The River Walk winds through the heart of downtown San Antonio, past several parks, historic missions, and other major attractions. Lined with shops, cafes, bars, and restaurants, this pedestrian- and bike-friendly waterway—home to the largest urban ecosystem restoration in the United States—is popular with tourists and locals alike, and is a must-see for any San Antonio visitor.
The River Walk has a lively vibe throughout the day and draws large crowds in the evenings; dinner reservations are recommended or you may find yourself waiting a while. A great way to experience the River Walk—other than on foot—is by taking a 35-minute boat tour, featuring entertaining stories about the San Antonio River’s rich history. You can combine the boat ride with a hop-on, hop-off bus or trolley tour, and consider adding a stop at the Tower of the Americas or the Battle for Texas Show as well.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The River Walk includes 15 miles (24 kilometers) of hiking and bike paths along the San Antonio River. The original River Walk extended just 21 blocks, from Nueva to Lexington in downtown San Antonio.
- To learn more about San Antonio’s rich history, look for historic markers and plaques along the River Walk.
- Shopping enthusiasts shouldn’t miss the Rivercenter, a four-story mall complex with more than 100 stores.
- Most of the River Walk is wheelchair and stroller accessible; check the City of San Antonio’s website for maps showing the locations of ramps and elevators.
How to Get There
The River Walk is easily accessible on foot from all over downtown San Antonio. More than a dozen hotels are set along the river. A river taxi is a great way to get around the Walk quickly.
When to Get There
The San Antonio River Walk is open 365 days a year. While most of the River Walk is open 24 hours, some park sections are open only from dawn to dusk. In downtown San Antonio, visit in the early morning to avoid the crowds, or head to the River Walk when the sun goes down for some of the best nightlife in Texas.
Along the River Walk
Learn more about the famous Alamo with a stop at the IMAX Theater to see “Alamo: The Price of Freedom.” Visit the Esquire Tavern, San Antonio’s oldest bar (dating to 1933), or head to the Pearl Brewery complex for a cooking class or dinner at one of its many eclectic restaurants. Check out the Aztec Theatre, once a lavish motion-picture theater and one of Texas’s most popular attractions—second only to the Alamo.