Thursday, November 22, 2012

San Antonio River Walk - A favorite for the holidays

San Antonio's River Walk is a holiday wonderland.  You will find shops, restaurants, and hotels lining the San Antonio River. With sidewalks, stairs to the street level, historic sites to tour, and boats floating lazily down the canals, you will find plenty to enjoy in this area of San Antonio. In late November, the River Walk takes on a holiday glow. The colorful lights along the river will put you in the holiday mood.

Holiday Festivities
On Friday, November 23rd at 7:00 in the evening, watch the San Antonio River Walk come alive under beautifully draped LED lights in 200 trees. Tourists and locals alike can enjoy the show from seats located along the parade route, or from the patios of their favorite River Walk establishment.
This year’s theme, The Lights and Sounds of the Season, reflects exactly what spectator can expect from the floats- over 85,000 lights, more than half of which will blink, flash, twinkle, chase or “beat” to the music. Floats will also feature live entertainment, filling the River Walk with traditional holiday carols, as well as symphonic favorites. Hotels and restaurants lining the River Walk offer special dining packages for the event.

In December enjoy the Fiesta de las Luminarias. Experience the holiday serenity of the River Walk as you stroll along the lush banks of the San Antonio River guided by more than 6,000 luminarias. Warmly glowing candles in sand filled bags line the walkways to symbolically mark the "lighting of the way" for Holy Family. This centuries old tradition begins at dusk Friday, Saturday and Sunday only.

Your River Walk Experience
The lights dance above you in joyful color. Who wouldn't be uplifted by a visit to San Antonio's River Walk at holiday time. You can enjoy walking or just sit at an outdoor cafe (yes the weather is mild) and watch the world float and walk by. But for a real treat, consider a dinner on the river. There are several River Walk restaurants that offer dinner on the River barges.

We took the cruise offered through Boudros, one of the top restaurants on the River Walk.

We boarded the boat just in front of Boudros. The table was set and the wait staff were pouring margaritas and wine. The staff took our orders for entres and told us we would take a short cruise and be back to the restaurant to pick up the main course and dessert.

Soon, Boudro's famous fresh guacamole arrived and we set sail down the river for a narrated cruise. We enjoyed our appetizers and salad and, just as they said, we ended up back in front of Boudros and were served the main course, piping hot from the kitchen.

Setting sail again down the river we went even farther, entranced by the colorful lights hanging from above.

Throughout the trip we were serenaded by boat loads of carolers and bands. From the banks we could hear the strains of Mariachi music. It was indeed a magical evening.

Information on Barge Dining with Boudros

Community Barge Dining
Reservations for community barge dining may be made up to two weeks in advance. Please contact the Catering Office at (210)224-1313 (Mon-Fri 8 am-5 pm CST) or the restaurant at (210)224-8484 for availability and times of barge dining. A credit card number is required to confirm. Boudro's Website

Private Barge Dining
Reservations for private barge dining must be made with the Catering Office. For menus and pricing please call (210)224-1313 (Mon-Fri 8 am-5 pm CST). Boudro's Website

More Information
List of chartered barge tours for cocktail and dinner cruises
For information on River Walk festivities go to the River Walk Website.
For Boat Tour reservations go to the Rio San Antonio Cruise Website.

Photography Copyright: Elizabeth R. Rose