San Antonio Realtor


San Antonio HemisfairSan Antonio captures the spirit of Texas. Now the eighth largest city in the United States, the city has retained its sense of history and tradition, while carefully blending in cosmopolitan progress. The city has always been a crossroads and a meeting place. Sounds and flavors of Native Americans, Old Mexico, Germans, the Wild West, African-Americans and the Deep South mingle and merge. Close to twenty million visitors a year delight in the discovery of San Antonio's charms.

Texas History 101

For history buffs, San Antonio is a mecca. Native Americans first lived along the San Antonio River, calling the area "Yanaguana," which means "refreshing waters," or "clear waters." A band of Spanish explorers and missionaries came upon the river in 1691, and because it was the feast day of St. Anthony, they named the river "San Antonio."

The AlamoThe actual founding of the city came in 1718 by Father Antonio Olivares, when he established Mission San Antonio de Valero, which became permanently etched in the annals of history in 1836 as The Alamo where 189 defenders held the old mission against some 4,000 Mexican troops for 13 days. The cry "Remember the Alamo" became the rallying point of the Texan revolution against Mexico. Located in the heart of downtown, today The Alamo is a shrine and museum. A tour of downtown San Antonio will uncover centuries of history, including:

La Villita
  • La Villita , one of the original settlements was comprised of Spanish soldiers and their families.
  • The Spanish Governor's Palace, which was the seat of government when San Antonio was the capital of the Spanish Province of Texas
  • The San Fernando Cathedral , whose construction was started in 1731 by Canary Islanders
  • The Jose Antonio Navarro State Historical Park , home of Navarro, a central figure in the formation of Texas
  • Market Square , the largest Mexican marketplace outside of Mexico San Antonio Mission Trails
  • And the Steves Homestead, a mansion open to the public in the King William Historic District.
  • A short drive to the historic missions. Start your adventure at the Visitors Center at Mission San Jose and explore
    the other jewels of San Antonio's mission period.
    San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
Just northeast of downtown lies Fort Sam Houston, another "must-see" for history buffs. Military greats like Pershing, Stilwell, Krueger and Eisenhower all served at Fort Sam. San Antonio was also a training site of the Buffalo Soldiers, famed African-American cavalry fighters who helped bring peace to the Western Frontier a century ago. Today, Fort Sam is headquarters for the Fifth U.S. Army and the Health Services Command and home of the Fort Sam Houston Museum and the U.S. Army Medical Department Museum.

An Urban Masterpiece

San Antonio River CruisersAmidst the daily hubbub of the busy metropolitan downtown, sequestered 20 feet below street level, lies one of San Antonio's jewels - the Paseo del Rio. Better known as the "River Walk," these cobblestone and flagstone paths border both sides of the San Antonio River as it winds its way through the middle of the business district. The River Walk has multiple personalities - quiet and park-like in some stretches, while other areas are full of activity with European-style sidewalk cafes, specialty boutiques, nightclubs and gleaming high-rise hotels. The River Walk stretches for approximately two-and-a-half miles from the Municipal Auditorium and Conference Center on the north end to the King William Historic District on the south. Rio San Antonio Cruises, the river's floating transportation system, provides a novel method of sightseeing and people-watching in downtown San Antonio. Groups can also dine aboard open-air cruisers as they wind their way along the scenic waterway. River taxis deliver visitors to Rivercenter, a dazzling three-level glass shopping, dining and entertainment complex, and to the newly expanded Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.

San Antonio For Kids

San Antonio provides the picture-perfect setting for great family vacations, beginning with the San Antonio Children's Museum , where kids are encouraged to explore a miniature version of the city. The Magik Theatre provides family, professional theater, in the heart of downtown. The Downtown All-Around Playground at HemisFair Park and the newly renovated Milam Park (across from Market Square) provide excellent stops for kids to burn off excess energy. And don't' forget the Tower of the Americas , which offers a spectacular view of San Antonio from 750 feet above the ground. Steps away from the Tower of the Americas is UTSA's Institute of Texan Cultures , San Antonio's experience museum, featuring interactive exhibits and activities for families that celebrate Texas's multicultural heritage!

Plaza Theatre of Wax The Plaza Theatre of Wax houses more than 225 life-like characters in four themed sections -- Hollywood, Horror, History and Religion. Ripley's Believe it Or Not! has more than 500 unique curiosities from around the world.

Brackenridge Park , a 433-acre refuge in the heart of the city, offers a full day of family fun. The San Antonio Zoo , with a collection of more than 3,000 animals, is ranked as one of the best in the country.

