Photo of San Antonio's Japanese Tea Gardens.

Rock quarry turned garden oasis.

When you need a place to clear your head and commune with some koi, head over to San Antonio’s Sunken Gardens, officially named the San Antonio Japanese Tea Gardens.

The gardens are just down the road from the San Antonio Zoo in Brackenridge Park, so you can make your visit a two-for-one (garden/zoo), three-for-one (garden/zoo/miniature train) or four-for-one (garden/zoo/miniature train/park) adventure. Notice, however, that the gardens are a given. Don’t miss them! They have quite an interesting history. Plus, you won’t have to shell out any dinero. Admission to the gardens is free. Click on the photos below to enlarge.

Photo of koi at Sunken Gardens.

Too many koi to count!

Photo of Sunken Gardens' Pagoda.

Get a birds'-eye view from the pagoda.

Photo of Pagoda innards.

Ponder the pagoda's amazing structure.

Photo of the view from the pagoda.

A view from the pagoda.

Photo of a bride having her photo taken in front of a waterfall.

Bridal photo op in front of SG waterfall.

Photos of native flowers at Sunken Gardens.

Native flowers draw butterflies.

Photo of a Sunken Gardens stairway.

Get some exercise walking stairs at Sunken Gardens!

Sunken Gardens, 3853 N. St. Mary’s, is open from dawn until dusk. Call (210) 207-3053 for more information. If you plan it just right, you can pick up a pulled-pork sandwich ($4.99) at Augie’s Barbed Wire Smokehouse, 3709 N. St. Mary’s, to enjoy before, after or during your visit to the gardens.

Photo of Augie's Barbed Wire Smokehouse Pulled-Pork Sandwich.

Augie's Barbed Wire Smokehouse Pulled-Pork Sandwich