Quick Escape to San Antonio

San Antonio RiverwalkSan Antonio might be home to the Alamo, but it’s the Riverwalk that lends the city its charm. Take the steps down to this soothing river, shaded by tall cypress, oaks, and willows and you feel transported to a tropical setting just below the busy downtown streets. But the reason I love San Antonio is the fantastic biking. Rent bikes from the Blue Star Bicycling Company at the Blue Star Arts Complex and pedal on the 10-mile-long bike trail called the Mission Reach. It’s not uncommon to find herons, egrets, families of ducks, and turtles lounging in the waters, and colorful wildflowers in full bloom. When the trail ends at Mission Road, you can turn right to visit Mission Concepcion or left to visit Mission San Jose. These early 18th-century Spanish colonial missions are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and part of a national historic park. I always bring my camera to poke around these impressive buildings and get great shots of the light and shadows reflecting off the walls.

But there’s so much more! Two world class art museums, San Antonio Museum of Art and the McNay, one of my favorite botanical gardens in the country, and that dining mecca, The Pearl, that I first described upon its debut in this Washington Post story. Home to the San Antonio branch of the Culinary Institute of America, award-winning restaurants, and a chic boutique hotel built from the remnants of the Pearl Brewery called Hotel Emma, the Pearl is my go-to neighborhood in town. The top restaurant here is Cured, but you better love meat and reserve in advance.