Being a bicyclist, I have traveled nearly every nook and cranny of downtown San Antonio and surrounding areas. There’s really nothing like pedaling downtown in the early morning as I breathe in the smell of meat being cooked while passing restaurants along the way. The same goes for areas which ring the downtown in ever larger circles around the heart of San Antonio.
The early bird gets the worm is an expression and for me represents I get to pretty much have the roadways and points of interest to myself before the city is fully awake. Two of my favorite points of interest are Yanaguana Park and The Pearl. I like Yanaguana Park for a number of reasons; there is a large, clean public restroom available for men and women and there are a number of tables with chairs to sit and enjoy a few hours to study/play chess. You can eat a packed meal then take in the beautiful sights the park has to offer including the Hemisfair Tower; a water relief around said tower, outdoor art to stroll by an area for children to play (swings, climbing equipment, etc.), a nearby Italian restaurant to grab a slice of pizza if you didn’t pack a meal, free games of ping pong, a large floor chess set, a stone table imbedded with a chess board (I believe the city has plastic chess pieces but you can bring your own) and much more.
As it gets later in the morning, this park has a good number of people who use it. I like The Pearl just as much as Yanaguana Park. You can find restaurants on the grounds, tables and chairs to relax a bit on, tables imbedded with chess boards with chairs if you have chess pieces and wish to play a few games, clean public restrooms for men and women, pop up shops, brick and mortar shops, a place to rent bicycles, the San Antonio Riverwalk near the edge of this place and much more. You could easily spend the entire day taking in all The Pearl has to offer. I myself have been meaning to stop in to the nationally renowned Hotel Emma to enjoy a cup of coffee and drink in the hotel’s amazing atmosphere.
Do you know of a place here in San Antonio where chess players gather outdoors to play?