From the New Park to Museums, Enjoy San Antonio on a Budget
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San Antonio is full of delights and ready to be explored! The good news is there are plenty of free activities to enjoy that won't cost you a cent, although likely, once you start exploring you'll end up wanting to splurge on something, even if only a refreshing raspa (shaved ice)!
If you want to find the oldest dance hall in the Lone Star State, you'll have to make the trip back in time to this tiny community right outside New Braunfels. Gruene Hall has been in continuous operation since 1878, and over the years folks like Lyle Lovett, George Strait, and Robert Earl Keen've played to packed houses.
If you only visit one museum in San Antonio, make sure it's the McNay. Not only do they have a superb art collection, the museum itself is a work of art. This 24-room, Spanish colonial revival-style mansion and its own sizable collection was donated by Marion Koogler McNay, an American painter and art teacher.
9. MCNAY ART MUSEUM IN SAN ANTONIO
The Pearl Brewery is one of the coolest places you can visit in San Antonio. This brewery, established in 1883 and once home to Pabst beer, has recently been transformed from a historic brewery to a thriving multi-use space where you can eat, shop, learn, work and live.
8. PEARL BREWERY
Travel + Leisure ranked the San Antonio River Walk as the #1 River Walk in America. Also known as Paseo del Rio, this major tourist attraction brings in over five million visitors a year. Delight yourself with a relaxing dinner at one of the numerous restaurants or cafes that line the river.
7. RIVER WALK
The Briscoe Western Art Museum is a collections-based institution building upon art and artifacts that tell the vast and multifaceted story of the American West. Located on San Antonio's famed riverwalk, the institution is housed in San Antonio's first Public Library and newly constructed pavilion.
6. BRISCOE WESTERN ART MUSEUM
San Antonio's Japanese Tea Gardens feels like a set straight out of a movie, something like What Dreams May Come or Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The point is, it's a magical and enchanting place, perfect for declarations of love and sonnet writing.
5. JAPANESE TEA GARDEN
There were five missions established in the early 1700's. These Spanish missions were more than churches. They became towns with a focus on encouraging the natives to become Catholic in order to be citizens.
Located just below the headwaters of the San Antonio River, not far from downtown, Brackenridge Park has been a gathering spot since prehistoric times (dating back 11,000 years) and has since evolved into one of the most popular family hang-outs in San Antonio.
3. BRACKENRIDGE PARK
To fully experience the wide range of diversity that San Antonio has to offer, San Antonio's El Mercado (a.k.a. Market Square) is the best place to take the kids for a unique, fun day. It was once home to a bustling produce market. Today, it's a festive and exciting representation of all of the colorful cultures and flavors that make up San Antonio.
2. MARKET SQUARE
The City of San Antonio invested $125 million dollars into revitalizing the San Pedro Creek and transforming it into the San Pedro Creek Culture Park, which means a beautiful and free destination for visitors to enjoy throughout the year.
1. SAN PEDRO CREEK CULTURE PARK