San Antonio Recognized as a Destination Worth Visiting

Krystal Jones |

San Antonio is widely known as a favorite vacation destination, with 28 million people visiting the city each year.

The city’s rich culture and history, burgeoning culinary and cocktail scene, world-class hotels, resorts and meeting spaces, exciting attractions, unique events, affordability – and more – have received praise from established organizations and media outlets. These accolades include: named San Antonio as the “Top Military-Friendly City” in the country.  

ConventionSouth has selected San Antonio for their 2013 Editors’ Hot Picks for the “South’s Smartest Medical Cities for Groups.” After an in-depth review of nearly 30 cities in the South that are known for their healthcare infrastructure, the editors of ConventionSouth have deemed San Antonio to be one of the most ideal cities for hosting healthcare-focused groups and meetings. 

Successful Meetings magazine has awarded the SACVB with the 2013 Pinnacle Award. This marks the 23rd  year the SACVB earned the Pinnacle Award by going above and beyond to impress meeting, convention and incentive planners with unwavering commitment to hospitality.  

San Antonio led the field of OpenTable’s 2013 Top 25 Most Romantic Cities in the US list. The City of Yellow Roses secured the number one spot after OpenTable evaluated the percentage of restaurants rated “romantic” according to OpenTable diner reviews, the percentage of tables seated for two and the percentage of people who dined out for Valentine’s Day last year. 

CondéNast Traveler featured Mokara Hotel & Spa and Hotel Valencia Riverwalk in the publication’s 2013 Gold List, an annual collection of the best hotels, resorts and cruise lines from around the world as voted on by nearly 47,000 readers. Mokara Hotel & Spa was also named as a member of the Platinum Circle, a distinction reserved for properties that have made the list for five or more consecutive years.

U.S. News & World Report announced that the Mokara Hotel & Spa received a Gold Badge as one of the Best Hotels in the USA in 2013. Mokara Hotel & Spa ranked #1 in San Antonio and #4 in Texas. Rounding out the U.S. News & World Report’s top 10 hotels in San Antonio are:

  • #2 – Hotel Contessa
  • #3 – JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa
  • #4 – Hotel Valencia Riverwalk
  • #5 – The Westin La Cantera Hill Country Resort
  • #6 – The Westin Riverwalk
  • #7 – Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa
  • #8 – Omni La Mansion del Rio
  • #9 – Omni San Antonio Hotel at the Colonnade
  • #10 – Hyatt Regency San Antonio

 In 2013, The Buckhorn Saloon & Museum joined 35 other Texas businesses with a Texas Treasure designation by the Texas Historical Commission for being in good standing and in business for more than 50 years.

Chama Gaucha ranked #1 in San Antonio in Zagat’s 2013 list of top service restaurants in the US. The list is based on ratings from Zagat diners.

The Alamo is the most visited attraction in Texas according to a 2012 study commissioned by the State of Texas’ Office of the Governor, Economic Development and Tourism Commissions. In addition, Six Flags Fiesta Texas, SeaWorld San Antonio and the San Antonio Zoo all fall in the list of Texas’ top 10 most visited attractions. 

The JW Marriott San Antonio Resort & Spamade Fodor’s Travel’s 2012 100 Hotel Awards in the category of “Fun for All Ages.”

Amusement Today’s 2012 Golden Ticket Awards named Schlitterbahn Waterpark the best water park. Six Flags Fiesta Texas came in second for the best shows and third for the best outdoor shows. SeaWorld San Antonio ranked third for the best marine life park. September, 2012.

San Antonio is ranked 13th in the nation on a Top 50 Meeting Destination list by CVent, a meeting and event management technology company.  August, 2012  

Forbes listed Schlitterbahn Waterpark as one of America’s coolest water parks in America. May, 2012. named San Antonio as one of the nation's top cities for an affordable vacation, noting the city's many free attractions and great events. May, 2012

Travelocity named Fiesta San Antonio as one of North America's top 10, can't miss festivals. May, 2012

San Antonio earned high spots on Travel + Leisure’s 2012 destination lists including best US cities for:

  • #1 – A Christmas Visit
  • #2 – Family Vacations
  • #3 – Affordability
  • #3 – Culture
  • #3 – Ethnic Food
  • #3 – Free Attractions
  • #4 – Historical Sites and Monuments
  • #5 – Base for Day Trips
  • #6 – Friendliness
  • #6 – New Year’s Eve
  • #6 – Valentine’s Day
  • #7 – A Cultural Getaway
  • #7 – Quality of Life and Visitor Experience
  • #8 – Happy Hour
  • #9 – A Romantic Escape
  • #9 – Lots of Hotel Options
  • #10 – Fall Travel

JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa received Marriott International's 2012 Hotel of the Year designation.

BudgetTravel named San Antonio one of the top budget travel destinations in 2012.

Smart Meetings 2011 Platinum Choice Award Winners for 2011:

  • Grand Hyatt San Antonio
  • Hotel Contessa
  • Hotel Valencia Riverwalk
  • JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa

San Antonio properties designated as ConventionSouth 2012 Readers’ Choice Award winners include:

  • Westin La Cantera Resort
  • Grand Hyatt San Antonio
  • Hyatt Regency San Antonio
  • Hotel Valencia Riverwalk

The following properties received recognition on CondéNast Traveler’s 2012 Gold List:

  • Mokara Hotel & Spa
  • Omni La Mansion Del Rio
  • Hotel Valencia Riverwalk
  • Hotel Contessa

Travel + Leisure included Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa, Omni La Mansion Del Rio and Westin La Cantera Resort on its 2011 list of the world’s top 500 hotels. 

The Milken Institute has ranked San Antonio as the Nation's Best-Performing City. December, 2011.

Yahoo! Travel named San Antonio in the top 10 cities in which to enjoy holiday lights. November, 2011

Forbes listed San Antonio as having one of the best downtowns in America. October, 2011

CNBC noted San Antonio as the seventh most diverse city in America. May, 2011

The New York Times has featured San Antonio on a list of 14 Easy Weekend Getaways. March, 2011.

A new survey shows that San Antonio's hotels rank among only two other cities in offering the most freebies through the travel website. March, 2011. 

Frommer's has named Market Square one of America's Best Public Markets. February, 2011.

The Daily Beast has ranked San Antonio as the number one Best City for Love. February, 2011. 

Southern Living has named Hotel Havana the Best New Boutique Hotel. January, 2011.

For a complimentary San Antonio Travel & Leisure Guide, contact the San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800-ALAMO-07 or

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The San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau, a department of the City of San Antonio, is funded through the hotel/motel occupancy tax. The bureau is a marketing, sales and service organization dedicated to the promotion of San Antonio as a meetings and visitor destination for the purpose of positively affecting the city's economy.