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Taking a trip to San Antonio Suggestions?
Old 02-24-2013, 07:43 AM   #1
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Taking a trip to San Antonio Suggestions?

Hi we are new to the forum. This summer (yes we know it is the hottest time of the year) are planning on visiting San Antonio. The reason for our visit is one just a vacation which we have not done in a couple of years and two we are nearing retirement and San Antonio is our choice of retirement location. We live currently in central Massachusetts and have a decent retirement as I am military and federal technician with two decent pensions. We will look around at different options to living there and come back home to discuss it further.

So I guess as I have read the River Walk and the Alamo are two. Another is shopping and one store I plan on visiting is Paris Hatters. I am also considering Hill Country Retreat as it is a 55+ comunity by Del Webb and relatively new. As it stands we probably will be able to buy into a home with no mortgage and such so it is all about location for us.

So the time frame we plan to go is early July and we will be there just under a week. We like to golf as our name implies so I am considering that as an activity but we are flexible with that since it will be the hottest time of the year. I expect we will spend a good deal of time driving around so I am thinking outside SA proper and maybe even metro. What suggestions?
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:57 AM   #2
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Wow. That is unexpected, but SA is not a bad spot. Spent a summer there back in '96, man it was hot during the middle of the day, but nights were awesome as the heat settled down. Overall, I really enjoyed the times I spent in TX. Hopefully you won't miss those New England colors too much.
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Old 02-24-2013, 08:03 AM   #3
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Wow. That is unexpected, but SA is not a bad spot. Spent a summer there back in '96, man it was hot during the middle of the day, but nights were awesome as the heat settled down. Overall, I really enjoyed the times I spent in TX. Hopefully you won't miss those New England colors too much.
Here are a couple of reasons. First Massachusetts has a high cost of living. The winters are too unpredictable. San Antonio has three air bases that will assist us in travel. Retired military can travel space available on military planes to places the US military flies to. Cost of living there is low. Winters are milder. Summers are hot but see above we plan to travel. Seeing the colors will not be a problem we will visit again. When the heat gets too hot a trip to Ireland or Scottland is a break from that!
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Old 02-24-2013, 08:56 AM   #4
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Agree, the Riverwalk and Alamo are must sees in the area. Agree also that the summers are really hot. But it's that way pretty much everwhere in Texas during June, July, August and September. In my opinion, some nice places to go in the summer in the SA area are Sea World and Natrual Bridge Caverns.

The area has really grown in the past 20 to 30 years. I recently drove from San Antiono to Austin up Hwy 35 (about a 75 mile drive) and couldn't really tell where one city stopped and the other started. Of course there are a few other really nice communites along the way that have seemed to blend everthing together like, New Braunfels and San Marcos.

Here's a link you might want to check for some local info.

San Antonio's Attractions and Activities :: Official San Antonio Visitor Information: VisitSanAntonio.com
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Old 02-24-2013, 09:08 AM   #5
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First Massachusetts has a high cost of living.
"taxachusetts" comes to mind
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Old 02-24-2013, 09:25 AM   #6
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"taxachusetts" comes to mind
Honestly it isnt the taxes so much as the fees. Don't get a parking ticket in Boston and surrounding areas and not pay it within 5 minutes. You get hit with a 20 dollar fee. Then they send you a notice in the mail when it doubles to 40 or even more. That depends on the parking area and city. Yikes! best to live without a car there.

Property taxes are half of what NH pays but they dont have a sales tax or an income tax. It all evens out inspite of what NH residents say.
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Old 02-24-2013, 09:51 AM   #7
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San Antonio is not a vertical city. If you plan on driving around to get a feel for various neighborhoods and different areas of the city, be prepared to put some miles on your car. Loop 410, the inner loop around the city, is 50 miles long. Loop 1604, the outer loop, is 96 miles in length.

The nicer residential areas of the city are on the northern side, beginning roughly in the northwest area where Dell Webb is located, running in an arc around to the northeast. Areas to the north and northwest are hilly, the balance of the area is relatively flat.

