San Antonio (/ˌsænænˈtoʊni.oʊ/ Spanish for "Saint Anthony"), officially the City of San Antonio, is the seventh most populous city in the United States of America and the second most populous city in the state of Texas, with a population of 1,409,019. It was the fastest growing of the top 10 largest cities in the United States from 2000 to 2010, and the second from 1990 to 2000. The city is located in the American Southwest, the south–central part of Texas, and the southwestern corner of an urban region known as the Texas Triangle.
San Antonio serves as the seat of Bexar County. The city has characteristics of other western urban centers in which there are sparsely populated areas and a low density rate outside of the city limits. San Antonio is the center of the San Antonio–New Braunfels Metropolitan Statistical Area. Commonly referred to as Greater San Antonio, the metropolitan area has a population of over 2.27 million based on the 2013 US Census estimate, making it the25th-largest metropolitan area in the United States and third-largest in the state of Texas. Growth along theInterstate 35 and Interstate 10 corridors to the north, west and east make it likely that the metropolitan area will continue to expand.
San Antonio was named for Saint Anthony of Padua, whose feast day is on June 13, by a 1691 Spanish expedition in the area. It is notable for Spanish colonial missions, the Alamo, the River Walk, the Tower of the Americas, theAlamo Bowl, and Marriage Island. Commercial entertainment includes SeaWorld and Six Flags Fiesta Texastheme parks, and according to the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau, the city is visited by about 26 million tourists a year. The city is home to the five-time NBA champion San Antonio Spurs and hosts the annualSan Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, one of the largest such events in the country.
The US armed forces have numerous facilities in San Antonio: Fort Sam Houston, Lackland Air Force Base,Randolph Air Force Base (which constitute Joint Base San Antonio), and Lackland AFB/Kelly Field Annex, withCamp Bullis and Camp Stanley located outside the city. Kelly Air Force Base operated out of San Antonio until 2001, when the airfield was transferred to Lackland AFB. The remaining portions of the base were developed asPort San Antonio, an industrial/business park. San Antonio is home to six Fortune 500 companies and the South Texas Medical Center, the only medical research and care provider in the South Texas region.
|City of San Antonio|
|Nickname(s): S.A., River City, San Antone,
Alamo City, Military City USA, Countdown City
Location in Bexar County in the state of Texas
|Coordinates: 29°25′N 98°30′W|
San Antonio is located near 29.5°N 98.5°W. It is about 75 miles to the southwest of its neighboring city, Austin, the state capital. The city is also about 190 miles west of Houston and about 250 miles south of the Dallas–Fort Worth area. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2000 the city had a total area of 412.07 square miles (1,067.3 km2)—407.56 square miles (1,055.6 km2) (98.9%) of land and 4.51 square miles (11.7 km2) (1.1%) of water. The city sits on theBalcones Escarpment. The altitude of San Antonio is 772 feet (235 m) above sea level.
The primary source of drinking water for the city is the Edwards Aquifer. Impounded in 1962 and 1969, respectively,Victor Braunig Lake and Calaveras Lake were among the first reservoirs in the country built to use recycled treated wastewater for power plant cooling, reducing the amount of groundwater needed for electrical generation.
San Antonio is a popular tourist destination.
The Alamo Mission in San Antonio ("the Alamo"), located in Downtown, is Texas' top tourist attraction. Because of the mission, San Antonio is often called the "Alamo City".
The River Walk, meanders through the Downtown area, is the city's second most visited attraction. It was one of the first restorations of an urban river. Lined with numerous shops, bars, and restaurants, as well as theArneson River Theater, this attraction is transformed into an impressive festival of lights during the Christmas and New Year holiday period, and is suffused with the local sounds of folklorico and flamenco music during the summer, particularly during celebrations such as the Fiesta Noche del Rio. Also based along the River Walk is the newly restored Aztec On The River, the only surviving exotic-themed movie palace in Texas.
The Downtown Area also features Cathedral of San Fernando, The Majestic Theatre, HemisFair Park (home of the Tower of the Americas, and UTSA's Institute of Texan Cultures), La Villita, Market Square, the Spanish Governor's Palace, and the historic Menger Hotel. On the northern side of the Alamo complex, beside the Emily Morgan Hotel, is the San Antonio Cavalry Museum, which features cavalry artifacts and exhibits and is frequented by local re-enactors.
The Fairmount Hotel, built in 1906 and San Antonio's second oldest hotel, is in the Guinness World Records as one of the heaviest buildings ever moved intact. It was placed in its new location, three blocks south of the Alamo, over four days in 1985, and cost $650,000 to move.
SeaWorld, located 16 miles (26 km) west of Downtown in the city's Westover Hills district, is the number 3 attraction. Also, there is the very popular Six Flags Fiesta Texas. Other popular theme parks in San Antonio include Splashtown andMorgan's Wonderland, a theme park for children who have special needs.
San Antonio is home to the first museum of modern art in Texas, the McNay Art Museum. Other art institutions and museums include ArtPace, Blue Star Contemporary Art Center, Buckhorn Saloon & Museum, San Antonio Museum of Art,Say Si, The Southwest School of Art, Texas Rangers Museum, Texas Transportation Museum, and Witte Museum. Visitors can also experience something of the cowboy culture year round, and they can see the 40-foot (12 m) tall cowboy boots at North Star Mall.
Other places of interest include Brackenridge Park, the Japanese Tea Gardens, the missions of the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, the San Antonio Zoo, and The Woodlawn Theatre.
San José Mission Church, part of the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
The River Walk around Christmastime
San Antonio's historicRiver Walk extends some 2½ miles, attracting several million visitors every year.
Boat with sightseers on the San Antonio River
Another view of the city's downtown area
Central Library of TheSan Antonio Public Library, nicknamed "The Big Enchilada" by locals
The Tower of the Americas characterizes the city's skyline
The historic Bexar County Courthouse
The San Antonio Convention Center
Rivercenter Mall in downtown San Antonio
The Buckhorn Museum with a plethora ofwestern exhibits, is located in downtown San Antonio.
Pat O'Brien's Bar and Restaurant, based inNew Orleans, Louisiana, has an outlet in downtown San Antonio.
Airplane exhibit at the San Antonio Children's Museum
Carriage rides in downtown San Antonio
The Shops at La Canterais a non-enclosed shopping mall located near the University of Texas at San Antonio in the northwestern portion of the city.
The San Antonio Botanical Garden
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
SeaWorld San Antonio
Aztec On The RiverTheater
C.H. Guenther and Sons flour mill and grain elevator
Emily Morgan Hotel
Tower Life Building
Hot Wells, San Antonio, Texas (postcard, circa 1907)