San Antonio & the Riverwalk
An appealing conference site, San Antonio has many attractions within the vicinity of the
conference hotel. Let’s start with location.
Conference Home Base: The Sheraton Gunter Hotel
Address: 209 East Houston Street, San Antonio, TX 78205; Phone: 210-227-3241
(useful for checking out the location on an Internet source like
MapQuest or Google Maps)
General Location: In the center of the downtown area—on East Houston Street,
bounded on the west by St. Mary’s Street, and on the east by Navarro
Because of the picturesque Riverwalk, along a narrow, winding stretch of the San Antonio
River, San Antonio has sometimes been called the American Venice. Aside from the Alamo (see
below), a priority for visitors to this Texan city is . . . the Paseo Del Rio, or Riverwalk.
The Riverwalk is a three-minute walk from the conference hotel. Exiting the hotel on East
Houston Street, turn right, heading westward toward N. Mary’s Street. Turn left on N. St.
Mary’s, heading south toward the Riverwalk. You’ll pass College Street. Right before you
reach the next intersection (West Crockett Street), you should encounter on the right-hand
side of St. Mary’s, if you cross over, a stone stairway leading down to the Riverwalk, near the
beginning of the commercial section, and find yourself on the walkway of the northern bank of
the Riverwalk. (If you keep walking on the left-hand side of St. Mary’s to West Crockett Street,
you’ll encounter a stairway leading to the Riverwalk’s southern bank walkway.)
The popular commercial section of the Riverwalk is lined with appealing restaurants and shops.
This extensive section actually begins about one street west of St. Mary’s. If you turn right on
the Riverwalk, having descended from the first St. Mary’s Street stairway, and head westward
(the sparser commercial direction), you will see on both the northern and southern banks the
first eateries of the commercial section, as shown in the table below.
Streets Northern Bank Southern Bank
Texas Land & Cattle Steak House
(in Drury Inn and Suites)
Stefania’s Dolores del Rio (Italian
dining & jazz nightly)
St. Mary’s Street On the Riverwalk, take a right, You may wish to return to street
(your point of entry) heading westward, to encounter level to take the other set of stairs
the eateries listed above. at the St. Mary’s/West Crockett
intersection leading down to the
other bank of the Riverwalk, turning
left to head westward to encounter
the sites listed above in this column.
For everything in the table below For everything in the table below
and on the following page, take a and on the following page, take a
left, heading eastward. right, heading eastward.
Aztec on the River; The Iron Cactus
(Mexican Grill & Margarita Bar)
Peca on the River
Waxy’s Irish Pub
Las Canarias & El Colegio Bar— Rita’s on the River (Texas food &
Mexican (in La Mansión Hotel) margarita bar)
The South Bank
Note: There are also several bridges, as you stroll down the Riverwalk, that can take you
quickly to the other bankside. As the table continues below, the sites listed are those you will
encounter, heading eastward along the Riverwalk from one of the St. Mary’s stairway
entrances, whether you are walking along the northern or the southern bank. Keep in mind
that these listings were recorded in the summer of 2008. A recent review of Internet sites
indicates that such listings should still be accurate, although a few changes or additions may
have occurred in the meantime.
Streets Northern Bank Southern Bank
Navarro Street The County Line Barbeque
in vicinity of Dick’s Last Resort (American) Hard Rock Café
Navarro St. bridge
Joe’s Crab Shack (Seafood) Paesano’s (Mediterranean)—
2nd floor, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream
Landry’s Seafood House
E. Houston Street
Mad Dog British Pub
The Shops of Paseo del Alamo
Jim Cullum’s Landing (American)
Saltgrass Steak House
Ice Cream Parlor (Häagen-Dazs)
in vicinity of bridge Paloma Riverwalk Parilla Grille
Zuni Grill Southwestern Cuisine Five & Dime General Store
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
The Coyote Ugly Saloon
Lone Star Café (Texas cuisine) Rio Rio Cantina, The Original
Mexican Restaurant & Bar
Michelino’s Ristorante Italiano Boudro’s—A Texas Bistro
Café Olé (Mexican) The Republic of Texas (TX cuisine)
Over bridge to other Casa Rio Mexican Food
Durty Nelly’s Irish Pub
Ibiza Patio Bar & Restaurant (in Rio San Antonio Cruises,
Hilton) reg. fare, $7.75
(Wed/Th 10-9; Fri/Sat 10-10)
In vicinity of bridge Hilton—The Stetson
Tex’s Sports Bar on the River
Little Rhein Steak House (Amer.)
Fig Tree (Continental)
Entrance to La Villita—Historic
Arts Village of Old San Antonio
(shops, galleries, restaurants),
open daily 10 a.m.-6 p.m.,
At this point the walkways have completely curved around, horseshoe-style, so that directions
are reversed. Additional sites, but more sparse, may be found by continuing on the walkways,
which will eventually head back to S. St. Mary’s Street at a different point. If you go up the
stairway to S. St. Mary’s, you’ll encounter Biga on the Banks, another restaurant, 203 S. St.
Mary’s and W. Market St., 210-225-0722
Note: For Riverboat Cruises or Dinner Cruises, call 1-210-244-5700 or 1-800-417-4139.
When it comes to food, it is certainly possible to spend all your free time on the Riverwalk,
which has a charming ambience all its own. But if you are looking for dining alternatives within
a pedestrian’s reach from the conference hotel, they are easy to find.