The Witte MuseumThe Witte Museum 's philosophy is hands-on learning, with exhibits exploring Texas history and science. The Brackenridge Eagle Miniature Train, and Kiddie Park will round out a day of fun and education.

Texas-sized Fun

Fiesta Texas San Antonio is home to two major theme parks - Sea World San Antonio , the world's largest marine life park, and Six Flags Fiesta Texas , the town built just for fun! Sea World San Antonio combines fun with education and appreciation for some of the ocean's most fascinating creatures through more than 25 shows, educational exhibits and rides.

Six Flags Fiesta, Texas Theme Park is a non-stop celebration of San Antonio and South Texas. It's created around four themed areas: the Mexican town of Los Festivales, the German village of Spassburg, the 1920 cowboy boom town of Crackaxle Canyon, and the small Texas town of Rockville during the golden age of rock'n'roll, which includes Fiesta Bay Boardwalk, a '50s-'60s seaside boardwalk complete with a 90-foot ferris wheel.

Van Gogh, Mozart and Trevino

San Antonio has two impressive art museums. The McNay Art Museum is set in a Mediterranean-style mansion and has wide-ranging collections, including post-impressionist and modern art, theater art, Medieval art, Native American art and more.

San Antonio Museum of ArtThe San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA) is housed in the castle-like former headquarters of the Lone Star Brewery. This museum is noted for its antiquities collections, Mexican folk art, modern art, pre-Columbian art, Spanish colonial art, and the 30,000 square foot Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Latin American Arts.

Southwest School of Art and CraftHotbeds of contemporary artistic expression include the Blue Star Contemporary Art Center in Southtown, ArtPace on Main Avenue and the Southwest School of Art and Craft , a lovely complex built by French nuns in 1848 which served as the first girls' school in the city. Galleries abound and offer the serious collector a wide range of styles and topics from Texas landscapes to Latin American folk art to western and Native American to contemporary.

The Guadalupe Cultural Arts CenterThe Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center provides a venue for Hispanic artistic endeavors - literary, dance, music and drama. Signature events of the center include the San Antonio CineFestival, a celebration of conjunto music, a South Texas original.

The Carver Community Cultural Center mounts a stellar season each year, with performing groups from around the world, with an accent on African-American artists. The Carver Jazz Festival is famous for presenting the hottest new stars and the masters of American Jazz each year.

The Majestic Theatre

The opulent Majestic Theatre downtown, built in 1929, is a memorable setting for touring Broadway shows and concerts and is also the permanent home of the San Antonio Symphony, now in its 54th season.

The Spurs, Golf and Hill Country Adventure

With over 300 days of sunshine annually and an average temperature of 68.8 degrees Fahrenheit, visitors to San Antonio will find an abundance of outdoor sports and recreation to challenge them.

GolfThe first public golf course in Texas was built in San Antonio in 1916, and the city has been busy hosting golfers since then. A flurry of golf course construction since 1993 has made the city even more attractive to visiting golfers with additional upscale, public courses opening every year. La Cantera Golf Club was named the best new public course in the U.S. in 1995 by Golf Digest .

Rivers in the Texas Hill Country, which forms an arc around the northern edge of San Antonio, provide venues for canoeing, tubing and white-water rafting. Area lakes attract fishermen, as well as water skiing and sailing enthusiasts. Working ranches throughout Central and South Texas are available as hunting leases for wild game, while dude ranches offer a taste of the Old West, complete with horseback riding. Numerous state parks offer opportunities for hiking in the rugged terrain of the Hill Country.

San Antonio also offers a wide variety of spectator sports -- the San Antonio Spurs , San Antonio Antonio Rampage of the International Hockey League and the San Antonio Missions minor league baseball team.

No. 2 Combination Plate

Dining options in San Antonio run the gamut from fine French cuisine to Chinese to Soul food and Cajun, but the one not to miss is Tex-Mex. Tex-Mex is a passion with local residents of all ethnic backgrounds, and numerous restaurants are open 24 hours.

The Stars are Big and Bright

When the stars come out over the South Texas Plains, it's time to head to the nightclubs and dance halls, two-stepping to a country-western band or swaying to a Tejano super group. Or maybe it's traditional jazz or a sing-along at an Irish pub or piano bar? What about Hard Rock Cafe on the River Walk? San Antonio offers a wide range of entertainment options when the sun goes down.

Y'All Come Back

Frank Tolbert, a noted Texas historian and journalist, once said, "Every Texan has two homes his own and San Antonio." After your visit to San Antonio, we hope that you will consider San Antonio your second home and return again and again to experience all the city has to offer.