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Route 66 Cities Beaches




San Antonio
Certainly we love our time hiking, backpacking, skiing, canoeing, rafting, and surfing in the national parks and wilderness areas. But we love our cities, too. We think too few school, Scout and church groups take their students to major American cities and study them in an organized way. We have been urging the Scouts to recognize a new activity to be called Urbaneering, even offering a merit badge in it. Our cities contain history, architecture and many of the nation's most important museums, monuments, buildings and other places necessary to understand America.

One thing we have learned is that to fully experience a city you have to stay downtown. Trying to save a few dollars by staying on the outskirts of a city, or even camping at an urban KOA, defeats the purpose. Big hotels are part of the city, and staying in them is important. But we've sought out the historic, classy hotels that still offer reasonable rates. They tend to be the ones once considered prime, and frequented by royalty, world leaders, actors, sports stars and business executives for most of the 20th Century. Now, with new megahotels down the streeet, these older facilities have lowered their rates and repositioned themselves as economy lodging. They are outstanding bargains in the heart of our cities. And we never recommend a hotel we have not stayed in ourselves.

Cities are complex locations. There are so many things to see and do that it's hard to know where to start and how to fit it all in. We've spent time in these cities and after several visits we've recommended the key activities for you. We've even recommended the restaurants you should consider, and they are restauranrs we've eaten in.

Another lesson we've learned about cities is that they take time. You cannot visit a major city in one or two days. There's too much to see. You need time to settle in and learn your way around. Again the issue is usually money. People try to save money by limiting their stay. But we think it is better to plan far in advance, calculate how much you'll need, then budget for it and put away so much a month. And we've done part of the research for you, searching out historic and classy hotels which are still reasonably priced.

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