Moving to San Antonio, Texas?
If there's one word to describe San Antonio, Texas, it's "big." In fact, it is the seventh largest metropolis area in the US. However, don't immediately denounce this city as just another ordinary urban jungle because living there is quite comfortable. It offers the amenities that you'd typically find in a big city, but it still has a very inviting atmosphere.
San Antonio is also famous for being known as the home of the Alamo, but its culture and lifestyle spreads across its borders and into the hearts and minds of visitors. It has a diverse community rich in Old West and Spanish heritage.
Perhaps you're already excited to move to this grand city in Texas, but there are some things you might want to know and understand before you start packing your bags. You need to consider the weather, what jobs are available for you (if the purpose of moving there is to search for a new occupation), how to take the public transit, and what sights to see while you're there.
Here's a guide to help you get to know San Antonio, Texas a bit better even before you've arrived.
- San Antonio Weather
- San Antonio Culture
- Cost of Living in San Antonio
- San Antonio's Popular Jobs and Industries
- The Various Neighborhoods of San Antonio
- Cost of Owning a Car in San Antonio
- San Antonio's Public Commute System
- Walking and Biking Around San Antonio
- San Antonio's Real Estate
- Sights to See in San Antonio
- Other information about San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio Weather
If you're planning to move or you're about to relocate to San Antonio, then you better pack light clothing, as well as your sunblock and sunscreen. Summer in the city can get hot and oppressive. The winter season is short, so there's not much of the cold to enjoy. Even though temperatures can become sweltering at times, it's partly cloudy on many days throughout the year.
Temperatures in San Antonio, Texas varies from 43F to 96F, but it will rarely go below 31F or above 101F. The hottest days can last for 3 to 4 months, and it can happen by the end of May throughout mid-September. Daily temperatures during these days can go above 89F. So if you plan to head outside during the days mentioned above, then it's best to leave the jacket at home.
The cold season in San Antonio will last approximately three months, and it can take place by the end of November to mid-February of the next year. Temperatures can go below 70F during this particular season.
As for the chances of rain in San Antonio, it varies throughout the year. However, the wetter season can last for about six months, and it can take place starting the end of April all the way to the end of October. During the days in these months, there is a 22% chance of precipitation (on average) of a given day. As for the other half of the year, it can be deemed as the city's drier season.
San Antonio Culture
Many things can be said about San Antonio Culture, but if there's anything that the many of the residents share, it's their passion. San Antonians are passionate about a lot of things, and it might not be advisable to get on their bad sides. But you might find the same people hanging out at the same burger joint in the downtown area of the city just because they find the food in that particular spot to be irresistible.
Love for Tacos
Many San Antonians share their supreme love for tacos, and a lot of them can't get enough of this Mexican dish. You have your choice of food joints to get your morning tacos, such as Ray's, Taco House, Torchy's, or Datapoint. But if you ask the residents of where the best taco place is, then you might be confused because there's bound to be someone who will disagree. If you're perplexed on where to get this Mexican treat, then just follow your heart. Who knows, the choice you make might even be your new favorite.
Hate for Charles Barkley
The retired American basketball player that might not get the welcoming committee if he ever decides to visit San Antonio. As mentioned earlier, many San Antonians share similar passions, and a lot of them passionately dislike this retired basketball player.
Barkley is reported to have insulted the city and its women - twice - and on national television. Therefore, don't be too shocked to see murals denouncing him, as well as a hashtag criticizing his insults, and there's even a burger named after him.
Unique Hangover Cure
Many San Antonians believe that eating a salty piece of meat pulled from the head of a cow while drinking a bright-red soda is the perfect cure for a hangover.
The Home of Cinco de Mayo
San Antonio is a popular location for the festive Cinco de Mayo, in which is a festival that takes place on the 5th day of May each year. It is a date to commemorate the unlikely victory of the Mexican Army against the French Forces during the Battle of Puebla which took place on May 5, 1982. You can enjoy the various attractions during this date when you head to the city's Market Square.
A Cultural Masterpiece
This Texas city has quite the diverse history; Spaniards have founded it, ruled by Mexico, inhabited by Germans, and transformed by other ethnicities located across the globe. Therefore, there're a lot of history to go through once you get there. Take your time in taking in the vast historical backgrounds of the city, because if you're interested in the subject, then it can take a while to learn and understand everything.
