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Brackenridge Park is a public park located in the City of San Antonio, Texas. It is in a neighborhood of the same name, at 3700 N. St. Mary’s Street. The park covers some 343 acres of land donated in 1899 by George Washington Brackenridge, a prominent citizen of San Antonio.

There are many attractions in and around the place both for adults and children, among them the famous River Walk. Other amenities include the beautiful Japanese Tea Gardens and a whole array of areas like theaters, museums, open air and farm markets, rides, stores, restaurants, playgrounds, and different sports facilities.

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HISTORY

Called the most significant archeological site in Texas, the place historic importance dates back to the prehistoric times. There is evidence of human activity in the area that goes back 11,000 years, and some artifacts older than 9,000 years have been found in the Olmos Basin and near Hildebrand Avenue within the park.

The park area may predate back to the B.C. era, however, Brackenridge Park history proper begins in 1899 when George Washington Brackenridge donated 199 acres of land to the city to create the Brackenridge Park. Mr. Brackenridge was one of San Antonio’s leading citizens, businessman, philanthropist, and founder of banks and newspapers. He later donated additional acreage to increase the park size. Finally, Emma Koehler, a businesswoman from San Antonio, gave some land too, which led the park to increase its acreage to 343 acres of land. The park is named after its original donator whose bronze statue is at the Broadway Street entrance of the park.

Today, Brackenridge Park provides a necessary escape from the city´s hustle and bustle, and homes the San Antonio Zoo, The Japanese Tea Garden, San Antonio Botanical Gardens, The Brackenridge Eagle (kiddie train), the Witte Museum and America’s oldest children’s amusement theme park, “Kiddie Park.”

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THINGS TO SEE AND DO

The park provides locals and visitors with many options for entertainment and relaxation. Within short walking distance, visitors can see the renowned Japanese Tea Gardens, reported by visitors as “just beautiful.” River Walk is near too, and tourists can enjoy an immense variety of stores, shopping venues, restaurants of every kind in an area surrounded by lush vegetation delineated by cypresses. For those interested in local culture, there is the Witte Museum for a lesson on Texas history.

For those who love animals, the Zoo is right in the middle of the park and provides both kids and adults with a fun experience.

SAFETY

Neighbors and locals alike consider both the neighborhood and the park to be reasonably safe. Nevertheless, San Antonio is a large city, and the park attracts tourists, but also some less than honest individuals. The Police Department at San Antonio sometimes reports alcohol and drug abuse as well as thefts and burglaries. In consequence, common sense and precaution are necessary to enjoy the place without incidents of any kind. It is a good idea not to walk alone or in areas that are solitary or with few people, especially after sunset.

An African-style safari park called Natural Bridge Wildfire Ranch in San Antonio, Texas.