Riverwalk & Riverwalk Mall, San Antonio
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.
The river boats that run up and down the River Walk are a nice way to orient yourself and pick out where you want to go for food and libations. There must be over a hundred places to eat and drink along the 4 mile stretch and riding the boat saves a lot of wear and tear. Plus the guide does a nice job pointing out the highlights and giving you the history.
Most of the River is shaded but the area around the convention center and the Mall is in the open. If you aren't used to all that sun (like us Alaskans) sun screen and a hat are a good idea. The boats go into the basin the Riverwalk Mall is built around. Usually live misc playing for the patrons of the food court.
The kiosk to buy tickets and board the boat was about three bridges to the left of the Hyatt back door as you face the river.
Known as Americas Venice, the River is one of San Antonio’s crowning jewels of Texas. It served the missionaries that arrived here in 1691 and it still serves San Antonio with its beauty and entertainment. This two and half mile stretch of flanking cobblestone walk ways, romantic arches bridges that calming emeralds waters that are a natural serene backdrop painting for restaurants, clubs, hotels, boutiques, and theatres that line the river. At night, the sounds of music and laughter can still be heard and provide couples a romantic path to stroll along all awhile enjoying the beauty of the evening.
LOL, ok enough of my poetic description, but I enjoyed the Riverwalk for its historical value and beauty. I made a point to eat at a restaurant along the Riverwalk and thoroughly enjoyed the meal and atmosphere. I loved doing all the lookie-looing I could do. Loved it!
To me these tours are always fun and educational. I do not care how many maps or information you may find about your current travel destination, local tours are usually the best because they are filled with fun facts and some facts only locals will really know. So make a point to take a tour and have some fun. I enjoyed it because of the information and was able to click off some neat photographs also!
Welcome to the River Tours!
Rio San Antonio Cruises River Tours and Rio Trans Taxi Services are available daily.
Individual fares are:
$6.50 - Adult
$4.50 - Bexar County Residents
$1.50 - Children (1-5 years)
$4.50 - Senior Citizens (60 & older) & Military
All prices are tax inclusive. Discount prices require picture ID.
Group rates are available. We offer a 10% discount on tickets purchased in bulks of 25. This rate is not available at our ticket booth. When requesting tickets through our online Ticket Form, you'll receive information about group rate discounts if the number of tickets you request qualifies for a group rate.
Hours of Operation »
Open Daily from 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
With a capacity of 1,000, this is the ideal place for concerts, weddings, plays, and other special events. It has a perfect location, on the River Walk, near hotels, restaurants, and parking. For more information, contact La Villita Facilities Rental, below.
Running from the Alamo Plaza, through the Hyatt, down to the River Walk is the Paseo del Alamo. A lovely, charming miniature River Walk, it's an excellent place for a side trip while visiting the Alamo and/or the River Walk.
A nice little walk by a river. You can take in the various stores, hotels, restaurants and cafes as you walk along the banks. Another great option would be to take tour/cruise. It lasts about 45 minutes as you slowly float along the river. The guides are really funny and informative.