San Antonio, Texas, will forever be associated with the Battle of the Alamo. But the city's Hispanic culture is just as important to its identity. San Antonio is a bit of Mexico, a bit of slick U.S. promotion, and it has an energy that we never get tired of.
San Antonio's identity is shaped by a confluence of cultures: Spanish colonial plazas dating from 1731, German-influenced architecture from the late 1800s and an ambience that came directly from Mexico (which once possessed the land where San Antonio was developed). There are four U.S. military bases and five Spanish missions, including the Alamo—a symbol of Texas itself. With such a distinctive mix, it's little wonder that this city is one of the most popular destinations in the U.S.
Tourism, too, has played a role in San Antonio's development. The 1968 World's Fair prompted a citywide renaissance that spawned HemisFair Park and the Tower of the Americas, and turned the River Walk into a pedestrian-friendly area. Today, San Antonio is one of the top convention cities in Texas, hosting hundreds of events (and thousands of visitors) each year, and it continues to market its educated workforce, family ambience and low cost of living to attract more business to the city.
In recent years, the city's population has grown so much that it's now the second-largest city in Texas, and seventh in the nation. It will soon boast one of the largest medical training centers for the military and its flourishing high-tech companies are giving the city the nickname of "Little Silicon Valley."
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