San Antonio is an exciting city to call home. As the first settlement in Texas established in 1718, its history is rich and far-reaching. Many architectural elements and cultural reminders of early settlers remain, giving the city a vibe that’s uniquely San Antonio.
Although it’s now the second largest city in Texas, San Antonio is friendly and welcoming, inviting residents to share in everything it has to offer.
Downtown San Antonio’s family-friendly, walkable area is a good place to start. The River Walk, perhaps San Antonio’s signature landmark, is a 15-mile stretch of cypress-lined paved paths that wind gently along either side of the San Antonio River through the city center. It is the heart of the city and provides easy access to both casual and fine dining, shopping, and entertainment.
Near the River Walk stands the Alamo, a symbol of the fight for Texas freedom, and La Villita, the city’s first neighborhood, now brimming with arts and crafts, shops, and restaurants. Nearby is the King William Historic District settled by German merchants in the 1800s.
To the south, the River Walk includes Mission Reach, a stretch of trails and picnic areas that provides access to the San Antonio Missions Tour. These four stunning missions, along with the Alamo, were established along the San Antonio River by Franciscan priests from Spain in the early 18th century.
Museum Reach at the north end of the River Walk provides access to the San Antonio Museum of Art and the historic Pearl Brewery. The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts is there too, where the San Antonio Symphony, Ballet San Antonio, and Opera San Antonio perform. By spring of 2015, Museum Reach will connect downtown to the Witte Museum, one of the city’s favorite museums, which hugs beautiful Brackenridge Park and the banks of the San Antonio River.
Part of San Antonio’s charm is its love of celebrations, like Fiesta. For 11 days every spring, San Antonio’s Fiesta takes place, a city-wide party that celebrates the Battle of San Jacinto, which won Texas’s Independence from Mexico in 1836.
A mild climate allows San Antonio families to enjoy an active outdoor lifestyle year round. Besides the River Walk and a bustling downtown, the city has over 14,000 acres of parks and various hike and bike trails to explore. A few of its largest, most-visited parks are Hemisfair Park, Brackenridge Park, and San Pedro Springs Park.
Other family-fun destinations include Six Flags Fiesta Texas, Sea World, and the world-class San Antonio Zoo and Botanical Gardens.
Because San Antonio sits just on the southern edge of the Texas Hill Country, its location is ideal for enjoying city life while also being close to a perfect scenic getaway. In North San Antonio, enjoy endless Hill Country views. Drive ten more minutes and you’ll be shopping for antiques, rock climbing, or tubing one of the region’s rivers, a favorite summer activity for most Texans.
Part of San Antonio’s culture is the care it has for military service men and women. San Antonio is home to several military bases and to one of the nation’s largest populations of active and retired military personnel. It is also home to many prestigious universities, the University of Texas at San Antonio, The University of Texas Health Science Center, Texas A&M University San Antonio, Trinity University, St. Mary’s University, and University of the Incarnate Word.
San Antonio is a sports fan’s paradise. It is home to the dynamic five-time NBA champion San Antonio Spurs, and it hosts the annual San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo, one of the largest events of its kind in the nation.
San Antonio’s rich history and culture, its diverse offerings from performing arts to sports to outdoor entertainment make it an exciting city for raising a family and creating lasting memories.