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Living Space at City Vistas

Living space at CityVista in Midtown

Intro and neighborhood guides by Emily Starbuck Crone

Despite being the second most populous city in Texas, San Antonio is often eclipsed in the news by stories of Houston’s up-and-down energy industry and Austin’s burgeoning growth and hipness. But the Alamo City, already a very culturally rich destination due to its Mexican heritage, has been quietly becoming hip itself, attracting many young professionals and families.

San Antonio may be most famous for The Alamo, the River Walk and, of course, the championship-winning Spurs basketball team. But trendy, growing areas such as Southtown and developments including the Pearl Brewery are putting San Antonio on the map as an arts and culinary destination.

The city is also booming thanks to major employers such as Rackspace, H-E-B, USAA, Valero and Bill Miller Bar-B-Q. San Antonio has a handful of colleges and universities, and several military bases are located around town.

The only obvious flaw is that public transportation in San Antonio isn’t so great. The VIA bus system is the only way to get around other than driving or biking, since walking is possible only in a few areas, and water taxis along the River Walk aren’t useful for most. Fortunately, traditional taxis are available, and services such as Uber are back after a heated battle with the city.

We spent more than 35 hours extensively researching San Antonio’s apartments, neighborhoods and residential options. We explored more than 90 apartment complexes in the San Antonio area, categorizing them by location and comparing them with a set list of criteria. We looked at the basics, such as year constructed, number of units and average rent prices, and we also considered community amenities like outdoor spaces and fitness facilities.

We delved into the interior design, looking for features such as hardwood flooring, stainless steel appliances, balconies and other modern features. We also placed strong consideration on Walk Scores and accessibility to their respective neighborhoods, all to make confident decisions to determine the best of the best.

From urban Downtown living to the family-friendly ’burbs north of town, here are eight of San Antonio’s most popular neighborhoods.

Neighborhoods covered in this guide to San Antonio apartments:

Downtown

Downtown used to just be for the tourists, but it’s quickly becoming a more desirable place for locals to call home. Some areas still feel a bit seedy, while other pockets are revitalizing. While there are few traditional single-family homes in Downtown proper, new luxury condos and apartments are increasingly available.

The cost of living is higher in Downtown; rent isn’t cheap, and neither is parking. But this urban neighborhood is ideal for young single or married professionals who don’t mind forgoing a yard for an urban lifestyle with the convenience of being within walking distance to bars, restaurants and even work.

Things To Do

Living downtown is a luxury for arts and entertainment lovers. The Majestic and Empire theatres, both in the heart of Downtown, feature a constant stream of national music and theater acts. If you feel like getting a little touristy, you’re near The Alamo, the River Walk and the 750-foot-tall Tower of the Americas.

You also have easy access to hip bars, like mixology spot The Esquire Tavern and the cute Nectar Wine Bar and Ale House. There are numerous other bars along the River Walk, though most are a bit touristy and rowdy.

Downtown residents are surrounded by top-notch dining options such as Boudro’s and Lüke, and many other delicious options are available in nearby Southtown and the Pearl.  

Transportation

Downtown is one of the few parts of town that’s walkable. However, some pockets don’t feel very safe, especially at night. It also isn’t the most car-friendly, with small one-way lanes, bad rush-hour traffic and expensive parking lots.

If you do have a car, you’ll appreciate that most of the city’s main freeways feed into Downtown. If not, the area is filled with VIA Metropolitan Transit bus stops, making it easy to catch a lift anywhere in town. There’s also a Greyhound station Downtown.

Downtown Apartments

Average 1-Bedroom Rental Price: $1,275

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Kitchen at Agave Apartments

Kitchen at Agave Apartments

Agave Apartments

  • Year Built: 2015
  • Number of Units: 349
  • Number of Layouts: 18
  • Rent: $1,176-$2,576
  • Highlights: Combining both contemporary and industrial design, these riverfront apartments feature wood flooring throughout, 10-foot floor-to-ceiling windows and modern frameless glass showers. A courtyard pool, yoga studio and direct access to the River Walk are a few key amenities.
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Interior at The River House

