|Subject: Re: San Antonio|
For John Rule and anyone else interested in SA:
I think San Antonio is beloved by all Texans--our family tries to escape there at least twice a year. In addition to all of the great advice you've already received from other Ziners, I'll throw in my 2 cents:
In my bookmarks, I keep the events calendar at the Convention Bureau site handy, http://www.sanantoniocvb.com, and I always check out more detailed current events at http://www.mysantonio.com (local newspaper's site). Depending on when in November you visit, you may get in on the Dia de los Muertos celebrations at the beginning of the month or the trad'l Mexican Christmas festivities that will begin closer to Thanksgiving. I also always double check who is playing at Greune Hall, http://www.gruenehall.com, which is a famous/infamous old-style Texas dance hall a 30-45 min. drive out of town. If you are shoppers, folks love the Outlet Mall (huge, lots of upscale brands) up the road in San Marcos. There are a lot of neat outdoorsy/nature things to do fairly close by; my personal non-summertime favorite is hiking up Enchanted Rock (outside Fredericksburg, which is antique shoppers' heaven) on a night when there will be a great moon or star gazing opportunity. The Texas Parks &Wildlife Department has a pretty terrific website for more info along those lines @ http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us.
Our hotel favorites: On the Riverwalk, La Mansion (http://www.lamansion.com) or the Marriott Rivercenter (connected to the shopping center, not their older property across the river). The former combines deluxe accommodations w/ character &personal attention. The latter is a huge convention center hotel, but we think it is the nicest of that sort, which predominate on the riverwalk (the Hyatt w/ the live jazz bar is nice, too). If you would consider a split, the Hyatt Hill Country Resort out by Sea World and Fiesta Texas theme park is a special place for a day or two of pure relaxation. In November, you won't get to enjoy its best feature, a manmade river through the property for lazy tubing with drink in hand!, but you could golf, walk or bike it's grounds, roast marshmallows and enjoy a s'more at an outdoor fire pit (I *think* they keep that up in the fall--November is usually a very pleasant month weather-wise), or sit in a big ol' rockin' chair on the back porch and read, talk or people watch. (Great description of all this and more on their website.)
My favorite Mexican restaurant: Al fresco, fairly authentic, lots of charm--La Fogata (http://www.lafogata.com), which is NW of city center/Riverwalk, requires a car/taxi ride. Don't miss the huge cinnamon rolls @ the bakery by the old jail downtown or this really old German deli in downtown, a few blocks from the Riverwalk, called Schilo's. Zuni's (already mentioned) and Boudro's seem to be two of the hottest Riverwalk restaurants at the moment... If you're into that sort of thing, check out the latest in grocery stores @ the new Central Market, which you can preview @ http://www.centralmarket.com--it's really awesome.
If you have young children or grandchildren, keep an eye out for a cascarone maker and order several dozen to ship home. Inexpensive and delightful souvenir!
Diana Ball Houston, TX