Things to do in the riverwalk

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Riverwalk Highlights: Top Things to Do & See

When it comes to experiencing the best of San Antonio, look no further than the iconic Riverwalk. This vibrant and picturesque destination offers a plethora of attractions, activities, and sightseeing opportunities that will leave you captivated. Whether you’re a history buff, an art enthusiast, or simply looking to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors, the Riverwalk has something for everyone.

From exploring renowned landmarks like the Alamo to discovering the charm of the downtown district, there are countless ways to make the most of your time on the Riverwalk. Indulge in the rich Tex-Mex cuisine, marvel at the stunning architecture, or simply take a leisurely stroll along the banks of the San Antonio River. The possibilities are endless!

So, if you’re wondering what to do in the Riverwalk, we’ve got you covered. In this article, I will walk you through the top attractions, activities, and sights that make the Riverwalk an unmissable destination for visitors from all around the world. Get ready to immerse yourself in the culture, history, and natural beauty that defines this enchanting place.

things to do on the riverwalk

Create an image of the Riverwalk at night, with colorful lights illuminating the various attractions along the path. Show a group of people enjoying a ride on a riverboat, while others are strolling along the walkway. In the distance, include a large sculpture or fountain that is a popular photo spot. The skyline of the city should be visible in the background, with tall buildings towering over the river. The overall atmosphere should be lively and vibrant, capturing the energy of this popular tourist destination.

Key Takeaways:

  • Discover a wide array of attractions, activities, and sightseeing opportunities on the iconic Riverwalk
  • Explore renowned landmarks such as the Alamo and indulge in delicious Tex-Mex cuisine
  • Experience the charm of the downtown district and marvel at stunning architecture
  • Take a leisurely stroll along the banks of the San Antonio River and soak in the beauty of the surroundings
  • Immerse yourself in the rich culture, history, and natural beauty that the Riverwalk has to offer

Take a GoRIO River Cruise

One of the best ways to experience the Riverwalk is by taking a GoRIO River Cruise. These guided river cruises provide informative commentary about the city and its history while offering picturesque views of the Riverwalk. It’s a great way to learn about the Alamo city and see the entire Riverwalk region.

Why Choose GoRIO River Cruise?

GoRIO River Cruises are designed to enhance your Riverwalk experience. With knowledgeable guides and comfortable seating, you can relax and enjoy the scenic beauty of the San Antonio River while learning about the city’s rich history and culture. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a local looking for a unique perspective, a GoRIO River Cruise is the perfect choice.

What to Expect on a GoRIO River Cruise

During the cruise, you’ll have the opportunity to explore different sections of the Riverwalk, including the Downtown Reach, the Museum Reach, and the Mission Reach. The knowledgeable guides will provide fascinating insights about each area, making your trip educational and engaging. Along the way, you’ll also pass by iconic landmarks, historic sites, and stunning architecture.

GoRIO River Cruise Schedule and Pricing

GoRIO River Cruises operate throughout the year, with departures available at regular intervals. The duration of the cruise may vary depending on the route and package chosen. Pricing is affordable, and there are often discounts available for children, seniors, and large groups. Be sure to check the official website for the most up-to-date schedule and pricing information.

General Admission$14.50
Child (Age 1-5)$8.50
Senior (Age 65+)$11.50
Local Resident$12.50

Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply want to soak in the vibrant atmosphere of the Riverwalk, a GoRIO River Cruise is a must-do activity. Book your tour today and get ready for an unforgettable sightseeing adventure!

Explore the Downtown Reach

The Downtown Reach is the most vibrant and popular section of the San Antonio Riverwalk. This bustling area is packed with a myriad of attractions that will captivate visitors. From savoring mouthwatering dishes at historic Tex Mex restaurants to crossing the iconic “Selena bridge,” there is something for everyone’s taste and interest in this dynamic district.

If you’re a food enthusiast, be prepared to indulge in the rich flavors of authentic Tex Mex cuisine at the historic restaurants that line the Downtown Reach. These culinary gems have withstood the test of time, serving up traditional dishes that reflect the cultural heritage of San Antonio.

