☎ +1 210 978-8100, 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.
14 Southwest School of Art & Craft, 1201 Navarro and 300 Augusta, ☎ +1 210 224-1848, 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.
15 Texas Transportation Museum, 11731 Wetmore Rd, ☎ +1 210 490-3554. F 9AM-3PM, Sa-Su 10AM-5PM. An outdoor museum which includes a private railroad, historic cars and trucks. F Adult - $6, Child - $4; Sa-Su Adult - $8, Child - $6.
16 Witte Museum, 3801 Broadway, ☎ +1 210 357-1900, e-mail: [email protected] M 10AM-5PM, Tu 10AM-8PM, W-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 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.
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 1980s 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.
First Friday Art Walk. San Antonio First Friday is a free showcase of the art community in San Antonio. The event takes place on the 1st Friday of every month in the historic King Williams district. Many local restaurants feature live music, and there are vendors selling local goods along the walk.
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.
1 SeaWorld, 10500 SeaWorld Drive, toll-free: +1-800-700-7786, 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.
2 Six Flags Fiesta Texas, 17000 IH-10 West, ☎ +1 210 697-5050. 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.
3 Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, 26515 Natural Bridge Caverns Rd., ☎ +1 830 438-7400. Hours vary seasonally. See website for hours. Home to a great Drive-thru Safari Park! $22; Seniors $20; 3-11 $13.50.
4 Splashtown San Antonio.
5 America's Incredible Pizza Company.
6 Morgan's Wonderland, 5223 David Edwards, ☎ +1 210 495-5888.
7 San Antonio Spurs. San Antonio is home to the five-time NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs who play at the AT&T Center.
San Antonio Rampage. The AHL affiliate of the Florida Panthers who play at the AT&T Center.
8 San Antonio Missions, 5757 US HWY 90 West, ☎ +1 210-675-7275. The Minor League Baseball team of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League plays at Wolff Municipal Stadium.
9 San Antonio FC, 5106 David Edwards Dr. The USL Championship affiliate of New York City FC, playing at Toyota Field.
San Antonio Talons. The Talons are San Antonio's Arena Football team. They play at the Alamodome in the AFL.
UTSA Roadrunners, ☎ +1 210 458-8872, fax: +1 210 458-4813, 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 off Loop 1604 just west of the northern interchange with I-10. UTSA is 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 season in 2011.
Incarnate Word Cardinals, ☎ +1 210 805-3000. 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.
10 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. It's at the Airport Main Terminal Building.), ☎ +1 210 287-5797. 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.
11 San Antonio Walks, 317 Alamo Plaza (directly in front of the Alamo), ☎ +1-888-368-6874, 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).
12 Segway Tours, 260 East Houston St, ☎ +1 210 441-1198, 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.
Mission Adventure Tours - Kayaking, Espada Park - 1750 SE Military Drive, 78214, ☎ +1 210-383-0872, e-mail: [email protected] Guided and unguided kayak trips on the San Antonio River, as well as specialty guided kayak trips on the Median River, Comal River, San Marcos River and many other rivers throughout central and west Texas. Mission Kayak also offers beginner kayaking classes, large group and corporate tours, as well as team building events. $49-81 depending on trip length.
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.
13 Majestic Theatre, 224 E. Houston St, ☎ +1 210 226-5700, 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. 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.
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.
1 Alamo Quarry Market, 255 E Basse Rd, ☎ +1 210 225-1000, fax: +1 210 271-3491, e-mail: [email protected] M-Sa 10AM-9PM, Su noon-6PM.
2 La Villita (La Villita Historic Arts Village), 418 Villita, ☎ +1 210-207-8611, fax: +1 210-207-4390. Daily 10AM-6PM, closed holidays. 30 shops and galleries offer distinct handcrafted items by artists from San Antonio and surrounding areas.
3 Market Square - El Mercado, 514 W Commerce, ☎ +1 210 207-8600, fax: +1 210 207-4287, e-mail: [email protected] Daily: summer 10AM-8PM; winter: 10AM-6PM; 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.
4 Rivercenter Mall, 849 E. Commerce, ☎ +1 210 225-0000. M-Sa 10AM-9PM; Su Noon-6PM. 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.
5 The Shops at La Cantera, 15900 La Cantera Parkway, Suite 6698, ☎ +1 210 582-6255, e-mail: [email protected] M-Sa 10AM-9PM, Su noon-6PM. 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, and egg rolls, 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.
