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It’s a cruel coincidence that National Margarita Day falls on February 22, smack dab in the middle of San Antonio’s second coldest month. But even a winter chill won’t stop locals from enjoying the city’s favorite refresher. From upscale restaurants to dive bars, margs are served everywhere. The only tricky part is knowing who does them best.

The Bar at Mixtli
Everything at this modern Mexican Southtown restaurant is considered, so its no bombshell that its margaritas should follow suit. But the Overproof Spice Margarita really pulls out all the stops, both for its octane and it’s one-two punch of serrano and arbol salt.

El Camino
Although this downtown hangout has a traditional marg for the purists, the vibrant outdoor space calls for something with a little more color. The Mission Rita does just that, adding the crimson zing of prickly pear.

El Mirasol
This long-running Alamo City restaurant is the place to go for those who like a little flavor in their tequila. There’s 17 of them to choose from, ranging from mainstays like blue curaçao and strawberry to surprises like amaretto or apple pucker.

Hands Down
This artsy Southtown bar has been one of the most unanticipated recent additions to Alamo City nightlife, so it’s fitting that its margarita would be just as remarkable. Though based on the classic build, it has a woodsy kick courtesy of palo santo bitters.

La Fonda on Main
La Fonda has been at it since 1932, which has given it more than enough time to get the formula right. Its cucumber jalapeño take is especially zippy when paired with a platter of bacon-wrapped Diablitos.

La Ruina
OK, this rum bar’s El Tamarindo isn’t a margarita per se. But it has tequila, lime juice, and a touch of sweetness from ancho pepper liqueur. We say that’s close enough.

Ocho
This perennially chic River Walk eatery is a top spot for those who like a little sweetness in their margarita without an instant cavity. Ranch Water — that kissing cousin of the marg — is well represented too, made here with earthy sotol.

Paloma Blanca
Few local libations are as famous as this Alamo Heights favorite’s vivacious ’09. But be warned! Don't expect to get anything else accomplished if you down a couple of these at lunch.

Rosario’s
There’s no better excuse to visit Rosario’s new Southtown digs than National Margarita Day. The San Antonio staple has several varieties from a refreshing variety spiked with mint and watermelon to the Cocorita, a frozen marg mixed with a piña colada.

Sternewith
The La Babia margarita at Hotel Emma’s resident bar is as minimal as a Luis Barragan building. Blanco tequila, orange liqueur, and freshly squeezed lime juice slide into a shaker before landing in a turquoise etched glass.

Soluna
When San Antonians rave about the mythical powers of the chispa, they are probably thinking about this spot. Order them with the traditional tequila or shake things up with mezcal. There’s even a $40 ultra-premium option for impressing the in-laws.

Summer Camp Bar
Have your own wet hot American summer (or winter) at this poppy Grayson Street newcomer. The Hot Pants Margarita is particularly steamy with jalapeños and a spicy rim.

Tony’s Siesta
This neighborhood haunt is celebrating the holiday with a vintage night market — and of course margarita specials. Shop around with a classic mango marg on the rocks or an intriguing mezcal and tequila frozen with hibiscus and cherry.

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Launch your next Texas trip with this essential guide to its biggest cities

Hit the Road

Everything is bigger in Texas, and that includes the state itself. At 268,597 square miles, it's a lot to traverse — but luckily there's plenty to see, do, eat, and drink along the way.

No matter what kind of trip you're planning around Texas, Marriott Bonvoy Hotels can be the launchpad for your next travel or culinary adventure. Its hotels and resorts are as diverse as the Lone Star State and offer amazing culinary, spa, and destination experiences in each city.

Plan your next trip from this guide below:

People stand-up paddleboarding in AustinSee Austin from the water.Photo courtesy of Marriott International

Austin
At a glance: Known as the Live Music Capital of the World, Austin is also home to the State Capitol. University of Texas at Austin helps "Keep Austin Weird," but it's also a growing tech hot spot with a vibrant, culinary-focused atmosphere.

Must-see spots: Ladybird Lake, Texas Capitol, Barton Springs Pool, Zilker Botanical Garden, Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail, Pennybacker Bridge, Blanton Museum, ACL Live at Moody Theater, Rainey Street, UT Austin.

Must-try eats & sips: Head to the new Dean’s Steakhouse Austin at JW Marriott Austin for a special occasion or business dinner, and try the Wagyu beef cuts in addition to an acclaimed raw bar and generous happy hour.

