Hazy and hopeful with a pinch of spice, San Antonio, Texas is a great weekend destination. With a thriving arts scene and a strong historical tradition, there are a number of things to see and enjoy (many for free). Whether you're all about great food, Mexican culture, the rodeo, romantic walks along moonlit canals, or super-sized malls, San Antonio has got it all.
The San Antonio Riverwalk is one of the city's proud main attractions. A portion of the Riverwalk surrounds an actual river with a mud bottom, hence, the murky brown water. Three feet deep in this section, there are apparently snakes and fish lurking below. Further down the Riverwalk, there is a damn with a drop-off, a man-made river continues from here.
I know the water looks dirty, but apparently it is really clean. Locals say you can see fish in the water when the sun is shinning. I don't know if I buy in to that one? One really cool thing about the water though, is that people are allowed to bring out their canoes and paddle boats for a nice afternoon ride.
San Antonio was so clearly laid out. A pedestrian friendly city, everywhere we went, there were signs directing us to main attractions. Finally, a city I can navigate easily. I have a notoriously poor sense of direction, but I didn't get lost here.
There is so much colonial history in San Antonio. Its a city seeped deeply in history in general. So many things happened here. So many characters of ole' floated through this town, from Davey Crockett, to O. Henry - who knew? Texas, to this New Yorker, is as exotic as any foreign country.
There was a remarkable variety in the architecture. Some buildings looked Old Hollywood, while others were Spanish and French colonial. Then there were small cottages left over from the early German settlers. It was all very interesting to take in.
Now we're looking at the front of O. Henry's house. I didn't take pictures inside out of respect for the museum, but it has been left as it was. To the right there is a small bed and towards the back there is a kitchen and writing desk. So quaint, so cute- O. Henry!
I loved this part of town. Historic Market Square in La Villita, was very Mexican and very artsy. The streets were festive and full of restaurants, shops, a farmer's market, a museum and an artisans bazaar. This is the largest Mexican marketplace north of the Rio Grande.
The family shrine in the lobby of Mi Tierra restaurant. This place is a fun time (great atmosphere, not the best food to be honest, but hey...). Make sure you stop by the bakery for dessert though, the bakery is extraordinary. If you are a fan of good Mexican food, there are tons of local places to go to, to satisfy your craving. The locals are more than happy to point you in the right direction.
The Museo Alameda was fantastic! Affiliated with the Smithsonian, the museum chronicled the Mexican Revolution through documents, artifacts and (best of all) some of the most compelling oil paintings. The paintings were absolutely breathtaking. I know I'm a big museum nerd, but this one is a must-see if you are in San Antonio. I learned so much about the Mexican Revolution and the subsequent renaissance. Being a New Yorker, I knew very little about either.
On top of every building there seemed to fly the Texas flag. The lonestar state is a mighty proud place. I've lived in New York state for the majority of my life and could not tell you what our state flag looks like.
Eating lunch at Mi Tierra in La Villita. Can you spot the baby? Behind us was a beautiful mural depicting important Mexican American figures. Sadly, I must admit, I was not able to identify most of them.