San Antonio Attractions
Discover all that San Antonio has to offer. The city blends together the past and present with many cultural and ecological locations just a short walk from the hotel. Here are a few location ideas. Please check with the concierge on the lobby level for directions, tour schedules, reservations, and additional suggestions.
The River Walk—The celebrated Paseo del Rio is a winding, and welcoming oasis that meanders through the downtown area. The River Walk is lined with numerous shops, restaurants, and other attractions such as the Aztec on the River, which is the only surviving exotic-themed movie palace in Texas.
Rio San Antonio Cruises hosts daily tours of the River Walk Downtown Reach. Ticket booths are located at River Center Mall, river level of the Aztec Theatre, and at the new lock and dam on Brooklyn Avenue.
The Alamo—This mission is San Antonio’s most famous landmark. Originally named Misión San Antonio de Valero, the Alamo served as home to missionaries and their Indian converts for nearly seventy years. Construction began on the present site in 1724. In 1793, Spanish officials secularized San Antonio’s five missions and distributed their lands to the remaining Indian residents. These men and women continued to farm the fields and participated in the growing community of San Antonio. In the early 1800s, the Spanish military stationed a cavalry unit at the former mission. The soldiers referred to the old mission as the Alamo (the Spanish word for “cottonwood”) in honor of their hometown Alamo de Parras, Coahuila. When Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna rescinded the Mexican Constitution of 1824, violence engulfed many states. In a series of battles, the Texian Army succeeded in forcing Mexican soldiers out of the settlement.
In 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. The Battle of the Alamo took place from February 23–March 6, 1836. This final battle constitutes the most celebrated military engagement in Texas history. For many Americans and most Texans, the battle has become a symbol of patriotic sacrifice.
The Spanish Governor’s Palace—The Palace is a National Historic Landmark in the city of San Antonio. Completed in 1749, it was originally intended to protect the nearby San Antonio de Valero Mission (the Alamo) and the growing colony and is considered the sole remaining example of an aristocratic early Spanish house in Texas. The National Geographic Society has called the landmark “the most beautiful building in San Antonio.”
La Villita Historic Arts Village—The Village was a settlement of primitive huts for the Spanish soldiers stationed at the Mission San Antonio Valero (The Alamo). The La Villita was the site of General Santa Ana’s cannon line in the Battle of the Alamo. Today, La Villita is a thriving art community that features shopping, restaurants, and several art galleries.
Institute of Texan Cultures—The museum, which is affiliated with the Smithsonian Institute, is part of the University of Texas at San Antonio. It plays a role in the university’s community engagement initiatives by developing quality, accessible resources for educators, and lifelong learners on topics of cultural heritage. It strives to develop a rich and vibrant culture in the arts and humanities that will expand the community’s awareness and appreciation of Texas through an engaging series of exhibits, programs, and special events. Among other things, the exhibits include the more than 20 ethnic groups that settled in Texas.
Spanish Missions—The Southern part of San Antonio includes four missions including the Mission San José, Mission Concepción, Mission San Francisco de la Espada, and San Juan Capistrano. Mission San José is called the “Queen of the Missions.” It was established in 1720 and only relocated once. Today, it provides the most complete picture of a working mission. Mission Concepción is the closest replica of the halcyon period, which was marked by colonial expansion. Missions San Francisco de la Espada and San Juan are smaller missions, which were important in keeping farms thriving. Here, you can visit the Espada Dam and aqueduct, which is considered a marvel of 18th century engineering.
King William Historic District—The District is a replica for San Antonio’s 19th century, which was booming because of the German bankers and millers who created the term “Sauerkraut Bend.” In the late 1800s, the District was the most elegant residential area of the city. Prominent German merchants originally settled the area. Today, it is a 25-block area near downtown on the south bank of the San Antonio River, which is still considered a fashionable neighborhood.
Texas Star Trail—If you enjoy walking then you’ll love this tour! Pick up a map at the San Antonio Visitor Center and explore 2.6 miles of historical San Antonio and learn about 79 historic buildings, objects, places, events, and customs of San Antonio and Texas through history. The San Antonio Conservation Society first produced the tour in 1986.
Casa Navarro State Historic Site—This historic site is nestled in downtown San Antonio. The half-acre site is the restored home of Texas patriot José Antonio Narvarro.
Hemis Fair Park—The Park was built to host the 1968 World’s Fair, and includes lushly landscaped areas, and dramatic cascading waterfalls, and several historic buildings.
Majestic Theatre—The ornate theatre is one of the few remaining vintage vaudeville movie palaces. Its Moorish interior, twinkling lights and moving clouds adorn the ceiling, all of which make the theatre a site worth visiting