Deep in the heart of Texas, San Antonio’s bold spirit and historic legacies make it an ideal gateway to the region’s culture, scenic beauty and restful retreats.
The rolling terrain of the Texas Hill Country bordering San Antonio has drawn charming vineyards, hillside bed and breakfasts and nationally acclaimed resorts that offer rustic refinement in the most pampering of ways, from championship golf courses to fireside spas and delectable restaurants. As you delve deeper into San Antonio, the essence of the city’s rich culture grows stronger. Varied cuisines, including famed Tex-Mex, fill the air with aromas of spices and fresh cilantro. Music flourishes: country-western bands, mariachis, folk singers—all singing the song of the city. Art comes alive with outdoor murals, gardens, architecture and museums including a distinguished and recently renovated Smithsonian affiliate. But nothing is as grand or as deep as the people of San Antonio. Influenced by the cultures of Spain, Germany and Mexico; among others, San Antonio is home to a welcoming people—the most artful product of this culture.
One distinct locale that houses many of San Antonio’s unique offerings is the River Walk. Here you will find miles of meandering paths along the banks of the San Antonio River connecting a Texas-sized sampling of hotels, restaurants, shops, historic landmarks, museums and more. Visitors and locals dine aboard river cruisers and the sounds of mariachis echo from the stone bridges above. This is the river that originally inspired the settlement of San Antonio, and it still flourishes today as the city’s center.
San Antonio has been a colony of Spain, a territory of Mexico, a part of the Republic of Texas and finally a state in the United States. Relics and tales from this iconic past linger along the city streets. Originally colonized by Spain, San Antonio has five beautifully preserved Spanish colonial missions including The Alamo, the location of a famed battle for Texas independence. La Villita Historic Arts Village, a small village that housed Spanish soldiers stationed at The Alamo, is full of life and commerce. Commerce also thrives a few blocks away at Market Square. Known as the largest Mexican market north of the Rio Grande, Market Square is filled with local and imported pieces of art, pottery, jewelry and textiles.
Little known about the regions in and around San Antonio is that many German settlers called this area home. At one point, street signs were written in three languages: English, German and Spanish. German influence sprung the lavish homes of the historic King William District; as well as restaurants and delis that offer visitors traditional German fare. The Hill Country surrounding San Antonio is adorned with small German towns evident through their names, Fredericksburg, New Braunfels, Boerne… In these towns an old version of the German language still lives, untouched by the hands of time that has evolved the language of Germany itself.
San Antonio is rooted in its past but forever mindful of its future. Through preserving its history and persevering as one of the nation’s largest cities, San Antonio has become one of America’s most authentic destinations. It is a city alive: a city of poets and lyricists, painters and sculptors, a city rich and humble. Become a part of the living mural—and let San Antonio become a part of you.