The 9 Best Neighborhoods in San Antonio

San Antonio’s colonial influence isn’t just part of its history; it’s ingrained in the everyday life of the city. With its historical suburban neighborhoods and cultural museums, San Antonio celebrates its past while looking forward to the future with local breweries, creative restaurants, and fabulous attractions. Before you plan your move, learn more about these top San Antonio neighborhoods.

The best neighborhoods in San AntonioiStock.com/Kruck20

The best neighborhood for people on the move

Looking for the best strip of the 15-mile-long River Walk? Downtown is your neighborhood. 5 miles of the commercially developed stretch of the San Antonio River flows through Downtown. Locals love the restaurants, stores, and bars along its banks. Downtown also boasts Market Square, a three-block outdoor plaza and the largest Mexican market in the U.S. Located just a few blocks off of the River Walk, it hosts many traditional Mexican festivals throughout the year.

History buff? Get ready to have history in your backyard when you live Downtown because it’s home to The Alamo. The La Villita Historic Arts Village, a square block of cultural art and shops listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is also located Downtown. Notable Downtown cultural spots include the Briscoe Western Art Museum, Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, and the San Fernando Cathedral. Access them all on the standard VIA Metropolitan Transit, VIVA buses, or on foot, as the narrow streets and limited parking options make driving tricky.

The best neighborhood for nature lovers

Alamo Heights’ two massive green spaces make it an oasis for nature lovers. Brackenridge Park, at the southern edge of Alamo Heights, houses the San Antonio Zoo, Japanese Tea Garden, and plenty of walking trails. It’s rivaled by Olmos Basin, a public park with baseball/softball, soccer, and football/rugby fields, grassy picnic areas, walking trails, and ample oak trees. If outdoors isn’t your thing, don’t dismiss Alamo Heights. This neighborhood also features the McNay Art Museum. Housed in a Spanish Colonial Revival residence, it boasts a collection of pieces from artists like Georgia O’Keefe, Jackson Pollock, and Vincent van Gogh.

Locals hit up the Alamo Quarry Market for all their shopping, dining, and entertainment fixes. This 580,000-square-foot, open-air complex market offers more than a dozen dining options, boasts 60 shopping destinations, and hosts farmers markets and events throughout the year. Check out the rest of this neighborhood’s hot spots along Broadway Street, the main drag. Alamo Heights is around a 10-minute drive from Downtown, but that makes it a little quieter than many San Antonio neighborhoods. And with so much to do close to home, why would you ever leave?

The best neighborhood for beer lovers

Both a residential gem and a hipster art enclave, King William sits just south of downtown San Antonio. Cafes, art galleries, and a view of the San Antonio River make this neighborhood an ideal living destination. But it’s the breweries scattered throughout King William that really attract people who love a good brew. Check out Blue Star Brewing Company, which has a killer food menu and 100% organic brews. You’ll also love Lone Star Brewery, which hosts festivals and concerts on its massive grounds.

Other local food and drink options include the historic Guenther House, coffee shops like The Jewel at 1102, and bars like Liberty Bar. You can also visit Blue Star Contemporary, the original and longest-running modern art space in the city, located right on the river. Just west of Blue Star is SoFlo Market, a shopping destination for local, handmade arts and crafts. Well-kept sidewalks ensure you can explore the area and even access Downtown on foot. King William rentals can be expensive, but the historic, 19th-century homes that dominate the area are superb.

The best neighborhood for music fans

East of Downtown and spanning many city blocks, the Eastside Promise-Dignowity neighborhood is your entertainment hub. The Rock Box borders the neighborhood to its west. While it’s famous for its concerts, its yoga sessions set to soundtracks of reggae and emo are a great way for music lovers to stay fit. The nearby Carver Community Cultural Center celebrates African-American heritage and culture through live music, dance, and theater performances. The AT&T Center on the eastern edge of this neighborhood is best known as the home of the Spurs, but it also hosts major live music events.

Along East Houston Street, you’ll find Tucker’s Kozy Korner, a local favorite for fried chicken and waffles, burgers, and live music in a more intimate setting. Speaking of great eats, take a stroll down East Houston to Dignowity Meats, a crowd pleaser known for its smoked meats, patio dining, and craft beers. While there are plenty of leisure opportunities, this neighborhood is also perfectly situated for professionals. They usually have an easy commute, as Eastside Promise-Dignowity neighborhood is a few blocks from Downtown.

