Comfort Inn Near SeaWorld
8731 Hwy 151
San Antonio, TX 78245
Phone: (210) 522-0700
Fax: (210) 521-2175
Arts & Museums
The largest institute of its kind in the United States, this arts center works to preserve, promote and develop the art and culture of the Chicano/Latino/Native American population. And boy, do they have a great time doing it. With programs focusing on dance, literature, media arts, theater arts, visual arts and Chicano music, this organization is truly multi-disciplinary. Each year the center produces a myriad of events, including the Tejano Conjunto Festival en San Antonio and Hecho a Mano (Made by Hand) fine arts and fine crafts market, as well as plays by its own theater company, Los Actores de San Antonio, and performances by the Guadalupe Dance Company. The historic, beautifully restored Guadalupe Theater provides the performance space for the center's events and houses the visual arts gallery. Once the centerpiece of South San Antonio's entertainment district, the 1940s era building has witnessed a long history of live entertainment punctuated by cultural pride.
This former home of Jose Antonio Navarro is now one of the best, but least known, 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.
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.
Originally home to the Ursuline Academy School for Girls in the 19th century, this historic property was purchased in 1965 by the San Antonio Conservation Society. The Society feared demolition and decided to save the 10 acres. With reflections of French design, the conglomeration of small buildings is beautiful, especially the small chapel adorned with amazing stained glass. Today the center is where creative adult and child artisans of all skill levels learn and teach. With expert instructors, this is the place to learn traditional and contemporary arts and crafts. Even if you are not interested in taking a class, stroll through the grounds and visit the art gallery, the chapel and the Copper Kitchen Restaurant.
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.
This huge former warehouse changed its tune when it was renovated and now houses a small but distinctive group of contemporary and non-traditional art studios and galleries. Many of these display well-known artists, but they also give recognition and opportunity to lesser-known local artisans. Besides art galleries and studios, you will also find a brewpub, a theater and living spaces. Blue Star tenants provide activities throughout the year that are fun for families and adults. However, you don't have to do the planned activities—just show up and browse.
The city's upstart addition to the art and museum scene, the San Antonio Art League Museum, makes its home in a restored carriage house in the historic area of King William, just south of downtown. The museum's permanent collection of early Texas and regional art is not to be missed. Touring exhibits are special, too, with recent showings featuring Kate Ritson, Vincent Valdez and Beat Hallermann. Admission is free and donations are much appreciated.
Whether they are encasing themselves in a giant bubble, making beautiful artwork from discarded fabric and paper materials, or driving a child-size front-end loader, kids of all ages can easily spend an entire day at this museum. There are more than 80 special hands-on exhibits, a giant aquarium and even a kid-powered elevator. Housed in a 1940s-era building built as a dime store, the museum's multi-sensory exhibits focus on communication, the arts, economics, natural history, physical science, history and much more. Children age 2 and younger are admitted for free.
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.
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.
Nestled in the Historic Arts Village of La Villita, this art studio features the work of contemporary artists. Richard Conn, the owner and director of this studio, is widely known for his art. You might just spot his work on hoardings for events, such as Fiesta, Jazz'SAlive and Night in Old San Antonio. His work also features paintings, mixed media and printmaking. He promotes the work of contemporary artists by exhibiting their work in his gallery. Come by and have a look at a new approach to art.
Come by the Starving Artist Art Gallery to feast your eyes on some truly artistic items, that you'll be amazed to see what two human hands can create. Rare porcelain china, ornate jewelry, and other handcrafted items are all on display. If you look closely, you can see several minute, distinct forms of flowers and figurines etched into certain pieces. A visit to this gallery is a must if you're a lover of art.