Featured getaway: South Padre Island, Texas
Photo courtesy of South Padre Island CVB
Right off the southern tip of Texas is a tropical paradise offering as much or as little activity as you want. Whether you're gazing at a magnificent sunset over Laguna Madre, deep-sea fishing, parasailing, hiking, birdwatching, scuba diving, golfing or simply lazing on the soft white sandy beach, this long, narrow barrier island on the Gulf of Mexico offers the ocean-, sun- or recreation-loving holidaymaker a heavenly respite from the daily grind. Except for Spring Break, when students flood the area, the atmosphere is quiet and laid-back. The clear turquoise waters are enticing, but there's no shortage of activities for landlubbers. Go horse riding on the beach, play a round of tennis or golf, hike or join the birdwatchers scanning for the area's more than 300 species. Or get a bird's-eye view of the coast from the top of the historic Port Isabel Lighthouse. Fresh seafood with all varieties of seasoning and other fare is served at excellent restaurants, many with outdoor seating. A true island getaway, South Padre will renew your soul.
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If you tried to imagine a place where the sights, sounds and flavours of Native America, Old Mexico and the Wild West blend effortlessly with the hustle and bustle of a modern city, it would probably look a lot like San Antonio. Each year more than eight million people visit the shining star of Texas, and it's easy to see why. The Alamo, a famous fort where Texans fought fiercely for independence from Mexico, is just one of the many historic landmarks the city has to offer. Light a candle at the magnificent San Fernando Cathedral or peruse adobe architecture, exhibits and period furnishings at the Casa Navarro State Historical Park. Named after a key figure in the fight for freedom in Texas, the park is located right in the city centre and offers free guided tours. Roam along the River Walk, a two-and-a-half-mile stretch of cobbled and flagstone paths along the San Antonio River. If the children are with you, make sure and stop at HemisFair Urban Park and SeaWorld. Past or present, old or young, San Antonio offers something for everyone.
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