The San Antonio River Walk is a great place to visit when you’re looking for adult activities. With so many things to do, you can stay occupied for days. The River Walk is a sanctuary from the big city atmosphere of San Antonio. This San Antonio attraction is probably one of the best-known tourist attractions in Texas. The River Walk is a network of sidewalks on either side of the San Antonio River that links many of the other San Antonio attractions. From the River Walk you can get to the Alamo, the River Center Mall, Amazon River Theatre, the Hemisfair Park, and the Tower Life Building. The Tower of the Americas is also a short walk from one of the many River Walk exits. The San Antonio River Walk is also a great place to stop for lunch in San Antonio. Along the River Walk, you will find some of the best dining locations in San Antonio.
The River Walk
The San Antonio River Walk winds through the center of the city. The paved paths and stone bridges are lined with cypress trees. It provides access to all of the cultural hotspots, historic sites, and attractions.
You can choose to take in the serenity by walking along, renting a bicycle, or taking a river cruiser. There are a total of 15 miles worth of sidewalks and paths, providing you with access to the hotels, shops, restaurants, as well as the Alamo.
Top Attractions at Riverwalk
There’s something for everyone in San Antonio. When you are looking for an adult getaway, you simply have to decide on the types of things you want to explore.
The Alamo is located at 300 Alamo Plaza just a block away from a River Walk exit point. The Alamo is the location of a key battle in the Texas Revolution against Mexico. You can pick up a souvenir at the gift shop, see antique weapons, or a Texas Revolutionary battle reenactment. The mission is now a monument to Texans that died in the Battle of The Alamo including the famous Davy Crockett and William Travis.
Hemisfair Park is a 12-acre park near the San Antonio River Walk. In this park, you will find playgrounds, fountains, pools, miniature waterfalls, and beautiful landscaping. This is a great place to take a break and have lunch or let the kids play in the play castle or space tunnel. Also located in Hemisfair Park is the Tower of the Americas and the Institute of Texan Culture.
Tower of The Americas
The panoramic view from the 750-foot tall Tower of the Americas in Hemisfair Park near the San Antonio River Walk is the best view San Antonio has to offer. The Tower of the Americas was built in the 1960s as the centerpiece of Hemisfair Park. The rotating observation deck features a restaurant and a banquet hall. The ground floor of the Tower of the Americas features a gift shop and a cafe where you can get a snack or drink before the elevator ride to the top. The Tower of the Americas also offers a unique Texas themed 4-D film ride called Skies Over Texas.
Institute of Texan Cultures
The Institute of Texan Cultures in Hemisfair Park near the San Antonio River Walk features events, exhibits, and festivals that are dedicated to the history and culture of Texas. The Institute has a museum with rotating exhibits, an extensive Texas artifact collection, and a store with books and souvenirs. The Institute of Texan Cultures also has a library with photo archives (some photos are for sale), books, and Texas history Periodicals.
The Guenther House
The Guenther House is the former home of one of the early pioneers of San Antonio. This estate, located in one of the many historic districts in San Antonio, is open for visitors. The Guenther House Museum exhibits old mill artifacts. The Guenther House restaurant offers great dining in a unique atmosphere. You can also pick up a souvenir at the Guenther House Mill Store.
River Walk Boat Tours
A River Walk Boat Tour is an exciting way to experience San Antonio. As part of the 35-minute narrated tour, you will see the best of San Antonio while learning about its history and the history of the River Walk. You may also take a private diner cruise of the San Antonio River. River Walk Cruises launch from four locations: Market St. Bridge near the Alamo, Commerce and Bowie Street near the Rivercenter Mall, Crockett, and St. Marys Street near the Aztec Theater, and Brooklyn Street Bridge.
Woodlawn Theater is Broadway Theatre and live music venue located near the River Walk in San Antonio. Woodlawn also offers theatre workshops for singing, dance, acting, ballet and improv.
The Aztec On The River
The Aztec Theater on the River Walk in San Antonio was built in 1926 as one of the early motion picture palaces. Currently, the ground floor of the Aztec features restaurants, shopping venues, and a tribute to classic Texas Country Music.
Explore the house of Jose Antonio Navarro, one of the founding fathers of the Republic of Texas. This historic district offers exhibits and events that are dedicated to Navarro and his ranch home.
Eclectic Art Gallery
The Eclectic Art Gallery on the San Antonio River Walk exhibits art from many different styles including paintings, metal sculptures, pottery, jewelry, and much more. You can enjoy the art at the gallery or you can take it home. The art ranges in price from as low as ten dollars to as high as thousands of dollars.
The Briscoe Western Art Museum
The Brisco Western Art Museum, located on the banks of the San Antonio River, features western-themed art and exhibits. This museum was named after Dolph Briscoe, former Governor of Texas.
