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; A cluster of charming small houses from the 18th centuries, now used as restaurants and shops. They're not always good restaurants and shops, but it really is pretty.

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The McNay is easily San Antonio’s most beautiful museum, and although the average guest’s age at the annual galas hovers near August temps, view this not as a problem, but an opportunity. Get your friends in on the ground floor now, and y’all could be running the board in a decade. The original building, the barely modified 1920s Spanish Colonial Revival home of its namesake heiress and arts patron, and the new Jean-Paul Viguier-designed addition, sit on 23 acres of sculpture-dotted rolling green in the heart of Alamo Heights/Terrell Hills. Modern masterpieces by the greats, from Gauguin to Renoir to O’Keeffe (and including a significant Picasso collage) are still the heart of the collection, but the sharp eye of Chief Curator Rene Barilleaux is shaping the growing post World War II collection to fit the light-filled new wing. The McNay also has a notable collection of works on paper, including prints by Goya, Picasso, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Jasper Johns, and an outstanding theater-arts collection and library.

; Sure, the Witte stole Native American bones back in the original Maverick days, but everyone was doing it. It was called archeology. The 21st-century version of the Texophile museum sticks to less-controversial cadavers, such as mummies and the wildly popular dinosaur and Chinese bodies exhibits. This is a great museum for parents, whose kids will find something to pester them about repeatedly (the small working sluice and dam, the H-E-B Science Treehouse, the Fiesta gowns, etc.). A planned expansion that will fully embrace adjacent Brackenridge Park and the San Antonio River flowing through its backyard is guaranted to increase its weekend-adventure appeal.

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