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Is Living in San Antonio Right for You? ⛪ | Complete Moving to San Antonio Texas Guide

Are you considering a move to San Antonio, Texas? This beautiful city, also known as Alamo City, is known for its unique blend of cultural heritage and modern living. Whether you're a young professional, a growing family, or just looking for a fresh start, San Antonio offers a great quality of life, rich history, world-class attractions, and a reasonable cost of living.

San Antonio history makes it a mecca for history buffs. San Antonio gets its name from the 1691 expedition for Portuguese priest Saint Anthony of Padua. The oldest city in Texas, San Antonio was founded in 1718 as a Spanish mission and outpost. By 1731, it was the first chartered civil settlement in modern-day Texas. Founded as part of the Spanish Empire, San Antonio was part of the Mexican Republic for 15 years in the 19th century.

Today, the five 18th-century Spanish missions in the city, multiple amusement parks in San Antonio, and other major attractions draw in nearly 32 million visitors every year.

Here's everything you can look forward to ahead of living in San Antonio, Texas!

Where Is San Antonio?

San Antonio is a large city in Brexar County, Texas, situated along the San Antonio River. It straddles the line between Central and South Texas and it’s part of Texas Hill Country, a rugged region where the American Southwest and Southeast meet. San Antonio is also part of the megaregion known as the Texas Triangle which is home to most of the state’s population and its five largest cities. Other Texas cities in the Texas Triangle or Texaplex include Houston, Austin, Dallas, and Fort Worth.

San Antonio is 80 miles southwest of Austin, 197 miles west of Houston, 144 miles north of Corpus Christi, and 155 miles northeast from the U.S.-Mexico border at Laredo.

The city completely surrounds the cities of Alamo Heights, Balcones Heights, Castle Hills, Kirby, Leon Valley, Olmos Park, Shavano Park, and Terrell Hills and the town of Hollywood Park. San Antonio is surrounded by dozens of small cities and communities including Boerne, Converse, Fair Oaks Ranch, New Braunfels and Schertz.

San Antonio Information

  • San Antonio county: Bexar, Comal, and Medina
  • Area: 504.6 square feet
  • San Antonio zip codes: 85 zip codes between 78201 and 78299
  • San Antonio area codes: 210, 726, and 830
  • Elevation: 650 feet
  • Time zone: Central Time Zone (UTC -5 and -6)
  • Closest airport: San Antonio International Airport (SAT)

San Antonio Population & Demographics

The population of San Antonio is 1,434,625, according to the 2020 census. It’s the second-most populous city in Texas and the South after Houston. The Greater San Antonio metro area is home to 2.6 million people.

The racial and ethnic makeup of the city is 65.8% Hispanic, 56.6% white (22.6% non-Hispanic), 6.6% Black or African American, 3.0% Asian, 0.9% American Indian and Alaska Native, and 23.3% two or more races.

San Antonio is America’s largest majority-Hispanic city. The Alamo City recently ranked #66 on the list of most diverse cities in America.

Additional San Antonio demographics:

  • Median household income: $59,593 (metro: $70,910)
  • Median age: 34.1 years (metro: 35.3 years)
  • Sex ratio: 50 females to 50 males over 18
  • Senior population: 13%
  • Foreign-born population: 14.3% (metro: 11.7%)
  • Veteran population: 8.2% (metro: 10.2%)
  • Educational attainment: 27.7% bachelor’s degree or higher (metro: 30.8%)
  • Homeownership rate: 52% (metro: 63%)

Transportation in San Antonio | Public Transportation & Major Highways

Getting around San Antonio and the greater metro area is easy, thanks to an extensive highway system. The city is served by four interstate highways, including I-10, I-35 (Pan Am Expressway), I-37 (Lucian Adams Freeway), and I-410 (Connally Loop), as well as multiple major U.S. routes and state highways.

One of the drawbacks of living in San Antonio, Texas, is it’s the largest city in the U.S. without a light rail system. San Antonio’s bus system is the only mass transit option. VIA Metropolitan Transit serves the city of San Antonio and many suburbs with 95 routes, including 4 express routes and two streetcar routes in the Downtown area.

