As famous as the double decker buses of London are the river boat cruises of San Antonio's River Walk. Get a good deal of history and a good grasp of the downtown area while enjoying good, warm Texas weather!
The tours last about 30-45 minutes so if you're visiting June-September make sure to bring a hat, sunglasses and some sunscreen! If not, you could be in a bunch of pain afterwards!
Open Daily from 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM.
If you are there during the Christmas season make sure to take one at night so you can see the River Walk all lit up!
The Riverwalk is a fun place at any time of the year, but especially magical during the Christmas season (the month of December). There are lights in the trees lining the Riverwalk and everyone is bustling about getting Christmas gifts! There is a beautiful tree in the RiverCenter Mall plaza that is a great symbol of the giving season. Just walk around and soak up the wonderful time of year!
The river cruise has taken us past this interesting building several different times and yet we didn't know too much about it. When we arrived home recently, I decided to do some research on it.
The Aztec Theatre was constructed in 1926 at the cost of $1.75 million dollars. It was designed in the Meso-American style with special effects and authentic columns and artifacts.
At one time, a 26 piece orchestra and 16 chorus girls performed on stage. When it opened for business, it was a very popular venue for San Antonio residents.
The theatre had to be renovated in the 1980's. Through this effort it was plucked from ruin and is now on the National Register for Historic Places.
The Aztec Theatre is currently closed for further renovation, but will open again in Spring 2008. It offers the public shows such as The Phantom of the Opera and others of that genre.
For further informastion call: 210-227-3930 or see www.aztecontheriver.com
The Arneson River Theatre is situated along the River Walk and offers stepped seats which begin at river level below and ascend to the restored village of La Villita above. The river winds along the River Walk, separating the stage from the seating.
The theatre was built in 1939 and designed by architect Robert Hugman. Hugman's inspired idea to construct canals throughout this area created San Antonio's famed River Walk.
Performances are given as pedestrians freely move along the walkway up and down the canal in front of the viewing area. The seats are of stone, so it's not like settling down on a plush theatre cushion, but they are adequate. A number of events are held in this area each year.
UPDATE: Celebrating New Year's with our family from Chile was alot of fun. Naturally, we had to sample the river cruise, so a few of us took to the water. (picture 2).
One can't visit San Antonio without noticing boat after boat floating up the narrow river channel alongside the River Walk. We couldn't wait to take a ride!
We had been eyeing the boats all afternoon, but they weren't covered and the hot, hot sun just beat down mercilessly. That evening, we stood in a quickly moving line and had the pleasure of a meandering ride on the San Antonio river. We eased our way along the River Walk, passing colorful restaurants and shops as tourists wandered along the walkway beside us. Our guide made humorous remarks during his time with us while handing out tidbits of information about this historic town.
Rio San Antonio Cruises offer a 30-35 guided tour departing every 15-20 minutes. The charge for adults is $6.50; children 1-5 $1.50. I believe we caught it near the Hilton Hotel.
The Riverwalk is truly the heart of San Antonio. It takes a bit of imagination to realize that this stretch of river and walkway, lined with restaurants, shops, apartments, hotels and parks - and always busy with people having a good time - had its inception in a devastating flood that caused the death of 50 people.
From the earliest days the river was the region's main thoroughfare, used by everyone living in the area. Even then it was prone to flooding but, thanks to the ingenuity of the flood control works put in place during the 1940s, the city has been spared any further disasters and today most of the people enjoying themselves along the Riverwalk probably have no idea of the real purpose behind it.
Boat cruises operate along the river all day and into the night. They're quite short - only 35-40 minutes but you get a commentary and the view of the buildings lining the river is very attractive from water level. Check the website here for details of price, times, etc.
There are plans currently afoot to extend the Riverwalk for at least another two miles through the city.
The riverwalk is a place where everyone from everywhere else goes to enjoy. It is fun to walk at night and enjoy the balmy night air. Christmas time they put Christmas lights in the trees making it quite beautiful
The Riverwalk is a 'must see' in San Antonio. It is located below the street level with sidewalks on both sides. There isn't any railing, so if you fall in don't worry, the depth is only 2-4 feet.
On your first visit to San Antonio, you must do the Riverboat cruise. This tour is highly informative and will give you a lot of information about the history of the Riverwalk, the events that happened there, and you'll learn more about the historic hotels that you see along the way.
There are many restaurants and shops on both sides of the river. I highly recommend Boudro's Texas Bistro. Order the guacomole, it's awesome!
The San Antonio Riverwalk has two axes, one along the main San Antonio river, I believe, and the other a spur from some tributary leading to it. The engineering of the Riverwalk was available in our hotel, but I still didn't understand how the water was circulated from the main river. In any case, the city managed to keep from closing over what must have been by the 1940's an open sewer. The water isn't pretty, except in the glimmer of the lamps at night, but the passageways and paths along either side are a pleasant jog. Numerous restaurants and hotels line either side as well, unfortunately, few open early for breakfast or stay open late into the evening. We walked the dog, but greenry are basically potted plants or trees planted without much soil around them. The paths are so narrow in places that a couples can't pass each other without making single file. Yet, this winding little trail of uneven pavement is really quite pleasant and a must do activity in San Antonio's downtown.
The Riverwalk is well-known as the heart of San Antonio's tourism, dining, entertainment, and nightlife scene. Tourists love scooting up and down the river in the cheesy flat-bottom boats and jostling each other along the narrow sidewalks barely avoiding knocking each other into the filthy water. Where else in the world can you eat at Joe's Crab Shack, Dick's Last Resort, Hard Rock Cafe, Starbucks, an Irish Pub (choose any of the 3 or 4), or Tony Romas? That's right...just about any city in America!!!! Why even bother leaving home?
As you probably guessed, I was not overly impressed by the Riverwalk... an amazing job of downtown revitalization, yes. As a place to find much of anything the slightest bit original or reasonably priced, no. This place is packed full of so many people it often looks and feels like Disneyworld...lines, rides, high prices and all. I found it much more pleasant to walk the street and avoid the whole mess.
It does have some beautiful scenery, especially along the north and south stretches of the Riverwalk away from the flocks of people.
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