You cannot find a better location for seeing San Antonio than from our charming bungalow in the heart of the city! Park the car and walk throughout our neighborhood and the downtown to really get a San Antonio experience. Parks, arts galleries and activities, restaurants, historic sites, live music, cultural venues, movie theaters, comedy clubs and night clubs, and even places to hike, bike, golf, kayak, and shoot hoops -- it's all within a walk from here! This 1880 house was our home for seven years and is still my daughter's favorite house. Artists, writers, composers, critics, and one 'Dame of the British Empire' have made it a temporary home, and the aesthetic is well suited to 'creatives'!
Built in 1880, this is the oldest house on the street. Followers of "Fixer Upper" will enjoy the authenticity of the renovation here. Exposed bead board and plank ceilings, stripped but unpainted door frames, and retained chimney flues reveal the 135 years and numerous generations that have come through these doors. It is a unique and character-filled home, suitable for people who love old houses -- not just historic mansions but the humble homes of real people who lived and worked here a century ago. When we saved this old house from decades of neglect, we renovated to make it function for our 21st century family without obscuring its past, and lived here with love.
Located just one block from South Alamo Street, the artery that connects the Alamo and downtown tourist district with all the local flavor of our vibrant arts and culture district, this house is arguably the best-sited vacation home in town. With dozens of local restaurants and unique shops, open-air eateries, 'ice houses' (our term for outdoor beer halls), and 'trend' destinations like great coffee houses, brew pubs, and cocktail lounges, this house and neighborhood has it all. This is a downtown neighborhood: It's not a gated community. You will meet real people of every stripe in our 'hood, from our septuagenarian neighbor famous for her fruit trees (including papaya), to the 'two Rudy's' (one collects our cans and rides a tricycle; the other is a retired high school principal who owns a ranch of miniature horses and plays the 'bajo sexto' -- a guitar-like Mexican 12-string instrument). This functioning neighborhood of real families is an alternative to 'tourist' San Antonio, while being close enough to do all the tourist things. The neighborhood is also 'kid friendly' and 'dog friendly'.
Southtown (an area that includes historic districts King William, Lavaca, and Baja King William) was reclaimed from the blight and despair that inflicted many downtown zones two decades ago by a loose assortment of 'alternative' types -- artists, writers, musicians and eccentrics. Although gentrification has brought us more doctors, lawyers, and retired bankers, the core population is still 'creatives'. Architects have built contemporary studios out of tin next to their craftsman homes (the Historic Design Review Commission oversees all designs and development), people grow tiny organic urban gardens, and many neighbors keep chickens (don't worry, the nearest rooster is a mile away). Down the alley a retired Army colonel has two pet goats. While the area is desired by visitors for its proximity to downtown, the neighborhood is mostly coveted by locals as a place where you can still be a little weird. While we don't have chickens, there are producing fruit trees -- if you visit in season you'll have fresh grapefruit or limes for your drinks. In fall you're welcome to enjoy the fresh, fallen pecans and take some home with you -- we always have more than we need.
To take a stroll to the River Walk: Turn right on South Alamo to hit it in the heart of downtown, or turn left and cut four short blocks through the 'hood past historic mansions to enjoy our pastoral Walk to kayaking and neighborhood attractions.
My daughter and I still stay here when we are in San Antonio and her best friend, Neenah, lives across the street and can help you with questions about where to eat, playgrounds, and more.