It’s said that only really San Antonians understand what makes the Alamo City, the 7th largest metropolis in the country, so darn wonderful -- perhaps it’s the centuries of history embedded in the structure and the culture of the city, tracing back to 1691 when Spanish explorers named the river and the area after St. Anthony de Padua. The city is notable for landmarks like the Spanish colonial missions, the Alamo, the River Walk, the Tower of the Americas, the Alamo Bowl, and Marriage Island. Then there are the much-loved Spurs with dynamic coach Gregg Popovich, whose courtside antics will keep you more than entertained. Or? Maybe it’s because the city residents are just so friendly. Locals say that San Antonio is a big city that feels like a small town because of an overall dedication to supporting the community vibe. Whatever it is, it ranked as the fastest growing large city in the country from 2000-2010 and keeps attracting newcomers in droves. That means the job market is thriving with startups and innovators like Geekdom or top-rated employer NuStar, which boasts in-house massage chair sessions. But just as much as they love their work, San Antonio residents also love their Fiesta. The Fiesta Flambeau Parade brings out revelers in their best every year in April, and for that weekend all attention in the city is focused on having a good time.
Alamo City is known for having pretty fantastic weather. For most of the year, the temperatures barely dip below 50 degrees (though when they do you’ll see locals bundling up), and except for a period between mid-July and through August, it doesn’t get too hot either. It averages only 8 days per year over 100 degrees, fewer than Austin, Dallas, or Del Rio. And if you don’t like the temperature, chances are it’ll change quickly so you’ll be back to normal in a day or two. May is the wettest month, but even then you’ll only see an average of 4.72 inches of rain.
Arts and Culture
Aside from the yearly Fiesta, San Antonio is chock full of things to do. The dining scene has become progressive and chef-driven with restaurants like the Cured Charcuterie or the historic Menger Hotel Bar, which has been slinging pints since 1859. Soak in some modern art at the McNay, Texas’ first modern museum, or go for a more classic art experience at the San Antonio Museum of Art right on the Riverwalk. Market Square, or El Mercado, is the Mexican-style outdoor marketplace where you can take in the local color and have tacos for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Nothing says Texas like cowboys, so you can take in the bucking broncos at the Stock Show & Rodeo over three weeks every February.
Unpakt’s Most Recommended
Brackenridge Park (3700 N St. Mary’s St)
This isn’t just a present-day gathering place, but has apparently been so for hundreds of years -- Native American campsites have been found in the area. It spans 343 acres and has over 100 grilling and picnic areas right along the waterfront, making it a family destination. And? The last ever train heist in San Antonio reportedly happened here when two armed soldiers stopped and robbed the Brackenridge mini-train.
Viva Villa Taqueria (905 Dolorosa St)
Tucked right in the hubbub of El Mercado, you can get tacos here any time of day. And the food is here for real -- the carne guisada recipe has been in the Cortez family since 1941, and everything is made fresh in-house. Move over Taco Bell
Alamo Beer Co. (288 S Second St)
Fairly new on the scene, the Alamo Beer Co. opened its East Side tasting room only in 2015 and it quickly became a hotspot. They brew their signature Alamo Golden Ale, as well as four other year-round brews and special cask ales, right in SA.
ReDo Recess at The DoSeum (2800 Broadway)
When the Children’s Museum rebranded to become “The DoSeum”, it didn’t just appeal to Alamo City’s kids -- it has become one of the best things to do in San Antonio for adults who are kids at heart, too. Their “ReDo Recess” events let the 21 plus crowd run wild, accompanied by 21 plus-style beverages and catered bites too.
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