The Downtown Reach is also home to the famous “Selena bridge,” named in honor of the iconic Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla. As you cross this unique pedestrian bridge, you can’t help but feel the energy and passion that encapsulate the spirit of Selena and her contribution to the music industry.

Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the Downtown Reach, where live mariachi bands serenade visitors with their captivating performances. The sound of traditional Mexican music fills the air, adding to the lively ambiance that is characteristic of this area.

What to Experience in the Downtown Reach:

  • Indulge in the flavors of historic Tex Mex restaurants
  • Cross the iconic “Selena bridge” in homage to the legendary singer
  • Experience the lively mariachi bands and embrace the vibrant atmosphere

Whether you’re a food lover, a music enthusiast, or simply seeking an immersive cultural experience, the Downtown Reach is a must-visit destination on the San Antonio Riverwalk. Prepare to be enchanted by the flavors, sights, and sounds that define this iconic section of the Riverwalk.

Discover the Museum Reach

The Museum Reach is a must-visit section of the Riverwalk, known for its art and cultural attractions. It offers a unique blend of history and modernity, featuring the San Antonio Museum of Art and the Pearl Brewery district.

When exploring the Museum Reach, take a leisurely stroll along the Riverwalk and appreciate the outdoor art installations and the beautiful scenery. The San Antonio Museum of Art is a prominent highlight, showcasing a diverse collection of artworks from various cultures and time periods. From ancient Egyptian artifacts to contemporary masterpieces, there’s something to captivate every art enthusiast.

The Museum Reach offers a unique blend of history and modernity, with its art installations and cultural attractions creating an immersive experience for visitors.

Adjacent to the San Antonio Museum of Art is the Pearl Brewery district, a vibrant hub of entertainment, dining, and shopping. It has transformed a historic brewery site into a thriving destination where visitors can explore boutique shops, savor culinary delights at local restaurants, and attend live events.

Top Attractions in the Museum Reach:

  • San Antonio Museum of Art
  • Pearl Brewery district
  • Outdoor art installations
  • Fine dining experiences
  • Boutique shopping

With its blend of art, history, and entertainment, the Museum Reach is a captivating section of the Riverwalk that shouldn’t be missed.

Enjoy the Mission Reach

The Mission Reach is a tranquil section of the Riverwalk, perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. It offers opportunities for kayaking and biking along the San Antonio River, allowing visitors to experience the natural beauty of the area. Kayak on the San Antonio River and immerse yourself in the serene surroundings as you paddle along.

Not only can you enjoy the calming waters, but you can also explore the rich history of the region. Along the Mission Reach, you’ll find four out of the five Spanish colonial missions that make up the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. These missions, including the famous Mission San Antonio de Padua, offer a glimpse into the region’s past and are a must-visit for history enthusiasts.

“The Mission Reach is a hidden gem on the Riverwalk. It’s the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and connect with nature. Kayaking on the San Antonio River provides a unique perspective and allows you to explore the area at your own pace.” – Visitor

For those who prefer to stay on land, the Mission Reach also features scenic biking trails that wind through lush vegetation and provide stunning views of the river. Whether you choose to paddle or pedal, the Mission Reach promises a rejuvenating experience for all.

The missions reach in san antonio. Image of one of the missions

A serene morning on the Mission Reach as a single kayak glides along the San Antonio River. The sun is just beginning to rise, casting a warm orange glow over the trees and water. The kayaker is alone, but appears content as they paddle steadily down the calm river. Birds chirp in the background and small ripples form in the water with each stroke of the paddle. The focus should be on the serenity and beauty of the natural surroundings, with the kayak and kayaker serving as a subtle centerpiece.
Mission San José y San Miguel de Aguayo6519 San Jose Drive, San Antonio, TexasKnown as the ‘Queen of the Missions’, this is the largest and best-preserved mission. Constructed in the 1700s with native limestone, featuring Spanish colonial ornamentation.
Mission San Juan CapistranoMission Road, San Antonio, TexasOriginally established in 1716 in East Texas, moved to San Antonio in 1731. Renowned for its historical role in the community.
Mission San Francisco de la EspadaEspada Road, San Antonio, TexasFirst established in 1690, moved to San Antonio in 1731. Includes Rancho de las Cabras, providing resources to the mission.
Mission Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción de Acuña807 Mission Road, San Antonio, TexasFeatures 45-inch-thick stone walls and is known for its blend of Native American and Spanish imagery in frescoes.
Mission San Antonio de Valero (The Alamo)300 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio, TexasSymbol of Texan bravery and independence, pivotal in the Texas Revolution, and the most famous of the San Antonio missions.

