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San Antonio Botanical Garden Reviews: Attractions, Costs & More

San Antonio Botanical Garden gives you a quick tour around the globe housing the tropical rainforest like Mexico, South African Desert plants, palms, and ancient ferns.

Spread on 41 acres, San Antonio Botanical Garden provides a 2.9 km loop hiking trail, several educational events, time to time horticultural display of more than 2000 species, birding, and many kids-friendly recreational arenas.

So, follow along to create a fun itinerary for your San Antonio Botanical Garden without missing any essential features.

Quick Info about San Antonio Botanical Garden

Established in 1980, the Botanical Garden was the vision of Mr. R.R. Witt and Mrs. Joseph Murphy on the property used by Brackenridge Waterworks as a 5,000,000-gallon reservoir from the San Antonio River.

Currently, the garden is home to 35 rare and endangered species, hosting 368,000 annual guests. 

With the vision to improve people’s life by incorporating nature and its element, the garden provides various horticultural displays, botanical bio-diversity, and educational experiences. 

Further, in 2017, the garden was expanded by 8 acres under the Grow Capital Campaign to provide culinary and family adventure part.

In 2019, after about 30 years of public/private partnership with the City of San Antonio, the garden is now private but open to the public like always.

Top Attractions at San Antonio Botanical Garden

San Antonio Botanical Garden is an all-rounder located at the heart of Texas.

Adults, children, and aged people will have age-appropriate activities and events to look forward to, while visiting the garden.

Families with small kids can have recreational time with no restrictions to the kids getting their hands dirty while playing in the family adventure gardens. 

Similarly, elderly guests can rent a mobility scooter and take a tour around the water saver garden, formal and display garden, and Daniel Sullivan Carriage house.

Not just humans, the botanical garden equally attracts birds from all over Texas.

The garden has a dedicated bird-watching structure that lets you witness birdlife up close and personal from a one-way mirror. 

When birds are not what excites you, there are plenty of native Texas plants and hill country plants to get your jaw-dropping.

From prickly pear to Mexican olive to torchwood, bald cypress, sweetgum, and Texas mountain laurel, the list of exotic plants at the botanical garden is almost never-ending. 

Further, let’s look at other top-featured attractions of the botanical garden.

  • Mays Family Display Garden: Showcasing the possibilities of horticulture in Texas with vibrant colored flowers and plants display, this garden celebrates the heritage of San Antonio.
  • Culinary Garden and Chef Teaching Pavilion: Indulge in the garden-to-table experience in the Zachry Foundation Culinary Garden by planting, harvesting, and preparing your meal from fresh herbs, vegetables, and fruits.
  • Kumamoto En: Enjoy Japan’s craftsmanship and landscape at ‘Kumamoto En,’ which features classic Japanese garden elements like stone walks, water elements, and bamboo fences.
  • Greehey Lawn: Enticing outdoor space for 700 guests’ dinner, surrounded by oak trees, limestone paved plaza, and the peaceful sound of running water. 
  • Lucile Halsell Conservatory: Features five ultra-modern glass structures to grow and protect epiphytes like orchids, bromeliads, ferns, palms, etc.

Things to do in San Antonio Botanical Garden

San Antonio offers a wide range of recreational activities, more than just rejuvenating yourself from the summer heat and engulfing the freshness of booming flowers, plants, and trees. 

  • Burn a few hundred calories strolling around the walking paths and hiking on the famous Texas trail.
  • Plan a romantic brunch date in the Mediterranean-influenced restaurant ‘Jardin,’ overlooking Gertie’s garden adjacent to the Sullivan Carriage House.
  • Spend quality time with your children participating in various age-appropriate educational programs and workshops seasonally conducted in the garden, like ‘Youth Cooking Workshop’ and ‘Story of Water in San Antonio.’
  • Host a sophisticated dinner, wedding, or reception at the Lucile Halsell Conservatory, enjoying the scenic water garden.
  • Capture your moments in the garden by hiring a photographer or click a few photos and videos for your social media.

Note: The garden doesn’t permit outside food and drinks. You can only take a refillable water bottle inside.

Best Time to Visit San Antonio Botanical Garden

San Antonio Botanical Garden is live throughout the year, offering various seasonal events & exhibitions.

At present, the garden has sold out the ‘Imaginary Worlds Celebration’ for May 4, 2023, and is hosting a member-only horticulture tour on Saturday, April 29, 2023.
Photo collage of few flowers from San Antonio Botanical Garden.
Regardless, the best time to observe vibrant flowers’ beauty is during spring.

Before planning a visit to the garden, go through their official calendar to learn the details about the upcoming gardening events. 

However, be mindful of the timing of the garden suspected to change seasonally.

MonthsDays Time
March - October Daily

8 am - 7 pm

8 am- 9 pm
November - FebruaryDaily9 am - 5 pm

The botanical garden would remain closed during Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

Costs to Visit San Antonio Botanical Garden

Now that we know what to expect from the enticing botanical garden, let’s discuss another important factor, the entry fee. 

A membership card gets you special perks like free entry and special members-only hours from 7-8 am daily.

However, the general admission fee based on age group and other conditions is listed below.

Children under age 3FreeFree
Children ages 3 -13$13$15
Military Personal$14$16

Apart from the regular entry, the various special guided programs for students range from $7-$12 and $11 for accompanying adults. You have to pre-book such educational events.

Further, the park offers a $2 discount per ticket, valid only if you are in a group of 15 or more, and free parking but only for limited vehicles. 

And someone with special needs can rent a mobility scooter for 4 hours at $25 for garden exploration.

Moreover, you can also hire a photographer for special occasions like weddings, engagements, or staged photographs. The charge for a photographer for up to 8 people in the garden is $195 for 2 hours.

While photographs for each person more than 8 will cost you $25, with $75 per additional hour.

Directions to Get San Antonio Botanical Garden

The San Antonio Botanical Garden is located on the northeast corner of Funston Place and North New Braunfels Avenue.

One of the easiest ways to reach the garden is via the VIVA culture route 11, available every 30 minutes from 9 am to 8 pm. 

Similarly, you may hop onto the bus that takes you to the following stations, closest to the botanical garden.

Broadway & Parkland – 12 min walk
Broaway & Tuleta – 20 min walk
Broadway &Pershing – 20 min walk

Moreover, if you plan to take your car, set the location on your map to 555 Funston Place, San Antonio, TX 78209.

However, getting a parking spot for your car could be a hassle due to limited parking facilities in the garden.

Therefore, visitors are recommended to use a rideshare service or carpool during weekends and major holidays. 

From Editorial Team

Apart from all the greenery, activities, and refreshment, the place also has a ‘Garden Gift Shop.’

So, don’t forget to take some of the gardens to your home or just a cute souvenir for your best friend.