This cultural and arts tour is best to start early in the morning. Luckily the first stop begins serving breakfast at 7 a.m., but you ... more »could go at 8 or 9 a.m. instead. The tour focuses on some popular, but possibly not as well-known sights, such as Guenther House, The Museo Alameda, and the Spanish Governor's Palace.
The Guenther House is a museum featuring Victorian furnishings, mill memorabilia and a restaurant decorated in the Art Nouveau style with good and hearty food. Eating first and then going on the tour should work out well.
Next is the Spanish Governor's Palace, which is most likely the last remaining example in Texas of an elite home from the 1700s. Then there's the Museo Alameda, the Smithsonian Institute first partner in the institute's affiliated program.
Next is lunch at Anne Marie's Carriage House Bistro for a diverse selection of sandwiches and soups. It also has wonderful views of the San Antonio Botanical Gardens. And finally there's the McNay Art Museum, the first modern art museum in Texas. Marion Koogler McNay donated her 24-room Spanish Colonial Revival house, 23 acres of land, an endowment, and an art collection with more than 700 works of art. Her collection included 19th and 20th century European and American paintings and Southwest art from New Mexico. Some notable artists in the museum's collection today, are: Picasso, Monet, Diego Rivera, and Alfred Sisley.
In addition to the locations mentioned, there are also some monthly and annual events that are worth seeing if you are in town at the right time. There's "First Friday," a monthly art walk held on the first Friday of each month. It's a great way to see works from unknown artists and take part in a lively evening and night event.
Fiesta is a week-long annual celebration comprised of many themed events. There are several city-supported events that are family-friendly and just about every type of entertainment available — young adult, family-friendly, parades, food, games, and so on.
There's also the Majestic Theater in downtown San Antonio. It is a glorious theater that was custom-designed to look like theater goers are sitting in the midst of the Spanish mission with influences from Baroque and Mediterranean architecture. People can go on a tour of the theater, but only when there isn't a performance the same day or evening. This can make it tricky to see the theater, unless one buys a ticket to see a show. However you find a way inside, it will be worthwhile. It is one of the most ornate and remarkably decorated theaters in the country.
In addition to the occasional event or hard-to-get into tour, there's the most popular and widely-known cultural and artist spots in San Antonio.
The city is famous, in part, for the Riverwalk. It's a place where visitors go for a wide selection of restaurants, shopping and beautiful surroundings. The original architect, Robert Hugman, designed it to be aesthetically pleasing and contemporary artists and architects have continued that theme. There are a number of shady spots to sit and watch passers-by or enjoy the art and design. It's also safe to walk along because it is separated from street traffic.
The Alamo isn't known for artist reasons, though the shrine's outline is iconic. However, it is an important cultural symbol for all Texans. Schoolchildren learn the importance of bravery and standing up for what you believe in, no matter the cost. less «