Moving to San Antonio
Are you relocating to the San Antonio area? Whether you are looking to move to take advantage of the abundant sunshine in the state of Texas or you are embarking on a new job opportunity, San Antonio 's unique culture makes it a fascinating place to live and work. San Antonio is known as being one of the most historic places in the state of Texas, featuring a melting pot of cultures, and an abundance of breathtaking scenery.
What's the Weather Like in San Antonio?
Many residents originally moved to the city of San Antonio for its abundant sunshine. The city sees sunny skies an average of 220 days per year.
Every year will feel like an Indian summer in the city of San Antonio. Temperatures are cooler in fall than the summer months, but much warmer than other areas in the U.S. During early fall you can see temperatures as high as 90 degrees, and towards the end, the average lows are around the mid-fifties. It can be a very pleasant time of year in the city, with the heat breaking and an average of fewer than 12 days of rain during the whole season.
The winter season is considered jacket weather in the city, but don't worry, the area never sees snowfall, and temperatures stay in a comfortable range between the forties and mid-sixties. You will see even less precipitation during the winter months with rainfall occurring fewer than an average of 10 days during the season.
Spring can be one of the rainiest times of year in San Antonio and is known for its temperate weather with averages being between the high sixties and the high seventies. There is much less humidity during this season than in the summer, and it is a popular time of year to see the amazing flowers and gardens.
The summer temperatures are definitely more hot and humid in the summer than at any other time of year, but it makes it the perfect time of year to enjoy water activities. Precipitation is low, and the temperatures will range between the mid-seventies up into the high nineties.
Who Will You Meet in the City?
San Antonio is known as one of the fastest growing cities in the United States and is actually the 7th largest city by population in the country. The city is home to almost 1.5 million people and the greater metropolitan area has well over 2 million residents. The population is widely diverse with many cultures melding together in one place. The city is also known for its large Hispanic population which is slightly over half of the residents in the greater San Antonio metropolitan area. You will not only meet a wide range of cultures but also people who celebrate their cultures in their daily activities, events, foods, and music.
How San Antonio Got its Start
The first inhabitants to the San Antonio area were the Payaya Indians. The city did not receive its current name until Spanish missionaries and explorers arrived in the area in 1691 where it was named in honor of St. Anthony.
The Alamo, which is considered one of the most historically known places in the city, was first built as the San Antonio de Valero Mission which severed as a statement to the Spanish dominance of the state of Texas. After the city was completed, with help from the Native Americans in the area, settlers began to populate the area, traveling from Cuba and the Canary Islands. The city eventually became the largest settlement in Texas.
The city was the site of one of the most well-known battles of the Texas War for Independence when a siege was laid on the Alamo during 1836, in which the Texas forces were defeated, and all of the Alamo defenders were killed. After Texas eventually gained its independence, San Antonio, along with the state of Texas, was annexed to the Union in 1845. This acquisition resulted in the Mexican-American War which caused the first major decline in the population of the city. Yet, by the time of the American Civil War, the population was back on the rise and has continued to grow ever since.
What's it Like Living in San Antonio?
San Antonio is known as a relaxing and laid back area. Even though there is the hustle and bustle, and amenities that big cities have to offer, the atmosphere is much more casual and relaxed. The city is big on Texas pride and also for celebrating both its Spanish and Old West heritage. Those who enjoy a place with a lot to see and do will be happy to be close to well-known attractions such as SeaWorld and Six Flags Fiesta Texas.
Food, art, and culture also play important roles in the lives of residents with popular dining destinations, art galleries, theaters, and festivals that are hosted throughout the year. The city is also a popular destination town due to its many attractions and historical sites, which allows residents to mix and mingle with people from all over the country. You will also find many avid sports fans in the city that closely follow the San Antonio Spurs.
Where Do You Want to Live in San Antonio?
Whether you are moving to the city with a family, a significant other, or flying solo, there are plenty of neighborhoods to accommodate your lifestyle in the city. Some of the most sought after neighborhoods to live in and around the city include:
Boerne: While the area is a little bit of a commute to the center of the city, it is the perfect area if you are looking to raise a family. It is a small, tight-knit community that offers an abundance of green space and some of the areas top-rated schools. Their quaint main street offers a number of shops, dining options, and activities for the whole family.
Downtown San Antonio: If you are not suited for the suburbs, and enjoy the hustle and bustle of big city living, then the downtown area is the best place to be in San Antonio. The area is great for those who prefer to walk or bike to their destinations.
Alon/Castle Hills: This area combines location with a more suburban feel. It is closer to the downtown area and is known for its high walkability score, with many needed stops such as the grocery stores, schools, and parks just a short distance away. Homes in this area boast large lots with trees and classic layouts. You get a good community vibe in the area and will find many children around playing in the afternoons.
