Explore San Antonio as a NASPA first time attendee

Happy New Year, First Time NASPA attendees!

How exciting that your first time attending the annual NASPA conference is in the great and friendly state of Texas (taken from Tejas or Teysas the Caddo Nation word for “friendship” or “allies”) and in none other than San Antonio, home of the Alamo, the five-time NBA national champions Spurs, and the best Tex-Mex in the country (no, that’s not an exaggeration).

We are so excited to have you here. No matter your years in student affairs, navigating your first conference can be overwhelming. Never fear - there’s a committee set-up to help alleviate concerns and send information your way. For our January blog, we wanted to provide you with information about all the amazing culture, stories, and knowledge that San Antonio holds.

The conference will be held at and around Henry B. Gonzalez convention center - which is within walking distance of many of the sites, sounds, and offerings of downtown San Antonio.

·      Remember the Alamo! Only a few short blocks from the convention center and hotels, this is one of the most famous landmarks in the state. Check it out and for an added bonus the IMAX movie at the Rivercenter Mall (and yes, there is full-fledged mega mall across the street from the convention center).

·      Artistas, artisans, and more. Both the King William Cultural Arts District (a historically German neighborhood) and La Villita Historic Art District now serve as the place for small art galleries, locally owned shops and restaurants, and beautifully restored houses.

·      Riverwalk. Shops, food, drinks, and live entertainment. Need we say more? This is at the heart of the downtown tourist district. Check out the guide. If you want to go to Casa Rio (the first Mexican restaurant on the Riverwalk) be sure to plan on waiting.

o   Pro-tip: If you want to hear a beautiful live Peruvian band, check out Andean Fusion at the “start” of the riverwalk (just outside the mall).

·      The Institute of Texan Cultures (part of University of Texas at San Antonio) shares stories of immigrants from around the world and why those chose (or were brought) to Texas. Spend time here to learn more about those historical roots.

You can also explore San Antonio with other fellow NASPA attendees through some of NASPA community initiatives:

·      Sign-up for the conference campus tours and visit UTSA, St.Mary’s, Trinity, and Texas A&M - San Antonio to see how the city’s vibrant culture is reflected in a handful of it’s many educational institutions.

·      Volunteer with NASPA at the SA food bank, which in 2016 provided 62 million pounds of food to residents of Southwest Texas

Want to learn more? Visit the conference website or search and use #NASPA17 on social media.

See you in San Antonio!