Kayaking in Leon Valley

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San Antonio?s bustling urban environs and picturesque natural surroundings both serve as the setting for Adventure Club San Antonio?s organized, jovial group outings for singles and married couples alike. Resident staffers heed suggestions from more than 300 members and 200 fortune cookies to devise a calendar of events that brims with an average of 60 activities every month, most of which are free of charge. After perusing the bevy of activities, participants congregate amid the verdant San Antonio?area wilderness for outdoor recreation such as hiking and canoeing, or within the lively city limits for dinners, sports matches, members-only shindigs, and frequent volunteer sessions for local charities.

Aside from the chance to mingle with new friends and explore the region, members receive discounts at dozens of local businesses, and can swiftly find a companion for unofficial events and shadow-puppet castings via a handy activity partners? forum. Additionally, Adventure Club can connect members to a network of similar groups in Austin and Houston.

1201 N Loop 1604 W, #107
San Antonio,
TX
US

The low-hanging branches of southern live oak trees stretch out over the house and pavilion areas at Don Strange Ranch, dappling parties, weddings, and corporate team gatherings with splashes of sunlight. Since 1952, the 125-acre longhorn ranch in the Texas Hill Country has hosted myriad events, including scenes from the PBS music documentary series Live from the Artists Den and the wedding of country music stars Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton.

More than just a picturesque backdrop, the ranch?s rugged natural surroundings host outdoor activities such as ropes courses and kayak trips down the Guadalupe River. And the friendly staffers who man 350- to 400-foot ziplines work to ease guests out of their comfort zones, like a mother bird pushing her young out of the nest for their first extreme base-jumping lesson.

1551 Bandera Rd
San Antonio,
TX
US

S.A. Kayak Rentals equips its patrons with paddles, life vests, and their very own watercraft for self-propelled jaunts over San Antonio's many public waterways. Paddlers simply pick up their equipment and select a launch point, such as the Mission Reach Zone on the San Antonio River or the dock at Elmendorf Lake Park. Whatever location they choose, kayakers can enjoy a peaceful float amid natural surroundings and wildlife, away from the city noise and the lifeguards who frown on kayaking in public pools.

4123 Adair Bluff
San Antonio,
TX
US

Bandera RiverFest’s schedule enlivens the banks of the Medina River with a host of games, music, festival fare, and events. Witness the festival's capstone, the Anything That Floats Regatta, where decorated vessels crafted from a variety of floating materials, including foamboard and living otters, parade down the river. The dulcet tones of bands such as Fifty Dollar Dynasty and The Perfect Parrothead Party enchant eardrums, and watermelon and Big Lou’s hot-dog-eating contest and a Central Texas Barbecue Association–sanctioned barbecue cook-off challenge bellies to expand themselves. Additional events include a car show, an arts-and-crafts show, and a swap meet, where you can trade Social Security numbers.

1102 Maple Street
Bandera,
TX
US

Chuck's Tubes' team sends their customers on laid-back journeys down the Comal River's tree-lined waterways. Their inflatable vessels—which can also accommodate coolers and nonrobotic dogs—float down the river as it winds through the city of New Braunfels. Once tubers reach the end of their journey, an air-conditioned shuttle ferries them back to the launch point for another trip down the river. A private DJ spins tunes back at Chuck's Tubes' headquarters, where staff members help visitors understand maps of the Comal River and that tubes don't actually taste like donuts.

493 N Market St
New Braunfels,
TX
US

A buoyant fleet of inflatable rafts and tubes drifts lazily down two sprawling rivers populated with exciting rapids and falls. During 1.5- to 5-hour treks, guests can traverse the Comal or Guadalupe River in an inner tube, relax with a partner in a two-seater raft, or host a regulation poker game with friends inside a raft that holds up to six. Trip durations and age cutoffs may change on a daily basis depending on current river flow.

193 S Liberty Ave
New Braunfels,
TX
US