Bicyclists enjoy exploring San Antonio parks like McAllister — Photo courtesy of City of San Antonio
While San Antonio has some work to do when it comes to being up to speed on bike culture and the proper infrastructure for cyclists, there are still some wonderful places to bike throughout the city, primarily at some of the city's beautiful parks.
If you love bike trails and exploring off the beaten path, McAllister Park is the best place to go. McAllister has almost 1,000 acres of gorgeous forested areas, with more than 10 miles of unpaved natural bicycle and cross-country trails as well as paved trails.
If you go in the morning or at twilight, you're likely to run across wildlife such as the many deer that populate the park. Bring your camera to catch these magical photo opportunities.
For optimal enjoyment, pack a picnic or ingredients to barbecue using one of the barbecue pits around the park. If you'd rather eat out, head a bit south on 281 for lunch or dinner at Barbaro. They boast some of the most excellent pizza in the city. Or go for a deliciously unique salad, if you're trying to keep it light after that healthy bike ride.
Families will love biking around Brackenridge Park, which mainly has wide, paved trails that are ideal for the youngsters. The kids will also love the playground and nearby river, a favorite hangout for ducks and geese.
Brackenridge Park is a popular destination for all sorts of activities, including the Witte Museum and the exceptional San Antonio Zoo, which is celebrating its centennial this year.
Brackenridge Park is conveniently located, only about 10 minutes from downtown. If you head south from the park on Broadway, you'll run into the Pearl Brewery complex, where you'll find some of the most superb restaurants in San Antonio.
Arcade Midtown Kitchen and Boiler House offer a fantastic variety of farm-to-table cuisine. Il Sogno offers superior Italian fare, and Green is completely vegetarian. There are many more choices as well as some popular bars if you're simply looking to wet your whistle.
If you've still got some energy left in you, be sure to hop on the extended part of the riverwalk next to the Pearl and ride all the way downtown to sight-see to your heart's content. You'll pass a plethora of hotels, shops and restaurants as well as one of the lock and dam systems, which is always interesting to watch.
The more adventurous folks will love to tour San Antonio's historic missions by bike using the eight-mile-long mission portals that connect all four missions - Concepcion, San Jose, San Juan and Espada.
Afterwards, head to Southtown for some grub at Blue Star Brewery, Cascabel Mexican Patio, Rosario's or any other restaurant in this unforgettable arts district.