If you’re planning a trip to San Antonio, Texas you won’t have to worry about finding things to do. There are many restaurants, venues, shows, shops, and other attractions with which to fill your time. However, there are a few things of historical and cultural importance that you’ll want to see before you leave. San Antonio is often cited as one of the top 10 places to visit in the United States, and once you see these five sites you’ll understand why.
1. River Walk (El Paseo del Rio)
From nightlife to attractions similar to those found at amusement parks, there’s no shortage of exciting things to do at River Walk, San Antonio. You’ll find some of the best shopping in San Antonio right along the beautiful river, and can choose from many day trips and tourist outings, as well. Museums, historical sites, world class spas, and fine dining to take-out line the river, but you can also choose to simply relax on a river boat cruise or along the cobblestone-like streets.
2. The Alamo
Perhaps one of the most visited historical sites in all America, the Alamo stands as a lasting symbol of the Texan struggle for independence. Often the subject of song lyrics, movies, and legendary tales, the Alamo became the site of one of the most well-known battles in U.S. history. Built by the Spanish in 1744 the Alamo was used as a mission until it was converted to a military fortress in 1793. In 1835 the Spanish surrendered the Alamo to Texan forces, and it has been a symbol of Texan achievement ever since.
3. San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
San Antonio, Texas was built around five Spanish missions developed in the 18th century. Today, the 12-mile Mission Trail provides a beautiful drive through these five missions, each of which is a historical site in its own right.
The beautiful missions were created between 1718 and 1731, and their creation was political as much as it was religious. A tour through the missions is well worth your time, and will leave you with a new understanding of and appreciation for the history from which they were born.
4. McNay Art Museum
The McNay Art Museum is a majestic Spanish mansion of the Spanish Colonial era filled with 19th- and 20th-century paintings, prints, and items from artists as notable as Rodin, Picasso, Matisse, and more. Opened in 1954 the McNay Art Museum was the very first museum of modern art in all of Texas. Art is a central theme to San Antonio, and this museum is a must see location for anyone who loves and appreciates modern art.
5. San Fernando Cathedral
In the heart of San Antonio lies the oldest cathedral in the entire United States. The legendary location is the building from which Mexican General Santa Ana flew the infamous red flag and declared there would be no mercy. A statue of San Fernando, the cathedral’s namesake, immortalizes him and is the oldest statue in the cathedral. The pride of San Antonio this gorgeous cathedral is as rich in history as it is in aesthetic value and beauty and is not to be missed should you find yourself in this part of Texas.
No matter where your journey takes you, San Antonio, Texas is a location brimming with historical, cultural, and artistic value. The beautiful River Walk, majestic San Fernando Cathedral, stunning McNay Art Museum, historic Alamo, and nostalgic Missions National Historical Park are just five of the outstanding sights to see when visiting San Antonio. Don’t forget to check out the world class restaurants, relaxing spas, and historic lodging options, as well – and grab a souvenir from one of the unique gift shops in town before you go.