San Antonio is a wonderful old city that has played a major role in the history of the American West, a fact that is celebrated in the local culture today. A must-see for any visit is a trip to the Alamo, the famous Spanish mission where the under-prepared Texan Army was overwhelmed by Mexican troops in 1836. To see similar buildings with a less tragic past, follow the San Antonio River south out of downtown to San Antonio Missions National Historic Park. Here, you can visit centuries-old fortified Spanish frontier missions that were established to spread Christianity among the the locals.

Back in downtown, make your way to Market Square, a three-block plaza that is home to over a hundred shops and eateries featuring hand-made Mexican goods and snacks. In the evening, take a leisurely stroll on the banks of the San Antonio River, lined on both sides with some of the city’s best shops, restaurants, and bars. This is the best place to chow down on Tex-Mex food, watch a festive live band perform, and sip margaritas with fun-loving locals.

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