Stone Oak: For those looking for a more quiet area to call home, the tranquility that the Stone Oak neighborhood has to offer might be just what you are looking for. Even though you are away from the hustle and bustle of the city, you are close to many business, schools, shopping, and medical centers.
Whether you are looking for an active city life, the quiet peacefulness of the suburbs, or somewhere in between, you can find what you are seeking in one of the many amazing neighborhoods the San Antonio area has to offer.
What Are Some of the Best Schools in San Antonio?
There is no shortage of schools in the San Antonio area that can provide students with the proper mix of education, safety, diversity, and social events. Many of the schools in the city and surrounding areas offer high ratings, with some of the top-rated high schools being:
- Health Careers High School.
- Johnson High School.
- Reagan High School.
- Young Women's Leadership Academy
Top-rated middle schools include:
- Lopex Middle School
- Tejeda Middle School
- Bush Middle Schoo
Some of the best elementary schools in the area are:
- Roan Forest Elementary School
- Hardy Oak Elementary School
- Wilderness Oak Elementary school
- Encino Park Elementary School
What Can Job Seekers Expect When Moving to the City?
For those moving to the area to seek better employment, you have made a good decision! The job market in the San Antonio area is thriving. Industries that are seeing some of the highest growth in the area are biosciences, renewable energy, and manufacturing. San Antonio is also known as a proud military area and is home to Lackland Air Force Base, Fort Sam Houston, Camp Bullis, and Randolph Air Force Base.
There are also opportunities for those in other business sectors with the supermarket chain H.E.B. employing a substantial workforce. Other major employers include the national insurance company USAA and the Northside Independent School District. While the median average income is slightly lower than the national average, so is the unemployment level.
What Forms of Transportation Are Available in the City?
The San Antonio International Airport provides air travel service for the area. For internal transportation throughout the city, many residents enjoy biking or walking to take advantage of the great weather. Ride-sharing programs are also abundant, especially in more popular nightlife areas and during events.
There is public transportation available throughout the Greater San Antonio Region called the VIA Metropolitan Transit, which allows residents get to where they need to go for an affordable price. It is also a popular mode of transportation to get the most popular destinations.
The newest addition to the system, VIVA provides service for visitors or residents who wish to explore the most popular attractions and historic sites in the heart of San Antonio. They stop at most of the areas landmarks, museums, shopping areas, and entertainment venues. The VIVA Culture route will provide connection services to some of the popular neighborhoods surrounding the city, including Southtown, King William, Downtown, Pearl, and the Broadway Cultural Corridor.
There is also a VIVA Missions route that takes travelers to major sites such as the Alamo and the San Antonio Missions World Heritage Site. The final line, the VIVA Centro will provide connections to Centro Plaza and St. Paul Square. The line also has a park and ride service for those who wish to avoid the traffic to some of the popular areas of the city.
What Are Some of the Area's Popular Events and Festivals?
One of the greatest things about living in the city of San Antonio is the wide range of fun and festivities that occur throughout the year. Some of the most popular festivals and events in and around the city include:
The San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo
The event occurs every year in mid-February, and it is known as one of the single largest events in the city. The event attracts more than one million attendees and originated back in the 1950s. The event has even received special recognition by the Pro-Rodeo Hall of Fame.
BorderFest occurs in early March, just a short distance from the city center. The event has been one of the most popular ones in the past 35 years and is known to attract around 100,000 people each year. The event is global and is designed to celebrate a different country each year and provide a variety of entertainment and different exhibits which represent each of these countries. The event includes multiple entertainment areas, three illuminated parades, a grand finale parade, magic acts, puppet shows, and wandering entertainment.
Fiesta San Antonio
Fiesta San Antonio is an event that has been celebrated for more than 120 years, occurring in mid to late April. The Fiesta was created to honor the fallen heroes of the Alamo and those that fought in the Battle of San Jacinto. The celebration continues to evolve and is now known as a celebration of the cultural diversity and multicultural history of the San Antonio area. It is by far one of the largest festivals in the city and has had over 3.5 million attendees to the more than 100 events that happen during the 11 days of celebration. The event is filled with food, music, art, athletic events, parties, and parades.
Texas Folklife Festival
Occurring in early June, the Texas Folklife Festival kicks off the summer with a bang and has been for over 40 years. The festival is a recreation of the Smithsonian's' famed Folklife Festival that originated in the 60s in the Washington D.C. area. It is known as the biggest three-day cultural celebration in the entire state. Visitors can expect a wide array of cuisine, dances, fine crafts, hand-crafted keepsakes, music, and storytelling.
