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San Antonio
  • $600   =  non-traditional average 1
  • $759   =  average 2BR ÷ 2, or traditional roommate rent 2
  • $1204   =  average 1BR, rented solo 3
  • (traditional vs. non-traditional roommates)
  • (the rest of the  southwest US)

51% live within a 10-minute walk of a park. 4
Most errands require a car. 5
summer heat and humidity
The Riverwalk, local festivals, commutable to more expensive city,  6
alamo whites, really rich people, gentrification, trying to be Austin, gunshots and takuaches, the police won't go here, 18-wheelers and warehouses, good gun club, little india, apartments & more apartments, and mexicans with mortgages are the largest hoodmap tags 7

SO, roomiematch.com's San Antonio roommate rundown:

Some folks imagine San Antonio merely some sort of suburb of Austin. And you could make the drive one-way in about 90 minutes in the middle of the night. That's good enough for some (who really love driving), so it's not NOT true.

But while Austin's larger tech boom has received more press in recent years, San Antonio is a whole scene on its own, growing steadily too.

San Antonio is the oldest city in Texas with the largest majority of Hispanic residents in the United States, about 65%. That'll seem self-evident to anyone new, as it's most of San Antonio's energy. Festivals, fairs, and parades showcasing culture alongside music and locally produced refreshments are almost always, lending San Antone a friendlier feel.

And downtown is much more entertaining. With warmth woven in, no other city reflects its Mexican heritage better. We mean their hospitality, but it's almost always their forecast too, with sunshine year round. May-September is probably often in the 90s or 100s, and very muggy. Winter is cool and rainy. You might even need a jacket.

San Antone might be warmer or more "welcoming" financially speaking too. Unlike most similarly-sized cities where higher population translates to higher cost of living, San Antonio is still cheaper. From roommate rent to utilities to groceries to eating out, your money's worth a little more here. And like the rest of Texas, there's no state income tax.

San Antonians also enjoy an unusually large number of military bases. And military men. And tubers on innertubes. Floating around and around and around.

Getting around otherwise could mean VIA Metropolitan Transit, the bus system and downtown trolley service. And there are bicycle lanes in a ring around the city connecting to the parks, and walkable areas, mostly tourist attractions and campuses. This includes the Greenway Trails System, about 100 miles of trail winding its way through natural landscapes, including creeks and rivers, then connecting to the rest of the greenways!

However, these eco-friendlier transport options usually work better for fun than anything less flexible, because thus far, they're poorly connected. You could have a good time on a nice day just biking or walking, but if you need work-related transportation the trails might not go there. With heat most of the year plus lower density urban spread, most San Antonio's roommates will want a reliable car.

And last but absolutely not least, there's the San Antonio River Walk, which advertises itself as "the #1 attraction in Texas." It's beautiful, it's walkable, it flows through 15 miles of downtown San Antonio. It's magically delicious.

There's lots of ways to spend money that'll likely tempt you. But it's free to visit, often with free entertainment. Walk right up to colonial missions, the Zoo, theaters, multiple museums and halls of fame, and many riverside restaurants and bars. All the holidays get a bash with large decorations. Some spots are open 24 hours. You can also walk your dog on a leash. Some restaurants even have pet menus.

The River Walk even hosts a place to get married, "Marriage Island!" (You would need a reservation.)

You can also go on barge and boat tours (instead of just strolling along like most), but because of the boats, along a lot of River Walk there is no fence between the sidewalk and the river. If you're with little kids, pets, or drunk adults, you'll need to proceed with caution sufficient to prevent them from plunging in.

Swimming in the River is illegal, plus you'd probably swallow some scary bacteria. Much of the River Walk is lined with decorative planters, suggesting you remain beside rather than in the water. However, sometimes they just hop on in, all by themselves.   (Yes, we're blaming the planters. Why point the uncertain finger of blame at anyone else?)

The city drains the River every few years or so, removing "shipwrecked" planters.

But in between, anyone diving those murky green depths might smack their skull right into some terra cotta!

