San Antonio is one of the nation's top vacation destinations

Ways to cool off! The San Antonio area has plenty of swimming holes where you can cool off in style, from laid-back oases tucked into parks that will make you think of childhood summers to exciting theme parks that'll get your adrenalin pumping.

Your choice. What's your mood?

Parks & Public Pools

San Antonio is sprinkled with parks and public pools, where a refreshing douse is just a splash away.

One that is evocative of sleepy summers is the lake-pool, surrounded by stately cypresses, at historic San Pedro Springs Park , the nation's second-oldest city park. This swimming spot is located in the bed of an original lake fed by springs. There is no admission fee. Dozens of other pools can be accessed through the San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department 's website.

Water Parks

Getting thoroughly and unabashedly wet in untold ways seems to be the goal at San Antonio's many water parks and attractions.

SeaWorld offers two choices: sit back and get splashed by Shamu or do it yourself at the Texas Splashdown's five-story flume or the 1800-foot Rio Loco. The Water Park at Six Flags Fiesta Texas is equally devoted to getting you wringing wet with rides such as the Big Bender—there's a 50-foot drop—and White Water Canyon. Also, don't miss the massive wave pool carved into the shape of Texas.

Splashtown has a five-story tower for twist-and-turn thrills, and water volleyball. At Schlitterbahn in nearby New Braunfels, an entire water empire awaits with rides and activities for the whole family.


Just a short drive away, in the Texas Hill Country, numerous crystal, and cold, rivers lace the tree-lined countryside. During the summer, tubing and rafting are a must do.

The Guadalupe River has numerous outfitters to equip you for tubing and rafting under oak and cedar canopies. Upstream is Canyon Lake , billed as the “water recreation capital of Texas,” which has more than half a dozen shoreline parks and 22 boat ramps to put swimming, skiing, camping, hiking, fishing and more all within an easy one-stop reach.

Closer to San Antonio is Guadalupe River State Park , where activities range from tubing and canoeing to fishing and camping. The park recently opened a horse trail that's open to mountain biking.

The tube chute on the spring-fed Comal River is “the longest in the world” and happens to be on Texas' shortest river. Blanco State Park , within the historic town of Blanco, offers swimming plus tube and canoe rentals. And cool water flowing over limestone outcroppings is the draw for the cypress-shaded Frio River .

Inside Strokes

For a little more structured wet time, like swimming laps, lessons or water aerobics, you can head indoors.

The Olympic-size San Antonio Natatorium is one the city's aquatic crown jewels, and charges a modest $2 for adults and $1 for children, with private and group lessons and water aerobics also available.


Sample some of San Antonio's most exciting restaurants during Restaurant Week, August 21-28! We're cooking up something incredibly delicious, offering delectable fare with specially priced menus. You can enjoy a fabulous three-course meal for just $15 at lunch and $35 at dinner! Please join us in celebrating the first annual San Antonio Restaurant Week.

Participating Restaurants
Contact the restaurant directly to make reservations.

Antler's Lodge at The Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa 210-520-4001
Auden's Kitchen 210-494-0070
Acenar 210-222-2362
Biga on The Banks 210-225-0722
Bin 555 210-496-0555
Bistro Vatel 210-828-3141
Boardwalk Bistro 210-824-0100
Boudro's Texas Bistro on The Riverwalk 210-224-8484
Café des Artistes 210-978-8100
Citrus at Hotel Valencia 210-230-8412
Coco Chocolate Lounge & Bistro 210-491-4480
Kirby's Steakhouse 210-404-2221
La Gloria Icehouse 210-267-9040
Las Canarias 210-518-1000
Maggiano's 210-451-6000
Paesano's 210-828-5191
Paloma Blanca Mexican Cuisine 210-822-6151
Restaurant Insignia 210-223-0401
Tre Trattoria 210-805-0333
The Grey Moss Inn 210-695-8301
The Lodge Restaurant of Castle Hills 210-349-8466
The Palm Restaurant 210-226-7256

San Antonio Fee Fun!

Whether you want to stroll through the annals of time at the Alamo or escape to the banks of the River Walk, San Antonio provides the richest of experiences at no or little cost!

Note: Please call venues before you visit in case of pricing or time changes.

Step Through Time at the Missions and the Alamo

San Antonio began as a community of five Spanish colonial missions built along the spring-fed San Antonio River. Today, all five missions are open to the public, including the Alamo. Also stop by the Espada Acequia at Mission Espada—this irrigation system is one of the oldest of its kind and was originally constructed to irrigate the mission's surrounding farmlands. For easy access from mission to mission, San Antonio's 12-mile Mission Trail is perfect and welcomes hiking and biking.

Escape to the River Walk

Looking for a riverside oasis to indulge in cultural beauty, shaded parks and the sounds of lapping waves? Escape to San Antonio's famed River Walk . This crossroads of culture and commerce offers meandering pathways along the banks of the San Antonio River.

The River Walk's new Museum Reach stretches north along the San Antonio River, and connects the existing River Walk to the San Antonio Museum of Art and the Pearl Brewery, a vibrant urban village. New public art installations line the banks. And don't miss the lock and dam system, the only one in Texas. And the River Walk will expand to 13 miles to connect San Antonio's missions with cultural districts and museums in the next few years.

Linger in La Villita

Along the banks of the River Walk, you'll find La Villita “the little village.” Originally established by Spanish soldiers stationed at the Alamo, La Villita has been reincarnated as a historic arts village where beautifully restored residences house galleries and shops full of interesting sights. You might even catch a performance at La Villita's outdoor Arneson River Theatre.

