Housed in what was once the Lone Star Brewery, this museum boasts fairly comprehensive collections of both ancient and Asian art. The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Latin American Art displays what is probably one of the most impressive collections of pre-Columbian, Spanish Colonial, and Latin American modern and folk art in the United States. On Sundays, the museum sponsors educational workshops for children, in which they can create their own pieces of art to display at home. The museum also plays host to touring exhibits such as one featuring Egyptian artifacts on loan from Boston's Museum of Fine Arts.
Built in 1929, the Majestic Theatre is the prime venue in the city for performing arts. The architecture reflects Baroque and Mediterranean influences. Elaborate ornamentation, colorful walls with creeping grape vines, statues, a tiled roof, and many other design elements make this venue a magical setting. It features a huge stage and grand lobbies, also plays host to private and corporate events.
Although construction did not begin until 1749, this cathedral was established in 1731 by the Canary/Spanish Islanders, who sought to build their own place of worship. It is one of the oldest cathedral sanctuaries in the United States. The famous Alamo defender James Bowie was married here and during the siege of the Alamo Santa Anna used it as an observation post. Notable historic figures Bowie, William Travis and Davy Crockett are buried here. The cathedral still draws huge crowds for Mass and always welcomes visitors.
Replete with a variety of flora and fauna, the Government Canyon State Natural Area features an incredible landscape dominated by towering trees and rocky canyons. Enjoy biking, hiking, and other exciting outdoor activities at this nature reserve. This park was made for adventure, offering 12,047 acres (4875 hectares) for visitors to explore. Take in the sight of rolling hills and rare wildlife as you explore 40 miles (64 kilometers) of trails. There's something here for everyone, whether you want to take a relaxing walk surrounded by exquisite nature or go for a more strenuous hike.
Just a few minutes northeast of San Antonio lies a geological wonder that attracts tourists from around the globe. Natural Bridge Caverns, designated both a U.S. Natural Landmark as well as a Texas Historic Site, contains some of the most phenomenal cave formations in the country. Giant stalactites resembling enormous chandeliers and stalagmites that look like fried eggs are just a few of the more than 10,000 formations contained within this living cave. Special rates are available for groups of 25 or more.
The San Antonio Botanical Garden has 33 acres (4046 square meters) of lush foliage and colorful flowers. A wonderful attraction, the garden is an exquisite year-round, with something always in bloom. A conservatory, formal gardens, "old-fashioned" gardens and native plant areas provide a variety of interests. This is definitely a must-see for both botany experts and garden-variety folks. If you're visiting in the spring, don't forget your antihistamines. The garden center features a luncheon cafe, a gift shop, guided tours, and adults' and children's classes. It is also available for private parties.
The Spanish Governor's Palace is the "most beautiful building" in the city according to the National Geographic Society. This national historic landmark was originally the official residence of the Governor of the Spanish Province of Texas in the late 18th Century. Visiting the building is like taking a step back in time; it is replete with period furnishings, small rooms with low ceilings, and thick stucco walls. The cobblestone patio features beautiful foliage and a fountain. Most noteworthy is the original keystone over the entrance, which bears the carved, double-headed eagle from the Hapsburg coat of arms along with an inscription, in Spanish, reading "finished in 1749."
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.
It all started in 1881 when trappers, hunters and cowboys traded deer antlers for beer or whiskey at Albert Friedrich's saloon. Now, the saloon/museum's Hall of Horns, Hall of Feathers and Hall of Fins house not only the largest, but also some of the most impressive collections of native and exotic wildlife around. If you're squeamish about mounted deer heads, fish and fowl, then don't go. If you're awed by how large deer antlers can grow to be, by just how large of a mouth that a large-mouth bass can have, or at the wingspan of native turkeys, then you'll love this place. You can even bring in a set of antlers or a stuffed fish to trade at the bar for a whiskey or sarsaparilla.
Briscoe Western Art Museum is located on Market Street, in Downtown San Antonio. The museum, named for one of the most beloved governors of Texas, Dolph Briscoe, boasts of an interesting collection of artworks typical to the Western regions of America. A part of the Public Library, the museum is home to several contemporary and historic pieces and artifacts, including some that date back to the time of the Spanish conquest of the 1800s! The place also hosts numerous exhibitions and workshops throughout the year for the benefit of art students and enthusiasts. Open from Tuesdays through Sundays, Briscoe Western Art Museum makes for an interesting visit. Check the website for more details.