This city deep in the heart of Texas is one of the oldest in the country, but it’s also one of its youngest and most vibrant. San Antonio vacation rentals can be found within walking distance of something fascinating and they come as apartments, houses or condos with private pools. While you and your family will be happy to return to them at the end of a busy day, you won’t want to miss all that this amazing city has to offer.

If you do nothing else, don’t miss the River Walk, an oasis of culture and commerce on the very edge of the San Antonio River. Dine outside restaurants that serve cuisines from traditional Southwestern to Italian to Tex-Mex to Texas barbecue. The kids will love to glide up and down the river in a river cruiser, or you can rent bikes to easily visit the three-hundred-year-old missions, one of which is, of course, the Alamo. Thrill the kids with a visit to Six Flags and SeaWorld San Antonio and the Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort. Make sure to visit the San Antonio Zoo, which is actually the third oldest zoo in the country. The spelunkers in the family will love Natural Bridge Caverns.

 

1. Hollywood Park

hollywood park
Source: Flickr/Sammy9578

This quiet little town within the San Antonio environs is the home of Voigt Park. If your vacation rental doesn’t have its own swimming pool, there’s a pool that’s open to the public on weekends. The pix is of an old mission on East Sonterra Boulevard.

2. Live Oak, Texas

historic oakville
Source: Flickr/Kevin Stewart

As its name suggests, this lovely village has streets lined with live oaks. However, there’s so much more to it than that. Have a meal at the 54th Street Restaurant and Draft House or the Alamo Bar-B-Q or indulge in some serious animal protein at Biff Buzby’s Burgers. Take a paddle boat, canoe, kayak or paddleboard out on Live Oak Lake. Make sure that you and the kids wear your life jackets!

3. Kirby

kirby
Source: Flickr/kurtward

Kirby calls itself a “small city with a big heart,” and so it is. This is just the place to unwind after all that fun in San Antonio. There’s also a public park with a playground and basketball court, and a pool to cool off in.

4. Leon Valley

auto show
Source: Flickr/Ricaardo R.

This little city has a surprising number of recreation areas, including the 23 acre Raymond Rimkus Park with its playgrounds, playing fields, picnic areas with barbecue pits and rentable pavilions. Right next door is the 36-acre Huebner-Onion Natural Area Park. Take the kids down the nature trail where they’ll have glimpses of birds and deer. You might even want to check out the skating rink behind the Dairy Queen on Poss Road.

5. New Braunfels

christmas lights
Source: Flickr/A. Michael Uhlmann

Don’t forget to come to San Antonio during the holidays! The people of this area of the world know how to do Christmas, among other things. You’ll find house after house decorated with the most elaborate and brilliant displays. Even public buildings are dressed up for the hols. A brilliant example is the Comal County Courthouse. Go to Wassailfest and partake of the hot Glühwein the merchants offer to customers and passersby.

6. Adkins

adkins
Source: Flickr/John

While in Adkins don’t forget to take the family to the Texas Pride Barbecue, a funky little place on East Loop with old fashioned gasoline pumps and advertisements outside. If you have time, you may want to go to Loop 107, Cantaritos Cafe and Nutty’s Backyard for their vittles.

7. Schertz

swimming
Source: Flickr/Mark Bonica

Schertz is proud of its pool and its pool mural in Pickrell Park. The pools open to the public during the summer. If you or the hubby likes to play a round or two of golf, visit the Northcliffe Golf Club. Enjoy the serenity of the Crescent Bend Nature Park near Cibolo Creek.

8. St. Hedwig

flower field
Source: Flickr/Jwahlstedt

Dominated by the lovely, somewhat Romanesque Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church, this town is surprisingly rural for a place enclosed within a big, modern city. Pastures are full of grazing horses and cows, and fields are full of wildflowers. If your vacation rental is in St. Hedwig, be sure to visit the church and marvel at the beauty of its stained glass windows.