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Spring Break weather mostly warm and sunny; major attractions expect big crowds

Spring breakers party on Mustang Island
Joey Palacios
Spring breakers party on Mustang Island

Spring break weather will be mostly warm and sunny, so South Texas tourist attractions will likely see large crowds.

With schools out for a lot of families until March 18, many will be planning a day or week out.

The National Weather Service reported highs across most of Texas next week will generally be in the 70's and 80's under a partly sunny to sunny sky, including coastal beaches and the Big Bend.

The next best chance for local rain will not be until Thursday, March 15, and Friday, March 16, according to forecasters. The weather will clear again for the following weekend but turns cooler on Sunday.

The American Automobile Association reported the average price of gas in Texas is $2.94 a gallon, nearly a dime cheaper than the national average.

Drivers might save a few pennies per gallon by filling up in the city before traveling through rural areas, especially West Texas, according to AAA Texas.

San Antonio International Airport expected another record breaking Spring Break travel season. Officials expected about 343,000 travelers will fly in and out of SAT from through March 17, which is a 9% increase compared to the same period last year.

Jesus Saenz, director of airports at SAT, noted that since most local school districts are observing the same Spring Break period this year, that will certainly impact travel.

Airport officials said travelers should plan ahead, consider options when it comes to parking, and arrive early. Aside from using ride-share services, travelers can choose from a variety of on-site parking options. To check the number of parking spaces available and for a cost breakdown, visit SAT’s website. Travelers with questions about what they can pack should visit TSA’s website.

Expect heavier traffic on I-37 to Corpus Christi and U.S. 281 to McAllen as tens of thousands of spring breakers travel toward the beaches of Port Aransas and South Padre Island.

While Padre and Port A attract a mix of college students and families, Padre tends to draw more college students and Port A more families, according to tourism officials there.

San Antonio's two major theme parks — Six Flags Fiesta Texas and SeaWorld — were expected to be packed too. Six Flags is promoting a scarier Spring Break experience with its "Scream Break," with Halloween-like attractions.

Downtown San Antonio's attractions, such as the Alamo, River Walk, and Market Square are expected be crowded too. The Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center has booked five gatherings during Spring Break, including one that was expected to attract 4,500 educators to a conference held by the Council for Exceptional Children.

Downtown visitors were strongly encouraged to plan ahead and arrive early to downtown events to avoid expected disruptions related to traffic, construction projects and parking. City officials said the weekend of March 16 will be especially busy.

Visitors should consider using public transportation or ride-share, biking, walking, or consulting a navigation and traffic app, such as Waze or Google Maps.

The City of San Antonio offers parking at its parking garages and lots. The St. Mary’s Garage at 205 E. Travis St. and the City Tower Garage at 117 W. Commerce Street are located just steps from the River Walk and Houston Street.

A map showing a full list of city-owned garages and parking lots can be found on the city’s SAPark website. City officials said that parking event rates will be in effect at most parking facilities from March 8 through March 17, according to a city news release.

Downtown Tuesday offers free parking on Tuesdays from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. in city-owned parking facilities, and City Tower Sundays offers free parking on Sundays from 7 a.m. to midnight at the City Tower Garage.

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