Sunday, April 6, 2008

Short Vacation Recommendation - San Antonio

So the wife and I are in San Antonio for the Final Four (let's not talk any more about that event, however). We had been to San Antonio recently and were fairly impressed with the riverwalk, even though we didn't do much other than walk one tiny part of it and eat at a couple restaurants in that part. This time we took a boat tour of the entire thing and walked much more. It's very nice. There is a mall with some fairly normal mall things in it at one end, and there appear to be a few other tourist type things to do around the riverwalk like arts and crafts stores. If you want to get away for a couple days without kids, this could be an enjoyable destination. Southwest flies to San Antonio, so if you live near an airport that Southwest flies out of, you can probably get a decent flight there.

We didn't have a chance to hit Market Square or the Hemisfair, but those looked interesting. There's an Imax theater right downtown. If you're doing only downtown things, consider just taking a taxi or shuttle back and forth to the airport. Both appear to be priced similar for two people, but if you have a third or fourth with you then the taxi is cheaper. There are a ton of good hotels downtown, many right on the riverwalk. Don't fear the ones that are a few blocks away if you want to save some money, though.

If kids are part of the equation, don't fear! In this case I'd recommend getting a rental car (well, technically I recommend a rental minivan!) and plan to spend at least one day at Sea World San Antonio. It's about 15 minutes outside downtown and fairly easy to get to. Unlike the Orlando Sea World, this one is a little more of a full service theme park complete with a pool and water ride section as well as roller coasters and such. We didn't get a chance to do any rides, but the Shamu, Beluga, and water ski shows were all very good. The dolphin petting area was also good, giving you a chance to buy a few small fish that you could feed to the dolphins, which meant they'd let you pet them a little.

I thought that park was top notch...very close in terms of facilities and people to that of a Disney park. All in all, I think San Antonio is a pretty good little vacation destination for a short trip that's a little different.

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