When it’s time to start planning how—and where—to spend your summer days, look no further than Texas, specifically the West Texas town of San Angelo. It’s located in the Concho Valley, where the North and South Concho Rivers meet. Whether you’re looking to enjoy the summer heat—or escape it—you’ll find plenty of adventures in San Angelo to keep you busy all summer, from lakes to old-school-style ice cream parlors and escape rooms. There’s a reason this Texas jewel is nicknamed the Pearl of the Concho. So lather on the sunblock and check out this list of the best ways to cool off this summer in San Angelo.
There’s no better way to cool off than a day at the pool, and San Angelo Municipal Pool is an aquatic wonderland. The pool has adult nights, a yearly Splash Party, a movie night and more. From swimming lessons taught by the City of San Angelo lifeguards to “free swim” hours, this community pool is a favorite with locals and visitors. It’s open Tuesdays through Sundays from noon until 6:00 p.m. Admission is $5 per person ages 3 to 64, $3 for ages 65 and older and it’s free for kids 2 and younger to enter.
Another way to enjoy the water is to hop aboard the Tule Princess Steamboat. The boat is a "walking-beam" style paddle-wheel steamboat and is the last vessel of its kind anywhere in the world. You are invited to take a 50-minute guided excursion on Lake Nasworthy, where a ride aboard the Tule Princess Steamboat costs $15 for adults, $13 for military and seniors, $9 for youth ages 9 to 17, $1 for children ages 2 to 8 and free for children younger than 2.
Or, slow down a little on Lake Nasworthy, where camping, fishing and boating are just a few of the things you can enjoy here. If you’re a fishing enthusiast, you’ll find largemouth bass, crappie, channel and flathead catfish, as well as white bass stocked here, and several fish attractors have even been installed around the lake. If fishing isn’t for you, you’ll love the parks and other chances to enjoy the serenity of the lake from the comforts of the designated camping and day-use spaces at Middle Concho Park, Knickerbocker Park, Mary Lee Park and Pecan Creek Park.
Ice Cream Delights
The summer season and ice cream go hand in hand, and Stango’s Coffee Shop & Ice Cream Parlor serves the tastiest scoops. Though the parlor also sells pizza and pies, it’s the sundaes made with homemade ice cream or the floats and shakes that keep people coming back for more, especially when the temperatures start to rise. From the famous banana splits to its popular super thick chocolate milkshakes, it doesn’t get much better—or cooler— than this in San Angelo.
Another local favorite you should visit is The Latest Scoop, an ice cream shop that’s family-owned and operated. Located on Historic Concho Avenue, you’ll find the shop by looking for the giant waffle cone topped with a pink scoop of ice cream. Or just let your senses take over and look for the smell of freshly baked waffle cones; all of the ice cream and waffle cones are made in the store.
If you want to taste a different sweetness, go for a shaved ice at Bahama Buck’s instead. You have 91 gourmet flavors to choose from, or you can sip on Frostalattes and smoothies.
Indoor Family Fun
When you need respite from the heat, head indoors to Stadium Lanes Bowling Center. Have a family competition to see who can score the most strikes. Everyone in the family can enjoy bowling from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays through Wednesdays, from 10 a.m. to midnight on Thursdays, and from 10 a.m. until 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Sit back and relax on the comfy couches in between turns, and order from the restaurant when you’ve worked up an appetite again.
For something more challenging—mentally— head to the Think in a Box Escape Room to really put your puzzle-solving skills to the test. With different themes ranging from Goldrush Cabin to Bomblastic and Industrial Chaos, you never know what clues you’ll have to answer to win.
Adult Beverages to Quench Your Thirst
Cool down after a hot day with a nice cold beer. Penny Tap House has 75 of them for you to choose from. A San Angelo staple for more than two decades, Penny Tap House has everything from amazing happy hour and daily specials— hello, truffle shuffle fries and Sriracha buffalo sliders—to a full cocktail menu. The tap house is also known for its delicious brunches on the weekends.
At 19 Thirty-Three Bar, a bar that gets its name from the year that prohibition ended, expect everything from a friendly staff to a lively atmosphere full of locals and visitors. While its specialty is whiskey, its libations menu is full of everything from classic drinks like a Sazerac and a paloma to a unique take on the hot toddy - the Cold Totty.
At the Black Swan Art Gallery and Wine Bar on South Chadbourne Street, stop in for a glass of wine or a beer but stay for the art. On a Saturday night, you’re likely to find a crowd and maybe live music, where you can let your hair down and get a real sense of San Angelo!
For a more upscale experience visit Raw 1899, an art lounge and wine bar in a century-old building. With its original tin ceiling, rock and brick walls and sand cement floor, the charm and allure of this place will leave you speechless. Order a charcuterie board and glass of wine as you admire the local artwork decorating the walls. This place is cool, cozy and the perfect spot to spend a summer night in San Angelo.
With a name like Fat Boss’s Pub, you know you’re in for an experience, especially with daily happy hour specials, such as$1 well drinks on Mondays, free pub grub on Fridays and happy hour all day on Sundays. Playing everything from rock to country to hip-hop and even the occasional “Wayback Wednesday” thrown in there, the pub is always a good time when you’re with the Fat Boss.
The Casual Pint, another San Angelo local favorite, is the spot where BeerTenders shine. Looking for something hoppy? The Casual Pint has a flavor on tap just for you. Want something brewed locally? Pick up a six-pack or a few bottles to take home with you as a souvenir of your time in San Angelo. No matter your taste, you’ll find a flight, pint, bottle, can, growler or keg for you.
And for something more casual, the Tilted Mug is the perfect spot. The bar has plenty of parking, TVs broadcasting the games and karaoke on Fridays. The Tilted Mug is a place to sit back, relax and reflect on your time in San Angelo.