The River Walk – San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio RiverwalkWhen Susan of Travel Bug knew we were heading east and would pass thru Texas, she recommended the River Walk in San Antonio.  What’s more interesting is that they were staying at the park where we planned to live during our stay.  Yet another blogger to meet in person! When we arrived there our new friends, Susan and Bob, graciously gave us a mini-tour around the missions and other areas of which I will talk more in my next post.  We also enjoyed a nice dinner and games with them before we moved on.

Travel Bug Susan

Steve with our tour guides
Susan and Bob

For now lets talk about the San Antonio River Walk – aka Paseo del Rio, the jewel of San Antonio, Texas.

So where does all the water in this river come from?  We learned that the  San Antonio River rises in a cluster of springs and the headwaters of the spring known as the Blue Hole is located on the campus of the University of the Incarnate Word.  The surrounding creeks empty into the river just below its head, and other springs continue to join as the river flows through the city and empties into the Guadalupe River.

The network of walkways and bridges, known as the  San Antonio River Walk, is one of San Antonio’s principal attractions.  The River Walk has been extended, and the whole network is now a 15-mile masterpiece that weaves the city’s past and future together.  Starting north of the city at Brackenridge Park (San Antonio’s Central Park), it continues south all the way to the four preserved 18th century Spanish colonial missions south of downtown.

San Antonio Riverwalk

The San Antonio River Walk

The  downtown reach is 20 feet below street level and meanders through beautifully landscaped paths lined with numerous shops, bars, restaurants and museums.  We walked the  stone pathways connecting these attractions with a blend of historic and modern architecture that resonates the depth of this centuries-old metropolis.  We noticed the intricate network of bridges, walkways and old staircases.

Restaurants along the Rio

Restaurants along the Rio

Reading Historical markersalong the pathways.

Reading Historical markers along the pathways.

New bridges...

New bridges…

San Antonio River Walk

…and old bridges

River Boat Taxi on the Rio

River Boats/ Taxis/Cruises  also provide informative tours

We stayed at the Travelers World RV Resort, which is located smack in the middle of the River Walk.  It provides easy access to the path for walking or biking in either direction.  One day we walked from the RV Park all the way to downtown, a moderate effort of 11 miles roundtrip – with a refreshing beer stop along the way at Blue Star Brewery.

San Antonio River Walk

Steve found his avenue along the river walk

San Antonio River Walk

Rest stop with one of the Flood Locks in the background

Lone Star Beer in the distance

Lone Star Brewery (closed) in the distance

Flood management is also critical along the river since a disastrous flood hit in 1921.  We saw several impressive flood control structures and learned there is an underground “bypass tunnel” several miles long which aids in flood control.

San Antonio River Flood Control

San Antonio River flood Control Tunnel

On another day we biked the southern end of the riverwalk to one of the Missions.

Finally, my blog would be incomplete without mentioning the wild animals which were abundant along the path in both directions.

Next up: The Missions of San Antonio