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Best Local History & Culture in San Antonio

By: Cityseeker
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Casa Navarro State Historic Site

This former home of Jose Antonio Navarro is now one of the best gems of the city's history. Navarro was a prominent rancher and statesman and was one of only two native Texans of Mexican nationality to sign Texas' declaration of independence from Mexico. Built in 1848, the home was preserved by the San Antonio Conservation Society and now operates as a small museum conducting informative, interactive tours. Special activities are available for children as well.

San Antonio, TX, United States
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San Antonio Fire Museum

The San Antonio Fire Museum is dedicated to educating visitors on the history of firefighting in the city, fire prevention, and fire safety. See antique fire engines, uniforms, and firefighting equipment on display. The museum also hosts educational programs for people of all ages. A donation is requested from adult visitors, but children under 12 are admitted for free.

San Antonio, TX, United States
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King William Historic District

Take a peek into the past of San Antonio. This charming district, which was originally farmland, is located on the eastern side of San Antonio River and has found a place in the National Register of Historic Districts. A few buildings, including The Guenther House and The Edward Steves Homestead, are open to public. The Guenther House houses a restaurant, museum and a store while The Steves Homestead is a museum. Self-guided walking tours can be taken so that you can leisurely stroll along the pretty lanes or drop into a restaurant or art gallery. Several events like the King William Fair and Spring Garden Tour are conducted during the year.

San Antonio, TX, United States
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The Institute of Texan Cultures

This is a fascinating museum honoring the heritages of the settlers who created Texas. Twenty-seven cultural and ethnic groups are represented in detailed exhibits featuring religious artifacts, household items, clothing, tools and more. The multi-screen video presentation shouldn't be missed, as it enhances the experience. As part of the University of Texas system, the museum offers educational programs, special exhibits, entertainment and symposia.

San Antonio, TX, United States
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Steves Homestead

For lovers of history, architecture and antiques, this home is a must-see. Built in 1876, this three-story, French Second Empire-style home belonged to prominent citizen Edward Steves. The interior is decorated with original pieces from the era. Incidentally, the one-story River House behind the home housed the first indoor swimming pool in the city. Since 1954, the San Antonio Conservation Society has maintained the homestead as a historic house museum.

San Antonio, TX, United States
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Texas Transportation Museum

This interesting attraction is definitely off the beaten path, as it is nestled away in North San Antonio not far from McAllister Park. Outside exhibits include antique horse-drawn carriages, a Studebaker Carriage and a horse-drawn fire engine. Inside, you'll discover a restored train depot complete with a steam locomotive, a Pullman car and a business car, all ready to be explored. Three functioning model railroads complete the discovery. As an added treat, if you visit on the first Sunday of the month, you can take a train ride on a one-third-mile track in the back of the museums grounds.

San Antonio, TX, United States
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