San Antonio, Texas is a major city in south-central Texas with a rich colonial heritage. It is home to the iconic Alamo, an 18th century Spanish mission that marks an infamous 1836 battle for the independence of Texas from Mexico. The city is also known for its miles-long River Walk, a pedestrian walkway full of cafes and shops that follows the San Antonio River. The Tower of the Americas offers stunning views of the city and is home to the Chart House de la Torre restaurant.
San Antonio is a city of authenticity, where real fun and real adventure are right outside your door. It is home to four Fortune 500 companies and the South Texas Medical Center, the only provider of research and health care in the South Texas region. It is located on both sides of the regional divide between South and Central Texas, and anchors the southwestern corner of an urban megaregion known as the Texas Triangle. The city is also home to a new attraction - Merlin's Sea Life aquarium located inside the Shops at Rivercenter in downtown San Antonio.
San Antonio gets about a dozen nights below zero every year, but snow accumulation and snow itself are very rare. It was also home to the first air-conditioned office building, bank, hotel and Catholic church in the United States. The main campus of the University of Texas at San Antonio, the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and the northwest campus of the University of the Incarnate Word are all located on San Antonio's Northwest Side. Stinson Municipal Airport is a relief airport located six miles (10 km) south of downtown San Antonio.
San Antonio has a unique culture that stems from its Spanish, German and American roots. It offers a wealth of history, art and exciting cuisine. City officials are said to be trying to permanently lure the National Football League to San Antonio. The natural vegetation of the area includes oak and cedar forests, oak grassland savannas, chaparral thickets, and riverine forests (streams).
German immigrants founded smaller cities such as New Braunfels, Castroville, Boerne, Comfort, Fredericksburg and Bulverde in this region. Under the leadership of Ben Milam in December 1835, Texan forces captured San Antonio from forces commanded by General Martín Perfecto de Cos, Santa Anna's brother-in-law. Other attractions include the San Antonio Botanical Garden, Brackenridge Park, the Japanese tea gardens, The Shops at La Cantera, the Sunken Garden Theater, the Woodlawn Theater and Majik Theater - an educational theater for children. Downtown San Antonio and downtown Austin are approximately 80 miles (130 km) apart and both are located along the Interstate 35 corridor.