El Dia De Los Muertos
San Antonio's "Day of the Dead" celebration in late November follows the Mexican tradition of looking back, remembering departed loved ones, and sharing their stories. During the celebration, you will see many elegantly and colorfully decorated altars designed to commemorate loved ones. Attendees will also enjoy the calavera procession, in which the parade goers dress up in skeletal costumes.
What Type of Cuisine is San Antonio Known For?
While by far the most popular cuisine in the city of San Antonio is Tex Mex, the areas has actually become a popular destination for foodies with all types of palates. The city was the second one to be designated a Creative City of Gastronomy by UNESCO. It has also been listed by foodies as the place to go if you are looking for oysters, chorizo dishes, and tacos served any way you can imagine.
In the recent decade, the area has been kick-started by urban revitalization and with that has turned into a culinary paradise. Many of the historic building has been renovated and used for breweries, pubs, and urban dining destinations. The Pearl Brewery, that had been in operation for more than a century, closed and was turned into San Antonio's first food hall, which was the brainchild of James Beard Award-nominee chef Andrew Weissman.
The city has also been listed as one of the most affordable foodie destinations, and has been ranked in the top 25 as an overall foodie city. It features many affordable restaurants with unique cuisine, high-quality restaurants, and a number of food festivals. You can find anything you are looking for from traditional Tex-Mex and Southern barbeque to trendy culinary creations, street food, and local-centric dishes.
Fun and Unique Facts You May Not Know About San Antonio
- Even if you think that you know everything that there is to know about the city of San Antonio, you may be surprised at some of the fun and interesting facts listed below.
- The city of San Antonio is the most visited city in the state of Texas.
- San Antonio was home to the first Church's Chicken.
- San Pedro Park in San Antonio is the second oldest park.
- The San Antonio Zoo is the 3rd largest in the United States.
- The Alamo is the most visited attraction in Texas.
- San Fernando Cathedral, built in 1738, is the oldest church in Texas.
- The 750 foot Tower of Americas can be seen from anywhere in the city.
- San Antonio is home to El Mercados, the largest Mexican market outside of Mexico.
- It is believed that the church bell at St. Mark's Episcopal Church was built using the material of a cannon from the Alamo.
- The McNay Art Museum, located in the downtown area was the first modern art museum in the southwest.
- The city holds the world record for tamale making when a local high school made 17,106 tamales in 12 hours.
- San Antonio is home to one of the top-ranked theaters in the world, Tobin Center for the Performing Arts.
- San Antonio is also referred to as "Military City, U.S.A."
What Are Some 'Can't Miss' Attractions and Activities in San Antonio?
There is no shortage of things to see and do in the city, and you can find activities for adults, or great kid-friendly activities to take the whole family to. Some of the most popular sites and attractions in the San Antonio area include:
By far the most popular attraction in the state of Texas is The Alamo, located on Alamo Plaza in the downtown area. When visiting the site, you can enjoy an interactive tour of the exhibits as well as performances by hosts that help reenact scenes from the Texas Revolution.
The site was first founded as a mission and later served as a way station between Texas and Mexico. The Alamo became one of the most famous and well-remembered battles in the Texas Revolution and for many the motivation that was needed to turn the tides of the war. For about two weeks in 1836, about 200 Texans defended the Alamo against more than 2,500 of General Santa Annas trained troops.
The site is also known as the place where William Travis, James Bowie, and David Crockett fought and died, standing strong against overwhelming odds in pursuit of freedom. The property is over four acres and includes Alamo Gardens.
UNESCO World Heritage Site
The Missions National Historical Park, along with the Alamo was named as the first World Heritage site in Texas by the United Nations Organization for Education, Science, and Culture. The site also includes the city's four southern Spanish colonial missions including Concepción, San José, San Juan, and Espada. Spanish priests originally established these Catholic missions along the San Antonio River to serve an ethnically diverse society. They comprised of walled compounds where both the priests and Native Americans lived. It is known as the largest concentration of Spanish colonial Missions in the whole of North America.
The Downtown River Walk
After the Alamo, the most well-known area attraction in San Antonio is the River Walk. The River Walk is the place to go when you are looking for a day or evening of site seeing, shopping, fun, and food. The Walk is a 15-mile urban waterway and is known as the area for many events throughout the year and a popular stop for tourists.
You can explore the area by foot, or hop onto one of the many river barges to enjoy a guided tour. The south of the Walk takes you to many of the popular historical sites, and the northern sections are known for the many unique shops and restaurants including The Bottling Department at Pearl, where you can dine al fresco and enjoy the fantastic views.