There are two Amtrak routes serving the city: the Texas Eagle from San Antonio to Chicago and the Sunset Limited from New Orleans to Los Angeles.

The San Antonio International Airport (SAT) is the 6th busiest airport in the state with 45 nonstop destinations and 20 airlines.

What’s the Cost of Living in San Antonio?

Life in San Antonio, TX, is more affordable than the national average. It’s also more affordable than other large cities in Texas, with living expenses 11.5% cheaper than Dallas and 3% more affordable than Houston. Austin is also notoriously expensive.

The San Antonio cost of living index is 91.8, or 8.2% more affordable than the U.S. average. The grocery index is 93.9, the utilities index is 84.4, and the housing index is 80.4 Healthcare is the only area in which San Antonio is more expensive than the national average, with an index of 105.3.

According to the Economic Policy Institute’s Family Budget Calculator, the typical family of four needs $73,970 per year to live comfortably in San Antonio. According to MIT’s Living Wage Calculator, the San Antonio living wage for a single adult is $20.45. It’s $38.12 per hour for a family of four with one working adult or $24.13 with two working adults.

The average San Antonio household pays $2,161 per month in bills, about 2% higher than the national average, according to Doxo. Here are the average monthly bills you can expect while living in San Antonio:

  • Mortgage: $1,643 (national: $1,402)
  • Rent: $1,212 (national: $1,300)
  • Utilities: $267 (national: $362)
  • Car insurance: $206 (national: $209)

The average cost of living in San Antonio has taken a hit recently, though; a recent study found the cost of living climbed 43% from 2023 to 2024. Despite this spike, San Antonio still offers a relatively affordable cost of living with affordable housing and utilities, two of the biggest spending categories for most households.

San Antonio Real Estate | Average Rent in San Antonio & Housing Prices

Affordable housing is one of the top benefits of living in San Antonio! The median home sale price in San Antonio is $274,000 or $165 per square foot. That’s 58% lower than the national median of $432,900. The San Antonio housing market is somewhat competitive with price drops on 37% of home listings and a median of 57 days on the market.

Planning to rent? The average apartment rent in San Antonio is $1,278 as of May 2024, according to Rentcafe. That’s 34% below the U.S. average rent of $1,713. The most expensive neighborhood for renters is Government Hill at $1,852 while Downtown San Antonio rent is $1,580 on average. Typical apartment rent is below $1,300 in most neighborhoods!

Like many major metro areas, it’s currently cheaper to rent than buy a house in San Antonio. A recent study found that Alamo City has a buy-to-rent ratio of 53.1. This ratio compares the difference between the cost of renting versus buying. The metro area’s typical mortgage payment was $2,208 compared to the typical rent of $1,442. By comparison, the buy-to-rent ratio is 58.9 in Houston, 72.5 in Dallas-Fort Worth, and 86.5 in Austin.

Best Neighborhoods in San Antonio TX – Where to Live in San Antonio

There are dozens of historic districts and neighborhoods in San Antonio divided into several areas. The urban core includes Downtown, the Midtown area, and “Southtown.” The North Side is home to many historic districts and wealthy areas. The West Side, East Side, and South Side areas are home to dozens of diverse communities.

Here are just some of the best San Antonio neighborhoods to explore!

Downtown San Antonio

One of the best places to live for young professionals, the downtown area is a bustling community where you can live, work, and have fun. It’s home to many top attractions like the River Walk, great nightlife options, restaurants, live music and performing arts venues, and art galleries all waiting for you to explore.

Monte Vista

The Monte Vista Historic District in the Midtown area is an affluent neighborhood of about 3,000 people. It’s known for its tree-lined streets, historic gated homes, and Italian Renaissance, Tudor, Queen Anne, Spanish Eclectic, and Queen Anne architecture representative of the opulence of the city’s gilded age.

Alamo Heights

This enclave is actually a city completely surrounded by the City of San Antonio, but it’s often considered a neighborhood. Home to 7,000 people and many young families, it’s one of the best places to live in San Antonio for families with a highly rated school district and very low crime. Despite this, it’s actually affordable for renters, with an average rent of $1,510.

