Whenever you travel into the historical portion of San Angelo, it’s obvious to understand why the city is known as Texas’ Visual Arts Capital. The arts are at the core of some of the enjoyable best free things to do in San Angelo TX, from the unusual statues in public settings reflecting pieces of the city’s history to the elaborate design of buildings like the Museum of Modern Art.
As you stroll through San Angelo’s ancient streets, you’ll notice murals depicting significant events in the city’s history, as well as open-air modern art at venues such as Pop Art Museum.
However, the city’s artistic side is simply one facet of its allure. Another are the relics of its Western history, such as the still-standing monuments at Fort Concho and the rebuilt buildings along downtown’s old Concho Avenue.
The Concho River, which passes across San Angelo, is a vital feature of the city and is home to the world-famous Concho Pearl. The city is physically appealing, but the cuisine is as well. Local eateries with must-try local food include the Twisted Root Burger Company, Angry Cactus, and Helen’s Bistro, all of which are housed inside the San Angelo Library.
National Historic Landmark of Fort Concho
Things to do in San Angelo TX, is visit the Fort Concho National Register of historic places Landmark, which provides a wealth of local history. This building was the hub of a chain of Texas forts stretching from the state’s northeast border to El Paso. It was constructed in 1867 to serve as a fortress for settlers and to safeguard the West Texas zone.
Local limestone was used to create the structures of Fort Concho. Barracks, officers’ apartments, hospitals, stables, a chapel, and schools are all part of the fort’s 1600-acre complex. The Buffalo Army and roughly 500 military and cavalrymen were stationed there.
The Global Waterlily Collection
The International Waterlily Collection is on exhibit at Civic League Park in central San Angelo, wherein multiple basins of different water lily types may be observed. The park includes a lovely brick walkway that leads to the river basin through several levels of vegetation.
There are dozens of lily varieties in the collection, including Pink Nova, Wanvisa, and Chompo Nix, as well as hybrids. As you go around the park, you’ll hear about Ken Landon, the guy behind the collection, who gathered lily species from all over the world.
Miss Hatties Bordello Museum
Miss Hatties Bordello Museum, a modest and kept secret museum in the downtown area of San Angelo, gives a look into the rustic Old West. The modest bordello in San Angelo was among the most well-known in Texas for 50 years.
Miss Hatties was shut down by the Texas Rangers in 1952, but it is now maintained as a modest museum for visitors. The museum lies in the heart of the ancient downtown, and you may still stroll there on the plank walkways.
The Chicken Farm Art Center
The Chicken Farm Art Center, which has been a cornerstone in the artistic community since 1971, is a wonderfully unusual location to explore while in San Angelo. It’s a former chicken farm that’s been transformed into artistic workspaces, restaurants, and a bed & breakfast.
Sculptures, woolen items, pottery, paintings, and ironworks are on exhibit and for sale in roughly two dozen workshops that fill the antique chicken barns. The grounds have a quirky and inviting feel to them. The social events on the first Saturday of each month, when the gallery stays open late and musicians entertain guests, are a fantastic time to visit.