10 Beautiful San Antonio Parks That Aren't Just for Dogs 

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Whether you’re looking to enjoy some fresh air, take your pup out on a scenic walk, or get the children out the door and into nature, San Antonio has no shortage of natural spots to pass the time. Secluded wildlife habitats, pristine picnic spots — even tiny railroad rides are just some of the things you’ll encounter in some of San Antonio’s best green spaces.
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Japanese Tea Gardens
3853 N. St. Mary’s St., saparksfoundation.org/japanese-tea-garden
Photo via Instagram / amity_ridge
If you’re searching for some peace and quiet, or a place to practice your photography skills, the tea gardens are the place to be. It may not be a traditional park, but it’s still an ideal outdoor spot to break away from the daily grind and catch your breath while enjoying the calm ponds and delicate greenery. Bring a book to read over a cup of tea or under a pagoda.
Photo via Instagram / sweeny_toad
Yanaguana Garden
434 S. Alamo St., hemisfair.org
Photo via Instagram / jahisagod
The playground at Yanaguana is the perfect spot to take your kids to on a sunny day: There are life-size chess and checker boards, a massive playground, and a splash pad for kids to jump around in and cool down. Plus, there’s a paleta shop, a coffee shop, a bar and a food truck now open in structures original to Hemisfair Park, in case you’re just looking to relax and people-watch. This central San Antonio spot is a must-see.
Photo via Instagram / makingsymphonies
Confluence Park
310 W. Mitchell St., confluencepark.sariverfound.org
Photo via Instagram / skylinedronetx
This brand-new park features an interactive learning space and colorful murals, and the unique architecture of the pavillion will surely become a local landmark in no time. Located on what was formerly a lot used by CPS for storage, the newly inaugurated park also encourages visitors to learn about environmental science and sustainability while enjoying the outdoors. The park offers easy access to hiking, biking and kayaking along the Mission Reach.
Photo via Instagram / saparksfoundation
Chris Park
111 Camp St., chrispark.org
Photo via Instagram / diamond_blackstar
This one-acre, private park, created in memory of its founder’s son, opens its gates to the public from Tuesday to Sunday. While small, there is plenty of space for an afternoon picnic, sustained silent reading, or a peaceful, zen-like stroll, and there are a few meaningful, contemporary art exhibits throughout the park to admire.
Photo via Instagram / theginger_snap
San Pedro Springs
1315 San Pedro Ave., sanantonio.gov
Photo via Instagram / s.a.foodie
This spot is the oldest park in San Antonio, and the second oldest in the entire country — people have gathered near the springs for around 12,000 years. The natural spring-fed pond, once the center of a Payaya Indian village, is now a go-to spot for Tobin Hill residents looking to cool off in the unforgiving Texas heat. There’s something for everyone: aside from the pool, there are neighboring tennis courts, a skate park, a library and a theatre.
Photo via Instagram / lalepro
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San Antonio Botanical Garden
555 Funston Pl., sabot.org
Photo via Instagram / tommy_las_vegas
The botanical garden fits all of Texas’ diverse ecosystems (and beyond) into 33 acres of wild and beautiful plant life. From the East Texas piney woods to Southwest deserts, visitors can take in all of the state’s outdoor elements— 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. Plus, the new Culinary Garden features cooking classes for everything from tapas to tea parties taught by chef Dave Terrazas. Photo via Instagram / tickettomagic
San Antonio Missions
6701 San Jose Drive, missionsofsanantonio.org
Photo via Instagram / prasadrao_
The city’s most historic landmarks are more than just a casual “park,” but don’t let their serious facade trick you: These missions are meant to be enjoyed. Several of the city’s five missions include a playground and picnic area, and are 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 / texas_mays
Pearsall Park
4700 Old Pearsall Road, sanantonio.gov
Photo via Instagram / jaredfearsnoone
This 505-acre city park has just about everything you could think of: A disc golf course, expansive dog park, delightful public sculptures, a “fitness challenge zone,” skate park, playground, dozens of picnic areas, and a splash pool for kids. There’s something for every single member of the family. Visit the Southwest San Antonio park (right next to Lackland Air Force Base) and choose your own adventure.
Photo via Instagram / doralinz
Brackenridge Park
3853 N. St. Mary’s St.., brackenridgepark.org
Photo via Instagram / cathnurs
Home to the San Antonio Zoo, a tiny train, golf course, playgrounds, gardens, fishing spots, birdwatching, and a wide variety of scenic picnic spots, there’s plenty to see at the 343-acre Brackenridge Park, which sits atop a limestone quarry built in the late 1800s. You can find a spot for the entire family to spend the day along the San Antonio River, with an expansive playground space for children to enjoy the outdoors from sunrise to sunset.
Photo via Instagram / caryebye
Phil Hardberger Park
13203 Blanco Road, philhardbergerpark.org
Photo via Instagram / rosaleal10
Named after a former San Antonio mayor, Phil Hardberger Park has set the bar exceptionally high for the public parks in the city. Tucked within the Shavano Park neighborhood, this urban green space is home to meandering paved trails, BBQ spots, native wildlife, a colorful playground, and an extremely popular dog park.
Photo via Instagram / joel1875
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Japanese Tea Gardens
3853 N. St. Mary’s St., saparksfoundation.org/japanese-tea-garden
Photo via Instagram / amity_ridge