The San Antonio Riverwalk has been described as a ‘verdant oasis of cypress-lined paved paths, arched stone bridges, and lush landscapes.’ And all of this is true! The Summer Artisan show winds through the city center, providing millions of visitors with easy access to the city’s cultural hot spots.
The Riverwalk Downtown
The San Antonio River symbolizes the heart and soul of the city. It used to be a gathering place for Native Americans; the first Spanish settlers built their homes there. But finally, in 1941, H. H. Hughman’s Riverwalk plans were completed. The project transformed downtown through beautification, preservation and flood control.
In preparation for the world’s fair of 1968, new hotels were built and older buildings were renovated. The Riverwalk was extended and passenger river barges began operating. Today, visitors can tour the Riverwalk by bike using the city’s bike-share program. And for the more adventurous tourists, you can now kayak through South Town riverwalk.
The Mission Reach
To the south, the one-mile Eagleland section incorporates ecosystem restoration, a walking path and hiking and biking trails. The Mission Reach section extends 8 miles from Lone Star Boulevard to Mission Espada. The Riverwalk exemplifies San Antonio’s passion for historic preservation and adaptive reuse of centuries-old buildings. Some of these historic buildings include:
La Villita Historic Arts Village – a collection of boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants that date back to the mid-1800s when European immigrants lived and worked there.
Drury Plaza Hotel – The former Alamo National Bank Building, and an art-deco skyscraper built in 1929.
San Antonio Museum of Art – Although it only opened as a museum in 1981, it used to be known as the Lone Star Brewery, and was built in 1904. The building has survived through prohibition and is now used to display collections of LaTin American Folk Art.
The Summer Artisan Show
There are 10 artisan shows that take place at The Riverwalk each year. The Summer Artisan Show will be on the weekend of July 28th-July 30th from 11:00 A.M. to 11:00 P.M. Artisans from all over Texas come to display and sell their beautiful handmade merchandise along the San Antonio River Walk. The Artisans are different each show but usually include pottery, textiles, jewelry, woodwork, paintings, beadwork, and more!
The festival is free to attend. Vendors and artisans can register at the Riverwalk website. For a gallery and list of past vendors, click here. The show will begin close to the Chamber of Commerce building and Shops at Rivercenter. San Antonio and other South Texas locals are strongly encouraged to take the trip down to Riverwalk and support your local artists and vendors.
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