Day Trips: San Pedro Creek Culture Park, San Antonio
Art installations blend with nature at an Alamo City creek
San Pedro Creek Culture Park is the scrappy little brother of San Antonio's River Walk. Art, history, and nature take the place of restaurants, hotels, and tourists.
With the recent opening of a new segment north of Commerce Street on the west side of downtown, the linear park encompasses about 10 blocks of the historic creek. The creek project turns a litter-strewn ditch that has attracted humans for centuries into a garden of paved trails with ducks, joggers, dog walkers, and hikers.
It's a very cool place during the day, with signage telling the history of the creek, murals depicting people who lived there, art around every corner, and nature beautifying the channelized waterway.
The highlights of the park happen in the evening with lighting displays under bridges. One of the largest sets of lights is under the Houston Street Bridge, but the masterpiece of the park is a nearly blocklong waterfall between Commerce and Houston streets.
During the day, interactive sculpture Stream looks like a rather drab cascade of water, but at night it becomes a colorful display of lights. When someone makes a noise into the old-fashioned, pill-shaped microphone, the colors ripple down the 250-foot wall of water. For instance, say, "Helloooo," into the microphone and watch the colors run the length of fountain.
San Pedro Creek Culture Park tames the flood-prone waterway by making the creek banks an inviting place to visit. With the opening in October of the section to Commerce Street, the project is about half completed and will eventually stretch past Alamo Street. The park is open from 7am to 11pm. Because of street construction in the area, parking can be difficult. For parking tips and information go to spcculturepark.com.
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