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Parks & Natural Preserves

For relaxation and recreation, San Antonio boasts several city parks—Crownridge Canyon, Eisenhower, McAllister, Stone Oak, and Walker Ranch among them. The city's star park, however, is picturesque Brackenridge Park, at Broadway and Funston, northeast of downtown in the Alamo Heights neighborhood. In 2006 the comfortably aged park emerged from a five-year, $7.5-million makeover that, among other improvements, transformed roads once used by cars into paved trails for bicyclists and joggers. Additional recreational opportunities at the park include golf, picnicking (grills are provided), pedal boating, fishing, and, for the little ones, burning off energy on the playground equipment. Another option is simply unwinding with a stroll and feeding the ducks. The San Antonio River runs through the park, as does one main thoroughfare, Red Oak Drive.

For more information on Brackenridge Park and other parks in San Antonio, visit the San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department's website, www.sanantonio.gov/sapar.

Bird-watching

Mitchell Lake. Bird-watchers worldwide come here to see the more than 300 species that visit each year. This 624-acre complex is located on a natural migratory route and serves as a stopping point for thousands of birds annually. 10750 Pleaston Rd., San Antonio, TX. 210/628–1639. www.saws.org/environmental/mitchelllake/. $2. Sat.–Sun. 8–4.

Participant Sports

Spelunking

Natural Bridge Caverns. Trek down 180 feet below the earth's surface for a half-mile walk through this beautiful, historic cavern system. Visitors can take the popular North Cavern tour for a look at stalagmites, stalactites, flowstones, chandeliers, and soda straw formations. The Jaremy Room encompasses two huge underground chambers that use both light and dark to showcase rare formations. 26495 Natural Bridge Cavern Rd., San Antonio, TX. 210/651–6101. www.naturalbridgecaverns.com. $16.95–$25.95. Daily 9–4, 5, 6, or 7, depending on season.

Golf

Its enviable position as the southern gateway to the Hill Country makes San Antonio a great destination for golfers.

San Antonio Golf Operations Department. If you have wannabe golf pro youngsters in tow, the San Antonio Golf Operations Department has set up Saturday clinics year-round for junior golfers (ages 6 to 18). 210/225–3528.

Brackenridge Golf Course. This historic course was the first inductee of the Texas Golf Hall of Fame. Located in San Antonio's Brackenridge Park, it first opened for play in 1916, and is the oldest municipal course in the city. Brackenridge closed in January 2008 for renovations that will include reworked tee boxes, greens, and fairways, and a return to the original layout of 15 holes; it is scheduled to reopen in late fall 2008 as a 6,185-yard par-71. 2315 Ave. B, San Antonio, TX. 210/225–3528. www.playsanantoniogolf.com.

Cedar Creek Course. Enjoy scenic views—and isn't that a big part of what golfing is all about?—while perfecting your swing at this 18-hole, par-72, course in the hills. Hazards include waterways and waterfalls. Green fees are $35 Monday through Friday and $41 Saturday and Sunday; price includes cart. 8250 Vista Colina, San Antonio, TX. 210/695–5050. www.playsanantoniogolf.com.

La Cantera. This course was voted the best in San Antonio by readers of both the San Antonio Express-News and the San Antonio Current. The resort course offers views of Six Flags Fiesta Texas as well as the Texas Hill Country, while the signature number 4 on the Arnold Palmer course—designed by the legendary golfer—requires a long carry over a waterfall-fed lake at the lip of the green. Greens fees range from $125 to $150. 16641 La Cantera Pkwy., San Antonio, TX. 210/558–46453. www.lacanteragolfclub.com.

Quarry Golf Club. The front nine here plays like a links-style course, with no trees and an ever-present breeze to deal with. The back nine, however, is set in a limestone quarry with 100-foot perimeters. Greens fees range from $89 to $109. 444 E. Basse Rd., San Antonio, TX. 210/824–4500. www.quarrygolf.com.

Rodeo Time!

The annual San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo draws about 1.3 million people to the AT&T Center over a two and a half-week period. If you're in town during this time, be sure to attend—you'll find out all about steer wrestling, team roping, and barrel racing.

Spectator Sports

Baseball

San Antonio Missions. Enjoy a night at the ballpark watching the San Antonio Missions the Double-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres. The Missions play more than 50 home games a year, from April through early September, at Admission is $6.50 to $9.50, and, as with any minor-league baseball team, expect lots of promotions, giveaways, and fun on-field activities during the game. 210/675–7275. www.samissions.com.

Nelson W. Wolff Stadium (5757 Highway 90 W, West San Antonio, San Antonio, TX.).

Basketball

San Antonio Spurs. The pride and joy of the Alamo City, the NBA's San Antonio Spurs host games at the 210/444–5000. www.spurs.com.

AT&T Center. AT&T Center from October through April. Seats are available in every price range; a seat in the rafters can be had for as little as $10—or you can sit courtside for about $900. One AT&T Center Parkway, Downtown, San Antonio, TX. 210/444–5000. www.attcenter.com.

San Antonio Silver Stars. Catch great women's hoops action when the Women's National Basketball Association's San Antonio Silver Stars play at the AT&T Center from May to September. Tickets for the Silver Stars range from $10 to $200. One AT&T Center Parkway, Downtown, San Antonio, TX. 210/444–5050. www.sasilverstars.com.

Football

Alamodome. This 65,000-seat, $186 million sports arena is a busy place. Home of the Valero Alamo Bowl each December, featuring teams from the Big 12 and Big 10 conferences, the site hosts other sporting events as well as concerts, trade shows, and conventions. The Alamodome is the only place in North America with two permanent Olympic-size ice rinks under the same roof. If you're not here during a game, you can still visit during a behind-the-scenes tour, which must be scheduled in advance. 100 Montana St., just east of HemisFair Park, across I–37, Downtown, San Antonio, TX. 210/207–3652 or 800/884–3663. www.alamodome.com. Prices vary with events. Mon.–Fri. 8–5.

Hockey

San Antonio Rampage. If hard-hitting ice hockey is your style, the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League play from October through May at the 210/444–5554. www.sarampage.com.

AT&T Center. Tickets are priced from $8.50 to $39. One AT&T Center Parkway, Downtown, San Antonio, TX. 210/444–5000. www.attcenter.com.