Stone Oak

Stone Oak is located in the Far North Central area on the North Side. This luxury master-planned community is home to more than 10,000 people with dozens of sprawling neighborhoods mostly developed in the 1980s and 1990s. San Antonio residents in Stone Oak enjoy upscale amenities, recreation, and even local businesses in the development. Homes in the gated neighborhoods like The Heights sell for $450,000 to more than $1 million but other neighborhoods are more affordable.

San Antonio Weather & Climate

San Antonio has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen: Cfa) bordering a hot semi-arid climate (Köppen: BSh). Before moving to San Antonio, make sure you're prepared for the intense heat! San Antonio experiences very hot summers and short, mild winters.

The average summer temperature in San Antonio is 86°F but average daytime highs range from 70°F to 95°F. August is the hottest month with an average daytime high temperature of 95.7°F. On average, there are 106 days per year with a high temperature above 90°F. The average winter temperature is 63°F. You'll get about 33" of annual rainfall, with May and October being the wettest months.

The best time to visit San Antonio is April or October to November to avoid the oppressive heat and humidity of summer.

Best Restaurants in San Antonio

The Alamo City is a great place to live for foodies! From its Tex-Mex cuisine and famous puffy tacos to seafood, authentic Italian fare, and Argentinian and Brazilian cuisine, you’ll find great food around every corner. Here are just some of the best San Antonio restaurants to fall in love with.

Chart House

This upscale seafood and steakhouse restaurant is located in the Tower of the Americas. Enjoy fantastic views and an award-winning menu – an unbeatable combination.

Chart House, 739 E César E. Chávez Blvd, San Antonio, TX 78205 (210) 223-3101

Down on Grayson

This casual eatery in Tobin Hill serves American-style cuisine in a rustic setting with a fireplace and a relaxed patio dining area.

Down on Grayson, 303 E Grayson St, San Antonio, TX 78215 (210) 248-9244

Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery

Located in the hip Pearl District, Southerleigh is a brewery with a menu it describes as “haute South.” Enjoy upscale Texas and Southern-style cuisine with fresh seafood and classic comfort foods like fried chicken paired with fantastic cocktails and happy hour specials.

Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery, 136 E Grayson St Suite 120, San Antonio, TX 78215 (210) 455-5701

Things to Do in San Antonio

Ready to explore fun things to do in San Antonio? The city is always bustling with fun activities for all ages. You can spend your free time exploring dozens of important historic sites, shopping ‘til you drop, and getting your heart racing at several amusement and water parks in San Antonio.

The city is also known for its many cultural events. The Texas Folklife Festival is an annual showcase of the state’s heritage and diversity with ethnic food, dance, art, and music. Fiesta San Antonio is a can’t miss celebration held every April. This 11-day citywide event celebrates the city’s culture and began in 1891. The colorful Fiesta event is known for its various events and medals – you’ll see attendees wearing as many medals as possible!

When you’re ready to break away from the hustle and bustle, you can enjoy more than 16,000 acres of green space, 80 miles of biking and hiking trails, and over 140 miles of city park trails managed by the San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department. There are more than 250 city-owned parks in San Antonio, including rec centers, sports facilities, gymnasiums, and public pools.

Top San Antonio Attractions

  • San Antonio River Walk: A scenic network of walkways along the San Antonio River, lined with shops, restaurants, and bars.
  • San Fernando Cathedral: One of the oldest cathedrals in the U.S., known for its stunning architecture and historical significance.
  • The Alamo: A historic site and former mission where the famous Battle of the Alamo took place. It's a symbol of Texan independence and a great place to learn about Texas history.
  • Six Flags Fiesta Texas: A popular amusement park featuring thrilling rides, shows, and attractions for all ages, plus the White Water Bay water park.
  • San Antonio Botanical Garden: A beautiful garden showcasing a variety of plants and themed sections for a peaceful retreat.
  • San Antonio Zoo: A large zoo home to hundreds of species of animals, offering fun and educational experiences. It's one of the best things to do in San Antonio with kids!
  • SeaWorld San Antonio: A marine-themed park known for its exciting shows, rides, and aquatic animal encounters.

