San Antonio is acclaimed as one of Texas' most beautiful and cultural cities, home to a plethora of outdoor attractions and recreation opportunities, including the gorgeous city-wide River Walk pedestrian trail. The city's historic Spanish Colonial missions are home to outdoor plaza and park attractions, including park areas connecting to San Antonio Missions National Historical Park.
Acequia Park is a unique Bexar County park that is encompassed within San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, protecting 73 acres along the eastern banks of the San Antonio River between the historical park's preserved Mission San Juan Capistrano and Mission San Jose. The park, which is named for a Spanish word referring to community-operated watercourse systems, was established in 1975 to preserve the region's sensitive environment, which was once used by Spanish missionaries and indigenous mission members to create a community water source for the nearby missions. Today, the National Register of Historic Places-listed park offers a public-access trail showcasing the remains of the acequia system, which meanders through a riparian woodland habitat. Other park attractions include the Mission San Juan Portal, which connects a pedestrian bridge to the neighboring mission, and a kayak water access point for boaters to explore the San Antonio River and New Espada Lake.
8500 Mission Pkwy, San Antonio, TX 78223
Acme Park is a 2.8-acre public park in San Antonio that is home to a wide variety of features for family day use, including a children's playground and a picnic area offering barbecue grills. The park is home to two noted open-air basketball courts, including a covered court named in honor of regional African American educator Thelma Jackson. Jackson, the first principal of E.T. Wrenn Junior High, was noted for her community involvement as a dance teacher and was the recipient of the Woman of the Year community service award from St. James A.M.E. Church. Park visitors can also enjoy use of a volleyball court and a 0.17-mile walking trail, which is open to joggers, cyclists, and dog walkers.
534 S Acme Rd, San Antonio, TX 78237, Phone: 210-207-7275
3.The Alamo Plaza Historic District
The Alamo Plaza Historic District centers around the historic preserved Spanish Roman Catholic mission of the same name, which was originally established in 1744 as the Mission San Antonio de Valero and operated for more than seven decades. The Alamo is best known today for its use throughout the late 18th and early 19th century as a Spanish military fortress and its involvement in the seminal Battle of the Alamo, a key revolutionary battle that precipitated the state's Spanish secession. Today, the UNESCO World Heritage Site mission is open to the public as a living history tourist attraction, drawing in more than four million annual visitors. Its beautiful public plaza area, landscaped during the late 19th century by Anton Wulff, is a National Register of Historic Places-listed landmark of its own, preserving a number of historic structures connected to the mission, including several historic hotels and a former federal post office building.
1901 S. Alamo, San Antonio, TX 78204, Phone: 210-207-0035
4.Clarissa Alderete Park
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Clarissa Alderete Park is a lovely public park in San Antonio, open to the public for family-friendly day use. The park offers features such as a children's playground, public pavilion and gazebo, and a number of day-use picnic sites with barbecue grills. Visitors can traverse the park's 0.25-mile decomposed granite walking trail, which is open to joggers, cyclists, and dog walkers. Sporting equipment at the park includes facilities for playing tennis, basketball, softball, and soccer, with lighted tennis courts available for safe evening play. A bike rack is also available, along with water fountains and public restrooms. Visitors can rent out the park's public pavilion for a minimum of four hours at a time, perfect for public special events and family reunions.
300 Aurora, San Antonio, TX 78228, Phone: 210-207-7275
5.Bamberger Nature Park
Bamberger Nature Park is a small but charming park in San Antonio that connects to the nearby Babcock Connector Trail and the larger Howard W. Peak Greenway Trail System, a 65-mile accessible multi-use trail system throughout the greater San Antonio region. Visitors can enjoy a number of nature walking trails throughout the park, including the 0.4-mile paved Exercise Loop, a popular warm-up exercise trail, and the family-friendly Leon Creek Loop trail, which traverses forested areas and borders a beautiful creek. Higher-altitude walks are offered along the park's South Loop Trail, which is open to bikers and dog walkers. In total, the park's trails span 2.5 miles in length and are primarily ADA accessible for visitors with mobility concerns. Other park features include a day-use children's playground.
