It’s late summer and the temperature is rising to the triple digits in the shade. Where will you head in San Antonio to beat the heat?
Luckily it’s a big city, so you’ve got options.
Sips & brews
It would be irresponsible of me to begin without mentioning the (Un)official Tea of the Alamo City. That’s the good stuff brewed up from tea leaves and sold by the gallons at the Bill Miller’s Bar-B-Q restaurants scattered around time. Locals know to bring along Bill Miller’s refillable “Texas Travel Mugs” and have it filled up with sweet or unsweet tea. (Feeling indulgent? Order a slice of pecan pie, too.) Another homegrown chain option for a cold, non-alcoholic beverage is Local Coffee. As the name suggests, it’s a reliable source for iced coffee brews.
In the mood for something more, ahem, adult by way of your beverage? Then trot over to La Gloria to order one of their world famous margaritas. If you’re south of downtown, then make a beeline for the bar at Halcyon, a coffee, bar and lounge combo in Southtown, to order a frosty cocktail. In the mood for an old-fashioned Texas ice house in the Hill Country? Head up to Leon Springs for The Point Park & Eats food truck park and bar.
— Sergio Chapa (@SergioChapa) June 12, 2017
Cool springs, fast slides and tubes
Ready to make a splash?
Check out the city’s gorgeous spring fed pool in San Pedro Springs Park. People have been swimming there for centuries, so there’s a sense of both the area’s natural environment and its rich history. Also of note is the newly opened Yanaguana Garden at Hemisfair Park with its state-of-the-art splash pad.
Sea World San Antonio and Six Flags Fiesta Texas offer water park options, as does the world-renowned Schlitterbahn up IH-35 in New Braunfels. Yet the real gem is the new, disability-accessible waterpark at Morgan’s Wonderland—the first water park of its kind anywhere. Prefer a more outdoorsy, natural water ride? Grab your favorite inflatable tube and head up to the gorgeous Guadalupe River State Park.
If you’re feeling waterlogged and would prefer to stay inside, then cool off with a round of jumping in the refrigerated air at Altitude Trampoline Park. For date night you can grab your honey, your dancing boots, and head to the Thirsty Horse Saloon.
Best use of 50 cents in San Antonio – a paleta at El Paraiso. pic.twitter.com/AOyPcr3r3D
— Jennifer Hiller (@Jennifer_Hiller) June 17, 2014
When it comes to things cool and sweet, San Antonio has plenty of treats. El Paraiso’s paletas (fruit bars) have long been popular in town as has the gelato and ice cream at Brindles. Lately Steel City Pops has been making a name for itself with gourmet pops crafted from local ingredients, and Honeysuckle Teatime’s heavenly, rich milkshakes have been creating a stir with fans, too.
Need a break from the kitchen? A great family friendly, come-as-you-are option is Green, convenient to the Pearl Brewery’s splash pad. Also at the Pearl is the Hotel Emma, an elegant boutique hotel in a renovated brewery that includes dining and bar options—perfect for date night.
Finally, there are some days when the only thing standing between sanity and a mom (exhausted from shuttling kids to camp and swim practice) is a cold vanilla Coca-Cola served up at the Dairy Queen over near the Medical Center. Sure, it’s a chain but with that crunchy ice and distinctive old-time Texas vibe it’s also a reminder that, as my friend’s husband says, “San Antonio is the biggest small town in Texas.”