Paseo Del Rio: Riverwalk San Antonio, Texas
The Riverwalk of San Antonio, acclaimed as one of the most original and successful downtown renovation projects, is a unique dining and shopping experience.
Mention San Antonio in a conversation and you'll hear two things - Alamo and The Riverwalk. There was a time when the San Antonio River was lined with ramshackle houses as it passed through downtown San Antonio. This renovation project changed not only the face of the city, but also produced one of the most famous social gathering places in the country.
The San Antonio River is a small rambling waterway no bigger than most creeks. The Paseo Del Rio (Riverwalk) lines the detour it takes starting at Houston Street and returning at Villita. The Riverwalk is one level down from street level. It gently flows past hotels, restaurants, and shops.
During the day, you'll find plenty of visitors walking on the tree-lined footpaths with its art galleries, shops, and cafes. At night, the landscaped riverbanks are lit and transformed into a memorable romantic spot. Imagine all your favorite restaurants and night spots lined up along a beautiful walk way, add to that small white lights, warm nights, a lazy river, romance and you'll get a good picture of the famous Paseo Del Rio.
For dining, there is something for everyone. Each terraced restaurant, offers its own version of music and dining. Everyone finds the selection incredible and the hospitality warming. There is also indoor dining for inclimate weather, but bad weather is rare in this southern Texas city.
For a nominal fee, you can tour the Riverwalk by boat. For special occasions, you can rent a boat and dine along the cruise, which is catered by restaurant of your choice. Seventeen restaurants participate in this program known as "Gourmet on the Waterway."
On hot summer nights, expect late night temperatures to still soar in the 80's and even 90's. Music wafts through the humid air. Margaritas, the favored drink of the city, are poured by the pitcher. Couples and families mingle as they take a walk along the river front. There is always a crowd, so be sure not to step out of someone's way as you just might step into the river. Guardrails are non-existent in most spots, but the river is just four feet deep, so while the occasional tourist does take an unexpected dip, they are quickly rescued.
True romantics photograph the Alamo by moonlight and then take a horse drawn carriage ride around downtown. From street level you get a great view of the Riverwalk as you pass over the many bridges.
There is nothing like local color to give you a real flavor for a city and here in San Antonio, take your first bite at the Riverwalk.