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Alamo Named by USA Today as Best Free Attraction

The historic event space is part of a UNESCO world heritage site.

By Amy Durham

the Alamo which is a mission-style church stands in front of a dark blue sky
The Alamo // Courtesy of Visit San Antonio

USA Today hosts an annual competition for the “Best Free Attraction,” and the publication has named the Alamo as the winner for 2023. This renowned historical site secured the top spot by garnering the highest number of votes among a competitive lineup of 20 attractions nationwide.

The historic Alamo transports visitors back to the crucial 13-day battle that played a pivotal role in the Texas War of Independence from Mexico in 1836. It was within these historic walls that the legendary Davy Crockett valiantly met his fate. The Alamo’s recognition as the nation’s premier free attraction underscores the site’s significance and value to Texans and to the American people. It draws in over 1.6 million visitors annually and ranks as the most visited destination in the state. In 1960, the Alamo received designation as a United States National Historic Landmark, and in 2015 became part of the Lone Star State’s only UNESCO world heritage site.

The Alamo’s historical church from the mission era in Texas welcomes visitors at no cost, while those interested can opt for timed-ticket entry to explore it at their leisure. Visitors and event guests can take a leisurely stroll through the Alamo Gardens, visit the living history encampment to witness demonstrations depicting life in the 1830s, observe bronze statues of the Alamo fighters, explore the recreations of the Palisade fortification, and marvel at the historic Long Barrack—the oldest remaining structure on the site, dating back to 1724. This summer, the Alamo will unveil its latest exhibit, the Mission Gate and Lunette, showcasing the interpretation of the site’s south wall. This new exhibit will be accessible to the public free of charge, inviting visitors to learn about the 300-year history of the site.

As an event space, the Alamo offers versatile spaces capable of accommodating up to 525 people. A selection of six indoor and outdoor spaces are available for private events, including Alamo Hall, Alamo Hall Patio, Cavalry Courtyard, La Vista Terrace, and Alamo Gardens’ South and Center gardens. To enhance an event agenda, groups can choose to incorporate a history tour, a living history experience, or even a musket-firing demonstration.

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