6 North Star Mall, 7400 San Pedro, ☎ +1 210 342-2325, e-mail: [email protected] M-Sa 10AM-9PM, Su noon-6PM. San Antonio's internationally-acclaimed shopping destination center boasts over 200 specialty stores and restaurants. Adjacent to the San Antonio International Airport, North Star is 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 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.
1 Mexican Manhattan, 110 Soledad Street, ☎ +1 210 223-3913, e-mail: [email protected] M-Sa 11AM-10PM. Overlooking the San Antonio River. Mid-range.
2 Casa Rio, 430 E. Commerce St, ☎ +1 210 225-6718, 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, ☎ +1 210 308-0253. Great Latin food.
3 Schilo's Deli, 424 E. Commerce St, ☎ +1 210 223-6692. 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 in Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico.
4 Teka Molino, 7231 San Pedro Ave., ☎ +1 210 344-7281, e-mail: [email protected] M-Sa 7AM - 9PM. Teka Molino is a famous Tex-Mex restaurant 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.
5 Lulu's Bakery and Cafe, 918 N. Main St. 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.
6 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.
Jacala Mexican Restaurant, 606 West Ave, 78201, ☎ +1 210 732-5222. 11am - 10pm. Oldest originally owned restaurant in San Antonio, operated by the Quinones family since 1949. Jacala is known for their puffy tacos, enchiladas, and their margaritas.
7 Green, 200 E Grayson St, Suite 120 (Near Downtown at Pearl Brewery), ☎ +1 210 320-5865. 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.
8 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.
9 Joe's Crab Shack, 212 College St #100 (River Walk). The local version of a national chain. 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.
10 Liberty Bar, 1111 S. Alamo St (on the second floor - take the elevator on the side of the building), ☎ +1 210-227-1187. 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.
11 Mi Tierra Cafe & Bakery, 218 Produce Row (In the Mercado), ☎ +1 210-225-1262. 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.
12 Sushi Zushi, 203 S. St. Mary's (at Market, in the International Center across the street from the Drury Plaza Hotel), ☎ +1 210 472-2900. 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.
13 Paesanos River Walk, 111 W. Crockett Street #100, ☎ +1 210 227-2782. 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.
14 Boudros, 421 E. Commerce, ☎ +1 210 224-8484. 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.
15 Azuca, 713 S Alamo St, ☎ +1 210-225-5550. Best tortas de jamon (ham sandwiches) north of Mexico City.
16 Biga on the Banks, 203 S. St. Mary's (International Center), ☎ +1 210 225-0722. Biga on the Banks has a reputation for innovation. Owner and Chef Bruce Auden is known for his culinary creativity. Reservations recommended. $25-50.
17 Il Sogno, 200 E Grayson St. (in the Historic Pearl Brewery Complex), ☎ +1 210 223-3900. 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.
18 Little Rhein Steak House, 231 S. Alamo St., ☎ +1 210 225-2111. 5PM-10PM. A friendly gathering place with rustic charm, high quality steaks and its historically significant location 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.
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&Bs 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.
1 Drink Texas, 200 Navarro St, Suite 100, ☎ +1 210 224-1031. 2PM-2AM daily.
2 Swig Martini Bar, 111 West Crockett St., No. 205, ☎ +1 210 476-0005. 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.
3 Mad Dogs British Pub, 123 Losoya St # 19. British-themed bar & grill on the Riverwalk.
4 Howl at the Moon, 111 W. Crockett #201, ☎ +1 210 212-4770, 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.
5 Zinc, 207 N. Presa St., ☎ +1 210 224-2900. 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.
6 Honky Tonk, 157 E Houston St, ☎ +1 210 552-2896, e-mail: [email protected] In the downtown, this sports bar is offering all the major events from large screens. Snacks and burgers is available. Beers from $5.
7 SoHo Wine and Martini Bar, 214 W. Crockett St, ☎ +1 210 444-1000. 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.
8 Retox bar, 1031 Patricia Dr (Blanco/West Ave), ☎ +1 210-775-2886. 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.
