Nearly 20 years ago, when Rod and I first visited the San Antonio, the River Walk was a fun, slightly seedy tourist destination. Since then, two initiatives have extended and beautified this spectacular urban oasis. It now stretches four miles north and nine miles south of the U-shaped downtown section we all remember. Providing access to some of the city’s most precious historical and cultural sites, the pet friendly San Antonio River Walk is one of the most unique parks in the country!

Two dogs sitting on a bench on the River Walk in pet friendly San Antonio, TX


Exploring the Pet Friendly San Antonio River Walk

Our favorite part of visiting the San Antonio River Walk is that it’s entirely pet friendly! Pets must be leashed, of course, and care should be taken in congested areas for the pet’s safety and the safety of other visitors. Please remember to pick up after your pets! Some waste stations and many trash receptacles can be found along the way.

The River Walk open 365 days a year, and most of it can be accessed 24 hours a day. The area through Brackenridge Park closes from 11pm to 5am, and the Mission Reach natural area is closed from dusk to dawn.

Texas' Top Pet Friendly Attraction: The San Antonio River Walk |

King William District

One of our favorite parts of the River Walk is south of downtown in the King William Historic District. Some of the city’s oldest and loveliest historic homes are located here. And you can stroll from River Walk, to street level, and back again, imagining how life might have been in the mid-1800s.

Texas' Top Pet Friendly Attraction: The San Antonio River Walk |

Texas' Top Pet Friendly Attraction: The San Antonio River Walk |

Texas' Top Pet Friendly Attraction: The San Antonio River Walk |

Texas' Top Pet Friendly Attraction: The San Antonio River Walk |

The riverboat tours you’ll see cruising by don’t allow pets, but you and your dog can navigate the river via standup paddleboard at SUP SATX! Located in the King William District, this company offers lessons, tours, and yoga – and your furry pal is welcome to join you.

READ MORE ⇒  Visiting Texas Hill Country With Dogs

Downtown Loop

It’s an easy mosey along the River Walk from the King William District to the downtown area. The Downtown Loop is the most popular section of the River Walk, so it’s where we spend the least time. Ty and Buster don’t like crowds, and if your dog feels the same way, plan your visit for early in the day.

Texas' Top Pet Friendly Attraction: The San Antonio River Walk |

Texas' Top Pet Friendly Attraction: The San Antonio River Walk |


Mornings here are lovely, with lots of benches to sit and enjoy the scenery. The gardens in this section of the River Walk shine in a rainbow of colors in the Spring. This area is also where the annual Holiday River Parade and Lighting festival takes place just after Thanksgiving.

If you’re sniffing for a place to eat, and are lucky enough to have a social dog, head over to Rita’s on the River where pets are welcome to join you on the patio.

Texas' Top Pet Friendly Attraction: The San Antonio River Walk |

Texas' Top Pet Friendly Attraction: The San Antonio River Walk |


Pearl District

North of downtown, the River Walk passes through the hip and trendy Pearl District. This pedestrian-friendly neighborhood has a nice selection of restaurants, several of which have pet friendly patios. There’s also a grocery store for picnic supplies, interesting boutiques, and a bakery with macaroons to die for! You also find public restrooms and bike rentals here, in case you’d like to explore more of the River Walk than is possible on foot.

READ MORE ⇒  Pet Friendly San Antonio: Beyond the River Walk

Texas' Top Pet Friendly Attraction: The San Antonio River Walk |

Texas' Top Pet Friendly Attraction: The San Antonio River Walk |

Texas' Top Pet Friendly Attraction: The San Antonio River Walk |

Texas' Top Pet Friendly Attraction: The San Antonio River Walk |


Just 80 miles south of Austin, pet friendly San Antonio is perfect for a day trip or weekend getaway. Finding pet friendly hotels isn’t a problem – we have more than 125 listed on the website. And there are also plenty of pet friendly campgrounds to choose from. We hope our experience encourages you to explore pet friendly San Antonio with your furry travel companion!


Gear Used in This Post:
(Affiliate Links)

Alcott Martingale Collar

Alcott Weekender Leash

PAWZ Dog Boots

Freedom No-Pull Harness

Sleepypod Clickit Car Safety Harness

See all the gear we use to make traveling with our pets easier, safer, and more fun!



Lodgings | Destinations | Trip Planner

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure: LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for website owners to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to,, and any other website that may be affiliated with Amazon Service LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate, the owner of this site earns a commission from qualifying purchases.

(Visited 8,096 times, 1 visits today)
  • Thanks, David! I agree – the Riverwalk is a wonderful place to enjoy with a pet. We’ve explored quite a bit of it with our dogs and enjoyed all the different vibes and sites in the different areas. The fact that so few people bring their dogs is difficult for me to understand. It’s such a lovely place to walk in the city – I’d take advantage of it very day if I lived in San Antonio! Anyway, than you for your note and enjoy your time on the Riverwalk!

    • My girl loves the river, but she is partial to ducks! They may be her favorite animal to chase. She hates being wet, but I feel like she would jump in after them if I let her. You mentioned that most people don’t take their dogs to the Riverwalk and I think there are several reasons for that. Many of the people on the Riverwalk are touring, or visiting San Antonio so they are probably without their dogs. The downtown stretch is also THE high traffic area, some people are probably reluctant to bring their dogs around that. The outer stretches though I find are very vacant, good for jogging and biking, or dog walking. Do you have any suggestions for “cooler” places to visit? I’ve seen only swimming areas online, which are not cool, just more wet. Some of the local caves would be great, but they won’t allow dogs near their stalagmites and stuff.

      • There are certainly a lot of ducks on the Riverwalk! Lots of entertainment for your girl. =)

        Finding cooler places to visit in that part of Texas is tricky. They’re building a large indoor dog park in Austin, but it probably won’t be finished until next year. Right now, the best advice I have is to take a 2-hour drive down to the Gulf! Sorry I can come up with any better suggestions.

        • Alright, thanks. I guess we will just keep getting up at sunrise and try to avoid most of the heat at that time. We are planning on heading to the Gulf, but not until it cools down a bit. I just saw Big Bend has a State Park with high walls that may be somewhat cool. Unfortunately it would be an 8 hour drive. Yikes!

          • Hi David! We spend a lot of time down in Big Bend in the winter, and there are a couple of trails there where pets are allowed. The hoodoo trail is sunny and would be very hot, but the box canyon trail is nice and shady. The only thing is, it’s only about a mile long. It would be an super-long drive for such a short hike.

            If you do want to get down that way sometime, I recommend staying in Lajitas – either at the RV park or at the hotel. The dog friendly trails at Big Bend National Park and State Park are both very limited – but all the trails on the Lajitas property are pet friendly. And there are a lot to choose from!

          • Thanks for the info! We actually just completed the entire 15-mile Riverwalk before the closures began happening. What a day! I’m not sure if anyone has done that before, but I’m fairly sure Abbey is the first dog!

            We were also scheduled to stay at Big Bend last month, but obviously those plans have been cancelled. The dog friendly trails are extremely limited there as you mentioned, and the ride is quite long. We planned on hitting the Sandhills, and then Big Bend to hike for two days. I guess we will have to wait a bit longer.

            We also planned on driving down to the Gulf with our dog later this year, but who knows how things will be now…

          • That’s fantastic, David! Covering the entire River Walk in a day is amazing! Sorry that your other plans have been derailed for now. Hopefully you’ll be back out enjoying adventures together again soon. Waggin’ trails!

  • Category: Travel Destinations / Tagged with: Attractions, Texas