AKA the Paseo del Rio, the San Antonio River Walk was the brainchild of Robert Hugman, widely regarded as "The Father of the River Walk," who developed a way to turn the annual flooding of the San Antonio River into the greatest tourist attraction in Texas and an amazing moneymaker for business owners and the city of San Antonio. In the process he used native South Texas limestone to create 21 blocks of bridges, walkways, and buildings which are very reminiscent of what the city might have resembled after her first settlers began to arrive. (After all, the Alamo fits right into the décor.) Because the River Walk is 10-15 feet below the surrounding city sprawl, you can be within a few feet of modern urban sprawl and yet feel hundreds of years and miles away. The setting also provides remarkable protection from the summer humidity and winter winds. As you walk along the peaceful, but increasingly crowded walkways, You may not even realize that you are traversing one of the most unusual and well thought out urban parks in America. The San Antonio River Walk is a public park open 365 days per year which is lined on both sides with individual businesses including restaurants, shops, bars, hotels, and other attractions.
This is not, however, the River Walk of my days living in San Antonio. From Hugman's original 21 blocks, this quintessential bright café-table-lined downtown path now spans 15 miles, thanks to two culture-focused additions: The Museum Reach which leads directly to the San Antonio Museum of Art, and the Mission Reach which cuts a path to the newly designated missions, all of which are active parishes. Catch a mariachi mass for free on Sundays at Mission Concepción and/or MIssion San Jose.
When I lived in San Antonio, you could only walk along the pathways of the River Walk or float along on barges. Today, you can also kayak or bicycle along much of its course.
In spite of his vision and its subsequent success, Hugman was fired halfway through the development of the original River Walk and never undertook another project of such scope and success.
Several decades ago the San Antonio River flooded, causing the city leaders to propose and build a solution, the Riverwalk. It is a canal into which river water is diverted so that the San Antonio level is controllable. A walking path lines the waterway with shops and restaurants fronting it. Shade trees have grown majestic. Boats carry tourists on a loop. Bring your zoom lens and stroll the path and you'll have many opportunities for pictures.
Anyone that that appreciates art and visits the River Walk will definitely be pleased in seeing the colorful spread of artistic talent here. Colorful mosaics and paintings along the walk catch your eye and as soon as you think that have seen the most colorful eye catching design you see yet another one just interesting right around the corner.
The designs are definitely inspirational and don't be surprise if you catch yourself thinking about how you might design your kitchen with similar colors and designs.
I'd hate to sum up an entire city by one attraction, but the San Antonio's Riverwalk is alone a reason to visit this great Texas city. It's beautiful, swank, hip, rugged, classy, all rolled into one. In addition to the breathtaking views, it's clean, safe, and there's a magnificent boat ride, sort of like a water taxi. There's shops, great restaurants, and really great bars and nightlife. There's definitely something here for the entire family! I can't wait to go again!
The Riverwalk (Paseo del Rio) is a nice relaxing walkway along the river one level down from the hustle and bustle of the downtown area. It is lined with hotels, restaurants, bars and trendy shops along with the usual stores and has a number of access points throughout the downtown area. It seemed cooler than the streets on the hot summer day I was there. Shop, enjoy a meal at a sidewalk café, listen to live music or just escape the fast pace of San Antonio. You can walk down the sidewalks or ride one of the boats that cruise the river every 1/2 hour.
I've experienced the san Antonio River Walk several times now (latest was Jan. 2013) and even in winter with the leafless trees along the area, it is still relaxing and fun.
The San Antonio River Walk is a public park open 365 days a year, lined with individual businesses composed of restaurants, hotels, attractions and more and is the number one tourist attraction in Texas.
River Walk consists of a network of walkways along the banks of the San Antonio River, one story beneath approximately 5 miles of downtown San Antonio. Lined by bars, shops and restaurants, the River Walk is an important tourist attraction.
The River Walk winds and loops under bridges as two parallel sidewalks, lined with restaurants, shops, hotels and more. It connects the major tourist draws from the Alamo to Rivercenter Mall, Arneson River Theatre and La Villita, the San Antonio Museum of Art, and the Pearl Brewery.
Over 20 events take place on the River Walk every year.
See and experience River Walk to get a sample of the Texas southwestern lifestyle, taste the southwestern and Mexican cuisine, and just enjoy being outdoors with the option of active living or simply soaking in life in a laid back venue,
The River walk is great place to spend your holiday. It has a Great family friendly atmosphere, with wonderful restaurants, music, and fun. My family and I have spent many weekends and holidays just walking around, looking at the sights, listening to the Mariachis, and enjoying some great mexican food! The price ranges are pretty good, and the food excellent.
To me famous San Antonio Riverwalk was just like taking a nice walk along the town's area that is bordering the San Antonio River. But yes, there one can indeed find out how San Antonio is a romantic, never-ending celebration.
From the waters of the San Antonio River spring forth a vibrant city rich in over three centuries of tradition. According to legend, a Spanish missionary traveling through Texas came upon a tribe of Payaya Indians who lived among the wild grapes and Cypress Trees upon the banks of a sparkling oasis. The oasis they had found was named Rio Saint Antonio de Padua, from whence The San Antonio River derives its name.
We enjoyed another beautiful day of great weather when we went to the Riverwalk.
There were not any long lines waiting for the boats when we bought our tickets. We paid $5 for a senior rate for the Riverboat Cruise. Our guide pointed out the significant buildings along the river. It's a different way to see the city of San Antonio, and later when you walk along the river, you can identify places that were mentioned by the guide. You can pick up the Riverboat Cruise just a very short walk from the Alamo. We walked through the mall that is there, which took us to the river.
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.
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.
Should you not want to walk the entire Riverwalk, there are 35-40 minute guided tours of the river that run from 9am-9 pm, currently it is $7.75 for the cruise. You can also take a river taxi for less with no narration for $4 one way or all day for $10. You can even charter a boat and have lunch or dinner if you have a large group, we saw 3 or 4 boats all with ladies with crowns of flowers on their heads having lunch, they stopped near Boudro's every 20-30 minutes to get another course.