Courier July Courier - Page 27

Mission San Jose A trio grande San Antonio embraces its vibrant history, and the city’s heritage sites, traditional festivals and contemporary developments celebrate the many origin points of San Antonians. San Antonio River Walk This star attraction allows visitors Dinner on a river barge and locals alike to stroll along the flagstone paths that flank the San Antonio River. The scenery ranges from parklike and serene to the bustle of bars, boutiques, restaurants and high-rises. Open-air boats are an excellent way for groups to get a tour of the city, or they can enjoy a meal as they drift down the river. and near San Antonio were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites in 2015. The structures date back to the 18th century, when Franciscan missionaries evangelized in the area while Spain defended the northern reaches of its North American territory. The missions’ builders combined elements of indigenous and Old World design, and the structures are preserved by the U.S. National Park Service, the Archdiocese of San Antonio and the State of Texas. Fiesta de las Luminarias This annual festival, which takes place on the first three weekends in December, transforms the San Antonio River Walk with thousands of paper lanterns. The softly glowing lights create a symbolic path for the Holy Family leading up to Christmas. Another holiday highlight is boat caroling, when local choral groups board boats and sing as they cruise along the 2.5-mile River Walk. San Antonio Missions Five Spanish frontier missions in 25