12401 Babcock Rd, San Antonio, TX 78249, Phone: 210-207-7275
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Brackenridge Park is San Antonio's primary urban green space, spanning more than 343 acres throughout the city's northern downtown district along the banks of the gorgeous San Antonio River. The park, which is named in honor of donor George Washington Brackenridge, was established in 1899 and is now best known as the home of the world-famous San Antonio Zoo, one of the nation's most acclaimed zoological parks. The park is accessible via the city's famed River Walk pedestrian route, home to exciting attractions such as the natural and civic history-focused Witte Museum, the free-admission outdoor Sunken Garden amphitheater, and a landscaped Japanese Tea Garden. Visitors can use a number of day-use facilities at Lambert Beach and the Lions Field Senior Center or can enjoy opportunities to play baseball at the park's multiple public baseball fields.
3700 N St Mary's St, San Antonio, TX 78212, Phone: 210-207-7275
Camargo Park is a popular public park and concert venue in San Antonio, originally established in 1927 as Pablo's Grove, named in honor of city parks and streets commissioner Paul "Pablo" Steffler. The beautiful live oak-lined park became known as a shaded community gathering spot throughout the early 20th century, drawing church groups, political rallies, and other residential meetings throughout the year. Following the 1982 death of regional radio personality Mateo Camargo, a popular disc jockey at the Spanish-language radio station KCOR, the park was renamed in Camargo's honor. Today, it is home to several children's playgrounds, day-use picnic sites, and a public pavilion shelter and gazebo. The park also serves as a site for major concerts throughout the year and hosts events such as the Texas Throwdown Mega Media Fest in July.
5738 Castroville Rd, San Antonio, TX 78227, Phone: 210-207-7275
8.Cathedral Rock Park
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Cathedral Rock Park is a recently-renovated San Antonio public park, best known for its well-lit public walking and biking trails. The park's trails span a total of 1.88 miles in length, with paved and unpaved trail sections connecting the park to nearby Op Schnabel and Ingram Roads. A bike trailhead also connects the park to the broader Leon Creek Bike Trail. Visitors can enjoy opportunities for exploration and birdwatching, with trails passing throughout beautiful vegetation and footbridges crossing the park's lovely creek. Public amenities at the dog-friendly park include several shaded children's playgrounds, a public pavilion and gazebo, day-use picnic sites, and public restrooms and water fountains.
9.Collins Garden Park
Collins Garden Park is a grassy open public park that was originally founded in 1917 by Finis Foster Collins, a windmill and pump manufacturer supplying the region's growing 19th-century farmer and rancher populations. The park was established on the site of Collins' 140-acre farm and estate, which was known as Collins Gardens, and became a popular community gathering spot due to its location along the city's streetcar route. Today, the park is home to day-use picnic sites and a number of tennis and basketball courts available for public use, along with large grassy green spaces for relaxation and community gathering. In 1984, the Collins Garden Branch Library was opened to the public along the park's eastern edge. In recent years, the park has been home to a community garden and food forest sponsored by the Green Spaces Alliance, which also hosts a weekly farmer's market at the facility.
1525 Nogalitos St, San Antonio, TX 78204, Phone: 210-207-7275
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10.Comanche Lookout Park
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Comanche Lookout Park is home to one of the highest natural points in Bexar County, rising 1,340 feet above sea level. The park's lands have been home to human occupation since at least 9,200 B.C. and served as a popular hunting and warfare site for the region's Apache and Comanche indigenous people prior to the arrival of Spanish settlers in the region. Its highest hill point also served as a prominent navigational landmark for pioneers arriving in the area throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. In 1996, the region was converted into a 96-acre public park facility overseen by the City of San Antonio. Today, visitors can enjoy more than 4.5 miles of hiking and biking trails, including a fitness center located along the Library Loop Trail. Public amenities include a children's playground, a pavilion, day-use picnic sites, and a variety of public art pieces that adorn the park's grounds.
15551 Nacogdoches Rd, San Antonio, TX 78247, Phone: 210-207-7275
11.Crownridge Canyon Park
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Crownridge Canyon Park is a delightful 207-acre park located near Interstate 10 and Loop 1604, offering a variety of hiking opportunities for nature walkers and lovers of all ability levels. The park's Red Oak Trail is a gentle Level 1 designated trail that travels for 1.3 miles and traverses the bridge across Red Oak Canyon, which is accessible to visitors with mobility concerns. For a more challenging hiking experience, the Level 4 designated Bear Grass Trail spans 0.6 miles throughout the park's upper region, traversing several rocky ledges and steep slope areas. Visitors can enjoy birdwatching opportunities at the park, which is home to important nesting sites for the endangered golden-cheeked warbler.
