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San Antonio Botanical Garden: A Hidden Gem in the Heart of the City

When it comes to overlooked attractions in the city, the San Antonio Botanical Garden is certainly near the top of the list. With 33-acres of indoor and outdoor gardens to enjoy, it is a stunning and beautiful contrast to the urban surroundings just steps away. From tropical plants to local flora and fauna, the gardens cover a range of locations and climates for you to enjoy. Choose hotels near San Antonio Botanical Garden and make the most of this garden paradise.

The History of San Antonio Botanical Garden

While planning for the gardens started in 1940, the gardens were not founded and opened to the public until May of 1980. A project of Mrs. R. R. Whit and Mrs. Joseph Murphy, the gardens were a publicly funded city beautification project on the site of an old limestone quarry and waterworks facility. In the past 30 years, completion of two expansions to the original gardens have greatly increased the size of the gardens.

Popular Exhibits at San Antonio Botanical Garden

The garden complex spreads across 33 acres and multiple buildings. Each section offers a unique theme and experience for visitors to enjoy.

Sullivan Carriage House: Originally designed in 1896, the carriage house was moved brick by brick from its original downtown site to the entrance of the gardens in 1992. After three years of restoration, the new entrance was unveiled. It includes a full-service restaurant, gift shop, event spaces, and more.

Lucile Hall Conservatory: The largest expansion of the gardens to date, the award-winning conservatory opened to the public in 1988. As one of the most striking features of the gardens, the glass towers of the conservatory reach heights as tall as 65 feet, while much of the conservatory is actually located more than 20 feet below ground. This unique design hides a variety of plants and flowers from the hot Texas sun allowing and has earned the garden a number of architectural awards.

Kumamoto En: This tranquil Japanese garden offers a peek into the exotic styling of the 300-year-old Suizenji Garden in Kyoto. Added in 1989, the garden includes a number of authentic paths and features imported from Japan.

These are just a few of the many themed gardens available. Walking tours of the grounds are available if you want to be sure that you do not miss anything during your visit.

Attractions near San Antonio Botanical Garden

Located just off the McAllister Freeway, the gardens are conveniently located near a number of other popular San Antonio attractions. Popular options include the wildlife of San Antonio Zoo, science and history exhibits at Witte Museum, and the trails and recreation opportunities of Brackenridge Park.

A short drive south to Downtown San Antonio offers the shops and sights of River Walk, events at Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center and the stunning panoramic views from the Tower of the Americas. If you’re looking for a piece of San Antonio history, don’t forget to check out the Alamo—San Antonio’s most popular tourist destination—and the Majestic Theater before returning to hotels near San Antonio Botanical Garden.