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San Antonio

Without a doubt, San Antonio is best known for The Alamo — the site where numerous Texans gave their lives during the Texas War of Independence. The city capitalizes on The Alamo’s popularity and offers numerous tours of the mission, as well as tours of other 18th-century missions in the San Antonio Missions National Historic Park.

San Antonio is a cultural city as well. La Villita, the oldest neighborhood in San Antonio, boasts an old-fashioned market, complete with wool blankets and turquoise and silver jewelry. During the spring and summer, festivals are held almost every week and flamenco dancers often perform. To escape the oppressive summer heat, the young and hip cool down with maragaritas on River Walk, a winding street lined with restaurants and bars. The city has plenty for kids as well, with numerous amusement parks, bike paths, parks and gardens, and a zoo.

The downtown area is a popular place to stay, as it is close to the River Walk as well as numerous other attractions and businesses. The Mokara is undoubtedly the most luxurious option; swanky amenities include a beautiful rooftop pool, a premium spa and fine dining. The nearby Hyatt Regency, with a large pool with poolside dining, and spacious rooms with iPod docks, flat-screen TVs and “pack and play” sets upon request, is a family-friendly hotel. Budget-conscious travelers may consider the Four Points in the downtown area.

- Oyster.com

Before you jet off on your Spring Fling, you’ll need to book a sexy hotel. We’ve got you covered, whether you’re planning to spend most of your trip at the spa, the bar … or in bed.

Sexy Hotels

1. Slip under the crisp, white sheets of your 4-poster bed at Jamaica’s Round Hill Hotel, where the rooms were designed by Ralph Lauren. Like what you see? This is just one of the many Sexy Hotel Beds we’ve come across.

 

2. Cozy up with a good read at New York’s book-themed Library Hotel, one of America’s Most Romantic Hotels.

 

3. Looking for a great hotel for a one-night stand? Your in-room private “love tub” at the Dominican Republic’s Tortuga Bay Hotel will put you in the right mood.

 

4. The spa at the LA’s Terranea Resort is a whopping 50,000 square feet and has 25 treatment rooms as well as its own pool and outdoor hot tubs, making it one of Oyster.com’s picks for the Sexiest Hotel Spas.

 

5. The 1970s-inspired lounge at the Dream in South Beach, Miami, is complete with a rooftop infinity pool and sexy seating arrangements, making it one of our picks for the Sexiest Hotel Bars.

 

6. The Ventana Inn and Spa in Big Sur, CA, makes our list of hotels with the Hottest Amenities. Take advantage of their free yoga classes, discovery walks and afternoon wine and cheese. Plus, one of their pools is clothing optional. Now that’s sexy!

From the world’s most eco-friendly resorts to finding the best seat on a flight, here are our favorite tips from travel bloggers this week.

In honor of Earth Day, why not save the world through travel? Or at least lessen your carbon footprint by relaxing at one of these eco-friendly resorts.

From a Spanish town painted blue to promote the Smurfs movie to a South African town filled with an array of colors to celebrate the end of apartheid, brighten your day with the world’s most colorful cities.

Want to take a year off to see the world, but too afraid of the consequences? Lonely Planet Blog debunks myths that surround taking a break to travel, encouraging readers to take the leap.

Getting stuck in the middle seat on a long flight can be the worst — but that doesn’t have to happen again!  Check out Travel and Leisure’s tips for how to get a good airplane seat.

Don’t forget to check out This Week in Photos for even more timely travel inspiration!

Though many visitors flock to Sydney during the winter (to enjoy the Australian city’s summer), spring is a great time to head Down Under, as autumn kicks off Sydney’s cultural season. And the cultural scene in Sydney should not be overlooked. One of the city’s most recognizable landmarks is the Sydney Opera House House, and both the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Art Gallery of New South Wales feature impressive collections. The Koala Park and Taronga Zoo are also popular among tourists, where they can spot kangaroos, wallabies, and koalas. And of course, Sydney has over 60 beaches, and the weather is still warm enough in early autumn for a dip in the water, and at the very least, a stroll along the sand.

