Located on the fringe of Texas hill country and blessed with a temperate climate, San Antonio makes for an appealing golfer's sojourn this time of year. You can play a PGA Tour stop, the Resort course at La Cantera, in shirt sleeves through the end of November, and the city itself is a rarity in the Southwest: a booming metropolis abounding with historical charm. Much of San Antonio's allure lies in its colonial Spanish architecture, epitomized by the Alamo, the eighteenth-century mission and shrine to Texas independence. Yet the city also exudes a modern flair, particularly with its popular River Walk.
Touristy as it may be, don't leave town without visiting the Alamo; check out the museum in the Long Barracks and watch the film showing the site's various incarnations, from mission to fortress to historic landmark. The restaurant-and bar-lined River Walk is also a must; the best place to take it in is at an outdoor table at Boudro's, over a drink and a smoked-shrimp enchilada.
PLAYING Your best options for public golf are the Palmer and Resort courses at La Cantera Golf Club (800-446-5387, lacanteragolfclub.com), the latter of which hosts the Valero Texas Open. The course is tucked into rolling hills northwest of downtown. If you can get an entrée, also play Oak Hills Country Club, the 1922 Tillinghast gem where the tournament used to be held.
STAYING Befitting San Antonio's history, the lobby and restaurants of La Mansión del Rio (800-292-7300, lamansion.com; rooms from $149) are furnished with antiques from Mexico and Spain. Many of the 337 luxury guest rooms have balconies overlooking the River Walk.
DINING While here, you have to try the Tex-Mex, and there's no better place for it than bustling La Fonda on Main (210-733-0621, $$). For a more upscale and romantic experience, head to the Grey Moss Inn (210-695-8301, $$$$) in Helotes, thirty minutes northwest of the city.