San Antonio – Museum Reach & Mission Reach
The number one tourist attraction in San Antonio is the famous Riverwalk. Hotels, restaurants & shops line the river for miles and miles. The river was a life source for getting supplies to the missions and the Mission Reach portion of the river is gorgeous. Improvements along the Mission Reach have focused on ecosystem restoration using a technique known as fluvial geomorphology. This technique will transform the straightened river to replicate the original flow of the river while maintaining flood control, reducing erosion, re-introducing native vegetation and creating an environment more suitable for recreation and wildlife. Mission Concepcion is close to the spot where we took a walk to understand the magnitude of this project. Public art graces the park in the form of walls, which represent the original flow of the river towards the mission. Trees have been planted in a manner that will direct the focus of your view to the mission. For more information on this project www.sanantonioriver.org
The Museum Reach portion of the Riverwalk offers river cruise opportunities that might take you to the end where you’ll arrive at a rather new development- The Pearl. Formerly a brewery, now a hot spot for trendy restaurants & shops (Melissa Guerra Tienda de Cocina is located there, as well as the CIA & Nao-New World Flavors), you’ll find something for everyone. The actual brewery is under construction and slated to be a hotel. On Saturday mornings, The Pearl Farmer’s Market brings out the best of San Antonio. As a produce only market, everything is farmed or raised within 150 miles. I found a peach orchard & brought back some peach habenero jelly and some roasted almonds from a nut vendor. Baked goods and organics are also offered. You can even have a free guided tour of the property where you’ll see sculptures and art made from reclaimed materials from the brewery. Very cool.
Read more about the Pearl Brewery- www.atpearl.com
I mentioned the River Cruise and would like to elaborate a little seeing how in Pittsburgh we are known for our rivers. The San Antonio River is often mistaken for a creek by visitors and I was surprised how the narrow Riverwalk accommodates the cruise boats. Our guide actually told us that the boats were created specifically for the size of the canal. Towards the end of the Museum Reach portion, you will go through a lock and dam, which we’re no strangers to up North. I was surprised that in our group of journalists how many had never seen such a thing! It was very small compared to the lock & dam system on the Ohio River. The cruise gave us a nice chance to see the entire Museum Reach portion without having to walk miles and miles. Our guide was excellent at giving historical information and points of reference. I highly recommend taking a River Cruise to see everything that you might miss on a short stroll. There is an abundance of public art under all of the footbridges that cross the river canal. So much to see!