Article Courtesy Scrapjazz.com: by Patricia Folchert
Deep in the heart of Texas stands the enchanting city of San Antonio. Steeped in authentic Texan history, wrapped in its own river and brimming with cultural activities and events, this city is overflowing with potential. San Antonio is a very popular city to visit; they host countless events annually and invite tourists into their midst with true southern hospitality. In fact they are one of the top five friendliest cities in America, according to NBC’s Today Show. Let’s take a closer look at what this uniquely inviting city has to offer.
This destination has mastered the art of contrast; they have found a charming balance of old-world quaint meets new-world contemporary. For those of us with families that means options and lots of them, which means your six year old is just as entertained as your sixteen year old and your interests just as accessible as your spouse’s, which can make or break any vacation. Here in San Antonio there is a wonderful diversity to the choices of daily entertainment. This city rates in the top ten family destinations as reported by D.K. Schiffler.
- The Alamo- Take a living history lesson, and learn more of the battle for this state’s independence.
- The Missions Trail- Visit four missions on the trail including the Concepcion, San Jose, Espada and San Juan Capistrano. The end of the trail is the Alamo itself.
- The River Walk- Stroll the cobblestone paths of the River Walk one level below the busy city above. Don’t miss out on the evening river cruise tours either.
- San Antonio Zoo & Aquarium- One of the largest zoos in the nation with several internationally acclaimed exhibits including 3,500 animals.
- Dude Ranches- That’s right, real working dude ranches are available for a family vacation cowboy-style or just visit during the day for a horseback ride.
- Market Square Downtown Shopping- If you like shopping for Mexican pottery, folk art, toys or sombreros this is your best bet.
- Texas Ranger Museum- This museum honors the history of the famous law enforcement agency.
- Brackenridge Park- Tour this lovely park that includes a Japanese Tea Garden, the San Antonio Botanical Garden and the zoo.
- Texas Hill Country- Hiking, biking and riding horses through rolling, scenic terrain are all options.
- Wineries- Texas Hill Country wineries are the #2 fastest growing wine destinations in the country.
- Friedrich Wilderness Park- A 240-acre nature preserve, it is an urban escape tucked in the hills of northwest San Antonio.
- River Running- Tubing, canoeing and rafting are available for floats down the Guadalupe, San Marcos, Comal and Frio rivers.
New World Contemporary Attractions
- Six Flags Fiesta Texas- Your kids will love this amusement park complete with eight roller coasters, award-winning shows, Looney Tunes characters and a free water park.
- 40 Golf Courses- This city has 300 days of sunshine annually; need I say more?
- Schlitterbahn Water Park Resort- This is one of the country’s most popular water parks for good reason: 65 acres of splashing fun for everyone in the family.
- Local Sports Teams- Catch a game; there are four teams here locally- San Antonio Spurs, San Antonio Silver Stars, San Antonio Rampage, and San Antonio Missions.
- Sea World San Antonio- A theme park that celebrates sea life with shows, animal interactions, a water park, rides and educational exhibits will appeal to your family.
- Natural Bridge Caverns- Discover a half-mile underground adventure with a vast limestone cavern carved millions of years ago by underground water. Test your climbing skills at the Watchtower while attached to a zip line.
- Wonder World Park- Discover the nation’s only true example of an earthquake-formed cave on the Balcones Fault Line and check out their Anti-Gravity House.
- River Center Mall- Resembling a monolithic glass house full of life with an array of stores, restaurants and entertainment, it is located in the heart of the city on the River Walk.
- Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch- Try an African safari Texan-style.
- IMAX Theater- Located at the River Center Mall, it shows new releases and some local historical movies.
- Tower of the Americas- Take a glass elevator 750 feet up to the Flags over Texas observatory and marvel at the panoramic views.
- North Star Mall- 200 retailers and the home of the largest cowboy boots in the world!
- San Antonio Children’s Museum- Let the kids’ imaginations lead them through this museum especially for them.
- Witte Museum- Here is another of the children’s favorites due to Dino Hall and a two-story Science Tree house.
- Main Plaza- Let your kids splash around in five interactive fountains.