Visit the Alamo

The Alamo

No visit to the Riverwalk is complete without a visit to the Alamo. This historic mission played a crucial role in the fight for Texas independence and is now a symbol of the state’s history. Take a guided tour to learn more about the Alamo’s significance and explore the preserved artifacts and exhibits.

The Alamo is a must-see historic site that attracts millions of visitors each year. It stands as a testament to the brave men and women who fought for Texas independence. As you step inside, you’ll be transported back in time to the Battle of the Alamo in 1836.

The Alamo showcases a vast collection of artifacts, including weapons, uniforms, and personal belongings of the defenders. Explore the interactive exhibits to gain a deeper understanding of the events that unfolded within these walls.

A guided tour will provide you with fascinating insights into the Alamo’s history and its significance in shaping the identity of Texas. Knowledgeable guides will take you through the various rooms and courtyards, sharing stories of the brave individuals who made their last stand here.

Explore the Alamo Gardens and Wall of History

The Alamo is not only a historic site, but it also offers serene gardens where you can take a leisurely stroll and reflect on the significance of the Alamo’s legacy. The landscaped gardens beautifully complement the mission’s architecture and provide a peaceful retreat amidst the bustling city.

The Alamo is more than just an old building; it’s a symbol of dedication, sacrifice, and the fight for independence – a reminder of the bravery and resilience of the Texan spirit.

Plan Your Visit to The Alamo

The Alamo is open to visitors year-round, and admission is free. However, guided tours are available for a more comprehensive experience and are highly recommended. These tours provide valuable historical context and ensure you don’t miss any important details.

  • Location: 300 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio, TX 78205
  • Visitor Center Hours:
    • Monday-Sunday: 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM
  • Guided Tour Hours:
    • Daily: 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, and 3pm
AdmissionGuided Tour Prices (Per Person)
Child (12 and under)$35
Friends of the Alamo Member/Adult Military/First Responder/Senior Citizen (65+)$40
Friends of the Alamo Member/Child Military (12 and under)$30

Immerse yourself in the history and heritage of Texas by visiting the iconic Alamo. Witness the place where heroes once stood and gain a deeper appreciation for the struggles and triumphs of those who fought for Texas independence.

Purchase tickets for a guided tour

Shop and Dine at Rivercenter Mall

If you’re looking for some retail therapy or a delicious meal, head to Rivercenter Mall. This four-level shopping mall offers a wide range of stores and restaurants, as well as movie theaters and entertainment options. Take a break from exploring the Riverwalk and enjoy some shopping or dining at this popular destination.

At Rivercenter Mall, you’ll find an array of shops catering to every taste and style. Whether you’re in search of high-end fashion, trendy accessories, or unique souvenirs, the mall has it all. From well-known brands like Macy’s and H&M to specialty boutiques, there’s something for everyone.

After a successful shopping spree, treat yourself to a delightful dining experience at one of the many Riverwalk restaurants available at Rivercenter Mall. You’ll discover a diverse selection of cuisines, ranging from international flavors to local Texas favorites. Whether you’re craving a juicy steak, fresh seafood, or authentic Tex-Mex, you won’t be disappointed.

Need a break from shopping and dining? Rivercenter Mall also offers entertainment options to keep you entertained. Catch the latest blockbuster at the movie theater, or indulge in some interactive fun at the arcade. There’s never a dull moment at this vibrant shopping and entertainment hub.

Make sure to check out the mall’s events calendar as well. Rivercenter Mall hosts various events throughout the year, including fashion shows, live music performances, and holiday celebrations. There’s always something exciting happening that will add an extra touch of excitement to your visit.

Take a moment to relax and enjoy the view of the picturesque San Antonio River from the mall’s outdoor terraces. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the Riverwalk as you take in the sights and sounds of this iconic location.