1 Drury Plaza Hotel San Antonio Riverwalk, 105 S. St. Mary's St (between Commerce and Market (kitty corner from Aztec Theatre)), ☎ +1 210 270-7799. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. The 24-story Alamo Bank building, opened as a Drury hotel in 2007. Direct access from the lower level of the hotel to the western side of River Walk downtown loop. Free hot breakfast buffets and evening social hour daily on the second floor of the 50-ft tall lobby. Views from the 22nd floor observation deck; pool/spa on same level. Free internet and long-distance phone calls. Pets accepted with a daily cleaning fee of $15 each.
2 Hampton Inn - San Antonio Downtown (Riverwalk), 414 Bowie Street (One block west of the US-281/I-37 freeway, and about 3 blocks from the River Walk downtown loop), ☎ +1 210 225-8500.
3 Hawthorn Suites San Antonio NE, 13101 East Loop 1604 North (Off Interstate 35), ☎ +1 210-655-9491. Non-smoking Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham San Antonio NE hotel.
4 Hawthorn Suites San Antonio Riverwalk, 830 N St Mary's St (at Richmond Ave), ☎ +1 210-527-1900. Studio suites; complimentary hot breakfast buffet. On the quiet north leg of the River Walk.
5 Hawthorn Suites - North San Antonio, 6900 IH 35 North, ☎ +1 210-798-3900, toll-free: +1-800-210-4255. Complimentary hot breakfast buffets and social hour in the evening. Also offers in-room business services, a work area complete with dual phone lines, Wi-Fi access, personal voice mail and daily newspaper.
Travelodge Inn & Suites San Antonio Airport, 2383 NE Loop 410, ☎ +1 210-599-4204. Amenities including an outdoor swimming pool and large children's playground.
Microtel Inn & Suites San Antonio Airport/North, 15314 Highway 281 North, ☎ +1 210 404-1900. Free transportation to San Antonio International Airport.
Days Inn Suites San Antonio North/Stone Oak, 1505 Bexar Crossing (corner of San Pedro Avenue, just south of 281 and 1604 junction), ☎ +1 210-545-5400. Well outside of San Antonio's downtown. Large and comfortable rooms, pool, free high-speed Internet (Ethernet). Just off a big freeway, so no neighborhood nearby to enjoy, but pleasant inside and with friendly staff. $89.
San Antonio International Hostel, 621 Pierce Ave, ☎ +1 210 223-9426. Beds start at $22.57 per night.
Super 8 Sea World / Medical Center, 5336 Wurzbach Rd, ☎ +1 210 520-0888. Rooms starting at $54.99 per night, free continental breakfast, free wi-fi, free parking, non-smoking facility, elevator, free business center, centrally located.
Comfort Suites Stone Oak, 1754 N. Loop 1604 E, ☎ +1 210-495-5557. Near the Stone Oak and Northwoods areas in North San Antonio. Free internet and free hot breakfast daily.
Hampton Inn & Suites San Antonio-Downtown/Market Square, 411 South Flores St, ☎ +1 210 212-7000. New hotel as of 2014.
The Inn at Craig Place, 117 West Craig Pl, toll-free: +1-877-427-2447. Built in 1891.
O'Brien Ascend Collection hotel, 116 Navarro St (one block away from the San Antonio River Walk), ☎ +1 210 527-1111. Boutique hotel
Residence Inn, San Antonio Downtown/Alamo Plaza, 425 Bonham (Two blocks north of the Alamo, and 2 blocks west of the US-281/I-37 freeway), toll-free: +1-800-371-6349. Free hot breakfast buffet daily and evening social hour (M-Th).
The St. Anthony, 300 E Travis. Built in 1909 and now run by Wyndham, this beautiful downtown hotel was frequently awarded AAA's Four Diamond Award for excellence.
Sleep Inn & Suites at Six Flags, 5042 Beckwith Blvd, ☎ +1 210-561-6100. Next to the Six Flags Fiesta Texas theme park.
Springhill Suites San Antonio SeaWorld/Lackland, 138 Richland Hills Dr, ☎ +1 210-520-6655. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. New downtown hotel with high speed internet access and indoor swimming pool.
Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites San Antonio Northwest, 5535 University Heights Blvd, ☎ +1 210-549-2434. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Hotel includes bar/restaurant, pool/fitness room, and a business center with computers and printer.
Hyatt Place San Antonio Airport/Quarry Market, 7615 Jones Maltsberger Rd, ☎ +1 210 930-2333. Check-in: 12:00 pm, check-out: 3:00 pm. Airport is only 2.5 miles.
