Step inside the simple dwellings to catch a glimpse of early life in the Southwest. Catch the river taxi to the former 19th-century brewery that is now the San Antonio Museum of Art. This impressive building houses everything from the Egyptian goddess Sekhmet, and other ancient statues, to depictions of local history on canvas. Back in the city center, there is always something going on in bustling Market Square. Listen to a heartfelt song, browse the stalls, or simply soak up the atmosphere. Take a short detour to the Botanical Gardens with plants flourishing in the dry Texan desert. A far more lush experience is a stroll in the nearby Japanese Tea Gardens, with its amazing stone structures and the Jingu Tea House. This exotic attraction, just north of downtown in Brackenridge Park, is an oasis in this otherwise arid corner of the Southwest. In the same park is the Witte Museum. Let the children play before browsing the paintings and relics of San Antonio's past. Your passport to adventure is the nearby San Antonio Zoo, good for some exciting wildlife encounters. Just a half-hour drive from here, the residents in the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch have it made. The prairie and savannah animals here get to roam free within the park's boundaries. You can even feed some of the animals out of your hand during a self-drive safari. On a hot summer's day, there is nothing cooler than descending into the Natural Bridge Caverns just down the road.