With its rustic stone bridges and winding walkways, the city’s main park has a charming, old-fashioned feel. It’s a popular center for such recreational activities as golf, polo, biking, and picnicking. Especially notable is the Japanese Tea Garden (also known as the Japanese Sunken Garden), created in 1917 by prison labor to beautify an abandoned cement quarry. (The same quarry furnished cement rock for the state capitol in Austin.) You can still see a brick smokestack and a number of the old lime kilns among the beautiful flower arrangements—lusher than those in most Japanese gardens. The on-site Jingu House Café (www.jinguhousesa.com/cafe, tel. 210-559-3148) is a serene spot to enjoy creative Asian fare or sip a cup of green tea. After the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941, the garden was officially renamed the Chinese Sunken Garden, and a Chinese-style entryway was added; the original name wasn’t restored until 1983. Just to the southwest, a bowl of limestone cliffs found to have natural acoustic properties was turned into the Sunken Garden Theater, with a 60-foot-high waterfall and water lily–laced ponds. Across from the entrance to the San Antonio Zoological Gardens, you can buy tickets for the San Antonio Zoo Eagle train (www.sazoo.org/experiences/zoo-train; tel. 210/734-7184), a miniature train replicating an 1863 model, for a pleasant 2-mile ride through the park that takes about 20 minutes (tickets $4, children 2 and under ride free; daily 9:30am, weather permitting, until zoo gate closes).
San Antonio› Attraction
3700 N. St. Mary’s St., San Antonio, TX 78212, USA
Our Rating Neighborhood Parks and Gardens Hours Daily 5am–11pm Transportation
Bus: VIVA line 11Phone 210/826-1412 Web site Brackenridge Park
Map3700 N. St. Mary’s St. San Antonio TX 78212 USA San Antonio
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