7222 Luskey Blvd, San Antonio, TX 78256, Phone: 210-207-5320
Dawson Park is a public park in San Antonio named in honor of Robert A. Dawson, the city's first licensed African American pilot. Dawson, who graduated from the city's Phyllis Wheatley High School in 1935, briefly served as a flying cadet in the Army Air Corps before being killed in World War II combat in 1942. Prior to its renaming in honor of Dawson in 1986, the park was named in honor of renowned American 2oth-century pilot Charles A. Lindbergh, best known for his 1927 transatlantic flight between New York and Paris. Park visitors can enjoy access to day-use picnic sites with barbecue grills, along with children's playgrounds, basketball hoops, and bike racks. A softball field may be rented for day use at the park's community center.
2500 E Commerce St, San Antonio, TX 78203, Phone: 210-207-3047
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Dellview Park is a charming multi-use public park in San Antonio that offers a variety of ADA-accessible features for guests of all mobility levels to enjoy. The park is a popular summer recreational site for its seasonal swimming pool, which is open to swimmers of all ages. Day-use picnic sites at the park offer barbecue grills, barbecue pits, and fire rings, with a pavilion available for rental for use by larger special event groups, including family reunions. Sporting facilities include a softball field and soccer field that may be rented for private use by community sporting groups. Hiking and wildlife watching opportunities are also offered, along with children's playgrounds and public restrooms.
500 Basswood Dr, San Antonio, TX 78213, Phone: 210-207-7275
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Eisenhower Park is a gorgeous 320-acre nature area located on the grounds of San Antonio's former United States Army training ground known as Camp Bullis. The park, which was named in honor of former United States President Dwight D. Eisenhower, is home to lovely rolling Hill Country landscapes, which are traversed by more than six miles of paved and unpaved hiking and jogging trails. Trails range in difficulty from Level 1 to Level 4, including the 0.9-mile Cedar Flats Trail, the circular loop Hillview Trail, the easy 0.45-mile Yucca Trail, and the waterfront Shady Creek Trail. A 1,278-foot observation tower at the park also offers unparalleled views of downtown San Antonio's skyline. Visitors can enjoy use of the park's day-use picnic facilities and barbecue grills, including the Harris Pavilion, which may be rented for private special events. As the park is a designated natural area park, no bicycles, skateboards, or rollerblades are allowed on trails.
19399 NW Military Hwy, San Antonio, TX 78257, Phone: 210-207-7275
15.Friedrich Wilderness Park
Friedrich Wilderness Park is a spacious 600-acre nature park in San Antonio, originally established in 1978 after land donations by area residents Norma Friedrich Ward, Wilbur Matthews, and Glen Martin. The Balcones Escarpment park, which was established in cooperation with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, offers a wide variety of visitor amenities, including more than 10 miles of hiking trails ranging in difficulty from easy to moderately strenuous. Visitors can observe a variety of rare bird species, including the federally endangered black-capped vireo and golden-cheeked warbler. As the park is a designated natural area, visitors should note that no rollerblades or bicycles are allowed on trails and that pets are not permitted within the park.
21395 Milsa Dr, San Antonio, TX 78256, Phone: 210-207-3781
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Friesenhahn Park is a charming neighborhood park on O'Connor Road in San Antonio, home to a variety of family-friendly day-use amenities, including an ADA-accessible sidewalk that provides convenient strolling access for parents with strollers. Wildlife watching opportunities are offered from a 0.54-mile concrete hiking trail, with public amenities such as restrooms and water fountains offered. A children's playground is also offered, along with a quaint pond creating picturesque scenery. Day-use picnic sites include barbecue grills, fire rings and pits, and a number of picnic tables and benches. A large covered pavilion is available for private special event rental, with a minimum of four hours of reservation necessary.
15701 O'Connor Rd, San Antonio, TX 78247, Phone: 210-207-7275
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17.Golden Community Park
Golden Community Park is a lovely family-friendly park in San Antonio that was opened to the public in May of 1996. The 15.9-acre public park is best known for its unique 0.25-mile health and fitness trail, which offers a wide variety of fitness and exercise equipment provided by Play and Park Structures for independently-guided workouts. ADA accessible features at the park include paths throughout the park's wildlife observation areas. A covered pavilion is available for special event rental, with day-use picnic sites offering barbecue grills, barbecue pits, and fire rings for food preparation. Other park amenities include a children's playground, restrooms, and water fountains.
