Quoteable San Antonio:
“San Antonio speaks for itself, and much of its charm is in the way it embodies its past.”– Larry McMurtry
Forming the southwestern corner of what is known as the ‘Texas Triangle’, the city of San Antonio is today our nation’s seventh largest city. The city sits at the crossroads of two of Texas’ most important economic lifelines: Interstate 35 connecting the city to the state capital in Austin and the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex to the North and to the border with Mexico to the South, and Interstate 10 as it heads both eastward towards Houston and westward through the vast Texas Hill Country before winding its way to El Paso, over 550 miles away.
The city’s rich history stretches back long before it’s founding as a Spanish mission in 1716. For thousands of years, indigenous people lived near the banks of what is now called the San Antonio River. During some of its time under the control of the Spanish, San Antonio served as the capital of Spanish Texas – with missions guarded by forts to keep out French forces. In the early 19th century, the city fought on the side in favor of Mexican independence; however, Royalist forces purged the settlement. Later, as Texas engaged its own revolution against Mexico for independence, the city was the site of a major and most famous battle at The Alamo in 1836. After Texas joined the United States in 1845, San Antonio began to grow rapidly.
For some time after the Civil War, San Antonio and Galveston were the two leading cities of the State of Texas. However, by the 1920s, the city settled into third position as both Dallas’ and Houston’s populations skyrocketed. The post-war era saw the city expand mainly horizontally instead of vertically. Today, while the city’s population has since overtaken Dallas’ to become the second-largest in the state, comparing the skyline of each city would give the impression that San Antonio is a much smaller city than the Big D. The economy of San Antonio is unlike any other major city in Texas, with a far larger percentage of the labor force participating in the tourism and hospitality sectors.
The result is a city where glass and steel abut many historical landmarks. Millions of visitors yearly stroll the charming Paseo del Rio, known colloquially as the Riverwalk, or take in the view from the Tower of the America’s Observation Deck. As the Sun goes down, many end their nights posing for pictures in front of the historic Alamo, taking in dinner at any number of the city’s fine dining spots and strolling through Main Plaza as the light show commences on the facade of San Fernando Cathedral.