People automatically think of Paris as the world hotspot for romantic vacations, but for most of us it’s too costly and complicated to consider as a realistic getaway. So what do you do when you and your partner want to have a relaxing few days, but want to keep it simple and within a budget?
Believe it or not, San Antonio is quite a reasonable choice when you’re looking for a place to escape. Although you might more readily associate it with basketball, San Antonio is also famous for being the big city that feels like a charming small town.
The downtown area, and the fabulous Riverwalk in particular, draws thousands of tourists every year who are searching for a modern place with an old-town feel. San Antonio delivers all that and more.
For the ultimate in romance, make sure to stay in a hotel that overlooks the river. It may seem like a pricey option, but there are actually plenty of hotels in every price range all up and down the river, and they nearly all come equipped with more than a modicum of luxury and charm.
The best part is, staying on the river pretty much alleviates the need for a car – many of the downtown hotels provide a shuttle from the airport, and once you’re on the river you’ll never have to go farther than walking distance to have a romantic dinner or to dance the night away.
The Riverwalk is kind of a small town in itself. You can literally spend hours strolling down the river bank, stopping to sample the seemingly countless trendy cafés and restaurants, all interspersed with cute shops.
After dark the excitement builds as live bands play everything from rock music to classical and jazz. Restaurants dim the lights and the Riverwalk becomes a world of romance. There are places to dance, places to drink, and places to chill out in between.
Everything stays open late, and if you keep the party rolling long enough you can even stay out and watch the sunrise, or enjoy a traditional San Antonio breakfast at one of the city’s numerous Tex-Mex restaurants.
During the day there are plenty of historical sights to explore, and lots of shopping to be done. The Alamo itself is right in the center of town, near all the large malls and shopping areas, so combining a bit of history with some retail therapy is as simple as taking a short walk from your hotel.
For the best view of the city, take a ride up to the top of the Tower of the Americas, where you can enjoy a fantastic lunch in the revolving restaurant, overlooking the downtown area.
The only thing to be careful about is the weather. San Antonio is intensely hot and humid in the summer, and although most people think they would enjoy it, when they actually get out in it they often wish they’d chosen a more reasonable time of year.
September and October boast lovely, moderate weather, as do March and April. Personally I would avoid traveling to South Texas any time between May and August, but perhaps if you really do thrive in steam room conditions, you might be able to handle it.
San Antonio is a vibrant, growing city that thrives on its tourist industry, so you can rest assured that you will be in good hands during your vacation. A rich cultural history combined with exceptional visual surroundings make San Antonio the perfect setting for the romantic getaway you’ve always dreamed about.
Pic of the Day: Milk Drunk and silly