San Antonio is known for the great RiverWalk or TexMex food. What sometimes surprises first-time visitors, though, is that the city is full of beautiful green spaces. The best parks in San Antonio are diverse and beautiful, offering hiking, biking, rivers, playgrounds, and more.
San Antonio is one of the largest cities in the USA not only by population but also by area. San Antonio’s resulting small-town vibe makes it a great family-friendly city. There are tons of parks with water features or covered spaces to help with that summer Texas heat.
Definitely consider coming out for a picnic lunch or an afternoon of biking or walking. There are some amazing views all over the city and so follow this guide to the best San Antonio parks to find the perfect spot to start exploring!
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Brackenridge Park is a large conservancy in downtown San Antonio. Amidst all of the popular restaurants and bars, there is beautiful greenery to sit and enjoy the view.
Brackenridge Park is home to some of the most well-manicured green spaces in San Antonio. It also connects all of the top highlights of the city.
Whether you want to visit the Japanese Tea Gardens or head over to the zoo, you can do all of the top hits in this area.
Tons of activities are hosted in this area, it is a popular spot for runners and bikers as well. It is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon, while not veering too far away from the central city.
One of my favorite San Antonio parks Eisenhower Park. As opposed to the more urban parks, this park is quietly tucked away. It is full of greenery and wildlife.
This is a popular spot for runners and bikers, even in the hotter months! This is one of the best spots in the city for endurance training. The sprawling hills make it a tough workout for those training for distance events.
Even if you’re not trying to ace the next marathon, this place is quiet and not generally very busy. It has a small playground for children and is nice when you want to escape the noise and get lost for a while.
Friedrich Wilderness Park
Friedrich Park is a popular spot for bird watchers and those interested in learning about history through plant life and animals. This land has been rather undeveloped therefore a lot of San Antonio’s natural history is preserved on this land. With 600 acres of land, there are tons of places to explore!
This is more of a pedestrian-only park, they do not allow bikes or skates in this area. Additionally, there are no animals except service animals allowed so be sure to stay aware of these items as you go exploring!
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
San Antonio is very proud of its history, especially in integral parts of the nation’s development. The Missions are located in a string along a winding trail. You can check out murals and live music quite often.
The Missions represent a painful but powerful moment in the religious evolution of the city. A lot of what Texan culture is like comes from this area and this point in time. It is the symbol of the Spanish Conquistadors in American history, some of the most beautiful architecture is represented by the churches at the Missions.
Each of the missions is connected to the next via a hike-and-bike trail, and they’re each about 2.5 miles apart. Take a walk through history at this picturesque location!
Hemisfair Park is near the Tower of Americas which has some of the best views in San Antonio. Hemisfair is a popular spot for locals to go running because there are smaller trails that branch off of the RiverWalk.
Stop by one of the popular downtown spots that have sliced fruits, or mangonadas, and enjoy your cool treat while exploring downtown. There are tons of family-friendly events that happen in this area like storytimes or workout classes.
Due to the location, this park is super accessible via public transport, making it a great place to visit even if you’re only spending a weekend in San Antonio. It is easy to get to other major locations by just hopping on a bus!
McAllister Park is a fun spot for the energetic people in your life. There is fitness equipment and jumps for bikes.
Bring your bike and figure out how to pop some tricks and bring out your inner 90s kid. There are some asphalt trails that could be fun for inline skates or skateboards. This is a daredevil’s dream!
Additionally, there is a dog park that has some fun obstacles to try to train for new tricks or just get them to socialize a bit! This dog park is accommodating for both large and small dogs, everyone is welcome!
Pearsall Park is probably one of the best parks in San Antonio for kids! There is a cute splash pad, basketball courts, and a skate park.
Anyone who has driven through the city will also really appreciate that there is a HUGE amount of parking!
For the adults, there are great trails, fitness equipment, and built-in fitness equipment. This is also a great training ground for people trying out their first 5k, there are multiple trails, and several local races use this park to host.
For four-legged family members, there is a dog park as well. Try out the disc golf course or observe some of the art installations on-site!
San Pedro Springs Park
Oftentimes, when people think about San Antonio, they think of a dry and arid environment (other than the Riverwalk, which is largely manmade). San Pedro Springs breaks that mold by having a beautiful, enormous pool. It was refurbished from the old lake bed.
San Pedro Springs Park is the second oldest park in the nation and the oldest park in San Antonio.
It is not as well known so you can really enjoy the space without needing to battle for space. There are tennis courts and an open gazebo, it is really a great spot to enjoy a sunny afternoon.
Comanche Lookout Park
Comanche Lookout Park has a wonderful patch of greenery spanning about 96 acres. Even though it is a smaller park in San Antonio, it packs a punch when it comes to activities.
It is known for its main, central focal point: the lookout tower.
This park is along a prominent historic trail called El Camino Real de los Tejas. This trail is protected by the National Park Service.
The park provides a great vantage point lookout year-round and it is a really special way to take in the view.
The park is kid and puppy friendly with all of the needed public facilities as well as a playground and library right next door!
If you have been to Klyde Warren Park in Dallas, Travis Park is very similar. It is a smaller green area against the urban, concrete jungle.
It is a popular space for food trucks, lawn games, and picnic dates. It is a great spot to try some new local restaurants and maybe even some live music if you’re lucky!
There are several larger events that are held here regularly. Whether it’s public dance exhibitions or movies in the moonlight, you’re sure to catch something unique and special. Check out the website to see the calendar for festivals and events coming to the area!
Denman Estate Park
For a combination of a beautiful, shaded park and a piece of local history, head to Denman Estate Park!
In addition to typical Texas Hill Country live oaks, cypress trees, and shaded pathways, Denman Estate Park is also home to a beautiful Korean pagoda, which was gifted to the city of San Antonio from its sister-city in Korea, Gwang-Ju.
Denman Estate Park is also one of the best photo spots in San Antonio!
Cathedral Rock Park
Cathedral Rock Park is attached to Leon Creek Greenway. The greenway is attached to a larger system of trails and pathways.
There are great sloped trails for bikers and walkers/runners.
There are picnic tables and a playground as well. For runners that are training, this is a nice drop-off from the larger trail network because it allows rest from the intensity of the trails with restrooms and water fountains.
This area is fairly quiet and tucked away so you never have to worry about crowds.
Phil Hardberger Park
Phil Hardberger is another large conservancy protected in San Antonio. There are educational programs that are geared towards teaching young people about nature and wildlife.
Volunteers are often present to help you with any questions or to gear you towards new activities in the park. The open area is great to take your dogs out for a walk or to go bird watching in the afternoon.
The conservancy also often hosts fitness events in the park to help promote healthy living. Get in touch with nature and try out a yoga class!
Woodlawn Lake Park
Woodlawn Lake Park has all of the aspects of a great summer day (or more accurately, spring or fall in South Texas!).
There are basketball courts, a giant pool, and walking trails. There is workout equipment available to the public to help boost an outdoor run or workout. There is a community health center attached to this park in San Antonio, so there are often low-cost classes available to seniors or adults.
This is a great resource to those who are trying to get in shape in a group of people roughly in the same spot! San Antonio is a proud advocate of community resources to improve health through the park system, and it really shows in the way they take care of the best parks in San Antonio.