Just a few minutes northeast of San Antonio lies a geological wonder that attracts tourists from around the globe. Natural Bridge Caverns, designated both a U.S. Natural Landmark as well as a Texas Historic Site, contains some of the most phenomenal cave formations in the country. Giant stalactites resembling enormous chandeliers and stalagmites that look like fried eggs are just a few of the more than 10,000 formations contained within this living cave. Special rates are available for groups of 25 or more.
Replete with a variety of flora and fauna, the Government Canyon State Natural Area features an incredible landscape dominated by towering trees and rocky canyons. Enjoy biking, hiking, and other exciting outdoor activities at this nature reserve. This park was made for adventure, offering 12,047 acres (4875 hectares) for visitors to explore. Take in the sight of rolling hills and rare wildlife as you explore 40 miles (64 kilometers) of trails. There's something here for everyone, whether you want to take a relaxing walk surrounded by exquisite nature or go for a more strenuous hike.
Although construction did not begin until 1749, this cathedral was established in 1731 by the Canary/Spanish Islanders, who sought to build their own place of worship. It is one of the oldest cathedral sanctuaries in the United States. The famous Alamo defender James Bowie was married here and during the siege of the Alamo Santa Anna used it as an observation post. Notable historic figures Bowie, William Travis and Davy Crockett are buried here. The cathedral still draws huge crowds for Mass and always welcomes visitors.
One of the city's largest parks, Brackenridge offers more family fun than one day can accommodate. Start with the musical carousel featuring 60 antique horses. Then try the Skyride, which consists of Swiss manufactured cable cars that lift visitors to enjoy the view of the park as well as the city skyline. If ground transportation is more your speed, opt for a ride on the miniature train that runs through a 3.5-mile (5.6-kilometer) stretch of the park. For water travel, cruise around the upper part of the San Antonio River in paddle boats. Other facilities include a municipal golf course, a driving range, bike trails and picnic areas.
Sandwiched between Mission San Jose and Hot Wells locales in the heart of San Antonio's expansive wildernesses, this historical park was designated as a settlement for Catholic priests who were sent here as Spanish missionaries to spread the word of the holy bible among the natives. The park is spread over 948 acres (384 hectares) of blissful lawns that house the Mission Concepcion, Mission San Jose, Mission San Juan and Mission Espada; the four historical missions which constitute what is known as the Mission Trail, all possessing very distinct and beautiful detailing in their designs and constructions. The Espada Aqueduct, Rancho de las Cabras, and the Ethel Wilson Harris House are some of the park's other notable attractions.
Originally the Mission San Antonio de Valero, the Alamo is by far the most famous historical site in Texas, playing a significant role in Texas' quest for independence from Mexico. Under the command of Col. William Travis, 189 Texan soldiers bravely defended this fort for 13 days before finally succumbing to Santa Anna's massive Mexican army in early 1836. The chapel and the Long Barrack are all that remains of the fort. Saved from civilian apathy by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, the mission is now a museum containing relics from the era. Narrated tours are available.
Southwest Stadium opened in 1971 and is owned by Southwest Independent District School. The stadium is primarily used for football by its home team, Southwest Dragons. It also hosts track and field races and has restrooms and wheelchair access.
Offering a summer home to 20 million Mexican free-tailed bats, the Bracken Cave in San Antonio holds one of the largest concentration of mammals on earth. The cave attracts thousands of tourists every year to observe the emergence of millions of bats as they spiral out of the cave for their nocturnal insect hunt. The cave is 100 foot-wide (30.48 metes) opening of the cave lies at the bottom of the sink-hole formed when the roof collapsed.The Bracken Cave and the surrounding Texas Hill Country is owned and protected by Bat Conservation International. They provide evening tours to watch the amazing spectacle of bats emerging from the cave.
Nestled within the La Villita Historic Arts Village, the Mayor Maury Maverick Plaza is dedicated to the city's celebrated former mayor. The plaza features his statue at the center and large open space surrounding it which is used as a venue for large scale festivals and events. This includes the fantastic annual Maverick Music Festival which sees a crowd of more than 2000 music lovers gather here to watch the performances of the local and national artists/ bands.
Trek into this park and you will feel like you have wandered far into the hill country. Only a short drive up IH-10 from downtown, Friedrich Wilderness Park offers 5.5 miles of hiking trails, which vary in terms of their difficulty levels. The park also boasts the most improved handicapped trails in the region. The more difficult trails can be a great workout, while the lower levels offer an easy walk in a beautiful setting. If you choose the highest level and find yourself being passed quickly by kindly older men don't despair—they are likely retired military officers from the nearby army base. In addition to its hiking trails, the park hosts a bird population so diverse that it attracts even hard-core bird enthusiasts. Guided interpretive hikes are available. This place is open evryday from 7:30 a.m onwards