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5 Unexpectedly Awesome Domestic Cities to Fuel Your Wanderlust

5 Unexpectedly Awesome Domestic Cities to Fuel Your Wanderlust

5 Unexpectedly Awesome Domestic Cities to Fuel Your Wanderlust

By: Ashlea Halpern

May 5, 2021

Here’s where to go when you’re ready to get away again but aren’t up for a long haul yet. (Plus, a couple of international destinations for when the time is right.)

Right about now, you’re probably seeing that pinprick of light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, and getting amped at the prospect of traveling again. (Check the Centers for Disease Control website for the most up-to-date information on how to travel safely.) But instead of flocking with the masses to Los Angeles or New York (or even London), how about a lesser-trafficked city with an abundance of gastronomic, architectural, and cultural appeal?

San Antonio, Texas

With 1.5 million residents and counting, ol’ San Antone is one of America’s fastest growing cities. Spend a few days there and you’ll understand why. Lock in a room at the Roman and Williams-designed Hotel Emma in the Pearl District, a 23-acre brewery complex turned multi-use development that puts you within hoofing distance of a year-round farmers market, superb shopping, and some of San Antonio’s trendiest restaurants. Topping the list is Mi Roti, a Caribbean street food joint, and the globally inspired Best Quality Daughter from culinary dream team Jennifer Hwa Dobbertin and Quealy Watson of Tenko Ramen. The duo goes buck-wild blending cuisines, throwing chorizo, egg, and cheese in their potstickers and Thai curry flavors in the baba ghanoush. Other essential eats include the crispy-delicious pork tacos at Alex Paredes’ Carnitas Lonja, carne guisada puffy tacos at Ray’s Drive Inn, and decadently soft brisket at 2M Smokehouse. For drinks, drop by Black-owned brewery Weathered Souls, a leader in last year’s Black is Beautiful beer campaign, or roll up to Amor Eterno, a colorful new cocktail bar in Southtown.If the brutal Texas heat is beating down on you, find respite in one of the city’s stellar (air-conditioned) museums. The San Antonio Museum of Art, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, has a fantastic “Movie Metal” exhibition, showcasing Hollywood vehicles like Tony Stark’s F-1 Race Car from Iron Man 2 and the 1966 Batmobile. The sprawling Hopscotch gallery, meanwhile, houses more than a dozen immersive exhibitions plus a patio, cocktail lounge, and food truck. And the storied Briscoe Western Art Museum depicts 500 years of Wild West living from the Spanish conquistadors to modern-day cowpokes.


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