Our first stop in San Antonio was the historic King Williams district with its beautiful stately mansions that make you feel like you cruised up the San Antonio River and stepped off the river boat in the mid-1800s.
The King Williams Historic District is a 25-block area near downtown on the south bank of the San Antonio River. In the late 1800’s it was considered the “most elegant residential area in the city.”
Even the more modest homes carry a quiet dignity settled in among the arching trees and behind stone walls and decorative wrought-iron railings.
We visited San Antonio at the end of February in 2008, four years ago today on February 29th. You can see that some places are beginning to green-up for the spring. We were expecting temperatures in the upper 40s to mid-60s, and packed accordingly.
We were staying in the Oge House in the King Williams’ District. (There should be an accent on the ‘e’ in Oge, but I don’t know how to put it there and don’t want to spend the time figuring it out.) Owned by a pioneer Texas Ranger, cattle rancher and businessman, Louis Oge, this historic mansion was built in 1857.
Breakfast was served every morning in the formal dining room.
I imagine once the trees fill out with a shady canopy, this garden behind the Oge House, beside the river, would feel like a little piece of heaven.
My tour director, guide, and husband, decided it would be nice to take a walk along the river to the central area of town on the River Walk, since it was only a short distance away. And I will admit it was a beautiful walk, albeit a bit longer than I had anticipated in my heavy clothes, not particularly walking-friendly shoes, and extra sweater.
Here’s the view of the Oge House from the River Walk.
We left the stately mansions and beautiful gardens of the King Williams District behind as we got closer to the downtown area where the walls of buildings line the walk. Here you see spare river taxis moored along the walk.
We are about to enter the entertainment district of the River Walk in the downtown area, for which it is most famous. As you can see, Mark has removed his jacket and rolled up his sleeves for the unseasonably warm temperatures San Antonio was experiencing during our stay.
As we stood there, likely discussing where I was going to buy a lighter weight shirt and flip flops for my feet, this fully-loaded touring river taxi cruised by.
The River Walk is built one story below street level where cars cross over on bridges. This section appears to be mainly hotels or possibly apartments.
Now we’re talking. Shops ahead.
Newly dressed in a short-sleeve t-shirt, wearing flip-flops and carrying a bag of shoes and discarded clothes, I was ready to explore the cafes, restaurants, and shops of this entertainment district with it’s lush landscaping that included waterfalls and charming pools.
The best part of the River Walk is that this beautiful area of rest and refreshment is a short flight of stairs from the downtown area above, which we took full advantage of on our second day in San Antonio, when we visited the Alamo.