Moving to San Antonio, TX? Read Our Ultimate Moving Guide
Moving to San Antonio means relocating to a big city with a lower cost of living and more affordable housing than the average. Jobs are plentiful and the presence of military bases is significant enough for this city to be nicknamed “Military City, USA.” There’s plenty for people and families to enjoy, too, including but not limited to great restaurants, historical sites, amusement parks, and so much more.
San Antonio—with a population just under 1.6 million people—is the seventh largest city in the United States in 2022, the second most populated city in Texas. Only Houston is more populated in this state.
Our San Antonio moving guide shares the information you’ll need about this bustling Texas city. If you’re ready to move, contact our San Antonio movers.
If you want to live in the heart of the action, living in the vibrant city of San Antonio makes sense. If you’d rather have all of the benefits of living near a big city but with a more suburban feel, it can make sense to choose a San Antonio suburb. Here are ones to consider:
- Hollywood Park: This suburb offers a more laid back atmosphere while still offering plenty of amenities: quality schools, attractive parks, restaurants with great menus, low crime rates, and more. This can be a great place to raise a family surrounded by friendly people.
- Round Rock: China Grove is another family-friendly place to live, more peaceful than the hustle and bustle of a big city. Although there may be less to do within this small city than other suburbs, there’s so much to enjoy that’s just a short drive away.
- Monta Vista: If you’re looking for historic mixed with hipster, then this may be the right choice for you. There’s plenty of nightlife in this walkable suburb along with great restaurants. Plus, downtown San Antonio is only a ten-minute drive away.
The metropolitan area of San Antonio offers plenty of choices: from suburban living to a big city lifestyle. If this intrigues you, then moving to San Antonio, TX may well be where you’ll call home.
Getting Around San Antonio
If you want to use public transportation, then the VIA Metropolitan Transit is the ticket. VIA was recognized as the outstanding Metro Transit Authority of the year in Texas with a service area of more than 1,266 miles. You can select a bus route here and find the express routes to the downtown area. If bus routes don’t take you where you need to go, VIA Link serves as an on-demand ride-sharing program. Want to go to a special event? No problem. VIA’s Special Event Service will get you there!
The San Antonio International Airport is located eight miles north of the downtown area with three runways over 2,305 acres. Here is a map of the airport. There are plenty of ground transportation options, including a shuttle, rental cars, taxi cabs, rideshare, charter buses, and public transportation.
The city provides assistance in parking downtown along with an easy to use app; a parking map; and guidance about free short term parking for people with state issued disabled parking permits or plates.
San Antonio is a bikeable city with plenty of trails. You can download maps here, and find information on their biking master plan where each part of the city will be evaluated for even safer biking opportunities.
San Antonio Neighborhoods
Alamo Heights is centrally located, just north of downtown, full of upscale eateries, intriguing shops, the McNay Art Museum, gorgeous parks, and much more. Entertainment exists for people of all ages in Alamo Heights.
Originally an area where people mined Limestone, La Cantera is now best known for being the home of Six Flags Fiesta Texas with all of its amusement rides and firework shows. There’s also a great neighborhood in the mixed-use development.
Young professionals gravitate to Lavaca—and for good reason. The neighborhood association holds a weekly Happy Hour that’s become so popular that people from other areas of the city want to join in. They hold other events throughout the year, giving the neighborhood a close-knit feel. The neighborhood also features plenty of restaurants and nightlife, located close to the Alamodome.
People from all demographics appreciate Terrell Hills: from young families to single adults to retirees. This area maintains a small town feel while still having convenient access to main highways. Beautifully restored historic homes intermingle with mid-century houses with plenty of parks, shops, and restaurants. Crime rates are low and school ratings are high.
Beacon Hill is nationally known for its affordability as well as being pet-friendly. Shops and restaurants welcome dogs with numerous dog parks. Beacon Hill is also LGBRQ+ friendly, located near the Pride Center of San Antonio. The community garden is a gorgeous haven for anyone who wants to visit and relax.
Because so many great neighborhoods exist, our San Antonio moving guide could only call out a few of them. One thing’s for sure: with just a bit of exploration, you’ll find one to suit your lifestyle and budget.
