WIN A HOLIDAY
Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, San Antonio
Art Walks, San Antonio
Witte Museum, San Antonio
Saga, San Antonio
Asia Society Texas Center, Houston
Jones Plaza, Houston
Houston Museum Of Natural Science
With almost 300 years of heritage and history, San Antonio provides plenty of inspiration for artists of all mediums – often resulting in works depicting the city’s rich traditions and cultural imagery.
Combined with the its genuine hospitality, visitors often find San Antonio's arts scene and artists to be more accessible than other destinations. Vibrant murals that honor every day San Antonio life, public art in all forms including sculptures and sound, celebrated museums and artist residency programs, and open studios and galleries welcome visitors in every corner of the city. Visitors will be amazed at offerings such as the "Maya:Hidden Worlds Revealed," exhibit at the Witte Museum; the "Nelson Rockefeller's Picasso" presentation at the San Antonio Museum of Art and the "Coney Island: Visions of an American Dream" showcase at the McNay Art Museum.
Tourists and locals alike are discovering what those in international cultural circles have known for years: to experience the finest performing arts in the world, you need look no further than Houston.
Houston's Theater District spans 17 blocks and has nearly 13,000 seats in a concentrated area. Beyond the skyscrapers of downtown, an array of smaller companies call Houston home, offering a blend of cutting-edge performing arts and well known classics in a variety of intimate settings.
Thanks to the Houston Museum District, the city is an internationally recognized arts center. The charming district, served by the convenient METRORail system, includes outstanding institutions surrounded by glorious oaks.
The 38,000-square-foot Asia Society Texas Center, designed by Yoshio Taniguchi, features an art gallery, a 273-seat theater, reception spaces, a cafe and more.
KNOWN FOR: Innovative Asia-themed programming in arts and culture, business and policy, and education.
DON'T MISS: Exhibitions of traditional and contemporary Asian art in the Louisa Stude Sarofim Gallery.
INSIDER TIP: Admission to the architecturally stunning Center is free. Non-member admission to the Sarofim Gallery is $5.
The San Antonio Museum of Art's global collection represents 5,000 years of history and cultures from around the world. Housed in a complex of buildings that was once the Lone Star Brewery, the Museum is renowned for its collections of Latin American, Asian, and Ancient Mediterranean Art, and includes a notable contemporary collection.
The Museum is on the Museum Reach of the River Walk, an enjoyable 30-minute walk from central downtown hotels with public art along the way. See the website for current special exhibitions.
The McNay Art Museum, housed in a Spanish Colonial Revival estate, has grown into one of the best small museums in the country—the Wall Street Journal puts it in the top four—with a world-class collection of late 19th- and early 20th-century European and American art, along with changing exhibits in the Stieren Center for Exhibits.
Free Press Summer Fest began in 2009 with over 30,000 concertgoers and now attracts more than 100,000 easily making it Houston's most attended summer event. Downtown's Eleanor Tinsley Park hosts the two-day festival against iconic views of the skyline and the $58 million renovations of Buffalo Bayou Park. Renovations allow for easier entrance to the festival than years past with an expanded front gate. FPSF typically features 5-6 stages scattered throughout the park. The festival also hosts some of the best local food from Houston's favorite food trucks located at the Grand Bazaar.
Developed from a grassroots event in July of 1986, Blue Star Contemporary is the first and longest-running venue for contemporary art in San Antonio. The establishment of Blue Star as an exhibition space arose from the need to provide a platform for the work and ideas of local contemporary artists.
In the years since its inception, Blue Star has grown with the community, instigating positive change in both the art community and the community at large.
One of the city's most popular museum, the Witte Museum, hugs Brackenridge Park and the banks of the San Antonio River. The Witte is primarily devoted to science and natural history, with wonderful children's exhibits and stellar traveling exhibits from around the world, but also boasts the best early Texas art collection in the state. The museum is undergoing expansion, and the 20,000 sq. ft. South Texas Heritage Center opened in 2012 to tell the real-life stories of those who were integral to the history of South Texas, including Native Americans, Spanish settlers, Tejanos, ranchers, trail drivers, farmers and oil and gas pioneers.
