CITY GUIDE PLACES DIRECTORY

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The Claremont Hotel, Club & Spa Concert

Music lovers can spend Valentine’s Day weekend with their sweetie, falling in love all over again to the tunes of the concerts at the Claremont music series. Co-hosted by 102.9 KBLX, the Valentine’s 2011 concert will feature the R&B and smooth jazz of Bobby Caldwell, who’s vocal talents and big band songs will have your honey melt like putty in your hands. Hosted at the Claremont Hotel, Club & Spa, the historic Claremont Ballroom has hosted such musical masters as Louis Armstrong, Tommy Dorsey, and Count Basie. Tickets sell out fast, so be sure to reserve your spot for this romantic evening.

The O'Brien Historic Hotel

The O'Brien Historic Boutique Hotel offers amenities typically found at luxury hotels at extremely reasonable rates. While not exactly on the San Antonio River Walk, it's central downtown location is very advantageous -- especially for business travelers who need to be near the convention center. There is also a trolley stop steps from the lobby, which makes traveling around downtown even easier. The outside of the hotel isn't too aesthetically-pleasing, however the 39 rooms are clean and are decorated in a subtle South Texan style that you'll love.

The Sandwich Spot

Why go to an overpriced restaurant if you can get the same delicious sandwich at a more casual spot? Get a customized sandwich at The Sandwich Spot, conveniently located by many business offices on Ocean Park Blvd. The business crowd knows their sandwiches–and creations range from the creatively names Hope for Bob, The Candy Sandi and The Great One, to name a few. The Sandie is perfect for pastrami lovers, a combination of salami, roast beef, and of course pastrami. Insider tip: choose the sourdough bread. For a fast meal on the go–it's a healthy and well made option, worth the lunchtime splurge.

The Spread

Get away without ever leaving town by going horseback riding at The Spread. Located right in the heart of Houston just 15 minutes from downtown, The Spread offers hourly trail rides and riding lessons. Trail rides are just $40 per hour and lessons are $40. They can also arrange beach rides, special picnic rides, kids' birthday parties and more. Whether you are an experienced rider or have never been on a horse in your life, The Spread is a fantastic place to go for a ride -- even early in the morning or after work. They are open 7 days a week from 9:30 am to 8:00 pm. Call ahead to schedule a ride.

 

The Vineyards at Garden Ridge

This gorgeous wedding venue features an open-air pavilion surrounded by lush grapevines, rosebushes and other greenery. This is a very romantic, elegant facility tucked away in the Texas Hill Country. If you want a venue that can do it all for you, The Vineyards is it. Once you book a wedding at The Vineyards, their event staff can take over as your free wedding coordinator and handle the food, beverages, flowers, music, photography and everything else you need. They even pack up your wedding gifts at the reception for your exit. Perfect for an indoor-outdoor event, The Vineyards offers three different party rooms in addition to the outdoor pavilion, or you can just reserve the entire restaurant.

 

Torrey Pines State Reserve

If you're looking for a family friendly outdoor adventure in San Diego area, checking out Torrey Pines State Reserve should be on the list. The park is named for the Torrey Pines that can be found there, a rare and endangered species of trees.  There are plenty of hiking trails on the protected habitat that offer opportunity for bird watching and looking for wildlife, not to mention the awesome views overlooking the beach.  Almost all the hiking trails there are described as being fit for the beginning hiker so it should work for hikers of any age.  Check the parks website for activities that may be occurring during your trip such as their "Lil Rangers" and "Jr Rangers" programs.      
 
 

Torrey Pines State Reserve

If you're looking for a family friendly outdoor adventure in San Diego area, checking out Torrey Pines State Reserve should be on the list. The park is named for the Torrey Pines that can be found there, a rare and endangered species of trees.  There are plenty of hiking trails on the protected habitat that offer opportunity for bird watching and looking for wildlife, not to mention the awesome views overlooking the beach.  Almost all the hiking trails there are described as being fit for the beginning hiker so it should work for hikers of any age.  Check the parks website for activities that may be occurring during your trip such as their "Lil Rangers" and "Jr Rangers" programs.      
 
 

Toyota Center

Whether you are watching the Houston Rockets play or taking in a concert, the Toyota Center offers an enjoyable experience in downtown Houston. Of course, parking can be expensive if you park in their lots. But if you are willing to walk a little bit, you can park on the street for free or find a cheaper lot. The Toyota Center is a very clean, well-kept venue with friendly staff and plenty of offerings in terms of food and beverages (though they'll cost you a pretty penny). The best thing about modern facilities like this one is that wherever you are sitting, you get a fantastic view of the action.

 

United States Mint

If you love money then head on over to the U.S. Mint to see how it's made. To see the production of coins bring your photo ID to the 5th and Arch Street entrance where you will pass through a security check before seeing how they make a nickel. Unfortunately if the country is on heightened alert the Mint will not be open to the public. In addition to coin production there are video stations to give you some information on the Mint. 

Verizon Wireless Theater

If you are looking for a good balance, Verizon Wireless Theater is large enough to attract well known artists while small enough to maintain an intimate vibe. This facility has very good acoustics and parking is plentiful. You can valet park, park in the garage, or snag street parking and walk a few blocks. As with most music venue, drink prices can be a bit high but they aren't excessive. The general admission area is quite large and the best bang for your buck. Grab dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe next door and then head on over to the Verizon for a show.