Featured Rivercenter Mall Restaurants:

Maggiano’s Little ItalyItalianFamily-style dining, homemade pasta
Luciano Ristorante ItalianoItalianAuthentic Italian dishes, cozy atmosphere
The Cheesecake FactoryAmericanExtensive menu, delectable desserts
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.SeafoodShrimp dishes, fun Forrest Gump theme
Yard HouseAmericanCraft beer, diverse menu

Whether you’re in the mood for a shopping spree, a delicious meal, or some entertainment, Rivercenter Mall has it all. With its prime location on the Riverwalk, it’s the perfect place to unwind and indulge in everything this vibrant area has to offer.

Create an image of the Rivercenter Mall at night, with its colorful lights and bustling crowds. The mall should be the main focus of the image, with various stores and restaurants visible through the large windows. The surrounding riverwalk should also be visible in the background, with reflections of the city lights shimmering on the water. Show people walking along the riverwalk, enjoying the atmosphere and taking in the sights and sounds of the city. Use warm tones to convey a sense of excitement and energy.

Explore La Villita Historic Arts Village

La Villita is a charming historic arts village located along the Riverwalk. It features over 20 boutique shops and art galleries, offering a unique shopping experience. Take a leisurely stroll through the lush courtyards and explore the local artisan shops for handcrafted souvenirs and artwork.

La Villita is a hidden gem nestled in the heart of San Antonio. As you walk through its picturesque streets, you’ll be transported back in time with its preserved historic buildings and cobblestone paths. The village is a true testament to the city’s rich cultural heritage.

Visit the art galleries and marvel at the vibrant works of local artists. From contemporary pieces to traditional craftsmanship, there’s something for every art enthusiast. Get inspired by the creativity and talent on display.

Get your retail therapy fix at the boutique shops in La Villita. Explore the curated selection of clothing, jewelry, and accessories. Whether you’re looking for a unique fashion statement or a one-of-a-kind gift, you’ll find it here.

Aside from the shopping experience, La Villita hosts a variety of events and festivals that celebrate the city’s cultural diversity. From live music performances to food festivals, there’s always something happening in this vibrant community.

After exploring the shops and galleries, take a moment to relax and enjoy the serene ambiance of the courtyards. The lush greenery and peaceful atmosphere make it an ideal spot to unwind and appreciate the beauty of the surroundings.

La Villita is a haven for art enthusiasts, history buffs, and those seeking a unique shopping experience. Its rich cultural heritage and charming atmosphere make it a must-visit destination along the Riverwalk. So, lace up your walking shoes and immerse yourself in the artistic charm of La Villita.

Experience Live Performances at Arneson River Theatre

Immerse yourself in the vibrant arts and culture scene at the iconic Arneson River Theatre, nestled along the picturesque Riverwalk. This open-air theater is a gem of San Antonio, offering unforgettable live performances against the backdrop of the beautiful river.

At Arneson River Theatre, you can indulge in a variety of captivating shows that span different genres. From Broadway-style musicals to mesmerizing dance performances, there’s something to suit every taste. The theater’s diverse program ensures that visitors can always find a show that piques their interest.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the magic of live entertainment under the twinkling stars. The unique outdoor setting adds a touch of enchantment to every performance, creating an immersive experience you won’t find elsewhere. Whether you’re a fan of theater, music, or dance, Arneson River Theatre promises an evening filled with artistry and emotion.

“The Arneson River Theatre truly brings the performances to life with the open-air setup. The atmosphere is electric, the acoustics are incredible, and the views of the Riverwalk add an extra touch of magic to the experience.” – Jennifer, theater enthusiast

To make the most of your visit to Arneson River Theatre, be sure to check their schedule for upcoming shows and events. Whether you’re planning a special night out or looking for a memorable cultural experience, Arneson River Theatre is a must-visit destination for live entertainment in San Antonio.

Marvel at the Aztec Theater’s Architecture

The Aztec Theater, located near the Riverwalk, is a mesmerizing historic venue that showcases stunning Meso-American architecture. Built in 1926, this architectural gem captivates visitors with its intricate details and vibrant murals, immersing them in a rich cultural experience.

Stepping into the Aztec Theater is like entering a world of art and history. The ornate façade, adorned with magnificent sculptures, instantly transports you to a bygone era. As you step inside, the grandeur of the interior mesmerizes with its lavish decorations and meticulously crafted motifs.

