Go Explore: Best Ways to Enjoy the Outdoors in San Antonio
When you think of visiting San Antonio, TX, you may not immediately think of outdoor adventures. However, San Antonio has an abundance of fun and beautiful places to explore; there’s a treasure trove of stunning natural locations to discover.
You don’t have to stray far from downtown to land on nature’s doorstep, with one San Antonio’s most popular destination, Enchanted Rock, less than a couple of hours’ drive away. People have been flocking to this destination for thousands of years, and it’s easy to see why, with plenty of outdoors activities on offer.
Read on for more fantastic places to explore the outdoors in San Antonio, Texas.
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
In the early 1700’s, five missions were established in San Antonio, and these Spanish Missions were more than just churches. They were founded by the Catholic Church as a way to encourage natives to become Catholic, and therefore citizens. The Spanish king at the time was looking to extend his influence outwards from Mexico, which led to the creation of the missions.
The four missions found in this park are the Espada, San Juan, Concepcion and San Jose, and they are still active Catholic parishes. Explore the beautiful architecture that remains almost unchanged from when the missions were found, and step back into history.
Comanche Lookout Park
Comanche Lookout Park in San Antonio is a public park spanning 96-acres. Walk along its nature hiking trail and up 1,340 feet to one of the highest points in Bexar County. Lots of native vegetation can be found in this park, including Lindheimer hackberry, native ash juniper, honey mesquite, Mexican and Texan Buckeye, and chinaberry.
Comanche Lookout Park got its name from the Native Americans using the hill as their vantage point for hunting, or during times of war. The first tribe to control the area were the Apache, and then the Comanche Indians. This historic park in San Antonio also has the ruins of a stone tower built during the 1920’s by a retired Army Colonel.
Phil Hardberger Park
This incredible park was created by the former Mayor of San Antonio, Phil Hardberger, who was a staunch supporter of community projects and art. This 311 acre San Antonio Park includes nature trails, picnic facilities, playscapes for children, and basketball courts. This park is worth visiting for the Makin’ Hay Art Exhibit, a giant art sculpture made out of hay.
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
While not technically in San Antonio, as it lies 90 miles south in the town of Fredericksburg, this place shouldn’t be missed by outdoor enthusiasts. Loads of fun activities can be found here, including primitive camping, backpacking, rock climbing, star watching and rappelling.
Legend states that Enchanted Rock got its name from the Tonkawa Indians, as they heard magical sound coming from the rocks during nighttime, and believed the formation to be enchanted. If you’re not claustrophobic, bring along a flashlight and explore the cave found near the top of the rock.
Once you’ve experienced all this beautiful park has to offer, head down to Two Bros Barbecue for some mouthwatering grub!