moving to San Antonio, TX

Moving to San Antonio, TX: The Essential Moving Guide

Are you looking for a place to live that has all the excitement of one of the nation's largest cities while still offering plenty of ways and places to relax? San Antonio may be the perfect destination. This historical and scenic city has a thriving urban center surrounded by all types of suburban and even rural choices, so there's truly something—and someplace—for everyone.

If all you know about San Antonio is that it's home to the Alamo, this San Antonio city guide is for you. Read on to learn about the city's rich cultural influences, great neighborhoods, major attractions, and more.

New Resident? Here's What You Need to Know

Our expert San Antonio movers know how important it is for our customers to be able to get quickly settled in their new city. Here are a few links to information and services that will come in handy as you establish your San Antonio residency:

  • Find outhow to apply for a Texas driver license on the website of the Texas Department of Public Safety and get the details on transferring a valid out-of-state license. You can legally drive with an unexpired, valid license from another U.S. state or territory, qualifying country, or Canadian province for up to 90 days after your move to Texas.
  • If you're new to Texas, you'll need to register your vehicle within 30 days of your arrival. You will need to have your vehicle inspected at one of the many inspection stations throughout the state and show proof of insurance coverage.
  • You can verify your eligibility to vote and find out how to obtain a voter registration application on the website of the Bexar County Elections Department. To vote in upcoming elections, you need to have your application submitted at least 30 days before the election date.
  • The City of San Antonio's solid waste management page has information on your collection day for curbside garbage, recycling, bulky waste drop-off and more.
  • You can start water service and pay your bill online on the San Antonio Water System
  • While most Texas residents live in areas where they can choose their own energy provider due to a deregulated market, San Antonio is in an area that is regulated. The single source for electricity and natural gas is CPS Energy which is the country's largest public power company. Use this online form to start service with CPS Energy.
  • For more San Antonio information, bookmark Bexar County's resident resources and services. You'll find details on elections, jury duty, vital records, county job opportunities, weather safety, household hazardous waste pickup, services for military and veterans, tax information, and much more.

Fast Facts About San Antonio

Your new city has plenty to brag about, from historical significance to industries at the forefront of technology development and everything in between. Here's San Antonio at a glance:

  • Most affordable major city in Texas
  • One of the nation's fastest-growing cities, currently the seventh largest in the U.S.
  • Currently populated with more than 1.4 million people
  • Home to the Alamo, the state's #1 tourist attraction
  • The largest concentration of Spanish colonial architecture on the continent
  • Hosts nearly 40 million visitors each year
  • Has the country's third-largest zoo with more than 3,500 animals
  • Home to San Fernando Cathedral, the oldest church in Texas, dating back to 1738
  • Nicknamed "Military City, USA" for having one of America's largest groups of military bases
  • Has the largest Mexican market outside of Mexico
  • Most visited city in the state and 17th most visited in the U.S.

San Antonio Neighborhoods

Haven't yet decided on just where you want to live in San Antonio? Following are just a few of your choices in this large, diverse city:

El Dorado

Parks, trails, and playgrounds makes El Dorado one of the best neighborhoods for families. Solid choices in restaurants and shopping, mid-sized homes that are budget-friendly, and well-rated schools make this neighborhood an excellent choice if you prefer a place with a slower pace.

Beacon Hill

Although home prices are on the rise, even to the point of being out of reach, Beacon Hill is an exception. This close-knit community has a mix of affordable single-family homes, mid-rise residential buildings, and condos. There's plenty of green spaces, including a community garden, and multiple dog parks to take Fido out for some fun.

Tobin Hill

Want walkability? From your home in Tobin Hill, you can walk to nightlife spots, San Antonio College, Brackenridge Park, and great restaurants. check out The Pearl, a busy hub with art galleries, eateries and bars, and a farmer's market.


As you'd expect, Downtown is the place to be for young professionals, families, and students who want to be in the center of it all. Housing choices are predictable as well, with an excess of luxury rentals and expensive high-rise condominiums. On the plus side, you may not need a car, since restaurants, clubs, bars, theaters, museums, and more will be just around the corner from your door. The 15-mile San Antonio River Walk runs through the neighborhood, guaranteeing you'll never run out of places to go and things to do.