In the Conference Hotel: St. Anthony’s-Wyndham
Barron’s (in-house restaurant)
McLeod’s, a pub
East Houston Street
To exit the front entrance of the Sheraton Gunter Hotel is to find yourself on East Houston
Street. This area has been revitalized and now, concentrated over several blocks, may be
found a variety of eating establishments—all within reasonable walking distance of the hotel.
Turn right and keep walking to find on the other side of the street:
Acenar Modern TexMex in Hotel Valencia, 146 E. Houston St., 210-222-2362
Sip (coffeehouse/pastries), 160 E. Houston St., 210-222-0149.
Directly across from the Sheraton Gunter is the following:
Houston Street Bistro, 204 E. Houston St., 210-476-8600.
Turn left to find on the Sheraton Gunter side of the street:
Most obviously, Barron’s Restaurant, in Sheraton Gunter Hotel, 205 E. Houston St., 210-227-
3241, but right next door, the Gunter Bakery.
Just a little further:
Bohanan’s Prime Steak and Seafood, 219 E. Houston St., 210-472-2600
The Palm Restaurant, 233 E. Houston St., 210-226-7256
Also located on this street
Riverwalk Market and Deli, 126 E. Houston St., 210-225-3757
Majestic Theatre, 224 E. Houston St., 210-226-9600 (tickets), and the restaurant City Club at
the Majestic, 224 E. Houston St.
San Antonio Children’s Museum, 305 E. Houston St., 210-212-4453
Buckhorn Saloon Café, 318 E. Houston St., 210-247-4000
Buckhorn Museum (located with the Buckhorn Saloon), 318 E. Houston St., 210-247-4000
Restaurants Again: A Little Further Off
Several blocks from the conference hotel, walking south on Navarro Street, past E. Houston St.
and College Street, past the Riverwalk and W. Crockett St., takes you to E. Commerce Street.
Take a right (westward) on E. Commerce St. to arrive at:
The Presidio Restaurant, 245 E. Commerce St., 210-472-2265 (new wave Mediterranean
Also, on N. St. Mary’s Street, consider:
Windows on the River, 217 N. St. Mary’s Street, 210-224-2500.
Remember the Alamo! And while you’re at it, how about other nearby attractions?
300 Alamo Plaza, 210-225-1391, x 34
To walk there, exit the conference hotel, turn left on E. Houston and another left on Navarro,
to E. Travis Street, across from which is Travis Park. Turn right, heading eastward on E. Travis
St., past Jefferson St. and Broadway St. to N. Alamo St. Turn right (southward) on N. Alamo St,
which leads to Alamo Plaza. The Alamo itself is located in the vicinity of Alamo Plaza and E.
The Convention and Visitors Bureau International Center, 317 Alamo Plaza, 210-207-6706.
If you have walked that far, you are close, a little further south, to the Rivercenter Mall,
bounded on the north by E. Crockett St. and on the south by E. Commerce St.
The Rivercenter Mall, 849 E. Commerce St., 210-250-0000
For many shops, more dining outlets, movie theaters (including IMAX), and even the
Rivercenter Comedy Club (3rd level)—210-229-1420, this is a site to consider. The mall is open
10 a.m.-9 p.m. Mon.-Sat., and 12-6 p.m. Sun.
If you have walked that far, you might also wish to consider, by the Rivercenter Mall, yet one
more dining establishment:
Morton’s—The Steak House, 849 E. Commerce St., 210-228-0935
Finally, to have walked this far places you right nearby San Antonio’s HemisFair Park. Keep
walking south on Alamo Plaza, which becomes S. Alamo St., past the Rivercenter Mall. Cross
E. Commerce St. to E. Market St. to arrive at HemisFair Park.
HemisFair Park, 200 S. Alamo St., 210-207-8572
This 15-acre park, which hosted the 1968 World’s Fair, has shops, a water park of cascading
waterfalls, lushly landscaped areas, and restored historic buildings. Also located in the park
are the Mexican Cultural Institute and the Institute of Texas Cultures. The park is adjacent to
San Antonio’s Convention Center and in the shadow of the Alamo Dome.
An imposing addition to the HemisFair Park skyline is the Tower of the Americas, a 750-foot
tower offering a panoramic view of San Antonio. The tower, closed several years ago for
renovations, has since reopened, back in March 2006. This leads to still one more dining
experience and inspiring view, courtesy of . . .
The Tower of the Americas, 600 HemisFair Park, 210-223-3101 (a revolving restaurant with the
aforementioned panoramic view of the city).
The foregoing represents a combination of pedestrian experimentation supported by web site
information, though sometimes details change.
If you wish to cruise the Internet for greater detail, a place to start is the following:
http://www.sanantoniocvb.com or just san antonio cvb. This should bring you to the San
Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau. The homepage gives you a number of options to click
on to find out about attractions, activities, and the like.
For the Riverwalk, another good starter web site is sanantonioriverwalk.com, which has click-
on sections for tourism, shopping, dining, entertainment, events, and more.
If your interest extends to La Villita, San Antonio’s historic arts village, a good site identifying
all the attractions is lavillita.com <http://lavillita.com>.
After that, further web site connections can lead you to what may seem like an infinite regress
of options, yet very rewarding and informative just the same.
Happy hunting—and see you in March, 2010, at the CEA Conference in San Antonio!