No Shortage of the Arts
San Antonio is not just all about history as there is no shortage of the many branches of the arts. While you're getting lost in the city's borders, you can visit the various museums and art galleries. You can also give your eyes and ears a treat as you head down to the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. In here, you can experience the marvel that is the San Antonio Symphony, Opera San Antonio, Ballet San Antonio, the Children's Fine Arts Series, and more.
Cost of Living in San Antonio
According to the Texas Public Radio, a family of four in San Antonio should have $61,344 to have a "secure yet modest living standard." This estimate comes from an updated budget calculator from the Economic Policy Institute, and it is based on the information acquired from each surveyed city. The figure also puts into account certain additional costs such as health care, child care, and rent.
Its median household income was found to be $43,961, according to the last census. It means that it is practically halfway between the Economic Policy Institute estimate and the federal poverty line.
It should be noted, however, that having over $60,000 might be considered an extreme as an individual working in San Antonio who has an $18 per hour job can still be considered to have a decent lifestyle within the city.
Since this Texas city is large, the cost of living can be diverse. For instance, one household found in one area of the metropolis can have different costs of living as compared to another that's located on another side of the city.
In an example brought about by the Texas Public Radio's report, it is stated that two households with three people living in it would have an annual income of about $38,000. In the same example, one achieves it with two sources of income whereas the other accomplishes it with seven. It has been found that there is about a $500 difference when it comes to housing costs. Furthermore, there is also a $300 difference when looking at other categories such as health care and transportation.
Although the example given to us lacks more information, it can give you an idea on the cost of living in San Antonio, Texas.
San Antonio's Popular Jobs and Industries
The city of San Antonio, Texas is large enough to cater to a vast array of businesses located in different sectors. Here are some of the major industries found in San Antonio:
- Architecture and Engineering
- Computer and Mathematical
- Healthcare and Technical Operations
- Business and Finance
- Life, Physical, and Social Science
- Education, Training, and Library
- Community and Social Service
- Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media
If you're looking for a high-paying job in San Antonio, the list below (taken from the Business Journals) will give you an idea of the highest paying jobs in this city.
- Internists, General
- Dentists, General
- Physicians and Surgeons, All Other
- Chief Executives
- Family and General Practitioners
- Nurse Anesthetists
- Pediatricians, General
This particular list is ranked from the highest average annual pay down to the lowest. To see the entire list (which has 100 items in total), you can click here.
The Various Neighborhoods of San Antonio
The city of San Antonio, Texas has 375 neighborhoods, but can be broken down into 14 major districts. These major districts are:
- Downtown San Antonio
- Alamo Heights
- Midtown/Brackenridge Park
- Uptown Central
- North Central
- Far North Central
- Northeast Side
- Near Northwest Side
- Northwest Side
- Far West Side
- Inner West Side
- South Side
- East Side
- Near East Side
Area Vibes lists San Antonio, Texas to have a 73 score in livability, wherein 100 is the highest rating achievable. Although many of the neighborhoods in this metropolis is deemed as safe, there are still some you might want to watch out for, such as Riverside South, Thompson Community, and Wheatley Heights.
If you're still searching for a good neighborhood to live in San Antonio, here are some great choices (in no specific order):
- Hidden Forest
- Stone Oak
- Whispering Oaks
- The Waters at Deerfield
- Blanco Woods
- Canyon Creek Bluffs
- Oak Park-Northwood
- Bluffview at Camino Real
- Oak Meadow
- The Vineyard
Education System in San Antonio
If you're seeking higher education in San Antonio, then you might be wondering about certain statistics about the city's educational system. To start, there are over 25% of many San Antonio neighborhoods who have graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Science & Engineering, with Balcones Heights at the top of the list. There's also quite a bit of people who have graduated in the fields of Business, as well as with courses found in the Arts, Humanities, and Others categories. Courses found in the Science and Engineering sector has been found to have one of the lowest numbers of graduates, with Education coming in second.
Cost of Owning a Car in San Antonio
If you don’t have a car and you're planning to purchase one once you get to San Antonio, there are some things you might want to consider first, such as car insurance and gas prices in the city.
Average Car Insurance Rates in San Antonio
There is a high rate of accidents in the city, along with an above average level of vehicle thefts in some areas of San Antonio. Therefore, San Antonio has more insurance claims filed here as compared to most cities in the nation. As such, you shouldn't be surprised if insurance costs are higher here than that of the national average.
The average cost of auto insurance in San Antonio is $1,381.35 per year for women, and it's $1,332.30 annually for men. The cost is higher than the average auto insurance in Texas, which is seen to have a figure of $905.64. For comparison's sake, the national average is $866.31.
