San Antonio has fun in January Events: The 27th Annual Great Country River Festival and the 11th Maybe Annual Miller Lite River Walk Mud Festival are scheduled in the second half of the month.

November 10, 1996|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICETravel Q&A

I plan to be in San Antonio in mid-January. Would you tell me the average temperature then? Are there festivals? Outstanding restaurants near the Menger Hotel?

San Antonio has many festivals throughout the year. The largest, the Fiesta San Antonio, is scheduled in 1997 for April 18-27. Activities often take place on the Paseo del Rio (River Walk), a downtown public walk covering some 2 1/2 miles along a loop in the San Antonio River.

The average January temperature in San Antonio is 49.3 degrees. The 27th Annual Great Country River Festival is scheduled for Jan. 17-19. Presented by the Paseo del Rio Association and KKYX-AM Radio, it features country music ranging from contemporary to bluegrass to zydeco. Performances will take place simultaneously at the Arneson River Theater, on the River Walk and on two boats cruising along the river bend. Admission is free.

The annual draining of the river bend area will be celebrated at the 11th Maybe Annual Miller Lite River Walk Mud Festival, scheduled for Jan. 20-26. Events include the Mud Pie Ball and the Mud Parade. Admission is free.

Two restaurants within walking distance of the Menger Hotel, 204 Alamo Plaza, (210) 223-4361, are Boudro's, 421 E. Commerce St. (210) 224-8484, and La Margarita, 120 Produce Row, (210) 227-7140, both open daily for lunch and dinner.

At Boudro's, serving such Southwestern specialties as blackened prime rib and smoked shrimp enchiladas, dinner for two with wine is about $75; at La Margarita, offering Mexican cuisine, it's about $40.

For information, contact the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau, Post Office Box 2277, San Antonio, Texas 78298; (800) 447-3372.

I'm trying to find information about travel to Slovakia and Bratislava.

Part of the former Czechoslovakia from 1918, Slovakia became an independent republic in 1993. Today, U.S. citizens need a passport to enter Slovakia for a visit of up to 30 days; a visa is necessary for longer visits.

Visa applications can be made to the Slovak Embassy, 2201 Wisconsin Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20007; the telephone number is (202) 965-5161.

A few airlines offer connecting flights to Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. Austrian Airlines, (800) 843-0002, has year-round daily flights to Vienna from several U.S. cities; the round-trip autumn fare from Kennedy Airport starts at about $626; there is bus service from Vienna's Schwechat Airport to Bratislava; the trip takes about an hour. Swissair, (800) 221-4750, flies to Zurich daily from airports throughout the United States, including Kennedy and Newark; from Zurich connections can be made with Tatra Air, the Slovak airline, which flies daily to Bratislava; the low late-autumn round-trip price to Bratislava is about $826, flying out of Newark or Kennedy.

In 1996, the Slovakia Travel Service, a private tour company with headquarters in Bratislava, offered a seven-day, six-night trip to Slovakia, beginning and ending in Bratislava. On the 1996 tour, there were stops in Piestany, a spa resort; the High Tatras; Pieniny National Park; Levoca; and Kosice. A similar tour is planned for 1997. The 1996 price was $739 a person, double occupancy.

Tentative 1997 departure dates are between May and September. For further information, contact Slovakia Travel Service, 10 E. 40th St. New York, N.Y. 10016; (212) 213-3865 or (800) 753-0582, fax (212) 213-4461.

In 1997, Abercrombie & Kent plans to offer an 11-day tour of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, including a seven-night cruise on the Danube River and a stop in Bratislava. Trips are scheduled from April through October; prices range from about $6,030 to $7,390 a person, double occupancy.

For further information, contact Abercrombie & Kent, 1520 Kensington Road, Oak Brook, Ill.; (630) 954-2944, fax (630) 954-3324.

The Slovak Information Center, 406 E. 67th St., New York, N.Y. 10021, is open Tuesdays through Thursdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (212) 737-3971.

Pub Date: 11/10/96

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