If you are thinking about someplace fun to head to this summer with the family that caters to tourists, might I suggest San Antonio? San Antonio is a wealth of not just history, but fabulous historic sites! I am not talking about the Alamo mostly because it speaks for itself. I will say if you plan to visit the Alamo this summer although the tours are free, they do require a reservation now. So, plan or end up like this girl who ended up having to wait an extra day to tour because the slots fill up fast! You can call ahead to schedule or make a reservation on the website www.alamo.com.
San Fernando Cathedral is said to be the oldest active church in the state of Texas. Built-in 1731 by settlers from Cannery Island. Currently, there is a wonderful visual art show being shown each weekend on the façade of San Fernando Cathedral called The Saga. The Saga is an art show depicting the history of San Antonio starting at 9 pm Fri-Sun and Tues. The run time of the show is a half-hour, the event is free to the public. The location is at the front of the San Fernando Cathedral in Plaza de Los Islas Canaries. This is also the same place where one of the popular ghost tours meets as well.
Another great event going on currently is the 64th Annual Fiesta Noche Del Rio located on the Riverwalk at Arneson River Theatre. Fiesta Noche Del Rio is the oldest outdoor dance performance of its kind starting in 1957. This event features both Spanish and Mexican music and dancing. The event was established and continues to be a fundraiser to support underprivileged children in the San Antonio community. This event runs through August 7th, 2021 tickets can be purchased at www.fiestanoches.com. If you are looking for someone of a kind gift to wear or for the home, I suggest checking out La Villita the art district of the Riverwalk. La Villita is in the same area as Fiesta Noche.
If you are looking for somewhere special to stay or just near the attractions San Antonio has many fabulous historic choices to choose from. The Menger Hotel in Alamo Plaza this hotel was built in the 1850s and would go on to be the location of where Theodore Roosevelt enlisted the famous Rough Riders at a table in the hotel’s bar. The hotel currently has a collection of Theodore Roosevelt’s things on display. If you do not decide to stay at the Menger the hotel also offers a self-guided tour. Pamphlets can be downloaded from the hotel website or just ask for one at the desk.
The Emily Morgan Hotel once the Medical Arts Building is an impressive flatiron style building. It is said to be one of the most haunted buildings in San Antonio, but I will let you be the judge of that. Built-in the 1900’s on part of the battlefield of the Alamo this building once housed over 200 medical offices as well as a morgue and crematorium. If the history does not interest you the beautiful gothic architecture complete with gargoyles is worth checking out.
The St. Anthony is another one-of-a-kind hotel nicknamed the “Grand Old Lady”. St Anthony was built in 1909 as the first luxury hotel in San Antonio. It was also the first air-conditioned hotel in the area, which I am sure was worth its weight in gold during that time! The hotel is said to have hosted many famous guests over the years including George Clooney and Arnold Schwarzenegger! When the hotel underwent renovations in 2013 Venetian mosaics were found beneath the flooring that was restored guests can now view them throughout the hotel.
Another beautiful historic hotel is The Crockett Hotel built-in 1909 during the industry boom. This hotel boasts to be “only eighteen steps from the Alamo”. Named for Alamo defender Davy Crockett this hotel also sits on part of the battlefield. Currently, the Crockett is sold out until October proving to still be a favorite when visiting San Antonio.