San Antonio continues to build upon its reputation as a city rich in history and entertainment. You could spend years in this city and still not experience everything it has to offer. In fact, many of the locals have never seen some of the most popular attractions. So take your pick, and have fun!
Institute of Texan Cultures Expect to spend a full day visiting these sites, as there is plenty to see. Begin your excursion at the Institute of Texan Cultures. Operated by the University of Texas, the Institute houses fascinating exhibits from each of the cultures that settled in Texas and helped to make the state the wonderful place it is today. Next, pay a visit to the Alamo. The cradle of Texas liberty, the Alamo stands as a shrine to the rag-tag band of Texans who battled against General Santa Anna's massive army in Texas' battle for independence from Mexico. After the Alamo, wander down to La Villita Historic Arts Village. Originally the home sites of Canary Islanders who immigrated to the area, La Villita is now a series of shops, restaurants and plazas. Stop into La Villita Museum or the Village Gallery.
Spanish Governor's Palace Winding your way westward from La Villita, stop in at the Spanish Governor's Palace. The restored building is the former home of the first governor of the area when Texas was a Spanish colony. Furnished in period pieces, the site is a fascinating glimpse into how the elite lived in that era. Then continue on to Market Square. Plan to explore the shops and pick up all the souvenirs you can carry. The largest Mexican market outside of Mexico, the Square's stores are filled with beautiful terra-cotta pieces, leather goods, embroidered clothing and more. Once you've exhausted your financial reserve and have more packages than you can carry, enjoy dinner at either Mi Tierra Café or the Pico de Gallo.
Hertzberg Museum From the Institute of Texan Cultures, venture over to HemisFair Park, which is just a few steps awa. Or wander over to Alamo Plaza where you can enjoy the Texas Adventure. Here holographic images of the heroes of the Alamo tell the tale of the battle complete with lighting and sound effects. Finally, drop in at Ripley's Believe It Or Not! and the Plaza Theater of Wax. Housing a wonderful collection of oddities and wax mannequins, kids of all ages will find something that fascinates them, something that makes them think, and something that is sure to make them queasy. Drop into Twin Sisters Bakery & Cafe-Downtown for a quick bite to eat in this district.
McNay Art Museum You could easily spend a day or two wandering among all the traditional and contemporary art spaces in this city and still not see everything. If you have a limited time frame, begin your artistic adventure at the McNay Art Museum. Formerly the private residence of Marion Koogler McNay, the museum displays permanent exhibits that include sculpture, photography, and paintings as well as many traveling exhibits. From here, stop into the Boardwalk Bistro for lunch, then visit the San Antonio Museum of Art. Once home to the Lone Star Brewery, the building is now filled with the museum's impressive collections of sculpture and paintings. You can often catch traveling exhibits here for a small fee above the admission cost. The Southtown section of San Antonio is home to a myriad of the finest commercial galleries in the city. The pieces at the Blue Star Arts Complex are contained within a huge warehouse. The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center is located nearby. In addition to the interesting homemade crafts, there is a regular schedule of events that take place here.
River Walk Stroll along the River Walk. You'll see the Southwest Craft Center at the north end and the Arneson River Theatre at the South end. You may want to stop into the Rivercenter Mall, which also has many dining options. From here pay a visit to the St. Anthony Hotel. Boasting one of the most elegant lobbies in the city, the staff at the hotel is used to visitors wandering through. Your last stop is the Gunter Hotel, another of the most beautiful lobbies. Elegantly restored, the mahogany wood and pristine marble are breath-taking.