Best Riverwalk (2022)


Over the last several years, many cities in the United States have reworked their riverfront areas, transforming them into vibrant spaces for outdoor recreation, nightlife, cultural activity, and scenic views. 

  • Detroit International RiverWalk

    Detroit International RiverWalk
    Detroit, Michigan

    The riverfront redevelopment in Detroit, a city with 14 miles of shoreline along the Detroit River, is one of the city's most exciting initiatives. The East Riverfront of the Detroit International RiverWalk stretches from Joe Louis Arena to Gabriel Richard Park and includes several parks, restaurants, splash parks and natural areas. 
    Photo courtesy of Stephen McGee

  • Smale Riverfront Park

    Smale Riverfront Park
    Cincinnati, Ohio

    At Smale Riverfront Park in Cincinnati, visitors can watch the river traffic float by, cycle along the Ohio River Trail, buy fresh produce at the Castellini Esplanade farmers market, cool off in the Fath Fountain or stop to smell the flowers in the Gardner Family Grove and Rose Garden.
    Photo courtesy of the Banks

  • Wilmington Riverwalk

    Wilmington Riverwalk
    Wilmington, North Carolina

    Located along the Cape Fear River, Wilmington's riverfront is home to a colorful Riverwalk lined with more than 200 cafes, bars and shops. Just across the river, history buffs can tour the moored battleship USS North Carolina. The annual Riverfest each October brings hundreds of craft and food vendors to the riverfront for three days of live music, fireworks, a mock pirate invasion and a standup paddle race.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / pabradyphoto

  • Waterfront Park

    Waterfront Park
    Louisville, Kentucky

    Since 1986, Louisville's frontage along the Ohio River has undergone quite the renaissance with the introduction of the 85-acre Waterfront Park, an expanse of picnic areas, walking paths and sprawling green spaces. Visitors to the riverwalk enjoy picnic areas, playgrounds, boat launches and numerous public art installations.
    Photo courtesy of Steve Grider

  • San Antonio River Walk

    San Antonio River Walk
    San Antonio, Texas

    The iconic San Antonio River Walk has a history dating back to 1937 when the Texas Legislature created the San Antonio River Authority. Since then, this vibrant downtown attraction keeps getting better and better. Restaurants, bars, hotels and an outdoor amphitheater line the canal, with pedestrian paths to either side and a series of picturesque stone footbridges spanning the water. Water taxis shuttle visitors along the canal, and everything's in walking distance of other attractions like the Alamo.
    Photo courtesy of San Antonio River Walk

  • Schuylkill River Trail

    Schuylkill River Trail
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    More than 75 miles of the Schuylkill River Trail exist across five counties of historically rich Southeastern Pennsylvania. The multi-use trail runs alongside the revolutionary Schuylkill River. A notable section of the trail is a 30-mile stretch from Philadelphia to Parker Ford, passing through Valley Forge National Historical Park along the way. A highlight is the Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk, where pedestrians and cyclists can walk or ride over the Schuylkill River while taking in skyline views from one of four scenic overlooks.
    Photo courtesy of M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia

  • Milwaukee RiverWalk

    Milwaukee RiverWalk
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    The Milwaukee RiverWalk connects three neighborhoods via a 20-block pedestrian promenade on both sides of the Milwaukee River. This area is home to some of the city's best outdoor dining at the restaurants and breweries that line either side of the river. The River Sculpture outdoor art gallery along the RiverWalk features a collection of temporary and permanent installations from national, regional and local sculptors.
    Photo courtesy of VISIT MILWAUKEE

  • Bricktown

    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

    Oklahoma City’s Bricktown Canal, a former warehouse district, is a hub of activity in downtown. Visitors will find restaurants, bars and entertainment venues, as well as the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (home of the Oklahoma City Dodgers).
    Photo courtesy of Visit OKC

  • Mississippi Riverwalk

    Mississippi Riverwalk
    Dubuque, Iowa

    The Mississippi Riverwalk in Dubuque makes up part of the 26-mile Heritage Trail, which links the Mississippi River to the Field of Dreams site in Dyersville. The Art on the River exhibit features 11 pieces of public art that rotate each year.
    Photo courtesy of City of Dubuque

  • Canal Walk

    Canal Walk
    Indianapolis, Indiana

    White River State Park, Indiana's only urban state park, cuts right through the heart of Indianapolis, with 250 acres of green space and a 1.5-mile canal perfect for urban kayaking or pedal boating. The city's riverfront master plan - a work in progress - has transformed what used to be an industrial canal into a vibrant commercial and cultural center. The Canal Walk promenade stretches through White River State Park in a 3-mile loop, giving convenient access to walkers, bikers and sightseers.
    Photo courtesy of Downtown Indy, Inc.

  1. Detroit International RiverWalk - Detroit, Michigan
  2. Smale Riverfront Park - Cincinnati, Ohio
  3. Wilmington Riverwalk - Wilmington, North Carolina
  4. Waterfront Park - Louisville, Kentucky
  5. San Antonio River Walk - San Antonio, Texas
  6. Schuylkill River Trail - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  7. Milwaukee RiverWalk - Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  8. Bricktown - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  9. Mississippi Riverwalk - Dubuque, Iowa
  10. Canal Walk - Indianapolis, Indiana
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