San Antonio Missions National Historical Park is a site of important historical and heritage importance. It was first established in 1978 to ensure the protection of the area and the history of the Spanish colonial area missions system.
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park is a monument to the mission systems’ importance in the United States. The area, which holds five missions along with several historical and archaeological sites, covers more than 475 acres and is the only UNESCO World Heritage site in Texas.
About San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
The San Antonio Missions National Historical Park comprises the 4 original Spanish missions established between 1718 and 1731. The missions were established to create a colonial territory that, at the time, was part of New Spain and fell under Spanish control.
The Missions National Historical Park now serves as an important heritage site that recognizes and celebrates the multicultural role of the area, which became a fusion of Native American, Spanish-Latino and Western cultures.
Facts About San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
- Location: San Antonio, Texas. The National Historical Park lies at 29°21′42″N 98°28′49″W.
- The nearest Major City: is San Antonio, Texas.
- San Antonio Missions National Park gained UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 2015 and is the only UNESCO site in Texas.
- Area of the Missions: The Missions are around 1.3 square miles.
- Length of Missions Trail: The Missions Trail is 9 miles long.
- Missions at San Antonio Missions Park, Texas: 4 Missions comprise the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park; Mission Concepción, Mission San José, Mission San Juan, Mission Espada
- Summer Temperatures: The average high temperature is 94°F, and the average low is 72°F
- Winter Temperatures: The average high temperature is 64°F, with the low being 40°F
- Closest Airports: San Antonio International Airport is approximately 20 minutes from most of the Missions.
- Operating Hours: The Park is open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily. The Park closes on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.
- Entry Fee: The Park does not ask for an entry fee to any of the 4 Missions.
- Best Hotels: Riverwalk Plaza, Menga Hotel, Grand Hyatt San Antonio River Walk, Canopy by Hilton San Antonio River Walk, O’Brien Historic Hotel
What’s San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, Known For?
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park is known for its historical and cultural value to the Southwest. The Park includes 4 Missions and miles of waterways that run through the downtown areas. The Park also includes several archaeological sites and a trail.
- 4 Missions
- Missions Trail
- The Acequias (waterways)
- Archaeological sites
Where Is San Antonio Missions National Historical Park?
San Antonio Missions National Park is spread out within downtown San Antonio; it stretches 9 miles and meanders along the San Antonio River.
- Leon Valley
- Canyon Lake
- Live Oak
- Universal City
- New Braunfels
- San Marcos
The San Antonio Missions National Historical Park is located in San Antonio, making it close to San Antonio’s neighboring towns.
Layout Of San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
The National Historical Park runs along the San Antonio River, and each Mission is connected by Mission Road and the Riverfront Parkway. There are several biking and walking trails between the Missions, which are spread 2 to 3 miles apart, along with other historical sites.
Missions In San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
- Mission Concepción (Mission Nuestra Senora de la Purisima Concepcion de Acuna)
- Mission San José (Mission San Jose y San Miguel de Aguayo)
- Mission San Juan (Mission San Juan Capistrano)
- Mission Espada (Mission San Francisco de la Espada)
Getting About San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
As San Antonio Missions National Historical Park is a national monument located within a relatively small area, visitors can either choose to visit the missions on foot, by bike, or by car. It can be found in the center of the town and within easy reach of most areas.
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|Cycling||Bring your own or rent||varies|
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Over 9 miles of trail run between the Missions and historical sites that make up the San Antonio Missions Historical Park. Visitors should take water with them as the trail is not shaded and can get very warm during summer.
Visitors can cycle either by road or via the River Walk / Missions Trail, and there are B-Cycle stations at each Mission where visitors can hire a B-Cycle for 24hrs.
One can drive between the Missions, and it is best to either take your vehicle or hire one as visitors will want to spend time at each Mission. Alternatively, a Taxi or Uber can be used to one point, and visitors can walk or cycle until the trail’s end for collection.
What To Do In San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
As the Park is a heritage site, there are many historical sites to visit, including the 4 missions and the acequias. Visitors can also enjoy walks and cycles along the Mission Trail.
The Park offers various guided tours and is situated in the center of San Antonio, close to many attractions. Here is a list of the activities on offer in the Park:
- Ranger-guided tours
- Informal ranger tours
- Mission Trails walks and cycling
- San Antonio Missions audio tour
Where To Eat
While there are no restaurants within the Park, it lies along the picturesque River Walk that meanders through the city, providing easy access to shops and restaurants.
- Chart House Restaurant – Tower of the Americas
This is a popular eatery that specializes in seafood dishes
A top South Texas restaurant that offers modern American cuisine.
- Brasserie Mon Chou Chou
Providing the ultimate in Parisian French food, this restaurant has a simple menu that has been perfected.
- Fogo de Chao – San Antonio
This is a Brazilian eatery with a meat focus and superbly done churrasco – roasting meat on a flame.
Where To Stay
There is no accommodation within the Park itself. Still, with the Park being so centrally located, there are many top hotels within 5 miles of the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park.
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park FAQs
Is San Antonio Missions National Historical Park A Heritage Site?
Yes, the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park is a heritage site and a UNESCO world heritage site, being the only UNESCO site in Texas.
When Was San Antonio National Historical Park Formed?
San Antonio Missions National Park was first included in the National Register of Historic Places in 1978
Can You Walk Between The Missions?
Yes, you can walk between the Missions in the Park; each Mission is within an easy 2 to 3 miles walk from the next.
Is The Alamo Part Of San Antonio Missions National Historic Park?
No, the Alamo is not part of San Antonio Missions National Park; it falls under the Texas General Land Office.