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Summer Guide 2012

How to survive the summer: bunkering lessons for locals

Photo: Bryan Rindfuss, License: N/A

Bryan Rindfuss

Tree of Life: San Pedro Springs

Why we haven't figured out yet that even with air-conditioned rooms and air-conditioned cars it's just plain whacked to get up with the sun and stay awake through the heat of the summer day is beyond me. If we were a sensible society, we'd use that AC for a long midday nap and move about during the cooler dark hours. This isn't Portland, Oregon (average high in July: 80.6 degrees), or Portland, Maine (average high in August: 76.5 degrees). This is good 'ole SA, TX. And it's going to get warm. The main thing is to survive the sucker. For those of you who don't plan on flinging yourself into a cooling day trip adventure because you fear the wilderness is writhing with poisonous snakes, or because you get carsick, or because you don't have a freakin' car (or can't afford to feed it), never mind. Staycations are still in vogue, but you're going to have to find some chilling stations. Let's check out the urban options.

It's afternoon, and hot as blazes, but somehow you've found a few unbridled hours. In sensible cities there's no need to always stay inside to beat the heat. Restaurants, bars, and even cheap coffee shops have misters — outdoor cooling systems that fill the air with a fog of pulverized, cold water. Mist. But no, not here in Saytown (except at weddings and other functions — go figure). If you're forced to look for AC, but lucky enough to be going for drinks, try the Havana Bar. It's tucked under Hotel Havana (1015 Navarro) and curated to maintain a steady 62 degrees.

Got kids, so you'll have to pass on cocktails? The whole family can avoid heat rash at Ice & Golf Center at Northwoods (17530 Henderson Pass). For the heat-resistant, there's mini-golf outdoors, and adult and youth soccer teams for the physically ambitious. Inside, get chilled with figure skating or join a hockey game.

Got kids, but gonna get a cold one anyhow? Why not a game of beach volleyball with that beer? No, we're not on the ocean here, but there are plenty of spots that sport sand and nets. Fatso's Sport Garden (1704 Bandera) is a family location with some of the best sandpits around. Food tends towards Texas favorites: chicken fried steak, brisket, tacos, pecan pie, and such. SideLiners (15630 Henderson Pass) has sand volleyball and sand soccer leagues to join, both coed.

Rather watch than play? Plenty of games on the tube inside, where you can grab a burger or wings, and cool off with a tall one. The San Antonio Yacht Club (4553 N Loop 1604 W) offers a large patio in an oceanside theme, and a play dock for children, with over 6,000 square-feet of fun, including sand boxes, a bounce house, and jungle gym. If you're going solo, check out the nighttime events for adults.

Sand is nice, but where's the water? Thanks to SA Parks & Recreation, there are 24 swimming pools dotted across town where you can soak your head for free. A few pools offer opportunities for early morning lap swimming (7:30-9:30 a.m.); all are open until either 8 or 9 p.m. Call (210) 207-3299 for individual locations and hours. One of our favorite pools is at San Pedro Park (1415 San Pedro), where you can dry off after a good dunking, and take in a play nearby at the San Pedro Playhouse (800 W Ashby) during selected weekends.

The Summer Issue 2012
  • Daytrippin': Luling Luling, known to many in San Antonio as that spot off I-10 where Buc-ee's makes an appearance, defies most conventions of a tourist town. There's plenty of free parking... | 6/20/2012
  • Daytrippin': The Upper Guadalupe Tubing, Lone Star beer, bad tattoos, sunburns, chicken fried steak at the Gristmill … it's a central Texas tradition. But it's good to remember the Guadalupe doesn't... | 6/20/2012
  • Daytrippin': The Comal River After securing your tube from one of the nearby vendors (we chose Rockin' R River Rides, 1405 Gruene, just outside historic New Braunfels), it takes about 20 minutes... | 6/20/2012
  • Daytrippin': Corpus Christi Summer has arrived, and no my friends, she is not friendly. Her seasonal fever can suck you dry as you drag your way through desolate parking lots and... | 6/20/2012
  • Daytrippin': Enchanted Rock and Fredericksburg I live in a German town, so the idea of vacationing to a place like Fredericksburg, which sells itself with Biergartens and chocolate shops, doesn't really appeal to the... | 6/20/2012
  • Daytrippin': The Snake Farm Thanks to the magical combination of severe insomnia and Animal Planet programming, I finally discovered the greatness of Steve Irwin. For years, I dismissed him as the parody... | 6/20/2012
  • Buggy summer Many news outlets have reported that this summer would be one of San Antonio's buggiest. This is a myth. While various insects are crawling (and flying) around the... | 6/20/2012
  • Pickup basketball After spending ungodly hours watching the NBA this playoff season, it's time to get off your ass, lace up your sneakers, and get on the court. But don't settle for... | 6/20/2012
  • How to survive the summer: bunkering lessons for locals Why we haven't figured out yet that even with air-conditioned rooms and air-conditioned cars it's just plain whacked to get up with the sun and stay awake through the heat of... | 6/20/2012
  • Plastic Beach Photography and fashion styling by Bryan Rindfuss. Visual Art by Erin Curtis | 6/20/2012
  • Bus or bust Yes, "Everything's bigger in Texas." I get it. The sheer size of this state is daunting to a bleary-eyed driver. We may long for cheap, fast commuter rail linking Texas... | 6/20/2012
  • Summer camp roundup CCamp Disney gives children ages 5-18 the chance to perform songs from some of Disney's popular musicals including Alice in Wonderland, The Little Mermaid... | 6/20/2012
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