The theater’s architectural beauty is accentuated by its remarkable murals, depicting scenes from Aztec mythology and ancient Mexican culture. These captivating artworks not only add visual splendor but also offer insights into the rich heritage and traditions they represent.

Whether you’re attending a show or concert, the Aztec Theater provides an unforgettable experience. The unique blend of historical significance and artistic brilliance creates an ambiance that truly transports you to another time.

The Aztec Theater at a Glance:

LocationNear the Riverwalk
ArchitectureStunning Meso-American style
Year Built1926
Key Features
  • Intricate details and sculptures
  • Fascinating murals depicting Aztec mythology
  • Rich cultural heritage

No visit to San Antonio would be complete without marveling at the architectural beauty of the Aztec Theater. Whether you’re an architectural enthusiast or simply appreciate the allure of historic venues, the Aztec Theater is a must-see destination on your Riverwalk exploration.

Attend Festivals and Events on the Riverwalk

The Riverwalk is not only a scenic destination for sightseeing and leisurely strolls, but it also plays host to a wide array of exciting festivals and events throughout the year. Whether you’re a music enthusiast, a foodie, or simply looking for a fun-filled experience, the Riverwalk’s vibrant calendar is sure to have something to suit your interests.

One of the most highly anticipated events on the Riverwalk is the annual Ford Holiday River Parade. This spectacular extravaganza takes place during the holiday season and features a dazzling display of illuminated floats, live performances, and festive decorations. It’s a magical experience that brings the spirit of the holidays to life and attracts visitors from near and far.

To make the most of your visit to the Riverwalk, be sure to check the event calendar before your trip. From music festivals to cultural celebrations, there’s always something happening along the banks of the San Antonio River. Plan your visit accordingly and immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of these exciting festivities.

So, whether you’re seeking a memorable holiday experience or simply want to soak up the lively ambiance of a local festival, attending events on the Riverwalk will enhance your visit and create lasting memories.

Wrapping it all up

Plan your visit to the San Antonio River Walk and immerse yourself in a world of top attractions. This iconic Texas destination offers something for everyone with its diverse range of activities and sights to see.

Explore the rich history of the River Walk by visiting historic sites and world-class museums. Marvel at the architectural beauty of the Aztec Theater and soak in the vibrant atmosphere of the Downtown Reach. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn about the Alamo’s significance and witness the city’s fight for Texas independence.

For outdoor enthusiasts, the River Walk offers plenty of adventure. Take a GoRIO River Cruise to enjoy scenic views or embark on a kayaking excursion along the Mission Reach. Biking and walking trails also allow you to discover the natural beauty of the area.

After a day of exploration, indulge in shopping and dining at Rivercenter Mall or discover unique artisan shops at La Villita Historic Arts Village. Enjoy live performances at the Arneson River Theatre and be captivated by the magic of the River Walk.

Whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor lover, or simply looking to relax and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere, the San Antonio River Walk has it all. Plan your visit today and create unforgettable memories in this enchanting destination.


What is the most popular part of the San Antonio Riverwalk?

The most popular section of the San Antonio Riverwalk is the bustling Downtown Reach. Here, visitors immerse themselves in a vibrant atmosphere, enjoying live mariachi music, historic Tex-Mex dining, and the iconic “Selena bridge.”

Is San Antonio Riverwalk worth visiting?

Absolutely! The San Antonio Riverwalk is a must-visit destination, offering a unique blend of scenic beauty, rich history, diverse dining options, and lively cultural activities. It’s an experience that truly encapsulates the spirit of San Antonio.

What is the San Antonio Riverwalk known for?

The Riverwalk is renowned for its picturesque waterways, lush landscapes, and a lively mix of shops, restaurants, and cultural landmarks. It is celebrated as a vibrant urban sanctuary, showcasing San Antonio’s rich cultural heritage and hospitality.

How long does it take to do the Riverwalk?

Exploring the Riverwalk can vary in time, but generally, a leisurely stroll to experience its main attractions takes about 2 to 3 hours. However, for those who wish to thoroughly enjoy dining, shopping, and cultural experiences, a full day would be more fitting.

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