Strolling the River Walk

From The Alamo we walk over to San Antonio’s River Walk.  San Antonio, Texas, offers a vibrant downtown that’s beautiful, active, and full of history.River Walk

San Antonio Texas

Al and I find ourselves strolling the paths that meander along the river passing stone archways, fountains, and lush vegetation.  I can’t help but wonder about its history.  When was it built and why?  During lunch, I scoured through all the booklets and info on the area that I picked up at the visitor center and I found just the information I was looking for.

San Antonio River WalkRobert H. H. Hugman, an architect and a native of San Antonio, first conceived the river project in 1929 after a series of floods prompted the city to consider paving over the river, thus creating a concrete storm sewer system.

Can you imagine what a travesty that would have been?  Thank goodness Mr. Hugman had the vision to create such a beautiful masterpiece.

Hugman came up with a plan that detailed everything, including unique staircases, walkways, bridges, lush landscaping, restaurants, hotels, shops, all complete with Venetian-style boat rides.Venitian

Initial construction began in 1939 and due to disagreements with the city Hugman was fired a year later.  It wasn’t until 1961 when the city brought in some designers from Disneyland to determine the commercial potential of the river.  Hugman’s original details were used and the river was slowly transformed into the River Walk we know today.  Improvements and expansion continue to this day.

This is probably one of the cleanest, well-maintained downtowns I have ever visited.  Its beautiful, tranquil, and fun.  Al and I enjoy lunch at Casa Rio, a restaurant serving Mexican food along the River Walk since 1946.  We choose to dine inside as do most of the other guests.  At 45 degrees, it was just a tad too chilly to enjoy a meal outside along the river.  Outdoor seating at Casa Rio shown in the photos below.Casa Rio River Walk

Casa Rio

We thoroughly enjoyed our day in downtown San Antonio exploring The Alamo and the River Walk.  We wanted to take in some of the Missions and had a list of other things we wanted to see and do as well, but Mother Nature had other plans.  During our week-long stay, the weather was a roller coaster of breaking record low temperatures with on and off rain, occasionally freezing.

However, we did manage to take full advantage of those short breaks in the weather to get out and about and explore.River Walk

Next stop Fredericksburg……

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61 thoughts on “Strolling the River Walk

  1. We walk all parts of the Riverwalk. Downtown and the Museum Reach are the nicest. We have also walked the northern end of the Mission Reach. It’s always different, but usually crowded. You were lucky to have it to yourselves!

  2. While in Fredericksburg, check out Der Lindenbaum restaurant on Main St. The food is great, just be sure to take cash. They don’t do credit cards. Also the brewery on the other side of the street is good for a cold beer and you can even take it with you on the street as you stroll in the nice Texas weather!

    • Thanks for the heads up. We’d heard the food there is great. Wow, can take the cold beer out on the sidewalk? That’s unusual! Thanks for the comment and stopping by 🙂

    • Thanks Larry, and I totally agree….a very unique place. What amazed me the most – no signs of wear and tear that would indicate the true age of the River Walk. It is so well maintained and clean.

  3. I love this post! I wonder if there is a way to re-blog favorite posts from several different RV Blogs, and collect them in one place. San Antonio looks like a wonderful place to visit, someday. We haven’t explored Texas in our RV at all. So many places to go and so little time!

    • Thanks Holly. I’m still a little old school and when I find interesting articles or blog posts, I print them out and save in a 3 ring spiral notebook broken down into different states. I still save things on my computer, but half the time they’re forgotten or I can’t find especially if I don’t go through all my saved documents 😉 Definitely put Texas on your travel itinerary. No loss of great places to park a RV.

      • I just found a long list of notifications on my wordpress app (ipad) that I didn’t know existed… Sometimes I am a little slow figuring out the secrets of software!

        I love this idea of the 3 ring binder. I have tried bookmarking my favorite blog posts from various bloggers but I haven’t found a place to organize and keep them that would be as satisfying as that binder!

  4. Beautiful…great history on it’s developmental starts and stops. Only thing missing in all those pictures was people. That place should be packed with people…was it that cold?

