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Posted On 03/14/2019 15:04:24
Trip Date 03/17/2018
Destinations | Texas | San Antonio | Paseo del Rio | River Walk | Spend time with friends in San Antonio | What to do in Texas on St. Patrick's Day
If you have the opportunity, a visit to the San Antonio River Walk is a great way to spend part of a day during a holiday season. The seasons of Easter and Christmas attract lots of tourists to the city, but even less popular days like St. Patrick's Day have goings-on that are fun to watch!
Paseo del Rio
The San Antonio River runs through the heart of downtown San Antonio and is popular with locals and visitors alike throughout the year. A walk along the Paseo del Rio, often referred to as The River Walk, is a very enjoyable way to experience both the river and many of the other attractions in the area. The walk itself is at the level of the river water, which is below street level, so many of the sounds of the busy city pass you by.
With a wide assortment of restaurants and bars, people are instantly attracted to The River Walk. Many of the restaurants are at the river water level (sunken below street level) and offer patio dining in addition to indoor seating. While there are times when the walk is congested with people, at other times a walk along Paseo del Rio is such a peaceful and enjoyable stroll. In fact, during most of the year, it is a great place to enjoy a meal or drinks sitting with friends and family by the slow moving and peaceful river.
Stepping aside for Others to Pass By
Things to Do in Downtown San Antonio
While the list goes on and on, here's a few of our favorite things to do in downtown San Antonio:
Get Acquainted with the River on a Guided Tour
The guided group tours on one of the many barges make for a fun afternoon or evening ride around a river loop. The guides tell the history of the local area including the early settlers and also share fun stories about the many celebrities that have visited the city. For all of the movie fans out there, they also have many a story about the movies that have been filmed in the area.
Touring the San Antonio River
Remember the Alamo
Tour the state's most visited historic landmark - The Alamo, located just a short walk from the Paseo del Rio. A visit to the 300 year old Spanish mission is free for everyone, however guided tours are also available for those interested in learning even more about the famous Battle of the The Alamo. When visiting San Antonio during the Christmas season, don't miss the beautiful well-lit Christmas tree that stands in front of the mission.
The Alamo at Night
Remembering The Alamo
Christmas Tree at The Alamo
Attend a Theater Performance
There are several theaters in the downtown area offering an ever changing variety of Broadway shows. An afternoon or evening at the theater and dinner on The River Walk is a wonderful combination.
Enjoy a Romantic Carriage Ride
If you're looking for a more romantic or personal experience, why not take a carriage ride? The rides, offered year round, start near the Alamo and travel around the historic old town area.
Daytime Carriage Rides
Nighttime Carriage Rides
Spend some time in El Mercado
Near the intersection of Commerce Street and North Santa Rosa Street is El Mercado, a three block area which offers shopping, dining, entertainment and more. With over a hundred vendors, it is a great place to find souvenirs unique to San Antonio as well as some of the best Mexican food. If you are lucky, your visit many coincide with one of the many times when there are music and dance shows in the Mercado Centrum.
Shop (or at least Browse!)
Downtown San Antonio has shops for everyone to browse through or buy from. Shops at RiverCenter is a covered mall filled with food, fashion and more, and can be a great place to escape the heat. If you are interested in returning home with a real Texas souvenir, why not make a visit to Paris Hatters. This world famous store is the place to see and buy authentic cowboy hats. In business for over 100 years (since 1917), many famous travelers have stopped in for their own unique cowboy experience. While inside, you'll also get a glimpse of what the city was like when the wild west days were changing and evolving into the urban trading hub of today.
Holidays in San Antonio are such a fun time to be at The River Walk as the city goes all out to celebrate. Our most recent "holiday" experience in San Antonio was on St. Patrick's Day of 2018. The many civic groups collaborate on decorating boats and the whole town celebrates with a parade as they color the river green similar to Chicago.
Just before 3:00 PM on March 17th, we grabbed a couple of open shaded spots on the wall alongside The River Walk near the bridge commonly referred to as Selena's Bridge. (The bridge was so named following the filming of the movie "Selena" in which JLo, playing the lead role, was proposed to while on the bridge.) During our visit, the bridge was adorned with shamrocks in honor of St. Patrick's Day.
Crossing under the Selena Bridge
Mere minutes after we sat, we began hearing some commotion from the boats gliding on the river water. We thought it might be the parade, however we had read that it didn't start until 4:00 PM. Just after the first boat passed, we noticed the green coloring flowing into the water and quickly realized that the three boats traveling together were all sponsored by MadDogs British Pub, and their mission was to color the river water green!
Dying the River Water Green
We enjoyed some people watching for a little over an hour - especially every now and again when there was a slight breeze. At about 4:10 PM the first of 14 floats reached our seating area, each decked out in green with some sort of Irish entertainment.
Obligatory Selfie with St. Patty's Day Parade Float
Of all of the floats, the most memorable were the floats numbered 8, 9 and 11. Float 8, sponsored by a local Irish Dance school, featured young women dancing to Irish music as they floated by.
Floating Performance by Students of Irish Dance School
Float 9, sponsored by Howl at the Moon, quickly caught our attention as it was the loudest of all of the floats. The onboard pianist was playing "Sweet Caroline" while sailing in our vicinity. He, along with the remaining guests on the float (plus the crowd on the sidelines) were all singing along.
Float sponsored by Howl at the Moon
Finally, float 11 featured traditional Irish music played by a group of bagpipers from San Antonio Pipes and Drums.
Float sponsored by San Antonio Pipes and Drums
The Season of Christmas on the San Antonio River Walk
Like many cities during the Christmas season, downtown San Antonio is even more decked out for the winter holiday. With the Paseo del Rio, however, the city's historic entertainment district is somewhat unique. Starting at the RiverCenter Shopping Mall and continuing up to the restaurant area and around the loop near La Villita Theater and back again, the circular walking path along the river shows a festive flair with Christmas lights.
Paseo del Rio decked out in Lights
No matter what season you decide to visit central Texas, a visit to San Antonio and the River Walk will
certainly be enjoyable. What is your favorite time of year to visit and what do you enjoying seeing and doing in San Antonio, Texas?
Created On 01/06/2019 22:43:14
Updated On 03/14/2019 15:04:24
Scheduled On 03/09/2019 19:24:00
Posted On 03/14/2019 15:04:24
Last Editor Stacy
Location San Antonio River Walk