Friedrich Wilderness Park
21395 Milsa Dr.,
Located at the southern tip of the Hill Country, Friedrich Park blends rocky outcrops with flat, forested trails. Although you cant bring your pets on this hike, you may be able to see one of the two endangered songbirds who call this 600-acre natural area home.
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4700 Old Pearsall
This fenced-in park (actually the citys first-ever dog park) is now part of the new, revamped jewel of the Southwest Side, compete with agility equipment for dogs, benches and fountains.
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Yanaguana Garden 434 S Alamo St.
Visit Yanaguana garden on a sunny day, and youll find friends playing ping-pong on the permanent outside tables, kids tangled in the massive playgrounds web system, and families sharing popsicles under the shady trellis arches. With mosaic benches straight from Barcelona sidewalks and a hands-on water park for inventive kids, its hard to avoid this central San Antonio spot.
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O.P. Schnabel Park 9606 Bandera Rd.
Part of the Leon Spring greenway system, Schnabel Park pairs natural, unchallenging trails with athletic fields, playgrounds, and BBQ pits, making it hard not to spend the entire day there. Come at dusk, and youre sure to see some wildlife rustling along the path.
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Japanese Tea Gardens
3853 N St Marys St.
Sure, this isnt a traditional park, but the tea gardens offer just as much outdoor splendor than the citys other grassy spots. The tea gardens invite visitors with peaceful paths winding through calm ponds and delicate greenery. Bring a book to read over a cup of tea or under a pagoda.
Photo via Instagram, joeynavarro
San Antonio Missions
Okay, so maybe the citys most historic landmarks are more than just a casual park, but dont let their professional facade trick you: These missions are meant for enjoying. Many of the citys five missions are accompanied by a playground and picnic area, ideal for families looking for both a history lesson and playdate. Wander along Mission San Juan Capistranos ancient outer wall, or sit by the San Antonio River as Mission Concepcións bells ring for Sunday mass.
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Chris Park 111 Camp St.
This small private park, created in memory of its founders son, opens its gates to the public from Tuesday to Sunday. While only one acre, theres plenty of space for an afternoon picnic, sustained silent reading, or a peaceful, zen-like stroll.
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3853 N St Marys St.,
Built on top of a limestone quarry in the late 1800s, the 343-acre Brackenridge Park is now home to the San Antonio Zoo, a tiny train, golf course, playgrounds, gardens, fishing spots, birdwatching, and a wild variety of scenic picnic spots. Pedal along the San Antonio River (which begins just north of the park), set up an all-day picnic, or set the kids loose in the expansive playground.
Photo via Instagram, audreymariecarr
San Antonio Botanical Garden 555 Funston Pl.,
The botanical garden manages to fit all of Texas diverse ecosystems (and beyond) into a mere 33 acres. From the East Texas piney woods to Southwest deserts, visitors can take in all of the states wild and beautiful plant life. And its not just easy on the eyes. The gardens Watersaver Trail, Herb Garden, Biblical Garden and others all offer educational opportunities for visitors of all ages.
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19399 NW Military Hwy.
This San Antonio favorite offers the best of both trails: Paved, flat paths for an afternoon stroll and natural, rocky paths for a hikers workout. Go early in the morning to avoid the crowds.
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