5 Great Historic Places To Visit in San Antonio

There are numerous worthwhile historic places to visit in San Antonio, Texas, providing many cultural and historic treasures to visit and enjoy. Five such gems are described in this article. These historic sites offer hours of recreational and educational experiences for visitors of all ages. When considering a visit, readers are encouraged to use the phone number and web address for each location to get an understanding of what each site has to offer, hours of operation, and tour information.

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The Alamo

Perhaps no other place defines the history of San Antonio, Texas, like the Alamo. The Mission San Antonio de Valero was founded in the mid-18th century to educate Native Americans who had converted to Christianity. After being abandoned by the church, the mission was used by the military as a garrison and became known as The Alamo. During the Texas Revolution, the old mission was used to defend the town of San Antonio from the invading Mexican Army. The resulting 13-day siege ended in the death of all the defenders. The brutal treatment of The Alamo defenders at the hands of the Mexicans, helped to harden resistance to the invaders, led to the Mexican defeat and Texas independence. Today, The Alamo is a preserved State historic site where visitors can learn the history of the old mission, the Spanish period, and the siege, through guided, audio, and virtual tours. For tour and event information, use the following:

300 Alamo Plaza
San Antonio, TX 78205
(210) 225-1391
https://www.thealamo.org/

La Villita Historic Arts Village

A delightful feature of San Antonio is its River Walk. A must-visit along the south bank of the River Walk is historic La Villita, one of San Antonio’s oldest neighborhoods. The La Villita was turned into an art market in 1939 and named La Villita Historic Arts Village. With over 30 shops, studios, and restaurants, the Village is a place to experience folk art, textiles, jewelry, sculptures, paintings, and more. Visitors can enjoy the beautiful tree-lined walkways and plazas as they visit the numerous artisan shops and savor the tastes and aromas of the Village’s many eateries. For individual shop listings and information, use the following address and website:

418 Villita St.
San Antonio, TX 78205
(210) 207-8614
https://www.lavillitasanantonio.com/

Presidio San Antonio de Bexar

Established in 1718 to protect the Mission San Antonio de Valero and the Villa de Bejar, the Presidio of San Antonio de Bexar served to anchor Spain’s claim to the region during the 18th and early 19th centuries. The remaining main building, known as the Spanish Governor’s Palace, is preserved as a National Historic Landmark. The presidio today is a museum that showcases the history of Spanish rule in Texas. Visitors can enjoy the beautiful grounds around the presidio and the historically furnished rooms of the presidio itself. For more information:

105 Plaza De Armas
San Antonio, TX 78205
(210) 224-0601
http://www.getcreativesanantonio.com/Explore-San-Antonio/Spanish-Governors-Palace

San Antonio Missions National Historic Park

Another important feature in the history of the San Antonio area is the four sites of the San Antonio Missions National Historic Park. The Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, preserving four of the five missions founded by Catholic religious orders to teach Christianity to local Natives. The four preserved sites, from north to south along the San Antonio River consist of Mission Conception, Mission San Jose, Mission San Juan Capistrano, and Mission Espada (the fifth mission was The Alamo). Visitors can enjoy tours of the missions as well as the recreational park grounds, plus the bike and hiking trails that connect the missions. For more information:

6701 San Jose Dr.
San Antonio, TX 78214
(210) 534-8875
https://www.nps.gov/saan/index.htm

Steves Homestead Museum

The palatial home of Edward Steves, located in the King William Historic District, is preserved as a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark. Steves was a German immigrant who settled in San Antonio, Texas at the dawn of the Republic of Texas. He was the founder of Steves Lumber Company and was a prominent civic leader. His elegant 3-story mansion was built in 1876 on the east bank of the San Antonio River, and is now preserved as a museum, with the mansion itself, the carriage house, servants’ quarters, and natatorium. For more information:

509 King William
San Antonio, TX 78204
(210) 225-5924
https://www.saconservation.org/what-we-do/tours/edward-steves-homestead-museum/

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