San Antonio Botanical Garden
Located on Funston Place, the San Antonio Botanical Gardens is the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing picnic, explore, and socialize among lush gardens, and breathtaking blooms. The gardens are 38 acres of beauty that include such attractions as Texas Native Trail, East Texas Lake, and Lucile Hasell Conservatory.
It also is home to the outdoor CHEF Teaching Kitchen and Culinary Garden. When visiting with kids, be sure to stop by Tumble Hill where the kids can wander through the Muhly Maze, play on Thunder Bridge, or take a splash in the Greehey Family Foundation No Name Creek. The area is designed to foster unstructured play while exploring and getting in touch with your natural surroundings.
Check out the latest in interactive education at The DoSeum. The museum is designed and constructed to promote a kid and environmentally-friendly environment and offers children a safe place to seek inspiration while fostering curiosity and stimulating creativity. The DoSeum focuses on science, technology, and mathematics, but still integrates art and literary concepts. There are regularly rotating exhibits for kids to enjoy including Baxter the Robot, the math challenge Spy Academy, an interactive puppet parade, a staircase where you can create your own music, a children's river, and an outdoor space with both a tree house and water features.
San Antonio Zoo
The San Antonio Zoo is the third largest zoo in the United States and is open all year round. The more than 56 acres is home to more than 750 different animal species on beautifully landscaped grounds. The architects of the zoo have taken a significant amount of time to painstakingly recreate replicas of the most amazing natural habitats. You can spend the day visiting the exhibits, or create your own unique experience with behind the scene tours and personal feedings where you can get up close and one-on-one with a few of the amazing zoo species.
SeaWorld San Antonio
SeaWorld San Antonio is a fun-filled adventure for the whole family. You can splash around and cool off at the Aquatica water park, get your heart pumping on one of the many park rides, or be mesmerized by the many unique marine species that call the attraction home. You can also attend one of the many daily shows or be a little more adventurous and enjoy an up-close animal encounter. Many of the rides are unique including Wave Breaker: The Rescue Coaster which takes you on an adventure where you join the SeaWorld rescue team to help animals that are in danger.
When the San Antonio temperature begins to rise, you can cool off and enjoy some excitement at Splashtown. The 20-acre water park is home to more than three dozen tube rides and water slides and a 172 million gallon wave pool. The park also boasts a 1.4 mile long lazy river known as Siesta Del Rio and Splash Island. You can relax or enjoy lunch at one of the many picnic tables, covered patio tables or available lounge chairs. Large groups, looking to make a day of their visit, may want to rent a cabana to enjoy some shade and beverage service.
What to Expect When You Move to San Antonio
Moving to San Antonio can be a fun and exciting experience. The area is known for its amazing dining and shopping, fun-filled attractions, fantastic culture, and many historical sites. When preparing for your move to the area, there are a few things you should know to make your transition as smooth as possible.
There is More to the City's History Than the Alamo
While obviously one of the most famed attractions in the city, the area is known for more than the Alamo. San Antonio residents are proud of their history, and that means all of it. If you want to get the true picture of the history of the area, be sure to stop by Fort Sam Houston, the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, Mission Concepcion, the Spanish Governor's Palace, the Cathedral of San Fernando, and the Mission San Francisco de la Espada.
Tacos Are a Great Option for Any Meal of the Day
While tacos are mainly a staple for lunch, dinner, and even late night snacks, in San Antonio, they are also a popular menu item for breakfast and can be seen on most of the breakfast menus in the city's restaurants. Whether you enjoy a good bean and cheese offering in the morning or a spicy chorizo, you can find amazing taco ingredients wrapped in homemade tortillas to get your day started.
Beware of Flying Eggs
Colorfully dyed eggshells, known as Cascarones, are filled with bright confetti and used at Easter and throughout Fiesta time as a fun game between loved ones and friends. During this time of year or at the events of the Fiesta festival you will likely find these flying through the air, where they break to a burst of confetti.
Your New Go-To Grocery Store Will Be H.E.B.
While you may enjoy picking up some essentials at quick stop shops, odds are you will do the bulk of your shopping at one of the many H.E.B. chain stores located in and around the city. The H.E.B. corporation with more than 350 stores throughout Texas and Mexico makes San Antonio home to its headquarters. Considering it is one of the biggest employers in the area, it is no surprise that most locals perform their regular shopping there.
It is Known as the Biggest Small Town in Texas
Even though the city is known to be continually growing, its easy-going, laid-back, and neighborly vibe, still gives it the small town appeal. You will find warmth and hospitality everywhere you go as well as neighborhood events such as open barbecues and impromptu outdoor parties.
With its diverse culture, close-knit communities, numerous attractions, historical landmarks, amazing cuisine, and beautiful scenery, the San Antonio area is the perfect place for anyone to call their home.