San Antonio is too large to be a “well-kept secret.” And yet, it has that feel. Ask people about it, and they’ll know the Alamo, maybe. The San Antonio Spurs, possibly. But people who like to eat, drink, and live well know one thing about San Antonio: its wonderful River Walk.
It features dozens of restaurants, offering everything from barbecue to Southwestern to catfish. Lots of hotels, from the budget variety to the five-star. Interesting attractions, unique shopping, dazzling nightlife, all along the picturesque San Antonio River. There’s a mall (of course), theaters, museums, and it literally is a “walk” — most of these attractions are along a couple of sidewalks one level down from street level.
River Walk has its origins in a flood control plan conceived in the 1920s to protect the downtown area. A bypass channel for the river was originally going to be paved over, but the San Antonio Conservation Society and prominent local architect Robert Hugman had a better idea: Turn the river into a center for local commerce. Downtown San Antonio wasn’t especially safe at that time, and some thought the idea foolish. Time has shown that Hugman was a visionary, and the River Walk has been lengthened several times because of its popularity with businesses.
Many festivals are held along the river, so if you’d like to take one in, consider going to Fiesta in April, Restaurant Week in August, or JazzS’Alive in September. But really, there’s always something happening on the River Walk. It’s San Antonio’s festival that never stops.