Enjoy Free Live Music

Located adjacent to the River Walk and San Fernando Cathedral, the nation's largest cathedral sanctuary, Main Plaza is ready to welcome you with a medley of free weekend concerts—from legendary conjunto performers and troubadours to blues and country musicians. Sit back under the centuries-old live oaks, listen to the many fountains and discover what a weekend in San Antonio is really like. This summer Main Plaza is featuring “Heart and Soul Summer” which will feature live music ranging from jazz to country plus “Flamenco Friday's” and other creative hapenings all for free! Go to for event details.

Live duos are featured on the outdoor patio at the River Walk's renowned classic jazz club, The Landing , (weather permitting) from 3:00 p.m. on. One of the oldest jazz clubs in the U.S., The Landing and the Jim Cullum Jazz Band star in the NPR radio show, Riverwalk Jazz.

The San Antonio Summer Art and Jazz Festival , an annual free 3-day event held on the first full weekend of June, features 10 great jazz concerts, an Arts and Crafts Fair and delicious Texas cuisine. It's great fun and entertainment fun for the whole family.

Watch Glass Blowers and Working Artists

San Antonio's culture thrives in a variety of arts districts. One burgeoning art scene is Southtown. Here you can stop into Garcia Art Glass and watch celebrated glass blower Gini Garcia and her talented staff create one-of-a-kind keepsakes. Not far away, Market Square (the largest Mexican market in the nation) is a haven for working artists. From painters and musicians to wood-workers and a blacksmith, this sanctuary of culture is a San Antonio must-see.

Explore the First Historic District in Texas

Just south of downtown, the King William Historic District reflects San Antonio's German heritage in a gracious residential area settled in the late 1800s. These beautiful Greek Revival, Victorian and Italianate-style mansions have been well maintained and are considered to comprise one of San Antonio's most elite neighborhoods. Take a self-guided walking tour. Free brochure guides and maps are provided at .

Savor the Splendor of a Mariachi Mass

Every Saturday at 5:30 p.m., San Fernando Cathedral , the oldest cathedral sanctuary in the nation, offers a bilingual mariachi mass. This is the perfect way to immerse yourself in the culture of San Antonio while marveling at stunning architecture and religious works of art.

Find Your Muse at San Antonio Museums

San Antonio has many distinct museums that you won't find anywhere else—and you can visit them (at the right times) free of charge.

The San Antonio Museum of Art
Free Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The San Antonio Museum of Art is housed in a castle-like building that was formerly the Lone Star Brewery. This museum is noted for its antiquities collections and the 30,000 square-foot Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Latin American Art—the largest repository of its kind.

Mc Nay Art Museum
Free Thursday nights and the first Sunday of the month
The McNay Art Museum is set in a 1920s mansion and has wide-ranging collections, including post-impressionist and modern pieces, theater-centered works, medieval offerings, Native American art and more.

Witte Museum
Free Tuesdays 3 p.m. to 8 p.m .
The Witte Museum is San Antonio's premiere museum of South Texas history, culture and natural science. Located on the banks of the San Antonio River, the Witte offers permanent exhibits that include dinosaur skeletons, cave drawings, wildlife dioramas and even several historic homes.

Park it!

Get out and enjoy San Antonio's year-round great weather. The city has many parks that are free and fun for the entire family. Here are a few favorites!

Phil Hardberger Park
This new park (named after a former San Antonio Mayor) features 1.5 miles of multi-use trails, a 1.8-acre dog park, picnic facilities and a large playground. For even more outdoor action, park-goers can access the Salado Creek Greenway Blanco to Huebner segment near the Voelcker homestead in Hardberger Park and enjoy an additional 1.7 miles of trail.

Brackenridge Park
One of the city's most beloved parks is Brackenridge Park, a 343-acre refuge in the heart of the city that offers a full day of family fun. This oak-studded oasis follows the northern bends of the San Antonio River, creating many alcoves perfect for picnics. There is also a stunning playground, trails for quiet walks and a dog park for four-legged entertainment. Sidled up next to Brackenridge Park is the Japanese Tea Garden.

Japanese Tea Garden
A botanical retreat that offers stone walking paths woven through ambient gardens and ponds brimming with Koi—all at no cost! Brackenridge Park is also adjacent to the San Antonio Zoo.

San Antonio Zoo -- FEE
The third largest zoo in the country with winding paths, limestone cliffs and large shady trees. While visiting the zoo, hop aboard the zoo's Eagle Train.

Eagle Train -- FEE
Take a journey through the park's shaded landscapes and attractions aboard a miniature train, the San Antonio Zoo Eagle .

HemisFair Park
Originally the site of San Antonio's 1968 World's Fair, HemisFair Park is a lush, greenscape in the middle of bustling downtown San Antonio. Enjoy water gardens and public art, historic homes as well as an imaginative 15-acre playground for kids.

HemisFair Park -- FEE
Splurge on the modest entrance fees to the Majik Children's Theater, the Institute of Texan Cultures and the 750-foot-tall Tower of the Americas .

This summer don't miss Movies by Moonlight at HemisFair Park which take place Thursday nights in June. This free outdoor cinema event features everything from blockbusters to old-time classics and horror films. Families are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs and enjoy the sounds of live pre-entertainment before enjoying the feature film.

San Pedro Park
San Antonio's oldest park and the second oldest park in the United States behind Boston Common, San Pedro Park provides a beautiful and historic setting where you can take a swim in a lake shaded by cypress trees. The park is also home to San Pedro Playhouse, the San Pedro branch library, McFarlin Tennis Center and the Koger Stokes Softball Complex.

Midweek Specials
Stay midweek and get 10% off each night with a 4 night minimum nights stay. Higher rates on weekends. Limited Time.

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