San Antonio City Guide

by Jose Marc Castro on August 18, 2008

USflagIMAGE200San Antonio City is considered to be the second largest in the entire state of Texas and the seventh biggest in the United States of America. It was named after an Italian saint – St. Anthony of Padua, when a Spanish mission happened to sojourn in the locale during his feast day in the year 1691. This Texan city was also dubbed as the cultural entryway into the Southwest America. Aside from its rich cultural heritage, San Antonio is also well known for its wonderful sights and interesting attractions. As a matter of fact, around twenty million tourists visit it every year.

Some of the most notable places to see in San Antonio include the famous River Walk, the Sea World San Antonio, the Six Flags Fiesta theme parks, and the Alamo. The city also houses the first ever museum of contemporary art in the state of Texas – the Marion Koogler McNay Art Museum. One of the most successful basketball teams in the history of NBA (National Basketball Association) – the San Antonio Spurs – also bears the proud flag of the city.

San Antonio has a large military community as it where Fort Sam Houston, Lackland Air Force Base, Randolph Air Force Base, Brooks City Base, Camp Bullis, Camp Stanley and Kelly Air Force Base are located.

Residential Places in San Antonio, Texas

The numerous environs that make up the city of San Antonio, Texas surround the central downtown district. The Midtown area – bordered by Highway-281 to the East, Interstate-10 to the West, Hildebrand Ave. to the North, and Interstate-35 to the South – features a variety of neighborhoods that range from the lower class community of Beacon Hill to the upper middle class society of Monte Vista. In addition, each community possesses a distinctive housing trait – Victorian, Neoclassical, Italian Renaissance, or French Eclectic.

Situated south of the Downtown region is the Southtown area. It encompasses the districts of King William, Lavaca National Historic, and Warehouse. The district was formerly dubbed as the most unconventional neighborhood in the whole state of Texas because of its multifaceted community, restaurants, and art galleries. A profound concentration of local artists and modern art spaces is also apparent in this section of San Antonio.

The Far North Central district is home to the most luxurious residential properties in San Antonio. The communities of Stone Oaks, Sonterra, and Scenic Oaks are testament to the plush and high-end living of the city’s wealthiest inhabitants.

One of the most recent and fastest growing communities in San Antonio can be found on the Far West Side. Even though a large portion of the neighborhood is situated outside of the city limits, it is still considered as part of the Metro. The residential subdivisions in this section of the city attract a lot of military families because of their short distance from the Lackland Air Force Base.

Setting up residence in San Antonio is quite simple, as advice has been given in the America Expat Forum last March 10, 2009:

Given the size of the US the San Antonio market is not that large and complex. Use a good map, mark your necessities such as hospital, shopping, recreation and work your way outward.

Real estate taxes in TX are not worse than in other states. You can end up paying county/municipality plus water. We pay 9% sales tax and that on food as well:>( Read up on “mineral rights” as you may find a derrick in your yard one morning.)

Private schools are pricey on both sides of the pond. Some churches maintain private schools and admit non-congregation members. You may want to look into that.

What is complicated? You have to pay property tax and if you are very lucky these taxes do not get assessed on an annual basis and can file homestead excemption on it as your primary residence. Your income will be taxed depending on factors pretty similar to the UK – amount, source … minus appicable deductions such as child, certain expenses … Read up on the site of IRS.

Hospitals and Universities of San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio is home to the South Texas Medical Center, which is the leading research and educational hub in the region. The medical center is also considered to be the biggest in South Texas and the second largest in the whole state. It is composed of forty-five medically linked institutes; three higher educational institutions; independent nursing, dental and medical schools; five specialty departments; and twelve well-equipped hospitals.

With regard to education, San Antonio has several universities that offer various undergraduate degrees, as well as post graduate studies. One of its more prominent academes is the University of Texas at San Antonio, or UTSA. At present, it is the largest public university in the city and the second biggest in the University of Texas System. It now holds the 5th rank in the entire state for the most number of students registered.

The UTSA offers numerous degree programs, which include: sixty-three Bachelor’s degrees, forty-three Master’s degrees, and twenty Doctorate degrees. A number of doctoral programs are still being developed to cater to the ever-increasing academic demands of the present. In addition, the eight colleges that comprise the university include the schools of Business, Education and Human Development, Engineering, Liberal and Fine Arts, Public Policy, Architecture, Sciences, and Honors College. All in all, the student population in San Antonio is about 100,000 in the higher education facilities throughout the city.

Commercial Places in San Antonio, Texas

The River Walk, or Paseo Del Rio, is the one place in the city that should not be missed. It is basically a network of pathways, on both sides of the San Antonio River, which link some of the most important tourist attractions in the Metro. This well-known destination – which has become an essential part of the urban fabric – is lined with restaurants, shops, and cafes. In addition, several hotels are just within walking distance from the area.

Without a doubt, the River Walk is not just a place for early morning jogs or lovely evening walks. You can definitely have your fill of the city’s gastronomic fare, as well as the rich cultural heritage of the place and its people. You can even ride and dine on one of the Venice-inspired boats. And when springtime comes, the Fiesta San Antonio is an event that no one should dare pass up. The highlights of the occasion include the flowery floats that glide down the San Antonio River.

San Antonio, Texas – being a bustling metropolitan – has a number of commercial establishments that will cater to your shopping necessities. You can take your pick from a wide array of huge shopping malls (e.g. Rivercenter, Windsor Park Mall), as well as from a plethora of little shops and specialty stores that are scattered in various areas of the city.

Service Establishments of San Antonio, Texas

The residents of San Antonio, Texas have a number of options for acquiring telephone service. These phone companies include AT&T (800-464-7298), Grande Communications (210-320-4600), Time Warner (210-244-0500), Vonage (800-760-2931), and dPi Teleconnect (877-JOIN-DPI). Some of these service establishments also offer bundled packages for phone and Internet connections, as well as cable television. But if you prefer to have satellite TV, then you can get in touch with Dish Network at (888) 284 7116 or DirecTV at (800) DIRECTV.

The City Public Service (CPS) is the company you can turn to for gas and electric service. You can reach them at (210) 353 2222. On the other hand, when it comes to water supply, you should refer to the San Antonio Water System. Their phone number is (210) 704 7297. Then again, SAWS do not cover some areas in the city. As a substitute, the BexarMET service takes care of the water needs. You can call them up at (210) 354 6500.

Embassies in San Antonio, Texas

The nearest British Consulate-General’s office is located in Houston, Texas. The embassy covers six states in the United States of America, namely: Texas, Colorado, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Louisiana. However, British expatriates living in San Antonio may also seek for assistance from the British Honorary Consul appointed in the city.

The office of the British Honorary Consul in San Antonio can be found at 254 Spencer Lane. You may get in touch with them at (210) 738 1704. You may also visit www.britainusa.com for further information about consular assistance.

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