Some ways to get to San AntonioSan Antonio is a city rich in history and culture. Many people come to the city each year to investigate the many historical sites and fun things to see and do. With so many people traveling to San Antonio every year, many transportation options are available to choose from. Whether you choose to come to San Antonio by airplane, train, bus or automobile, you're sure to have the time of your life.
San Antonio International Airport serves an average of more than 3 million travelers a year. There are 13 airlines offering flights to 32 cities in Mexico and the U.S. With two terminals, the airport offers travels a variety of conveniences in an area that's not too crowded. There are a variety of restaurants and shops available, as well as a games room and data ports for travelers to connect their laptops to the web. There are more than 6,000 parking spaces available at the airport. Rental cars are available from 9 different agencies located in both terminals, and two other agencies will give you a free ride to their locations in the city. Taxis, shuttle bus service and public transit are also available to transport arriving passengers into San Antonio.
If you'd rather drive to San Antonio, there are many different freeways and highways to choose from. There are interstates connecting the city with New Orleans, Duluth, Los Angeles and Laredo, Texas. There are also 10 state and U.S. highways entering the city. Not just cars enter the city, of course. Greyhound offers bus service to the city of San Antonio, with their station located on North Saint Mary's Street in downtown San Antonio.
Amtrak offers rail service to San Antonio from Los Angeles, Chicago and New Orleans, as well as many other cities. Amtrak's passenger terminal is located in downtown San Antonio, between the historic Sunset Station and the Alamodome. The station offers free short-term parking, washrooms and rental cars. The station is within walking distance of many sites, including the beautiful Riverwalk area.
However you choose to enter the city known as the heart of Texas, you'll find a variety of unique sights, sounds and tastes waiting for you.
Some things to do in San AntonioWhile there are many fine examples of Spanish colonial, Texas and Mexican history scattered throughout San Antonio, there are also many things to see and do in the city known as "the heart of Texas." There are cultural, sporting and artistic events nearly every month to delight every taste.
San Antonio offers sporting events for everyone. The San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League offer games from October through April, plus playoffs, at the SBC Center. The San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association also play at SBC. Their season also runs from October through April. The San Antonio Missions of the Texas League (Double A baseball) captured the 2002 and 2003 league championships. They play from April to August at Wolff Stadium. Women's sports are not left out, as the San Antonio Silver Stars of the Women's National Basketball Association play from May to August in the SBC Center.
The Alamodome, San Antonio's domed stadium, offers a variety of events. College football's AlamoBowl is played every year. There are also many college and high school football games for fans to take in. The stadium can also be configured for baseball, basketball and hockey, and also plays host to dirt bike races, monster truck shows and a variety of trade shows. Horse racing fans can head to Retama Park to watch the ponies and place a few wagers.
If an evening of classical music is a bit more your speed, you can make your way to the Majestic, where the San Antonio Symphony has been playing for more than 50 years. This immaculately restored 1929 movie house also plays host to a number of visiting Broadway shows each year. There are almost too many other venues for the arts to name in San Antonio. The Southwest School of Arts and Crafts offers tours of their campus and a number of contemporary art exhibitions. The McNay Art Museum is a Mediterranean mansion with a large number of post-impressionist paintings. And the San Antonio Museum of Art, located in a former brewing company, offers works of art from all over the world.
San Antonio is known as a city of history. But there's much more to this city than just the Alamo. Fine art and professional basketball are just a few of the choices awaiting you in San Antonio.
A little San Antonio historyTransportation has always played a major role in San Antonio. Founded at the site of a geographic crossroads between waterways, hills and Texas grassland, this beautiful and unique city has many transportation links with the rest of the country. During the American settlement of the west, San Antonio was a significant center. Today the city is a destination for millions of people each year, reinforcing the importance of strong transportation infrastructure.
Spanish missionaries chose the head of the San Antonio River as the site for their missions because of the beauty of the area and the availability of clean, fresh water. But the river also provided a convenient transportation route. During the Mexican fight for independence and the Texas Revolution, the city was one of the most fought over sites in Texas, changing hands a number of times. The river remains an important part of the city to this, with water taxis and river cruises providing scenic transportation through San Antonio's downtown.
