Long recognized as one of San Antonio’s main charms, the Riverwalk has beckoned tourists and locals alike. If you want to have a night out on the town in San Antonio, the Riverwalk is the place to go.
The Riverwalk is comprised of over 15 miles of cobblestone walkways and arched bridges, as well as restaurants, bars, and hotels. As you walk along the San Antonio river at dusk, skyscrapers and hotels soar overhead. You can see their reflections in the water below you.
It's undeniable that the Riverwalk is one of the best ways to experience San Antonio's beauty. So you can make the most out of your experience, here's the definitive guide to most well-visited attraction in the city:
There are many ways you can navigate the riverwalk, though one of the best things to do is to take a boat along the river!
As of Oct. 1st, 2017, Go Rio San Antonio River Cruises is the main tour boat company in SA. This is a reasonably affordable way to see a lot and learn more about the San Antonio River.
If you plan on walking, many parts of the Riverwalk are wheelchair-friendly. Use this ADA accessibility map to check out the best places to go.
Although the Riverwalk is easy to navigate, the 15 miles of possibility mean that you should read about the must-see spots along this historic walkway. There are so many different experiences that you can have—so don’t limit your time at the Riverwalk to one crowded stretch of the river!
The Riverwalk is where you can find some of San Antonio's best food and entertainment. Here's a breakdown of all the best spots along the way:
Beginning south of Brackenridge Park, The Pearl is quite possibly San Antonio’s most beautiful development that has been built in the past couple years. Located in the old Pearl Brewery space, The Pearl now features several delicious restaurants, coffee shops, bookstores, and wine bars.
Other notable features of this converted brewery space are the homemade pop tarts at Bakery Lorraine, the Farmer’s Market that pops up every weekend, and a cold craft beer and fine southern cooking at Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery.
West of the Grotto
A few blocks down from The Pearl, just west of The Grotto, The San Antonio Museum of Art is a must-see with amazing galleries and events that rotate quarterly. Art lovers will not be disappointed.
For a more tame Riverwalk experience, check out Ocho at the Hotel Havana for delicious mojitos and pan-Latin eats. This is a top spot for a classy date night.
A popular upscale American restaurant along the Riverwalk is Restaurant Gwendolyn. You’ll want to plan ahead for this laid-back experience, but the great service makes up for the slow pace. When speedy service is a must, grab a bowl of ramen or a plate of sushi at Kimura, which is conveniently located behind Restaurant Gwendolyn.
Between San Fernando Cathedral & Market Street
The most famous stretch of the Riverwalk is the loop between San Fernando Cathedral & Market Street adjacent to the Alamo. Find the tourist’s dream lineup: Joe’s Crab Shack, Boudro’s, Dave & Buster’s, and Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse. You can get just about any type of cuisine along this stretch, from Italian to Japanese. Note that this area is typically very crowded, particularly at night during the weekend.
For drinks, check out Durty Nelly’s Irish Pub if you like joining in on a rowdy crowd, throwing peanut shells on the ground, and eating Irish-inspired food. Lastly, for lunch you might try some affordable and easy German food at Schilo’s. Situated in a 19th century building, the old-world charm of Schilo’s is sure to win you over.
South of the River
Moving several blocks south along the river, you’ll find the scenic Blue Star Arts Complex. Get a cold one at Blue Star Brewing Company or a cocktail and s’mores at Halcyon. For farm-to-table pizzas and cold beers, try Stella’s Public House. If it’s sushi you want, check out Sukeban.
In the early 1700s, Franciscans set up several distinct missions along the San Antonio River. It would be remiss to write about the restaurants and attractions along the river and not mention the trails from mission to mission along the river.
Moving south along the riverwalk, you will find The San Antonio Missions National Park. This park is now also recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. You can use this map to bike the missions, or navigate your way along over 20 miles of historical exploration.
We highly recommend you bike or drive your way from mission to mission to learn about the history of this southwestern city. Follow the map to view each mission:
1. The Alamo
2. Mission Concepción
3. Mission San José
4. Mission San Juan + Espada Aqueduct
5. Mission Espada
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