With over 26 million visitors each year, San Antonio is a favorite destination for tourists who are drawn to the city's well-preserved, historic architecture and spectacular River Walk. The slow, meadering river winds its way through downtown and is a major attraction year-round. But, it is especially enchanting during the Christmas holidays when thousands of twinkling lights, draped from the centuries-old Cypress trees, are dancing on the water.
On Friday following the Thanksgiving holiday, the lights are turned on during the River Walk Lighting Ceremony, and the annual Christmas celebration begins with decorated holiday barges cruising the waters during the Holiday River Parade. Throughout the season, this spectacularly festive scene - unique to America's seventh largest city - draws tourists from around the globe.
Aboard river barges and river taxis, and perched along the water's edge at sidewalk cafes (above left), visitors get a true sense of the holiday season that extends to plazas and historical sites, including Alamo Plaza (above right) and the beautifully illuminated San Fernando Cathedral in Plaza de las Islas (below).
Feliz Navidad, mi amigos!