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When you think of San Antonio, two things automatically come to mind: the Alamo and the River Walk. The River Walk was conceived in 1929. Downtown had serious flood problems, and Robert Hugman suggested that the city turn the San Antonio River into an asset rather than a hindrance. Hugman's brainchild has since become the essence of the city. The city's most popular attraction, it is often crowded and filled with children, partygoers, tourists and locals. In the heart of the River Walk is an area filled with restaurants, shops and nightclubs, punctuated by fountains and towering Cypress trees. The River Walk is particularly lively during Fiesta.
Artpace, a local foundation with national influence, anchors the art community with impressive exhibits, active public outreach and an international artist-in-residence program. Each artist's residency is launched with a potluck dinner, which coincides with the exhibit opening and is meant to introduce the resident to the community. Brown-bag lunches with discussions about current exhibits, lectures, seminars, film screenings and community events provide a context for the residents' work and encourage the public to become involved with the contemporary art community. The beautifully renovated 1920s-era building that the foundation calls home was once an automobile dealership. It is only one block from the River Walk in the downtown cultural district, near the Central Library.
The historical center and heart of the city's Mexican culture, the square is the largest Mexican marketplace outside of Mexico. Here you can dine on Mexican food at one of several cafes, enjoy the lively sounds of Mariachi bands and buy wonderful blankets, clothes, leather and metal goods and much more, imported from just south of the border. The square plays host to many cultural events and fairs throughout the year, including Fiesta del Mercado (Party of the Market) in April and Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in November.
Come by for a one-of-a-kind theater going experience. The Arneson River Theatre is located on the southern side of River San Antonio but the audience sits is located on the northern side of the river. The picturesque view of a river running right in front of the stage makes any performance seem magical. Take a seat on one of the grassy steps and enjoy a thrilling outdoor show. This theater is known for holding concerts, plays, musical performances, and more.
If you intend to spend a fun day with your family, La Villita, the historical arts village is just perfect for you. There are so many things to do that your day will end in no time. If you are an art freak, the galleries here will interest you, as well as the River Art Show in October. There are many restaurants so you can just pick one that suites your taste. A must visit for all guests is the church with beautiful stained glass windows and the museum in building nine. If you plan on taking some souvenirs back home, don't forget to visit the gift shops.