Visit San Antonio

San Antonio’s Culture – A Dynamic Confluence

At its core, our city is dynamic. Our roots run deep, our heritage is rich and our confluence of cultures is celebrated. Our population and cultural influences are diverse – Mexican, Tejano, German, Irish, Czechoslovakian, and more – and our appreciation of that diversity makes our city shine.

Come discover classic gems and explore what’s new in our diverse communities, offerings and celebrations, and get inspired at VisitSanAntonio.com.


 5 Ways to Get Inspired in San Antonio

Upcoming Exhibits:

  • The Witte Museum
    • April 17 – August 2019: Blast from the Past: Fiesta 1969
    • May 4, 2019: The Art of Texas: 250 Years
    • May 25 – September 2, 2019: Survival: The Exhibition
  • McNay Art Museum
    • January 9 – May 12, 2019: Auto Show
    • January 17 – May 5, 2019: Estampas Chicanas
    • February 14 – May 5, 2019: Van Gogh to Munch: Seduction and Anxiety
    • February 14 – May 19, 2019: American Dreams: Classic Cars and Postwar Paintings
    • March 21 – June 30, 2019: America on Stage
    • June 20 – September 15, 2019: Andy Warhol: Portraits
    • June 20 – September 15, 2019: Transamerica/n: Gender, Identity, Appearance Today
    • June 20 –September 15, 2019: TransSanAntonian: Examining Trans Identities and Gender Fluidity in the Archives
  • San Antonio Museum of Art
    • February 22 – May 12, 2019: Capturing the Moment
    • September 14 – March 31, 2019: Harry Bertoia: Sculptor and Modernist Designer
    • June 21 – September 01, 2019: Men of Steel, Women of Wonder
    • October 11 – January 05, 2020: Victorian Radicals
  • Southwest School of Art
    • June 13 – August 11, 2019: CORY IMIG | Line Describing Space
    • June 13 – August 11, 2019: ABINADI MEZA | Delay in Glass
  • Blue Star Contemporary
    • October 2016-October 2019: Plexus c18, Gabriel Dawe (San Antonio International Airport, Terminal A)
    • February 1 – May 5, 2019: Effort Economy
    • March 1 – May 5, 2019: Ghostly Demarcations

Nature’s Creations Inspired Our Own

Peeling back the layers of history

Where four Texas ecological zones intersect, so too do our roots 
in innovation, discovery and adventure. While found artifacts date back over 10,000 years, the recorded history of our city began in 1693, when it was named San Antonio de Padua by a Spanish Franciscan priest. In 1718, the founding of Mission San Antonio de Valero (which was relocated and later called the Alamo) and a military presidio on the riverbank marked the official birth of this city that would endure and grow for hundreds of years.

Progress continued to swell the riverbanks through 1920 when the San Antonio Conservation Society created a space for parks, shops, restaurants, offices and hotels that became the River Walk as we know it today. San Antonio celebrated its 250th anniversary by hosting the 1968 World’s Fair, which the city accommodated with a lengthened River Walk, opening it to river barges and setting the stage for national attention that’s made the Paseo del Rio one of the state’s top visitor destinations.

Welcoming San Antonio’s Missions to the world

The construction of San Antonio’s five missions laid a cultural foundation along the river in the 1700s. Along with Mission San Antonio de Valero, Missions San José, Concepción, San Juan and Espada served the native people by teaching them skills, trades, religion and the Spanish language. Today, the missions remain active church parishes for their surrounding communities and serve as an inspiration to the world as a recently designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, only the 23rd such site in the U.S.


A Bold Heritage Deserves a Vibrant Twist

Ingenuity finds a home indoors & out

As ceramists, singers, dancers, poets, historians, naturalists, cowboys, folklorists and more arrived and thrived, drawing from the city’s vibrant living history, spaces to serve these creative influencers were carved into the heart of the city. In 2009, the Museum Reach section was built to extend the River Walk and provide a place where San Antonio’s now vibrant creative and natural culture could flourish.

The Museum Reach showcases public art, has a special events stage and features a lock and dam complex for sightseeing barges. Also located here is the San Antonio Museum of Art, an institution housed in a former brewery, shaping a compact experience shaping a compact experience of the best San Antonio’s creative culture has to offer.

A timeless character built with our hands

It wasn’t just what nature built that made San Antonio great. San Antonio’s architecture is layered with history and innovation, showing its growth from a frontier town to one of Texas’ most architecturally historic cities. Shaping the landscape today are multiple diverse architectural styles preserved to celebrate our history and repurposed to endure.


Unique Foundations for The Future

Created to inspire, made to endure

A past rich with natural beauty and elegant history isn’t complete without modern flair. Rapid economic growth since the mid-20th century has led to iconic, contemporary architecture designed by some of the most highly respected architects in the U.S. and unlike any other in the world.


Our Culture is a Living Work of Art

The contributions of San Antonio’s many talented artists over the course of 300 years are evident throughout the city. The rich Spanish and Mexican heritage, with its tradition of embracing art and artists, has seeped into all facets of the San Antonio story, from cowboy poetry and folkloric dance to public art, blockbuster exhibitions and multimedia theater productions.

Inspired by the melting pot of cultures and ideas around them, San Antonio’s artists constantly intertwine influences. Local poets sprinkle their works with Spanish phrases, Conjunto music joins the city’s German and Mexican roots, and experimental flamenco flourishes. Learn about San Antonio’s cultural heritage at the Institute of Texan Cultures. Watch San Antonio’s culture come to life at the Majestic and Charline McCombs Empire Theatres, Tobin Center, Beethoven Halle and numerous other theaters, concert halls and public places.

Plates as vivid as our paintings

San Antonio is a city bursting with flavor. Our food scene blends our multicultural heritage and rich culinary traditions resulting in bold, original recipes found in locally owned, chef-driven restaurants. As a result, San Antonio has been designated a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy, one of only two cities in the United States. Stroll our famed River Walk or explore Pearl, a reimagined historical brewery home to the Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio, and one of our city’s hottest culinary and cultural destinations. Satisfy your cravings with three new curated Food Trails highlighting the Alamo City’s best tacos, barbecue and margaritas. Think specialty tacos, the finest smoked brisket, and smooth and salty margaritas.

 

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  • 1197eikel

    Nice, but you forgot the largest tourist attraction and the number one historic site in the entire city, The Alamo. Mentioning it in passing as the Mission de San Antonio de Valero doesn’t do the cradle of Texas liberty justice.

    • carmen

      I take the opposite view: All I ever heard of since arriving in TEXAS 40 years ago is the Alamo. Not until I began reading Texas History books, attending history lectures
      given by History teachers with a Ph.D. did I Finally Learn about true, factual non-mythical
      “TEXAS HISTORY BEFORE THE ALAMO.”
      This important Texas History had taken a backseat for decades. So now I want to dig deeper and uncover more of the Real Texas History BEFORE Mission San Antonio de
      Valero lost ITS TRUE IDENTITY AND WAS DUBBED SIMPLY, THE ALAMO!!