Once Texas joined the United States, the city became a distribution center for settlers heading into the west. San Antonio became known as a cattle town, with many ranchers bringing in their herds for movement to other parts of the country. Sheep ranchers also used San Antonio as a base for their commercial activities. When the first railway connected to San Antonio in 1877, its status as an agricultural transportation hub was further enhanced. By 1900, there were five railroads connected to the city. These days there are two freight railroads and two passenger routes running through San Antonio.
Visitors to San Antonio in the 1800s may have had to bump over pitted carriage tracks, but today they can arrive in comfort. Three interstate highways connect the city with other U.S. cities. There are also many U.S. and state highways radiating out from the city center. San Antonio International Airport provides passenger service to millions of travelers each year. And the city is served by a public transportation system that includes buses and five open-air streetcar lines.
San Antonio has the remarkable distinction of being part of seven different countries in its history. In each of these countries, San Antonio was a major transportation hub. While the city is no longer the center of transportation it once was, it remains a city that knows the value of efficient and user-friendly ways to get around.
A little about San Antonio's economySan Antonio is a city that welcomes millions of visitors each year. The city celebrates its long and sometimes turbulent history by maintaining several heritage sites for visitors to explore and enjoy, These sites include the Alamo and La Villita, a Spanish Colonial area of town that has been preserved and has now become an artist colony. To welcome these visitors, San Antonio has a revitalized downtown that puts beauty and cleanliness first. The real beneficiaries of this downtown, of course, are all of San Antonio's residents. The city is one of the ten largest in the United States, and has many different industries to power its economy.
Tourism is a vital part of San Antonio's economy. While attractions such as the Alamo are traditional draws, the city also brings golfers to town to golf at the more than 30 golf courses in the area. The climate in San Antonio is not too hot and not too cold, with an average daily temperature of 68 degrees and more than 300 days of sunshine each year. There are also family attractions in San Antonio, such as SeaWorld San Antonio and Six Flags Fiesta Texas, as well as many museums that cater to younger audiences and an IMAX theatre. To serve these visitors, the city has developed a large hospitality industry, with many hotels, shops and restaurants to feed, house and provide souvenirs for the city's guests.
There are five major military bases in the San Antonio area, and these bring young families to the area to live. The city is a favorite retirement destination for military personnel, as once they have been stationed in this gorgeous city they invariably fall in love with its atmosphere, climate and opportunities for recreation. Education is another significant employer in the region, as there are more than 10 colleges, universities and trade schools in San Antonio. There are also many scientific and medical research facilities in town.
The city of San Antonio is known as the heart of Texas for its important role in Texas history. But the city is more than just the home of the Alamo: its economy is propelling it up the ranks of the most active and growing cities in the country. And its beauty ensures that visitors will never forget their trip to this oasis in the middle of the Texas plains.
A little about downtown San AntonioSan Antonio is one city that has discovered the value of an energetic downtown core. Many of San Antonio's tourist attractions are located downtown, most within walking distance of each other.
The city has worked hard to ensure that downtown is the place to be, and hotels and motels have opened up in the downtown to make sure visitors can find a place to stay that's close to the action. So when business people or tourists come to San Antonio, the downtown is ready, willing and able to accommodate them.
In the 1930s, San Antonio city government decided on a bold new plan to revitalize their downtown. A two and a half mile stretch of the San Antonio River was groomed on both banks, and space was set aside for commercial establishments just below street level. The result was the Riverwalk district, which quickly grew to be one of the biggest tourist draws in San Antonio. With cobblestone paths, green spaces and a bevy of restaurant, nightclub and shopping opportunities, Riverwalk has become the heart of San Antonio's downtown.
There are several hotels that are close to the Riverwalk district, giving guests quick access to this beautiful area. Renovated extensively in 2001, Riverwalk Plaza Hotel in San Antonio is another fine hotel on the Riverwalk.
With balconies overlooking the river and a variety of friendly services, this 132 room hotel is a haven for its guests.
The Westin Riverwalk is also a great choice. Constructed in 1999, this 473-room hotel offers modern features like data ports and voice mail, as well as conveniences such as in-room coffee makers and cable TV.
Downtown San Antonio is a great place to visit. The Riverwalk district is alive both night and day, with lots of sights to see. Riverboats and water taxis provide a fast and scenic way to get around. And accommodations downtown will put you right in the center of all the action.