What Are Some Quiet Parts Of The San Antonio Riverwalk?

San Antonio is synonymous with the Riverwalk. Look up “things to do in San Antonio” and the Riverwalk will be in the top 3 ideas, always. It’s in every photo of SA and every description of SA. It is, quite frankly, the top tourist destination in San Antonio. And since it’s popular, that means it’s also crowded. And loud. And expensive. But the Riverwalk is actually 15 miles long…so what are some quiet parts of the San Antonio Riverwalk? What if you’re just looking for a place away from  the crowds where you can enjoy a peaceful walk next to the water while you listen to a podcast? Here are the most serene parts of the Riverwalk in San Antonio. 

San Antonio Riverwalk

Quick Facts About The San Antonio Riverwalk

Bullet point list, in case you’re in a hurry: 

  • It was built in in the 1940s as a way to both keep the river from flooding the city and to provide a beautiful place for pedestrians to stroll
  • It’s 15 miles long, but most people only see the touristy portion downtown
  • Approximately 11 million people visit the Riverwalk every year
  • The most visited part of the Riverwalk is the downtown Riverwalk. In fact, when people say they’re going to the Riverwalk, they typically are talking about this part. 
  • The San Antonio Riverwalk is always free
  • The restaurants on the Riverwalk are quite expensive
  • The very first restaurant to open on the Riverwalk was Casa Rio
  • Riverwalk improvement and expansion projects are always happening
  • There are now hotels, restaurants, hike and bike areas, dams, bridges, and other additions to constantly improve both the safety and the beauty of the Riverwalk 
Riverwalk San Antonio Casa Rio

What’s the “Main Part” of the Riverwalk?

The main portion of the Riverwalk is the square loop in downtown San Antonio. Here it is highlighted on a map so you can see what we’re talking about: 

San Antonio Riverwalk Map

It’s actually pretty small! But if you see the river extending north and south from that little square, you can get an idea of all the beautiful parts of the San Antonio Riverwalk that aren’t as crowded as the main portion. 

Riverwalk San Antonio
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Where Are The Quiet Portions Of The San Antonio Riverwalk?

San Antonio Riverwalk

There are a lot! Here are a few really beautiful spots you might want to visit sometime soon if you’re looking for a calm, serene portion of the San Antonio Riverwalk: 

1. San Pedro Creek Culture Park

Calm Parts Of The San Antonio Riverwalk-05

Recently renovated and now open to the public, San Pedro Creek Culture Park is an urban oasis in San Antonio. Visitors can stroll the banks of the San Pedro Creek, see the plants, listen to the birds, and enjoy the art. 

With plenty of bridges, benches, pathways, and spots to stop and soak in the beauty, it’s easily one of the most beautiful parts of the San Antonio Riverwalk. 

Located just a little bit north of the main portion of the San Antonio Riverwalk, the SPC Culture Park is easily accessible for both visitors and locals who want a serene place to enjoy a walk by the water. FREE parking is available at 201 Piazza Italia. {Photo: Yelp, Shardanay M.}

WEBSITE | 715 Camaron St, San Antonio, TX 78204

2. The Riverwalk At The Pearl

The Riverwalk At The Pearl

The Historic Pearl is a favorite among both visitors and locals for its excellent selection of shops, award-winning restaurants, local craft brewery, excellent boutique hotel, wine bars, and, of course, the adorable family-friendly splash pad and park in the middle of the district. 

But the portion of the Riverwalk that flows through the historic Pearl is a true gem! Not a lot of people pay attention to the water. (Probably because they're too busy looking at all of those amazing places to eat at The Pearl!)

But if you have a minute to slow down and relax, the Riverwalk, which runs along the west side of Hotel Emma, is beautifully landscaped and rarely crowded. There’s an amphitheater along this portion of the Riverwalk where you can sometimes enjoy free live music in the summer months. And if you snag an outdoor seat at Supper, you get to dine with a view of the water. 

But if you’re simply looking for quiet parts of the San Antonio Riverwalk where you can walk or rest in peace without loud mariachi bands and overpriced beef fajitas, the portion at The Pearl is worth visiting. 

Parking is available in the Pearl parking lot and garage. They offer a garage with free 2-hour parking.

WEBSITE | 303 Pearl Pkwy, San Antonio, TX 78215

3. The Riverwalk By The Blue Star Arts Complex

The Riverwalk By The Blue Star Arts Complex

The Blue Star Arts Complex in San Antonio is known for being home to multiple art galleries, a hip coffee shop, an excellent pizza spot, and one of the oldest breweries in San Antonio. And…it just so happens that this Arts Complex is adjacent to the Riverwalk. 

The Riverwalk By The Blue Star Arts Complex

You can take steps down to the riverwalk and enjoy a much less touristy, less crowded walking area compared to the downtown Riverwalk. This is actually a really great spot to just walk, wander, chat with a friend, listen to a podcast…basically enjoy the water, and not worry about running into 1 million other tourists. 

You can park at the Blue Star Arts Complex (they have paid surface lot parking), or you can find nearby parking in neighboring streets. 

1414 S Alamo St, San Antonio, TX 78210

4. The Riverwalk in Southtown San Antonio

The Riverwalk in Southtown San Antonio

It’s literally just about a ½ mile south of the main portion of the downtown San Antonio Riverwalk, but if you head down to Southtown you’ll find a much different Riverwalk experience: quiet, shaded pathways, a calm and serene river, and huge properties with large manicured lawns on either side of the water. This portion of the San Antonio Riverwalk is where you go when you need to take a deep breath and fuel your soul. 

The Riverwalk in Southtown San Antonio

There’s some free parking on the street. However, if you’re starting downtown and you want to see the mariachi bands and river cruises, you could definitely just walk down to Southtown. It’s about a 15-20 minute walk to this quiet, peaceful portion of the San Antonio Riverwalk. 

The Riverwalk in Southtown San Antonio

247 Washington St, San Antonio, TX 78204

5. The San Antonio Missions

The San Antonio Missions

The Alamo is the most famous San Antonio Mission, but there are actually 5 of them scattered around San Antonio. They’re all near the river (for obvious reasons…they didn’t have plumbing and needed a source of water back in those days!), and the San Antonio Riverwalk actually extends all the way to the furthest mission, which is Mission San Jose. 

The San Antonio Missions

If you’re really looking for a peaceful and beautiful way to enjoy the Riverwalk in San Antonio, try biking your way through all 5 San Antonio missions. We have a guide with all the details if you’d like to read it. 

The San Antonio Missions

And if you don’t want to go on a long bike ride and you just want a historic and serene place to enjoy the water, both Mission San Juan and Mission San Jose, which are located south of downtown, offer quiet areas to enjoy the Riverwalk away from the crowds. (The Alamo, which is in downtown San Antonio, is a cool place to see but it’s definitely not a peaceful area..it’s one of the top tourist destinations in San Antonio.) 

WEBSITE | 9101 Graf Rd, San Antonio, TX 78214

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