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The Famous River Walk in San Antonio, Texas


Have you ever been to the River Walk in San Antonio? I had heard of this place for many years but had never been to that part of Texas. Finally we made it to the San Antonio area and it was on the top of our to-do list. I will share our visit in a minute, but for those who haven't been, or don't know much about the River Walk, here is a little bit of history and information. 

River-Walk-2According to the Riverwalk page, the Paseo del Rio, aka the River Walk, is a network of walkways one story beneath the streets of Downtown San Antonio. It runs along the banks of the San Antonio River and is lined by bars, shops, and restaurants.

Today the River Walk is an important part of the city's urban fabric and a tourist attraction in its own right. It loops  under bridges as two parallel sidewalks lined with aforementioned restaurants and shops, connecting the major tourist draws from the Alamo to Rivercenter Mall, to the Arneson River Theatre, to Marriage Island, to La Villita, to HemisFair Park, to the Tower Life Building, to the San Antonio Museum of Art, and the Pearl Brewery for those who like beer  

Us at RiverwalkWe got there and saw a bunch of people on these cool looking river boats that we just had to do, lol. We got our tickets and walked around a little before taking our tour.  We weren’t in a big hurry and there was so much to see. It was quite amazing.  

River-Walk-4Eventually we boarded the boat and headed down the river for our 35 minute ride which covers about 1 ½ miles of the beautiful San Antonio River Walk.  While we cruised our tour guide shared a lot of history about the River Walk as well as the San Antonio area. While on the tour we saw the Lila Cockrell Theater,  many hotels including the Hyatt Regency, and too many restaurants to count.  One really caught our attention, Rita’s, and we decided to head there after the tour. We had such a nice time and the guide was very friendly and answered several questions my husband asked him.  We would highly recommend this tour when you are in the area.

River-Walk-RitasLike I said, we decided to have dinner at Rita’s and slowly made our way there. It was so nice just walking around and listening to some mariachi’s playing music.  Maybe it was because we were on vacation, but it seemed so relaxing. Rita's was right on the water and we were lucky enough to get a table right near the lake. It was incredible.  Our server was very and made sure we had a wonderful experience. The food was fine, but the only thing our server couldn't fix or change was the spiciness of the food.  We were both quite disappointed in our first Tex-Mex experience.  I do like a lot of spiciness, but I was hoping for a little more heat since it was Tex-Mex. Sadly it was dimmed down most likely for all the tourist. We asked the server if it could be hotter, and he said it was as hot as it comes My husband was really disappointed because he really likes spicy food.  Oh well. I do have to say the black beans were some of the best I have ever tasted. Kudos to that.

River Walk 3After dinner we walked around and just soaked up more of the entertaining atmosphere that is the River Walk. If you are in the area, it is definitely something you should spend some time visiting and walking around this amazing area that is now a Texas tourist attraction.


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Thanks for the memory...we've enjoyed the River Walk a few times. The first time we didn't know it was there—Imagine our surprise at leaving our hotel by a downstairs door and finding that!

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

Yes, wonderful memories indeed.  I've been here a few times, although probably the last time was about 20 years ago.  It's a busy place in the evenings, but gives you a nice shaded place to walk on a hot day and lots of dining options.  I also remember a rather good jazz club on the river -- wonder if it's still there? 

I'm surprised Rita's didn't have a nice choice of hot sauces for you to add to that food -- fire it up to your tastes!

Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

GarryRF posted:

Looks like an amazing place. That's the last thing I would have expected in Texas.

Can someone give me the idea behind Tex-Mex ? Is it a range of cooking or just the spicy sauce. And - yes - I'm in England.

Garry, I'm assuming by your statement of "That's the last thing I would have expected in Texas", that you might imagine Texas like many of non-Texans do; lots of dry, dusty desert all over. In reality, Texas has a really varied landscape, that includes swampland, rolling hills, pine and oak forests, grasslands and plains, mountains, lakes, canyons, rivers, and yes, dry, dusty desert. One particular area of Texas just northwest of San Antonio that is always popular is the Texas Hill Country. You can find some lovely images of it by doing a search on Google, or try this link

As far as Tex-Mex goes, it really has nothing to do with a particular "sauce", rather, it is certainly a range of cooking like you said. A good way to describe Tex-Mex is A Texan Version of Mexican Food. Its a fusion of Mexican and American food, that still retains much of the Mexican heritage and roots that Texas has. Basically, in Tex-Mex you will find some ingredients that are found in traditional Mexican cuisine. Tex-Mex, however, often throws in many non-traditional ingredients such as shredded cheese, beans, and spices, and even entire dishes themselves, such as fajitas, are Tex-Mex creations. Hope that helps. Take care!

"It ain't dyin' I'm talkin about, its living." - Augustus McCrae in Lonesome Dove

Last edited by Justin from San Antonio

I haven't been to it for years, but one of my favorite San Antonio memories is another "not dry and dusty"—the Japanese Tea Garden in Brackenridge Park, which is not far, if I remember, from the San Antonio river. It all started from an abandoned quarry which became a beautiful garden. It's especially wonderful early in the morning.

Justin, have you thought about writing some blogs on TravelGumbo? Sounds like you know a lot about your area, and it would be great to have some!

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

Glad you guys enjoyed the post. Thank you for all the comments, and your definition of Tex-Mex Justin.  What I neglected to say in my post was that we became obsessed with their BBQ while we were out there. OMG, it was the BEST! Kansas City BBQ is good, but nothing compared to Texas. Can't wait to go back and get me some more BBQ.  Make sure to hit the little hole in the wall places as they are usually the best. Thanks again everyone for the comments. 

Pheymont, actually I haven't thought about that much to be honest. I wouldn't have a problem with it, but I just mainly wanted to try to give a little insight to someone that was looking for some clarification on a few things. I do know a fair amount about Texas. I was born an raised here, and left at age 19, and spent the next 17 years working and traveling both stateside and abroad, but have recently resettled in my home state. I've loved the opportunity to travel to the various countries and states I've visited over the years, but it's great to be home.

"It ain't dyin' I'm talkin about, its living." - Augustus McCrae in Lonesome Dove

Thanks for the explanation of Tex Mex and what goes into the style Justin.

You certainly do have a style that makes reading your words interesting to the reader. A very good description that makes Texas come to life.

Yes - I'm guilty of being one of those travellers that knew Texas was the same size as France but my idea of the geography was completely wrong. Maybe you could write a few words about the different regions and add a few photos. I've never been near Texas and like most Europeans never wanted to.

But you've definitely opened my mind and got me interested. Probably a few American and Canadians too. Thank You.

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