LIKE any tourist in the area, the boat ride across the famed river of San Antonio is a must. I’ve taken the ride on the first visit to the area but I didn’t mind taking it again when I found myself in this city again.
No, it wasn’t the lure of the gondola built for two steered by a singing hunk of a gondolier ride that made me hop on the boat again. In fact, the 40-minute ride is shared with forty other tourists eager to see what’s along the famous 2.5-mile River Walk stretch. There’s no singing either, but the boat captains’ stories of this city’s rich and colorful history is like music to the ears, interestingly narrated (with a bit of humor injected) as they navigate the riverboat under footbridges and through the winding river where San Antonio’s memorable sights are located or visible. My first ride was during the holiday season and I wanted to see how it was during the fall season.
The boat ride may be a fun, relaxing and educational way to get to know San Antonio but walking across the public park through the lush landscapes and network of walkways along the banks of the river one level below the city streets can be as exciting, which I would suggest you do after the boat ride.
On foot, you have the option to linger longer at any of the major tourist draws that the river connects—the Alamo, Rivercenter Mall, Arneson River Theater, Marriage Island, La Villita, HemisFair Park, Tower Life Building, San Antonio Museum of Art, the Pearl Brewery— admire them, take as many photos as you want and move to the next at your own pace. Along the way you can have a drink or two at the bars, stop and shop at the souvenir stores, grab a bite of the restaurants’ specialties—San Antonio River Walk aka Paseo del Rio is lined with watering holes, shops and restaurants.
Just like the Alamo, the San Antonio River Walk receives millions of visitors, both local and foreign, per year. Although the walk in the park and along the riverbanks is free, the 40-minute boat ride through history is a steal at $8.25 (about P340), admission for kids and senior is priced lower.
Will I do this again when I revisit San Antonio? Yes. I am hoping it will be on any of the 20 events that take place on River Walk yearly and that is 20 more reasons why I (and you) should visit this Lone Star State destination.
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