|San Antonio River Walk
|The Alamo, San Antonio
|McNay Art Museum
For a listing of our Spring & Fall 2008 5-night and 3-night programs, as well as our Summer 2008 Intergenerational program, please visit our San Antonio Programs page.
San Antonio captures the spirit of Texas. Now the seventh largest
city in the United States, the city has retained its sense of history
and tradition, while carefully blending in cosmopolitan progress.
The city has always been a crossroads and a meeting place. Sounds
and flavors of Native Americans, Old Mexico, Germans, the Wild West,
African-Americans and the Deep South mingle and merge.
San Antonio History 101
For history buffs, San Antonio is a mecca. Native Americans first
lived along the San Antonio River, calling the area "Yanaguana,"
which means "refreshing waters," or "clear waters."
A band of Spanish explorers and missionaries came upon the river
in 1691, and because it was the feast day of St. Anthony, they named
the river "San Antonio." The actual founding of the city
came in 1718 by Father Antonio Olivares, when he established Mission
San Antonio de Valero, which became permanently etched in the annals
of history in 1836 as The Alamo where 189 defenders held the old
mission against some 4,000 Mexican troops for 13 days. The cry "Remember
the Alamo" became the rallying point of the Texan revolution
against Mexico. Located in the heart of downtown, today The Alamo
is a shrine and museum.
An Urban Masterpiece
Amidst the daily hubbub of the busy metropolitan downtown, sequestered
20 feet below street level, lies one of San Antonio's jewels - the
Paseo del Rio. Better known as the “River Walk” these
cobblestone and flagstone paths border both sides of the San Antonio
River as it winds its way through the middle of the business district.
The River Walk has multiple personalities - quiet and park-like
in some stretches, while other areas are full of activity with European-style
sidewalk cafes, specialty boutiques, and high-rise
hotels. Rio San Antonio Cruises, the river's floating transportation
system, provides a novel method of sightseeing and people-watching
in downtown San Antonio.
San Antonio has two impressive art museums. The McNay Art Museum
is set in a Mediterranean-style mansion and has wide-ranging collections,
including post-impressionist and modern art, theater art, Medieval
art, Native American art and more.
The San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA) is housed in the castle-like
former headquarters of the Lone Star Brewery. This museum is noted
for its antiquities collections, Mexican folk art, modern art, pre-Columbian
art, Spanish colonial art, and the 30,000 square foot Nelson A.
Rockefeller Center for Latin American Arts.