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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.
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
The San Antonio Botanical Garden has 33 acres (4046 square meters) of lush foliage and colorful flowers. A wonderful attraction, the garden is an exquisite year-round, with something always in bloom. A conservatory, formal gardens, "old-fashioned" gardens and native plant areas provide a variety of interests. This is definitely a must-see for both botany experts and garden-variety folks. If you're visiting in the spring, don't forget your antihistamines. The garden center features a luncheon cafe, a gift shop, guided tours, and adults' and children's classes. It is also available for private parties.
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.
Lined by a network of trails, the Guadalupe River State Park is a marvelous retreat that sits along the banks of the Guadalupe River. The rippling water of the river reflects the surrounding rock formations and colorful vegetation, making it appear as though painted in a collage of colors. Extending over four miles (6.5 kilometers) of this tranquil river, the park offers an uninterrupted swimming experience for those who are fond of the sport. Aside from that, activities like canoeing and fishing are also popular among visitors. The park is known to be an excellent spot for bird-watching with an opportunity to spot even the occasional rare golden-cheeked warbler. There are also ample campsites, liked by a network of trails, for those seeking to spend the night in the midst of nature.
When you think of San Antonio, two things automatically come to mind: the Alamo and the River Walk. The River Walk was conceived in 1929. Downtown had serious flood problems, and Robert Hugman suggested that the city turn the San Antonio River into an asset rather than a hindrance. Hugman's brainchild has since become the essence of the city. The city's most popular attraction, it is often crowded and filled with children, partygoers, tourists and locals. In the heart of the River Walk is an area filled with restaurants, shops and nightclubs, punctuated by fountains and towering Cypress trees. The River Walk is particularly lively during Fiesta.