Snaking through the middle of downtown is the Riverwalk, a collection of restaurants, shops and hotels. Taking a stroll down the concrete banks is a must. The Riverwalk itself, is beneath street level making it a wonderful getaway from the hussle and bussle noise of the city.
A great thing about the Riverwalk is the ease of which you are able to weave in and out of all the various stores, hotels, restaurants and cafes as you walk along the banks. If you areunable to make that walk, another great option would be to use the Venice-style tour/cruise. It lasts about 45 minutes as you slowly float along the river. Either way, the Riverwalk is a really cool place.
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 River Walk is also called Paseo del Rio.
If it was not for this famous river, the Spanish would not have come to lay down plazas and build Adobe walls.
Multi colored umbrellas line some of the restaraunts. The River walk is lined with bars and restaraunts. It is SO much fun to go there.
The Paseo del Rio, in the heart of downtown, is the pride of the city. Lush green foliage lines the banks of this peaceful, historic river. Cobblestone walkways lead visitors to the river-level restaurants and shops. The river bubbles to the surface on the grounds of the University of the Incarnate Word and flows to downtown and beyond, threading its way through the city one level below the hustle and bustle of city streets. First called Yanaguana by the Payaya Indians, meaning "place of refreshing waters." Along the horseshoe shaped riverbend, the river is shaded by towering cypresses, oaks and willows and bordered by gardens of flowering ornamental plants. River cruisers travel the River Walk’s three miles past unique retail shops, restaurants and nightclubs.
Hmm, won't talk about almost falling into the river and other interesting times haha
Great place to hang out with friends..or to meet new ones.
next to the alamo the river walk is san antonio's most visited attraction. the river walk was the idea of robert hugman in the late 1920's. he wanted to call the project the shops of "aragon and romula". funding for the river walk came in 1939 as a WPA project. sidewalks were built along the the river and over 20 bridges were constructed. the river walk was completed in 1941. today the river walk is lined with restaurants, bars, and shops. a must see site when in san antonio.
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.
If you prefer not to walk, you can take one of the boat trips. This is not too expensive but I have been hesitating to classify this tip in the tourist traps. Even if the river bend is quite nice, as everything is said by its name, this is a walk! I can't understand how people can chose to be packed in these boats to listen to some flat comments.
If the Alamo is San Antonio's historic center, the Riverwalk is its entertainment heart. Indeed, most everyone seems to congregate on the Riverwalk, especially on Saturday nights.
Much of San Antonio's nightlife and many of the better restaurants are on the Riverwalk. It's also a beautiful place to just walk around, snap some some great pictures and take in the city. Please note that the Riverwalk is rather narrow in spots; you may have to squeeze past some people to get around, lest you fall in the river! Note especially several of the stone bridges that span the river; most are quite lovely in their own right. Christmas is an especially fine time to be on the Riverwalk - they hang the Christmas lights straight down from the trees, creating a wonderful effect.
As well as being lovely, the Riverwalk is lively too. It's got many terrific Mexican and Southwestern restaurants and several bars - both local and more touristy places like the Hard Rock Cafe and Coyote Ugly. Many of the hotels in town are at or near the Riverwalk, and it's got quite a few shopping opportunities too.
I found the Riverwalk to be a very charming place to just walk around. It's also a very romantic place - bring your special person with you; I'm sure they'll love it too. It's especially beautiful at night.
If you're in San Antonio, you'll end up at the Riverwalk not long after you get there. Take some time to soak it all in - it's a great experience.
One of the best ways to experience the Riverwalk is on a boat tour. Tours leave several times an hour and last about 30 minutes. The boat tour allows you to see the Riverwalk area from a different perspective, and your knowledgeable tour guide will tell you all about it's history, along with some fun facts you never would find out just from touring on your own. There are also some nice picture taking opportunities.
One hint: Riverwalk boat tours fill up quickly during sunset hours; it's quite a spectacular time to be out there. Unless you like crowds, you may want to take your tour during the day as I did. Its just as informative, and you can get many of your piccies while walking anyway.
Prices for the tour are very reasonable: $7.75 for adults, less for seniors, kids and members of the US military. Reservations can be made online or over the phone, and charters are available for large groups. This boat tour is well worth it.
FYI, the pictures on this tip were taken while I was on the boat tour.
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