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Honeymoon In San Antonio, Texas

by Kathryn Lemmon, Wedding Zone Staff Writer

When you hear the name San Antonio, you'll no doubt think of The Alamo, but you're in for a pleasant surprise, there's much more. It's an energetic city, bursting with night life, diverse activities and of course, romance. Like spicy Southwestern salsa, a honeymoon in this Texas town will be hot, hot, hot...(as the song says!)

One of the most-visited sites after the Alamo is the famous River Walk. This winding waterway is situated below street level and should be on your must-see list. With multicolored outdoor umbrellas, a number of attractive stone bridges and old-growth trees framing the scene, the setting is enchanting. Slow-moving boats, filled with passengers, meander through the area.

Wander the River Walk after dark for a romantic atmosphere that's pure San Antonio. The gentle flow of the water and warm evening air combine into an intoxicating sensation. Delicious aromas wafting from the restaurants along the River Walk, such as the Zuni Grill or Boudro's, will tempt you into trying real Southwestern cuisine. Go for it...you won't be disappointed. Just be sure you have plenty of water on hand to wash down those chili peppers!

At the Rivercenter Mall, on the lower level, you can pick up a ticket and board one of the boats. Your guide will joke and laugh his way through the 40-minute excursion, pointing out the significant landmarks. In total, the River Walk is about two and a half miles in length.

If you are interested in Spanish Colonial Architecture, save half a day to visit the missions. In addition to the Alamo, which was the first mission, San Antonio has four others which lie along the Mission Trail.

Although they had Apache and Comanche raiders to contend with, the missions reached their peak between 1747 and 1775 and were the basis for the modern city of San Antonio. It's best to make your first stop Mission San Jose, where you'll find the visitor center. Their short film will give you background information to make sense of the missions and their function. San Jose has been called the "Queen of the Missions."

Except for the Alamo, all the missions continue as parish churches today. Mission San Jose hosts numerous weddings throughout the year. When we arrived, a photography session was in full swing, with a young bride posing in full regalia for the photographer. The weathered tan stone (she was outside) made an excellent backdrop, not-to-mention a striking contrast for her immaculate white dress.

For family and friends back home, visit El Mercado (the market), to pick up locally-made souvenirs. El Mercado is a large, indoor shopping area modeled after an authentic Mexican market. With over 35 specialty shops, you can have a wonderful time selecting just the right mementos.

Mother Nature has been especially kind to San Antonio, blessing her with over 300 days of sunshine and an average temperature of 70 degrees, thus outdoor pursuits are popular year round. If you like golf, there are over 30 courses.

Visitors to San Antonio aren't likely to run out of attractions. In fact, you could easily fill a week. The toughest part is narrowing down the list. Two other full-day options are Sea World Adventure Park and Fiesta Texas, a Six Flags Theme Park.

If you prefer to say downtown, there are plenty of fine lodging options. The Plaza San Antonio, operated by Marriott, is a peaceful, lush oasis located just a few blocks from the River Walk. The hotel incorporates several historic structures within their grounds, which are now used as meeting space and the fitness center. Their staff is first-rate and will cater to your every need. Call (210) 229-1000 for information.

In San Antonio, they say "the past is always present," but the city isn't afraid to look toward the future either. For more information about traveling to San Antonio, click on www.SanAntonioCVB.com.


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