When I was in high school I dreamt of getting married and spending my honeymoon on a cruise ship touring the Mediterranean. Well, I got married, went on a cruise-less honeymoon and years later… still no cruise. My husband and I joke that the closest we have ever come is the Yanaguana Cruise on the San Antonio River.
We have been to beautiful San Antonio a number of times, but it was during our first trip there together that we strolled down the city’s famed Riverwalk and discovered the famed Yanaguana Cruise. In the language of the Payayan Indian, “Yanaguana” means “the clear water.” And while the river itself is not exactly crystal clear, the cruise is clearly a winner and something you’ll want to add to your San Antonio “must-do” list.
The boats (or flatbed barges) can hold more than a dozen people at a time. And believe me they try to squeeze as many people in as possible (which can be a tad uncomfortable when it’s 96 degrees and your dripping with sweat… and so is the guy squashed against you). The tour lasts about 40 minutes and takes you more than 2 miles down the Paseo del Rio. Basically, you will be taken along the entire length of the River Walk, which is filled with restaurants, sidewalk cafes, boutiques, hotels, outdoor arts and crafts booths and the throngs of people taking it all in. Not only will you get to see the sights along the river, your tour guide will give you an earful about interesting historical tidbits and crack a few jokes as well.
If you are visiting San Antonio for the first time I suggest you stay at one of the many hotels located right on the River Walk. By doing so you are a just a few steps from all that the River Walk has to offer. In addition, you will be within walking distance of the city’s historic district and you won’t have to worry about traffic and parking (which, take it from someone who didn’t book a River Walk hotel, is problematic). You will also be steps away from the Rivercenter Mall. Staying along the Riverwalk also means that you can imbibe at any one of the many hot nightclubs or have that extra glass of wine during a romantic candlelight dinner without having to worry about getting behind the wheel of your rental car.
San Antonio’s Riverwalk is a place near and dear to my heart… after all, it is the site of my first (and very well only) post-marriage cruise.