San Antonio likes to think of itself as a “big small town” rather than a city. Certainly, it’s small by Texas standards, with around 1.5 million residents and little of the splashy, oil-fueled architecture you see in Dallas or Houston. What you will find is a friendly, lively and diverse patchwork of communities, intertwined with a beautiful River Walk that runs along tree-lined waterways. From the historic Alamo to the hip Pearl District, this small city has a growing appeal. Many of its historic buildings house hotels that range from quirky to grandiose. As for the food, San Antonio is one of only 26 UNESCO Creative Cities of Gastronomy worldwide. Definitely not Texas as usual.