San Antonio

Recent Additions Add to San Antonio’s AllureDon’t call it a city-wide renaissance, but the extension of San Antonio’s famed River Walk and the addition of a handful of championship golf courses, one of which will host the 2010 Valero Texas Open, to the area’s already impressive list of layouts have solidified San Antonio’s spot as a top-notch domestic destination.

The much-anticipated Museum Reach River Walk extension opened just in time for the summer tourist season, and visitors are already flocking to the now nearly fourmile long stretch of meandering pathways to visit historic sites, charming restaurants, museums and unique boutiques. San Antonio’s most talked about attraction is just one of many in this big city that’s known for its small town charm.

“The expression here is that San Antonio is everybody’s second home,” former Mayor Phil Hardberger recently told USA Today. “It is one of the oldest cities in the United States, very historic, and also an oasis of sorts. Texas by and large is quite barren, but not in San Antonio, where a river runs through it.”

There’s more River Walk to come. According to the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau, plans are underway to extend the River Walk an additional nine miles for a total of 13 miles, connecting four of San Antonio’s 18th century Spanish colonial missions. The $279 million River Improvements Project is expected to reach completion in 2014.

Vaaler CreekAvid San Antonio golfers also have a lot to get excited about. In May 2010, a new era in Texas golf history will begin as the Tournament Players Club (TPC) San Antonio, part of the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa, hosts the Valero Texas Open, one of six top-tier professional golf events annually held in the Lone Star State.

As a matter of fact, San Antonio is among an elite group of cities lucky enough to host both a PGA Tour event and a Champions Tour event each year.

The Greg Norman-designed AT&T Oaks Course isn’t the only new course creating a buzz in the city. Just outside of San Antonio, golfers are already discovering the wonders of Vaaler Creek Golf Club, located a straight shot from the downtown district.

In July, Vaaler Creek (Page 8) unveiled its front nine and offi cially introduced a stunning 18-hole championship course to the San Antonio golf scene.

Overall, San Antonio is home to more than 40 quality golf courses, making it one of the most viable “Stay and Play” options in America when compared to other major cities.

Canyon SpringsAmong the outstanding courses that call San Antonio home is Canyon Springs (Page 16), a layout with a rich history and tradition situated on some of the highest points in the city. This Thomas Walker design delivers breathtaking panoramic views from nearly every tee box and green. Readers of the San Antonio News-Express recently ranked Canyon Springs as their favorite golf course.

A short trip to the nearby Frio River Valley is well worth the miles when you arrive at the stunning Club at Concan, an 18-hole Hill Country classic designed by the team of Roy Bechtol and Randy Russel. Measuring more than 7,300 yards from the tips, this course is developing a reputation as one of the sternest tests in all of Texas.

Hosting a special event in the area is made easy at Olympia Hills Golf & Conference Center, a multi-faceted golf facility with a dramatic 18-hole layout, full driving range, 10,000-square-foot short game area and a spacious banquet facility complete with breakout rooms that is ideal for large gatherings such as weddings, golf tournaments and family reunions.

As always, remember the Alamo, just one of the city’s many culturally and historically signifi cant attractions. Other notable places to visit during your stay in San Antonio include the city’s zoo, one of the largest in the country, and downtown’s El Mercado, the largest Mexican market in the U.S.

 

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