Tuesday, January 15, 2013

San Antonio River Walk Museum Reach

An artful bower along the quieter part of the river

In 2009 a new section of the San Antonio River Walk opened. The new section is called the Museum Reach and it acts to connect the existing section of the River Walk with the San Antonio Museum of Art and the Pearl Brewery complex.

One of the best parts of the new section, as far as I'm concerned at least, is the lock and dam on the river. In order to connect the existing sections of the River Walk with the new section a nine (9) foot elevation change had to be overcome. Voila! Lock and dam.

I can't tell you how excited I was when, out walking one day, we came across the lock and dam. I immediately made a plan to figure out a way to get a ride through the lock. Immediately changed to a few years later, but, this most recent visit I finally got my wish. Has it turns out getting a ride through the lock was pretty easy and can be had for the price of a water taxi ride. Yes!

We purchased a day long fare for the water taxi service and headed out for our ride. Just an aside here, there are river tours boats and water taxis, of the two only the water taxis make the trip through the lock. The tour boats are a good way to learn about the river and local color (Sandra Bullock filmed a movie right there!) but the water taxi is the only way to get through the lock and further on to the San Antonio Museum of Art and the Pearl Brewery via the river.

OK, where were we, oh yeah, the water taxi takes you from the more developed parts of the River Walk through a quieter less developed part. As you cruise along the river towards the Pearl Brewery overpasses crisscross the river. Under most of these are some type of public art installation. There is paint that gathers light all day and glows warmly at night, there are "sound sculptures" that use the corridors under the streets to create waves of sound that bounce around you as the boat passes, and, most well known, a school of giant sunfish.

 And then of course there is the lock and dam. The water taxi floats into the lock and you raise or lower the nine feet required to regain the river. I loved it! While not as much of a thrill as the Saint Anthony Falls lock and dam, it was still fun and exciting. I love stuff like that.

The lock at night
 Once I found out that the art in some of the displays lights up at night we just had to make a trip out that way after dark. It was worth it. Between the holiday lights and the lit up public art displays the trip was wonderful.

Sadly this picture doesn't do any justice to the display but you get the idea

One of the River Tour boats all lit up
  If you're like me and you geek out about public art and things like locks and dams then this trip will be well worth your time. Fun, entertaining and while it's not a tour per se the water taxi captains are knowledgeable about the river, the lock and dam and the local art work.

Quick note, we did make it to the Pearl Brewery (upcoming post) but not the San Antonio Museum of Art. 

1 comment:

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