The River Walk – A Must See Attraction in San Antonio, Texas

River Walk 4Have you ever been to the River Walk in San Antonio? I had heard of this place for many years but had never been to that part of Texas. Finally we made it to the San Antonio area in November of 2010, and it was on the top of our to-do list. I will share our visit in a minute, but for those who haven’t been, or don’t know much about the River Walk, here is a little bit of history and information. 

River Walk 5According to the Riverwalk page, the Paseo del Rio, aka the River Walk, is a network of walkways one story beneath the streets of Downtown San Antonio. It runs along the banks of the San Antonio River and is lined by bars, shops, and restaurants. Today the River Walk is an important part of the city’s urban fabric and a tourist attraction in its own right. It loops under bridges as two parallel sidewalks lined with aforementioned restaurants and shops, connecting the major tourist draws from the Alamo to Rivercenter Mall, to the Arneson River Theatre, to Marriage Island, to La Villita, to HemisFair Park, to the Tower Life Building, to the San Antonio Museum of Art, and the Pearl Brewery.

River Walk 6We got there and saw a bunch of people on these cool-looking riverboats that we just had to do, lol. We got our tickets and walked around a little before taking our tour.  We weren’t in a big hurry and there was so much to see. It was quite amazing. I really did enjoy seeing the Hugman Bells at the Arneson River Theatre. They were inaugurated on November 11, 1978, and may be known by many because of the movie Miss Congeniality. It was nice to see the theatre and stage in person.

Eventually we boarded the boat and headed down the river for our 35-minute ride which covers about 1 ½ miles of the beautiful San Antonio River Walk.  While we cruised our tour guide shared a lot of history about the River Walk as well as the San Antonio area. While on the tour we saw the Lila Cockrell Theater,  many hotels including the Hyatt Regency, and too many restaurants to count.  One really caught our attention, Rita’s, and we decided to head there after the tour. We had such a nice time and the guide was very friendly and answered several questions Gene asked him.  We would highly recommend this tour when you are in the area.

River Walk 2As I said earlier, we decided to have dinner at Rita’s and slowly made our way there. It was so nice just walking around and listening to some mariachi’s playing music.  Maybe it was because we were on vacation, but it seemed so relaxing.  Rita’s was right on the water and we were lucky enough to get a table right near the water. It was incredible.

River Walk 3Our server was very and made sure we had a wonderful experience. The food was fine, but the only thing our server couldn’t fix or change was the spiciness of the food.  We were both quite disappointed in our first Tex-Mex experience.  I don’t like a lot of spicinesses, but I was hoping for a little more heat since it was Tex-Mex. Sadly it was dimmed down most likely for all the tourists. We asked the server if it could be hotter, and he said it was as hot as it comes 🙁 Gene was really disappointed because he really likes spicy food.  Oh well. I do have to say the black beans were some of the best I have ever tasted. Kudos to that.

River Walk 8There are so many attractions and things to see and do that the whole family will be entertained. Here are just a few (in no particular order) :

Natural Bridge Caverns

The  Caverns are the largest known commercial caverns in the U.S. state of Texas, and its name is derived from the 60-foot natural limestone slab bridge that spans the amphitheater setting of the cavern’s entrance. The span was left suspended when a sinkhole collapsed below it.

Ripley’s Haunted Adventure/Guinness World Records Museum 

Ripley’s Haunted Adventure is a multi-million dollar haunted house with live actors and special effects that take haunted houses to the next level. Scares lurk in every corner of this creepy renovated mansion, just waiting to “welcome” you to their home.

Guinness World Records

Enjoy a combination of world record artifacts, exhibits, videos, touch screen computers, games, and interactive trivia featuring their new Attempt Arena. Take a chance at breaking a world record during your visit!

RJA Ghost Tours

Take a walk on the haunted side with RJA Ghost Tours. Experience the paranormal in historic San Antonio as you learn about the city’s local culture, folklore, and legend.

Splashtown San Antonio

The park features a half-million-gallon wave pool, a quarter-mile-long lazy river, 40 water slides and tube rides (including 18 for guests under 48 inches (1,200 mm) tall), an activity pool with lily pads and balance logs, water, and beach volleyball, and basketball.

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The Spanish Governor’s Palace

It is the last visible trace of the 18th-century colonial Presidio San Antonio de Béxar complex and the only remaining example in Texas of an aristocratic 18th-century Spanish Colonial in−town residence

San Antonio Missions Baseball Club

The San Antonio Missions are a Minor League Baseball team of the Pacific Coast League and the Triple-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. They are named for the Spanish missions around which the city was founded.

Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard

They are one of the first olive orchards in Texas and have an 11000 tree orchard amongst century-old oaks. If interested, they offer a free tour on Saturday at 11:30.

The Pearl

The Pearl was a brewery until it was closed in 2001.  Today it hosts a twice-weekly Farmers Market, as well as year-round series of music, food, and cultural events. We enjoyed visiting their Farmers Market on one trip. You can read my post here.