The Rivercenter Mall located on the River Walk in San Antonio has many department stores and specialty shops. The Rivercenter Mall also has an IMAX and a comedy club.
La Villita is a historic neighborhood on the bank of the San Antonio River. This district offers shopping, great food, art galleries, historic buildings, and special events. La Villita is the oldest neighborhood in San Antonio.
Right across the Street from the Alamo near the River Walk in San Antonio is a small entertainment district. This district features a Ripley Museum, a Guinness World Records Museum, a wax museum, and several other fun attractions.
are found everywhere in this area as well. A variety of bars and lounges are sprinkled throughout the River Walk. You can also find a number of live music and clubs, many of which have a Latin flair. Many bars also stock craft beer, allowing you to try some of the local flavors.
There are a few places for you to check out:
- Howl at the Moon
- Jazz TX
- Mad Dogs British Pub
- Tex’s Riverwalk Sports Bar
You will find a lot of shopping on the River Walk. There are shopping malls, boutiques, and an array of unique shopping experiences. La Villita Historic Arts Village and the Historic Market Square should be at the top of your list to visit when you want to bring something special home from San Antonio.
Major events and festivals take place in the area regularly, too. From Fiesta! San Antonio to Culinaria, there’s almost always something going on. Check out the calendar of events here.
Best Places to Eat at the Riverwalk
Texan cuisine is known for its beef as well as their bold flavors. Exploring some of the restaurants will allow you to embrace the cuisine. We have listed some of our favorites below.
Café Ole is home to the 60-ounce margarita and offers Tex-Mex cuisine.
Boudro’s Texas Bistro
Boudro’s Texas Bistro has been identified as one of the best restaurants in the US by Esquire Magazine.
Zocca offers authentic Italian cuisine on the Riverwalk.
The Republic of Texas Restaurant
The Republic of Texas Restaurant offers steaks as well as a half-pound hamburger.
A full list of dining options at the River Walk can be found here.
Best Places to Stay
Many hotels are located directly on the River Walk. The main benefit of staying on-site is that it’s easy for you to walk around without relying on public transportation.
La Quinta Inn & Suites San Antonio Riverwalk 303 Blum Street The economy hotel offers a free breakfast every morning. The average hotel room is $129 per night.
Drury Plaza Hotel San Antonio Riverwalk 105 S St Mary’s Street The mid-range hotel features free WiFi, breakfast, and an evening happy hour. Expect rooms to average $160 per night.
Hotel Gibbs Downtown San Antonio Riverwalk 105 N Alamo Street The upscale hotel has a restaurant and bar on-site as well as a fitness center. Rooms cost an average of $199 per night.
How to Get Around
You can do a lot of sightseeing on foot. However, the River Walk area spans a total of 15 miles. You may find it easier to take a taxi or call a ride-sharing company such as Uber or Lyft from your smartphone.
The City Sightseeing San Antonio Hop-On/Hop-Off double-decker tours are also a great way to see all of the areas. A 24-hour pass is $30 per person. You can also combine it with a River Walk Cruise for $40 per person. You can buy the tickets directly from the bus or ahead of time online.
River Walk History
Due to problems caused by flooding of the San Antonio River in the 1920s, Robert Hugman devised a plan to prevent flooding. His plan would one day become the biggest tourist attraction in San Antonio. Hugman’s planned name for this project was originally The Shops of Aragon and Romula. Because this project needed to be done during the 1920’s depression, President Franklin Roosevelt ordered its construction as part of his Works Project Administration (WPA), which is part of his plan for putting people to work and getting money flowing in the hurting economy.
Since its original construction, there have been many extensions and renovations. One of these upgrades includes a 1981 pedestrian extension that connected the Alamo Plaza to the Riverwalk with concrete waterfalls, waterways, and beautiful landscaping. The most recent extension was added to allow access to The Tower of the Americas from the River Walk. Other add-ons are planned and are in progress to make the River Walk more accessible to other San Antonio Attractions.
The River Walk that is available today wasn’t always the intention of the San Antonio authorities. The original plan was to pave over the river and use it as a sewer. Luckily, several far-sighted lady citizens of San Antonio saw it’s potential and petitioned to keep the river from being destroyed. Their work was eventually successful.
- Top Attractions at Riverwalk
- The Alamo
- Hemisfair Park
- Tower of The Americas
- Institute of Texan Cultures
- The Guenther House
- River Walk Boat Tours
- Woodlawn Theater
- The Aztec On The River
- Casa Navarro State Historical Park
- Eclectic Art Gallery
- The Briscoe Western Art Museum
- Rivercenter Mall
- La Villita
- Entertainment District
- Nightlife activities