History of San Antonio
The history of San Antonio began long before Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett, and the others defended the Alamo. Today's visitors will have many chances to connect with this long, diverse, and rich history while they're enjoy vacations to Central Texas. With visits to the Alamo and many of the other attractions in an around town, the story behind this interesting city is fascinating to discover.
As you experience the city for yourself, you'll see how the history of San Antonio created the city there is today. This diverse, vibrant city was shaped by different groups—Mexican settlers, freedom fighters, cowboys, European immigrants, and even golfers and chefs have all left their marks on this city with a history like no other. As you learn more facts about San Antonio and explore its attractions, you'll come to appreciate how deep its roots run.
When making a visit to the museums and historic sites, you'll learn facts about San Antonio that will help you understand the city more fully. At the Witte Museum, exhibits provide an overview of the history of San Antonio from prehistoric times to modern decades. This history museum is located in Brackenridge Park along the shores of the San Antonio River, also home to the zoo and historic golf course.
Much of San Antonio history happened along the banks of the spring-fed river that meanders through the center of town, which shares a name with the city. The Alamo, the most famous building in the entire city, perhaps all of Texas, is just a short stroll away. Every year, 2.5 million people make their way to this Spanish mission turned battle site turned historic site. The exhibits and guided tours are filled with interesting facts about San Antonio. It's free to visit the Alamo, but the Daughters of the Texas Republic who take care of its upkeep welcome donations. You also can make a visit to the San Fernando Cathedral and several other missions to experience the world of the Spanish explorers.
One of the greatest chapters in recent history came with the development of the Riverwalk. This pedestrian mall, home to galleries, shops, and restaurants, has a fascinating story all its own. While visitors and residents have always gathered at the river, the San Antonio Riverwalk history really begins in the 1920s when plans were drawn up to divert the river's flow and pave over the riverbanks. Thanks to an architect who saw the potential of a downtown Paseo del Rio and later funding from the Works Progress Administration,downtown San Antonio became a must-see for visitors and residents alike.
In 1968, San Antonio Riverwalk history changed with the arrival of HemisFair, the first and only World's Fair held in the American Southwest. The infrastructure was strengthened and the Riverwalk was expanded to reach the newly built Tower of the Americas. Even today, the top of this observation tower is a fantastic place to soak in the views of the Riverwalk and the San Antonio River.
In the early 21st century, the city began a multi-year expansion project to make this downtown destination even better and longer. An important chapter in San Antonio Riverwalk history came in 2009 with the debut of the expansion linking the downtown hotels, restaurants, and shops with the San Antonio Museum of Art. The expansion also reaches to the Pearl Brewery, a historic district redeveloped as a shopping, dining, and arts complex.