If you visit San Antonio the one attraction you will more than likely visit is the famous River Walk(Paseo del Rio). This historic trail is not only beautiful but it features some of San Antonio’s best bars and restaurants.
Located one story beneath the streets of Downtown San Antonio, the River Walk’s history dates back to 1736 when the first bridge was constructed across the river connecting the Presidio with Mission San Antonio.
Through the late 1800s and early 1900s flooding on the river caused the city of San Antonio to design a bypass channel. In 1926 the Olmos Dam was completed.
In 1941 the walkways, stairways to street level, footbridge and rock walls lining banks were created, paving the way for the River Walk that know today. Over the last 70 years the city of San Antonio has worked to upgrade and maintain the charming waterway.
Today, the River Walk is a lush, beautiful path that is both serene and full of culture.
While in San Antonio for a media event last week, I was thrilled to learn that my hotel would front right on to the water. In town for only a couple days there were two musts on my agenda, navigating the River Walk and visiting the Alamo. As luck would have it I could explore one while getting to the other!
I would also quickly learn that San Antonio was set up perfectly for travelers. And if you get lost they have helpful rangers who are situated at various locations to point you in the right direction.
The River Walk is perfect for families because there is a lot to see. I should mention however that there aren’t any railings and the path itself is not very wide so if you are going to stroll along with your children make sure you keep them close. The water is said to be only 4 or 5 feet deep, but the San Antonio River looks incredibly murky so I can’t imagine you would feel ‘refreshed’ after a swim…
The one thing you will notice as you make your way down the River Walk is the number of tour boats that travel through the waters. Running at all times of the day, visitors who would like to sit back and relax while seeing the whole city will love this excursion. If I had been in the city for one extra day I would have loved tour the city on one of these boats as ‘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.’
From 9am to 9pm the boats serve as both a taxi and a tour service. Tickets for the taxi can be purchased by single trip or for a 24 hour period. Tour tickets are $8.25 (General Admission), $2.00 (Children 1-5 years), $6.00 (Senior Citizens 60 & older).
Visitors who would like an even more leisurely tour can book a Dinner, Lunch or Cocktail Cruise. The dinner cruises include appetizer, entree, dessert and non-alcoholic beverages for $37.50 plus tax and tip for Adults and $15.00 plus tax and tip for Children.
During my two nights in San Antonio I had the opportunity to eat at a couple restaurants on the River Walk and also a couple of the nights spots.
I highly recommend both Boudros Texas Bistro and Biga on the Banks for some good Texan fare and Howl at the Moon, the dueling piano bar for a good night out. Kids are not welcome at the bar, but I am sure would be admitted at both restaurants. If you are looking for something less formal the Riverwalk is FULL of casual restaurants like the Rainforest Cafe, Hard Rock Cafe and Pizza Rita’s.
For more information about tours, lodging and dining please visit TheSanAntonioRiverWalk.com