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Original post published on December 1, 2022 by Julia Weaver

Home to nearly 1.5 million people, San Antonio still offers small-town vibes
with its neighborhoods, green spaces, and river-side strolls. Commonly
referred to as the “Alamo City,” there are many reasons why locals love San
Antonio and choose to call it home.  

Maybe you’re renting in one of San Antonio’s many neighborhoods, perhaps
a townhouse in Monte Vista or a high-rise unit in downtown San Antonio, and
are wanting to get to know your new city better. Or maybe you’re curious
about what it’s like to live in San Antonio before moving cross-country. Either
way, here’s a local’s take on what makes their city so great.

The laidback lifestyle

While San Antonio has no shortage of things to do to keep busy, the city still
has a laid-back, relaxed vibe. 

“Unlike the fast pace of all major cities in Texas, you move to San Antonio to
slow down,” says Move to Texas Guide. “We love visiting the center along the
River Walk, which is also where the Alamo and the bulk of hotels are. Keeping
the colonial charm, you can walk around and grab local pizza at Alfredo’s
Gelato Pizza Cannoli & Cafe or get in line at the popular La Panadería Bakery
Café for Sunday brunch. We love riding the RIO Cruises at the River Walk.
The key is to change your pace, keep it simple, and enjoy the scenery.”

The San Antonio neighborhoods

Through San Antonio’s history of diversity comes a colorful and welcoming
culture throughout the city, offering locals new and exciting experiences.
There’s countless unique and dynamic neighborhoods, so if you’re planning
on moving to San Antonio, you’ll find a neighborhood that’s perfect for you. 

“Having come from Atlanta and New Orleans, we found the neighborhood
aspect of San Antonio so familiar,” share John and Elise Russ, owners and
chefs at Clementine. “We love the genuine neighborhood feeling we get from
living here. Each part of town has its own identity, be it rich in culture, exciting,
fancy, authentic, historical, or brand-new. We arrived in 2012, intending to
stay for a year and move on. But, we were hooked and have made our family
and started our business here.”

What locals love about living in San Antonio - Tammy Dominguez San Antonio Realtor
What locals love about living in San Antonio – Tammy Dominguez San Antonio Realtor

The friendly environment

There are plenty of events, attractions, and things to do in San Antonio. From
museums and theme parks to Rodeos and festivals, you won’t have to worry
about getting bored.

“San Antonio is a wonderful place to raise a family,” states At Last
, a San Antonio event entertainment service. “We have been so
impressed by the community and activities available to young families. One of
our favorites is The DoSeum Museum. Our children spend hours immersed in
creative, educational activities.”

“From the cultural, eclectic hotspots of the downtown and  Southtown  areas to
the more rural, rustic-feeling areas of the beautiful Texas Hill Country, there is
a wide variety of events and destinations to be experienced by all,” says San
Antonio lifestyle blogger Tammy Dominguez of Living in SATX. “And, my
favorite parts of living in San Antonio are the incredible people and family-
centric sense of community. It doesn’t matter if you have lived here for two
days, 20 years, or all of your life – San Antonians are known for being some of
the friendliest, most welcoming, and down-to-earth people.”

What locals love about living in San Antonio - Tammy Dominguez San Antonio Realtor
What locals love about living in San Antonio – Tammy Dominguez San Antonio Realtor

Experiencing the Museum of Art and the
McNay Art Museum

The Museum of Art spans 5,000 years of global culture and has an impressive
collection of art. “The San Antonio Museum of Art is located downtown in the
former Lone Star Brewery,” shares 1000 Museums. “It is known for its
collections in ancient art, contemporary art, as well as an incredible Latin
American folk art collection.” In addition to the collections and rotating
exhibits, the museum hosts events like children’s art contests and artist

San Antonio food bloggers Phil and Stacey of Today is Someday recommend
checking out the restaurant inside the museum. “Hidden inside the San
Antonio Museum of Art is an eatery you will want to visit, even if art is not your
thing. Tre Trattoria sits along a quiet section of the River Walk, offering lovely
views and outdoor seating. I can vouch for the beets, they are divine.”
“For modern art, visit the McNay Art Museum,” suggests 1000 Museums. As
the first modern art museum in Texas, the Mcnay Art Museum brings
paintings, sculptures, works on paper, and more throughout its 25-acre

Going to the Fiesta San Antonio

Fiesta San Antonio in Texas first originated in 1891 and is now an 11-day
celebration, honoring heroes of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto.
Rad Season, a hub for festivals and celebrations, explains further, “The Fiesta
hosts events at various locations throughout San Antonio catering to every
age with live entertainment, special guest appearances, door prizes, vendors,
and more. You can also watch several parades,  including the Fiesta Military
Parade, Fiesta Especial 5K & Parade, and The Texas Cavaliers River

San Antonio’s Vibrant Food Scene

If you’re new to the Alamo City, you’ll quickly learn it has a food and drink
scene bursting with flavor and fun, bringing exciting new concepts to life.

