The Riverwalk San Antonio TX is the second most popular tourist attraction in this southern state city for good reason. It is a colourful, relaxing, as well as an entertaining way to spend a romantic day or evening.
On planning my trip to San Antonio I was excited to be going to see The Alamo, yet all the Texans I spoke to before my trip kept talking about the San Antonio riverwalk. I was curious to know why they were so excited. Apparently the riverwalk is disputed as either the first or second most popular tourist attraction in Texas. Little wonder there are over 20 million visitors a year to San Antonio.
The San Antonio river, sharing the same name of the city has gone through various guises and renewals. It was often a driver for commerce and remains so today.
The riverwalk in San Antonio bustles in the heart of the city with restaurants, bars, shops and hotels. A far cry from a muddy, dirty river of the early 1900s.
The origins of the development came as local people pushed for the river area to be cleaned up. Engineers worried that vegetation would hamper any suitable new flood defences. A massive flood in 1921 which swamped a lot of the city supported their view.
A suitable compromise has now been implemented making the riverwalk in San Antonio TX as a place full of lush greenery, thriving commerce, as well as a number of well disguised flood defences.
Early versions of what we see today was completed in 1941 by architect Robert H H Hugman (you may even see his name on the riverwalk). However with the 1968 HemisFair being held in San Antonio, the increase in hotel capacity and desire to make the location world class drove much change.
In more recent decades the riverwalk San Antonio Texas has been extended further to now provide a 13 mile stretch from Brackenbridge Park to Mission Espada.
There is often natural wildlife living by and on the river. So you’ll never be short of seeing a duck or two.
The San Antonio river is actually quite shallow and narrow for the duration of the riverwalk. The water is maybe 2-3 feet deep.
The riverwalk pavement is at times quite narrow too. People can pass each other but at times it must be with care.
San Antonio Riverwalk Restaurants
You’ll never struggle to find any San Antonio Riverwalk restaurants as they spill out with terracing towards the pathway. Little wonder the views make a romantic and picturesque setting to any dining experience.
Numerous bridges make crossing the river easy at almost any point.
There are also a number of beautiful man made water features such as waterfalls. Little wonder this is a place for lovers.
There is also a small heart shaped island on the river where weddings and photo shoots are held.
From street level you will find numerous signs directing you down to the riverwalk of San Antonio. Since it is located in the very heart of the city you will not miss them. It was also only a few minutes walk from my hotel.
The busiest part of the riverwalk is the almost square like flow of the river which is accessible from the streets of: Crockett, W Commerce, E Market, St Mary’s, Navarro and Pressa.
You can also gain access to the San Antonio Rivercentre Mall and the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center as well as HemisFair Park from the walk.
San Antonio Riverwalk Map
You’ll find the San Antonio riverwalk map is displayed along numerous parts of the pathway around the centre of the city.
If you don’t fancy walking for long parts of the riverwalk there are boating options.
River taxis run fairly frequently and the stops are clearly laid out.
What you will notice are numerous boat tours by Rio San Antonio Cruises. These blue and red barge type boats dominate the central part of the riverwalk San Antonio Tx. Tours last just over 30 minutes and it helps you understand the history and features of this main San Antonio attraction.
You can join the tour under Market Street and Alamo St. There are ticket offices at both ground level and beside the riverwalk.
I found the boat tour to be very enjoyable and informative. Although be prepared for some rather corny jokes by the boat driver.
Here are some more of my pictures from the Riverwalk San Antonio TX
My main purpose for visiting the city was to see The Alamo, however I have to say the riverwalk San Antonio TX was a real delight to add onto my trip.