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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Go Culture-Hopping in San Antonio


3. What to Do

San Antonio is home to centuries-old missions built by the Spanish; the Museo Alameda is the first Smithsonian-affiliated museum outside of Washington D.C.  

Bike the Mission Reach project’s newly created riverfront trails with some wheels from San Antonio Bike Share ($10 for a 24-hour rental). Set to be completed by next summer, the nation’s largest urban ecosystem restoration project will expand the River Walk to fifteen miles, but already completed trails will guide you toward Mission San Juan Capistrano, Mission Espada, and Mission Concepción—centuries-old stone churches that make up the greatest collection of Spanish colonial architecture in the country.

Explore the city’s Latino heritage on a tour of the Museo Alameda ($5), the only Smithsonian-affiliated museum dedicated to Latino culture. Opened in 2007, the museum was inspired by (and takes its name from) the largest U.S. movie palace dedicated to Spanish-language entertainment, which opened in San Antonio in 1949 but later closed. The current exhibition features artists whose work rose out of the Mexican Revolution and Renaissance, like Diego Rivera, and the museum also frequently curates free film screenings and cultural walking tours.

Learn about Texan archetypes like cowboys and oil tycoons at the South Texas Heritage Center ($10), a new addition to the Witte Museum’s campus near Brackenridge Park. The 20,000-square-foot space chronicles the events that shaped the region from the 1800’s through the fifties, with interactive exhibits that re-create a town plaza and rural ranches alongside art and artifacts that capture how the region was settled in its wilder days.

Published on Jun 28, 2012 as a web exclusive.

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