Certainly one of the most visited and beautiful attractions in not only San Antonio, but also the entire state; is Paseo del Rio, or the River Walk. A connecting series of walkways resting along the banks of the San Antonio River forms the River Walk. The winding walkways, situated one story beneath the downtown district of San Antonio, are lined by restaurants, shops, and bars.
Completely a pedestrian street, the River Walk is comprised of two sidewalks that run parallel to one another on either side of the San Antonio River. The walkways are connected through bridges. While the River Walk has certainly become an integral part of the city of San Antonio, that has not always been the case. It was not until the late 1920s that the concept of the River Walk was developed. Until that time the San Antonio River had actually served as a source of trouble to the city and the idea of paving over the river had even been suggested. Eventual development in the area allowed for commercial development as well as flood prevention. Today, the River Walk is an extremely successful commercial and tourist enterprise.
Some of the most popular tourist attractions in the city are located either on the River Walk or just off the River Walk. These attractions include the Arneson River Theatre, River Center Mall, and the Alamo.
In addition to wandering along the 2 ½ miles that comprise the River Walk, visitors also have the option of taking river taxis in order to reach the destination of their choice. There are certainly numerous sites to see along the way. One site that tends to rise high into the sky regardless of where you might be on the River Walk is the Torch of Friendship sculpture. This bright red sculpture was presented to San Antonio by the Association of Mexican Entrepreneurs.
Arneson Theatre, located right on the edge of the River, is the scene for a variety of different events and performances throughout the year. The River Center Mall is a three-story mall offering numerous shops ranging from Macy’s and Dillard’s to more quaint and local boutiques.
Perhaps one of the most popular activities on the River Walk is the river tour. These tours are conducted aboard boards by knowledgeable tour guides who point out interesting facts about the River Walk. Guests can also choose to enjoy a cocktail cruise or dinner cruise.