Travel north to Renaissance Austin’s restaurant, Knotty Deck & Bar, for an urban retreat with patio views of the Texas Hill Country. It serves elevated Austin cuisine with a spacious backyard for bean bags and other outdoor games to enjoy with family and friends.

Austin easily features the highest density of rooftop bars in the state, including the popular Zanzibar, a tropical oasis serving up inventive Tiki cocktails. Toast to “golden hour” nightly at Otopia Rooftop Lounge with craft cocktails high above the nearby university.

Must-attend events: SXSW Conference & Festivals (March), Blues on the Green (all summer long), Pride in Local Music Festival (June), Austin City Limits (October), Austin Film Festival (October).

Must-experience vibes: Get your retro music fix with unique vinyl record programs at the Otis Hotel Austin and the W Hotel Austin.

Family at Las Colinas ResortTake the whole fam to Las Colinas Resort.Photo courtesy of Marriott International

Dallas-Fort Worth
At a glance: A pair of cities that have undergone true transformation, beginning as cattle hubs and railroad centers and blossoming into Texas' current window to the world with incredible art museums and performing arts centers (the largest arts district in the nation, in fact).

Must-see spots: Dallas Museum of Art, Katy Trail, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, Reunion Tower, Fair Park, Meyerson Symphony Center, Kimbell Art Museum, the Deep Ellum and Bishop Arts neighborhoods, Mesquite Rodeo Arena, Fort Worth Stockyards, NorthPark Center.

Must-try eats & sips: Dallas’ dining scene is highlighted by Margaret’s, the restaurant at the JW Marriott Dallas Arts District that's opening in June. It offers farm-to-fork ingredients in a dramatic setting with sweeping views of the city and a lively bar with handcrafted cocktails from seasoned mixologists.

Head to Uptown Dallas for its sophisticated restaurant, shopping, and boutique fitness scene highlighted by Good Graces in Marriott Uptown Dallas, a bright and airy brasserie where you can indulge in fresh oysters, charcuterie boards, crisp salads, and a variety of steak and seafood dishes.

In the northwest suburb of Irving, visit LAW at Las Colinas Resort to experience the very best of land, air, and water elements, alongside locally sourced ingredients. Mesa Mezcal at the Westin Irving is the spot for modern Mexican fare, curated mezcal cocktails, and YogaRitas on the patio, a partnership series with YogaSix Studio.

Head west to Fort Worth to dine al fresco at 97 West, where a Southwestern ambiance beckons adventurous spirits and serves up classic Texas heritage dishes.

In the heart of Cowtown, experience the convivial dining culture of Central and South America at Toro Toro in the Worthington Renaissance Fort Worth. Slip outside afterward to take in a movie on its rooftop deck via a partnership with Rooftop Cinemas, complete with a food truck for snacks and drinks.

Marriott Bonvoy’s restaurants aim to incorporate local and regional breweries in their beverage menus whenever possible, so ask your bartender for his or her favorite brew. Explore DFW's robust brewery scene, from Martin House Brewing Company to Deep Ellum Brewing Co., Celestial Beer Works to Manhattan Project Beer Co., and Peticolas Brewing to Texas Ale Project.

Must-attend events: Dallas Pride Parade (June), Homegrown Music & Arts Festival (June), Riverfront Jazz Fest (September), State Fair of Texas (September-October), Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo (January-February).

People on rooftop in HoustonThe best way to see Houston? From a rooftop.Photo courtesy of Marriott International

Houston
At a glance: Founded as a bustling commercial center and shipping port in the mid-1800s, with major influence from Charlotte Baldwin, known as the "Mother of Houston," today H-Town is statistically the most diverse major city in Texas with a thriving gastronomic scene, world-class museums, and the Houston Space Center.

Must-see spots: The Museum District (18 institutions within walking distance; includes the Houston Museum of Natural Science and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston), The Galleria, Houston Aquarium, Buffalo Bayou Park, POST Houston entertainment district, Chinatown, Houston Graffiti Park, Discovery Green, Houston Zoo.

Must-try eats & sips: Located inside the Magnolia Houston, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, is The Dispatch, which pays homage to its building’s rich history as the home of the Houston Post-Dispatch paper. The Art Deco vibes complement the eatery’s contemporary American cuisine and enticing cocktails.

After a day of shopping at The Galleria mall, stop by White Oak Kitchen + Drinks for a collection of fresh ingredients, a curated wine and cocktail menu, and weekend brunch.

Explore Houston’s culinary melting pot with an experience at Xin Chao, a modern Vietnamese restaurant owned by MasterChef winner Christina Ha. Locals also hail Killen’s BBQ as some of the best in the state.

