San Antonio City Facts, History, and Population
Size & Location
With a population of 1,144,646, San Antonio is the 8th largest city in the United States. San Antonio is geographically large as well, with 368.6 square miles. The city is in South Central Texas, 140 miles northwest of the Gulf of Mexico, and 150 miles northeast of Laredo, which is on the Mexican border.
San Antonio has been ranked by Conde Nast Traveler as the #2 U.S. travel destination, and the #9 worldwide destination. It has been called "every Texan's favorite city," and Will Rogers dubbed San Antonio as "one of four unique cities in America."
The site of modern-day San Antonio was originally a Coahuiltecan Indian Village. In 1691, Spanish explorers and missionaries came upon a river on Saint Anthony's Day, naming it the San Antonio River. In 1718, San Antonio was established as a Spanish military post, originally called the Misi?n San Antonio, and later dubbed the Alamo. Later in its history, the city became a center for cattle ranching and drew large numbers of European immigrants, especially from Germany and Czechoslovakia.
San Antonio's roots were largely military, and the city continues to have a large military presence today. Fort Sam Houston acts as the headquarters for the U.S. Army Medical Command as well as the home of the Fifth Army. Air Force Bases include Lackland, Randolph and Brooks. There are about 85,000 military personnel in San Antonio.
The weather is San Antonio is semitropical, with the most rain and humidity from July through September, and the best weather during fall and spring. Average temperatures in September are 79.4 degrees, and January's averages are around 50 degrees.
Business & Products
San Antonio's major business sectors include hospitality and medical/biotechnology. As for products, the city produces large amounts of beer, petroleum and cattle. With 12 accredited universities and colleges, San Antonio is also known as a college town and center for higher education.
Alamo City Folklore
With so many deaths occurring during the Siege on the Alamo in 1836, it's not surprising that tales of ghosts and hauntings abound. One famous San Antonio ghost is a little blonde-haired boy who appears every year during February. He appears in the left upstairs window above the gift shop, high above the ground with no ledge for a real person to stand on.
The San Antonio Paseo del Rio, or River Walk, is one of the country's most famous and picturesque walks. The paths and stairways, made of cobblestone, were built in the 1930s as a federal project during the Depression years. The River Walk features some of the city's best shops, cafes and entertainment.