Why Visit San Antonio, Texas

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Why Visit San Antonio, Texas

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“King of the Wild Frontier” Davy Crockett may have perished at the Alamo, but San Antonio remains proud of the Texan pride shown by Crockett and his compatriots in 1836. The history of this modern city is especially evident in its downtown. Besides the Alamo, you’ll also find several other famous missions in the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. Amongst the gleaming skyscrapers, the austere San Fernando Cathedral stands as a testament to the city’s religious past.

Despite its charm, this city is not just for history buffs. Several theme parks, top-notch museums, professional sports teams, and the famous River Walk in this Texas city will delight families. San Antonio is a burgeoning culinary destination, offering a mix of Tex-Mex and barbecue establishments and eclectic upscale dining. With the array of ways to spend your day, you might have too much to do to “Remember the Alamo.” 

Best Months for a Visit

San Antonio’s best time to visit is from November to April when the weather is comfortable, and there are lower hotel rates. The summer months are the busiest for in-state and out-of-state tourists. Due to its historical significance to the state and its family-friendly theme parks, San Antonio is a hotspot for Texas families when the kids are on summer break. The long Texan summer is close to unbearable (for most people), with high humidity and temperatures exceeding 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The masses also make for more crowded attractions and more expensive hotels. Winter and spring festivals will be more enjoyable when the city is less damp, and you’ll save money.

San Antonio Tips for Saving Money

  • During the week, hotel room rates increase due to an influx of business travelers. Consider staying on the weekend to save money.
  • Check the convention calendar for sold-out hotels. Travelers booked their accommodations months before San Antonio came to mind as a vacation destination. Check the city’s tourism bureau website and avoid convention-heavy weeks and weekends.
  • Around the corner, Restaurants around the River Walk and other touristy areas will be more expensive than those a few blocks away.

Culture & Customs of San Antonio

The city of San Antonio contrasts the old with the new of Texas: among the Alamo and contemporary skyscrapers are the River Walk’s burgeoning businesses and restaurants. Residents of San Antonio are proud of their history, which is reflected in many shops that sell memorabilia engraved with “Remember the Alamo.”

Other cultures have influenced the city’s customs over time. The Mexican culture heavily influenced San Antonio’s development. Market Square (or El Mercado) offers a variety of tasty Mexican foods, homemade goods, and south of the border crafts. Mexican art is displayed everywhere you turn, and Spanish is widely spoken. For a more festive taste of Tex-Mex culture, plan your trip during Fiesta in April or during the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo in February.

What to Eat

San Antonio is primarily known for two types of food: Tex-Mex and meat. Southtown offers spicy enchiladas and cheesy chimichangas from the south of the border. Visitors recommend Rosario’s, which delivers prompt service and delectable dishes like ceviche and chicken flautas. 

      

The large influx of business and leisure travelers has boosted San Antonio’s diverse cuisine. Downtown restaurants cater to carnivores, offering local favorites like prime rib and chicken-fried steak and upscale eateries like Bohanan’s and Bliss. It’s a good idea to make a reservation for the restaurant you choose ahead of time. The River Walk is a popular area. Visitor favorites along the river include Boudro’s for steaks and Center for contemporary Mexican cuisine. Consider taking a food tour to follow the lead of a local.

The nearby Texas Hill Country is where many of the state’s best wines are crafted. Oenophiles will enjoy a trip to San Antonio, too. Sign up for a wine tour in Fredericksburg (about 70 miles north of San Antonio) if you want to sample some. 

Safety

Compared to other U.S. cities of similar size, San Antonio is a safe place to visit. Because of Texas’ lax gun laws, you may see more guns than you’re used to, but gun violence generally does not affect tourists. Use common sense, stay in well-lit areas after dark, and keep an eye on your valuables.

During the summer months, especially for those unfamiliar with the Texas heat, it is vital to take precautions against heatstroke and dehydration. Symptoms of heatstroke and dehydration include headaches, nausea, dizziness, and fatigue. If you are engaging in more strenuous activities such as hiking or biking, rest periodically. Drink plenty of water and apply sunscreen regularly.

The Texas Hill Country is home to various creepy crawlies, including scorpions, rattlesnakes, and water moccasins. You won’t find these creatures within San Antonio, but if you explore the countryside surrounding the city, you may find these creatures. Take care when walking around to avoid confrontation. If you’re bitten or stung, seek medical attention immediately.

Getting Around San Antonio

San Antonio is best explored by car, especially if you want to visit places like Brackenridge Park and SeaWorld. Parking your car in a lot or garage and exploring some of the downtown areas on foot may be easier than driving through the narrow streets. Using the bus system is also a convenient and relatively inexpensive way to travel around the city center.

San Antonio International Airport (SAT) is about 10 miles north of the city center, where you can find many rental car agencies. A shuttle service ($15 per person one-way; $28 round-trip) takes visitors from the airport to downtown hotels; city bus route No. 5 also travels between the airport and downtown areas. A taxi ride from the airport to downtown San Antonio costs $24 and $29. Using taxis downtown is unnecessary, and you’ll probably have to wait for one to arrive.

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