Deep in the heart of Texas is one of the US’s more unique cities. A distinctive blend of Native Americans, Spanish, Mexican and other immigrant cultures make San Antonio a must-visit destination. But for many travellers booking flights to San Antonio, there’s one essential must-see spot: the Alamo.
San Antonio came about in the 1700s when the King of Spain sent Spaniard families to settle in the area. The area prospered, but not without suffering. Texas and Mexico fought fierce battles to claim the land and independence. During this time was the famous siege of the Alamo, which today remains one of the most visited sites in America.
In the 1920s, San Antonio hit a crossroads and was stuck between modernising the city and preserving the authenticity of its ancestors. This dispute resulted in the draining of the San Antonio River, an effort commissioned by the city to make room for more high-rise buildings and new city spaces. This caused uproar with San Antonio locals and soon a union was formed to save the river. The fight was successful and today’s Paseo del Rio, or River Walk, is the pride of San Antonio. Today, San Antonio remains one of the biggest cultural conglomerates of the south. Flights to San Antonio continue to bring millions of travellers to the third largest city in Texas for a taste of the traditional Deep South.
High temperatures and high humidity are the norm in San Antonio from late May through September. The autumn (September to November) and spring (March to April) seasons, however, are the best times to visit and explore the city. The days are warm and the nights are cool but soothing. Temperate weather during November and December make trips to San Antonio a pleasant experience.
San Antonio’s public transportation system is cheap and easy to use. The buses run regularly at reasonable rates, but you’ll need exact change. The VIA Metropolitan Transit Service also has streetcars that stop at tourist stops. You can tell where they’re going by the colour-coded signs listing their routes and destinations. Avoid driving around the city centre and save yourself the hassle of getting lost in all the one-way streets. You can find cabs easily at the airport or major hotels, but you’ll have to call ahead elsewhere.
San Antonio International Airport (SAT) is around 8 miles (13 km) north of the centre of San Antonio.
The San Antonio Museum of Art is located in the old Lone Star Beer Brewery and is a must-see spot for any first time visitor. The museum is known for its recycling of old structures to create a modern look and feel. Check out the Rockefeller Center of Latin American Art and peruse the antiques in the Egyptian and Greek areas.
San Antonio is one of the best festival-focused cities in the US, thus signifying the nickname “Fiesta City”. Year round festivals include Fiestas Navideñas and Las Posadas around Christmastime; Fiesta San Antonio and Cinco de Mayo events in spring; the Texas Folklife Festival in summer; and Oktoberfest and the International Accordion Festival in autumn.
If you visit San Antonio in early February, don’t miss the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo. The two-week festival features events like calf-roping, steer wrestling, and bull riding. Live country music performances take place every day during the rodeo.
For a flight to San Antonio, you will be flying into San Antonio. San Antonio (SAT) is just 12.2 km from the centre of the city.