The Best Places to Live in Texas
Moving to Texas?
The U.S. Census Bureau reported 553,032 people moved to Texas from another state in 2015. That’s the second largest state-to-state migration (Florida was the first) — but why is everyone moving to Texas? Economic opportunities, low taxes and a below average cost of living are the biggest draws. Take a deeper look into the highlights of living in Texas and then check out the best places to live including cities, small towns and places to retire so you can find the perfect hometown for you and your family.
Living in Texas
One of the main attractions to life in Texas is the growing economy. Based on factors like job creation, wage gains and technological developments, Austin, Dallas and San Antonio all earned spots on the 2016 list of Best Performing Cities. Another incentive is the lower tax rates. Texas is 4th on the list for states with the lowest tax burdens, and it has no income tax (either individual or corporate). The average cost of living for the state is also a draw! Everything from housing to healthcare is less expensive than the national average.
Texas sounds like a great place to live, but it’s a big state with a lot of cities. How do you determine where to move? Here are some the best places to live in Texas:
Best cities in Texas
Big city amenities pair with a friendly neighborhood feel, so living in Dallas mixes the busy metro with downhome pride. You can go from large shopping centers and skyscrapers to a friendly local football game and family park within minutes of each other. It’s not all cowboy boots either — there’s an amazing arts scene to explore. And when you’re ready to get out of town, it’s a transportation hub so travel is easy.
As the center of the oil and gas industry, Houston is the economic headquarters of the area. Because large employers attract people from across the globe, Houston is full of diversity. When living in Houston, you’ll find that the culture is an interesting mix of old and new, and the city is constantly evolving.
Though it’s located right next to Dallas, Fort Worth provides an entirely different experience. Downtown is where you’ll find most people in the evenings and weekends visiting the restaurants, shops and concert halls. Or you can channel the Wild West by watching the Fort Worth Herd, a cattle drive happening twice daily.
One of the fastest growing areas of the state, Austin is booming with jobs, culture and Tex-Mex food. One of the best areas to explore when living in Austin is Town Lake, also known as Ladybird Lake. You’ll find people running along the waterfront, kayaking or paddle boarding year-round since the weather is almost always warm.
As the 7th largest city in America, there are plenty of fun things to do from professional sports games to family attractions like SeaWorld. When living in San Antonio, embrace the local Spanish heritage by visiting the El Mercado, an outdoor market, and celebrating Fiesta San Antonio, a water parade on the River Walk honoring the heroes of the Alamo and San Jacinto.
Best small towns in Texas
Located on the Gulf of Mexico, this beach town is a great place for families. The city of Rockport has created a recreation area with playgrounds, cabanas, a fitness trail, boat ramps and fishing piers. It’s also a mecca for birdwatchers with a wildlife sanctuary and two wildlife refuges. Goose Island State Park gives seasonal birding tours, so you can learn all about them after moving.
There’s one word used to describe this small town over and over again: odd. It’s a compliment, though! This unlikely destination for Minimalist art is host to galleries, art installations and a vibrant creative community. Whether you want to participate in the arts or just enjoy them, this town welcomes those looking for an artistic home.
Just southwest of Austin is the small town of Dripping Springs, known for the Hamilton Pool Reserve, a beautiful, natural swimming hole. But there’s more to this Texas town. It’s actually a destination for wineries, breweries and distilleries, drawing many tourists to the area. It’s also part of the Sustainable Places Project, where residents create livable places reflecting the community goals of growth and environmental consciousness.
Because the area was settled by German pioneers, you’ll find lots of German flair in Fredericksburg. Beautiful wildflowers pop up in just about every field and green space in the spring. The heart of Main Street is the “Magic Mile,” packed with shops and restaurants to enjoy.
Canton is only a small town part of the time. During their famous Trade Days, up to 300,000 people visit the area to sell and shop on the 30-acre grounds. Once everyone leaves, you can enjoy a quieter life. Because of the frequent visitors, there are plenty of great restaurants and attractions in the area.
Best places to retire in Texas
Whether you want independent living or a retirement community, Plano has lots to offer. For starters, your family can easily visit because of the nearby Dallas/Fort Worth airport. If you want to explore the area, outdoor recreation opportunities are abundant, and crime rates are low, so you can discover the area with confidence.
Military.com named Waco the #1 place to retire because of their low unemployment rate and nice neighborhoods. Visit the family-friendly entertainment options like the Cameron Park Zoo and Mayborn Museum. When the weather is nice, you can enjoy the area lakes and rivers.
The East Texas Council of Government qualified Tyler as the first Certified Retirement City in the state. The crime rate is low, and it’s also the region’s hub for health care with three hospitals providing advanced care.
Forbes has placed Abilene on their Best Places to retire list three times, and in 2016 it earned the #1 spot. As the hub of the Texas Midwest, there has been a ton of recent revitalization to the area, providing residents with more entertainment and dining options. The amazing weather affords residents year-round outdoor recreation including the monthly Art Walk downtown.
This master-planned community is lush and heavily forested. The Town Center has 1,000 acres of shopping, restaurants and entertainment, but the rest of the area is more residential and community-based. Fun festivals are frequent in The Woodlands with the Waterway Arts Festival in May, the Red, Hot and Blue Festival in July and The Light of the Doves at Christmas.
Which Texas town is your favorite?
Did your favorite place in Texas make our list? If not, tell us where it is and why you love it!