The downtown River Walk is a must-visit for every first-time tourist (or if you’re a seasoned San Antonio traveler). But did you know you can find an urban natural oasis just a few miles south?

The Mission Reach portion of the River Walk is an 8-mile linear park that boasts 16+ miles of trails for biking, running, canoeing and kayaking. But that’s not all, it’s also home to larger-than-life public art installations and a gateway to explore San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, a National Park Service, and so much more!

Whether you’re visiting the Alamo City for a weekend or a local looking for adventure, here are four different ways to explore the Mission Reach for every type of traveler.

For the Foodie

The Mission Reach is home to a variety of local eateries including the hip coffee bar and lounge, Halcyon. Located at the Blue Star Arts Complex, you can start your morning with a cup of java or try out the lunch menu. Pro Tip: they do a cocktail or latte of the week and an all-day happy hour on Mondays!

Other places to visit along the Mission Reach include, BurgertecaStella Public House, and the weekend artisan markets at Brick at Blue Star

Photo by @burgerteca

The Outdoor Adventurer

For those who are on a budget, you can still enjoy the Mission Reach for FREE. Start by exploring the wildlife that inhabits this urban ecosystem. You can walk the trail and experience the sights + sounds of native birds. Pro tip: take a look at the list of birds you can encounter thanks to the San Antonio Audobon Society. If you have a fishing license, you can fish along the Mission Reach banks. Some common species found include Largemouth Bass, Catfish and Sunfish.


If you’re traveling with family, Confluence Park is a must-visit! A project of the San Antonio River Foundation, the park is a great way for children (and parents) to learn about the different, plants, species and art that make this urban ecosystem so unique. 

Make sure to check out the “Alora Po-Up Series: Twilight at Confluence Park” which happens monthly and celebrates diversity, art, ecology and wellness.

The Arts + Culture Traveler

If you only have time for a quick stroll, we recommend checking out some of the public art installations along the mission reach. Pictured above is” Whispers” by Arne Quinze. This work of art symbolizes the connection of the River and Mission San Juan, serving as a portal between the two; The name is inspired by the pieces “speaking” to each other in their movement and color.

Other installations to look out for include Árbol de la Vida: Memorias y Voces de la Tierra by Margarita Cabrera and Up and On by Mark Schlesinger.