Things to Do For Families
Designed for children ages three to ten, adults can also enjoy the LEGOLAND Discovery Center San Antonio—if only because of the pleasure it brings the kids. There are ten different zones, a play area, two rides, and a 4D theater, and the center has recreated all of San Antonio’s landmarks in Legos. Plan a birthday party here and it’s sure to be unforgettable.
SeaWorld San Antonio provides entertainment and education for people of all ages. Go the right time and you’ll see a Sesame Street parade with your favorite characters. There’s also ten themed boats with amazing performances and a Great White coaster. You can also go to Discovery Point to spot dolphins up close.
The DoSeum provides interactive experiences for youngsters that parents often enjoy, as well. In the summer, there are dozens of summer camps with interesting themes, including dinosaur digging and designing your fashion collection, with awe-inspiring exhibits throughout the year.
You didn’t think we’d briefly mention Six Flags Fiesta Texas and not share more info, did you? From kiddie rides to Dr. Diabolical’s Cliffhanger, billed as the world’s steepest dive roller coaster, there are levels of thrills for everyone. Monthly plans start as low as $6.99.
Morgan’s Wonderland is trademarked as the World’s First Ultra-Accessible Theme Park where people of all abilities can enjoy fun in an atmosphere of inclusion. This nonprofit park was specifically built for people with special needs.
Plus, San Antonio has an incredible park system where families can enjoy playgrounds and picnics in the fresh air and beautiful sunshine to more structured activities—and everything in between. As just one example, families can play disc golf on their own, first come first serve. Just bring your own discs.
The aquatics division of the parks system operates twenty-four outdoor pools as well as one indoor one. They offer swimming lessons for kids and adults, open and lap swim times, water fitness classes, seasonal camps, and lifeguard and water safety training.
Education in San Antonio
In the state of Texas, school districts are independent with their own taxing authority and no governmental oversight. Consolidated districts are those where two or more systems combine. More than 1,200 school districts exist in Texas with the Texas Educational Agency citing many of them as exceptional. This is based on the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness, College Board AP scores, and so forth. When moving to San Antonio, TX, check out the specifics of the district where your child would attend.
San Antonio is home to more than a dozen institutes of higher learning, including these:
- The University of Texas at San Antonio: public/four year
- San Antonio College: public/two year
- Trinity University: private, nonprofit/four year
- University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio: public/four year
- Palo Alto College: public/two year
Sports in San Antonio
Opportunities to attend professional sports games abound in this city, including:
- San Antonio Spurs: This National Basketball Association League has already won five titles. Stars who have played on this team have included Tim Duncan, David Robinson, and Tony Parker, among others.
- San Antonio Missions: This minor league baseball team began in 1888. In that interim, the Missions have won fourteen titles
- San Antonio FC: This USL Championship soccer league is still fairly new, founded in 2016.
- The San Antonio Gunslingers are in the American Arena Football League, founded in 2020. They’ll be joined by an as of yet unnamed XFL football team in 2023.
San Antonio is also home to plenty of semi-professional teams and collegiate sports, also being the site of the annual NCAA Alamo Bowl game. Plus, there are plenty of athletic programs for high school students (and younger) in the districts.
What to Do in San Antonio
Remember the Alamo! Originally the Misión San Antonio de Valero, the Alamo is now part of the Missions National Historical Park. Founded in 1718 as San Antonio’s first mission, it served as an important rest stop for travelers and played an important role in establishing a community. Closed in 1793, it became an important part of our history more than forty years later: in 1836, when two hundred Texans protected the Alamo against about 2,500 Mexican troops under General Santa Anna. Texans held their ground for thirteen days before being overwhelmed.
Today, you can tour the area, go on interactive tours, experience a living history encampment, watch demonstrations, and more. Find scheduled events here.
Enjoy ghost tours? There are plenty to choose from as the spirits of the past are brought back to life through expert storytelling.
Intrigued by bats? The Bracken Cave Preserve contains more than 15 million Mexican free-tailed bats and is located on the northern edge of San Antonio. Females gather there each year to give birth and then to raise the young bats. This species eats crop-related pests, consuming more than one hundred tons of corn earworm moths every night during the summer. A membership to the Bat Conservation International costs $45 and up; on certain nights, members can observe these bats.
