17 Things to Do On The San Antonio Riverwalk
The various things to do on the San Antonio Riverwalk makes this a prime destination for tourists and residents alike. For first-timers, it’s an attraction that embodies the culture and history of San Antonio, mixed with great food and drinks. For residents, it’s a melting pot of visitors from all around the world, and even the most avid San Antonian is bound to find a hidden treasure when visiting. The San Antonio Riverwalk attracts a whopping 11.5 million people annually – and there are plenty of activities to keep visitors of all ages entertained. From museums, to restaurants, to a strange bear statue, here is a list of 17 things to do on the San Antonio Riverwalk for both tourists and San Antonians.
Battle for Texas: The Experience – There’s a reason this museum is called The Experience. This immersive history lesson details the story of the birth of Texas like no history book can. Meet famous figures such a Davey Crockett and Jim Bowie as they give their accounts of the historical Battle of the Alamo.
Take a Riverwalk Boat Tour – Get a prime view of all the Riverwalk has to offer with a Riverwalk boat tour. Learn the history of streets such a St. Mary’s and Navarro street and unique facts about the city. Bonus: These boat tours are even better around Christmas time, when the Riverwalk is lit up by millions of dangling Christmas lights.
Museum Reach Tour – Go beyond the Riverwalk boat tour with a Museum Reach Boat Tour. View native landscapes and public art installations designed by local artists. Take this tour at night to get the perfect view of the Grotto – a cave-like structure created by San Antonio artist Carlos Cortes.
Downtown Ghost Tour – Are you brave enough? Rumor has it the Menger Hotel is crawling with spirits at night. Find out for yourself on one of the many downtown ghost tours downtown San Antonio offers.
Segway Tour – Gimmicky? Yes. But where else will you learn about San Antonio’s rich history without having to move your feet? Don’t worry, instructors give you plenty of time to adjust to proper Segway etiquette.
Briscoe Western Art Museum – You can’t visit Texas without some cowboy history, and the Briscoe Western Art Museum displays countless Western artifacts from vaqueros, American cowboys, and American Indians you won’t find anywhere else.
McNutt Sculpture Garden – You’ll find this unique sculpture garden tucked away inside the Briscoe Western Art Museum. View artwork showing Native Americans, European settlers, and a variety of Texan creatures while soaking up some sun.
Buckhorn Saloon Museum – Get a bite to eat, a cold beer, practice your sharp shooting skills, and view artifacts ranging from antique revolvers to Texan animals all under one roof at the Buckhorn Saloon Museum.
The Berlin Bear – We’ve talked plenty about Cowboys and Native Americans, so what makes a Bear Statue so special? While out of place inside Hemisfair Park, it displays a Berlin connection San Antonio has had since 1968 – and is great for pictures.
Arneson River Theater – Yes, a scene from Miss Congeniality was filmed here. But the Arneson River Theater is also a stage where you can frequently find live bands or mariachis performing. While there, take a short walk on over to Rosita’s Bridge.
Rosita’s Bridge – This footbridge on the San Antonio Riverwalk is covered in beautiful ivy plants and was dedicated to famed Tejano singer Rosita Fernandez, a pioneer in the early decades of the Tex-Mex genre.
The Alamo’s Line in the Sand – Naturally, a visit to San Antonio includes a trip to The Alamo. But don’t miss the legendary Alamo Line in the Sand. According to legend, Colonel William Travis drew this line urging his men to either admit defeat or cross the line and defend the Alamo to the death. Everything is bigger in Texas – even the history.
Find a Great, Historical Bar – You’re in need of a refresher, but don’t stop the history lessons! Make a pit stop at the longest wooden bar top in Texas, located inside The Esquire Tavern. Opened in 1933 to celebrate the end of Prohibition, the Esquire is full of crafty cocktails to quench anyone’s thirst.
Shops at Rivercenter – This 4-story shopping mall isn’t your typical mall. Find unique souvenir shops inside, view a brief IMAX film exploring San Antonio, or enjoy the beautiful views from the upper levels of the mall.
Marriage Island – While this may seem a little cheesy to some, over 360 couples get married on the San Antonio Riverwalk every year at Marriage Island. In fact, it’s been ranked in the top 10 most romantic destination wedding locations in the world.
The Portland Loo – If anything, get your business done here just so you can say you’ve been inside a $100,000 bathroom.
Get a Great Bite to Eat – Like any tourist destination, the San Antonio Riverwalk boasts many restaurants, but none like The Esquire Tavern. Chow down on a Bison Burger or enjoy the Esquire Bologna Melt. Take a trip back in time with the furniture and décor.
Budget-Friendly Destination and Planning
There’s a reason San Antonio was ranked the 2nd best place in the world to visit on a budget! With free parking on Downtown Tuesdays and numerous coupons valid at stores and restaurants, your visit to San Antonio will be memorable without breaking the bank. Make sure you don’t get lost with our variety of maps that include parking garages. Plan your San Antonio Riverwalk visit around one of the hundreds of events held every year – and be sure you visit for Fiesta at least once in your life.
San Antonio is truly a one-of-a-kind destination for both tourists and residents, and it’s nearly impossible to be bored when you’re downtown. With rich history, beautiful views, and great food, the San Antonio Riverwalk is a gem. Be sure to stop by The Esquire Tavern, accessible directly from the Riverwalk, when you’re in need of fuel for your Riverwalk stroll!