The rest of the San Antonio roommate lowdown:

  • San Antonio is the birthplace of Texas liberty, and the famous home of the Alamo, where the Battle of the Alamo was pivotal in the Texas Revolution in 1836, now a sacred memorial to Texas Liberty. Unlike the rest of Texas, it's also famous for what most tourists say after seeing it for the first time, "I thought it would be bigger."
  • located in south-central Texas, south of Austin
  • summer heat is intense, but the winters are mild and cool - thunderstorms are common year round
  • about 1.4 million in the city, about 2.4 in the surrounding metro
  • The military employs the largest number of San Antonians, with many military bases, including Fort Sam Houston (inside the city limits) and Camp Bullis, Camp Stanley, Lackland Air Force Base, and Randolph Air Force Base. It's also home to U.S. Air Force Basic Military Training.
  • home to Texas Lutheran College, Incarnate Word College, Trinity University, Our Lady of the Lake University, St. Mary's University, and the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
  • hosts the San Antonio Spurs (NBA), San Antonio FC (USL), San Antonio Brahmas (UFL), UTSA Roadrunners (NCAA), and San Antonio Missions (Double-A Central)



After you're settled down, you and your roommates should experience San Antonio's:

  • Fiesta San Antonio: 11 days long event held every April, with over 100 different events full of music, fresh food, dancing, floats and festival royalty. Musical stages include mainstream, country, and Tejano.
  • Aztec on the River: Movie palace from 1926 restored into current popularity as a live performance venue. Decorated with reproductions of Meso-American artifacts.
  • San Antonio Zoological Gardens and Aquarium: 56 acres that host over 3500 animals representing 750 species. You can also go on Twilight Tours at dusk, zoo camps for adults, a train, and/or a wide variety of animal feedings.
  • McNay Art Museum: 22,000 works of art, with a special focus on American Modern Art, Art of Mexico, and prints and drawings of the Southwest. Free admission for you and your roommates every Thursday.
  • San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo: It's a whole rodeo, annually. Many competitive livestock events, fairgrounds, and country music.
  • San Antonio Museum of Art: Formerly the Lone Star brewery! Now four floors of permanent collections, frequently changing exhibits, many tours and live events with artists. You and your roommates could even join a group doing yoga next to art.


Here's the city of San Antonio's official .gov for community, from Animals, Pets & Wildlife to Volunteering.





Notes

1.   The non-traditional roommate rent average for this city we've experienced over the last 3 years. We can't predict future rental availability, because we're neither in control of any rental market nor psychic, sorry!

But in most cities most of the time, the recent and relatively recent past are the best predictors.


2.   This idea came from smartasset.com's ranking of what a roommate saves you in 50 cities. They ranked where roommates will save you the most money, based on the average cost of a 1BR as opposed to a 2BR ÷ 2. Unsurprisingly, the more expensive the city, the more you can save, but the savings are significant in all larger metros. So we got the data for the rest of our cities from Zumper too.

This is really the minimum you could save, as you could live with more than one roommate, split more services, share food or other supplies, etc. More sharing tends to lead to more savings too, as per our roommate roadmap.

As per the rest of the description at the top of this page, we're calling this "traditional" roommate rent.


3.   From zumper.com.


4.   Directly quoted from the Trust for Public Land's parkland rating system.

"The ParkScore index awards each city up to 100 points for acreage based on the average of two equally weighted measures: median park size and parkland as a percentage of city area. Factoring park acreage into each city’s ParkScore rating helps account for the importance of larger “destination parks” that serve many users who live farther than ten minutes’ walking distance."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual ParkScore, nature lovers might like to see all roommate cities ranked for parkland.


5.   Directly quoted from Walk Score's Cities and Neighborhoods Ranking. They've ranked "more than 2,800 cities and over 10,000 neighborhoods so you can find a walkable home or apartment."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual Walk Score, dedicated pedestrians might like to see all roommate cities ranked for walkability.


6.   From various lists here on our own best roommate cities.


7.   From hoodmaps.com: a collaborative map where residents use tags describing social situations you're likely to find. Other users can thumb up or down, so the largest tags have been thumbed up the most.