Be sure to stroll along the San Antonio RiverWalk that winds through the city. Observe beautiful scenery, stone bridges, and views of the city, including restaurants, entertainment venues, and more. The Museum Reach is part of this River Walk where you can view visual and audiovisual art, native plant terraces, and more before going into the San Antonio Museum of Art.
Dining, Nightlight, and the Arts
In-demand San Antonio eateries include these:
- Clementine serves regional dishes using seasonal ingredients with a menu that rotates often. Special dishes include gulf fish en papillote, braised oyster mushrooms, chamomile-brined spatchcock children, and dishes with pheasant and quail.
- Singhs Vietnamese: Singhs has a specialty dish called “winghs”: fried chicken wings that are then coated in Thai chili butter. Another dish is Chicken Banh Mi with “cucumbers, jalapenos, pickled carrots, cilantro, and aioli on a toasted bolillo roll.”
- Curry Boys BBQ: Imagine a fusion of Texas BBQ and Southeast Asian curries, and you’ll understand why this menu is so popular. Dining space is all outdoors while customers enjoy their favorite dishes. The restaurant lists this one first in their favorites list: Brisket Smoke Show: classic smoked prime brisket with delicious green curry.
- Battalion: The highlight of this Italian American restaurant: squared, seared meatballs, handmade pastas, and delicious red sauces. Dishes include steak tartare with house pickles, parmesan, and whole grain mustard and garganelli alli norma with eggplant, tomato, and ricotta salata.
Nightlife in San Antonio is as unique and diverse as the city itself. The Barwalk is a pub crawl through the downtown part of the city where you stop at historic taverns and one of a kind bars. On the tour, you’ll learn the history of the buildings and establishment, having one drink at each place before going on to the next. Each experience is intimate and fun.
Consider the Esquire Tavern with its 100-foot mahogany bar—the longest bar in a state where everything is big. This tavern operated through Prohibition and the Great Depression, and currently offered drinks like Baby, One More Thyme (gin, raspberry, thyme, aloe, lemon, and topo chico over crushed ice).
Meanwhile, The Bang Bang Bar puts whimsey front and center with craft cocktails featuring cotton candy and Pop Rocks.
The San Antonio Museum of Art has the world’s most complete collection of Ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian art in the southern part of the United States.
Shopping in San Antonio
More than one hundred specialty shops, owned by locals, are in San Antonio’s Historic Market Square. Divided into two sections—the Farmer’s Market Plaza and El Mercado—you can shop and then enjoy a delicious meal. This square is located on West Commerce Street.
The Shops at La Cantera range from Ambercrombie & Fitch to Apple, and from Bella Lifestyle to Carlo’s Bake Shop, Coach, Foot Locker, the Gap and much more. This outdoor mall is lined with palm trees with strategically located fountains. You can stroll through the area, stopping at stores and eateries that interest you.
Another venue of choice exists in the Alamo Heights shopping district where local artisans offer their goods in La Villita: from original art to contemporary jewelry, fashions designed by locals, and more. The area contains cobblestone streets, intriguing courtyards, and surprises wherever you turn.
Important San Antonio Links
No San Antonio moving guide would be complete without sharing the nuts and bolts of setting into your new home.
- Driver’s licenses: After moving to San Antonio, Texas you’ll need to get a driver’s license, and you can find guidelines from The Texas Department of Public Safety. Driver’s licenses stay current in Texas for eight years. You may be able to get one online. If you need to go to an office, make an appointment.
- Voter registration: The city of San Antonio offers these voting resources, including information about where to vote.
- Trash pickup: Resident pickup occurs once a week, and the city provides more detailed information online.
- Emergency preparedness: Here’s a link to the San Antonio Office of Emergency Management, including how to receive alerts. Here’s information about public safety.
- Find what you need about health and social services.
- Here is a link to San Antonio utilities.
Moving to San Antonio, TX? Our Movers Can Help!
When comparing moving companies in San Antonio, we invite you to contact us for a free moving quote. We offer a comprehensive range of services from packing to loading, transporting to unpacking and more to provide you with a smooth move. We also offer secure storage solutions. When you’re moving to San Antonio, TX, you can allow our experienced movers to handle everything from start to finish or pick the specific services you need. This is true whether you’re making a local, long-distance, or international relocation. When moving to San Antonio, we’re happy to help. Contact us!