April 20, 2017 Slideshows » Arts

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18 Beautiful San Antonio Parks Every Local Needs to Visit 

There are so many great parks in San Antonio that locals don't always take full advantage of. Get outside and enjoy all that the city has to offer.
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 can’t 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.
Photo via Instagram, baldemarguerrero_
Pearsall Park
4700 Old Pearsall
This fenced-in park (actually the city’s 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.
Photo via Instagram, adriacavanaugh
Yanaguana Garden
434 S Alamo St.
Visit Yanaguana garden on a sunny day, and you’ll find friends playing ping-pong on the permanent outside tables, kids tangled in the massive playground’s 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, it’s hard to avoid this central San Antonio spot.
Photo via Instagram, joerisgc
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 you’re sure to see some wildlife rustling along the path.
Photo via Instagram, oldbostonproperties
Japanese Tea Gardens
3853 N St Mary’s St.
Sure, this isn’t a traditional park, but the tea gardens offer just as much outdoor splendor than the city’s 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 city’s most historic landmarks are more than just a casual “park,” but don’t let their professional facade trick you: These missions are meant for enjoying. Many of the city’s 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 Capistrano’s ancient outer wall, or sit by the San Antonio River as Mission Concepción’s bells ring for Sunday mass.
Photo via Instagram, abigailgedwards
Chris Park
111 Camp St.
This small private park, created in memory of its founder’s son, opens its gates to the public from Tuesday to Sunday. While only one acre, there’s plenty of space for an afternoon picnic, sustained silent reading, or a peaceful, zen-like stroll.
Photo via Instagram, theginger_snap
Brackenridge Park
3853 N St Mary’s 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 state’s wild and beautiful plant life. And it’s not just easy on the eyes. The garden’s Watersaver Trail, Herb Garden, Biblical Garden and others all offer educational opportunities for visitors of all ages.
Photo via Instagram, xstinz
Eisenhower Park
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 hiker’s workout. Go early in the morning to avoid the crowds.
Photo via Instagram, from_the_border
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Panther Springs Park
22635 Wilderness Oak
This doggy hangout on the far Northside has a combined area for big and small dogs – so make sure your pooch is cool hanging with differently-sized pals.
Photo via Instagram, daniellegrace2016
Slick Park
7400 Highway 151
This one is basically San Antonio’s dog-park heaven, with separate areas for large and small dogs that abut the nearby river. There are also benches, picnic tables, a fountain for people and pets, and a special doggie shower for the mud-prone pooches.
Photo via Instagram, hxb3
San Pedro Springs Park
1315 San Pedro Ave.
San Pedro Springs is the second oldest public park in the country — and, of course, the oldest park in San Antonio. The natural spring-fed pond, once the center of a Payaya Indian village, now serves as a shallow and refreshing swimming pool for the Tobin Hill neighborhood. Not wanting to swim? Visit the neighboring tennis courts, skateboard park, library, or theatre.
Photo via Instagram, sachartermoms
Phil Hardberger Park
East, 13203 Blanco; West, 8400 NW Military
Not only is Hardberger Park the Northside’s most stunning green space, the split-in-half park also features two separate dog parks on its east and west ends – both of which have separate areas for small and big dogs.
Photo via Instagram, gamergyrl77
McAllister Park
13102 Jones-Maltsberger
There’s 1.5 acres of fenced-in land near the Starcrest entrance of this popular Northside park, complete with exercise equipment, a picnic area, benches and a walking trail.
Photo via Instagram, missss_eeee
Medina River Natural Area
15890 Highway 16 South,
Come for the waterfall views, stay for the native plants and wildlife. Medina River is known for it’s uncrowded trails (of varying inclines) winding along the small, peaceful river. Stop and catch a fish in the stream or take a closer look at the wildflowers blooming along its banks.
Photo via Instagram, ilovetexasphoto
Madison Square Park
400 Lexington Ave
If you live or find yourself around downtown with the pup, this is the perfect little park for a midday romp with plenty of trees for shade on a hot day.
Photo via Instagram, rubyrubeee
Government Canyon Natural Area
12861 Galm Rd.
San Antonio’s own state park offers 40 miles of trails (great for hiking and mountain biking) winding through grassy plains and rocky hills with breathtaking views. Don’t miss the recently-discovered 110-million-year-old dinosaur tracks running through a dry creekbed!
Photo via Instagram, governmentcanyon
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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 can’t 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.
Photo via Instagram, baldemarguerrero_
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