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Your destination - San Antonio

San Antonio is the home of the Alamo, symbol of Texas independence. San Antonio was named after a river which was named after a saint (who gave his name to the mission that would later be called the Alamo). San Antonio is located in south central Texas and set in the rolling hills that overlook the San Antonio River, which is spanned by many bridges and winds its way past the city's many parks, plazas, and historic buildings. Along the river bank in midtown San Antonio is the Paseo del Rio, a popular promenade flanked by smart shops and restaurants shaded by large cypress and palm trees. The HemisFair Plaza, site of the world's fair celebrating San Antonio's 250th anniversary, contains the Tower of Americas which provides visitors a splendid panoramic view of the city.

Notable points of interest are the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, which preserves the four missions established by the Spanish; La Villita, a little village of restored buildings; Market Square, styled after the markets of Mexico; the King William District settled by wealthy German merchants in the 19th century; the Spanish Governor's Palace, completed in 1749; and San Fernando Cathedral. Other attractions are the Japanese Tea Gardens inside Brackenridge Park; the 33-acre San Antonio Biological Gardens and Conservatory; the zoo and aquarium, theater, dance, and the symphony. Alamodome is the home of the NBA Spurs and the Alamo Bowl, which features the annual post-season college football game. Area theme parks include Fiesta Texas and Sea World of Texas. Major annual events are the Fiesta celebration, the Texas Folklife Festival, and the San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo.

This bilingual city (56% Hispanic heritage) with an estimated population now close to a million. The city's growth is partly the result of its appeal as a retirement community and partly the immigration from Mexico. Economically, it is the center of commerce, manufacturing, finance, and agriculture for the Rio Grande Valley. It is site of the North American Development Bank. Other economic factors are tourism and the heavy military concentration, including Fort Sam Houston, headquarters of the Fifth Army and home of the Brooke Army Medical Center, and several major Air Force bases.


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