San Antonio is a truly fascinating place to visit with all of the history wrapped up in this beautiful city. As we visited Mission San José and Mission Concepción on the trolley tour, we also stopped off in the King William Historic District to have lunch and walk through several blocks of beautiful, old, historic homes.
You'll find the King William Historic District south of downtown San Antonio, along the banks of the San Antonio River. The District, with all of its current lots and streets, originated in the 1860's. At this time, many German immigrants began to settle in the District, building large beautiful homes and creating an impressive neighborhood. The name King William was given to the District in honor of King Wilhelm I of Prussia.
It's interesting to note that during World War II when we were at war with Germany, the name was changed to Pershing Avenue; it was changed back to King William after the war. After many of the original homeowners passed on in the early 1900's, the District became more of an “apartment” neighborhood, until 1950 when restoration and preservation became a priority for a group of individuals. In 1968, the King William Historic District was designated as an actual historic district.
The history of this place drew us in and made us want to walk blocks and blocks of beautiful, historic homes, both large and small. Picket fences, wrought iron fences, and stone walls gave this neighborhood a quintessential feel.
Some homes had a Victorian air about them.
One home, in particular, had the beautiful front porch areas with ceiling fans and blue ceilings. They had me dreaming of a covered porch area or lanai. The landscaping was gorgeous. And the trees…. so beautiful!
We even noticed small concrete steps outside some of the gates to these homes, and we decided these must have been carriage steps. Couldn't you just imagine a grand lady stepping up into her carriage from these very steps?
Details for Your Visit to the King William Historic District
25 blocks…. that's how many blocks the King William Historic District spans. The best part is that it costs you nothing to walk down through these beautiful homes. Of course, I highly recommend catching the trolley through City Tours; you can hop off and on as you please amongst the Missions, the King William Historic District, and more popular spots in San Antonio. Tickets were affordable for our family of four, as well, costing less than $60 altogether.
If planning to visit all of the King William Historic District, I would recommend planning at least 4-5 hours around this, so you can fully explore and enjoy your time. I also recommend using the restroom beforehand (as this is a neighborhood and there are no facilities) and taking a bottle of water, especially if visiting in the summer. And, of course, you'll want to stop and eat at The Guenther House, an amazing restaurant on the edge of the King William Historic District. More to come on the wonderful eats and treats of The Guenther House in an upcoming post….