You could argue that San Antonio had a head start in Texas Highways’ countdown of the Texas Top 40 travel destinations. As a historic frontier hub and the state’s oldest big city, San Antonio has captured our collective imagination for centuries. San Antonio’s heritage of fortitude, culture, and diversity embodies Texas spirit at its best—from the Alamo defenders to the Chili Queens to the NBA champion San Antonio Spurs.
The fringed leather pouch that David Crockett carried his musket balls in the day he fell at the Alamo made its trip to Texas with Crockett in 1836. On Tuesday, Oct. 28, it returns to the Alamo via British pop-legend Phil Collins who is donating what is considered the biggest and best collection of Alamo artifacts ever assembled.
You can’t blame folks for donning coonskin caps and partaking in the tourist tradition that is San Antonio’s River Walk. However, if the Alamo and surrounding area are all you ever see of the “Alamo City,” you’re missing out. I embarked on a southbound adventure, and my view of San Antonio will never be the same.
I hadn’t lived in Texas for very long before learning that “comfort food” takes on specific meaning here. A friend and I in San Antonio were looking for some dinner, and a resident rattled off nearby eats: pizza, Tex-Mex, and, of course, a comfort-food restaurant.
The writers who contribute to Texas Highways exemplify a few traits in common: They’re experienced travelers guided by curiosity, adventure, culture, and hard-earned wisdom.
The Alamo. Utter those words and nearly every Texan sees in their mind an iconic image: rugged and defiant Davy Crockett wearing buckskins and a coonskin cap. Well, actually most of us envision either Fess Parker or John Wayne playing Davy Crockett, but the outfit remains essential-ly the same.
No matter what task he’s engaged in—slicing limes, shaking cocktails, restocking the three-tiered tequila case—bartender Robert Varela pivots from what he’s doing behind the bar at San Antonio’s Frutería Botanero to greet guests with a welcoming bellow, “Bienvenido. Welcome.”
Most Texans with deep roots in the state treasure the contributions their ancestors made to its unique history. But there may not be a clan with a keener appreciation of its role in this immense and storied land than the Guerra family of far South Texas.
I feel a tug of skepticism as I test my tricycle legs at a storage facility just north of downtown San Antonio, preparing for this self-propelled tour.
Immerse yourself in the colorful works of influential French artist Henri Matisse (1869-1954) this summer at the San Antonio Museum of Art.
San Antonio has so many historic places it could take an out-of-towner a lifetime of visits to see them all. I made dozens of Alamo pilgrimages over a half-century before I discovered one of the city’s tastiest—and most historic—locales: Schilo’s Delicatessen, on Commerce Street just west of the famous Commerce Street bridge and within bugle range of the Alamo itself.