River Walk

Top choice waterfront in San Antonio

Image by Murat Taner Getty Images

A little slice of Europe in the heart of downtown, the 15-mile River Walk is an essential part of the San Antonio experience. Wandering this charming network of canals and pedestrian walkways, set just below the downtown streets, you can pass landscaped gardens and riverfront cafes, and linger on stone footbridges that arch across the water.

During summer it gets mighty crowded, but at peaceful times (and the further you get from downtown) it's a lovely place to stroll – especially during the holidays, when it's bedecked with twinkling lights. For the best overview, hop on a Go Rio cruise.

These days, the River Walk extends way north and south of downtown. The 8-mile Mission Reach expansion extends south to the King William District and beyond to the Spanish missions, while the 4-mile Museum Reach stretches north to the San Antonio Art Museum, the Pearl Brewery complex and Brackenridge Park.

Feeling athletic? Once out of downtown, cycling to the missions or to the museums via the River Walk is also an option. Check the SWell Cycle website for rental locations.