Walking Tour of San Antonio, Texas
This city, in southern Texas, is famous as the location of the Alamo, an enduring symbol of the fight for Texas independence from Mexico and its subsequent inclusion as one of the United States of America. The city is also renowned as a triumph of urban renewal, converting the smelly and prone-to-flooding San Antonio River from a problem into a valued asset.
My walk begins in La Villita, the original settlement which eventually became the San Antonio of today. Wander the cobble stone alleyways to witness craft demonstrations, browse the art galleries, and soak up the ambience of a much earlier time.
After your visit, walk north on Presa Street to the river and, beyond, to Market Street. Turn right here and walk east, either on the road or, preferably, along the Riverwalk (Paseo del Rio) to the Rivercenter Mall. Along the way you may detour to Hemisfair Park, on the right, which offers numerous activities for all ages.
When you reach the mall, the IMAX Theater offers a film about the Alamo, which visitors should see before their visit to the storied mission. You may also purchase tickets for a river boat tour or a water taxi ride, a great way to experience the Riverwalk. Next, if you are not on a boat on the river, walk west on Commerce Street, and then turn right on Alamo Street to San Antonio’s most popular attraction, The Alamo. This was the setting for a battle between Texas Independence forces, led by Col. Jim Bowie, and the Mexican Army, under the leadership of Gen. Santa Anna. The lopsided engagement, 4000 Mexicans against 200 Texans, took place over several days, ending on March 6, 1836. It resulted in the massacre of the entire Texan force, including Davy Crockett and Bowie. However, the spirit and courage of the defenders of the mission spearheaded the successful fight for Texas independence.
After your emotional visit, retrace your steps to Commerce and turn right (west). You will eventually reach the Main Plaza, recognizable because it contains the San Fernando Cathedral. Just beyond the plaza, also on Commerce Street, is the San Antonio City Hall, and, behind it, the Spanish Governor’s Palace, which displays the architecture and artifacts of Colonial Spain.
Next, continue westward toward Market Square which offers Mexican foods, crafts, and other items. Turn left on Laredo Street to reach the Jose Antonio Navarro State Historic Site, which affords a look back to 19th century San Antonio via the home of this prominent Texan.
Exit the area and turn left on Nueva Street which leads you back to La Villita, where the walk began.