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Outdoor Activities in San Antonio the Whole Family Can Explore



Visiting sunny San Antonio for the first or hundredth time? Then you know this city offers a number of extraordinary opportunities to have some outdoor fun. With great parks, outdoor eateries and activities, you'll be sure to get your dose of Vitamin D!

Hemisfair Park, home to the Tower of the Americas, has recently reopened. A popular open-air event space throughout the year, you can also wander its new paths, take in the sites, sounds, restaurants and opportunities for fun in the sun. After a jaunt in the park, be sure to stop on by the new Dough restaurant located on the corner of S. Alamo and Cesar Chavez for some delicious Neapolitan-style pizza. 

If you love nature, then make sure to take a day trip out the the Cibolo Nature Center. This free attraction has a butterfly habitat, marshes and fantastic hiking trails. Located in Boerne, on the outskirts of San Antonio, make sure to take time to explore this quaint little town. Great food and shopping abound! 


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Camanche Lookout Park
Photo courtesy of Joshua Simmons


Camanche Lookout Park is a 96-acre public park with an almost five-mile nature hiking trail. The park includes the fourth highest point in Bexar County with an elevation of 1,340 feet. Vegetation includes native ash juniper, Texas and Mexican buckeye, chinaberry, graneno, Lindheimer hackberry and honey mesquite, to name a few. Comanche Lookout is a historic park that was so named because Native Americans used the hill as a vantage point during war or for hunting. The Apache were the first to control the area, followed by the Comanche Indians, who hunted along waterways, including nearby Cibolo Creek. Ruins of a medieval-style stone tower, built by a retired Army Colonel in the 1920's, can still be seen. The park also sports a few picnic tables, but the highlight is the great hill and history of this landmark.




Just 90 miles from San Antonio lies the second largest batholith in the United States. Enchanted Rock has seen human activity up to 11,000 years ago. You'll enjoy fun and enriching activities like backpacking, camping (primitive also), hiking, rappelling and rock climbing, bird watching, and the stars at night are absolutely amazing! Local legend has it that the Tonkawa Indians named Enchanted Rock because of the sounds they heard coming from the rocks at night. They believed the formation was enchanted. This is one of the most beautiful natural areas in Texas. There is also a cave towards the top of the formation - but beware if you are claustrophobic, it is very cramped and at times you find yourself crawling. Flashlights are a must!


Phil Hardberger Park


Phil Hardberger Park is the amazing creation of San Antonio's Mayor Hardberger, who has an eye for beauty, art and community projects. This classy park, if there is such a thing, is a relatively new 311-acre park located on either side of Wurzbach Parkway between N.W. Military Highway and Blanco Road. Visitors will enjoy the trails, brand new playscapes for the kids, dog parks, picnic facilities and basketball courts. Construction is also underway on a state-of-the-art Urban Ecology Center. It's worth a visit just to see the Makin' Hay Art Exhibit â€" giant, fanciful characters made of hay that sit in the center of the park.


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Natural Bridge Caverns


If you're looking for something a little off the beaten path, you can't go anymore obscure than this amusement park for the eyes underneath the earth. This natural phenomenon made up of 140 million-year-old rock formations is one of the top attractions in Texas and offers a great opportunity for kids to learn and have fun simultaneously. You can explore this beautiful and historical cavern system by the light of a cave lantern, pan for precious stones, take a leap of faith from the Canopy Challenge, go caving on one of their many adventure tours or at the very least enjoy nature on the original Discovery Tour.




San Antonio's Botanical Gardens is one of the prettiest places to see in the city. This extraordinary 33-acre facility showcases plants from desert regions to equatorial rainforests, some of which are housed in individual, climate-controlled glass environments surrounded by a sunken courtyard and tropical lagoon filled with aquatic plants. Specialty collections include epiphytic plants, desert cacti and succulents, equatorial tropicals, palms and cycads, tropical fruits, ferns and aroids and insectivores. The Gardens, which always strive to connect people to the plant world through experience, education and research also features a children's garden, a Japanese garden and even a garden for the blind. .




In south Texas, it's a given: When the temperatures reach over 100 degrees (sometimes as early as May!), it's time to grab a tube, load up your ice chest, and jump in the river. Usually, someone also brings a waterproof sound system to play authentic Texas music so the 2-6 hour floats down the river are relaxing and entertaining. Rockin' R River Rides rents tubes with or without bottoms. Their motto is "Remember our bottom will save your bottom." If you aren't ready to sit in a tube, try a '1 Man' raft or a '2 Man' raft. They look like inflatable kayaks. Also, they rent larger rafts for up to 6 people and your ice chest.


San Pedro Creek Culture Park
Photo courtesy of April Monterrosa


The City of San Antonio invested $125 million dollars into revitalizing the San Pedro Creek and transforming it into the San Pedro Creek Culture Park, which means a beautiful and free destination for visitors to enjoy throughout the year. Located on the western edge of downtown, near the Alamo, is a merging and celebration of this city's nature, art, and culture. The first section opened in May of 2018 and showcases the Plaza de Fundacion and its stunning "Rain from the Heavens" public art installation of custom tile work that adorns a dozen generational benches. Visitors can stroll through this picturesque park, very similar to the riverwalk, and take in their surroundings, which includes a variety of commissioned murals and art pieces that depict the history and culture of San Pedro Creek.




Southtown, San Antonio's arts district which abuts the King William District, one of the most historic neighborhoods in the city, is a prime site-seeing location. In Southtown you'll find local arts and local artists. Galleries line the main thoroughfare, Alamo Street, with Blue Star being one of the coolest places to visit. Blue Star not only has a contemporary arts center, but restaurants, bars, shops, theatres, more galleries and lofts which are inhabited by, you guessed it, artists. In recent years, this district's been booming with some of the most unique gift shops, restaurants, bars and businesses in San Antonio. It's beloved by locals, who think of Southtown as a small town within the big city. You may not call it home, but once you see it, you'll wish you did!




One of Boerne's most delightful attractions is the Cibolo Nature Center. Tucked amidst huge sycamore trees along the Cibolo River, the CNC boasts marshes, a butterfly habitat, wildlife and several hiking trails. In June 1997, the center lost many trees to a large summer storm. 15 inches of rain fell on the community. The resulting flood exposed dinosaur footprints on the Boerne Lake spillway. A careful replica of the tracks was made and positioned next to the gazebo at the nature center before the tracks were buried by water or vegetation again. This is a favorite exhibit amongst children. These days the center is host to school field trips, bird watchers, and nature lovers in general. The center hosts seminars on wildlife, bats, and even astronomy.


HemisFair Park


If you're visiting San Antonio for the first time or have not been before, Hemisfair Park is a must see destination spot. Recently renovated, this lush, beautifully landscaped neighborhood park, located in the center of downtown, was originally created for the World's Fair in 1968. Walking this park will not only give you a good workout, but will lead you to some of the best destinations in San Antonio, including the Tower of the Americas, the Institute of Texan Cultures and the Magik Children's Theatre, just for starters. The park is also located directly across the street from La Villita, the historic arts village which is great for shopping!


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Meet Kimberly Suta

Kimberly A. Suta is a professional freelance writer, filmmaker and entrepreneur with a background in marketing, advertising and social media. Her first business, Midnight Sun Innovations,...  More About Kimberly

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