Houston visitors will also find food trucks dotted around the city, offering inventive cuisine with global fusion showcasing Houston’s diversity.

Must-attend events: Freedom Over Texas Festival (July), Houston Restaurant Week (August), Fiestas Patrias (September 2023), Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (February-March).

Must-experience vibes: Stay cool in the Houston heat this summer by diving into the city's best urban party playground: the iconic, Texas-shaped lazy river at the Altitude Rooftop & Pool at Marriott Marquis Houston.

San Antonio River WalkIt's always a party on the San Antonio River Walk.Photo courtesy of Marriott International

San Antonio
At a glance: Remember the Alamo! Explore San Antonio’s famed River Walk or journey further south to the San Antonio Missions National Park, where some of the Lone Star State's most pivotal moments occurred. Northwest of the city, treat your family to a thrill at world-class amusement parks.

Discover the emerging arts and culinary scene while touring historic, trendy neighborhoods like the impressive King William District, dotted with colonial mansions, and Dignowity Hill, sporting the Hays Street Bridge and a deep-rooted sense of community.

Must-see spots: The Alamo, the San Antonio Missions, River Walk, San Antonio Botanical Gardens, San Antonio Zoo, Southtown, Brackenridge Park, SeaWorld San Antonio, Six Flags Fiesta Texas, Historic Pearl Brewery, Tower of the Americas, La Villita, Market Square.

Must-try eats: Check out incredible South Texas fare on the River Walk such as Tributary restaurant in the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter Hotel, with seasonally rotating menus and ingredients sourced from regional farming partners and purveyors.

Escape to the Texas Hill Country at 18 Oaks for an outstanding quality of meats and seafood prepared with style and expertise, ideally enjoyed after a day of golf at TPC San Antonio or a splashy time at the nine-acre waterpark at the JW San Antonio Hill Country Resort.

Take the kids or pups and head to the Historic Pearl Brewery, where you'll find everything from upscale bistros to an array of dining choices inside the Food Hall at Bottling Dept. Enjoy a picnic on the green spaces and a family-favorite splash pad while taking in the quaint European vibes in this special area of Alamo City.

Must-sip drinks: Visit the new 1 Watson rooftop deck atop the AC Hotel San Antonio Riverwalk for downtown views and a cocktail or two by a fire pit.

People at Knotty Deck in Austin

Photo courtesy of Marriott International

Gather at Knotty Deck & Bar in Austin.

Hop on the city’s shared bike or scooter systems to explore local-favorite breweries and coffee shops such as Merit Coffee, Freetail Brewing, Weathered Souls Brewing, and Alamo Beer Co.

Must-attend events: Fiesta San Antonio (April), Pride San Antonio (June), Día de los Muertos (November), San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo (February).

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Comprised of 30 unique brands, Marriott Bonvoy is a travel program that goes beyond rewards to connect members to more of what they love through hotel and resort stays, elevated dining, and endless experiences.

Marriott Bonvoy member benefits include free membership, special member rates, ability to earn and redeem points, contactless mobile and contactless service, free WiFi, and more.

Cool off with these 7 San Antonio cocktails to sip all summer long

A PLACE IN THE SUN

Summer has officially arrived in San Antonio — and with it, gallons of margaritas. While we would never cast shade on the city's undisputed cocktail champion, it's not the only drink in the ring. Alamo City is full of total knockouts that are just as refreshing. Whether looking for a patio pounder or something to start the brunch party, these seven sippers will take you through the steamiest of seasons.

Blush — I Know Bubbles
Day drinking is one of the greatest pleasures of vacation season, but one can't just jump into it with an Old Fashioned. Instead, ease into the day with the sparkling I Know Bubbles from this new Southtown hot spot. A fizzy rosé and vodka form the base, enlivened with grapefruit and a cucumber and strawberry shrub. It's easy like a Sunday morning, even if you're brunching on a Saturday.

George's Keep — Summer Fling
Though booking a room at the Éilan Hotel is not required to drink at this old-school bar, there is an undeniable appeal in plopping down after a couple of George's high-octane cocktails. Start your staycation with a Summer Fling, one of the spot's most unexpected libations. Scotch may seem more suited for winter, but when combined with pineapple syrup, lime, and cooling Chareau aloe liqueur, it's ready for shorts and flip-flops.

La Ruina — Daiquiri con Sabor
Ernest Hemingway drank them while leching around Cuba. The British Navy got soused on them while sailing the seas. F. Scott Fitzgerald enshrined them in literature. Of the classic cocktail constellation, the daiquiri's star shines brightest. This East Side bar gives them the respect they deserve, whether plain or mixed with intriguing flavors like soursop.