Interior at The River House

The River House

  • Year Built: 2014
  • Number of Units: 261
  • Number of Layouts: 13
  • Rent: $1,118-$3,154
  • Highlights: These modern apartments highlight water views with bay windows and balconies; other interior features include kitchens with quartz countertops and stainless steel appliances. There’s an infinity pool with beach entry, and a community terrace on the fourth floor overlooks both the river and downtown.
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Kitchen at Cevallos Lofts

Kitchen at Cevallos Lofts

Cevallos Lofts

  • Year Built: 2012
  • Number of Units: 252
  • Number of Layouts: 17
  • Rent: Call for pricing
  • Highlights: Cevallos Lofts boasts a long list of community amenities, such as a center courtyard pool deck, three fitness centers and a third-floor lounge with a wet bar. The contemporary apartments and two-story townhomes are available in a variety of finish options, including granite countertops and walk-in closets.

The Runners Up

Alamo Heights

Alamo Heights is one of the most affluent neighborhoods in San Antonio, with what’s widely acknowledged as one of the city’s best school districts (Alamo Heights ISD). The area is residential and peaceful, yet still very central, only around 5 miles north of Downtown.

It’s the perfect location for families or professionals who want to be close to the center of town, whether for work or play, but don’t want to sacrifice a yard or spacious home. Alamo Heights isn’t very walkable, and rent is pricey in this area. But it’s a safe part of town with a family-friendly attitude and tons of shopping and dining options.

Things To Do

On the edge of Alamo Heights, you’ll find The McNay Art Museum, which features nearly 20,000 works of American and European art. The neighborhood is also bordered by The Alamo Quarry Market, which has a Whole Foods, a movie theater and more than 75 shops and restaurants.

Several golf clubs and driving ranges are within a few miles of Alamo Heights. Brackenridge Park is also close by; it’s home to various family-friendly attractions such as the San Antonio Zoo. Top dining in the area includes gourmet Mexican restaurants Soluna and Paloma Blanca, plus local staples like Cappy’s Restaurant and BIRD Bakery.

Transportation

Alamo Heights is most easily accessed by car, with plentiful free street parking throughout. It’s quite bike-friendly, since it’s predominantly residential, and some of the major roads have bike lanes. The VIA bus system serves the Alamo Heights area well throughout the major roads, but there aren’t as many stops deep inside the neighborhood.

Alamo Heights Apartments

Average 1-Bedroom Rental Price: $1,055

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Kitchen at Alcove at Alamo Heights

Kitchen at Alcove at Alamo Heights

Alcove at Alamo Heights

  • Year Built: 2015
  • Number of Units: 107
  • Number of Layouts: 6
  • Rent: $1,175-$2,055
  • Highlights: Chef-friendly kitchens include custom espresso cabinetry with under-cabinet lighting and granite countertops in these new apartments, while community features include an outdoor kitchen, fire pit area and pool with cabanas.
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Kitchen at Brackenridge Heights

Kitchen at Brackenridge

Brackenridge at Midtown

  • Year Built: 2014
  • Number of Units: 282
  • Number of Layouts: 12
  • Rent: $1,035-$2,185
  • Highlights: Located near the popular shops and dining of the historic Pearl Brewery, this complex includes access to a resort-style pool, pet park and several community entertainment spaces. Sophisticated residences are designed with granite countertops throughout, walk-in closets and private balconies.
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Kitchen at Artessa Quarry Village

Kitchen at Artessa

Artessa at Quarry Village

  • Year Built: 2008
  • Number of Units: 280
  • Number of Layouts: 25
  • Rent: $1,479-$5,278
  • Highlights: Overlooking Quarry Golf Course, these apartments include custom built-ins and crown molding, while community features include several courtyards, a pool and a tech-equipped clubhouse. This property is across from a Whole Foods Market, cinema and other shopping and dining.  

The Runner Up

Midtown

Just north of Downtown, Midtown is known for its beautiful historic homes. It spans from south of Alamo Heights to north of Downtown, encompassing several smaller, eclectic neighborhoods, such as Monte Vista Historic District, Alta Vista, Beacon Hill, Tobin Hill and Five Points. It’s bordered by several other neighborhoods, including Government Hill.

Trinity University is located in the north end of Midtown. Thanks to the rising popularity of this area, and its mix of urban and residential living, new lofts and apartments are springing up throughout — and rents are rising accordingly.

