San Antonio

Hill Country Trail Region


Home of the Alamo and the Riverwalk, San Antonio serves as one of the state’s richest cultural touchstones and popular heritage travel destinations. Just how rich? Check out the Institute of Texan Cultures, a sizable work of late mid-century modern architecture created for the 1968 Hemisphere, where exhibits, multimedia shows and living history events celebrate 21 diverse ethnic groups. Among the city’s museum standouts are the Witte, with its interpretation of history, culture, and natural science; the Marion Koogler McNay, a venerable institution with a world-class fine art collection; the Fort Sam Houston Museum, a collection surveying the history of the military base Fort Sam; and the entertaining Buckhorn Saloon & Museum, filled with a remarkable collection of horns, antlers, and taxidermy.

San Antonio’s long and robust heritage began in the early 1700s, growing out of San Antonio de Bexar Presidio and its villa. In 1773 it was named capital of Spanish Texas. Surrounding missions, located along El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail, helped settle the region and now form the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. Other architectural and heritage sites include the 19 National Register Historic Districts and 27 locally designated historic districts, the 1755 San Fernando Cathedral, the 1749 Spanish Governor’s Palace, the grand 1891 Bexar County Courthouse restored through the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program, and, never to be forgotten, the 1718 Alamo, perhaps the most visited heritage site in Texas.

San Antonio boasts three state cultural districts designated by the Texas Commission on the Arts. Explore Zona Cultural, the Old Spanish Trail Cultural Corridor, and the King William Arts District on your next visit!

Watch the following video to learn more about San Antonio's historic downtown.