The best neighborhood for singles

Most San Antonio residents become regulars in the Pearl district, so why not just live there? It’s ideally located just north of Downtown and bordering Alamo Heights. The crown jewel of this area, The Pearl Brewery, is more than just a place for grabbing beers; it’s transformed this portion of the city into a go-to spot for nightlife, salsa dancing, dining, arts, and culture. The Pearl district also has a year-round farmers market, the Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio, and more than 20 bars, restaurants, and shops. While you’re free and single, it’s the place to be.

For many locals, The Pearl is more than simply a place to live. It’s an urban village — a tight-knit community with everything you really need on your doorstep. As people in big cities become increasingly isolated and disconnected, The Pearl provides a place where residents get to know and depend on one another. They welcome newcomers with open arms, although available rentals are limited. Snap one up when you see it to join the fun.

The best neighborhood for families

Terrell Hills is a friendly residential area that local families love. The neighborhood is mostly made up of families and retirees, so it’s very quiet and peaceful. You’ll regularly see people out walking their dogs or riding bikes along the safe, well-kept streets. The mix of historic homes and renovated mid-century properties in Terrell Hills gives families space to grow and have fun. Schools under the Alamo Heights and North East Independent School Districts can help your kids reach their academic potential.

The community’s green spaces have playgrounds, shady trees, and space for picnicking. Crestwood Park and Playground also hosts an Easter Egg hunt and holiday parade. The local Fourth of July celebrations take place at the Esplanade on Geneseo. These family-friendly events encourage residents to get together and make memories. Located 5 miles northeast of San Antonio, Terrell Hills gets your family out of the hustle and bustle of the Downtown area. However, its close proximity to the Old Austin Highway helps you easily access San Antonio’s attractions and job opportunities.

The best neighborhood for families with young children

Olmos Park is another great option for families moving to San Antonio. Families with younger children may prefer living here due to the abundant high-quality local day care options. When the kids are old enough, the acclaimed Alamo Heights Independent School District serves the whole neighborhood. Olmos Park has some beautiful historic homes and luxury mansions inhabited by local businessmen like Red McCombs, Rodney Lewis, and Randall L. Stephenson. However, you’ll also find some affordable rentals dotted around Olmos Park.

Olmos Basin Park, Hemisfair ParkMahncke Park, and Crockett Park all provide facilities for parents to catch up and watch their kids play. Depending on where you rent, you can stroll to local cafes and restaurants serving up everything from Latin classics to sushi. There aren’t a lot of bars or clubs, but if you’ve got a kid-free night, there are plenty of fun spots in nearby Alamo Heights to check out.

The best neighborhood for young professionals

With a median age of 34, Lavaca is the ideal neighborhood for young professionals. Its proximity to Downtown provides an easy walk to the office, restaurants, and cultural venues. Not that Lavaca is lacking in those departments. With renowned comedy club Fallout Theater and great music venues like Joe Blue’s and Lowcountry all in Lavaca, you’re never stuck for entertainment.

The Lavaca Neighborhood Association helps residents feel like part of the community. Its weekly happy hour has become so popular that people from neighboring communities head to Lavaca just to join in. It also regularly runs potluck dinners, block parties, and house crawls, a cheeky variation on pub crawls. You might move to Lavaca not knowing a soul, but you’re sure to make fast friends.

The best neighborhood for students

Located minutes east of San Antonio College, Tobin Hill is the ideal neighborhood for students. Friendly coffee shops like Eclipse Coffee and Candlelight PourHouse help students start the day right. The neighborhood also boasts plenty of tasty, cheap eats, perfect for a student’s budget, including Burger Boy, Main Street Pizza and Pasta, and the Tacos El Guero food truck.

Around three-quarters of people in Tobin Hill rent, so there’s a steady turnover of apartments and a fresh feel to the neighborhood. The high percentage of renters and the college nearby also give Tobin Hill a fun, young demographic. Don’t worry about extending your budget for a car. You can easily walk to the Downtown neighborhood, San Antonio College, Brackenridge Park, and great bars and restaurants from most apartments.

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