You have to love a museum housed in an old brewery, and the San Antonio Museum of Art (also known locally as SAMA) is just that. The historic brick buildings of the 1904 Lone Star Brewery have been re-purposed, renovated, and combined to create a large museum space along the banks of the Museum Reach of the San Antonio River Walk. The museum houses one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of ancient Egyptian, Asian, and Greek and Roman art in the southern United States. The museum also is home to a significant collection of Latin American art, from pre-Columbian times to the present, showcased in the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Latin American Art. A growing contemporary art collection offers distinguished regional/Texas art, and traveling exhibits enliven SAMA's calendar all year round. Perhaps the most impressive part of the museum is its collection of Asian art, housed in a suite of galleries. Over the past 70 years, the collection has grown to include over 2,000 works from China, India, Japan, Korea, Tibet, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand, and Vietnam, spanning 6,000 years of Asian art history. The Asian Wing features fine ceramics and porcelain, bronze vessels, furniture, textiles, Cloisonné, and various decorative arts. The Liao Dynasty ceramics collection is among the largest outside China, and the Imperial Chinese Art Gallery is home to Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasty ceramics. Travelers looking to get kids interested in a visit here should plan on coming to the museum from downtown via a Rio Taxi, which cruises through a remarkable lock and dam system with water rising nine ft. along one section of the route. Be sure to notice the $12-million art installations that hang from the bridges as you pass. Disembark at the Gloria Galt River Landing, a shaded pavilion, esplanade, and terrace along the museum's north side. Those who have heard that the museum's Cafe des Artistes is good should know that it has closed, with a replacement still in the works. Art lovers should plan on speeding at least 1 1/2–2 hrs. here. I find I always stay longer than I expected. The gift shop is also better than most—it features products from local artists that make great gifts.