The River Walk in San Antonio, TX

#3. San Antonio

You’ll remember more than the Alamo after a vacation in San Antonio, Texas. From amusement parks and shopping centers to free historic monuments, festivals and museums, the city can accommodate all budgets.

Located in the heart of San Antonio, the Alamo is one of five Spanish missions along the 12-mile Mission Trail. The attractions are open to the public year round for no charge.

Or, plan your trip around the annual San Antonio Summer Art and Jazz Festival, a free three-day event held on the first full weekend of June. Talk about a party, the city hosts one of the largest and longest parties in the country each April. Fiesta San Antonio goes on for 11 days and includes more than 100 events, parades, festivals, concerts and athletic events.

Downtown, San Antonio’s famed River Walk offers visitors a glimpse into Texas culture, art and commerce. Its latest addition is the Museum Reach, which stretches north from downtown and connects the existing River Walk to the San Antonio Museum of Art and the Pearl Brewery complex.

The city’s countless museums reflect the city’s colorful past, and most host free days each month. Visit the popular Witte Museum free of charge each Tuesday from 3 to 8 p.m., and discover the state’s history through dinosaur skeletons, cave drawings, wildlife dioramas and more. Kids can explore the San Antonio Children’s Museum for free each third Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m.

Kiddos also will love Kiddie Park, the nation’s oldest children’s amusement park. Admission is free and ride tickets can be purchased individually. And an online-only summer special at Six Flags Fiesta Texas allows adults to purchase tickets at the child’s price – a savings of nearly $20 each.

Hotels: 281

Restaurants: 650-plus

Other Attractions: Sea World, Six Flags, Schlitterbahn Waterpark, San Antonio Zoo, Texas Ranger Museum, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Natural Bridge Caverns


See where San Antonio ranks on our other lists:

Top 10 Downtowns

Top 10 Cities for College Grads

Top 10 Haunted Houses

Explore other great military cities like San Antionio:

San Angelo, TX

Jacksonville, NC

Sumter, SC

Panama City, FL


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