Photograph courtesy Bob Sefko/Getty Images
Where Los Angeles has drowned its river, San Antonio practically lives on its namesake waterway: Eight miles long, the lovingly maintained River Walk is shaded by trees and bedecked with limestone along the banks. The newly renovated Hotel Havana is well placed for using the picturesque pathway to explore this history-obsessed town, which feels too restful to be America’s seventh-most-populous city. Minutes away from the hotel is The Alamo, always poignant despite the tourists; another half hour along the trail, the Museum Reach section begins with public art galore. To the south is the King William Historic District, honeycombed with grand Victorians that include Steves Homestead Museum, a three-story mansion built in 1876. From there you can check out local works at the Blue Star Contemporary Art Center, a grouping of galleries in a 1920s warehouse. You’ll be feeling peckish after all that culture. At Azuca the Afro-Caribbean/Latin-fusion dishes are as spicy as the setting.