King William Historic District was the first suburb to be built in San Antonio, and if you like history or architecture, you won't want to miss it while in town. Covering 25 blocks to the immediate south of downtown, this San Antonio historic district was founded by wealthy German merchants in the late 1800s. Splendid homes were built, and in no great amount of time, the area became the most elegant place to live.
Interestingly enough, other non-German residents of San Antonio often used to refer to the King William Historic District as Sauerkraut Bend, displaying a hint of jealousy. At any rate, the neighborhood experienced a decline in the early 1900s, and by the 30s and 40s, it fell into a state of disrepair. Revitalization was just around the corner, however, as many San Antonio residents came to realize the value of the location and the potential that lied in restoring the old homes.
In 1967, the King William neighborhood became Texas's first Historic Neighborhood District, and today, scores of tourists pass through to see the sights and savor the pleasant atmosphere. The main King William Historic District attractions are the renovated homes, many of which display interesting architectural styles. The Ike West House, for example, is a lovely Victorian-style abode that features attractive curved porches and beautiful iron cresting to adorn the roof. On the other hand, the Polk Mansion and the Steves Homestead exhibit a Renaissance style, the latter appearing as if it were plucked right out of France and deposited on King William Street.
Other King William Historic District attractions worth a look are the Guenther House and the Wulfe House. The former was built in 1860 using stones from the area that is now home to the San Antonio Zoo, while the latter is an 1873 residence with a pink stucco exterior. The Guenther House is one of only two homes in the King William Historic District that is open to visitors on a regular basis, the other being the Steves Homestead. Both have small museums that offer insight into their history. You will also find an excellent restaurant at the Guenther House, as well as a charming gift shop.
Taking a tour of the King William San Antonio Historic District is a great thing to do for locals and tourists alike. It is possible to take a bus tour, though walking tours are arguably preferable when the weather is nice. The San Antonio Conservation Society's headquarters figures among the main King William Historic District attractions, and those who are interested in taking a walking tour of the neighborhood can drop by to pick up a self-guided tour booklet. The address of the society is 107 King William Street. Also worth noting is the fact that horse and carriage rides can also be enjoyed in the neighborhood if you are looking for an alternative to the bus and walking tours. Either way, your tour of this wonderful San Antonio historic district is bound to be a joy.
Some of the old homes in the King William San Antonio Historic District were converted into bed and breakfasts, so you might keep that in mind if you are especially fond of the neighborhood's charm. Among these inns is the Beauregard House Bed and Breakfast Inn, which occupies a beautiful Victorian-style home from 1905. There are only six rooms to choose from at this popular bed and breakfast, and thanks to their elegance and upscale amenities, they tend to go fast, so booking well in advance is recommended. As for travelers who might be staying at one of the downtown hotels, it is worth noting that it is possible to walk to the King William Historic District in approximately fifteen minutes. The recommended route is South Alamo Street, as it will take you along an extended portion of the Riverwalk.