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Most visitors to San Antonio want to stay downtown so that they can be close to the River Walk and many of the major attractions. Staying downtown is a lot of fun, and you will have all kinds of dining and entertainment options nearby. But if you prefer staying at B&Bs, or you're visiting San Antonio for the second or third time and want to change the way you experience the town, consider staying in the King William neighborhood or in Monte Vista. Both are interesting places in their own right, both are close to downtown, and both also have dining and entertainment options nearby. In addition, you get a feel for San Antonio -- one you don't get by staying downtown.

If the main objective is a relaxing family vacation, then another option would be to stay at one of the resorts or hotels on the west/northwest side of San Antonio, near the two big theme parks: SeaWorld and Fiesta Texas. Then you can combine swimming, golfing, and shopping with spa treatments and the amusement parks and make the drive into San Antonio when you're up for a change of pace.

Deal Well, sleep well

In large hotels, room rates vary quite a bit based on occupancy, so don't automatically write off hotel choices because of their price category without doing a little checking on prices. The prices listed here are the hotel's "rack rates," the room rate charged without any discount, and you can almost always do better. The San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau's annual SAVE (San Antonio Vacation Experience) promotion features discounts on hotel rooms (more than 50 properties participate) as well as on dining and entertainment. Some bed-and-breakfasts and hotels offer better rates to those who book for at least 4 days, although a week is usually the minimum.

In addition, ask about any discounts you can think of -- corporate, senior, military, Internet, AAA, entertainment/hotel coupon books, your Uncle Morty's high-school friendship with the manager -- and about packages such as family, romance, or deals that include meals or sightseeing tours. Bottom line: Always ask for the lowest-priced room with the most perks available. Reservation agents are eager to sell rooms, so you shouldn't have a problem getting a good deal.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.