For culture buffs, the Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour overlooks the water, and is less than a 10-minute walk from the Opera House. The nearby Sir Stamford is another upscale option, but as a boutique hotel, it has a more intimate vibe. Perks include beautiful common spaces, filled with fireplaces, chandeliers, and antiques, spacious rooms, and an upscale restaurant and tea service. Budget-conscious travelers may consider Hotel Altamont in Darlinhurst. With a pretty rooftop garden, a location within walking distance of numerous attractions, and freebies such as breakfast and Wi-Fi, it offers a solid value.

- Oyster.com Staff

The small collection of mostly arid islands that make up the US Virgin Islands has long been a seafarers stomping ground — from the pirates of yore to today’s more abundant cruise ship hordes and the occasional yachtsman. And as they have for the past 400 years, people come to the islands mainly to drink, relax on the beach, and bargain shop — often, in just that order. Traveling to the islands, considered “insular areas” or “unincorporated territories” of the United States, is in many ways analogous to traveling within the US — citizens don’t need a passport, the US dollar is the official currency, and English is the official language. But a trip to the Virgin Islands still feels like a getaway with its laid-back atmosphere and sunny weather.

The islands’ hotels are largely concentrated on the 3 main islands – St. Thomas, St. John, and, to a lesser extent, St. Croix. Since the islands are so small, anywhere you stay will be within about a 30-minute drive from anywhere else on the island. Hotels range from the low-key, no-frills, family-owned spots, to all-inclusive mega-resorts, to more peaceful, luxe spots such as Frenchman’s Reef on St. Thomas. This Marriott resort underwent a major renovation in 2011 and boasts 4 pools, a beautiful spa and several on-site restaurants (although we’d recommend skipping them for local spots). On neighboring St. John, the Westin is nice beachside option for families, with tennis courts, a kids club, and numerous water sports.

- Oyster.com Staff

With our picks for this week’s best travel blogs, you’ll be prepared for Coachella craziness, become closer to mastering a foreign language and more!

The best way to learn a foreign language is to dive right in and immerse yourself in the culture and country. This can seem like a daunting challenge, but you’ll be on your way to becoming a successful language learner with this guide from As We Travel!

Coachella starts this weekend, and to make sure you’re not lost in the craziness of music, camping, and theatrics, check out this Survival Guide with which performers to check out, what to pack and more.

When it comes to airport security, celebrities receive no special treatment. Check out the hilarious Celebrities vs. the TSA blog, chronicling celebrities going through the TSA drill, just like us common folk.

If you are planning a trip to the Louvre anytime soon you might have to re-schedule. The museum recently closed its doors when staff walked out in protest due to an increasing pickpocketing problem.  Find out more from Vagabondish.

From visiting the Taj Mahal, to eating sushi and flying over the Himalayas, Condé Nast has comprised a 50 Things to Do in Asia Before You Die slideshow that will make you eager to start planning your own Asian adventure.

For more travel inspiration check out This Week in Photos!

 

From secret spots in Australia to cheap vacations, check out where travel bloggers are encouraging us to go this week!

The Space Shuttle Atlantis’s $100 million home at the Kennedy Space Center is nearing completion! Gadling takes a look what the new attraction will have to offer — from high-tech simulators and interactive exhibits, we’re sure space travel fans will be eagerly counting down to opening day.

Cities like Sydney and Melbourne are known tourist magnets in Australia, but if you’re looking to discover an untouched beach or to swim with whales, check out these 10 best-kept secrets of the land Down Under.

What if you could splurge on a luxury hotel, dine on the best food, do whatever activities you want and still be able to stay under budget? Check out these  cheap and off the beaten path destinations that not only offer a spectacular experience, but are affordable and visitor friendly too.

Are you brave enough to try the world’s hottest pepper? Nomadic Matt shares his experience tasting a ghost pepper when he visits the Tears of Joy shop in Austin, TX.

Check out our This Week in Photos slideshow for more travel inspiration!

If you haven’t noticed, we’re in full Spring Fling mode here at Travel Channel. Whether you’re looking for a fun, carefree vacation, a romantic weekend away or somewhere to let your hair down — you’ve come to the right place. And check back every day for even more eye candy!

Spring Fling

1)   Explore Your Inner Wanderlust: The sun has emerged, the temperature is rising and everything feels renewed. Celebrate spring’s natural beauty with these 7 wonders.

