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Explore Downtown San Antonio From A New Vantage Point — In A Kayak On The River

Mission Kayak
The Navarro Street Bridge on the River Walk

The San Antonio River Walk is seeing the kind of traffic it’s seen very little of for quite a while. Kayaks are back on the water, and now, seven days a week.

Sarah Neal owns Mission Kayak, a company that rents kayaks not only downtown on the River Walk, but also points south.

“We do the King William district as well as 2-, 3- and 4-mile river trips on the Mission Reach section of the San Antonio River,” she said.

Mission Kayak
Kayaking through Rosita's Bridge

The downtown kayaking is a pretty new endeavor.

“We partnered with the San Antonio River Walk Association last October and started doing downtown,” Neal said. “And now we’ve partnered with Go Rio, and we’ll be doing downtown through at least all of 2021.”

The Go Rio folks are the ones operating the River Barges, which begs the question: how do the barges and the kayaks stay out of one another’s way?

"The river barges start running at noon. We have everybody off the water by 11:15,” she explained. “The Go Rio tourist barges don’t run ’til we’re off the water."

While most all of us have been downtown, and many have been on river barges, the kayak experience is a decidedly different one.

"It is. I had one gentleman get off the river, and he said it was an intimate way to see the river. And I agree with him,” she said. “You can feel the wind, you can feel the movement of the water. It’s a very, very personal experience,” Neal said.

Mission Kayak
Kayaking toward the Presa St. Iron Bridge

As to how you find yourself in a kayak downtown, you go to Mission Kayak online. There are two options there.

“If they rent my gear it’s $60 per person for two hours. We have single person kayaks and two person kayaks,” she said.

If you already have a kayak, you still have to register, but your fee is only $30.

“We’re running seven days a week downtown in March,” Neal said.

They hope to continue renting kayaks seven days a week all year, but whether or not they can depends on how they do for the next two weeks.

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Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii