Texas

Close-Up

February 2018

San Antonio Celebrates 300 Years of Progress

by Lori Tenny

  • Folklorico at Market Square | Credit: Marks Moore

    Folklorico at Market Square | Credit: Marks Moore

    /Portals/0/images/Magazine/2018/0318/SanAntonio3.jpg

    Folklorico | Marks Moore

    Folklorico at Market Square | Credit: Marks Moore
  • Chicken Tinga Tostada

    Chicken Tinga Tostada

    /Portals/0/images/Magazine/2018/0318/SanAntonio.jpg

    Chicken Tinga Tostada | Visit San Antonio

    Chicken Tinga Tostada
  • Dinner on a River Barge

    Dinner on a River Barge

    /Portals/0/images/Magazine/2018/0318/SanAntonio2.jpg

    Dinner on a River Barge | Berne Broudy

    Dinner on a River Barge

With 300 years under its belt, good-ole San Antone knows a thing or two about history—and progress.

Originally a tiny remote settlement next to a serpentine river, this city, now the seventh-largest in the U.S., greets visitors with icons such as the area’s first Spanish Colonial mission—The Alamo—and the quaint and vibrant River Walk, as well as trendy havens such as the revitalized Pearl Brewery cultural hub and Blue Star Arts Complex. 

Constantly evolving, this Texas treasure is always up for a celebration. This year it’s marking its tercentennial with a year-long series of events that will carry it into the future.

“San Antonio was recently recognized by National Geographic Traveler as one of its 21 ‘Best Destinations in the World’ for 2018, and it’s definitely a great time to visit,” said Casandra Matej, president and CEO of Visit San Antonio, pointing to the tercentennial events. “San Antonio is a forward-thinking, modern meeting destination amid a city of history.

"Our city radiates a welcoming energy, and we encourage groups to get out of the meeting room and explore our rich culture, vibrant arts scene, delicious cuisine and incredible leisure attractions," she added.

 

Matej said recent trends include more groups venturing out of the meeting room to explore the city’s eclectic neighborhoods. 

Meanwhile, major renovations have recently been completed at cultural institutions, hotels and the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. 

Fresh offerings include the new Embassy Suites by Hilton San Antonio Brooks Hotel & Spa, and in late 2018 and early 2019 the city will welcome two new River Walk hotels: Canopy by Hilton and the Thompson San Antonio Hotel and Arts Residences.

Fantastic Off-Sites

The Witte Museum
The Witte recently underwent a renovation and expansion and now features intriguing new exhibits such as the Naylor Family Dinosaur Gallery and the McLean Family Texas Wild Gallery. The Witte is an ideal special events venue. New group options include the 10,000-square-foot Mays Family Center. 

Pearl
Brimming with history and character, Pearl is a multivenue former brewery that was transformed into a vibrant mixed-use community with unique experiences. Among the options, groups can stay and meet at Hotel Emma, host an event at Pearl Stables or attend culinary boot camp at the Culinary Institute of America’s San Antonio campus.  

San Antonio Botanical Garden
The 33-acre San Antonio Botanical Garden is adding eight acres that will bring dramatic new opportunities for guests. A welcome and discovery complex, culinary garden and outdoor kitchen recently opened. Group venues include the Lucile Halsell Conservatory Courtyard, the historic Auld House and an outdoor amphitheater and demonstration kitchen.

Hemisfair
Hemisfair Park, home of the 1968 World’s Fair, is undergoing a three-phase renovation in order to create a mixed-use development in the heart of the city. The park is already a popular place for groups since it adjoins the convention center, and the expansion will offer even more versatility. The first phase, Yanaguana Garden, is complete and open to the public.

Getting there

San Antonio International Airport is approximately eight miles from downtown and is easily accessible from the major highways. Twelve airlines serve the airport. San Antonio is approximately 80 miles southwest of Austin, 200 miles west of Houston and 275 miles south of Dallas.

San Antonio CVB Contact Information

Visit San Antonio
210.207.6700 

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