Nonetheless, prices will still vary depending on some factors, including your driving record and the number of files claimed in the zip code where you'll be residing.
As for the top 10 vehicles in San Antonio that have the most requested quotes, Quote Wizard lists them down as the following:
- Ford F150
- Ford Mustang
- Honda Accord EX
- Ford Taurus SE
- Chevrolet C1500 Silverado
- Honda Accord LX
- Dodge Ram 1500
- Ford Ranger
- Nissan Altima 2.5 S
- Ford Focus SE
If you're looking for an auto insurance company in San Antonio, there are quite a bit of them. Some examples include Geico, State Farm, Farmers, Nationwide, AIG, AAA, and Liberty Mutual. Other famous car insurance companies in this Texas city include American Family, Texas Farm Bureau, and Esurance.
Gas Prices in San Antonio
Gas prices in San Antonio are fairly reasonable. The city is large, and it is teeming with gas stations, many of them have an average cost of $1.99 per gallon for regular as, $2.16 for the midgrade variety, $2.29 for Premium, and $2.15 for diesel fuel.
Prepare for Hail
As per State Farm, Texas had the most damage claims in 2014 related to hail. With this in mind, you might want to get your car extra insurance coverage just in case the weather turns for the worse.
San Antonio's Public Commute System
The public commute system in San Antonio is called the VIA Metropolitan, and it consists of 89 bus lines and a streetcar service located in its downtown area. The system allows tourists and residents alike to have easier access to get to their destinations, especially if you're planning to go to one (or many) of San Antonio's attractions. When you take one of the rides being offered by the VIA Metropolitan, you can get to The Japanese Tea Gardens, Mission Conception, Mission San Jose, The Majestic Theater, and The Alamo.
If you want to take a single ride on a regular bus or streetcar, it will only cost you $1.20. The prices increase to $2.50 if you opt for the express bus. You can even spend 15 cents more to get a transfer card which is good for 2-and-a-half hours of unlimited rides. A day's pass for unlimited rides is worth $4.00, which is the gives the most excellent value out of all the options, especially if you're going to spend the entire day touring the city.
You can purchase day passes online, or you can do so at one of the many VIA offices located around the city. Most of the VIA information centers are closed on holidays and weekends, however. If this is the case, you can still purchase the day passes onboard a bus, or at San Antonio's Downtown Information Center, which is located at Commerce and Flores.
Walking and Biking Around San Antonio
San Antonio is a large city, but you can take your bike for a spin or perhaps just get lost to see the sights. According to Walk Score, the metropolis has many safe neighborhoods in which you can safely walk.
There's also the San Antonio B-Cycle, which is the city's bike share program that has over two dozen station around the city. This service is excellent for those who want to take in more of the sights but don't have a bicycle to call their own just yet. The city's topography is mostly flat, so you won't find yourself going up-and-down hills most of the time.
San Antonio Real Estate
San Antonio, which is also called the Alamo City, continuously demonstrates to be one of the hottest (both figuratively and specifically) markets in the US for real estate. However, when looking at the pricing department, the city does trail behind its neighboring cities due to the appreciation rates of San Antonio were not as high as compared to the other cities in Texas.
Nonetheless, housing in San Antonio remains reasonably affordable than many major cities across the US. It even remains to be a hotbed for investors to this day (at the time of writing).
As for the average price of homes in San Antonio, it is found to be at $195,000, as per Fortune Builders. The current median price for housing in the city is near $20,000 less than the national average, despite the high levels of appreciation seen sweeping across the state. For comparison's sake, the national average for the median home price is $215,767.
There are also lagging appreciation rates in San Antonio, and one of the reasons could be the number of foreclosures seen in the city's real estate market. As per RealtyTrac, the number of foreclosures in San Antonio in the month of June 2016 was 12.6% higher than that of the previous month. It was also 22% lower as compared to the same period of the past year.
Despite some difficulties, San Antonio's real estate is still a hotbed for purchasers for homes, apartments, and condos. One of the grounds behind this can be associated with the city's booming job market.
Sights to See in San Antonio
Don't just move to San Antonio just because your profession requires you to do so; you might want to spend some weekends traveling around the city to see the sights. With its many sights, sounds, and tasty treats you have to try, you won't get bored going around the metropolis anytime soon. Here are some sights to see to start your adventure in the Alamo City.
San Antonio River Walk
Touted as the centerpiece of San Antonio, the River Walk has stone walkways and restaurants that are found along the San Antonio River. It is located below street level, and it possesses calm waters, and plenty of birds to view. There's also a lot of shade to go around because of the large trees, which makes it a great spot to cool down a bit from the city's hot summer weather.
