Review of San Antonio, Texas


San Antonio - An Objective Big Picture View
Star Rating - 3/8/2020
Background: I grew up in Colorado, lived on the West coast (San Diego area 15 years), and the East Coast (Va Beach area 15 years), also Washington D.C. and overseas. As a whole SA has become overwhelmed - the urban sprawl & traffic is out of control and the infrastructure never kept up.
Pros:
1) the most economical location you can live in the US...quart of milk, gallon of gas, housing...everything is cheaper except two items = auto insurance & property taxes
2) a very military friendly city
3) "tax friendly" for retirees
4) very little regulations and oversight...such as building restrictions, HOAs,
5) do not have to every worry about snow or ice
Cons:
1) the biggest downside is amount of people and the projected growth = just overwhelmed, currently the 7th most populous city in the US with population expected to double in the next 20 years...uugggg. The urban spread is some of the worse of anywhere I have lived or traveled.
2) the weather... grey/overcast in the winter...but not really winter...stays warm year round..skies are grey and grass is brown; 8 months a year brutal humidity 80% +...just unbearable in such you can not sit outside or drive with your car windows down = no outdoor activities here; we run our A/C year round. You would sense that with the high temps and high humidity it would be more tropical but just the opposite = rocks and cactus...very weird. We lived in the high desert (Calf) and the temps in Aug would be 110+ for 2-3 weeks but at night it would cool down to the high 60s, just the opposite in SA = 100-110 degrees in August but never really cools off, the temp when I depart for work at 0500 = 94 degrees combine too with 80 percent humidity. The high temps combined with the brutal humidity makes it unbearable.
3) The drivers - the worse drivers in the world...my auto insurance jumped 20% when I moved to SA. My insurance agent indicated "welcome to S Texas - the land of where people do not know how to drive." I have driven in Naples Italy, Tokyo Japan, the Middle East and had daily commutes in Wash D.C., LA, San Diego - the drivers in SA are the bottom of the barrel...then combined with the small roads and overwhelming population growth = the worse place to drive or commute in the US. If you do relocate to SA - would strongly recommend living within a 2 mile radius of where u will work. I go to work early in the Am 0500 - it takes me 34 minutes door to door, in the evening at 430 pm the same drive takes one hour & 45 minutes - and it is a "white knuckle" drive the entire way - just the worse drivers anywhere...daily auto/truck accidents & weekly fatalities on the roads.
4) Some of the highest property taxes in the US
5) Public education system (Jr & HS public education) ranked 46th out of 52 states, hence lots of private school systems in SA = adds an additionally cost burden for families with children
6) For such a large city - most things close at 900 pm during the week and 1100pm on weekends...
7) agree with the other post that the reverse discrimination does exist...city is 85% Hispanic and it is apparent
8) getting anywhere else is problematic...traveling to any other destination the distances are so great when traveling by auto - traveling outside of the state plan for all day drive just to reach the state line (8+ hrs); the SA airport downtown is like a little county commuter airport - but seems like not many people travel much from SA anyway.
9) seems like SA is 10 -15 years behind the rest of the country...cell phone/driving laws, internet service, smoking, education, growth control, infrastructure & roads, open rock quarries right next to elementary schools...
10) Not a foodie/restaurant destination...more the land of DQs, Puffy Tacos, and Sonics with one of each on every corner.

We moved here six years ago to look at retirement options ...have come to the realization that for our preferences the cons far outweigh the benefits...we will be relocating in the next 2 years; even if the cost of living is higher elsewhere, the downsides of SA makes "daily living" not enjoyable.
James | San Antonio, TX
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4 Replies


the urban sprawl in San Antonio is pretty disgusting. Especially in the North side which is used to be so pretty and open, now it is just cookie cutter houses on hills that are no more. Hear me loud and clear if you are planning on moving to the Texas Hill Country, DONT. The water supply does not exist in these remote part of the Hill Country for city folks to live "country lives" , yall are laughable. You cannot enjoy living in the country with city amenities nearby because the urban sprawl will always find you. Do not move here thinking you are getting away from the city, you never will here.
Anton | San Antonio, TX | Report Abuse

San Antonio has a well established hiking trails throughout the city that are also popular for bikes, joggers, and walkers. I discovered this during lockdown and started appreciating just how much the city preserved trails even in the suburbs and easy google search will show various access points of trails on Military Hwy, Ingram Park Via Transit, Eisenhower Park by Camp Bullis, Castle Rock, river walk sections, trails by the Spanish Missions... all are wonderfully connected. I used to have to go to Austin or Houston for fantastic Vietnamese pho soup, Korean bbque and bulgogi, Japanese ramen and sushi, Filipino sisig, Cajun seafood, and more but not anymore. SA finally have family owned Asian restaurants that can be compared to restaurants in San Diego, CA, Seattle, WA, WA D.C. and other cities. We have various Bakery Lorraine locations for authentic French pastries, boba tea shops, rolled Asian ice creams, and coffee shops other than Starbucks. Pearl Brewery complex has a Food Hall featuring variety of amazing food from Japanese ramen, Fletcher's Burgers, gourmet doughnuts, brewery, Brazilian food, and farmer's market every weekend. You would have to practically lock yourself in your house to not realize how much San Antonio developed and the diversity that exists here not only from military families throughout the city but transplants from coastal cities who could no longer afford the ridiculous taxes, property cost, and homeless population in their home states.
JM | San Antonio, TX | Report Abuse

I lived in San Antonio for 30 years and moved to Edna, TX in 2018 because my husband wanted to retire close to the coast for fishing. I miss San Antonio very much. And if you are only eating at DQ, Sonic and I don't know what "Puffy Taco" place you are talking about but you are missing a lot of awesome food. Have you tried La Focaccia? Milano's, Piatti's, California Kitchen, Canyon Cafe, Papouli's, Demos, Chicago Pizza, Flemings, J. Alexanders, Morton's, Smash and Grab, Ember's Wood Fired Kitchen, Toro Kitchen and Bar, and countless other restaurants around the city? Have you been to the Tower of the Americas? Food in the restaurant is great, best prime rib and shrimp cocktail. What about the River Walk? San Antonio has food for every like and taste. You need to explore more. As for driving, I lived there 30 years never once been involved in an accident. Rush hour is bad in every city, so yes there will be traffic. I have seen the videos for LA traffic. And evidently you have not drive through Houston. I have no idea what you are complaining about internet services or cell phone and driving laws being behind the times. Its illegal to talk and text while driving. Has been for quite a while. I am not sure about your complaint about smoking laws? You cannot smoke in any public building, church, restaurant etc. So I don't get your complaint on that one. I do know if my husband dies before me I will be moving back to San Antonio.
KARIN | Edna, TX | Report Abuse

I have to disagree with you I moved To San Antonio from Houston. Houston is worse when it comes to traffic it can take you an hour plus to get 20 miles I 10. There is a lot of culinary arts and different cultures in San Antonio and different food scenes I’m not too sure if you really explore the city or not, Different scene is better in San Antonio than in Houston. Also Latinos represent 47% of the population and not 85%.
Nikki | San Antonio, TX | Report Abuse
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