When you hear the phrase “the great outdoors,” you don’t necessarily think of San Antonio.
However, I recently traveled to Texas and got to explore the open spaces both inside and outside of this active city, and I was blown away by all the fun activities available for all ages.
When “Fun” is Synonymous with Nature and Outdoor Activities
One of my favorite places to visit is, without a doubt, the River Walk. This attraction is full of restaurants and shops, and yet there is a much larger aspect to this unique location. I discovered that the River Walk had recently expanded beyond the downtown core and now connects kilometers of bike trails and kayaking options to an already great open space within the city limits. The weather is perfect for outdoor activity year-round, and the hiking trails are fantastic for watching birds or wildlife.
The fun didn't stop at the River Walk! Next, I headed to Hardberger Park to explore the extensive trail system and cross the Robert L. B. Tobin Land Bridge, the largest land bridge in the USA. The trails were lined with public artwork, which was not only beautiful but provided shady spots for me to rest along my journey. I even got to watch a few fawns cross the bridge – from a safe distance, of course.
Peaceful recreation trails line the San Antonio Riverwalk
The Enchanting Texas Hill Country
I was told to head north of the city for even more great hiking, bicycling and scenery, and to check out the Texas Hill Country. The aptly named Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is near Fredericksburg, and the hiking and rock climbing there is fantastic. The massive pink granite dome which gives the area its name has attracted visitors for thousands of years, and has featured heavily in the stories and legends of indigenous people.
Unique views of Texas Hill Country at the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
Wildflowers and Butterflies
Another fun place to discover in the Fredericksburg area is Wildseed Farms, the nation’s largest wildflower seed farm. Hard to believe, but the majority of the wildflowers you see in the country come from the seed harvested at this place! We strolled along the beautiful walking trails through fields and fields of wildflowers, such as verbenas, corn poppies, Texas Bluebonnets and more. The colors are fantastic!
Another delightful discovery at Wildseed Farms are the Butterfly Gardens, which are often swarming with butterflies. The best time to catch the butterflies is mid-morning on a warm sunny day (which is almost every day in Texas Hill Country).
Colorful wildflowers grow at Wildseed Farm in Fredericksburg
San Marcos River
The San Marcos River in nearby San Marcos is an attraction that deserves its own mention. With crystal-clear waters and a dedicated foundation in charge of stewardship, the river thrives as a clean, vibrant recreational center. Swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving are popular activities, and I was able to take part in some fun kayaking and tubing down the river.
Every time I visit San Antonio, I leave with a greater appreciation for the wide open spaces both within the city and outside of it. No matter your age or fitness level, you can find something to see and do: from easy hiking to rock climbing to extreme whitewater rafting trips. Plus, San Antonio is sunny 250 days out of the year, so it's almost always a great time to embark on an adventure. Surrounded by this wonderful climate and variety of activities, with opportunities for relaxation and adventure, you will rekindle your love for the great outdoors in San Antonio, Texas.