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San Antonio vs Dallas 🤷 | Living in Dallas vs San Antonio – Which Is Better?

Last Updated on: 2nd July 2024, 02:46 am

Are you ready for life in a new city in Texas but can’t decide between San Antonio or Dallas? Both cities have a lot to offer including rich history, culture, and recreation. Dallas or the Big D is famous for its Tex-Mex, cowboy culture, arts scene, and professional sports. San Antonio, Texas is known for its historical attractions, affordability, outdoor recreation, and relaxed vibe.

This comprehensive guide will help you weigh the pros and cons of living in Dallas vs San Antonio to figure out which city is the perfect fit for you. If you’re weighing other Texas metro areas, check out our guides to San Antonio vs Houston and Austin vs San Antonio too!

Pros & Cons of Living in San Antonio vs Dallas

Deciding between Dallas or San Antonio can be challenging, but looking at the advantages and drawbacks each city has to offer may help. Here are the top pros and cons of living in San Antonio versus Dallas!

Living in San Antonio Pros

San Antonio Has Great Outdoor Recreation

If you love spending time outdoors, San Antonio has plenty to offer. San Antonio’s River Walk is one of the top attractions, with riverside dining, bars, and fun things to explore on foot or on a boat cruise.

There are 250+ city-owned parks, pools, recreation centers, and sports facilities, 80 miles of hiking and biking trails, and 140 miles of city trails throughout San Antonio to explore plus 16,000 acres of outdoor green space.

 

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There Are Amazing Historical and Cultural Attractions in the Alamo City

San Antonio is rich in history and culture. Iconic landmarks like the Alamo, Mission San José, and the Spanish Governor’s Palace provide a glimpse into the city’s colorful past. The city boasts a vibrant arts and culture scene. Every year, the annual Fiesta San Antonio festival draws in 2.5 million people over 11 days to commemorate the Battle of the Alamo and the city’s diverse cultures in an incredible explosion of color. There are more than 100 events, contests, and parades throughout the citywide celebration!

Southtown is the city’s arts and entertainment district spread over three neighborhoods with breweries, boutiques, bars, art galleries, museums, and more along picturesque, walkable streets.

The Museum Reach of the San Antonio River Walk is a four-mile stretch downtown with miles of pedestrian-friendly paths, public art, water features, and greenery. It’s home to the world-renowned San Antonio Museum of Art and the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts.

San Antonio Is Family-Friendly

Known for its family-friendly atmosphere, San Antonio has a lot to offer families. The metro area boasts great schools like BASIS Texas Charter Schools with the highest SAT and ACT scores in the state and San Antonio ISD with great high schools like the Young Women’s Leadership Academy. There are many safe, family-friendly neighborhoods and an affordable housing market. Explore some of the best neighborhoods in San Antonio for young families!

Families appreciate the many kid-friendly attractions in the Alamo City, like SeaWorld, Six Flags Fiesta Texas, and the San Antonio Zoo.

Living in San Antonio Cons

San Antonio Doesn’t Have the Best Nightlife for Singles

While residents enjoy plenty of bars, restaurants, and other nightlife destinations, San Antonio’s nightlife is a bit lacking in this department compared to Austin, Houston, and Dallas.

Public Transportation In San Antonio Is Limited

Public transit options in San Antonio are somewhat limited, primarily consisting of bus service. San Antonio is the largest city in America without light rail service. The DART system in Dallas offers bus, light rail, and streetcars, but both cities are car dependent, the Alamo City for its limited transportation infrastructure and the Big D due to its urban sprawl.

Living in Dallas Pros

There Are Great Arts, Entertainment & Cultural Attractions in Dallas

Dallas is a cultural hub, offering world-class arts and entertainment. The city’s famous Arts District is home to the Dallas Museum of Art, the Winspear Opera House, the Nasher Sculpture Center, and the Wyle Theatre, home to the Dallas Theater Center and Dallas Black Dance Theatre. It’s been voted the country’s best arts district and it’s the largest contiguous urban arts district at 118 acres! The Dallas Arts District has the world’s greatest concentration of buildings designed by Pritzker award-winning architects.

Dallas boasts renowned performing arts centers and performances from the world’s top artists at the Dos Equis Pavilion, not to mention the Dallas Symphony Orchestra at the Meyerson Symphony Center.

This diverse metro area also hosts major cultural events and festivals throughout the year, like the North Texas Irish Festival, Dallas Blooms, the Riverfront Jazz Festival, the State Fair of Texas, and Dallas Arts Month.

Dallas Is One of the Best Cities for Job Opportunities

One of the top benefits of living in Dallas? It’s a cosmopolitan city with a diverse and booming economy and great employment opportunities. Dallas consistently ranks as one of the best cities in America for salary and job growth. For the second year in a row, Forbes named Dallas as the best city for jobs ahead of Austin and Nashville.

Dallas has experienced double-digit percentage job growth for years in every major sector, including professional and business services, energy, finance, and construction. DFW is a particularly good place to start a career, attracting many millennials and young professionals with its large concentration of Fortune 500 and multinational companies. Major industries include medical care, defense, insurance, business and financial services, and IT.

