San Antonio Recognized as a Destination Worth Visiting

Sara Gruber |
San Antonio is widely known as a favorite vacation destination, with 30 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:

San Antonio ranked in the top 10 most family-friendly cities in the nation, according to the real estate blog Movoto.

Travel + Leisure ranked San Antonio #3 in Best U.S. Cities for Affordable Getaways in 2013. San Antonio “...ranked near the top for its free attractions—such as all five of the city’s historic missions, including the Alamo.”

The San Antonio River Walk was ranked #6 in 10Best and USA TODAY's Readers' Choice contest for Best U.S. Boat Ride in 2014.

San Antonio was voted #1 romantic city by in Feburary 2014, landed the #16 spot on the list of Most Romantic Cities for Valentine ’s Day 2014, and led the field of OpenTable’s 2013 Top 25 Most Romantic Cities in the US list. The City of Yellow Roses claimed 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.

Condé Nast Traveler featured Mokara Hotel & Spa and Hotel Valencia Riverwalk in the publication’s 2014 Gold List, an annual collection of the best hotels, resorts and cruise lines from around the world as voted on by nearly 80,000 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 2014. Mokara Hotel & Spa ranked #1 in San Antonio and #3 in Texas. Rounding out the U.S. News & World Report’s top 10 hotels in San Antonio are:
·         #2 – JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa
·         #3 – The Westin La Cantera Hill Country Resort
·         #4 – Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa
·         #5 – The Westin Riverwalk
·         #6 – Hotel Valencia Riverwalk
·         #7 – Hotel Contessa
·         #8 – Omni La Mansion del Rio
·         #9 – Omni San Antonio Hotel at the Colonnade
·         #10 – Marriott Plaza San Antonio

Successful Meetings presents their annual Pinnacle Awards recognizing successful hotels, CVBs and Conference Centers for their commitment to meeting planners. In 2014 the JW Marriott Hill Country Resort & Spa and the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau were honored with this award.
The City of San Antonio has maintained its ‘AAA’ general obligation bond rating for 2014 from three major bond rating agencies,Standard & Poor’s, Fitch and Moody’s. San Antonio is the only major city with a population of over one million to have this high rating from any major rating agency.
In the Wallet Hub 2014 Best Awards, San Antonio ranked in the Top 25 Best US Cities to Find a Job.
In the 2014 FamilyFun Travel Awards, Parents named San Antonio #2 on the list of Top 10 Kid-Friendly Cities in the US. San Antonio also claimed the #11 spot of the Top 12 Family Friendly Destinations and #8 of the 10 Best Cities for Families to Visit.
In ConventionSouth’s 2014 Destination Showdown, San Antonio was voted the Best Place For Eats. The trade publication goes to more than 18,000 meeting planners. 
San Antonio made Forbes’ 2014 list of America’s Coolest Cities, ranking 15th out of the 60 largest metropolitan areas. 
Wine Enthusiast Magazine named the Texas Hill Country to its international list of 10 Best Wine Travel Destinations of 2014.
On Condé Nast Traveler’s 2014 list of Friendliest and Unfriendliest Cities in the U.S., San Antonio ranks as the #3 friendliest city.
Hot Joy came in at #7 on Bon Appétit’s list of 10 Best New Restaurants in America 2014.
ConventionSouth readers and Facebook fans voted San Antonio the Most Meetings Friendly city in the South. September, 2014

San Antonio is ranked 15th in the nation on a Top 50 Meeting Destination list by CVent, a meeting and event management technology company. August, 2014  

MSN UK listed the famous San Antonio River Walk as one of the Best City Rivers. July, 2014
The Pearl Brewery was recognized on Mashable’s list of Architecture Projects that Revolutionized City Life. July, 2014
The Pearl Brewery was also featured on a list by Fodor’s Travel of the World’s Coolest Urban Renewal Projects. June, 2014
A report by the Environment Texas Research & Policy Center ranked San Antonio the #6 solar energy leader in the US. San Antonio ranked #1 in the state of Texas. April, 2014
The San Antonio Zoo landed the #13 spot on CNN Travel’s list of 15 Best US Spots for Kids. April, 2014
San Antonio’s Central Public Library was recognized among 27 fascinating libraries in the world by CNN iReport. April, 2014
FlipKey by TripAdvisor lists San Antonio as one of the Top US Vacation Destinations for 2014. April, 2014
Texas Monthly scours the state and every year names Texas’ Best New Restaurants and Bars. In 2014, The Granary ‘Cue & Brew was named one of the Best New Restaurants, while Arcade Midtown Kitchen and Barbaro rounded out the Best New Bars in Texas list. February, 2014
MSN Money listed San Antonio as one of the 6 Most Affordable and Fastest Growing Cities, ranking it 3rd in the country. January, 2014.
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.

Amusement Today’s 2013 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, 2013.

San Antonio was ranked #10 in “Top 25 Cities for Global Trade” (U.S.) by Global Trade Magazine in 2013.
The Milken Institute ranked San Antonio as a Best-Performing City in 2013.
With free attractions like the Alamo and historic missions, San Antonio ranked #3 Best US City for an Affordable Getaway byTravel + Leisure. May, 2013
One of the Top 20 Fastest Growing Cities by Forbes (2013-2014).
San Antonio ranked among the top 10 U.S. travel destinations for 2012 by Orbitz.
Ranked #4 among cities in the U.S. with the greatest population increase by the U.S. Census Bureau.
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 & Spa made Fodor’s Travel’s 2012 100 Hotel Awards in the category of “Fun for All Ages.”

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 Condé Nast 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 Official Visitor’s 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.