Romantic Getaway in San Antonio

A beautiful setting, elegant dining, and shops filled with Valentine gifts make it easy to fall in love with this resort nestled at the edge of the city.
Les Thomas

Tonight you're far from the crowds and traffic, surrounded by the comfort of a relaxing resort. Step out on your balcony, and raise a toast to a sweetheart of a break in the most romantic city in Texas.

You can stroll the River Walk tomorrow--or you might not want to leave at all. So much has blossomed around The Westin La Cantera Resort, it's a destination in itself.

Pick a Package
Rates start at $215, but we think the best buy is the romance package, starting at $239 (based on availability). It includes deluxe lodging, breakfast for two, and strawberries and Champagne. Other packages add golf, shopping, and spa treatments. Visit www.westin lacantera.com, or call 1-800-937-8461. Directions: From I-10 west, take Exit 555 (the Fiesta Texas exit) to 16641 La Cantera Parkway.

Tokens of Affection
Strolling through The Shops at La Cantera feels like a walk in a garden. More than 150 stores and restaurants grace an inviting outdoor setting with native plants and fountains.

There are plenty of gifts to tempt shoppers. Linger in front of the showcase windows at Tiffany & Co. to admire 18-karat gold Paloma Picasso earrings ($425). Pick up a sweet treat at Godiva Chocolatier, or browse through Lilly Pulitzer, LaCoste, Betsey Johnson, Ralph Lauren, and more than 20 other retailers new to San Antonio.

 

Enjoy a casual lunch on the balcony at Mariposa at Neiman Marcus, or grab a table at Nordstrom's Cafe Bistro. Try a cup of the crab bisque ($4.25) and a four-cheese pesto-chicken pizza ($8.95).

Have Some Fun
Even in winter, golf is a big draw at the resort that's home to the PGA Tour's Valero Texas Open in September. Hone your game with a lesson at The Academy at La Cantera, a Golf Digest School. The Resort Course, where the tournament is played, and the Palmer Course wrap ribbons of greenery around the 508-room hotel. It's a beautiful view to look out on from your balcony.

There are many other ways to enjoy the setting on one of San Antonio's highest points. Hike the nature trail that winds beneath graceful live oaks, or take a stroll around the Lost Quarry Pools, a recreation area that includes five outdoor pools (heated to 73 degrees in winter months), two hot tubs, and a water slide.

Unwind with a soothing aromatherapy massage or bask in the sauna at the Castle Rock Health Club & Spa, which gets its name from a rock quarry where limestone was once mined.

You'll find plenty more to entertain you nearby. The resort is the centerpiece of a 1,700-acre development that includes Six Flags Fiesta Texas theme park.

 

Dine in Style
Celebrate the end of a busy day with a cozy dinner at the signature restaurant, Francesca's at Sunset. It's a splurge--but worth it. The menu is a medley of zesty Southwestern dishes inspired by celebrity chef Mark Miller and San Antonio chef Ernie Estrada. We loved the apple wood-smoked quail filled with chorizo and pear ($12) and chipotle butter-poached whole Maine lobster ($39).

Sunday on the River
Before you hit the trail for home, head downtown for breakfast and a boat ride on the River Walk. Order the Southern Sweet Cream Waffle ($5.75) that'll melt in your mouth at The Guenther House. This restaurant at Pioneer Flour Mills in the King William historic district serves breakfast until it closes at 3 p.m., so you don't have to hurry. Visit www.guentherhouse.com or 1-800-235-8186. Follow your meal with a tour on the river with Rio San Antonio Cruises. Tickets cost $6.50; www.riosanantonio.com or 1-800-417-4139. Have a lovely weekend.

"Romantic Getaway in San Antonio" is from the February 2007 issue of Southern Living. Because prices, dates, and other specifics are subject to change, please check all information to make sure it's still current before making your travel plans.