My Town: San Antonio, Tex.

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— Penny De Los Santos
Thompson (left) and her sister, Bianca, outside the art museum

Top picks from Budget Travel readers who live in some of our favorite places.

The newly opened northern part of the River Walk, near the San Antonio Museum of Art, is a serene alternative to the crowds down by the Alamo. When a water taxi passes, I always wave and yell, "Welcome to San Antonio!" —Gia Thompson, 34, Air Force veteran and psychology student

For a real kick, try Rudy's Original BBQ Sause or Rudy's Sissy BBQ Sause at the rustic original Rudy's Country Store and Bar-B-Q, just north of the city (rudys.com, $6.50). —Kim Jones, 39

In the 1880s, Geronimo was imprisoned at the Quadrangle at Fort Sam Houston. He insisted on hunting, so the Army brought wildlife in. To this day, deer and peacocks still call the quad home (Walters St. off I-35). —Camille Di Maio, 33, realtor

Family-owned since it opened in 1917, Paris Hatters stocks its shelves with hundreds of hats from all over the world. For a real Texas treat, pick up a custom-made Stetson (210/223-3453, from $15). —Nick Dinneen, 70, investor

The 150-year-old Menger Hotel is like a museum of the city's history. The rooms that face west even overlook the Alamo's grounds (mengerhotel.com, from $149). —Gia Thompson

For a twist on the traditional margarita, try the prickly pear option at Aldaco's, a Tex-Mex joint in the old baggage-handling area of the downtown train station (aldacos.net, $9). —Laura Mrachek, 47, writer

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