Spent portions of five days in San Antonio, my first-ever visit to the city. The city’s beauty — especially those areas outside of the main tourist hub downtown — impressed me. Here are shots I took over several days along the River Walk, which surprised me by being so much more than the crowded restaurant and shopping district featured in nearly evenly tourism picture and article.
The River Walk to the south of downtown — the Mission Reach — quickly changes from urban gardens to a quiet, far less crowded area of rural wetlands with occasional arid landscapes. Opened in 2013, it’s notable for the city’s tremendous effort to restore the river to a natural state following a century of flood control measures. The difference in the river between the downtown section and this area is stunning and sudden. Plus, this section takes one to the World Heritage missions and the San Antonio Missions National Park, which I highly recommend.
To the north of downtown — the Museum Reach, completed in 2009 — are beautifully landscaped gardens, several museums, entertainment neighborhoods such as the Pearl District, several large community spaces and parks, and several art installations such as the flying fish in several photos below. As for the museums, the the San Antonio Museum of Art is definitely worth a visit, both for its unusual architecture (it’s in the original Lone Star Brewing complex built in 1884) and its many fine collections, in particular the Latin American folk art exhibit. The Witte Museum and Brackenridge Park at the northernmost end of the River Walk both get good reviews; unfortunately, a line of thunderstorms hit that caused me to call an early to end my explorations. On the plus side, those storms forced me to the Pearl District to seek shelter, and it was there that I happened upon an upscale pop up market where I sampled beer, wine, and cheeses, and spotted a number of interesting food trucks and restaurants, though I did not partake of any.
I have several most posts that I really ought to write about San Antonio, including the historic Spanish missions, the art museum exhibits, a daytrip to Gruene (huge fun!), and so forth. After hearing so many great things about SATX over the years, I feared that I might be left feeling underwhelmed; instead, it was the first time in too long that I’d added a new city on my Must Revisit list.