About San Antonio

About San AntonioA unique city and the 7th largest in the United States, San Antonio in Texas has a culture greatly influenced by Spain and Mexico. In fact, the continual welcoming and bi-cultural ambience is best seen during the annual Fiesta that lasts a week. The historic sites, various architectural styles and modern attractions all help make San Antonio a great holiday and vacation spot. The heritage of the past and the fast growing, vibrant present makes San Antonio a wonderful place in which to live and visit today.

The city is not far south of the center of Texas and only 75 miles southwest from the state capital, Austin. The San Antonio River Valley is a vast plain only some 700 feet above sea level. In its location beyond the hill country, the city has a semi-arid climate. Temperatures are extremely hot in the summer with the average degrees Fahrenheit in the 90s. Winters are mild with temperatures rarely dropping much below 39 degrees. Spring and fall are the rainiest seasons, and the region does have tornadoes.

The first people known to have settled in the area were the Payaya people. They mainly lived near San Pedro Springs. Then in 1691, missionaries and explorers from Spain came to the valley and river on Saint Anthony Padua's feast day, the 13th of June. Because of this feast day, they named the region and river San Antonio.

After Mexico won its independence from Spain in the early 1800s, Mexican troops began invasions north to establish their governmental rights to the territory including Texas. A battle that is the most famous historical event remembered in San Antonio today was the Battle of the Alamo in March of 1836. Texas wanted to establish its own independence as a country during that time and a small force of those loyal to Texas fought valiantly and lost to the Mexican troops at the Alamo. Now, the fort is a historical landmark and attraction in the city.

Contemporary San Antonio bases its economy on its regional health care system as well as government, finance and tourism. The area has so much to see and do that around 20 million visitors come to the city annually. Historic sites, art galleries, performance arts and museum venues are in abundance. The River Walk Downtown has shops and cafes as well as scenic walkways. Parks, sports and amusement parks are also of interest to residents and guests. The modern growing San Antonio has a thriving present, a significant past and a promising future.