Moving to a new city is always challenging. A large part of that challenge is looking for a place to live. That process can be quite overwhelming.
You’ve no doubt seen our San Antonio City Guide, which includes a short section on a few of San Antonio’s most popular neighborhoods.
This list is a more in-depth neighborhood guide meant to examine what it’s like living in each of these highlighted areas.
Next up, we’re searching San Antonio. The city’s beautiful, wildflower-speckled scenery, rich history, killer local grub, and a long list of free local events keep bringing in and keeping happy new residents from across the country.
Below, we’ve provided some helpful details on what each neighborhood has to offer. Check out our list of the top 5 neighborhoods in Alamo City.
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Olmos Park is a wealthy enclave, located about a 4-mile drive to downtown, is completely surrounded by the City of San Antonio. Residents enjoy the small town feel of their suburban neighborhood with the advantages and proximity to the big city. This mini-city prides itself on being friendly, welcoming, and safe. And its tree-lined streets and inner-neighborhood parks give the area a homey feel.
Olmos Park hosts three major social events each year at Alameda Circle. The King Antonio Party sets off the wild, 10-day-long, city-wide Fiesta. The 4th of July Parade, where the word patriotism doesn’t do justice. And the Night Out event in October for neighborhood information, fellowship, and food.
Olmos Park has its fair share of green spaces. There are five recreational areas close by, and we recommend visiting Brackenridge Park. This 343-acre public park stretched along the San Antonio River includes a picturesque Japanese Tea Garden. If you like what you found at Breckenridge than you’ll love a visit to the San Antonio Botanical Garden. This 38-acre green space features trails, a pond, a beautiful array of local plants, and the Mahncke Park.
Olmos Park offers a generous spread of tasty cuisines – Mexican, Italian, European, and American classics. The junky, backyard barbeque shop, Augie’s, is a local favorite. Though Mixtli’s modern Hispanic cuisine is our favorite local food. Top it all off with a tasty brew from Alamo Beer Company, and you’ll have a good sense of what it’d feel like living in Olmos Park.
Olmos Park offers over 800 single-family homes, most valued between $450,000 and $950,000. Several, though, cost more than $1,500,000. The neighborhood also has a small apartment district of about 250 units.
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Located About 5 miles north of the center city, this suburban area draws a crowd for its great location, safety, and community. The neighborhood once belonged to George Washington Brackenridge as his home estate in the mid-1800s. To this day, Alamo Heights’ still reflects the natural beauty that drew its original owner.
Peruse the neighborhood’s promotion of art and culture at the San Antonio Museum of Art. This museum displays collections of Spanish Colonial and Latin American pieces. For displays of nature and science, check out The Witte Museum. Or, if you’d like to plan a family outing, visit The DoSeum. This museum features interactive education and creative activities for the family.
Alamo Heights offers several stellar breakfast spots. Our favorites are Boss Bagel (which hand-makes and wood-fires their breads) and Rise Up Acai Bowls (which serves raw, vegan smoothies and breakfast options). But you can’t miss one of our favorite restaurants in the whole San Antonio area: Southerleigh. This fine-dining-brewery serves traditional Texan dishes and house-brewed beer from their rustic taproom.
Alamo Heights’ pretty homes line the quiet, tree-laden streets. These homes, due to their history of numerous developers, vary in architectural style – a characteristic of the neighborhood that now attracts people of different income groups and ages.
One of the hottest spots that has caught local attention, The Pearl District is packed full of entertainment, local events, restaurants, bars, breweries, art, and culture. Nestled against the San Antonio River, this neighborhood creates a mash-up of suburb, city, and the outdoors. The Pearl’s B-Cycle bike rentals encourage locals and visitors to cycle and explore the city. And residents are commonly found enjoying the walkable streets throughout the neighborhood.
One of the top recent developments in the district has been the creation of Hotel Emma. This luxury hotel-brewery serves margaritas upon guests’ arrival. At nighttime guests receive a macaron from the local bakery. The Pearl’s Market draws guests from across the city for live music, street vendors, restaurants, bars, and shops that open up onto the streets.
For some of the tastiest Mexican street food in the city, visit La Gloria. Besides tacos, tortas, and panuchos, La Gloria offers live music and a pet-friendly patio. For a foody’s favorite destination, visit Larder. This fine grocery store sells romantic products like freshly-baked bread and pastries, artisan cheeses, savory sandwiches, local honey, figs, popsicles, paninis, wine, and craft beer.
Most locals of the Pearl rent their homes and pay around $800-900/month. But houses are affordable with a median home value of slightly over $200k.
While growing in popularity, this small neighborhood, a few blocks from downtown (South of downtown), won’t be on many tourists’ radars. That’s one of the reasons why Southtown is a top neighborhood. This two-square-mile pocket is full of interesting things to do and see and has its own history and character. But it hasn’t gained a big spotlight, and so it feels like a little, found gem.
If you want a sweeping overview of the area, visit the 750-foot, fine dining restaurant, The Tower of the Americas. From the observation deck, you’ll have spectacular panoramic views of the city below. Or, rent a three-speed ride from the San Antonio B-Cycle, and go where your wheels take you.
Southtown’s drinks run free from local breweries and bars, and their cuisine reflects the local culture. We recommend stopping by one of our favorite San Antonio breweries, Künstler Brewing. This clean, rustic taproom serves German-style beers and an ever-changing food menu made from the freshest local ingredients.
But we can’t help but mention one of the leading and largest breweries in the city that sits right in Southtown, Freetail Brewing Company. For a taste of Texas (with a touch of France), check out Maverick Texas Brasserie. If eating flavor-packed Mexican dishes in the local Yanaguana Garden sounds appealing, visit Con Safos Cocina y Cantina.
The San Antonio River Walk is another neighborhood attraction, with its network of walkways along the banks of the San Antonio River. This hot-spot is packed with shops, restaurants, and occasional city events. One of the best city events to jump on is the Annual Fiesta in Southtown. Starting in 1891, and during each following April, the city explodes in a festival to memorialize the Battle of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto. Southtown’s corner is a must-stop during the party.
Southtown’s recent restoration brought new construction to the area. This beautiful transformation gave a facelift to many homes as well as several architectural gems, like the brilliantly pink Liberty Bar (a worthy stop for food and drinks, by the way).
This neighborhood boasts of a great location, just north of downtown, lakes, hiking trails, safe, lamp-lined streets, and over 25 parks. Castle Hills is noteworthy for its friendly atmosphere, and many new residents are greeted with a meal delivered to their door. Locals also quickly get plugged in with their neighbors during the regular community events held on holidays like the 4th of July and Easter.
Just a minutes drive away, Phil Hardberger Park displays a 330-acre former dairy farm, which has been turned into a public park with a wide-open, stunning landscape. The Walker Ranch Historic Landmark Park offers a large green escape with biking and jogging trails and a large, beautiful pavilion for rent.
Aside from this neighborhood’s lakes and parks, Castle Hills offers several restaurants that have become local favorites. Try out the Meadow Neighborhood Eatery & Bar, which serves southern comfort food with a twist, made from local ingredients. Clementine is another must-visit. This family-owned restaurant has a truly local feel, serving seasonal dishes with southern inspiration. For coffee, pop over to the cozy Malinalli Cafe.
In Castle Hill, you’ll find estate-sized houses, cozy neighborhood homes, and urban-style apartments.
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We hope this was helpful, and if you decide to take the plunge, don’t hesitate to reach out to your friends here at Bellhops. Like we said, we coordinate local and long distance moving services in San Antonio and we would love to help.
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