2)   Experience Southern Charm: There’s a reason everyone is migrating to Charleston, SC, right now. It has picture-perfect wedding venues, a restaurant scene fit for foodies, top-notch golf courses and stunning ocean views. While you’re there, stay at one of our favorite hotels in its historic downtown.

3)   See Beautiful Blooms: While a freak snowstorm has delayed DC’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival, be patient and you’ll see them in full bloom soon. If you can’t make it to the nation’s capital, here are our picks for cherry blossoms around the country. Wherever you spot them, make sure to snap a picture and share it with us on Instagram.

4)   Say “I Do”: What would a spring fling be without a little romance? Check out the top 5 ways people are popping the question. While fiancés get creativity points for flash mob proposals, we think any of these ideas would be met with a resounding “Yes!”

5)   Take the Plunge: From Havasu Falls in Supai, AZ, one of the most visited waterfalls in the Grand Canyon, to Skógafoss in Skógar, Iceland, a 200-foot drop shrouded in folklore, take in the most awe-inspiring waterfalls around the world.

6)   Get Your Feet Wet: Why do we love the Grand Cayman? Let us count the ways. Seeing marine life up close on a submarine tour, snorkeling in Stingray City, and relaxing on the beautiful Seven Mile Beach all add up to an unforgettable vacation.

Spring Fling

Tulips in Amsterdam

Amsterdam may be famous for its red light district and its friendly stance on marijuana, but the capital of the Netherlands has much more to offer. A city steeped in history, Amsterdam is home to beautiful historic buildings, numerous parks, fields of tulips that bloom in the spring, about 40 museums, and a system of canals and bridges that rivals (and in fact, is larger than) the one in Venice.

Due to the city’s climate, most tourists descend upon Amsterdam in the spring and summer months. But while winter can be cold, no season in Amsterdam is unbearable, and many locals travel by bicycle all year long. Navigating the city can be tricky; it is divided into 9 districts that are divided further into neighborhoods — Jordaan offers funky boutiques and markets, Rembrandtplein is home to the nightlife, Leidseplein has all kinds of international cuisine, and De Wallen’s streets are lined with quaint bookshops (and in its famous red light district, brothels).

The Canal House is a gorgeous boutique overlooking the canals. A popular choice among couples, rooms feature rich décor and open floor plans. If you’re searching for something a bit more understated – and green – the Conscious Hotel Vondelpark is a solid value option. It’s a bit removed from Amsterdam’s main attractions, but rooms are cozy, bathrooms are sleek and up-to-date, and the breakfast bar serves a daily breakfast of organic goodies.

- Oyster.com Staff

You May Also Like: 
Seven Wonders of Spring
Signs of the City: Amsterdam
Anthony Bourdain’s Amsterdam Travel Guide
Biking Around Amsterdam

This Week in Photos

Did you know some Easter celebrations include dressing up in witch costumes? Or that you can buy a “vortex” in Brooklyn? This week our travel bloggers offer us a glimpse at some of the weird and wonderful things to do and places to visit around the world.

This week the world’s first edible hotel opened in London full of almost-too-cute-to-eat treats.  Condé Nast Traveler takes you inside the hotel, complete with fudge windowsills and cake pillows, giving a more literal meaning to “sweet dreams!”

In search of kryptonite or a can of “chaos” to defeat your arch nemesis? With a slogan like “if we don’t have it, a superhero doesn’t need it,” the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Store is exactly what it sounds like. Atlas Obscura writes why we will have to check this eccentric store out the next time we are in NYC!

Easter celebrations may mean chocolate bunnies and egg hunts to us in the US, but around the globe countries have their own unique Easter celebrations.  Children from Finland dress in witch costumes and people in India exchange colorful lanterns — read more on Uni Travel’s blog!

Oktoberfest isn’t the only festival you’ll want to experience in Germany. From a medieval-era celebration, to whiskey tastings or even finger wrestling, there is a wacky and weird festival to fit your taste!  Check out Europe A La Carte’s 10 Great Festivals in Germany.

Get more timely travel inspiration with our This Week in Photos slideshow!

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