San Antonio Entertainment & Arts

  • Tower of the Americas: A 750-foot observation tower offering panoramic views of San Antonio, a bar, a 4D adventure ride, and a revolving restaurant.
  • Alamodome: A versatile stadium hosting sports events, concerts, and conventions.
  • Tobin Center for the Performing Arts: A modern venue for a variety of performances, including theater, music, and dance.

San Antonio Museums

  • San Antonio Museum of Art: A diverse collection of art spanning over 5,000 years, from ancient times to contemporary works.
  • The DoSeum: An interactive children's museum with hands-on exhibits focused on STEM, arts, and literacy.
  • Spanish Governor’s Palace: A historic adobe building showcasing Spanish colonial architecture and artifacts.
  • McNay Art Museum: The first modern art museum in Texas, featuring an extensive collection of 19th and 20th-century American and European art.

San Antonio Parks & Outdoors

Shopping in San Antonio

  • Shops at Rivercenter: A vibrant shopping mall with a variety of stores, dining options, and entertainment located near the River Walk.
  • Historic Market Square: A lively, colorful marketplace offering unique shops, authentic Mexican cuisine, and cultural events.
  • North Star Mall: A premier shopping destination featuring high-end retailers, popular brands, and a large indoor space for a comfortable shopping experience.

San Antonio Sports

Sports enthusiasts will find plenty to cheer about while living in San Antonio, TX! The city is home to the San Antonio Spurs, an NBA team with a passionate fan base and five championships. In addition, the San Antonio FC (USL Championship) and the San Antonio Missions (Minor League Baseball) offer exciting local sports action.

The annual San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo in February is one of the top events in San Antonio with 1.3 million attendees every year.

San Antonio TX Crime Rate – Is San Antonio Safe?

The San Antonio crime rate is 5,951 crimes per 100,000 people. The violent crime rate is 883 violent offenses per 100,000 residents, and the property crime rate is 5,069 property offenses per 100,000 people. San Antonio’s crime rate is 156% above the national average.

While the city has a high crime rate, remember that crime varies substantially from one neighborhood to the next. There are many great, safe places to live in San Antonio with crime well below the city and national average. Alamo Heights is one of the safest neighborhoods in San Antonio, with 82% less violent crime than the national average. West Side neighborhoods tend to have the highest crime rates.

After moving to San Antonio, Texas, you will be served by the San Antonio Police Department (SAPD). You can explore the department’s community crime map to see crime in San Antonio by neighborhood.

San Antonio Economy & Jobs in San Antonio TX

San Antonio has a diverse economy and strong job market. You'll find many job opportunities in major sectors such as healthcare, military, government, professional and business services, oil and gas, and tourism. The city boasts a growing tech sector, a large manufacturing industry mostly focused on automotive manufacturing, and it’s a major call center location.

The biosciences industry employs more than 100,000 people with most research facilities in or near the South Texas Medical Center. About 130,000 people are employed by the tourism industry. More than 20 million people visit San Antonio every year while the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center hosts over 750,000 delegates and more than 300 events per year.

There are four Fortune 500 companies headquartered in San Antonio. It’s also a major hub for the military with one of the country’s largest concentrations of military bases, earning it the nickname Military City, USA. Fort Sam Houston, Lackland Air Force Base, Randolph Air Force Base, and Brooke Army Medical Center are all in San Antonio.

