Living on the River Walk

Let’s face it. The only reason people don’t think of the River Walk first when they think of San Antonio is because of the Alamo. Which, for the record, is right across the street.

But the River Walk is by far the downtown’s largest attraction, bringing millions of visitors to stroll, shop, and take in the miles of gorgeous southwestern-style tile mosaics. On any given day, all year long, you will find tourists and visitors grabbing lunch, shopping, taking pictures, or hopping onto one of the walk’s fabled riverboat tours.

Being on the River Walk may make a person want to live there. And you can do it, if you want to live in an apartment. Most places where you could sleep and shower are hotels, but apartments do exist, some for students of the city’s colleges, and some for residents.

To be sure, you would be living where the action is. The River Walk is actually a network of walkways around the San Antonio River that hosts festivals, fairs, fine dining, weddings, and more, year-round. Christmas brings out carolers and summer brings out crowds looking for a great time. And there’s always going to be something to do, between the shops and restaurants alone.

The downside, of course, is whether these large crowds will appeal to you or whether their constant presence will wear on you. On any given day, there will be thousands (and thousands) of people milling around the various parts of the River Walk. Most of them will be fine, but a regular number of them will be loud. Some will be tipsy from one of the walk’s many bar-restaurants.

There’s also the boat rides, which are fun to take, but if your window is on the tour, you will be greeted with the same narration several times a day, every day. It’s also expensive. While rents are in line with other desirable areas of the city, buying food or drinks or emergency supplies at the pharmacy will cost you more if you shop on the River Walk.

And, like all of the best tourist destinations, you will have to deal with parking, which is lacking in downtown San Antonio. If your building doesn’t have its own resident parking area, you will have to fight the crowds who want to see the River Walk and the nearby Alamo and downtown, where the theater district also lies.

Lastly, the thing to consider is this: If you love a restaurant, the worst advice is to buy it. Likewise, if you love visiting the River Walk, moving to it could ruin what most appealed to you when you first saw it. The River Walk can be a lot of fun, but like any touristy area, it comes with its drawbacks. Make sure you know it’s for you and what you’re walking into if you want to live there. But if you do, have fun, and you’ll have some of the best views of the water and the downtown you can get. Posted by Richard Soto on
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