San Antonio area neighborhoods
If you are moving or PCSing to the San Antonio metro area, email and ask for a free relocation guide!
We have also put together in-depth home guides on several communities north of downtown, including Alamo Heights, Terrell Hills, Northwood, and Northridge. Contact us for a neighborhood guide that includes photos, descriptions, and price ranges of homes.
Downtown San Antonio
Located within the boundaries of Highways I-35, I-37, and I-10, downtown San Antonio is the central business district and major tourist draw. Filled with hotels, tourist attractions, restaurants, and bars, the area is alive every night of the week and almost all year long, with both locals and tourists alike enjoying the area and all it has to offer. The beautiful River Walk is one of the top visitor destinations in Texas.
The historic downtown area is also being revitalized with numerous condominiums and lofts, many repurposed from former office buildings. Prices go up the closer you get to the River Walk. The famous San Antonio sites include the Alamo, the San Fernando Cathedral, the Tower of the Americas, and the San Antonio missions. Notable places to dine include La Reve, the Fig Tree, Little Rhein Steakhouse, Biga on the Banks, and Boudro’s.
Midtown isn’t really a name, but a geographical pointer to one of the most historic areas of San Antonio with neighborhoods such as the Beacon Hill, up-and-coming Five Points, and the largest historic district in the nation, stately Monte Vista. Each neighborhood has its own distinctive housing characteristics, ranging from Victorian in Beacon Hill to French Eclectic, Neoclassical, and Italian Renaissance in Monte Vista. This neighborhood is very family-centric, with community-wide annual events like Easter egg hunts and Fourth of July celebrations. As one of the most expensive neighborhoods in San Antonio it maintains its high status in large part because of the efforts of the Monte Vista Historical Association and has more than 3,000 residents.
With the extension of the River Walk to the former Pearl Brewery, the area is benefiting from renewal efforts that include a mix of high-end and budget-friendly eateries. They include Bistro Vatel, Shiraz, Demo's, La Fonda, Chris Madrid’s, and Panchitos.
Southtown and King William
This area on the southern edge of downtown includes the historic King William and Lavaca neighborhoods as well as SoFlo and the Warehouse district. This area started out in the 1800s as an elegant residential area with mansions built along the banks of the San Antonio River and the Lavaca cottages on the outskirts. It fell into decay over the decades, but became Texas’s first Historic Neighborhood District in 1967. Walking tours are offered, similar to those in Charleston, of the mansions in King William, many of which are being restored to their former glory.
Southtown was once called the state’s most eccentric neighborhood by Texas Monthly magazine. It is known for its diverse and active residents, art galleries, funky restaurants, and Victorian homes. There is a big concentration of resident artists and contemporary art space at the Blue Star gallery and studio. A neighborhood celebration takes place the first Friday of each month that draws crowds for art openings, theater productions, dining, and shopping. They visit galleries, art spaces, and vintage stores, while vendors sell art and jewelry, all to the sound of live music played in the streets.
There is no shortage of places to eat and drink in Southtown. They include Taco Haven, Bar America, Blue Star Brewing Company, Rosario's, La Tuna, El Mirador, Oloroso, and Mad Hatters. The queen of fine dining is The Guenther restaurant at the old Pioneer Flour Mill in the heart of King William. Art spaces include the Blue Star Contemporary Art Center, UTSA Satellite Space, San Antonio Art League, SAY Si!, Joan Grona Gallery, Cactus Bra Space, Three Walls Gallery, Justice Works, REM Gallery, San Angel Folk Art, Stone Metal Press, and Fiber Artspace.
The far south side is growing again, owing to its proximity to Brooks City-Base, where the CDC has established a headquarters, Texas A&M University–San Antonio, the Toyota Tundra manufacturing plant, and the new phase of the Mission Reach extension of the River Walk. The vision is of a renewal of over 60 square miles located just south of the city’s Loop 410 and extending south of the Medina River, where a new city park was recently dedicated.
This area is attractive to middle-class families and first-time home buyers looking for modestly priced homes. Chain restaurants and supermarkets have done their demographic homework and are moving into the area. They include Olive Garden, HEB Plus, Super Wal-mart, Mama Margies, and Buffalo Wild Wings. The area's biggest shopping mall, South Park Mall, has upgraded many of its stores to the higher end, including Macy's, Game-Stop, and Foley's.
Alamo Heights and uptown
Just north of downtown is the area of older bedroom communities, including the well-known cities of Alamo Heights, Olmos Park, and Terrell Hills, as well as Lincoln Heights. This area has several of the city’s few high-rise residential buildings. It is also where the University of the Incarnate Word, the McNay Art Museum, the Witte Museum, Brackenridge Park, the Botanical Gardens, the San Antonio Zoo, and the Japanese Tea Gardens, and San Antonio Country Club are located.
