Featured getaway: Austin, Texas
photo courtesy of the Austin Convention & Visitor's Bureau
It seems like everyone knows someone who's moving to Austin. In the past decade the capital of Texas has grown steadily, attracting everyone from young urban professionals to artists and students. This rapid evolution is noticeable everywhere from the busy downtown area to trendy and pricey neighbourhoods. Despite the growth, Austin has managed to maintain its mellow, small-town appeal. A perennial "Best Place to Live" winner, it's also a great place to visit, offering a range of attractions and activities. The State Capitol, the largest in the United States, and the Governor's Mansion, which is open for tours, will appeal to those interested in the political side of Austin. History buffs can head to the Lyndon Johnson Presidential Library and Museum. LBJ was one of the city's most famous residents. In 1982, his wife "Lady Bird" created a Wildflower Centre dedicated to preserving the native plants of North America. Austin also offers recreational activities from golf to walking trails in beautiful parks. The shopping, restaurants and nightlife offer world-class appeal with a homey Texas feel.
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If you tried to imagine a place where the sights, sounds and flavours of Native America, Old Mexico and the Wild West blend effortlessly with the hustle and bustle of a modern city, it would probably look a lot like San Antonio. Each year more than eight million people visit the shining star of Texas, and it's easy to see why. The Alamo, a famous fort where Texans fought fiercely for independence from Mexico, is just one of the many historic landmarks the city has to offer. Light a candle at the magnificent San Fernando Cathedral or peruse adobe architecture, exhibits and period furnishings at the Casa Navarro State Historical Park. Named after a key figure in the fight for freedom in Texas, the park is located right in the city centre and offers free guided tours. Roam along the River Walk, a two-and-a-half-mile stretch of cobbled and flagstone paths along the San Antonio River. If the children are with you, make sure and stop at HemisFair Urban Park and SeaWorld. Past or present, old or young, San Antonio offers something for everyone.
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