Alamo Ranch

If the convenience of a master-planned community is for you, you'll want to take a tour of Alamo Ranch. Its amenities include an aquatic center, kids' waterpark, sports courts, jogging trails and playgrounds. There's also a retail center with shopping, dining, and entertainment options. Just 20 miles from Downtown, Alamo Ranch is close to highways that make getting to other parts of San Antonio easy.

Alamo Heights

If you want to be close to the action in Downtown but still live along tree-lined streets, check out Alamo Heights. It's family-friendly, has highly ranked schools, and it's quiet. You'll need to have a healthy budget to buy a home here, but it will put you in a central location that makes some of San Antonio's best destinations accessible.

Terrel Hills

Terrel Hills residents are a blend of families, retirees, and working adults. Housing choices range from estate-sized historic homes to updated mid-century houses, all set in a suburban environment with excellent schools, parks, entertainment, shopping, restaurants, and nightlife. It's also close to all of San Antonio's main thoroughfares, so you're never more than an easy drive away from other parts of the city.

Olmos Park

Olmos Park is surprisingly diverse when it comes to housing prices. On one end, you can find rentals that are affordable for families; on the other, there are billionaires in some very expensive homes. What brings people of all kinds to Olmos Park is its safety, restaurants, parks, and high-quality schools.

Alta Vista

Alta Vista residents have a good bit to brag about: a rich history, stylish homes, affordable housing prices, and easy access to downtown, which is just three miles south. Many of its charming older homes are being remodeled but are still within most budgets. Families, Trinity University college students and faculty, and young professionals all feel right at home here.

King William

Close to Downtown, walkable, and scenic: These are just some of the reasons King William is one of the most popular neighborhoods in San Antonio. Another draw is its beautiful homes, many of which have historical significance. Prices are high here, and you may run into some obstacles if you want to make changes to a historically relevant home, but it's a safe and charming place to live.

How to Get Around in San Antonio

You will need a car for convenient travel around San Antonio unless you both live and work in the downtown core. Walkability is one of downtown's greatest assets, particularly in the vicinity of the River Walk. If you're just on a visit to the downtown area, there is ample parking throughout the east and north sides on privately owned and city-owned parking lots and garages.

If you don't have a vehicle or want to limit the use of your car or truck, there's good news: You don't become one of the country's largest cities without having good public transportation options. Regular bus service is available for less than $2 from the VIA Metropolitan Transit Service, which also has specific routes such as the VIVA Centro which makes it easy to get around the west side, east side, and downtown.

There's also the GO RIO river taxi shuttles that runs along sections of the River Walk, plus Uber and Lyft ride-share services. If you'd rather go places on two wheels, the city's public bike-share program makes bikes available at stations throughout San Antonio.

Education in San Antonio

More than 100,000 students take advantage of higher-education opportunities in San Antonio, which include five colleges of the Alamo Community College District, Texas A&M University-San Antonio, the University of Texas at San Antonio, Trinity University, and others.

The city has more than a dozen independent school districts (ISDs), the largest of which is Northside ISD. It serves rural, suburban, and urban areas and has more than 100 campus locations. There are also private and charter schools throughout the city.

Employment in San Antonio

If you'll be entering the workforce in San Antonio, you'll find a lot of job opportunities across a range of employer types and industries. The job market continues to strengthen with the increase in openings in categories such as manufacturing, renewable energy, bioscience, healthcare, tourism, hospitality and more.

Civil service jobs, which support the city's 80,000 active-duty military service members, are also available at Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA), which is comprised of Randolph Air Force Base, Lackland Air Force Base, Camp Bullis, and Fort Sam Houston. JBSA contributes more than $48 billion to the San Antonio economy every year.

San Antonio Weather

You may be surprised to learn that San Antonio's climate falls in the "subtropical" category, which means hot, humid summers and mild winters. Temperatures range from an average of 44°F to 89°F over the course of a year, so you can expect to be comfortable outdoors most days.