You can also experience the River Walk by taking a comfortable barge with a guided tour. The barges that cruise the river can carry a maximum of 40 passengers, but this is for the basic sightseeing tour. However, for dinner cruises, the barge can only accommodate 20 guests.
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park & Mission Trail
The San Antonio Missions was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site back in 2015. You can learn a lot from its history, and it is now one of the city's greatest tourist attractions. This is one, and the first of five missions in the state of Texas. The other missions are the Alamo, the Mission Concepción, the Mission San Juan, the Mission San Jose, and the Mission Espada. Connecting these missions is called the Mission Trail.
Usually, people drive from mission-to-mission. However, if you want to combine some outdoor activities with your sightseeing trip, then you can opt to take a bike instead. With the city's bike share program, you can ride a bicycle to see all five missions. However, do note that it is an 8-mile trip one way and a 16-mile trip if you count the return travel. As such, you might want to assign the entire day for just this trip if you plan on visiting the Mission Trail.
Pearl District and Farmers Market
The Pearl District, or more commonly known as just The Pearl, is a historical and trendy location in San Antonio. It has restored buildings, shops that offer knickknacks, and food joints that have tasty dishes to sink your teeth into them.
When you go to the Pearl on the weekends, you can experience the Farmers Market, and it is where vendors coming from a 150-mile radius offer their produce and other specialties. You can find many delectable treats, including baked goods, sauces, and a lot of fruits and veggies.
Fiesta San Antonio
The Fiesta is a 10-day celebration which takes place annually, and it only occurs during the Spring season. There are parades and events to enjoy. You can even experience the popular Battle of Flowers parade, which does give the entire city an enticing and electric vibe.
During the Fiesta, tourists, and residents of San Antonio converge to collect, trade, and also wear metal pins. There is also the Fiesta King and Queen which gets chosen each year. Several categories can help you net the crown, such as how much money you've raised for charity. However, once the days of the Fiesta roll in, expect many traffic stops to make way for the parades and festivities.
San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo
The San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo was founded in 1950, and since then it has grown into one of the largest event areas in the city. It caters to more than a million attendees each February as this is the time wherein shows flock to the location.
Visitors can enjoy the music coming from national stars such as Keith Urban and Hunter Hayes. You can also explore a variety of food options, as well as shop around local vendors stationed within the area. You can even learn about the animals and agriculture found in San Antonio while you're in here.
San Fernando Cathedral
This church is found in the heart of San Antonio. In its Main Plaza, you can find the oldest-operating Roman Catholic sanctuary found in North America. It opens its doors to believers of all denominations, despite the cathedral being the mother church of the Archdiocese of San Antonio.
The doors of the cathedral will also be open to anyone who wishes to see the beautiful structure from within. It is even thought of as one of the tourists stops as the landmark is located at the National Register of Historic Places
Of course, you shouldn't forget about The Alamo, which is perhaps one of the most important historical attractions in San Antonio, Texas. It is part of the five missions, and you can get there if you plan on taking on the Mission Trail. It was established in 1718, and it has a church which was built by the Franciscans back in the year 1744.
In 1836, the Battle of the Alamo happened here, and it is considered to be one of the most famous battles in American history. It was when a small force defended against a Mexican Army holding 3,000 soldiers.
Other information about San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio Spurs
If you're a huge fan of the NBA, then you'll know that San Antonio is the home of the Spurs. The American professional basketball team competes as a participant of the NBA's Western Conference Southwest Division.
As mentioned in a previous section, many San Antonians are very passionate about what they love. As such, if the San Antonio Spurs win or lose, they will always love the Silver and Black.
A Military City
San Antonio is a city with plenty of military history which has been seen to date back to 1835. It was in this year when Texas forces have won over the then Spanish-owned Alamo. Since then, there's been a military presence in the city for over 300 years.
The city is home to the Joint Base San Antonio, which has the US Air Force's Lackland AFB and Randolph AFB, and the US Army's Fort Sam Houston. The entire base has a population of approximately 80,000. There are also about 138,000 military students in this base.
Moving and residing in San Antonio, Texas can either be active or quiet. You can partake in peaceful walks around the metropolis, or you can take part in the many events that often happen in different locations in the city. According to US News, the city has a score of 6.9 out of 10 regarding livability. It is also ranked as the 23rd most livable metro places in the US.
Through this guide, we hope you've gained more knowledge and understanding about the city before you move there.