Best of Town 2022: Entertainment Venues

Best place for a season pass

San Antonio Botanical Garden

Its 38 acres that include a Culinary Garden, Conservatory, and Family Adventure Garden are reason enough to keep coming back. Thanks to special exhibitions like the one in 2021 Oasis Frida Kahlo and vacations Bright landscape plus a full calendar with events for all ages and interests, the only way to enjoy all that the San Antonio Botanical Garden has to offer is with a membership that lets you visit frequently.

Best place for puppies and their owners

Phil Hardberger Park

The 150-foot land bridge is a destination in itself, but it’s only one reason to visit Phil Hardberger Park. The two dedicated dog parks offer plenty of off-leash fun with obstacles and designated areas for large and small dogs. There are many trails for dogs and their owners, as well as two access points to the Salado Creek Greenway. The beautifully designed Urban Ecology Center’s free Wi-Fi helps you when you have to work while your dog plays.

Best Staycation Splurge: Hotel Emma

Best hike worth driving

Garner State Park

Its popularity means you’ll probably need to book a day (or camping) pass, but the advanced planning is worth it. Select a trail to start your day on, whether it’s the steep climb up Old Baldy or the longer, more moderate Frio Canyon Trail. After a morning of effort, reward yourself with a float in the Frio River. Concan State Park is just far enough away to feel like a getaway, but close enough that you don’t have to spend the night in a tent or cabin unless you want to. , of cours.

Best winery for a day trip

Grape Creek Vineyards + Heath Sparkling Wines

If narrowing down the list of Fredericksburg wineries to visit is too much, consider this two-in-one destination just outside of town. Located on 25 acres off Highway (or Wine Road) 290, Grape Creek Vineyards and sister Heath Sparkling Wines offer two distinct experiences in one stop. In Heath, make reservations for a tasting on the state-of-the-art patio that includes small seasonal bites paired with sparkling wines from Texas’ first winery dedicated to “fine sparkling wines.” Break for lunch at Stout’s Signature, then head to the nearby Grape Creek Vineyards tasting room for a classic Hill Country experience.

Best suburb to spend an afternoon in: Cibolo

Best trail for a long drive

North: Salado Creek Greenway

Climb to the Tobin Trailhead or McAllister Park and ride northwest until you have completed the 1604 loop. Ambitious cyclists can continue to Eisenhower Park where there is now a connection to Leon Creek Greenway and The Rim. Our favorite place to start? Park at trailhead 1604 and head into Hardberger Park. Turn around and walk past the parking lot until you see climbers at Medicine Wall.

South: the Greenline at Brooks

The 1.5 mile trail from The Greenline to Brooks was already a favorite thanks to its lighted paths and easy access to park amenities. Now that it’s connected to the San Antonio River via a new quarter-mile trail extension at Brooks Edge, cyclists can easily access the Mission Reach Trail which stretches from Mission Park north to Brackenridge Park. From Brooks we enjoy the trip north to Hot wells.

Best Happy Hour

Best park for the whole family


Yanaguana Garden has been a paradise for children since it opened in 2015 thanks to its large climbing structure, swings, sandbox and fun splash pool. Storytimes, live music and other events enliven the space throughout each month while ping pong, foosball and chess boards keep older kids engaged. Thanks to restaurants like Dough Pizzeria Napoletana and the recently opened Box Street Social, adults can relax over a meal or happy hour. The best news? This is only the beginning. Hemisfair opened the first phase of the civic park earlier this year, which will include a large lawn near the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, water features and more.

Best golf course

Cool Crest Miniature Golf

One voter summed it up well: it’s an institution. That’s often why people come back – they remember playing there as kids and want their own kids to share the experience, or they want to relive a first date they had had over decades ago. If nostalgia is what draws people to Cool Crest Miniature Golf, it’s the atmosphere that keeps them staying.

The course opened in 1929, and Maria and Harold Metzger took over the property in 1937, adding the tropical landscaping touches and Art Deco vibe it still carries today. They added a second 18-hole course in 1959 and kept the family attraction running for years. The doors closed in 2008 after Harold passed away and Maria’s health deteriorated, but she didn’t sleep for long. The Andry brothers bought the historic site in 2013 and brought it back to the place they once visited as children. In 2020, they added the Metzger Biergarten, named after the former owners, so guests can stay after playing for a beer, a glass of wine and, on select nights, live music and food truck fare. It’s old-fashioned fun and reliable, just what we need right now.

Top Forward Thinkers: San Antonio Zoo

Best place for kids

The DoSeum

Now in its seventh year at its state-of-the-art Broadway facility, The DoSeum continues to innovate and prove to locals and visitors alike that it takes its mission of helping children learn by doing seriously. Its permanent exhibits provide endless hours of interactive fun and stimulation while its outdoor entertainment has been a welcome reprieve during the pandemic. However, it was the museum’s special exhibitions that surprised and impressed us the most last year. Let it be a vacation The DoSeum Express which invited families into a whimsical world of trains and local art, its Journey to the depths which allow children to ride in a life-size submarine or its newest Only Us: Understanding Race and Building Unity exhibition which was created in-house to address the ever important but sometimes difficult to discuss issues of racism, identity and culture, the exhibits are original, engaging and fun for all ages.

Best drive to explore the city

om mobile

You don’t need to master your utkatasana to enjoy a yoga class with Mobile Om. The studio is popping up in beer halls, parks, and other venues with classes at all levels meant to give residents an accessible way to practice yoga while enjoying their city. Follow them on social media for updates on free classes at places like Mission San José or Legacy Park.

Best free fun

Cinema tile

The large inflatable screens that Slab Cinema brings to Travis Park, Peacock Alley, Mission Marquee Plaza and elsewhere are always fun. Pack blankets, chairs and your favorite snacks and settle in for movie night in San Antonio. Not free but worth the price of admission, Slab Cinema also opened Art House at Blue Star in 2021 where it screens independent and older films. Seats are usually only $10.

The best way to make friends while working

SATX social ride

SATX Social Ride has created a community out of what is often a solo sport. Tuesday evening walks are relaxed and an easy way to see parts of downtown or Southtown, whether you want to join in for a few miles or stay all evening. With over 13,000 members in the Facebook group, there’s usually a crowd and a new friend to meet while you’re at it.

Readers’ Winners

Best Bike Trail: Mission Reach

Best Date + Selfie Spot: Elsewhere Garden Bar + Kitchen

Best Dog Fun: Hops & Hounds

Best Family Fun: San Antonio Botanical Garden

Best Fiesta Event: A Night in Old San Antonio

Best Free Activity + Tourist Attraction: Pearl

Best Golf Course: Cool Crest Miniature Golf

Best Happy Hour: The Good Kind

Best Hiking Trail + Park: Phil Hardberger Park

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