While the Alamo City has a good jobs market, you’ll find more diverse options living in Dallas vs San Antonio which Forbes ranked #13 for jobs. The average income in San Antonio is $28.91 per hour compared to $34.50 in Dallas.

Living in Dallas Cons

Dallas Is One of the Worst Cities for Traffic Congestion

Dallas may be a great place to live for economic opportunities, but getting to and from your job can be a nightmare. Traffic congestion and long commuting time can be a significant downside to living in Dallas. The city’s rapid growth and sprawling layout contribute to frequent traffic jams, making daily commutes time-consuming and stressful.

Dallas has been ranked the 14th most congested city in the U.S. Traffic cost the city $3.1 billion in 2022 alone. On average, Dallas drivers lose 56 hours per year to congestion. Three of the top ten most congested freeways in the state are in the DFW area.

Tornadoes Are a Threat in Dallas

One of the drawbacks to living in Dallas is its location in Tornado Alley. Dallas-Fort Worth residents are vulnerable to tornadoes and other severe weather such as severe winds, flooding, and hail.

In North Texas, tornadoes usually happen in April and May, but they can happen any time of the year. There have been 102 tornadoes in Dallas County since the 1950s.

In late May 2024, severe storms over several days dropped hailstones the size of golf balls in Dallas, left over one million without power, and pushed a plane from a gate at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. The thunderstorms also produced a deadly tornado outside the DFW area that left at least seven dead. It was the deadliest twister in Texas since 2015.

The Dallas tornadoes of 1957 tore through southern Dallas County along present-day I-20 and past I-30 into northwest Dallas and Collin County. The F3 tornado injured 200 and killed ten, but if it happened today, the destruction would be far more catastrophic.

Dallas TX & San Antonio TX Living Comparison

Is Dallas Bigger Than San Antonio? | San Antonio TX & Dallas TX Population

San Antonio is larger than Dallas as a city with a population of 1.4 million versus 1.3 million in Dallas. It’s the second-largest city in Texas after Houston.

The biggest difference between the two? The size of the greater metropolitan area.

The Dallas-Fort Worth or DFW area is the fourth largest metropolitan area in the country, with 7.5 million residents. Greater San Antonio is the 24th largest metro area, with 2.6 million people.

The Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex covers 11 counties and about 8,675 square miles. By comparison, Greater San Antonio sprawls across 7,387 square miles. Urban sprawl is one of the major downsides of living in Dallas: even the urban core area is so massive, it can take forever to get from one side to the other, especially when you factor in the notorious traffic.

Cost of Living in Dallas vs San Antonio

If you’re looking for affordability, there’s a big difference between San Antonio versus Dallas. While the Dallas cost of living is close to the U.S. average, the San Antonio cost of living index is 8.5% lower.

San Antonio housing costs make the biggest difference: the median home price is 38% lower than Dallas, and the average rent is 18% lower.

You’ll also pay less for child care, food expenses, taxes, car insurance, and utilities in San Antonio compared to Dallas, TX.

Dallas Versus San Antonio Cost of Living:
Comparison of Average Monthly Expenses
Dallas San Antonio
Household bills $2,370 $2,160
Rent $1,559 $1,278
Mortgage payment $2,140 $1,643
Utilities $332 $267
Car insurance $204 $206
Median home price $445,000 $274,000

You can use a cost of living calculator to compare both cities to where you live now.

San Antonio vs Dallas Crime

Dallas and San Antonio both have high crime rates like many large metropolitan areas. The Dallas crime rate is 4,591 total crimes and 778 violent crimes per 100,000. The crime rate is 98% above the national average. The San Antonio crime rate is 5,951 total crimes and 883 violent crimes per 100,000, 156% above the national average.

Keep in mind crime rates apply to the entire city; violent offenses in particular tends to be concentrated in relatively small areas. Both cities have many safe neighborhoods with very little violent crime.

Sports in Dallas vs San Antonio

For sports enthusiasts, there’s no comparison between Dallas and San Antonio, Texas. Dallas is often ranked the best sports city in America, with several successful pro sports teams and a true sports culture. Dallas is home to the Dallas Mavericks (NBA), Dallas Cowboys (NFL), and Texas Rangers (MLB).

While San Antonio doesn’t offer the same level of professional sports, the San Antonio Spurs (NBA) have a fervent following, and the city is home to the newer San Antonio FC franchise.

 

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Dallas vs San Antonio Climate

Both cities have mild winters ranging from the low 40s to high 60s and hot summers. However, San Antonio summers are milder, with average high temperatures of 85 °F to 95°F. Dallas summers are more brutal, with temperatures often exceeding 100°F.

Dallas also gets more severe weather, including tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, damaging winds, and hail. You’ll even get more rain in Dallas.

San Antonio vs Dallas: Where Are You Moving?

Both of these beautiful metro areas have so much to offer. Dallas has a great job market and denser urban living, while San Antonio offers more affordable, family-friendly living and a relaxed lifestyle.

If you have settled on moving to or within the San Antonio metropolitan area, 2 College Brothers can help. Our full-service San Antonio movers deliver a stress-free moving experience with the superior customer service you deserve. Call us today at (210) 874-7010 to discuss your moving needs and get a free moving estimate!

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