Tropical-Themed Hotel Along San Antonio River Walk
In 1962, El Tropicano Riverwalk Hotel was the first hotel to open right along San Antonio's now legendary river walk. Its primo waterside perch made the hotel a popular vacation spot, even attracting the attention of celebrities—Julie Andrews, the Rolling Stones, and President Lyndon B. Johnson all stayed here. Today, location is still one of El Tropicano's biggest draws; it sits in one of the first sections of the walk, just a short distance from restaurants, bars, and nightclubs along the San Antonio River.
The hotel's Latin-inspired restaurant, Mangos, sets out a full breakfast buffet each morning that includes scrambled eggs, applewood-smoked bacon, and pancakes. There's also an espresso bar in the lobby, where you can grab a latte or smoothie to sip while you lounge on the riverfront terrace or by the pool. Guest rooms provide comfortable retreats with upgraded amenities, including ergonomic desk chairs, 37-inch flat-screen TVs, and pulsing showerheads.
San Antonio: Historic Missions near Picturesque River Walk
In the late 1920s, architect Robert H. H. Hugman designed an urban park around the San Antonio River—a space he envisioned as an American version of Venice, where people could shop and dine along the waterfront. Completed in 1941, the 2.5-mile river walk still serves as a vital artery in the heart of San Antonio, winding past cafés, hotels, bars, and shops.
Located one story below street level, the waterway is flanked on either side by stone pathways, quiet waterfalls, and towering cypress trees. The waterside path reveals little surprises along the way, such as picturesque restaurants, public art installations, and Davy Crockett's coonskin Mercedes. A new extension connects the walk to the four-story San Antonio Museum of Art, where you'll find more than 25,000 sculptures and paintings ranging from Roman antiquities to contemporary pieces.
Also nearby is the Alamo. Thanks to the 1836 battle that made it a symbol of Texas independence, the mission has become the most visited tourist site in the state. It's actually one of five historic Spanish missions clustered around the San Antonio River. The largest, Mission San José, lies just 5 miles south of downtown. Its famed rose window is once again on display following an extensive renovation.