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San Antonio, one of the top tourist destinations in the U.S., will host the 2013 NFCA National Convention December 4-7 at the Marriott San Antonio Rivercenter. Located on the famous San Antonio River Walk, the Marriott is within walking distance of The Alamo, the Rivercenter Mall and hundreds of restaurants, stores, nightlife and cultural offerings, with many located on the River Walk. Meandering through the downtown area, the River Walk will be especially beautiful at convention time with the impressive festival of lights.



Tuesday, December 3, 10 a.m. Shotgun Start



The San Antonio Riverwalk

The San Antonio River Walk is a verdant oasis of cypress-lined paved paths, arched stone bridges and lush landscapes. It gently winds through the city center, providing millions of visitors each year with scenic pathways and waterways leading to the city's cultural and historic sites. The River Walk serves as a picturesque link between restaurants, hotels and shops.

Colorful and iconic umbrellas shade riverside tables as diners savor a splendid array of diverse River Walk cuisine. Classic Tex-Mex, tender barbecue, traditional Italian and contemporary Southwestern fare are just a few of the many choices you'll find in the cafes, restaurants and bistros.

The River Walk, or Paseo del Rio, is just a few steps from Alamo Plaza. Descend one block below street level into a park-like setting, where you can ride a river cruiser or simply take your time seeing the sights on foot. Turn south to visit the King William Historic District, or travel north to the shops and restaurants in the historic Pearl Brewery complex.

The San Antonio River Walk Official Website

The Alamo

In the 18th century, Franciscan priests from Spain established five Catholic missions along the San Antonio River, primarily to extend Spain's dominion northward from Mexico, but also to convert and educate the native population. Today, the five missions (Alamo, Mission San José, Mission Concepción, Mission San Juan and Mission Espada) represent the largest concentration of Spanish colonial missions in North America, and they have been nominated for World Heritage Status.

The Alamo (Mission San Antonio de Valero) was founded in 1718 as the first mission in San Antonio, serving as a way station between east Texas and Mexico. In 1836, decades after the mission had closed, the Alamo became an inspiration and a motivation for liberty during the Texas Revolution.

For 13 days in 1836, close to 200 Texas defenders held the Alamo from over one thousand of General Santa Anna's troops from Mexico. The most famous of the defenders, William Travis, Jim Bowie, and Davy Crockett, died fighting overwhelming odds for freedom.

The Alamo Official Website


Theme Parks

Sea World San Antonio

Let the voyage begin with a trip to SeaWorld® to see the awe-inspiring Shamu show, One Ocean® and the brand-new comical show, Pets Ahoy®. Enjoy Sesame Street® Bay of Play, an attraction for families featuring Elmo, Big Bird and all their friends. Ride the pulse-pounding Great White® and the electrifying Steel Eel®. Aquaticaâ, SeaWorld's waterpark, is open on select operating days through September. SeaWorld's 2013 Fun Card provides unlimited visits to the park for the price of a single-day admission ticket.

Sea World San Antonio Official Website

Six Flags Fiesta Texas

Six Flags Fiesta Texas is the place for summer fun! Enjoy an array of award-winning shows, thrilling rides for the whole family and a FREE waterpark to cool off in. Come see why Six Flags Fiesta Texas is America's favorite show park with shows like Straight Country, Rockin' at Rockville High and Ritmos del Corazon. The all-new Lone Star Nights Laser and Fireworks Celebration features a new storyline and technology for an advanced production including enhanced video projection, new lasers, audio, pyrotechnics and special effects.

Enjoy one of the park's thrilling roller coasters, including the all new Iron Rattler, the Goliath and more. All ages may enjoy the high-speed action on Road Runner Express. The tikes in your group can soar through the air on ZoomJets or hop on Buckarooz for a bouncing adventure.

Six Flags Fiesta Texas Official Website


Shoppers Paradise

A top shopping destination, according to Forbes.com, San Antonio offers "options, ease and affordability." Your shopping experience will show that it has all of those assets and more, making it clear why the publication placed the city among the top ten best cities for shopping. Great western wear shops, unique boutiques, upscale department stores, incomparable malls and regional outlet centers are just a few of the reasons San Antonio ranks high on the shopping list.

Nine major shopping malls—some indoor, some open air—make San Antonio a top shopping destination. Each mall's amenities provide comfort, service and a wide range of dining options as you spend the day visiting both new and familiar stores. Beyond the malls, you can explore the city's most charming neighborhoods, where locals live, play—and, of course, shop. Many of the areas feature stores selling clothing, jewelry and artwork made locally, making your purchases even more meaningful.


Rivercenter Mall

Indoor: Rivercenter Mall's convenient location right on the River Walk gives you easy access to major brands like Macy's, Gap, Victoria's Secret, Express, Chico's and more, plus casual restaurants, movies (including an IMAX® theater) and a comedy club.

North Central
Alamo Quarry Market

Open Air: What was once the Alamo Cement Plant (which operated for over 100 years) is now the Alamo Quarry Market, blending some of the finest shopping in the area. The market itself is planned around the factory's smokestacks, creating a historic setting. This open-air venue features over 60 national stores and restaurants minutes from downtown. Quarry Village, just across Basse Road, offers fine boutiques, restaurants and Trader Joe's.

North Star Mall
Indoor: North Star Mall is the mall of all malls and the larger-than-life cowboy boot sculpture in front says just that. Over 200 specialty shops and restaurants give it international acclaim, and for good reason: Shoppers will find all of their favorite stores, plus some originals, here. North Star's convenient location near San Antonio International Airport and just minutes from downtown makes it the city's central shopping hub.

Huebner Oaks
Open Air: An upscale, open-air center with over 60 restaurants and stores, Huebner Oaks features national retailers to local boutiques vending such specialties as stationery and stylish threads for moms-to-be and infants. Huebner Oaks also includes a 14-screen, first-run movie theater.

The Rim

Open Air: A 3-million-square-foot open-air retail center anchored by Bass Pro Shops' Outdoor World, the largest Bass Pro store in Texas and fourth largest in the country. Upscale discount houses include Saks Fifth Avenue OFF FIFTH and Nordstrom Rack. Other stores include Target, Best Buy, DSW Shoes and JCPenney.

The Shops at La Cantera
Open Air: This retreat is as well known for its gorgeous architectural design as its terrific collection of upscale brand shopping. Greenery, subtle water features and distinctive storefronts lend a garden-like feel. The more than 150 shops and restaurants, a children's play area and personal shoppers further paint La Cantera as a shopper's oasis.

The Forum

Open Air: Acres of shopping and dining with over 120 stores and restaurants and plenty of storefront parking. You'll find everything from home repair, furniture and decor, hobbies, jewelry, children's clothing and toys to spas, salons and special services. Restaurants feature seafood, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Greek, Mongolian BBQ, British and many more.

Rolling Oaks Mall
Indoor: Anchored by Dillard's, Macy's, Sears, and JCPenney, Rolling Oaks has over 100 specialty shops, including Aeropostale, Agaci, American Eagle Outfitters, Bath & Body Works, Game Stop, Journey's, Perfumania, Wet Seal and Victoria's Secret. Bring the children to Inflatable Wonderland for hours of fun.

Ingram Park Mall

Indoor: Over 150 stores anchored by distinct department stores such as Macy's, Dillard's, Sears, and Beall's. The mall is also home to Victoria's Secret, The Gap, Bath & Body Works, The Disney Store and many more.



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