Stop and Smell the Roses (and Lots of Other Flowers)

Not far from the hustle-and-bustle of downtown San Antonio (and yet somehow so very far removed from the city) is the San Antonio Botanical Garden, a 38-acre nature walk that will give you a whole new appreciation for just how beautiful and intricate the natural world can be.

SABOT, as those in the know know it, is a little more than your standard arboretum. It features the futuristic Lucile Halsell Conservatory, which itself features a courtyard surrounded by plants from around the world ‒‒ orchids, bromeliads, tropical rain forest plants, deserts plants of Mexico and Southern Africa, and some of the oldest living plants on Earth.

It also features the glorious Texas Native Trail, where a nice walk will give you a close encounter with the beautiful seasonal floral displays, a rose garden, a sensory garden, and the Kumamoto En Japanese garden.

You can still catch the Rainforest Adventure exhibit too, a maze-like tour through the rainforest that shows you exactly why you want to be as nice to the world’s jungles as possible.

Art in the Garden, an exhibit featuring the work of artist Kim Beck, takes you on a series of one-way trails though the gardens. Each tour is led using signage and audio accessed by cell phone, and you can download a map of the tour here. Garden visitors will find themselves led by unexpected guides, SABOT says. You’ll be led by a rancher, a poet, an arborist, a child, a dog, and a Buddhist priest. Catch this exhibit anytime before January.

And if you feel like being a kid, we defy you to walk past the gigantic rocking chairs and not sit in one. Or two.

SABOT also holds a lot of great events, like the Gardens by Moonlight tour or the upcoming Brews and Blooms, which is exactly what it sounds like ‒‒ a casual night in the gardens with some craft brew sampling and scrumptious eats from San Antonio’s gourmet food trucks, all set to live music. The next Brews and Blooms is May 23, but if you miss it (or even if you don’t) come back on September 12. Tickets are $25; $15 for designated drivers.

Posted by Richard Soto on
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