This San Antonio Botanical Garden review is not sponsored.
When we went to Texas, we were looking for outdoor things to do in San Antonio. The weather was supposed to be perfect for hanging out outside, plus we went during a time when hanging out indoors wasn’t at the top of our list of things to do. So, when we were putting together our travel itinerary, we added the San Antonio Botanical Garden.
We love botanical gardens and look for them any time we’re traveling. Plus, with the American Horticultural Society Reciprocal Admission Program, since we have a pass to our local botanical garden, we’re able to visit over 300 reciprocal gardens for free.
San Antonio Botanical Garden is a reciprocal garden, so we had to check it out. And I’m so glad we did.
Honestly, it was the best botanical garden we’ve ever been to.
San Antonio Botanical Garden Review
San Antonio Botanical Garden (555 Funston Place) is about a 15 minute drive from downtown San Antonio.
We definitely wouldn’t recommend attempting to walk there from downtown San Antonio. Not only is it over an hour walking, you have to cross a major highway. And, if your feet do actually get you there, you’ll spend hours walking around the 38-acre botanical garden and that’s asking a lot of your lower body.
So drive or take ride share.
As soon as you enter the gardens, the CHEF Teaching Kitchen is located directly on the right hand side. Definitely stop there.
The teaching kitchen is located within The Zachary Foundation Culinary Garden, which is an edible garden filled with vegetables like spinach and kale. Many of those items are grown to be donations to local food pantries in San Antonio. What’s not donated is used in the kitchen demonstrations.
When we were there, they weren’t having classes, but they were handing out samples of the most delicious spinach and mandarin orange salad. We learned that your body can’t absorb the nutrients in spinach alone. It needs to be paired with citrus. So not even ten minutes into our trip at the San Antonio Botanical Garden and we had already eaten and learned something.
You can actually have a full meal at the botanical garden too. The Sullivan Carriage House Restaurant is a full restaurant with both outdoor and indoor seating. There’s a full bar and you’re actually able to take drinks (if you’re 21 or older) from the bar and enjoy them as you walk through the botanical garden.
The San Antonio Botanical Garden is absolutely family friendly. There’s a huge Family Adventure Garden with 15 different sections for kids to play. It’s huge.
There are water features, like the No Name Creek, pavilions were kids can put on impromptu plays, three play houses for kids to imagine in, and the Prickly Pear Peak, right in the middle of the children’s garden, where you can stand and see everything.
The children’s garden is self-contained for the most part, so your kids can run and scream and enjoy themselves without you worrying about them disturbing the rest of the patrons.
Next to it is the Lucille Halsell Conservatory, which is actually a collection of five enclosed conservatories. They’re broken into biomes, like the desert pavilion and the tropical room.
And then there’s the fern grotto, which is my favorite part of the whole botanical garden. Inside is a man made indoor waterfall, which is just phenomenal and such an incredible focal point of the garden. Plus, if you’re looking for an Instagram-worthy photo spot, this is it.
The Texas native trail is the last main section of the garden. There are ton of plants that are native to Texas, which is really the reason you should visit botanical gardens in different cities. You’re able to see native vegetation that you can’t see at your local botanical garden. And you get to learn about the history of the area and how various plants and flowers came to the area.
There are a few other sections in the garden, like the Kumamoto En Japanese Garden. That was a huge draw when we were visiting the garden because it was actually a bonsai weekend. And, with bonsai being Japanese, the Japanese garden was highlighted.
We got to see a ton of bonsai trees in the botanical garden’s learning center, which was unique to the time we were there. And, Origami in the Garden, which we had seen at the Cape Fear Botanical Garden previously was set up at that time as well. So it was a real treat.
Tips For When You Go To The San Antonio Botanical Garden
We highly recommend the San Antonio Botanical Garden on a sunny day. The majority of the garden and exhibits are outdoors, so it’s more enjoyable to go on a sunny day rather than a rainy one.
Sneakers are ideal for the amount of walking you’ll be doing at the garden. There aren’t any trams in the botanical garden, so you’ll be walking the entire time. Bikes, scooters, and any similar equipment are not permitted.
Dogs and other pets are not permitted in the garden. Service animals are allowed.
The paved walkways at the botanical garden are wheelchair accessible. Wheelchairs can be rented from the garden on a first come, first serve basis.
Blankets and chairs can be brought into the garden.
Personal photography is permitted, but drones are prohibited. Commercial or special occasion photography must be arranged with the botanical garden.
San Antonio Botanical Garden Information
555 Funston Place; San Antonio, Texas 78209
March through October: Monday through Friday 9 am to 7 pm; Saturday and Sunday 9 am to 5 pm. November through February: daily from 9 am to 5 pm.
$15 for adults, $13 for military members and students, $12 for children ages 3 to 3, kids under 3 are free. Museums for All admission is $3.
There is a parking lot on site. Parking is available on a first come, first serve basis. Ride sharing and carpooling is encouraged.
The Sullivan Carriage House Restaurant is a full restaurant, with both outdoor and indoor seating, and a full bar. Outside food and drinks (except for refillable water bottles) are not permitted in the garden.
Attractions near the San Antonio Botanical Garden
If you’re on vacation in San Antonio and you’re looking for other things to do after the garden closes, there are a few popular San Antonio attractions in the area.
Planning a trip to San Antonio?
If you’re visiting San Antonio, we have a few other posts that will help you plan your trip.
- 10+ Outdoor Things To Do In San Antonio, Texas
- The Saga | San Antonio Review
- A Guide To BCycle Bike Share For Tourists
Did this San Antonio Botanical Gardens Review help you plan your San Antonio trip?