Things To Do

Midtown is filled with entertainment and dining options. The main attraction is the Pearl Brewery, where Pearl Beer was once brewed. In addition to apartments and a boutique hotel, the historic buildings now house trendy boutiques, hip bars and gourmet restaurants, such as Southerleigh, The Granary and La Gloria. The Pearl also hosts a farmers market and events.

Along (and just off of) North St. Mary’s Street throughout Midtown, you’ll find a variety of bars and restaurants, such as New Orleans-inspired The Cookhouse, live music venue and beer garden Tycoon Flats and the trendy Candlelight, a coffeehouse and wine bar.

Locals also love The Cove for outdoor, family-friendly dining, and Sam’s Burger Joint for live music. A section of Midtown is also considered San Antonio’s “gayborhood,” with several LGBT-focused nightclubs and shops.

Transportation

Certain areas of Midtown are walkable, particularly around Tobin Hill, though other areas aren’t easy to get around on foot. Most of Midtown, however, is easy to traverse by bike. It’s also a car-friendly area. Parking is harder to come by in some sections, though it’s usually free (even at The Pearl). Bus routes are located throughout Midtown.

Midtown Apartments

Average 1-Bedroom Rental Price: $798

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Kitchen at 1800 Broadway

Kitchen at 1800 Broadway

1800 Broadway

  • Year Built: 2013
  • Number of Units: 230
  • Number of Layouts: 14
  • Rent: $1,095-$3,325
  • Highlights: A stone’s throw from the shops and dining at the historic Pearl Brewery, this apartment complex features a pool and a 24-hour gym. Homes with balconies and ceilings of up to 11 feet overlook the pool area.
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Living Space at City Vistas

Living space at CityVista

CityVista San Antonio

  • Year Built: 2015
  • Number of Units: 141
  • Number of Layouts: 20
  • Rent: $1,310-$3,025
  • Highlights: These new apartments have been designed in a modern palette, with custom cabinetry and granite countertops in all kitchens, and garden tubs in bathrooms. Amenities such as a pool deck with gourmet outdoor kitchen and a rooftop terrace with Downtown views define this home base close to both Trinity University and the San Antonio Zoo.
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Living area at Tobin Lofts

Living area at Tobin Lofts

Tobin Lofts Midtown

  • Year Built: 2014
  • Number of Units: 225
  • Number of Layouts: 4
  • Rent: $925-$1,420
  • Highlights: On the south side of San Antonio College, these student-friendly apartments feature modern two-tone white and wood cabinetry and floor-to-ceiling windows. Residents also have access to an outdoor pool, fitness center and on-site cafe.

Uptown

Uptown consists of a large swath of San Antonio north of Loop 410 and south of Loop 1604, sandwiched between Highway 281 and Interstate 35. The San Antonio International Airport is located at the base of Uptown, making air travel extremely easy for residents who don’t mind a little noise.

Uptown is a family-friendly area, with public schools and parks throughout, and it offers affordable homes near central San Antonio. But it’s also ideal for singles or couples who want to be near plenty of shopping, dining and entertainment options and not directly in the (expensive) center of town.

Things To Do

Shopping abounds in Uptown. North Star Mall is one of the largest attractions in the area, with more than 150 shops and several restaurants. Several other major shopping centers are in Uptown, including San Pedro Towne Center and Park North.

Park North also offers several entertainment options, including Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club, a live comedy venue, and Alamo Drafthouse, a popular movie theater that serves food and alcohol.

The 976-acre McAllister Park sits in the heart of Uptown, offering residents easy access to miles of paved and unpaved trails, dog parks, sports fields and fitness stations. The Texas Transportation Museum operates along the edge of the park and showcases historically significant transportation equipment.

Several other large parks are in Uptown, including Friesenhahn, McClain and Comanche Lookout parks. Dining options are plentiful here; favorites include Dough Pizzeria Napoletana, the German-inspired Dresden Cafe and Fidelos Mexican Restaurant.

Transportation

Uptown isn’t walkable except within the major shopping centers. But VIA bus routes thoroughly service the neighborhood, and its North Star Transit Center, a bus service hub, is located in Uptown off 410 and San Pedro. Parking is plentiful and free in Uptown, though it can get a little packed in the major shopping areas at peak hours.

Uptown Apartments

Average 1-Bedroom Rental Price: $752

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Vantage at Judson

Living area at Vantage at Judson

Vantage at Judson

  • Year Built: 2014
  • Number of Units: 288
  • Number of Layouts: 4
  • Rent: $850-$1,400
  • Highlights: This community features an expansive resort-style pool amid lush landscaping and easy commuting options. Apartments are defined by cherry or oak kitchen cabinetry, walk-in closets and balconies.   
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Kitchen area at Remington Ranch

Kitchen area at Remington Ranch

Remington Ranch Apartments

  • Year Built: 2007
  • Number of Units: 180
  • Number of Layouts: 6
  • Rent: $866-$1,358
  • Highlights: These comfortable and contemporary apartments include kitchens with cherry cabinetry and brushed nickel hardware, as well as garden tubs and walk-in closets. On-site is a waterscape swimming pool with nearby fireplaces and entertainment space.
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Interior at Landmark at Stratton Park

Interior at Landmark at Stratton Park

Landmark at Stratton Park

  • Year Built: 1985
  • Number of Units: 127
  • Number of Layouts: 5
  • Rent: Call for pricing
  • Highlights: These apartments and townhomes feature contemporary detailing such as vaulted ceilings, French doors and wood-burning fireplaces. Modern amenities include two swimming pools, a coffee shop with Wi-Fi and a business center.

The Runner Up

North Central

The North Central part of San Antonio includes all of the neighborhoods between Highway 281 and Interstate 10, south of Loop 1604. Within North Central are the upscale neighborhoods of Shavano Park and Hollywood Park — two scenic, residential areas that are very family-friendly.

Hill Country Village and some of the Castle Hills neighborhood are also in Uptown. Some of the more upscale neighborhoods, including Shavano Park, are expensive to live in, while other areas, like Castle Hills, are more affordable.

Things To Do

One of the gems of North Central San Antonio is Phil Hardberger Park, a 311-acre piece of land that was once a dairy farm. There’s an east side and west side of the park, each with miles of pet-friendly hiking and biking trails. Each side has playscapes for kids, picnic areas and enclosed dog parks.

There’s also an Urban Ecology Center; in the future, look for a nature center with more trails, play areas and dog parks, plus a bridge connecting both sides. Silverhorn Golf Club is also located in Uptown, as is a Jewish community center.

The Huebner Oaks and Fiesta Trails shopping centers in Uptown feature numerous shops, restaurants and movie theaters to keep locals entertained. Favorite places to grab a bite include Gino’s Deli, an unassuming sandwich shop in a gas station; Afghan restaurant Azro; brunch or breakfast spot Magnolia Pancake Haus; and beer and grub stop Flying Saucer.

Transportation

Parking is readily available and free throughout North Central San Antonio. VIA bus stops are located throughout the neighborhood.

North Central Apartments

Average 1-Bedroom Rental Price: $774

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Living room at Park at West Ave

Living room at Park at West Ave

Park at West Ave

  • Year Built: 2014
  • Number of Units: 360
  • Number of Layouts: 7
  • Rent: Call for pricing
  • Highlights: Combining rustic and modern design elements, these apartments feature espresso finish cabinetry, wood blinds and garden tubs. In addition to the “urban oasis pool,” the community also includes a dog park, volleyball court and access to several local nature trails.
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Open living space at Savannah Oaks

Open living space at Savannah Oaks

Savannah Oaks Apartments

  • Year Built: 2015
  • Number of Units: 333
  • Number of Layouts: 9
  • Rent: $980-$1,625
  • Highlights: Contemporary kitchens with granite countertops, prep islands and brushed nickel hardware steal the spotlight in these North Central apartments. Around the property, residents enjoy a large outdoor entertainment space with TVs, an outdoor kitchen and a pool.
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Kitchen and dining area at Platinum

Kitchen and dining area at Platinum Shavano Oaks

Platinum Shavano Oaks

  • Year Built: 2014
  • Number of Units: 350
  • Number of Layouts: 9
  • Rent: $900-$1,721
  • Highlights: Private patios and modern open kitchens are standout features in these one-, two- and three-bedroom homes. A jogging trail surrounds the landscaped property, which also includes a swimming pool, outdoor kitchen and resident clubhouse.

The Runners Up

Northwest Side

The Northwest Side typically refers to the area north of 410, west of I-10 and east of State Highway 16 (also called Bandera Road). This area is home to many corporate headquarters, residential neighborhoods and major shopping and attractions.

The southernmost part of the Northwest Side is the location of the South Texas Medical Center, with over 900 acres of hospitals and medical practices, and thousands of local jobs. Several institutes of higher education are also here, including University of Texas at San Antonio and the University of Texas Health Science Center.

The city of Helotes is on the Northwest Side; it is mostly residential, but its attractions include legendary dance hall Floore’s Country Store.

Things To Do

Several golf courses are located throughout the Northwest Side, in addition to spacious parks such as the Leon Creek Greenway, Bamberger Nature Park, Rancho Diana Park and Medallion Park.

There’s also OP Schnabel Park, which is more centrally located and has over 200 acres, plus 8 miles of trails. Large theme park Six Flags Fiesta Texas is another major attraction in the area for locals and visitors alike.

The Shops at La Cantera is a luxurious outdoor mall with nearly 200 shops and restaurants. Popular eateries there include Yard House and Bar Louie. Across I-10 from The Shops is The Rim, another major shopping center with lots of stores, restaurants and the Santikos Palladium IMAX, a movie theater that serves food and alcohol. The Rim is also home to to the The Hofbrau, a German-themed tavern with an outdoor beer garden and popular happy hour.

Transportation

The Northwest Side is well served by the VIA bus system, with many stops along the major roads. Parking is generally free and easy to find in this part of town.

Northwest Side Apartments

Average 1-Bedroom Rental Price: $890

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Interior at The Residences La Cantera

Interior at The Residences at La Cantera

The Residences at La Cantera

  • Year Built: 2014
  • Number of Units: 323
  • Number of Layouts: 52
  • Rent: Call for pricing
  • Highlights: Located within the The Shops at La Cantera, these upscale apartments are decorated in a sophisticated neutral color palette. Highlights include 10-foot ceilings, granite countertops and private patios overlooking the hills. A rooftop garden and yoga classes are other notable amenities.
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Kitchen at Eilan

Kitchen at Eilan Residences

Eilan Residences

  • Year Built: 2008
  • Number of Units: 539
  • Number of Layouts: 125
  • Rent: Call for pricing
  • Highlights: Across from The Rim shopping center, this apartment complex boasts two swimming pools, tennis courts and a 14,000-square-foot fitness center. Apartments are tastefully designed with bamboo flooring, ceilings of up to 28 feet, and kitchens with gas ranges and granite countertops.
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Interior at Retreat at Cross Mountain

Interior at Retreat at Cross Mountain

Retreat at Cross Mountain

  • Year Built: 2014
  • Number of Units: 145
  • Number of Layouts: 10
  • Rent: Call for pricing
  • Highlights: Combining contemporary and mission-style living, these apartments feature floor-to-ceiling windows, custom cabinetry with under-cabinet lighting and oversized garden bathtubs. On the property, residents enjoy a pool, a 2-mile nature-walk trail, and a courtyard with an outdoor kitchen and fireplace.

The Runners Up

South Side/Southeast Side

The large South Side of San Antonio spans south of Downtown and as far south as 1604 in some areas. This area is populated with heavily Hispanic neighborhoods. The South Side also has a strong military presence in the Joint Base San Antonio, a large military installation that includes Lackland Air Force Base.

While most people think of The Alamo as San Antonio’s only mission, there are four historic Spanish missions on the South Side. The Texas A&M University–San Antonio campus opened in the South Side in 2009, and Palo Alto Colleges, a community college, is based here.

Things To Do

San Antonio Missions Historic Park, located on the South Side, is home to four preserved Spanish colonial missions. They’re active Catholic parishes with church services anyone can attend, and a walking and biking trail over 10 miles long connects them all.

Pearsall Park, a 500-acre park on the South Side, features hiking and biking trails and dog parks. It’s undergoing a multimillion-dollar improvement project to add a skate park, obstacle courses, basketball courts and other attractions.

Also here is the South Park Mall, with more than 80 shops and eateries. Some great local restaurants include Mediterranean grill Casa del Kabob, Taqueria Mexico and hole-in-the-wall Mendez Cafe.

Transportation

VIA bus routes go widely throughout the South Side of San Antonio. Some areas are also bicycle-friendly.

South Side/Southeast Side Apartments

Average 1-Bedroom Rental Price: $709

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Living space at Legacy Brooks

Living space at Legacy Brooks

Legacy Brooks

  • Year Built: 2014
  • Number of Units: 412
  • Number of Layouts: 9
  • Rent: $795-$1,640
  • Highlights: Among our favorite features in these western-gone-modern apartments are the rich stained concrete floors, glass-enclosed tile showers and granite countertops. This property, adjacent to Pickwell Park, includes a beach-entry swimming pool, a 5,500-square-foot clubhouse and a multisport fitness center.
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Interior at Villa Espada

Interior at Villa Espada

Villa Espada Apartments

  • Year Built: 2015
  • Number of Units: 240
  • Number of Layouts: 5
  • Rent: $827-$1,427
  • Highlights: These modern apartments allow residents to choose espresso or blonde wood kitchen cabinetry. They feature private patios and oversized windows. The pool area includes a tanning ledge and nearby hammocks, while a fitness center, social spaces and an Internet cafe can also be found here.
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Open kitchen at The Landings at Brooks

Open kitchen at The Landings

The Landings at Brooks City-Base

  • Year Built: 2012
  • Number of Units: 300
  • Number of Layouts: 8
  • Rent: Call for pricing
  • Highlights: The hangar-style lounge is a highlight of the social space at The Landings, along with a demonstration kitchen and swimming pool. Apartment interiors mirror the rustic modern aesthetic with large bathtubs, 9-foot ceilings and plank flooring.

Inner West Side/Far West Side

The Inner West Side of San Antonio Spans from I-35 to Loop 410, stopping at Highway 90. The Far West Side extends from Loop 410 west past Loop 1604.

The Far West Side is quickly growing due to its family-friendly vibe, affordable homes and proximity to military bases and major employers. It’s also home to SeaWorld San Antonio, which, despite its controversy, is a popular attraction in the area.

Things To Do

As a residential area far from the center of San Antonio, there aren’t as many attractions as some other parts of town. Many locals enjoy visiting Ingram Park Mall, just west of Loop 410, with more than 150 shops, services and restaurants.

Outdoor lovers have easy access to the Government Canyon State Natural Area, a huge nature preserve on the edge of the Far West Side with over 40 miles of trails. With varying terrain, it’s an ideal spot for trail running, hiking, biking, geocaching or picnicking. There are more than 200 dinosaur tracks here — the only ones in Bexar County.

Local favorites for dining include authentic Chinese restaurant Sichuan House, Umberto’s Italian Grill and Leon Valley Cafe (on the border of the Far West Side and Northwest Side).

Transportation

The Inner West Side and especially the Far West Side aren’t very walkable, but free parking is plentiful. VIA bus stops are located throughout the neighborhoods.

Inner West Side/Far West Side Apartments

Average 1-Bedroom Rental Price: $767

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Kitchen area at Dalian Monterrey Village

Kitchen area at Dalian Monterrey Village

Dalian Monterrey Village

  • Year Built: 2015
  • Number of Units: 360
  • Number of Layouts: 7
  • Rent: $870-$1,675
  • Highlights: These contemporary apartments feature dark-finish vertical-grain cabinets with oversize prep islands, private balconies and en suites with soaking tubs. Residents have access to an outdoor TV lounge and grilling areas under a covered veranda overlooking an infinity-edge pool.
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Living and dining space at Thirty Oaks

Living and dining space at Thirty Oaks

Thirty Oaks

  • Year Built: 2014
  • Number of Units: 297
  • Number of Layouts: 17
  • Rent: Call for pricing
  • Highlights: Ultra-modern with a Texas twist, Thirty Oaks interior design features sleek European style cabinetry, wide plank flooring and balconies with a view. Community amenities include a bark park, fitness center and resort-style pool.
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Kitchen and living areas at Westover Oaks

Kitchen and living areas at Westover Oaks

Westover Oaks

  • Year Built: 2012
  • Number of Units: 256
  • Number of Layouts: 6
  • Rent: $906-$1,470
  • Highlights: These one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments include woodgrain flooring, granite countertops and crown molding. The location puts residents close to major entertainment and employers, while allowing them to come home to a pool, outdoor lounge space and high-tech fitness center.

The Runners Up