Leche de Tigre — Mi Verano, Tu Invierno
With its tropical murals and shaded backyard porch, this newcomer feels like a year-long holiday. The Mi Verano, Tu Invierno works regardless of the season, grounding a light mix of pisco, passion fruit, and ginger ale with a few dashes of bitters. And it works both as a pre-dinner cocktail and a pairing. Try it against the vibrant tamarind flavors of the Nikkei cebiche.

1Watson — Watermelon Fiesta
This rooftop bar perched above the downtown AC Hotel offers jaw-dropping views of the city. Still, those afraid of heights can reserve a table a little less close to the edge. Either way, the Watermelon Fiesta is the drink to sip all season. An easy sipper of Tito's vodka, watermelon juice, cayenne, and jalapeño, all it's missing is the pool.

Sojourn Trading Co. — Sojourn Raspa
Nothing feels like a San Antonio summer as much as a raspa, especially if you add a little booze. Still, this sunny downtown bar has made a good idea even better. Its signature Sojourn Raspa starts with a one-two punch of blanco tequila and Demerara rum, zinged with lime and mango shrub. Finally, coconut milk is floated on top. Tiger's Blood wishes.

Tokyo Cowboy — Mogwai's Night Out
Though this new River Walk concept specializes in Japanese whisky, it has equal finesse with other spirits. Mogwai's Night Out is far from a basic vodka drink, adding sake and smoked jalapeño for depth. A cucumber slice dusted with togarashi salt evokes San Antonio's many fruterías while honoring the bar's pan-Asian cuisine.



Creepy new horror film will make you believe in The Boogeyman

Movie Review

On the surface, calling a horror movie The Boogeyman seems trite and lazy. A generic term for any scary and mysterious being, it has long been used in all kinds of storytelling. But when you see that the film is based on a Stephen King short story and written by the team behind A Quiet Place, more attention must be paid.

After a supremely creepy and disturbing opening scene, the film introduces its main characters: Will Harper (Chris Messina), a therapist, and his two daughters, Sadie (Sophie Thatcher) and Sawyer (Vivien Lyra Blair). The three are grieving the recent death of their wife/mother, with each coping in different ways. Will is now distant, Sadie sees her own therapist while still lashing out, and Sawyer must sleep with many lights on.

A visit to Will by Lester Billings (David Dastmalchian), a very disturbed man, seems to invite in a creature that thrives in darkness. That creature slowly tortures the two daughters psychologically, starting with Sawyer before moving on to Sadie. With Will checked out in general and Sawyer unable to help much due to her age, it’s up to Sadie to figure out what is happening and how to make it stop.

Directed by Rob Savage and written by Scott Beck, Bryan Woods, and Mark Heyman, the film takes the less-is-more approach, keeping the monster hidden in the shadows for much of the film. Scary things hiding in the dark is a tried-and-true method of horror films, but it works especially well here, chiefly because that terror is often seen through the eyes of the youngest daughter, Sawyer.

Putting kids 10 or younger in peril is not what most horror films typically do, but the effect of doing so is palpable, especially if you’re a parent. The opening scene sets the tone, and every scene involving Sawyer is as tense as you can get. Most of them involve her keeping a wary eye on her closet door or using a light-up model of the moon to expose dark corners, and her feelings of fear transfer easily to the audience.

The stories of Sadie and Will are a little harder to suss out. Sadie gets the most screentime, with awkward conversations with friends and investigations into the creature deemed the most important plot points. What the family was like before mom’s death is not explored much, so it’s difficult to understand Will’s state of mind, with him seeming to almost completely abandon his kids in their time of need.

Thatcher, who plays a character with a similar demeanor on Showtime’s Yellowjackets, does well in the de facto lead role, although the part is more low-key than your usual horror protagonist. Blair, who played a young Princess Leia on the Disney+ show Obi-Wan Kenobi, steals the movie every time she’s on screen; few kids her age could come close to what she accomplishes. Messina is a steady presence, but his character’s personality does him no favors.

By combining familiar elements, a story about a broken family, and some slow burn scares, The Boogeyman rises above its pedestrian title. It maintains its level of dread almost from beginning to end, a lesson that other horror filmmakers would be wise to learn.

Sophie Thatcher in The Boogeyman

Photo by Patti Perret

Sophie Thatcher in The Boogeyman.

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The Boogeyman opens in theaters on June 2.