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The city of San Antonio has an iconic history and deep-rooted culture that have crafted a city unlike any other. This most historic of Texas cities began with Spanish colonial missions. Constructed of limestone and nestled along the banks of the San Antonio River, these missions forever changed the face of Texas. Among them is the legendary Alamo, famed for the epic 1836 battle where 189 defenders of Texas liberty held the mission for 13 days against more than 4,000 Mexican soldiers. These humble limestone buildings are only the foundation of what has become today’s San Antonio, a sprawling urban haven painted with a beautiful culture. This artful destination has a worldly appeal comprised of German and Latino influences among others. Escape to the River Walk, where stone paths follow the river bends to hotels, sidewalk cafés, boutiques, and historic districts.
Vineyards have taken root along the arc of San Antonio’s northern edge, inspiring a destination rich with luxury resorts as well as intimate bed and breakfasts. This surprising mix of beauty and historic authenticity is just another chapter in the story of San Antonio. It’s a story certain to move you deep in your heart.
Usually countries, not cities, are known for birthing culinary genres, but San Antonio is a cultural melting pot that has spilled Tex-Mex cuisine onto the world’s palate. Kitchens here are steeped in Latino and German roots that have melted together to serve up a way of life. Influences from around the world have come together in San Antonio. Fresh Gulf Coast seafood meets Mediterranean spices and locally-grown herbs and chiles are sprinkled across French, Italian, and Asian-inspired plates. Dining in this city is about more than just great cuisine, it’s about the juxtaposition of classic and contemporary. It’s the sharing of recipes passed down for generations and the new ingenuity of chefs trained in the world’s finest kitchens. It's dishes in which authenticity is the most sumptuous of ingredients. Not only can you savor the spices of Latino cuisines in San Antonio, but now you can also learn to master these flavors for your own kitchen. Enroll in public classes at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), the world’s premier culinary college, which has a Center for Foods of the Americas campus in historic San Antonio.
When the stars come out over the South Texas Plains, it’s time to head to San Antonio’s nightclubs, pubs and dance halls. Whatever you’re in the mood for, San Antonio offers a wide range of festive entertainment options when the sun goes down. Quiet wine bars, well-known watering holes, lively dance halls and a dueling piano sing-along are just some of the many popular stops available on the River Walk or within a short walk of downtown hotels. Other hot spots like the Southtown area and points north are easily accessible by taxi.
With ten shopping malls within an hour’s drive of downtown and a variety of eclectic specialty shops and antiques stores along its outskirts, San Antonio is full of reasons not to return home empty-handed. San Antonio is a shopper’s paradise. With miles upon miles of outlets, malls, galleries, unique shops and Mexican markets, it’s easy to find great gifts or the perfect fit. If you’re into local finds, Artisan’s Alley, Market Square, and La Villita Historic Arts Village offer unique crafts, local art, antiques and south of the border imports. Large shopping centers like the Quarry Market, North Star Mall, Rivercenter Mall and the shops at La Cantera entice serious, upscale shoppers. Plus, you can find great designer bargains at one of the many area outlets as well as the outlet malls in nearby San Marcos.
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