Hotel at a Glance: Omni La Mansion del Rio
Virtually everyone who visits San Antonio visits the city’s riverwalk. The stately Omni La Mansion del Rio, which Condé Nast Traveler praised as “gorgeous,” puts you right on the famous path. The hotel is also within walking distance of another top San Antonio attraction—the Alamo.
- Notable nods: AAA Four Diamond award and TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence in 2015
- Onsite eateries: Your options include a Zagat-rated restaurant, a pool bar, and a Texas-themed spot claiming to serve the best margaritas on the riverwalk.
- Room with a view: Each stylish deluxe room features views of the river or the hotel’s Spanish-style courtyard.
- Heated swimming pool set amid tropical foliage
- Get pampered with reflexology massages and sea-salt body scrubs at the sister property’s spa, which has been lauded in Condé Nast Traveler and Forbes.
Downtown San Antonio: Skyscrapers and the Alamo near the Original River Walk
In the late 1920s, architect Robert H. H. Hugman designed an urban park around the San Antonio River. He envisioned a space that would be the American version of Venice, where people could shop and dine along the waterfront. The original section, a 2.5-mile River Walk running through the heart of downtown, was completed in 1941. It’s been a vital artery in the heart of San Antonio ever since; so vital, in fact, that the city added two extensions in the 2000s—Museum Reach and Mission Reach—that elongated the River Walk to 15 miles total.
Located one story below street level, the downtown section of the River Walk bustles day and night. You can explore it by foot or hop on a river taxi to cruise along the calm waters; some sections are even navigable by kayak. Stone pathways on either side of the river wind past waterfalls and public art installations on their way to restaurants, boutiques, and lively cantinas that stay open well into the night. The Rivercenter Mall, also on the River Walk, is a massive complex that houses shops, movie theaters, and restaurants with outdoor patios overlooking the river. For even better views of the river and downtown, head up to the observation deck of the 750-foot Tower of the Americas.
Downtown San Antonio is also where you’ll find the Alamo. The historic mission-turned-fortress is one of the most visited tourist sites in the state, thanks to the 1836 battle that made it a symbol of Texas independence. Admission is free for all ages.