River Walk (official website, Paseo del Rio):
The River Walk meanders through the heart of the city center to the King William District. It is the center of evening entertainment with restaurants, cafes, music and relaxation as well as guided boat tours. The below street level walkway follows the course of the San Antonio River and is accessible from several bridges and access points.
Market Square (official website, El Mercado):
The city center area is two blocks of streets with shops and restaurants. The El Marcado building houses the largest Mexican market in the USA, and the Farmer Market Plaza building houses a range of goods that reflects the ethnic diversity.
IMAX Theater Rivercenter (official website):
During the day, the 45-minute docu-drama “Alamo – The Price of Freedom” is offered emotionally, about every 2 hours. In addition, 3-D films will be shown.
Institute of Texan Cultures (official website):
According to campingship, the institute belonging to the University of Texas uses dioramas, exhibits and photos to show the various cultural and ethnic groups, from the Spanish and German settlers to the Dutch dairy farmers to the Jewish settlers and oriental rice farmers who contributed to the development of Texas.
McNay Art Museum (official website):
The museum, housed in a Mexican / Spanish style villa, shows modern art with works by Picasso, Cézanne, Van Gogh and Chagall as well as some pre-Columbian works of art.
Witte Museum (official website):
A tour through the history and wildlife of Texas, from the dinosaurs and legacies of the Indians to pioneer huts from the 1800s
King William Historic District (official website):
In the late 19th century, German settlers founded this 25-block district, one of the most elegant of its time. Numerous buildings have been restored. The most beautiful can be found in King William St. The Conservation Society has maps and brochures ready for visitors.
Hemisfair Plaza (official website): In
1968 the San Antonio Worlds Fair took place, the area is now the recreation and entertainment center of downtown. Here you can also find the
Tower of the Americas (official website):
A 230 m high tower, to the top of which you can take glass elevators (daily 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.). A viewing platform (entrance fee) and rotating restaurants offer a beautiful view. Around the tower is a water park with fountains, waterfalls and pools.
La Villita (www.lavillitasanantonio.com):
A reconstruction of the first settlement around the Mission San Antonio de Valero. There are art galleries, shops, and Bilavar Hall, a museum dedicated to early American culture.
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park (official website):
Between 1718 and 1731, San Antonio’s five Spanish mission stations were established along the San Antonio River. Except for The Alamo, the stations now serve as Roman Catholic churches and are administered by the local Catholic Archdiocese, the National Park Service, and the state of Texas. If you follow the freeway ring around the city, you will reach the signposted exit on I-10. From Mission Concepción, visitors are guided through parks on both sides of the San Antonio River to the next station.
Sea World of San Antonio (official website):
The park in San Antonio proudly calls itself the world’s largest adventure park for marine life and is home to killer whales, dolphins, sea lions, sharks, otters, etc., which are presented in numerous demonstrations. There are also stunning roller coasters, water slides, etc.
Six Flags Fiesta Texas (official website):
An entertainment park for the whole family with shows and live performances of country and rock, as well as circus, carousels, roller coasters, etc.
Bats in Bracken Cave near San Antonio:
A cloud seems to rise from the ground when 20 million guano bats swarm out of the cave of Bracken Cave near San Antonio in Texas just before the sun goes down. The natural spectacle repeats itself every summer evening. It takes more than two hours for all the animals to leave the den. It is the largest bat colony known in the world. At some point the cloud disappears in the distance.
You fly to the arable farming region “Winter Garden”, southwest of San Antonio, an area with tens of thousands of hectares of corn, cotton and vegetable fields. Insects regularly cause huge damage there. The corn owl, a moth, is the number one enemy for many farmers. Over Texas alone, the bats eat up to 900,000 kilos of insects in one night.
But how did you find out? The National Weather Service operates a radar station 30 km from “Bracken Cave” in the community of New Braunfels. Radar beams can be used to track moving objects – for example raindrops or hail – on their way through the air. The millions of bats pouring out of the cave look on the radar screen like a huge storm that starts from one point on the ground – the cave – and then spreads across the landscape. With the help of the radar it was also found out which and how many insect pests the bats eat.
An estimated 100 million guano bats take part in the night flights in spring and early summer. They live in a dozen caves in south central Texas. Another 50 million live in the caves of Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona. They are huge colonies of females that migrate from their winter quarters in Mexico to the southwestern United States in the spring. In June each female gives birth to a single cub. The mother leaves the den twice a night to feed and then comes back to suckle her offspring. At the end of July the young bats are ready to go hunting. Then the size of the swarms doubles.
In order to feed herself and the young, a female has to eat an amount of insects that corresponds to 70 percent of her body weight every night. A bat weighs only 15 grams, but a million of them devour 10 tons of insects in one night. The 100 million bats in these schools eat 1,000 tons of pests – every night. Other bat species, including here in Texas, stick to prey that fly close to the ground. Why do the guano bats rise up to 3000 meters? The radar helped here too. It not only shows the hungry hunters, but also the billions of insects high above Texas.
The ten-day Fiesta San Antonio at the end of April celebrates the Battle of San Jacinto, with which the Texan armed forces avenged the massacre at the Alamo.
Climate and Weather
Average temperatures in degrees Celsius:
- January, 16
- February, 19
- March, 23
- April, 27
- May, 29
- June, 33
- July, 35
- August, 35
- September, 32
- October, 28
- November, 22
- December, 18