7801 Somerset Rd, San Antonio, TX 78211, Phone: 210-207-7275
18.Heritage Duck Pond Park
Heritage Duck Pond Park is a quaint community park on S Ellison Drive in San Antonio, best known for its opportunities for families to observe and feed populations of urban ducks, turtles, and birds at its lovely duck pond. Feeders around the pond dispense handfuls of food for 25 cents, though visitors should note that feeding animals outside food is strictly prohibited to ensure animal safety. A well-lit biking and walking trail welcomes visitors of all ability levels, including guests in wheelchairs and strollers, and is available for use by dog walkers. Visitors can rent the park's covered pavilion for private special events, with event rentals requiring a minimum of four-hour reservations. Other amenities include a mulch-bed children's playground and a covered basketball court.
900 S Ellison Dr, San Antonio, TX 78245, Phone: 210-207-7275
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19.The Japanese Tea Garden
The Japanese Tea Garden is a feature of San Antonio's expansive Brackenridge Park, originally designed as a feature of the park in 1918. The following year, regional Japanese American artist Kimi Eizo Jingu was invited by the City of San Antonio to move into the garden's facilities and maintain its landscaping. Though the garden was renamed as a Chinese Tea Garden during World War II to prevent anti-Japanese vandalism, it was restored to its original cultural heritage in 1984 by the city's mayor as part of a ceremony attended by Jingu's eight children. Today, the garden and its facilities are designated as a Texas Civil Engineering Landmark and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Attractions include the Jingu House Cafe, which serves up traditional Asian dishes and hot and cold teas, and the 872-seat Sunken Garden amphitheater.
200-414 Alpine, San Antonio, TX 78212
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20.Medina River Natural Area
Medina River Natural Area is a gorgeous 511-acre oasis in San Antonio, the only designated natural area park within the city's southern district. The park, which is located approximately 14 miles from downtown Marin Plaza, showcases more than seven miles of meandering soil and gravel trails along the banks of the Medina River, including one of the city's paved greenways and a preserved El Camino Real wagon trail. Fishing is permitted at several access points along the river for visitors with valid fishing licenses. Visitors can enjoy opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife watching within the park's riparian habitat, including opportunities to spot green kingfishers and painted buntings. Day-use picnic sites are available, along with rental pavilions and overnight campsites with restrooms and water access.
15890 TX-16, San Antonio, TX 78264, Phone: 210-207-7275
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21.Phil Hardberger Park
Phil Hardberger Park is a unique public park and living history center in San Antonio, situated on the former preserved farm property of Minnie and Max Voelcker. The Voelckers' farm was donated to the City of San Antonio following their death and was converted into a living history park in 2010, preserving a number of historic farm structures from the original homestead. Park visitors can enjoy more than four miles of walking and biking trails, including the Savanna Loop Trail and the Geology Trail, or bring their four-legged friends to enjoy playing at a 1.8-acre dog park and several off-leash play sections. Other park amenities include basketball courts, day-use picnic sites, children's playgrounds, and the Phil Hardberger Park Urban Ecology Center.
13203 Blanco Rd, San Antonio, TX 78216, Phone: 210-492-7472
22.San Antonio Botanical Garden
San Antonio Botanical Garden is a nationally-recognized botanical garden facility, named as one of the American South's best botanical garden facilities by Southern Living in 2017. The garden, which has also been acclaimed by TripAdvisor as one of the nation's top conservatory gardens, spans 33 acres and serves as the city's official botanical garden facility, recognized throughout the country for its environmental stewardship programs and opportunities to connect with nature. Visitors can explore the park's landscaped garden areas, including its Rose Garden, Water Saver Garden, and Old-Fashioned Garden, or peruse formal display garden exhibits at its Lucile Halsell Conservatory. The gardens are home to the spectacular Rosella at the Garden cafe, which is housed within the converted Sullivan Carriage House and serves up brunch, coffee, and spirits daily. Other attractions include an overlook tower and a 2.5-acre Family Adventure Garden offering nature-integrated play experiences for children.
