San Antonio

by , SmarterTravel Staff
The River Walk, San Antonio (Photo: SACVB/Al Rendon)
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on May 18, 2009. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: AirTran, beach, Cayman Airways, Cayman Islands, Cheap Tickets, Costa Rica, Curacao, destination, Expedia, Ft. Myers, Jessica Labrencis, JetBlue, low season, Orbitz, San Antonio, Sanibel Island, shoulder season, Southwest, Spirit, summer, Travelocity.

As Travel + Leisure magazine's number one city for affordability and number two city for ethnic food and cheap eats, San Antonio is widely known as an inexpensive yet fun place to visit. Summer—August in particular—is a good time to visit because there are deals aplenty for hotels and attractions alike.

The San Antonio Vacation Experience (S.A.V.E.) offered by the convention and visitors bureau includes great deals for nearly every aspect of a San Antonio trip, such as hotel discounts at upscale properties and coupons for tours, theme parks, and museums. Attractions discounts include Alamo sightseeing tours, IMAX theater tickets, city and trolley tours, and admission to the San Antonio Zoo, San Antonio Botanical Gardens, SeaWorld, and Six Flags. You can order a S.A.V.E. brochure for free to assist as you plan your vacation.

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As for hotel deals, the Grand Hyatt San Antonio is offering 20 percent off the best available rate and free breakfast, while the Hyatt Regency San Antonio is offering the third night free for three-night stays. Meanwhile, the Omni San Antonio Hotel at the Colonnade is offering SeaWorld and Six Flags packages that include a hotel room, breakfast for two, and admission to the parks starting at $187. The Westin Riverwalk San Antonio's Family Summer package includes four San Antonio River Cruise tickets, breakfast for four, and one in-room movie per day starting at $269.

You'll also find deals on airfare when you travel in summer. When I checked, I found savings of up to $139 on August flights compared to flights in March.

Route Off-Peak Fare Peak Fare
Los Angeles to San Antonio $219 $358
Miami to San Antonio $186 $197
Portland to San Antonio $235 $320
Providence to San Antonio $225 $228

Off-peak fares are based on travel from August 18 to 25, 2009, and peak fares are based on travel from March 23 to 30, 2010. Prices were found on Expedia and include taxes and fees.

San Antonio also has plenty of summer festivals, if you needed more reasons to visit. Through August 8, San Antonio holds the Fiesta Noche Del Rio on Friday and Saturday nights at the River Walk's Arneson River Theatre. The performances include songs and dances of Texas, Mexico, Argentina, and Spain. July is Contemporary Art Month in San Antonio, with events at more than 50 museums, galleries, and studios around the city. The River Walk also hosts the FORD Canoe Challenge on August 15, a competition between more than 90 canoe teams.

The Visit San Antonio website should be your first stop in planning your vacation to San Antonio.

Have any other ideas for summertime off-peak destinations? Know of other events taking place in these destinations this summer? Share your stories below!

(Editor's Note: SmarterTravel is a member of the TripAdvisor Media Network, an operating company of Expedia, Inc. Expedia, Inc. also owns Expedia.com.)

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