Paseo Del RioAugust 6, 2007
Hubby and I took a little hiatus this weekend and spent some time at Paseo del Rio; the River Walk; here in San Antonio. I love the River Walk and could spend hours and hours exploring and taking in the sights and sounds.
The San Antonio River has a history as long and colorful as the River Walk itself. It was a life line for inhabitants in the area for three centuries. It still is a life line for many as it is the largest tourist attraction in San Antonio. The River Walk came about as a result of efforts to control flooding on the river. Dams, a flood gate and a bypass channel were built to control the level of the water. An architect in the area, Robert Hugman, envisioned the banks of the river as a world apart from the city’s streets- a balance between commercial and park-like atmospheres. It didn’t come about overnight but slowly developed and grew over the years, from 1921 until today. I think if Mr. Hugman could see the Paseo del Rio today he would see his vision brought to life. (More on the history of the River Walk)
I think the best way to approach your River Walk experience is by descending one of the many stairways from street level to the River Walk level. As you descend down the steps you are transported from the hot, busy, noisy streets of the big city to the cooler, relaxed, quiet atmosphere of the River Walk. The gentle sounds of the river, waterfalls and the breeze in the trees all contribute to the relaxed atmosphere while the lights, flowers, colorful umbrellas and the people make the mood festive.
The edges of the river are lined with umbrella covered tables, cafes and shops. There are a wide range of restaurants from which to choose and you have the choice of dining outside or inside (read that: in the air conditioning!). There are lots of souvenir shops and vendors and don’t forget to take a ride on a gondola for a different perspective of the River Walk.
I hope that you can make it to Paseo del Rio some day. I know that I’m looking forward to my next visit!