Riverfront Hotel Reflecting Alamo City's History
If you take a stroll along San Antonio’s river walk, you can essentially trace the city's history. On one end, you'll find the Alamo, the small Spanish mission that became the site of a legendary battle and a symbol of Texas independence. Farther up, the 2.5-mile stretch of river is fringed with boutiques and restaurants. It’s a small indicator of how much the city has prospered since its old days—San Antonio is America's seventh-largest city by population, and one of its richest.
Down the river and roughly 15 yards south of the river walk is the Riverwalk Plaza Hotel & Suites, and its decor nods to San Antonio's past. Poster-size monochrome photographs line guest-floor hallways, chronicling the nearby Franciscan missions, the 1968 HemisFair, and the buildup of downtown.
Most rooms feature small balconies where you can tease pigeons with complimentary Otis Spunkmeyer cookies. Some rooms face the fourth-floor courtyard and heated pool. You can also relax at a lending library in the lobby, stocked with scores of borrowable books, or the Bar-Salona Lounge & Brasserie, which serves New American dinner fare and specialty cocktails. Adjacent to the hotel lobby, Java Plaza opens early and serves breakfast and lunch.
San Antonio, Texas: 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—it wends its way 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 winding River Walk path reveals a few little surprises along the way, such as picturesque restaurants, public art installations, and cardboard cutouts of Davy Crockett. A new extension connects the River Walk to the four-story San Antonio Museum of Art, which houses more than 25,000 sculptures and paintings that range from Roman antiquities to contemporary art.
Also neighboring the River Walk is the Alamo. Thanks to the 1836 battle that made it a symbol of Texas independence, the Alamo 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.
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