One of America's fastest growing cities, San Antonio is home to famous attractions like a branch of SeaWorld and a huge Six Flags theme park. But this is also a city of history and buzzing modern culture. The San Antonio Missions Trail is only six miles long, but it takes visitors back hundreds of years, letting them stroll past some of the best remaining examples of Spanish-colonial buildings in the United States. These missions and the surrounding landscape make this park a great alternative to the always-crowded (but also free) Alamo in the middle of the city.
The Riverwalk is a pleasant promenade lined with restaurants and art galleries, while the adjacent plaza hosts free concerts and performances throughout the year. April's Fiesta San Antonio is one of the largest public festivals in the country, drawing more than 2 million people. El Mercado, the largest Mexican market north of the border, is held on the first Saturday of each month, while a summer jazz festival and monthly art walks provide a cultural element to a “free vacation” in this booming Texas metropolis.