Top Photo Opportunities
- The Alamo: For a daytime shot the late afternoon is best, but night shots are also popular due to the special lighting.
- The Spanish Missions: The best times to photograph the Alamo are the same for Concepcion, San Jose, Espada and San Juan Capistrano.
- The River Walk: Daylight shots are postcard-ready and at night the river lighting is positively magical.
- Brackenridge Park: You will find throughout the park concrete sculptures tinted to resemble wood, by Mexican artist Dionicio Rodriguez.
- The San Antonio Botanical Garden: Reconstructed with dwellings from several Texas sub-climates that allow for great contrasting shots.
- San Antonio Museum of Art: This museum offers unique contemporary architecture.
- The Pearl Brewery Complex: Photograph a historic brewery being converted into a center for the culinary arts.
- Multiple Mosaic Murals: These murals are located at the San Antonio International Airport, the Lila Cockrell Theatre in the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, the Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital across from Milam Park and Market Square, and along the River Walk.
- Contemporary Painted Mural Art: Other murals are scattered throughout the city, especially on the West Side where there are the most vibrant examples.
Make the Memories Last
After experiencing everything this area has to offer and capturing those extraordinary photo opportunities along the way, you will certainly have lots of scrap-able material. How do you decide on layout themes? You could break your photos into categories by event and let that create your theme, or you could choose an authentic Texas style to use on all your pages. Another idea is to take your cue from the contemporary flair of the city and build a layout that way. Regardless of what you decide, I have three layouts below that may help inspire your creative energy to flow like the San Antonio River.
Remember The Alamo
This single layout utilizing a single 8” x 10” photo gets its inspiration from the Wild West and uses chocolate brown and silver to provide a neutral palette that allows the photo to take center stage.
Photo by: Shirley Griffin; Materials used: Stampin Up- Brown Star Background Paper; DCWV Metallic Silver Textured Cardstock; Karen Foster Designs-#60249 Dusty Yellow Crackle Paper; “ALAMO” Letters: DCWV White Alphabet/Chipboard Sticker Stack; “the” letter rub ons: Chatterbox love tags-#23312-Gallery; Silver Star embellishments-Studs Markings by C.R. Gibson; Journal box Stamp: Prima Clear Stamps/#850418; 3D pop-up dots; Tombow Adhesive Tape Runner
Deep in the Heart
Good fun with family and friends on the River Walk inspired this seven-photo double layout, which uses downloaded online city maps, a journal tag and pocket and wonderfully cool tones of plum, lavender and sage green.
Photos by: Tom & Shirley Griffin; Materials used: textured plum cardstock; lavender cardstock; NRN Designs- Green Scroll #B12250; light green gem stones; inked edges Stampin Up- Eggplant Envy & Sage Shadow; Photo corners- Fiskars corner punch; “DEEP in the”- pale green alpha punch outs #36230 Colorbok; Red Heart- Colorbok/Paper Crush “Rock” WC faux leather; journal tag- Oriental Trading; Tombow Adhesive Tape Runner
Authentically San Antonio
This double layout uses an authentic southwestern color combination of earth tones and shades of green to highlight three photos of a few favorite vacation stops.
Photos by: Tom & Shirley Griffin; Materials used: Stampin Up patterned papers; Journal block-Color Core’dinations-Whitewash Collection Grandpa’s Trunk; journal stamp-Autumn Leaves Clear Stamp-Stitched Journaling Panels; letter stickers: Colorbok gold Halloween; “TEXAS” BasicGrey- Phoebe letter stickers; Black Star Sticker- Colorbok Paper Crush Rock-faux leather; horseshoe, longhorn & boots stickers-Jolee’s Boutique/Wild West; ink-Stampin Up Chocolate Chip Marker; Tombow Adhesive Tape Runner; ; 3D pop-up dots
So there it is, what you will find deep in the heart of Texas. But don’t take my word for it, research and plan your own trip today by going to visitsanantonio.com for more information on travel. While you’re online and upon your return from Texas be sure to upload your favorite Texas layouts to our website here at Scrapjazz.com