Brackenridge Park is one of the few tourist attractions in San Antonio with history dating back to more than a century ago. The area’s lush greenery, interesting attractions, and well-maintained facilities making it a top destination among locals and national tourists. During holidays you’ll spot a lot of nature lovers or group of families spending time here. After all who can resist fresh air, sunshine and a good walk in nature? If you don’t have the time to explore all parts of the park, here is a guide to Brackenridge Park to make sure that you get to experience the best of the park!
Things to do
The park which covers an area of over 300 acres (121.4 hectares) is San Antonio’s premier family destination. Why families love it? Well other than being a home to a number of the city’s top destinations, it is also appointed with family-friendly facilities such as playgrounds, picnic tables, and trails for jogging. Beside those facilities, the park also has other interesting sites right beside it that you can enjoy alone or with groups.
A day out with children, family members, or friends is always going to be a fun one here - at America’s oldest amusement park, thanks to the park’s vintage Ferris wheel, hand-carved Herschell Spillman carousel, as well as other classic rides that established Kiddie Park’s status as San Antonio’s top historic attraction for over nine decades. Even though the park has been relocated to San Antonio Zoo, the park’s 1920’s style which is reflected throughout its original rides is still well preserved.
San Antonio Zoo
Create wonderful memories that you can’t stop talking about only at San Antonio Zoo! Don’t know where to start? You can begin your adventure by meeting lion cubs, then watching live animal shows, followed by a trip to an Australian rainforest area and the list goes on. Have fun with the animals or take cute pictures of them, don’t just be a bystander! For affordable fun that supports ethical wildlife conservationism, San Antonio Zoo is the place to go.
San Antonio Botanical Garden
A good combination of history and a walk in nature is the kind of experience that San Antonio Botanical Garden has to offer. The garden area is where one may learn about the history of Texas Native Trail as well as the vegetation which grows on state’s landscapes. Some of the park’s flora garden collections includes tropical plants gardens and a garden of roses and fruit trees. One of the highlights of this park is the replicas of huge insects such as spider, along the grounds!
What to eat
Augie's Barbed Wire Smokehouse
Augie’s Barbed Wire Smokehouse has been making name for itself as the restaurant to approach for a plate of exceptional Texas BBQ in Brackenridge Park. Past diners said they love the brisket served in this place as it is well-seasoned and tender. Don’t be fooled by its humble facade, the place may not look like a five-star eatery but it is totally worth the stop. Good news for visitors with hungry kids - their ’kids meal menu includes a delicious sandwich, a side and a scoop of ice cream, and are sold at reasonable price! Other dishes from this place that are also worth a try are chopped pork sandwich and mac n cheese.
Two words to describe the foods at Smoke Shack are; ridiculously delicious. The main ingredient that makes the barbecue brisket and ribs here so mouthwatering is their barbecue sauce which has the right combination of tanginess and spiciness. Visitors say that their collard greens, coleslaw, and spicy cream corn are top-notch. On top of it all, they serve their food quickly!
Things to buy
Hand-painted wine glasses
While you’re in San Antonio don’t pass up an opportunity to buy uniquely-shaped wine glasses that are individually hand-painted from local gift stores. How unique are they? Well, what they’re selling here are not your ordinary, elegant-looking wine glasses. We are talking about wine glasses painted up with snakes, red lips, women’s legs along with drink recipes written at the bottom of the glass, and even glasses painted with a one-of-a-kind recipe for a drink called silk stocking margarita. Do we have your attention now?
San Antonio Zoo souvenirs
San Antonio Zoo Visitor Center offers a wide selection of apparels, local souvenirs, zoo-themed collectables, as well as books. On the outside, it might seem like an ordinary tourist visitor centre but on the inside it is packed with helpful staff and more brochures than one could possibly read.
Here is a shopping tip for visitors: If you’re lucky you might find a coupon for a free gift in one of these brochures. This is also the place to go if you have no idea what you want to do or see in the area as the centre offers recommendations on the places to see. Don’t know what to get from here? What about a photography book to remind you of the good time you have here? That will make a good memorabilia.
Since many of the visitors are families with children, you aren’t allowed to bring alcohol in Brackenridge Park, as stated in Government website, except for certain areas that are mentioned in the park’s website. Please pay attention to the park’s rules and regulations to avoid any unnecessary confiscation by the park guards.
An additional information for visitors with wheelchairs: most attractions in Brackenridge Park are wheelchair-friendly but keep in mind the locations of these places are pretty spread out. Therefore plan your day and your trips accordingly.
It is also advisable to plan your day out in Brackenridge Park by ordering a taxi or an app cab early on because parking spots in the city can be limited during peak hours or public holidays.
It’s even better if you opt to walk because some the locations are actually quite close to one another. There a walk can save you a considerable amount of money and time since you don’t need to look for parking spots.
How to get there
The streets in San Antonio are mapped out pretty accurately in online maps. Make use of these online maps to plan the best route to Brackenridge Park. Remember to always be aware of your surrounding while walking.
Since Brackenridge is a renown tourist attraction, there are many buses that ply in the area. If you intend to reach Brackenridge Park without much hassle, look for the buses that ply from your location to your destination. Check out the routes for buses 9, 10, and 11.
Should you choose to take a taxi, ask the driver to take you to this address; 3700 N. St. Mary’s St. San Antonio, TX 78212, which is the full address of Brackenridge Park. Type the same address in your online GPS director if you prefer to self-drive.
Brackenridge Park information
Address: 3700 N. St. Mary’s St. San Antonio, TX 78212
Opening hours: 5am - 11pm (daily)
Official website: Brackenridge Park
Department of tourism: City of San Antonio
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