    • Yep, it was cold. I was sporting gloves, earmuffs, and coat. I think it was under 40 degrees when we started and then around lunch got into the 50’s. It was rather fun having the place to ourselves for a little while anyway. I’d love to go back in the evening when it’s all lite up……on my list 🙂

  5. I am really enjoying following you along on your Texas travels. We are hoping to do a similar trip in the near future and every time I read on of your posts I get more excited about going there. My parents lived in San Antonio of the early 70’s and we didn’t go the river walk when we visited them. After seeing your pictures it is on the top of our “must see” places in Texas.

    • Thanks…..we’re already planning a longer stay next winter taking in some of the Texas State Parks. With the size of Texas being what it is, it would take years to see all the stops I’m interested in 🙂

  6. Like you and Al, Joe and I had rain, snow , sleet, and wind during our short week there. Your pictures of the River Walk bring back memories of a very nice day we had there! Hope to return sometime!

    • Yep, sometimes you just can’t do all the things intended. Gives us reason to return another time when perhaps the weather is more agreeable. We still really enjoyed our stay in the area 🙂

    • It is really pretty and glad they opted not to concrete over the river. Still took a lot of years and twists and turns to turn it into what it is today.

  7. As a person that does not enjoy crowds, that walk looked inviting – even if it was cold. The photos are great. Thanks so much for sharing them.

    • Thanks Nan, we enjoyed having the place almost to ourselves. Once noon rolled around, it warmed and more people showed up. I’m with you, don’t care for crowds so gladly dealt with the cold temps.

  8. Ingrid, beautiful photos! It is a beautiful area and so full of history. Sounds like you really enjoyed being there. Howard and I visited this area a couple of years ago and enjoyed it very much! We are at the familiar Laundry’s Seafood!

    • Thanks Sheila…..with the heavy gray overcast skies I wasn’t sure how well the photos would turn out. We really did enjoy our time surrounded by such rich history and we plan to return for a longer visit….with better weather 😉

    • That day…..toooooo cold. Will do next time. I really wanted to see some Missions and check out some other places…. Next year and hopefully Mother Nature will be kinder 🙂

    • With Canyon Lake just to the north and several other great options to park an RV, no reason not to visit. There’s some state parks we look forward to exploring 🙂

  9. Definitely on our list of places to return to! Unfortunately we were there during August when it was 105 + 90% so couldn’t enjoy it like you were able to now. Beautiful place!.

  10. I know the first time we did the Walk, we wanted to know the same thing. So glad they listened and didn’t fill that area in with ugly dirt!
    I have never seen that area so deserted. But I understand with the cooler weather why people want to stay inside.

    • I’m sure when the weather is nicer, the crowds come out. Even The Alamo was pretty empty. Even though I was disappointed with the weather, the upside was not having to share the place with too many other people 🙂

    • Glad we chose Casa Rio…..good food and reasonably priced. It was pretty cold and gloomy that morning keeping folks away until lunch time. We enjoyed not having to share with too many others.

  11. Once again, great pictures. You captured the atmosphere on the River Walk perfectly, I feel like I’m walking with you. We enjoyed our time there, many years ago, and you brought back pleasant memories. Thanks!

  12. Wonderful photos, as usual. The river walk is also dog friendly with many of the shops and restaurants welcoming your four legged friend. (this I have read, as we never made it the river walk)

    • Thanks Mike. I didn’t think my photos would turn out too well considering the gloomy overcast skies. Since we no longer have a pooch 😦 we don’t always check to see if things are dog friendly or not!

      • Sorry about your pooch Ingrid. Gloomy everywhere. The winter from hell, except hell is supposed to be hot, if you believe any that stuff.

        • Unfortunately, we said good-bye to Bear last spring just before his 15th Bday. I still miss him….great dog! I’m sitting in Benson AZ enjoying near record HIGH temps. Crazy – I go from record lows in TX to record highs in AZ. Ah, diversity is fun 🙂

          • My last dog, before Pumpkin, was a Lhasa and we lost her ON her 15th birthday. That is a nice long life for a dog, but it is a very sad thing.
            If we ever travel in the winter again, it will only be to Arizona and your posts and resources will be a great guiding tool.
            Glad you are warm and well. Kick back.

  13. Lovely pics of the Riverwalk. After eating at Casa Rio we went for a stroll (how could you not?) and I saw a picture postcard of the view with the colorful umbrellas. I said to himself “I know where they took that photo,” and went back to the bridge a took a similar one. Saved 25 cents!

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