Sunday, December 14, 2014

Cruising the San Antonio River Part 2

In my last post we cruised the Museum Reach section of the San Antonio River from The Pearl to the Locks and Dam at Brooklyn Avenue just north of downtown.  Today we'll continue the cruise from Brooklyn Avenue to the beginning of the Paseo Del Rio tourist area.  To see my walking tours of this area go here and here.  The comparison of the walking tour with the view from the river gives a very different perspective.

The doors to the locks open and we cruise south from the locks and dam.

Perforated disks form the Puente of Rippling Waters sculpture on the Brooklyn Avenue bridge.  The city includes several bridges in the public art installation along the river adding dimension to the experience.  The sun/shade patterns created by the disks are not visible on this cold, cloudy day.

Fan Palms punctuate the skies all over town and the River Walk is no exception.

Roses, probably Knockouts, add to the variety of plants in the landscaping here.

Native Lindheimer's muhly is a drought tolerant and popular ornamental grass along the river.

Rusellia dips into the water, its flowers picking up the waving hands colors of the Puente de Encuentros sculpture on the McCullough Avenue Bridge.

As we head south the landscaping turns more tropical.  Pindo Palm adds a silvery accent.

Palms and Philodendron selloum which is root hardy in our climate.

The new section meets the old at Hugman Dam, which is now cut through.  Until 2009, the River Walk ended here.  Tablets detail the history of this area.

Stonework from the 1930s marks the beginning of the downtown section of the River Walk.

Tropical landscaping alongside the recently restored El Tropicano Hotel built in 1962 as the first hotel on the River Walk.

Retama trees bloom yellow in the fall.

The new Tobin Center for the Performing Arts comes into view.  I recently posted a tour of the center.

Another Carlos Cortes installation, a faux boix arbor adds character to this spot.

Stones salvaged from the original Municipal Auditorium building were repurposed into new walls on the entrance plaza.

Three mature palms preserved during construction of the center mark the riverfront landing.

Potted greenery attached to a balcony adds charm among the tropical green.

Mosaic of Jose Antonio Navarro, a lawyer and early advocate of Texas independence from Mexico.

Faux bois bench across the way.

Pennisetum grasses add fall interest along with Yucca Color Guard.

So many special spots like this bench and purple blooming plant.

An iron bridge spans the river at Augusta Street.

A large park spans this bend in the river.

The bright Yaupon berries beckon visitors up the stairs alongside this restaurant balcony.

An aquatic habitat for plants that love wet feet.

Ducks swim the river alongside the barges

Bright variegated ginger leaves combine with gold lantana and esperanza.

Salvia 'Hot Lips" and pink muhly present another pretty combination

Blue plumbago and Rusellia

It's hard to get lost with all the markers both old and new to guide you.

Iron and stonework contrast with modern buildings

This dramatic waterfall belongs to the Embassy Suites Hotel

Not everything in town is old or meant to look old.

Great windows on this Older building along Houston Street.

More of that old-new contrast

The lights draping from the Bald Cypress trees by early November mark the holiday season.  I watched from that balcony as city workers draped lights from the trees when I worked in the building.

The Mexican Manhattan is a nice place for lunch.

We turn to the Paseo del Rio loop through downtown.  Straight ahead is one of the floodgates which drops down when the water is above flood stage protecting tourists and businesses on the Paseo del Rio on the other side.

We'll continue our tour of the Paseo del Rio in a future post.  Meanwhile you can see how beautiful it looks during the holidays in this post from 2012.


  1. They've really done a good job with the landscaping here.
    Thanks for the tour.

  2. Really enjoyable tour Shirley, with the fascinating mix of sights! Thanks for sharing and taking us along!

  3. Great post! It's been several year's since my husband and I visited the River Walk. The photos bring back many memories.

  4. Your post is a great way to generate enthusiasm in other family members to get back to SA and revisit several of our old haunts that have been updated in such lovely fashion. The river walk and surrounding areas have changed significantly since the last time we strolled, and your post is giving me all the backup I'll need to initiate plans for a "reunion tour"!. Thanks again for sharing with us.

  5. I love your awesome tours, Shirley. You are so good at showing off our beautiful cityl!!!!


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