Start your art trek at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), pivotally sited at Bissonnet and Main Street. Founded in 1900, the MFAH is the oldest museum in Texas as well as the most prominent.
KNOWN FOR: Being a dynamic cultural complex in the heart of the Houston Museum District, featuring two gallery buildings, a film theater designed by Bauhaus architect Mies van der Rohe and a serene sculpture garden to inspire visitors of all ages.
DON'T MISS: The underground Wilson Tunnel, which features James Turrell's The Light Inside, a color-changing light installation that makes walking between the two main museum buildings a one-of-a-kind experience.
INSIDER TIP: Come for the art but stay for the gallery talks, lectures, guided tours and sketching in the galleries (all free with general admission).
Houston is one of only five cities with permanent professional resident companies in all of the major performing arts disciplines--opera, ballet, music, and theater.
Houston's only resident professional theater company presents a varied repertoire of contemporary and classic plays.
Broadway in Houston
Broadway Across America-Houston presents first-rate touring Broadway shows direct from Broadway and London's West End.
By bringing together leading American and international musicians, specifically selected for each program, Da Camera concerts offer a broad range of repertoire and musical styles while ensuring a product of outstanding musical excellence.
Houston Ballet, the fifth largest ballet company in the country, has been hailed by The New York Times as "...one of the nation's best ballet companies."
Houston Grand Opera
Houston Grand Opera is the only opera company in the world to win a Tony, two Grammy and two Emmy Awards. The New York Times calls the Houston Grand Opera "the jewel in the cultural crown."
Founded in 1913, the Houston Symphony is one of America's oldest performing arts organizations, with a rich history of musical excellence.
Society for the Performing Arts
Society for the Performing Arts brings the world's greatest performing artists and companies to Houston.
Theatre Under The Stars
Theatre Under the Stars, founded in 1968, is one of the largest producers of musical theater in the U.S.
Uniquely Houston is an innovative program established by the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts to provide a home venue for Houston's emerging, nonprofit performing arts organizations in the Theater District.
Theater District Independent Shows
Houston First Theaters, the operator of Jones Hall and the Wortham Theater Center, books independent shows at the two venues throughout the season. These performances range from cutting-edge jazz to renowned dance troupes and everything in between.
The Mission Trail is a great walking, biking or driving experience. Explore centuries of the history and culture when you visit the five missions of San Antonio: Mission San Antonio de Valero or more commonly known as the Alamo, Mission Concepción, Mission San José, Mission San Juan Capistrano and Mission San Francisco de la Espada.
There is no admission fee at any of the missions, however, donations are accepted. The San Antonio Mission Trail, which begins at the Alamo, winds southward along a nine-mile stretch of the San Antonio River.
Founded by legendary art patron Linda Pace, Artpace has earned international acclaim for its innovative artists’ residency program. Located in a converted 1920s automobile dealership, Artpace presents original works created by Texas, national and international artists during their residencies, along with contemporary art exhibits, lectures and other avant-garde events in the Hudson Room. Every Friday, a mobile food truck serves delicious tacos curb side in the courtyard
Blocks from the Holocaust Museum Houston, the art of nature takes center stage at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, whose family friendly programming attracts all ages.
KNOWN FOR: One of the largest collections of gems and minerals in the world--more than 750 beautifully crystallized specimens.
DON'T MISS: The new Paleontology Hall--two stories tall and the size of a football field-which houses hundreds of fossils and fossil casts.
INSIDER TIP: The museum’s permanent exhibit halls are free every Tuesday from 2pm until closing time.
A jewel among Houston's museums is The Menil Collection, a five-minute drive from the MFAH and CAMH. Considered to be one of the most important private art collections in the world, the perpetually graceful Menil sits at the heart of a 23-acre green oasis in the Montrose area.
KNOWN FOR: Free admission to a world of art housed in a masterpiece of modern architecture.
DON'T MISS: Surrealism galleries--room after room of "Dreamscapes."
INSIDER'S TIP: There is an invisible "sound sculpture" (by Max Neuhaus) you hear as you approach the museum's main entrance.