Alamo Heights is one of the original suburbs of San Antonio and has some of its best restaurants and upscale shopping. The incorporated City of Alamo Heights has long been considered one of the most appealing places to live in San Antonio. Elegant boutiques, antique stores, great restaurants, funky bars, and bookshops line the streets of its business district centered on the main drag, Broadway. Noteworthy eateries include Paloma Blanca, Cappy's, Silo, Olmos Pharmacy, and WD Deli.
To the east of Alamo Heights is Terrell Hills, another upscale community and city with its own mayor, city council, police, and fire department. Homes in Terrell Hills can be the most expensive in the entire city, even comparable to some of the priciest places in the state of Texas. With the high cost, single-family homes are out of reach for many in this neighborhood. However, there are several condos for sale and rent in Terrell Hills, as well as in Alamo Heights, providing an affordable alternative.
Some of the best restaurants in the area are located in Terrell Hills. Crumpets Restaurant appears repeatedly on lists of restaurants with the Best Dessert and Most Romantic. The Barn Door is one of the top steakhouses in the city. It’s a popular venue for holiday parties and wedding receptions.
North and east of Alamo Heights are three subdivisions that are coming into favor as candidates for remodeling and updating: Terrell Heights, Northridge, and Northwood. Homes in these neighborhoods were built in the '30s through the '60s, and are surrounded by mature trees. Terrell Heights is located in the popular Alamo Heights school district, the boundary of which zigzags through Northwood and Northridge. The adjoining school district is the well-regarded North East ISD.
A flourishing community in the early 1900s that languished towards the end of the century, the East Side has been the focus of recent activity by a dedicated group of local entrepreneurs, developers, investors, politicians, and community leaders. The East Commerce Corridor may well be the next inner city redevelopment success story for San Antonio.
The East side is home to St. Paul Square, the Alamodome (home of the San Antonio Spurs), Sunset Station, the AT&T Center, and its older neighbor, Joe Freeman Coliseum, where the annual Stock Show and Rodeo is held. Some of the area restaurants are the upscale Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, as well as Big Lou’s Pizza, Spaghetti Warehouse and the Lord’s Kitchen.
The northeast section of San Antonio skirts the east boundary of Fort Sam Houston and Brooke Army Medical Center. Located along the I-35 corridor that continues north to Austin are Randolph Air Force Base and such cities as Garden Ridge, Schertz, Converse, Cibolo, Universal City, Selma, Kirby, Live Oak, and Windcrest. Nicknamed the City of Lights because of the annual display of Christmas lights, Windcrest was incorporated in 1959 and is built around a golf course. It is still a popular neighborhood to live in, especially for retirees, although unfortunately nearby neighborhoods began to decay in the 1990s. With the repurposing of Windsor Park Mall into the new headquarters for Rackspace, efforts to revitalize the neglected area are continuing with the aid of the Windcrest Economic Development Corporation.
Converse was one of the fastest growing cities in Texas. Its neigbor to the north, Schertz, has made it into Money magazine's top 100 best places to live.
The northeast side hosts Rolling Oaks Mall and The Forum shopping center, one of the area’s largest, with a plentiful supply of stores large and small, fast-food offerings, and restaurants.
North Central is home to many small cities incorporated into the San Antonio metro, including Castle Hills, Shavano Park, Hill Country Village, and Hollywood Park. The area also includes the upscale neighborhoods of Deerfield, Inwood, Edgewater, Rogers Ranch, and Bentley Manor.
There is plenty of retail and office space in this part of the city, including North Star Mall, long a favorite destination for shoppers from Mexico, especially at Christmas.
Castle Hills is a quaint community that was incorporated into San Antonio in the early 1950s as the city grew to the north of Loop 410. There are several private schools in the area, making it a very family-oriented neighborhood, and most of the homes are surrounded by grand oaks. There is a nice selection of unique restaurants such as Pappasito’s Mexican Grill, La Scala, The Lodge Restaurant of Castle Hills, and La Fogata.
Some of the most expensive homes in this part of the San Antonio metro are in Hill Country Village, a very rural community with homes situated on a minimum lot size of 5 acres. Although it and the city of Hollywood Park to the north are on the border of Highway 281 and all its commercial and retail activity, it is surprisingly quiet and rustic. Deer browse in the yards and many of the homesteads have agricultural exemptions allowing donkeys, goats, and horses. Homes in Hollywood Park are situated on smaller lots, averaging 1/3 acre, and are going through a remodeling and updating boom, since most of them date from the 1950s.
North of San Antonio's outer loop, FM 1604, and the Far North area has experienced swift commercial and residential growth and is the location of many of San Antonio's largest and most expensive, newer homes. Such upscale neighborhoods in this area include Rogers Ranch, Scenic Oaks, Sonterra, and the multitude of neighborhoods (many built on golf courses) that make up the Stone Oak master planned community.