While direct hits from hurricanes are more of an issue in Houston, which is very near the Gulf of Mexico coast, San Antonio may only have to deal with the remnants of these powerful storms. Be aware, though, that even the final push inland of a weakening hurricane can result in tropical storm-force winds and the serious threat of flash floods. If you plan to purchase a home in San Antonio, it's important to find out where the city's flood-prone areas are—you may need to purchase a flood insurance policy to protect your home and property, since homeowner's insurance policies almost never include flood coverage.

Things to Do in San Antonio

When you're ready to get out and about, you may find it a challenge to choose just one destination or activity among the many options San Antonio offers. Here are just a few things to do and see:

The River Walk

There are few places in the country like the San Antonio River Walk, where so much of the city's best aspects are brought together. Art, shops, food, museums, history, theaters, attractions, and events—it's all here along 15 scenic miles of urban waterway that runs through and beyond Downtown. If you're planning on hosting visitors in your new San Antonio home, you'll want to put the River Walk on your list of entertaining destinations.

You can explore the River Walk several ways: Take a guided river barge tour, stroll on the walking path, cycle on trails, rent a kayak, or ride the river taxi. Although a few crossing points aren't wheelchair-accessible, you can use elevators and ramps to get from street level down to the river level.

Annual Events

No matter what time of year it is, there's a reason to gather or celebrate in San Antonio. Here are just some of the city's popular events:

  • January: the San Antonio Cocktail Conference, Martin Luther King, Jr. March and Rally, and Restaurant Week
  • February: the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo
  • March: Contemporary Art Month
  • April: the Valero Texas Open golf tournament and Fiesta San Antonio
  • May: Cinco de Mayo and Fiesta Noche Del Rio
  • June: Texas Folklife Festival
  • September: Culinaria Festival Week, World Heritage Festival, and Diez y Seis de Septiembre Celebration
  • October: Mala Luna Music Festival and Dia de los Muertos
  • November: Luminaria Contemporary Arts Festival and Ford Holiday River Parade and Lighting Ceremony
  • December: San Antonio Rock 'n' Roll Marathon and Half Marathon, Valero Alamo Bowl, and Celebrate San Antonio


San Antonio is one city that never rolls up the sidewalks at night—in fact, they're just as busy after dark as they are in the sunlight. There's an almost-overwhelming number of choices if you're looking for a place to enjoy a hand-crafted cocktail or local brew, so you may simply want to take advantage of The Barwalk. This pub crawl takes you to unique bars and historic taverns as you make your way through Downtown, with your choice of aptly named tours such as The Texas Two Step, The Nooner, The Straight Up, and the five-hour (sometimes up to eight-hour) complete Barwalk experience.


You can find all types of retail spots throughout the city or you can make things simple with a trip to one of San Antonio's shopping meccas. San Antonio's Historic Market Square has 100 specialty shops from national and local proprietors, while the upscale neighborhood of Alamo Heights is a must-shop destination with dozens of shops and great restaurants along Broadway Street.

Other retail centers include the open-air Shops at La Cantera, the Shops at Rivercenter in Downtown, the 700,000-square-foot Northwoods Shopping Center, and the indoor North Star Mall with more than 200 specialty stores.

Places to Eat

While city promoters have dubbed San Antonio "the culinary capital of Texas" and "the world's largest kitchen," it could be argued that these boasts aren’t just marketing messages. With its deep traditions and many cultural influences, plus a dynamic urban center, San Antonio has all the right ingredients for a superior food scene. It's even been named a "UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy" by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization and is the second city in the country to earn this designation.

San Antonio has also taken its place on the culinary map with six local food and beverage purveyors being named semifinalists in the prestigious James Beard Awards. These nominations reflect the range of great food and drink in the city, going beyond the ubiquitous (and exceptional) Mexican cuisine to include categories such as barbecue, Caribbean, Asian-American, pastries, and more.


Sports fans, San Antonio may be your kind of town. The city is home to these teams and others:

  • The San Antonio Spurs NBA team
  • The San Antonio Missions Minor League Baseball team
  • The San Antonio FC USL Championship League soccer team
  • The San Antonio Gunslingers American Arena Football League team

There's also plenty of opportunities to see other semi-professional teams and collegiate sports teams, including the NCAA Alamo Bowl game.

