Moving to San Antonio? Though it may not be the first city in Texas to come to mind, San Antonio is actually the second largest city in the state and has over 20 million visitors a year. It is a place where old traditions meet urban development, and represents a blend of southwest and Hispanic culture culminating into the infamous Tex-Mex style.
Visitors and residents alike are drawn to the city’s most popular areas like the River Walk, a charming 2.5 mile stretch of the San Antonio River lined with European sidewalk cafés, boutiques and hotels. The Alamo is one the most famous landmarks in the state, and is where fewer than 200 American men attempted to maintain control of the fortress from several thousand of Mexican troops in the 1836. Although they did not succeed, they did stay their ground for 13 days and made a lasting impression on Texas history. La Villita, supposedly San Antonio’s first neighborhood, is a historic arts village home to stores and galleries specializing in paintings, jewelry, bonsai, and other forms of art. The Market Square provides a glimpse into the Mexican culture through artifacts, food, crafts, jewelry and more. It is also home to the largest Mexican plaza outside of Mexico itself.
For family fun with marine life visit Sea World, the world’s largest marine life park…or ride the roller coasters at Six Flags Fiesta. Step back in time to the Old West at the Enchanted Springs Ranch, the backdrop for many western films, commercials and special events. Or pay a visit to the Buckhorn Saloon & Museum where you’ll find a collection of cowboy memorabilia ranging from traditional to obscure (two headed cows and an 8-legged lamb). Fiesta Farm is learning center with kid-friendly activities like pony rides, a petting zoo, sandboxes, and more. The San Antonio Art Museum provides guided tours, concerts, films, children’s workshops and art activities, and special exhibitions. For people who want to get involved in the arts themselves, there is the Southwest School of Art and Craft, a community-based art school with classes for students of all ages. The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center promotes the Chicano, Latino and Native American cultures, highlighting dance, literature, arts, theater, and Xicano music.
San Antonio has a strong military presence, and is home to Fort Sam Houston (known as the birthplace of military aviation), Lackland Air Force Base (one of the world’s largest air force training centers), and Randolph Air Force Base (the only unit in the Air Force to do pilot instructor and combat systems officer training). Brooks City Base is also located here, and is on the cutting edge research of aerospace medicine.
With few professional sports teams and a tight-knit community, virtually every resident of San Antonio is a dedicated fan of the city’s favorite athletic team, the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs. The success of this team, including four NBA Championships since 1999, has some of the NBA’s most famous players to call San Antonio home. The WNBA also has a team here – the San Antonio Silver Stars, along with the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage.