San Antonio vs. Austin: Where Should You Retire?

While both are iconic cities in Texas, Austin and San Antonio are two distinct retirement destinations.

Texas stands out as an appealing retirement destination for many reasons. Active adults appreciate the state’s varied regions, whether they prefer rural or city living or tropical or dry climates. With a friendly state culture, low cost of living, and endless recreation opportunities, Texas only continues to grow in popularity among active adults.

In the heart of the Lone Star State, Austin and San Antonio are particularly popular retirement destinations. Although the cities are only about a one-hour drive from each other, they provide distinctly different cultures. Read on to learn more about what each city offers active adults.


Daytime view of the skyline in Austin, Texas
No matter what time of year, there’s always a festival to check out in Austin.

In Austin, Texas’ capital city, active adults can enjoy an eclectic lifestyle. Known as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” the city hosts numerous arts and music festivals each year and is home to legendary events such as South by Southwest and Austin City Limits.


Austin has also been named one of the country’s best places to live by U.S. News and World Report. The city boasts an abundance of lush green spaces and more than 250 parks for soaking up the Texas sun. Lady Bird Lake remains a big draw for active adults who desire to paddle, row, or stroll along the serene reservoir that offers stunning city views.

Home Prices

Active adult homebuyers interested in relocating to Austin should note the city’s higher-than-average home prices. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Austin’s median home price is around $337,000, and according to the National Association of Realtors, the national average was $295,300 in June of 2020.

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San Antonio

Boats in the river running through San Antonio, Texas
Nothing beats a day at the San Antonio River Walk.

Active adults can discover a rich and varied lifestyle in San Antonio. The city is best known for its historic destinations such as The Alamo and River Walk, but San Antonio also boasts a vibrant entertainment scene. Active adults can participate in more than 50 major events and festivals each year without ever leaving San Antonio. Events such as the Ford Holiday River Parade and Lighting Ceremony and the Fiesta, a 10-day celebration of Spanish heritage, unite San Antonians for fun traditions and exciting activities.

Home Prices

Active adult homebuyers continue to be drawn to San Antonio for its low housing costs compared to Texas and the rest of the country. San Antonio’s median home price sits at about $146,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.


Retirees who want to move away from snowy climates will relish the fact that San Antonio seldom sees snow or even below freezing temperatures. The city also boasts approximately 300 days of sunshine each year, giving active adults plenty of opportunities to pursue their favorite outdoor activities.

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