Take a journey through the amazing culture, natural beauty and wide range of activities you’ll find in San Antonio. Whether you’re looking for a family vacation, a girl’s night out or a romantic weekend, a legendary experience awaits.
San Antonio is located in the south central part of Texas, and the southwestern corner of an urban mega region known as the Texas Triangle. The metropolitan area has a population of nearly 2.4 million based on the 2015 US Census estimate, making it the 25th-largest metropolitan area in the United States and third-largest in the state of Texas. Growth along the Interstate 35 and Interstate 10 corridors to the north, west and east make it likely that the metropolitan area will continue to expand.
THE RIVER WALK
You can’t travel to San Antonio without a visit to the iconic River Walk. Restaurants, boutiques, and entertainment follow the serpentine route of this relaxing river, and some of the city’s top attractions can be accessed from it. Visit the Alamo, the must-see Shrine of Texas Liberty. If you find yourself intrigued by Spanish colonial mission life and architecture, there are four more to see along Mission Trail. All four missions and the Alamo are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Also along the River Walk is one of the oldest sections of town—La Villita. First it was home to Spanish soliders serving at the Alamo, and in the late 1800s, French and German immigrants settled here. Now, it’s a National Historic District brimming with arts, craft shops and galleries. You can find more south of the border crafts and tasty treats at El Mercado, a market square that will make you think you’re in Mexico.
ART AND ARCHITECTURE
Art and architecture thrive in the King William Historic District and Southtown. The King William Historic District is a restored neighborhood with a variety of architectural styles—Greek Revival, Italianate and Victorian. Once farmland for the Alamo mission, it grew into a German neighborhood. The area fell into disrepair, but in the 1960s, its beauty was rediscovered and restoration began. Three homes are open to the public, the Guenther House, Steves Homestead and Villa Finale.
The Guenther House was built in 1860, and includes a restaurant, store and museum.
The 1870s era Steves Homestead is now a museum of historic homes. Villa Finale’s Visitor Center is home to a museum and exhibitions focusing on the history of the beautiful King William neighborhood including Villa Finale, the first National Trust Historic Site in Texas.
Close to the King William Historic District is Southtown, an arts neighborhood. Its eclectic blend of shops, galleries and restaurants host an art walk on the first Friday of every month. While you’re there, check out the Blue Star Arts Center—a renovated warehouse that includes artist space, galleries and a brewpub.
Find tours and maps for all of our historic districts. Get details.
San Antonio is also home to world-class museums. The San Antonio Museum of Art exhibits collections of Latin American and Asian art, as well as folk and contemporary pieces. From Diego Rivera and Pablo Picasso to manuscripts and sculpture gardens, the McNay Art Museum invites you to step into a masterpiece. The McNay opened in 1945 as the region’s first museum of modern art. Works are displayed in the ornate setting of a 1920’s Spanish colonial home and a contemporary addition amid 23 acres of beautifully landscaped terrain.
The Witte Museum combines culture, history and science, from Egyptian mummies to dinosaur bones. The San Antonio area’s rich history as a wellspring for cowboys, cattle ranching and oil production shines in the Robert J. and Helen C. Kleberg South Texas Heritage Center at the Witte Museum. The Center overlooks the San Antonio River and incorporates the most up-to-date audio and visual museum technology in its fascinating displays.
TEXAS HILL COUNTRY
San Antonio is perched on the southern edge of the Texas Hill Country.
The Texas Hill Country, settled by Germans and Eastern Europeans, has a culture all its own. Storybook farms and ranches dot the countryside, and you may still hear older folks speaking German in Fredericksburg, Boerne and New Braunfels. You’ll also find some of the best barbecue in Texas, antique shops on old-fashioned main streets and celebrations with roots in the Old World, like Wurstfest (a sausage festival) and Weihnachten (a Christmas festival)
Wine and culinary enthusiasts are discovering the 9-million acre Texas Hill Country wine region, the largest viticultural area in Texas and the second largest in the U.S. The region begins just north of San Antonio, where wineries are tucked amid the historic towns, rustic farms and rolling hills of the Texas Hill Country.
The main grape varieties grown in the Texas Hill Country are Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc.
More than 30 wineries participate in Texas Wine Trail events, hosting tastings and receptions at their wineries. The wineries span an area from 30 to 140 miles north of San Antonio, making for easy day trips from the Alamo City. Four times a year, you can purchase tickets to take a self-guided driving tour to visit the 30 wineries and winemakers, where you’ll find samples of new releases, ideas for pairing food with wine, tours of the vineyards, live music and more.
Plan your hill country getaway here.
MAYOR IVY TAYLOR
Mayor Ivy Tayllor the first African American to be elected mayor of San Antonio and only the second woman in the position. In addition, Taylor is the first female African American mayor of a city with a population of over 1 million, making San Antonio the largest city in the U.S. to have a female African American mayor.