Aztec Theatre

Built-in 1926, the Aztec Theatre is a notable example of the impressive exotic-theme motion picture palaces constructed in the United States during the economic boom of the 1920s. It was also part of the Theater district that included the Empire (1914), the Texas (1926), the Majestic (1929), and the Alameda (1949).

River Walk 7

The Doseum

Come and explore exhibits and programs that promote joyful learning, invite discovery, spark interest, and develop positive attitudes towards learning. Great for the kiddos in your group.

Sisters Grimm Ghost Tours

On a 90-minute Haunted History Ghost Walk, join talented guides and explore the haunted streets in the oldest parts of San Antonio. Murder, suicides, the ghosts of famous people, battles, and more.

Historic Market Square

The Market Square is a three-block outdoor plaza lined with shops, and restaurants is stated to be the largest Mexican market in the United States. The “El Mercado” section has 32 specialty shops and the “Farmer’s Market Plaza” section has 80. “Mi Tierra Cafe Y Panaderia” and “La Margarita Mexican Restaurant & Oyster Bar” are the major eateries, but snack and specialty foods are available at other shops.

Maverick Carter House

The Maverick Carter House is a Texas Historic Landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places built-in 1893. William Maverick, son of Samuel Maverick – the signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence – commissioned architect Alfred Giles to design this remarkable home museum.

SeaWorld San Antonio

SeaWorld San Antonio is a 250-acre  marine mammal park, oceanarium, and animal theme park, and is the largest of the three parks in the SeaWorld chain owned by SeaWorld Entertainment. It is also one of the world’s largest marine-life theme parks focused on conservation, education, and animal rescue.

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La Villita Historic Arts Village

La Villita Historic Arts Village is an art community with art galleries, stores selling souvenirs, gifts, custom jewelry, pottery, and imported Mexican folk art, as well as several restaurants in the district. La Villita connects to the San Antonio River Walk and its outdoor venue, the Arneson River Theatre.

Go Rio Cruises

Take a guided or specialty tour, chartered excursion, or catch a ride on a river taxi to experience the soul of San Antonio. These engaging tours are both informative and humorous. We did one of these cruises and had a great time. This is definitely a must-do while on the River Walk.

It is a place for shoppers to trade, buy, barter, and play. It features over 1,000 vendors, selling virtually anything and everything from tires to turkey legs. Traders Village San Antonio is a swap meet, treasure hunt, shopping complex, county fair, and festival attraction all rolled into one.
The Majestic Theatre is San Antonio’s oldest and largest atmospheric theatre. The theatre seats 2,264 people and was designed by architect John Eberson, for Karl Hoblitzelle’s Interstate Theatres in 1929. It was also the first theatre in the state to be totally air-conditioned.
McNay was an American painter and art teacher who inherited a substantial oil fortune upon the death of her father. The museum was named after her, and includes galleries of medieval and Renaissance artwork and a larger collection of 20th-century European and American modernist work. Upon her death, the house was bequeathed to the City of San Antonio.
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The Shops at Rivercenter (formerly known as Rivercenter Mall) is a shopping mall is anchored by Macy’s, H&M, as well as a 38-story, 1,001-room Marriott hotel. It is a great place to pick up souvenirs.
Apparently you will find this museum is as devoted as much to general Western history as it is to art.  This small downtown museum pays its respects to cowboys, Hispanic settlers, Native Americans, and the women of the west. We actually didn’t go into the museum during our visit but did check out the McNutt Statue Garden.  You can find my post here.
Legoland Discovery Center San Antonio features ten themed Lego play zones, Lego San Antonio Miniland, two Lego-themed rides, and our 4D cinema. Sea Life San Antonio is an amazing underwater world complete with beautiful creatures from local and international waters. This fun, family-friendly experience aims to amaze and educate visitors with a love for our ocean. I’ve done the Sea Life in Kansas City, and it was amazing.
An escape room, also known as an escape game, is a game in which a team of players cooperatively discover clues, solve puzzles, and accomplish tasks in one or more rooms in order to progress and accomplish a specific goal in a limited amount of time.[1] The goal is often to escape from the site of the game.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not is an American franchise, founded by Robert Ripley, which deals in bizarre events and items so strange and unusual that readers might question the claims. Originally a newspaper panel, the Believe It or Not feature proved popular and was later adapted into a wide variety of formats, including radio, television, comic books, a chain of museums, and a book series.
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After dinner, we walked around and just soaked up more of the entertaining atmosphere that is the River Walk. If you are in the area, it is definitely something you should spend some time visiting and walking around this amazing area that is now a Texas tourist attraction. Here is a link to a website with more information if you are planning a trip to San Antonio and the River Walk. Make sure to also check out the Alamo when in the area.  It is really cool at night as well. You can find my post here. Happy travels.


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