Pet Travel. Made Easy.

Taking the Dogs for a San Antonio River Walk

A little more than eleven years ago, Rod and I met at a conference at a hotel on the San Antonio River Walk. San Antonio is just 80 miles south of Austin, making it a great day trip or weekend get-away location. We spent a couple nostalgic days showing the dogs around the city where this adventure really got started.

When you see a place with your dogs, it’s like seeing it for the first time. Though Rod and I had been to San Antonio twice before, we didn’t have a feel for how the city would rate on pet friendliness.  We were excited to find out that San Antonio’s popular tourist attraction – the River Walk – is entirely pet friendly!

Actually a public park, the River Walk is more than 5 miles of paved walkways, passes and bridges. Parts are lined with restaurants, shops and businesses. Other sections are so quiet and green, you could easily forget you’re in a city.

Durty Nelly's Irish PubDurty Nelly’s, where Rod and I had our first drink together, is a fun bar right in the thick of things. The salty piano player draws the crowds here, and like most bars and restaurants on the River Walk, they have outdoor seating with a view of the river – unfortunately, they’re not pet friendly.

We learned that San Antonio has some interesting rules when it comes to dogs and restaurants. Lori, currently a San Antonio resident, told us that restaurants with pet friendly outdoor seating areas must obtain a special permit from the city. This makes it a little tricky to find places where your pup is welcome to join you on the patio.

Finding a pet friendly hotel in San Antonio will not be a problem, however – we have more than 125 listed on the website. There are also plenty of pet friendly campgrounds to choose from. We stayed at Traveler’s World RV Resort, which was a nice park close to downtown. They have an off-leash area and are right on the hike and bike path (though both were closed during our visit due to improvements being made to the path). It’s also on the bus line, which makes it easy to get downtown without worrying about RV parking!

Evenings on the River Walk are crowded, and there is no barrier that would prevent you or your pup from falling in the river. While it’s not deep, it wouldn’t be a pleasant way to end your evening. If your pooch is like ours – too big for a pocket book and without a firm grasp on the concept of “heel” –  I suggest avoiding the throngs. Either stroll the downtown section during the day, or check out the new Museum Reach Extension for a real treat.

Beautifully landscaped and far less populated, the Museum Reach Extension runs 2.5 miles from downtown out to Pearl Brewery, a museum and the site of the Culinary Institute of America.

Dogs on Riverwalk - Pet Friendly San Antonio, TX

If you’re driving there is also plenty of parking around the Pearl, which is located just off Broadway at Newell Avenue. There are few cafes and restaurants on the Museum Reach Extension, so pick up a picnic lunch at the food market near the entrance to the River Walk and enjoy the scenery!

Pearl Brewery Food Market on San Antonio River Walk San Antonio River Walk Dog Bowl on San Antonio River Walk Wildlife on San Antonio River Walk Boat on San Antonio River Walk Dog Waste Stations along San Antonio River Walk Ducks and Turtle on San Antonio River Walk Walking on the River Walk - San Antonio

More recently we visited San Antonio to explore the dog friendly sites beyond the River Walk.

Planning a pet friendly trip of your own? We’ll make it easy:
Pet Friendly Hotels | Pet Friendly Destinations | Pet Friendly Activities

  • David says:

    We’ve taken our girl to the Riverwalk several times. She loves rivers because she knows there are ducks around. The only areas that are ever crowded are near the restaurants. The other 14 miles of Riverwalk are normally fairly open. I had no idea that restaurants needed a special “pet” permit though.

    We haven’t been to too many restaurants, but have taken her to a few. We usually need to go to healthier, allergy friendly restaurants. Add dog friendly to the specifics and the restaurants narrow down quite a bit! 5 Points Local has been one of the best we’ve found, which is just north of downtown, a few blocks from the Riverwalk. The Historic Pearl has some good options as well.

    • Amy at says:

      Thanks so much for your note, David! I’m so happy to hear that your pup loves the Riverwalk, too. And I appreciate the advice on restaurants – that’s always one of our biggest challenges in San Antonio. Waggin’ trails to you!

  • >