Major employers in San Antonio include:

  • Joint Base San Antonio
  • Randolph Air Force Base
  • H-E-B
  • Valero Energy Corporation
  • USAA
  • Methodist Healthcare System
  • Baptist Health System
  • Rackspace Technology
  • Southwest Research Institute
  • Tesoro
  • Toyota
  • Wells Fargo
  • JP Morgan Chase
  • Harland Clarke
  • iHeartMedia
  • Boeing
  • TaskUs
  • Accenture Financial Services
  • The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

The average salary in San Antonio is $71,000 per year or $19.45 an hour according to Payscale.  Here’s average salary information for popular occupations:

  • Software engineer: $86,292
  • Operations manager: $64,040
  • Human resources manager: $67,492
  • Registered nurse (RN): $32/hour
  • Licensed vocational nurse (LVN): $23/hour
  • Customer service representative (CSR): $16/hour

Ready to explore employment opportunities after moving to San Antonio? You can start your search for San Antonio jobs on Indeed and explore City of San Antonio jobs.

Healthcare in San Antonio

San Antonio has an excellent healthcare system with highly-rated hospitals and medical centers. The South Texas Medical Center (STMC), also known as the Bexar County Hospital District, is a large conglomerate of medical research facilities, clinics, hospitals, and schools in northwest San Antonio. The center serves 38 counties with 45 medical institutions, 12 hospitals, 5 specialty facilities, and 5 higher education institutions. It’s home to the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and two of the top 20 hospitals in the state.

Methodist Hospital is the largest hospital in the city and one of the best in Texas with a well-respected neurology department and neurosurgical care. The Baptist Medical Center has renowned cardiovascular, endocrine, and orthopedic care. University Hospital is one of the country’s leading teaching hospitals.

The three main health systems in San Antonio are Baptist Health System with six acute-care hospitals, the Baptist Children’s Hospital, and more; the Methodist Healthcare System, a network of acute-care hospitals, teaching hospitals, and medical centers; and the University Health system with University Hospital and more than 25 outpatient family medicine specialty clinics.

San Antonio Schools

There are 14 public school districts in San Antonio, dozens of private schools, and numerous highly rated colleges and universities.

While living in San Antonio, TX, you’ll be served by one of the following independent school districts:

  • Alamo Heights ISD
  • East Central ISD
  • Edgewood ISD
  • Fort Sam Houston ISD
  • Harlandale ISD
  • Judson ISD
  • North East ISD
  • Northside ISD, the largest school system in South Texas
  • San Antonio ISD
  • South San Antonio ISD
  • Southside ISD
  • Southwest ISD
  • Somerset ISD
  • Comal ISD

Northside, North East, Alamo Heights, Comal, and Boerne are among the largest and most sought after school districts.

There are also two charter school districts which have some of the best schools in San Antonio: BASIS Texas and IDEA Public Schools. The top five best high schools in San Antonio are BASIS San Antonio – Shavano Campus (BASIS Texas), Young Women’s Leadership Academy (San Antonio ISD), IDEA Carver College Preparatory (IDEA Public Schools), Health Careers High School (Northside ISD), and International School of America (North East ISD).

There are more than 100 private schools in San Antonio serving more than 22,000 students. Most are Christian or Catholic schools, but other religious denominations and secular options are also well represented. Here are just some of the top private schools in the city:

Moving to San Antonio is a great idea if a quality education is important to you. The city has 31 higher education institutions. The University of Texas at San Antonio is the largest university. Other major public schools include UT Health San Antonio, Texas A&M University – San Antonio, and the Alamo Colleges District of community colleges. San Antonio College is one of the largest community college campuses in the country with 22,000 students.

Private universities in San Antonio include Trinity University, Our Lady of the Lake University, St. Mary’s University, and more.

San Antonio Utilities & DMV Change of Address

Shortly before moving to San Antonio, Texas, you’ll want to set up utilities once you’ve found a home. Here are the main utility companies in the city:

Make sure you change your address with USPS to have mail forwarded. After settling into your new home, update your address with the DMV if you have moved within Texas or get your Texas driver’s license if you moved from another state.

Living in San Antonio offers a unique blend of rich culture, economic opportunity, and community spirit. Whether you're drawn to its historical landmarks, thriving job market, or welcoming neighborhoods, San Antonio has something for everyone. Ready to make the move? Discover the endless possibilities and vibrant life awaiting you in San Antonio, Texas, with the help of Chapas Moving Service. Call our friendly San Antonio movers today at (210) 627-0340 to discuss your moving needs and get a free, personalized moving quote!

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