Guide to the San Antonio River Walk, Texas
Everything the RV Renter Needs to Know
Everything the RV Renter Needs to Know
There’s a good chance that you were planning on making a stop in San Antonio during your RV road trip through Texas to see the historic Alamo. After soaking up the incredible story of this famous building, there is plenty of modern fun to be had in the city. Make your way down to the San Antonio River Walk for nonstop entertainment in a tranquil setting.
The 15-mile stretch of the San Antonio River is brimming with dining, shopping, and other entertainment options – connecting major attractions for easy navigation by foot. This bustling urban walkway came to be in the wake of a major flood back in 1921. Efforts to dam and control river flow were met with a desire to commercially develop the area and the River Walk was born. Today, it is one of the top attractions in the entire state of Texas.
One of the things that will be the most apparent when you arrive at the River Walk is that there is plenty of traffic on the water. Whether you’re looking to simply get from point A to point B, or would like a fully narrated tour, you can find the right boating experience for you. Even dinner cruises are available if you’d like to make an evening out of it.
If you would like to manage the river experience yourself, there are also numerous opportunities to kayak as well. Whether you’ve got your own or would like to rent one, paddling through downtown San Antonio sure is a unique experience. Just keep an eye out for your fellow boaters on the weekends as the waters can get a little busy.
Perhaps most visitors’ favorite aspect of the River Walk is that every restaurant offers riverside dining. Due to the elongated design of the walkway, the restaurants are not too close together, so the dining experience is comfortable and feels more intimate than you might expect. The only thing you’ll find challenging when dining on the River Walk is which of the dozens and dozens of restaurants to choose.
The most famous restaurant is the very first to set up shop along the walkway in 1946. Casa Rio has been serving up some great San Antonio-Style Mexican food for more than 70 years and is loved by locals and tourists, alike. Although the majority of restaurants will be serving up some sort of Tex-Mex fare, check out these options for something a little more unique.
A little more than a decade ago, the River Walk was extended to the north to include a block of attractions aimed at educating visitors on the area. This block is now known as Museum Reach. Up here, you will find the Witte Museum which focuses on the development of life in the south Texas area over hundreds of years as well as a rich history of archaeological finds (dinosaurs) in the region. For a fun afternoon, combine a stop at the Witte with a visit to the San Antonio Museum of Art for a little culture.
Also up in this area is the fantastic San Antonio Zoo. A perfect stop, especially if you have kids in tow, the zoo offers a bunch of close-encounter experiences with some of the animals. Feed a giraffe a lettuce leaf by hand, pet a kangaroo, let a butterfly land on your finger, and so much more. There’s tons of fun for any animal lover at the San Antonio Zoo.
If you are visiting San Antonio, there’s a good chance that you are a little familiar with the historic missions in the area. For those who are unfamiliar, these missions were established by the Spanish back in the 1700s and had the fairly controversial objective of converting native people to the Spanish-Catholic culture. Due to pressures of westward expansion and fighting among numerous Native American tribes, many sought refuge and protection inside the walls of these missions.
There are four missions within the national park on the southern side of the River Walk. On top of the guided tours of these missions, each with its own unique story, there is also a variety of hiking and biking trails on the grounds. As you walk around these historic buildings, take a moment to reflect on the difficult lives of these Texan ancestors and how they influenced the local culture as it exists today.
After all of the food and drink, maybe even some shopping, there’s no better way to round out the evening than with a show at one of the various theaters up and down the River Walk. One of the more informal venues is the Arneson River Theater. Its unique design puts the stage on one side of the river and the 800-seats for the spectators on the other side. To see if there is an event at this charming outdoor venue during your visit, check here.
If you and your group are more interested in a classic theater experience, The Aztec Theater has got you covered. Hosting everything from plays, to modern musical acts, to magicians, The Aztec will be well-prepared to entertain you any weekend night. As you hang out in the lobby, be sure to look up at the signature chandelier, a full two stories tall.
On the southside of San Antonio, only four miles to the city center, Travelers World RV Resort is a great option for the active camping group. Both back-in and pull-through campsites are full hookup ready with 20/30/50-amp electrical service. Onsite activities include a fitness center, biking, hiking trails, swimming pool, hot tub, and outdoor game area.
For groups with children or those that simply love to have fun, check out the San Antonio/Alamo KOA in the eastern neighborhood of Skyline Park (six miles). This fully loaded campground has an outdoor pool, fishing pond, snack bar, pizza restaurant, breakfast restaurant, a biking trail, huge playground, and movie room. Your RV campsite will also be equipped with full hookup connectivity and 50-amp electrical.
Also located in the eastern neighborhood of Skyline Park, Mission City RV Park is less than a six-mile drive to the heart of the River Walk downtown. The resort is happy to accommodate what they refer to as “Texas-Size” rigs, with full hookup pull-through sites fitting rigs up to 90 feet in length. One of the major pluses is that there is a public bus stop right at the resort’s entrance that can get you right to the River Walk downtown. This way, you won’t have to deal with parking closer to the busy city center. Guests will also love winding down in the heated pool after a long day of exploring.
If you want to get a little farther out of the city, consider Greenlake RV Resort on the southeast side (11 miles). The 200-plus-site campground has plenty of full hookup RV campsites available with the option for a lakeview spot. You’ll feel pampered with all of the amenities at Greenlake including a coffee and popcorn bar, exercise center, business center, jacuzzi, stocked fishing pond, and more.
If you would like to stay on the western side of the city, look no further than the Admiralty RV Resort (17 miles). With more than 100 full hookup sites, the campground welcomes rigs in excess of 100 feet in length. On top of the usual amenities (bathhouses, laundry, etc.), campers will also enjoy an exercise facility and junior size Olympic pool. One of the other major draws of this park is the extremely close proximity to Sea World. The owners claim you can even hear the seals bark on quiet days.
As mentioned above, dining is perhaps the primary reason that most folks make their way down to the River Walk. You will pass restaurant after restaurant, after… well, you get the picture. Most of this food will be a variety of tasty Tex-Mex, especially around the downtown loop. As you get further away, however, you’ll find plenty of seafood, BBQ, burgers, Irish pubs, English pubs, and so much more.
The River Walk hosts the major concentration of restaurants in the city, so you are likely to stick around. You can, of course, find other restaurants scattered throughout the city. If you move east from downtown, you will run into restaurants like soul food, Korean, delis, pizza, fried chicken, and of course, Tex-Mex.
No matter where you stay, the vibrant charm of the San Antonio River Walk will provide your group with a modern ‘change of pace’ during your RV camping trip across the Lone Star State.