“Austin may be a hit destination for gastro-nomads, but the Lone Star State
has another food haven you can’t miss: San Antonio,” explains  TasteAtlas , a
guide to traditional food in different parts of the world. “It’s the birthplace of
hearty dishes like puffy tacos, bean burgers, and chili con carne. This city
offers an eclectic fusion of Mexican and U.S. culinary traditions. When it
comes to iconic local food places, San Antonians swear by Ray’s Drive Inn or
Henry’s for some crispy, puffy tacos, and the bean burger, which Lonely
Planet described as a ‘deliciously unholy alliance,’ and is best eaten at Chris
Madrids. Pair that with a tall glass of a chispa margarita, mangonada, or
michelada at some of the well-known local bars, like Rosario’s or Social Spot.”

Spending Time on the River Walk

The San Antonio Riverwalk is located in the heart of the city, offering locals
dining, shopping, and cultural experiences.

Explore by foot along the river’s walking path or jump aboard a river barge for a ride and guided tour. 
Writer Janis Turk of the travel site GoNOMAD explains how she feels
connected with the San Antonio River. “I feel the pumping, love-flowing heart
of San Antonio when I’m gliding on the San Antonio River in a GO RIO river
shuttle, traveling up to the REACH Museum along the River Walk. Everything
grows quiet and still as I leave the tourist throng downtown. Glorious greenery
lines the banks, and buildings like the Tobin Center for the Arts and San
Antonio Museum of Art sparkle in the sun. When I hike, bike, or kayak down
the Mission Reach and see Mission San Jose or Mission Espada, I feel the
richness of San Antonio’s 300-year-old story and wonder about all those long
before me who lived here and loved the river as well.”

“Something magical happens while strolling the San Antonio River Walk,”
explains travel blogger  Finding Kathy Brown. “It’s how one can have
remarkably various experiences, all in an incredible location. One minute the
path leads you through romantic passageways along the water. The next
minute you are dining in first-class restaurants and exploring luxury hotels.
Around the next bend, you will find yourself in a party atmosphere ripe with
excitement and flowing drinks. No matter what a visitor’s mood or travel
desires, something is found for everyone along the 15 miles of the iconic 15-
mile river walk.”

Tammy Dominguez San Antonio Realtor

The Mix of City and Country

“You can live in/or escape to the Hill Country but have easy access to big city
amenities like performances at The Majestic Theatre, luxury shopping at The
Shops at La Cantera, and compelling art at museums like the McNay Art
Museum and San Antonio Museum of Art,” shares blogger Kelly Lee.
“I love the infusion of Mexican culture and history. From the Alamo and touring
the Missions to boat rides down the River Walk to Fiesta and NIOSA
celebrations and strolling El Mercado (Market Square), it’s lovely living around
so much vibrant heritage.”

The Diversity and Culture

“San Antonio is a city of diversity and culture, and much more than just the
typical “fiesta” narrative,” says Kent Oliver, owner of The Dakota East Side Ice
 restaurant. “Jazz and blues from the East side are tempered by
Conjunto and Tejano music from the South and West. A true melting pot of people from all social and economic backgrounds. Our communities have arich history just waiting for you to explore.”

“Being a Hispanic, living here makes me feel welcomed and part of the
community,” shares Nelly Fuentes, Founder and Owner of San Antonio Art
. “Our city has a strong Hispanic influence that is embraced through
festivals and celebrations like the Luminaria: Contemporary Arts Festival, the
Conjunto Music Festival, and the largest Día De Los Muertos celebration in
the U.S. San Antonio is home to one of the largest outdoor art galleries in
Texas where you can explore and immerse yourself in San Antonio’s culture
through the art of our very talented local artists. You can explore and immerse
yourself in San Antonio’s culture through the art of our very talented local
artists. Lastly, we can’t forget about the food! San Antonio is the birthplace of
Tex-Mex cuisine. Nothing better than our breakfast tacos, the puffy taco, or
barbacoa with Big Red.”

