Wednesday, January 16, 2019
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20181227 Riverside Dreamer Tour JMB 033The Riverside Dreamer pontoon boat ride is a popular destination for locals, tourists and especially Winter Texans, according to Johnny Hart, captain and owner of the 55-foot pontoon boat as well as the Riverside Club where the Dreamer docks on the banks of the Rio Grande.

“It’s very popular with the Winter Texans,” Captain Johnny said as he prepared to pilot a group of 35 passengers on the one-hour boat tour down the Rio Grande. “Some of them come 8-10 times in a season and every time a relative or a friend comes down, they go again.

“Today we’ll be taking the tour down to the Anzalduas Dam. Then we’ll be on the Mexican side and the U.S. side of the river and we’ll point out features as we go up and down the river. We’ll give a little history of [some of the sites along] the river; we’ll point out some of the birds and the wildlife.... And we’ll be touring some of the border wall and the Border Patrol boats and the activity that’s out here on the river,” he explained before launching.

20181227 Riverside Dreamer BOAT 3244Johnny offers daily river tours for individuals or groups with a minimum of 15 people for the one-hour tour. Two-hour tours will be offered beginning in January, with a minimum of 25 passengers. Reservations are recommended. The Riverside Club – which is pretty much run by Johnny’s wife, Jennifer – also offers tour and dinner packages. The restaurant is open everyday from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., and every Sunday they have a live band performing at the club for anybody who wants to come out – no cover charge. And these are some of the best bands in the Valley – the Renaissance Rockers and the Riverside Band, who alternate days they perform.

Jennifer says the club also features live music from 1-5 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, rain or shine, no cover charge. On good weather days the band is out on the patio, and on cooler or bad weather days they’ll be indoors so folks can enjoy the live music and dancing, rain or shine.

20181227 Riverside Dreamer Tour JMB 042Not to be outdone, Johnny says the Riverside Dreamer has covered cushioned seating that’s really comfortable for 49 passengers. On days with our great South Texas weather (like the day we went out last weekend) the windows on the boat are open. When the weather is cooler, the windows can be closed and the passenger area is heated for maximum comfort.

During the river tour, Captain Johnny explains all the sights along the banks of the river. Those who have not been down to the river in a while may be surprised to see the beautiful recreational areas that are springing up on the Mexican side of the river. Most of them are privately owned, as Johnny explained, being rented out for private parties, weddings and events.

The tour also provides a chance to see some of the birds along the riverfront. The captain pointed out a Great Egret and a Great Blue Heron during Saturday’s tour. The weather was gorgeous, adding to the enjoyment or a pleasant cruise that allowed all about to see the river and the scenery from a completely different perspective.

20181227 Riverside Dreamer Tour JMB 143When you go, be sure to take your camera along. You’ll be in for a treat and you’ll want to share your photos with family and friends.

When the river cruise is finished, walk inside the Riverside Club for a snack or a meal. They serve a variety of tasty appetizers and meals. Folks who’ve been there recommend their pork tenderloin sandwiches. They are huge and wonderfully delicious. Everything on the menu is reasonably priced.

For more information about the river cruises, or directions call 956-581-4477. They are located at 214 E. Chimney Rd., Mission – just the other side of the levee.

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