6 Crockett Hotel, 320 Bonham, ☎ +1 210-225-6500. This sister hotel to the Menger is across from both the Rivercenter and the Alamo.
7 The Emily Morgan San Antonio – a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, 705 East Houston St, ☎ +1-210-225-5100. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. $159.
8 The Hotel Contessa, 306 W. Market St, ☎ +1 210-229-9222. A contemporary-style 12-story hotel offering 265 suites with over-sized bathrooms and a separate parlor with a sleeper sofa.
9 Hotel Havana, 1015 Navarro St. Check-in: +1 210-222-2008. Boutique hotel overlooking the Riverwalk.
10 Hyatt Regency Hill Country, 9800 Hyatt Resort Dr, ☎ +1 210 647-1234, fax: +1 210 681-9681. 27 holes of championship golf, Windflower spa and four-acre water park.
11 Hyatt Regency San Antonio, 123 Losoya St. 632-room hotel directly overlooking the historic Alamo and on the Riverwalk.
12 Marriott Plaza San Antonio, 555 S Alamo St (Take Hwy. 281 (I-37) South, take the Cesar Chavez exit. Go right on Cesar Chavez to Alamo, take a right on Alamo, an immediate left on Arciniega. Hotel is on corner of Alamo and Cesar Chavez Streets.), ☎ +1 210-229-1000. Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 11AM. The hotel sits on 6 acres of lush landscape and is home to Asian pheasants and colorful peacocks. Guests can enjoy the outdoor pool and fire pit or grab dinner at the hotel's Anaqua Restaurant & Lounge, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.
13 San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter, 101 Bowie St (Adjacent to the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center and the Rivercenter Mall), ☎ +1 210-223-1000.
14 Menger Hotel, 204 Alamo Plaza (Connected to the Rivercenter, and right next door to the Alamo).
15 Noble Inns, 209 Washington St, ☎ +1 210-223-2353, toll-free: +1-800-242-2770, e-mail: [email protected] Three distinctive bed and breakfast properties, all in the King Williams District. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, fireplaces, whirlpool tubs, heated pool and hot tub. $99-299.
16 San Antonio Marriott Riverwalk, 889 East Market St, ☎ +1 210-224-4555. Balcony views of the city and River Walk below. Across the street from the San Antonio Convention Center.
17 Omni La Mansion, 112 College St, ☎ +1 210-518-1000. At the River Walk on the banks of the Paseo del Rio in downtown.
18 The Westin Riverwalk San Antonio, 420 W Market St, ☎ +1 210 224-6500.
19 La Cantera Resort & Spa, 16641 La Cantera Parkway, toll-free: +1-866-716-8137. In the Texas Hill Country just north of San Antonio; good views. Six pools, three hot tubs, 36 holes of golf, spa services, tennis courts and a kids club.
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. 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.
Free WiFi is available in coffee shops, libraries and in restaurants.
Belgium (Honorary), One Alamo Center, 106 S St Mary's Ste 200, ☎ +1 210 271-0630, fax: +1 210 225-1951, e-mail: [email protected]
Germany (Honorary), 310 S Saint Mary's St, Tower Life Bldg Ste 2201, ☎ +1 210 226-1788, fax: +1 210 226-2065, e-mail: [email protected]
Mexico, 127 Navarro St, ☎ +1 210 227-1085, fax: +1 210 227-1817.
To leave San Antonio, use US 281 south to get to Brownsville, I-10 east to get to Houston, I-10 west to get to El Paso, I-35 north to get to Austin, Waco, and Dallas/Fort Worth, I-37/US 181 south to get to Corpus Christi and Floresville, SH 16 north to get to Bandera, SH 16 south to get to Poteet, or US 281 north to get to Blanco and Johnson City. An alternate route to Austin is to use US 281 north and US 290 east. I-410 and SH 151 do not leave the city. However, Loop 1604 does go to small towns in the county.
New Braunfels - 30 miles northeast of San Antonio, this town is best known for its German culture and heritage, not to mention the Schlitterbahn, persistent in being voted the world's best waterpark.
San Marcos - 50 miles northeast of San Antonio, San Marcos is the home of Texas State University and its Aquarena Center, as well as two massive outlet malls that have more than 350 shops.