The Endless Number of Things to Do

“San Antonio is a city that truly has it all,” states travel blogger This is Mel
. “From visiting historical sites like The Alamo and Mission San Jose to
sipping margaritas on the River Walk at sunset. Cheer on the San Antonio
Spurs NBA team or hang out with friends in downtown Pearl District—there’s
no shortage of things worth doing here. And if you are looking for an extra bit
(or lots) of spice, I highly recommend the Drag Queen champagne brunch. I
guarantee everyone will leave happy. Honestly, there aren’t enough words to
describe how incredible San Antonio is – you’ll have to visit and see for

“There is something so special about San Antonio,” says blogger Lisa Alfaro.
“Living near the city center allows us to explore daily. Within minutes we’re
strolling on the River Walk, eating in Southtown, and enjoying family fun at the
Museum, Witte Musem, Zoo, or Botanical Garden. My absolute favorite time
of year is coming up, and you can almost taste the excitement of Christmas
time in San Antonio.”

What locals love about living in San Antonio - Tammy Dominguez San Antonio Realtor
What locals love about living in San Antonio – Tammy Dominguez San Antonio Realtor

Enjoying a Meal Along the River

“Strolling along the River Walk is the most relaxing feature the city offers,”
says Nora Clausen, President of Far & Wide travel site. “The restaurants fill
the air with various flavors and aromas from many cuisines. When you dine
near the river, the sights and sounds draw your attention to passenger-filled
boats, showing excitement and anticipation of what’s around the next bend.

Each venue pairs its menu with wine selections, keeping with any aficionado’s
scrutiny. Upon choosing an entrée, exquisite taste, and quality of presentation
will dazzle your senses, carrying you back to the old-world charm and tradition
your venue has offered. Your after-dinner stroll, featuring the lights and distant
chatter of patrons in celebration, provides the romantic ambiance romance to
mind, giving way to your imagination of another version of Paris or Venice
rolled up into one; San Antonio’s River Walk.”

Strolling Through the Historic Pearl

The Pearl District, formerly known as the Industrial District, has done a great
job at upholding the historic buildings and charm while adding a hip and
vibrant edge to the neighborhood. Comprised of locally-owned shops,
restaurants, coffee shops, and more, it’s easy to spend a day strolling the
“San Antonio embodies a warm, inviting, multicultural experience,” says San
Antonio local and writer of Over 50 Feeling 40, Pamela Lutrell. I tell my
readers a must-see is the entire Historic Pearl, from the splash pad for
children to the music, the eateries, the shops and vendors, and then to the
fabulous architecture featuring the amazing Hotel Emma. Plus, it is just a
splash away from the River Walk where you can enjoy a beautiful walk with an
all-natural ice cream cone from Lick.”

The Blend of Old and New

In 1718, San Antonio became the first civilian settlement in Texas, founded by
San Antonio de Béxar. Today, San Antonio’s early architectural and cultural
elements still remain and provide a glance into the early Spanish colonial life
in the Southwest.

“One of my favorite parts about San Antonio is the mix of old and new,”
shares travel blogger Carri Willbanks of Catch Carri. “The city retains history
but also has no shortage of new experiences and offerings leaving its locals
always entertained. Some of my top recommendations are seeing the River
Walk by boat on a guided tour and also checking out newer neighborhoods
like the Pearl with local shops and restaurants. It’s also a city that is easy to
navigate and offers options for all travelers.”

“What I love about my city is that there are so many historical places and
modern areas as well,” states local blogger Brenda Cisneros of  Mejorando Mi
. One of my favorite places is The Historic Pearl, a lovely place located
at an old brewery with a great atmosphere. I like walking around The Pearl,
eating at some of its restaurants, enjoying cultural events, taking photos, and
the weekend Farmer’s market. It’s within walking distance from the
picturesque San Antonio River Walk, another of my favorite attractions.”

San Antonio’s Small-town Feel

“Given that San Antonio is the 7th largest city in the U.S., I was surprised by
the small-town feeling,” shares Annick Lenoir-Peek, travel writer and blogger
of The Common Traveler. “People are friendly and happy to help each other
out, welcoming newcomers with open arms. And they’re always happy to
recommend fun things to do and places to eat. One of the best things to do in
San Antonio is hunt for ghosts at the Alamo and downtown.”

What locals love about living in San Antonio - Tammy Dominguez San Antonio Realtor
What locals love about living in San Antonio – Tammy Dominguez San Antonio Realtor

The Care, Commitment, and Service

Care, commitment, and service is part of San Antonian’s DNA. For
example, Morgan’s Inclusion Initiative oversees five fully-inclusive, Ultra-
Accessible™ facilities for people of all ages and all abilities can come

Morgan’s Wonderland is a 25-acre, Ultra-Accessible™ oasis of inclusion.
From the wheelchair-accessible Ferris wheel to the multi-assistance center
providing services to those with disabilities and special needs, Morgan’s
Wonderland thrives because of the love and compassion of San Antonio’s

Original post can be found at Redfin.com.