There are so many great places to live in San Antonio that it helps to have an expert on your side. The Neighborhood Guide presented by Kuper Sotheby's International Realty gives you insider access from the agents who live and work there, providing in-the-know info about your possible new community.
Thanks to his Army officer father, Bryan Persyn lived all over the world growing up, moving 21 times in 30 years. But Castroville has a certain pull on him — after all, his ancestors were some of the area's first settlers around 1850.
"Most of my family still lives there," says Persyn, a Realtor with Kuper Sotheby's International Realty. "Castroville is known as 'The Little Alsace of Texas,' and it's a charming town that offers a great place to live, work, and play."
Twenty miles from downtown San Antonio and nestled in the Medina Valley, Castroville feels more like a village than a city. Many of its historic homes share a similar style, thanks to a family of rock masons by the name of Halbardier, who were brought to the colony by founder Henri Castro. They can justly be called the architects of all the stone work you see in Castroville, some of which extends into Fredericksburg.
Every spring the town is transformed by the red poppies that inspire the Poppy Festival. Other events include the Tour de Castroville bike race, a local art show, Fiorella Friday Shopping, and the Alsatian Festival.
The city's 4th of July parade is one of the largest in Texas, with over 100 vintage cars, trucks, tractors, and floats participating. In September, there is a fundraising event named St. Louis Day, where visitors come from all over to enjoy barbecue, live music, and cold beer. December brings the Old Fashioned Christmas, another popular event that's held in the town square.
Persyn offered up a few more of his personal favorites about life in Castroville. Here's his guide to the area:
Where to eat & drink
"Sammy's Diner, Haby's Bakery, Castroville Cafe, Julianna's Restaurant, Paris Street Bistro, and Hillside Texas Bistro," lists Persyn, showing there's no shortage of good food in the neighborhood.
Where to play
"One of the area's hidden gems is Castroville Regional Park, where you can enjoy hiking, fishing, tennis, the city swimming pool, concerts, and Little League games," says Persyn. Houston Square and September Square are also popular gathering spots for local events.
To really get a sense of the area's history, visit The Landmark Inn and Magnolia Filling Station, and go on the Pioneer Home Walking Tour and the Christmas Candlelight Home Tour.
Where to live
Some of Castroville's first settlers built on the homestead at 200 Schmitt Ln., which for a time also housed a stagecoach stop and later became the Schmitt Saloon.
The historic home was built circa 1855 and is still standing. It is approximately 860 square feet with a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, living and dining room — perfect for a guest house, fishing cabin, or possible Airbnb. But the true selling point is the land.
"River properties are some of the most treasured in a Castroville," says Persyn. "This six-acre river property has over 450 feet of river access, the largest in Castroville."
Bryan Persyn works and plays in Castroville. For more information on buying and selling a home in the area, click here, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 210-286-0452.