Northwest / Medical Center
Health care, medical research, and the biotech industry are a huge part of the San Antonio economy, and this area continues to grow. The corporate headquarters of Valero and USAA (one of the largest employers in the state of Texas), Six Flags Fiesta Texas, the University of Texas San Antonio and the South Texas Medical Center are all located in this section of San Antonio creating a diverse mix of home owners and renters. There are retail centers galore, big box stores, new malls, plenty of restaurants and fast food stores, and offices to provide residents with almost everything they need. In addition, the prestigious Oak Hills Country Club hosts an annual PGA event and is one of the oldest private country clubs in the US.
Neighborhood offerings range from homes built in the 1960s in Colonies North and the Foothills north to newer communities such as gated Elm Creek, Whispering Oaks, Hunters Creek, Shavano Park, Oak Meadows, and Woods of Shavano. On the west side of IH 10 are where many of San Antonio's condominiums are located, convenient to the Medical Center and USAA. In addition, neighborhoods such as Oak Hills Terrace and Kenton Place provide affordable housing, while larger homes are in subdivisions such as Oak Hills, Pembroke Forest, Woodridge, Jade Oaks, Auburn Oaks, Parkwood, and Hunters Chase. West of Bandera Road, with all its shopping opportunities, are even more established neighborhoods filled with mature oak trees such as Northwest Crossing, Finesilver, and Braun Station.
Restaurants in the area include the Fox and Hound Pub and Grill, Cool Cafe (a personal favorite!), Texas Land and Cattle, O'Malley’s Sports & Spirits, Hooligan's Bar & Grill, Macaroni Grill, and the Flying Saucer.
This side of the city features a master-planned community called La Cantera, Spanish for "the quarry." It is a mix of residential areas, parks, shopping, dining, schools, and services. The above-average home prices are offset by the plentiful amenities and beautiful Hill Country views. An upscale open-air shopping center, The Shops at La Cantera, is anchored by Macy's, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom. In addition, there is an enormous retail center known as The Rim, anchored by Bass Pro Shops' Outdoor World, and the Palladium, a 19-screen movie theater with IMAX screens. The expensive golf community of The Dominion, home to David Robinson and many other Spurs players and coaches, and George Strait, is located here, just north of an Army training center, Camp Bullis.
Even farther to the northwest, past the sprawling campus of the University of Texas at San Antonio, are neighborhoods such as Sonoma Ranch, Iron Mountain Ranch, and Wildhorse. North of Loop 1604, on the way to Bandera (the Cowboy Capital of the World) is the town of Helotes. This area is in the foothills of the Hill Country, with its 14,000 square miles of rugged terrain, including beautiful hills, fields, streams, unique towns, and Texas charm.
Fancy restaurants are few and far between in this part of town, but it would be hard to find a more romantic one than the Grey Moss Inn. And for music lovers, there is the Leon Springs Dance Hall and the historic J.T. Floore Country Store serves up hamburgers and beers along with live music from the likes of Lyle Lovett, Willie Nelson and B.B. King.
The far west side is one of the fastest-growing areas of San Antonio. Much of this area is outside of the San Antonio city limits, but within Bexar County. Major employers here include Sea World of Texas, Northwest Vista College, QVC, Wachovia, and CitiCorp.
The subdivisions on this side of town attract many military residents who relocate here to Lackland AFB. With many new homes priced in the $100,000s to $150,000s, the area attracts many middle-class families and first-time home buyers. Neighborhoods such as Westcreek offer homes in all price ranges.
Because of the growing housing market, Christus Santa Rosa Westover Hills Hospital, and numerous retail stores have moved into the area, as well as many chain restaurants and specialty stores. The newest master planned community in San Antonio is on this side of town: Alamo Ranch.
The West Side
Known for its Hispanic and Tejano culture, and featuring landmarks such as the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Little Flower, the West side is also home to Our Lady of the Lake University and St. Mary's University.
The west side's historic Prospect Hill neighborhood was one of the first communities to be built in the area. Notable Prospect Hill residents include former San Antonio Mayor and HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros, actress Carol Burnett, and Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez. Most homes here are modest frame houses with 2 or 3 bedrooms dating from the 1900s through the 1940s. The area around the architecturally interesting Thomas Jefferson High School, known as Monticello, has many Hollywood bungalows and Mediterranean influences. Many of the stuccoed or stone-clad homes have been remodeled over the last few years, and the area on the east boundary is known as the Deco District.
Area restaurants include Fatso's Sports Garden, the Malt House, Nava's Family Mexican Restaurant, Danny's Cocina Mex, and Casa Chacon.