San Antonio Riverwalk

San Antonio Riverwalk

Explore the San Antonio Riverwalk locations, history, attractions and tours that give you a unique look at the city.

The San Antonio Riverwalk attraction hasn't dimmed since it was first conceived in 1929. The Riverwalk remains one of the most popular tourist spots, with over 11.5 million visitors every year.

If you're looking for San Antonio Riverwalk information you've come to the right place. The quick overview below covers all of the essentials for exploring this San Antonio landmark.


San Antonio Riverwalk History

San Antonio Riverwalk History

The San Antonio Riverwalk history begins in 1929 with an architect by the name of Robert H. H. Hugman. Mr. Hugman came up with a plan to improve the aesthetics of the river that ran through the city. While many liked his ideas, it took 10 years to get funding for the Riverwalk.

The Riverwalk project was funded by the Works Progress Administration as a part of the New Deal program. At the time it cost $430,000. That gives the San Antonio Riverwalk the distinction of being a project that helped pull America out of the Great Depression.

Over the years the San Antonio Riverwalk has had highs and a few lows. Shortly after it's completion, the Riverwalk was an immediate hit and flourished. But by the 1950s the Riverwalk had gained a reputation for seediness. To get the San Antonio Riverwalk back to its former glory, city officials hired engineers from Disneyland to help revitalize the area. It was these designers who suggested including shops at the basement levels of buildings just off the Riverwalk.

Soon after the San Antonio Riverwalk was once again a beloved attraction and the first hotel opened on the Riverwalk in 1962. In addition to shops and a new Mexican colonial design, the city began to hold a number of high-profile events and festivals along the Riverwalk, which is still customary today.

Now the San Antonio Riverwalk is a tourist playground. It's a unique attraction that combines nature with urban entertainment options for just about everyone.


San Antonio Riverwalk Boat Tours

San Antonio Riverwalk Boat Tours

If you're visiting the Alamo City, San Antonio Riverwalk boat tours are a must. One stroll down the Riverwalk and you'll see the guided tour boats cruising down the water. Mr. Hugman actually designed the archways along the river to be high enough for gondolas and small boats to pass under.

It's such a popular San Antonio Riverwalk attraction, boat tours are given every day of the week by certified tour guides. There are a number of companies providing boat tours along the Riverwalk. Rio San Antonio Cruises is among the most highly-rated and popular tour operators. The River Boats on the River Walk tours are a great choice if you want to dine while your cruise.

Just need a quick ride to another spot along the San Antonio Riverwalk? There are also river boat taxis that can take you where you need to go.


Mission San Juan Capistrano
Mission San Juan Capistrano, one of the Four Missions

Top San Antonio Riverwalk Attractions

Shops at RiverCenter
RiverCenter is a large shopping mall located at the north end of the San Antonio Riverwalk.

Tower of Americas
In the downtown section of the Riverwalk, you'll find the 750' Tower of Americas. It has an observation deck at the top, rotating restaurant, bar, and 4D movie/ride.


the Alamo

The Alamo
The Alamo is a short walk away from the Riverwalk. Don't miss this historic landmark!

El Mercado - Market Square
Market Square transforms three city blocks into a vibrant shopping district reminiscent of the outdoor plazas found in Mexico.

The Esquire
It's the oldest bar on the San Antonio Riverwalk, having opened on December 5, 1933.



Marriage Island

Marriage Island
About 225 couples a year are married at this small peninsula on the Riverwalk.

Majestic Theatre
This historic theater certainly lives up to its name. It's the city's oldest open-air theater and was built in 1929, the same year the Riverwalk's concept was conceived.

La Villita
La Villita is a historic arts village in the downtown portion of the Riverwalk. The area was settled over 300 years ago, which makes it one of the oldest neighborhoods in San Antonio.

Southwest School of Art
There's always an interesting exhibit on display at the Southwest School of Art.

San Antonio Museum of Art
The San Antonio Museum of Art is also located along the Riverwalk just north of the Southwest School of Art.

Tobin Center
One of the best ways to spend the evening on the Riverwalk is to catch a live performance at the Tobin Center for Performing Arts before or after grabbing dinner at a waterfront restaurant.

The Four Missions
Keep traveling down the Riverwalk hike and bike trail south of the city center and you'll come across the four missions. They are historic landmarks that tell the story of the city's founding and offer a beautiful look at architecture from the 1700s.



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