Historical Sites

History buffs come from far and wide to dive into San Antonio's rich history. It all started in 1718 when the Mission San Antonio Valero was established by a Spanish expedition. Today, it's known as The Alamo, one of the nation's most well-known historical sites. This National Historic Landmark is located in the heart of downtown.

Another San Antonio mission with a long history is Mission San Jose. Built in the mid-1700s on the banks of the San Antonio River a few miles south of The Alamo, it's still an active parish today.

Mission San Jose is part of San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. This UNESCO World Heritage Site (the only such site in Texas) is also comprised of:

  • Mission Concepcion, the oldest unrestored stone church in the U.S. and a National Historic Landmark
  • Mission San Juan, which has a 300-year-old acequia watering system
  • Espada Aqueduct, constructed in the 18th century
  • Mission Espada, the first mission in the state, established in 1690

Trust Our Expert San Antonio Movers

Move to San Antonio the easy way with our full range of professional moving services. Your household belongings and your property will be in good hands, thanks to our fully vetted, experienced crew members. Our pricing is transparent with no hidden costs or unexpected additional fees. You'll even have your own dedicated move coordinator to assist you and an online portal where you can track your move in real-time.

When you're ready to move, get in touch to speak with one of our moving experts or get a free moving estimate.

FAQ About Moving to San Antonio, Texas

Not all San Antonio moving companies are the same. They range in size from two or three people with a single truck to large companies with offices and crews all over the world. Unfortunately, they also range in quality and reliability. How can you choose a mover you can trust? These tips on what to look for in a moving company can help:

  • Moving quotes: Reputable movers will give you an accurate estimate with no hidden fees so you'll know just what your move will cost. Beware of companies that quote you a price without having surveyed your home and gathered other important details, such as the exact distance you'll be moving. A mover also needs to know if you have any items that need special handling, such as a piano or art collection, and whether you may need storage services.
  • Written estimates: A San Antonio mover who won't provide a written estimate is one you should take off your list to avoid the potential for additional fees you haven't anticipated. While a trustworthy moving company may give you a binding or nonbinding estimate, its representative will ensure you fully understand the terms of its services and charges.
  • Credentials: Your short list of San Antonio moving companies should be limited to those whose credentials are easily accessible. For instance, you can check a company's certification with trade associations on the American Moving and Storage Association (AMA) website where you can look for the Certified AMA ProMover designation. You can also ask companies for proof of their licensing.
  • Insurance: Legitimate movers won't hesitate to provide proof of insurance coverage. You can also follow up with the company's insurance provider to confirm that the insurance policy is in force.
  • Reputation: Word of mouth, whether online or in person, is one of the most important ways a moving company builds its reputation. Ask family, friends, and colleagues for their personal recommendations and check online reviews. Although no company will have a perfect rating, reviews will give you a good idea of the quality of its services and how it treats its customers.
  • Hiring and training: Take the time to find out how moving companies vet and train its crew members. You'll be putting your household belongings in their hands, so you want to make sure you can trust them.

The younger set won't run out of fun things to do in San Antonio. It's home to theme parks such as SeaWorld San Antonio, Six Flags Fiesta Texas, the San Antonio Zoo, LEGOLAND Discovery Center, and much more. If you have kids, don't miss the DoSeum—it has everything from hands-on activities, exhibits throughout the year, and dozens of summer camps. There are also parks, gardens, and natural areas all around the city if your family wants to make its own fun simply playing outdoors.

Yes, in fact, it was named by Forbes in 2021 as one of the best cities in the country to retire based on factors such as healthcare and housing costs. There is no estate or state income tax in San Antonio, which is an important plus for seniors who may need to make their nest eggs last. In addition, the cost of living is lower than the national average. There's also no shortage of things to do while enjoying the area's warm weather.

The best time to move depends on your personal circumstances. If you have children, you may need to move during the summer months when school isn't in session, but this coincides with most moving companies' busiest season. That could mean you may not be able to book your move in a specific week, especially during July and August. The sooner your book your move, however, the better your chances of being able to move within the timeframe you want.

If you can, make your move to San Antonio sometime in the fall, winter, or early spring. You're more likely to have your preferred choice of moving date.

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