30 Facts about San Antonio’s 300 Years of Culture and History
What do you really know about San Antonio? Did you know the San Antonio Spurs came from Dallas? Or where the first HEB grocery store opened? In honor of the tricentennial, we searched and gathered 30 facts about Alamo City. If you have a fact about San Antonio that we didn’t include below, let us know!
30 San Antonio Facts:
- The name “San Antonio” came from St. Anthony of Padua. The day a group of Spanish explorers came to this settlement happened to be the same day as St. Anthony de Padua’s feast day, June 13.
- By 1773, San Antonio was the capital of Spanish Texas.
- In December of 1836, the new Republic of Texas established Bexar County after the defeat of Mexican forces at San Jacinto.
- To celebrate San Antonio’s tricentennial and its key milestones, May 1 to 6, 2018 was designated as Commemorative Week.
- The San Antonio Missions National Historical Park is also part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- There are four Spanish missions in the National Park System: Mission Concepción, Mission San José, Mission San Juan Capistrano and Mission Espada.
- The McNay Art Museum was the first modern art museum in Texas.
- San Fernando Cathedral is the oldest church in Texas, which was completed in 1749.
- In 1990, there was a naming contest and the Alamodome could have been called Megadome, Fiesta Dome or Texadome.
- In 1978, the San Antonio Missions became a part of the National Park System.
- In 1972, La Villita became a part of the National Register of Historic Places.
- The first Fiesta began in 1891 and has flourished into a multi-day, citywide party.
- Luminaria is an annual evening public arts festival that spreads across various San Antonio neighborhoods to celebrate the arts.
- Kiddie Park is the oldest children’s amusement park in the country.
- The San Antonio Zoo was the first in the country to breed the endangered whooping crane.
- The oldest industrial building in Bexar County, 1878 Pumphouse #1, is still standing in Brackenridge Park.
- The San Antonio Spurs started out as The Dallas Chaparrals.
- The San Antonio Missions mascot is a jalapeño named Ballapeño, and before that it was a puffy taco named Henry!
- Chef-owners of Mixtli, Rico Torres and Diego Galicia, were named best new chefs in 2017 by Food & Wine magazine.
- The Tower of the Americas building can be seen from anywhere in the city!
- There are over 50 Bill Miller restaurants in Bexar County.
- Even though HEB headquarters is in San Antonio, the original location was opened in Kerrville (and named the CC Butt Grocery Store).
- San Antonio is the seventh-largest city in the country.
- According to the 2015 Tourism Report, 34.4 million visitors came to the San Antonio metropolitan area.
- The San Antonio River is 240 miles long and crosses five counties.
- There are scenes from “Selena” and “Miss Congeniality” that were filmed along the riverwalk.
- The San Pedro Creek Culture Park will have 3,905 linear feet of paseos (walkways), and the first segment was recently completed.
- The beautiful San Pedro Springs Park is actually the second oldest park in the U.S.
- Rebecca Creek Distillery, one of the largest artisan spirit producers in the region, is based in San Antonio, Texas.
- More than 2.5 million people visit the Alamo every year.
What are you doing this weekend in San Antonio?
Wet your whistle at Rebecca Creek Distillery. Discover the distillation process and the 1,000-gallon Christian Carl copper pot we use to make our crafted spirits. Every tour comes with a sampling in our tasting room, and after the tour, you can sit back and enjoy refreshing cocktails made with Rebecca Creek Whiskey, Texas Ranger Whiskey or Enchanted Rock Vodkas. You can also check out our weekly events at the distillery such as Open Mic Night and Trivia Night.