By: Mark Ellwood | From: AFAR

6. San Antonio, Texas

April is great for: touting Texan culture through the decades

It was in 1891 when San Antonio first celebrated Fiesta, a festival earmarked to champion the arrival of Europeans here 200 years earlier (the city was formally founded a few decades later). Today, it’s evolved into an 11-day bash, running in 2024 from April 18 to 28.

Fiesta is a mammoth undertaking that incorporates the entire city into a program of parades, rodeos, art shows, and concerts. The Texas Cavaliers River Parade is a costumed flotilla inspired by the flower-wreathed barges of Mexico City, and the Battle of Flowers Parade is one of the headliners, an Alamo-commemorating event that’s since evolved into a march that attracts more than half a million people.

This month, San Antonio is also a domestic alternative to Canada’s Maritimes region for eclipse-spotting. It’s the largest U.S. city that’s within the path of totality, but only from the western districts will the blackout be complete (so avoid downtown River Walk and around that area).


Where to stay: Hotel Emma

A former brewhouse from the 1800s, the riverfront boutique hotel is now a funky spot at the heart of the Pearl district, the 18-acre erstwhile industrial area in downtown’s River Walk that’s now a strollable hub for cafés and boutiques.


How to get to San Antonio

There are direct, nonstop flights from several cities: Try JetBlue from JFK, Delta and America from Los Angeles’ LAX, or Delta from Salt Lake City’s SLC. Southwest has multiple routes in operation, including from St. Louis, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.