I'm not a golfer so can't help you there, but I do know the Dell Webb development has no golf course. The area does have quite a few, however. Plan to play in the early morning in summer....
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:05 AM   #8
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My ex-Army parents retired and have lived in the SA neighborhood of Alamo Heights for about 40 years. Overall cost of living is incredibly low and the city/area has much to offer. Winters are wonderful once you get used to seeing a sweaty Santa in shorts. Their only complaint is excessive heat, and frequent water restrictions. I get reports on the aquifer level there often...
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:09 AM   #9
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I was visiting the Alamo and overheard a tourist say" it's nice, but I wonder why they built it in the middle of a city"
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:12 AM   #10
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My ex-Army parents retired and have lived in the SA neighborhood of Alamo Heights for about 40 years.
Alamo Heights, where residents are also known by their last two Zip Code digits as "09ers", is the 'old money' area of the city. Located just to the north of downtown, it is a very nice area with many conveniences within walking distance.

While it does share the low cost of living enjoyed by the overall area, real estate prices in Alamo Heights are substantially higher than average.
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:16 AM   #11
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I was visiting the Alamo and overheard a tourist say" it's nice, but I wonder why they built it in the middle of a city"
OMG that is funny. Some people!
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:43 AM   #12
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Spent 4 yrs in SA while stationed there. 'Though that was yrs ago, I LOVED it & have been back several times since. Nothing quite like spending a lazy afternoon/eve sippin' margaritas along the Riverwalk. Despite moving from upper Midwest, I did not find the summers that bad due to moderate humidity. Just stay out of the sun! I played golf many afternoons, but was always careful to stay in the shade between shots.
One sight seeing suggestion- If you like that sort of thing there are historic old missions to explore like San Juan Capsitrano-
Mission San Juan - San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:59 AM   #13
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Bracken Cave is worth a visit to watch the bats stream out in the evening.
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:20 AM   #14
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Nothing quite like spending a lazy afternoon/eve sippin' margaritas along the Riverwalk.
To me it was the "all you can eat shrimps" at happy hours.
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Old 02-24-2013, 08:29 PM   #15
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DH and i visited SA March 2012 on a Road Scholar trip. The experience was wonderful...such amazing history.

We stayed at the Drury Plaza Hotel on the Riverwalk. It is an old bank building.

Some highlights:

McNay Art Museum. Interesting, interesting story about the lady who bequeathed it to the city.
Los Barrios for lunch. Family-owned for years.

Mission San Jose. It was a few miles south of the city. Visiting another mission gives one a better idea of the size of the Alamo before so much was taken over by "development".

King William Historic District is an interesting walking tour. Big old homes built by German families after they moved from La Villita (cool area off the Riverwalk to visit)

During free time, DH and i visited El Mercado Market, which we thought was a waste of time.

The Southwest School of Art has the Copper Kitchen Cafe which is a "must" for lunch.

It is a big city with small-city feel. And, you may retire in the area? Please keep us informed.
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:31 PM   #16
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Hey, you're not supposed to want to move to Texas, home of heat, rattlers, scorpions, and chiggers! Where's the Texas Defamation League? - looks like they've been caught sleeping!
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Old 02-25-2013, 05:41 AM   #17
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And don't forget the fiddle backs.
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:58 AM   #18
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And don't forget the fiddle backs.
We've got 'em in Midwest, too

Brown recluse spider - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:19 AM   #19
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True, but have you ever lived in Texas? Having relatives in Texas and having lived there myself for 7 years (San Antonio & Dallas) along with too many years to count in the midwest, there's no comparison between the two in terms of bugs, reptiles & other critters...
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:45 AM   #20
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True, but have you ever lived in Texas? Having relatives in Texas and having lived there myself for 7 years (San Antonio & Dallas) along with too many years to count in the midwest, there's no comparison between the two in terms of bugs, reptiles & other critters...

Those recluse spiders are something I will need to stress on the wife. She is prone to spider bites. She finds them when the spider is upset all the time. I think I have had two spider bites all my life and her well I cant count them. Good golly am I gonna have fun in Texas. I had better bring stomping shoes.
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