555 Funston Pl, San Antonio, TX 78209, Phone: 210-536-1400
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23.San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park is one of southern Texas' greatest preserved wonders, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since its establishment in 1983. The park preserves four unique Spanish Roman Catholic mission sites throughout the city's downtown district, including the Missions Concepción, San Jose, Espada, and San Juan, which were constructed between the 15th and 18th centuries by Spanish colonists. Visitors can explore all four missions as part of free self-guided tours daily, with all sites connected by the city's River Walk pedestrian trail along the banks of the San Antonio River. The park also preserves several unconnected historic sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Espada Aqueduct, the Rancho de las Cabras, and the Ethel Wilson Heritage House. At Mission San Jose, a National Park Service-operated visitor center showcases historic exhibits on the four missions.
6701 San Jose Dr, San Antonio, TX 78214, Phone: 210-534-8875
24.Walker Ranch Historic Landmark Park
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Walker Ranch Historic Landmark Park is located at the confluence of Salado and Panther Springs Creeks in San Antonio, a site that has served as a campsite and community gathering space for thousands of years, utilized by the region's indigenous people as a hunting and gathering site prior to the arrival of Spanish colonists. During the region's Spanish Colonial period, the park's lands are believed to have been part of the Alamo's Monte Galvan supply ranch, and during the 19th century, the site earned its current name after its purchase by Ganahl Walker in 1905. Since 1975, the site has been preserved on the National Register of Historic Places, and since 1999, it has been open to the public as a community park space featuring a children's playground and rentable public pavilion. Miles of meandering greenway trails wind past Salado Creek, including a half-mile paved jogging path.
12603 West Ave, San Antonio, TX 78216, Phone: 210-207-3000
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25.Woodlawn Lake Park
Woodlawn Lake Park is an expansive park anchored around the beautiful Woodlawn Lake, which was developed by the damming of nearby Alazan Creek in the 1880s by George W. Russ of the West End Town Company. At the time, the lake was hailed as the American South's finest artificial lake, accessible via the city's streetcar system and serving as a popular hub for activities such as dances, movie screenings, and vaudeville performances after its opening as a public park in 1918. Today, the park is home to a seasonal swimming pool that is accessible to the public for free, as well as the Bertha Almaguer Dance Studio, which offers dance lessons. A community meeting room offers literacy programs sponsored by the San Antonio Public Library, while the Woodlawn Lake Gym offers a wellness center and public gymnasium. Other attractions include a fishing and boat dock, a 1.48-mile hiking trail, and children's playgrounds.
1103 Cincinnati Ave, San Antonio, TX 78201, 1103 Cincinnati Ave, San Antonio, TX 78201
25 Best San Antonio Parks
- Acequia Park, Photo: ashophoto/stock.adobe.com
- Acme Park, Photo: fotolesnik/stock.adobe.com
- The Alamo Plaza Historic District, Photo: SeanPavonePhoto/stock.adobe.com
- Clarissa Alderete Park, Photo: Serghei Velusceac/stock.adobe.com
- Bamberger Nature Park, Photo: linjerry/stock.adobe.com
- Brackenridge Park, Photo: Camille Lamoureux/stock.adobe.com
- Camargo Park, Photo: Paylessimages/stock.adobe.com
- Cathedral Rock Park, Photo: Grigory Bruev/stock.adobe.com
- Collins Garden Park, Photo: GCapture/stock.adobe.com
- Comanche Lookout Park, Photo: Kenneth Keifer/stock.adobe.com
- Crownridge Canyon Park, Photo: Mark Ross/stock.adobe.com
- Dawson Park, Photo: rocketclips/stock.adobe.com
- Dellview Park, Photo: MM Studio/stock.adobe.com
- Eisenhower Park, Photo: Camille Lamoureux/stock.adobe.com
- Friedrich Wilderness Park, Photo: PicItUp/stock.adobe.com
- Friesenhahn Park, Photo: Pavel Klimenko/stock.adobe.com
- Golden Community Park, Photo: Rattasak/stock.adobe.com
- Heritage Duck Pond Park, Photo: vectorfusionart/stock.adobe.com
- The Japanese Tea Garden, Photo: Agent007/stock.adobe.com
- Medina River Natural Area, Photo: DSGNSR/stock.adobe.com
- Phil Hardberger Park, Photo: struvictory/stock.adobe.com
- San Antonio Botanical Garden, Photo: photojo88/stock.adobe.com
- San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, Photo: florin/stock.adobe.com
- Walker Ranch Historic Landmark Park, Photo: Sergey Peterman/stock.adobe.com
- Woodlawn Lake Park, Photo: Michal/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: pabrady63/stock.adobe.com