My name is Susan Kistler, and I am the American Evaluation Association’s Executive Director. It is my pleasure to contribute each Saturday’s post to the aea365 blog. Today, I’m writing about hot tips for making the most of San Antonio. Now, one might point out that this is a blog on hot tips for evaluators. Yet, I write from a hotel room in lovely SA where I’m doing a preparatory work for the AEA’s annual conference. Since there will be over 2500 evaluators in San Antonio in November, tips for making the most of SA are tips for evaluators!
Hot Tip: Use the Riverwalk to get around downtown. The Riverwalk is lovely and meanders around the center of town at a level below the city so that rather than cars and stoplights, you see beautifully landscaped green spaces, festively lit restaurants, and the reflection of it all in the river waters.
Hot Tip: Visit the Alamo to get a bit of history. The Alamo is right in the middle of town, easily walked to from any hotel and just off the Riverwalk. It’s free to visit and learn of the historic battle and a perfect respite for an hour out of a busy day.
Hot Tip: See the Missions and use a hop-on, hop-off bus pass. San Antonio has a hop-on, hop-off tour bus that allows you to get a feel for the city’s history and sights, and to get to two of the outlying missions that are too distant for a walk. This visit was among my favorite places in the city.
Hot Tip: Arrive a day early to be sure you have time to explore the city, including La Villita. La Villita is an historic arts village a short three-block walk from AEA’s conference headquarters hotel. Stop in one of the many small shops for handcrafts from local artisans.
Hot Tip: Come hungry! San Antonio has amazing cuisine, from the best of tex-mex to four-star eateries from top chefs. Stop by the Colonial Room at the Menger, next door to the Alamo, to eat where Teddy Roosevelt recruited the Rough Riders. Try a meal at the Emily Morgan hotel’s Oro restaurant for cutting edge fusion with great ingredients, or seek out Boudro’s on the Riverwalk for upscale Texas bistro cuisine at its best.
Hot Tip: Visit a museum. There is a museum for everyone in San Antonio. My favorite so far is the Institute of Texan Cultures – only a block away from our main hotel – that celebrates the 20+ cultural groups that settled in Texas; and tonight I hope to catch the new outdoor art installation along the Riverwalk.