Step out into the beauty of the West Texas city of San Angelo! Off the beaten path, San Angelo abounds with outdoor adventures in the gorgeous cactus-ridden countryside. The city is filled with memories of our country’s rich Old West history together with bright, fun flavors of present day pop culture. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a family filled adventure, there are so many things to do outside in San Angelo, Texas.
**DISCLOSURE: THIS POST WAS PART OF A SPONSORED PROJECT IN CONJUNCTION WITH MEMBERS OF THE TEXAS TRAVEL ALLIANCE TO FEATURE THEIR MEMBERS. THE PARTNERSHIP INCLUDED LODGING, FOOD & BEVERAGE, AND COMPENSATION FOR THE TRIP. THE OPINIONS REFLECTED ARE HONEST AND BASED UPON THE INDIVIDUAL BLOGGER EXPERIENCE.
1. San Angelo State Park
San Angelo State Park is most famous for its bison and Official Texas State Longhorn herds. Though not especially an early riser, I jumped out of bed in anticipation of my bison and longhorn tour at San Angelo State Park. The drive to the park from my hotel in San Angelo took only about fifteen minutes! There was no traffic to worry about. Ahh!
Seeing these gorgeous beasts from days gone by, as it were, close up was a dream! The tour took me to where the bison and longhorn are fed in the mornings, and I had the opportunity to watch them eat, interact, and take care of their young. My tour guide was fantastic and filled our time with all kinds of interesting information about the animals. It was a great morning!
With over 50 miles of some of the best trails in the area, San Angelo State Park is the perfect place to hike or bike. If your family loves dinosaurs as ours does, you won’t want to miss the two-mile Dinosaur Trail where you can see fossilized tracks of creatures that predate dinosaurs!
Spend the day hiking and fishing or camp for the week in your choice of water and electricity, primitive drive-up, or backpack sites, or if you’d rather, reserve a log cabin. There is so much to do outside at San Angelo State Park!
2. Fort Concho
History where it happened! It’s always on my list to visit historical sites when I travel, and I knew I had to see Fort Concho. There is a museum and gift shop on the property, but most of the site is enjoyed outdoors with some of the buildings open to browse.
Fort Concho was established along the banks of the Concho River in 1867. It served to protect frontier settlements as well as to patrol and map the expansive West Texas terrain. The Fort Concho National Historic Landmark includes most of the old army post as well as twenty-four original and restored buildings. If you love history, you won’t want to miss stopping by Fort Concho.
3. International Waterlily Collection
One of the world’s leading waterlily collections can be found at Civic League Park in San Angelo, Texas! In fact, the International Waterlily Collection has been designated by the International Waterlily & Water Gardening Society as the premiere collection of waterlilies in existence! It is a sight to behold. We especially enjoyed watching the bees and dragonflies dart in and around the beautiful waterlilies. The multi pool display is the personal collection of Ken Landon, and I was surprised to find out the park only showcases a small percent of his work. It is open to the public free of charge and has active flowering displays from April to October every year.
4. Concho Riverwalk
With drinks in hand, my daughter Grace and I strolled the Concho Riverwalk. We encountered multiple gardens and parks along the path. It is a beautiful place to talk, get some exercise, fish, walk the dog, or have a picnic. We enjoyed watching the ducks who were not at all afraid of us! Everyone we passed nodded or greeted us. When we asked locals questions, they were always friendly and helpful. We fell in love with the people of San Angelo!
5. Outdoor Art Scene
Throughout the city of San Angelo, you will find outdoor art that will turn your head and sometimes take your breath away. Here is just some of the art you will find in San Angelo:
San Angelo Sheep Statues
All over the city of San Angelo are fiberglass statues of sheep. Decorated by local artists, the sheep statues pay tribute to San Angelo’s history as a wool marketing center. Have fun finding over 100 sheep! We certainly enjoyed every sheep encounter.
Historic Murals of San Angelo
There are 15 historic wall murals to discover in San Angelo. Each one brings to life on the city walls of San Angelo an aspect of the west Texas frontier life. I’ve always loved imagining what life used to be like. The murals around San Angelo inspire us to learn more about the hard working people that came before us.
Hidden downtown in the alleyway behind Firestone on West Concho Avenue and Texas Theater on West Twohig Avenue, is Paintbrush Alley! Colorful murals portray Texas culture in the theme of the 1956 motion picture Giant. The Western drama, which depicted life in West Texas, featured Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor, and James Dean. You will encounter each of these stars in the murals of Paintbrush Alley!
Pop Art Museum
Pop Art Museum was a former downtown bowling alley from the 1950s turned art masterpiece! It can be found at 125 West Twohig Ave. Over 30 local artists came together to create this highly Instagrammable, pop inspired space filled with unique artistry with eye catching “Pop.”
Enjoy exploring outside in San Angelo!
There is so much to explore outside in San Angelo. The city drew me into the Old West! Whether I was encountering bison and longhorn at San Angelo State Park or wandering around downtown, hints of life as it used to be in West Texas were showcased all around the city. It was the perfect setting for a girl trip with my daughter to take in the fresh, sunny air of the great outdoors!
Whatever the occasion may be, I know you will fall in love with San Angelo. For more inspiration on how to spend your time in San Angelo click over to Discover San Angelo!
When it comes to outdoor adventures in San Angelo, thankfully, even with Covid-19 restrictions that come and go there are only a few things to consider. Have a mask ready to enter buildings that may require it. Call ahead! You may need to make reservations at San Angelo State Park. Hours and tours at Fort Concho may be limited, so calling ahead will give you the latest information.