The best way to build a vacation plan when you visit San Antonio is to let the river be your guide. The San Antonio River begins just four miles north of downtown, not far from San Antonio International Airport. It flows south into another feeder river that reaches the Gulf of Mexico.
Long before it reaches the coast, however, it weaves and winds its way through San Antonio, passing by local businesses, restaurants, and historical sites. Locals call this portion The River Walk or Paseo del Río. No matter what you call it, the River Walk is the perfect way to experience all that San Antonio has to offer.
If you’re not sure where to start, ease into everything with a guided boat tour. You’ll be able to get the lay of the land and learn a little history while you’re at it. Most companies offer options to fit your plans, including dining tours, hop-on-and-off options that let you set your own pace, and simple water taxis that shuttle from place to place.
You can’t visit San Antonio without a trip to the Alamo. Originally known as the Misión San Antonio de Valero, the historic Spanish-mission-turned-fort is located just a few blocks from the river. It operates today as a museum commemorating the Battle of the Alamo and the Texas Revolution. It is the most famous of five 18th-century missions that make up the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. Just keep heading downstream from the Alamo to experience missions Concepción, San Jose, San Juan, and Espada, which each have their own stories to tell.