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3 Things You Never Knew About San Antonio

3 Things You Never Knew About San Antonio

By Patrick Galvan and Augusta Wester, StorageUnit.com

San Antonio, the seventh-largest city in the country and the second-largest city in the state of Texas, is well-known as the site of the Alamo and home of the current NBA champions, the San Antonio Spurs. You don’t have to be a history buff or a Spurs fan to enjoy life in San Antonio, though. There are many lesser-known attractions in this Lone Star city, from cool to quirky, that make San Antonio a one-of-a-kind place to live.

Whether you’re moving to the area for the excitement of starting over in a new city or accepting a transfer to one of the many nearby military bases, you might find yourself pressed for space during or after your move. You can easily solve this problem by keeping spare items in a self storage unit. Whether you need storage on a permanent basis or just long enough to find a larger home, self storage in San Antonio can help make your life here simpler and more convenient.

Once you find a place for all of your belongings and get settled, there is plenty to explore and enjoy in your new locale. Don’t miss out on these aspects of life in San Antonio.

1.  It’s Easy to Cool Off at a Local Water Attraction

Gully Washer Clone ride at Six Flags Fiesta Texas

The Gully Washer Clone at Six Flags Fiesta Texas. Photo by Randall Chancellor

No need to fear the Texas heat. There are many ways to cool off in San Antonio. On hot summer days, take a trip to Splashtown. This waterpark features more than 50 different rides and attractions including a wave pool, slides of numerous lengths and speeds, calm swimming pools, and, if you’re up for a genuine thrill, a luge!

They say everything is bigger in Texas, so if you want to experience the ultimate in water rides, plan a visit to Six Flags Fiesta Texas park in San Antonio. In addition to roller coasters, bumper cars, and traditional amusement rides, this park is home to White Water Bay, a water mecca full of extreme slides, raft rides, and a pool shaped like the Lone Star State.

When it comes to water excitement, there is no real substitute for a visit to SeaWorld itself. The San Antonio location features a wide variety of exotic marine animals include orcas, penguins, otters, seals, sharks, and dolphins. SeaWorld also has its own set of water rides such as Shamu Express and the Rio Loco.

San Antonio River Walk

Rio Taxis at the San Antonio RiverWalk

You can enjoy a different sort of water ride at the city’s popular downtown RiverWalk. You can catch a Rio Taxi as a novel way to arrive at your dinner destination, or you can enjoy a 35-minute river tour as a relaxing way to experience the popular downtown district. People even charter river cocktail cruises as a unique way to celebrate special occasions in the city.

2.  Natural Scenery Can Be Found All Around

Natural Bridge Caverns in San Antonio

Underground formations at the Natural Bridge Caverns

San Antonio may be one of the country’s largest cities, but you don’t have to travel very far to find some lovely natural scenery. One way to cool off is to head underground and explore one of the state’s largest caverns at the Natural Bridge Caverns. You can tour two natural underground formations that extend more than a half mile into the earth and feature captivating stalagmites, stalactites, flowstones, and more.

While you’re in the area, you can also witness the Bracken bat flight. A few miles from the Natural Bridge Caverns, one of the world’s largest bat colonies lives in Bracken Cave. You can watch their nightly journey out of the cave at dusk when they emerge to hunt for insects.

For more outdoor fun in the sun, visit the massive Brackenridge Recreation Complex just north of Downtown San Antonio. Complete with campgrounds, lovely groves of oak and pecan trees, and the enamoring waters of Lake Texana, the complex is sure to please nature enthusiasts. You can also get some exercise by using the park trails designated for hiking, biking, and equestrian rides.

Pagoda at San Antonio Japanese Tea Garden

The pagoda at the San Antonio Japanese Tea Garden

Be sure to also swing by the Japanese Tea Garden. Located in Brackenridge Park, this historic garden was created from an abandoned limestone quarry in the early 1900s. It features a Japanese pagoda, lovely landscapes and plantings, a small cafe, and beautiful aquatic scenery, such as traditional koi ponds, water lily gardens, and a waterfall.

3. The Contemporary Art Scene is Caliente

Garden at McNay Art Museum

McNay Art Museum Gardens. Photo by Rachelle Meyer.

If you’re a fan of modern or contemporary art, San Antonio might surprise you with its wealth of artistic opportunities. Start your explorations at the McNay Art Museum. With its nationally recognized modern art collection, you can view original works by many of the modern masters, including Pablo Picasso, Paul Gaugin, Henri Matisse, and Georgia O’Keefe.

If you’re looking for ways to get involved in the art scene today, visit Artpace in downtown San Antonio. In addition to the latest in contemporary art exhibits, this creative center hosts numerous programs, classes, and residencies for today’s developing artists. From jazz concerts to family days and Food Truck Fridays, Artpace brings San Antonio art culture into the everyday with creativity and inspiration.

Street art in San Antonio

Latina street art in San Antonio. Photo by Nan Palmero.

Simply taking a walk around downtown San Antonio can allow you to experience the growing street art scene found in the city. From colorful graffiti-style murals to public art installations sponsored by the X Marks the Art program, many stunning exhibits can be found throughout the downtown district.

Barney Smith Toilet Seat Museum in San Antonio

Barney Smith and his artwork at the Toilet Seat Art Museum. Photo by juliegomoll.

For something off the beaten path, you might want to check out Barney Smith’s Toilet Seat Art Museum. Barney is a retired master plumber, and an artist at heart. His garage has been transformed into a museum of sorts, displaying more than 1,000 of his mixed media compositions. From Michael Jackson to marbles, this friendly man in his 90s has covered a multitude of topics on toilet seats. Just give Barney a call ahead of time, and look for the orange cone in his driveway, and you, too, can experience this remarkable San Antonio folk art phenomenon.

 

Have you visited these San Antonio attractions? Are there any other grand features about the city you would recommend a friend or relative? Feel free to share in the comments!