Texas is a large and diverse state with many great cities to call home. Some of the best cities to live in Texas include Austin, which is known for its vibrant music and cultural scene, as well as its high quality of life and a strong economy.
Other top cities include Houston, which is home to a thriving business community and a diverse population, and Dallas, which offers a mix of big-city amenities and small-town charm.
Texas offers a wide range of options for people looking for a new place to call home, with something to suit every taste and lifestyle.
Top 10 Best Cities To Live In Texas
Houston is a top city to reside in in Texas, known for its significant role in the oil and gas industry. Located an hour’s drive from the Gulf of Mexico, it’s near Galveston’s picturesque beach towns. However, with many other activities in Houston, you may not have time for the beach.
The Johnson Space Center, home to NASA’s space initiatives, is a must-see for space enthusiasts. Houston also offers plenty for sports fans, including pro teams like the Astros, Texans, and Rockets.
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is the largest of its kind in the world and is a popular destination for those interested in Southern culture. The Texas Medical Center, at 1,345 acres, is the largest of its kind and is considered a city within a city.
2. Corpus Christi
Located on the Gulf of Mexico, Corpus Christi offers a laid-back beach vibe and is a great destination for windsurfing, kiteboarding, and sailing. The city also offers a fun, alternative to the traditional “Texan boots and horses” experience. Additionally, it’s a great spot for flying kites.
Beaumont, located in the southeast corner of Texas near the Louisiana border, is one of the top cities to live in the state. Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown Museum offers a glimpse into early 1900s life during the Texas oil boom, with exhibits including print shops, saloons, general stores, and a replica gusher.
Killeen, located in central Texas, is one of the top places to live in the state. Known for its proximity to the Fort Hood military base, the city is referred to as an “army town”. Despite being close to Austin, the city is experiencing growth and becoming a metroplex in its own right. Additionally, it is said that the sound of artillery practice from the base can be heard across Belton Lake.
5. San Antonio
San Antonio, known for the Alamo, offers a wealth of history and Hispanic culture, as well as delicious Tex-Mex and barbecue. The city boasts a diverse array of entertainment options, from the arts to sports, including shows at the Tobin Center for Performing Arts and basketball games with the Spurs at the AT&T Center.
San Antonio boasts 300 days of sunshine annually, making it a prime destination for outdoor activities like festivals, fairs, and winery visits. The city’s premier event, Fiesta, features multiple parades, while the scenic River Walk offers opportunities for boat rides, dining, and live mariachi music.
The state capital of Texas, Austin, is considered the best place to live in the state. Known for its unique and eclectic culture, Austin is situated in the heart of Texas and its residents are proud of its “weird” reputation.
Austin, known as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” boasts a thriving live music scene featuring rock, country, and blues music. It offers a variety of outdoor activities with 250 parks and is home to the largest urban bat colony in the world.
The scope and size of film festivals, conferences, and events, such as the renowned SXSW festival, continue to expand annually. Additionally, the region is becoming a prominent technology center, with an increasing presence from major companies like Tesla, Google, and Apple.
7. Brownsville, TX
Brownsville metropolitan area, situated at the southernmost end of Texas, sits at the intersection of Texas, Mexico, and the Gulf of Mexico. This location has played a significant role in shaping the area’s history. The first shots of the Mexican War were fired here in 1846 between American and Mexican troops. Additionally, the access to the Rio Grande river and the Gulf of Mexico after the war solidified Brownsville’s status as a major trading center in the region.
The daily lives of Brownsville residents are heavily influenced by their city’s location within the metropolitan area. Large population of Mexican heritage means that Spanish is commonly spoken, and both authentic mole sauce and high-quality Texas sirloin can be easily found. The Port of Brownsville serves as a major trade and transportation hub for southern Texas. However, the city’s proximity to the Gulf of Mexico allows residents to enjoy beautiful beaches year-round, except for the peak spring break season. Local fishermen also provide a steady supply of fresh seafood.
8. Dallas-Fort Worth
Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex takes second place. Though only an hour’s drive away from each other, Dallas and Fort Worth has vastly different cultures. Dallas is known for luxury cars and high-end fashion, while Fort Worth is known for pickup trucks and western wear. The city of Dallas is posh and is sometimes referred to as a city of $10,000 millionaires. One popular attraction in Dallas is the Texas State Fair, where visitors can see Big Tex, a 55-foot cowboy statue. The fair also features unique and delicious fried foods, such as lemon pie balls, gumbo balls, and shrimp etouffee.
Fort Worth is affectionately known as “Cowtown” and offers a glimpse into the past with a visit to the Fort Worth Stockyards. The area features red cobblestone roads and historic buildings, such as old saloons and cowboys on horseback. Additionally, Fort Worth is home to Billy Bob’s Texas, the “World’s Largest Honky-Tonk”, where visitors can admire the cement handprints of famous country music stars, similar to Hollywood’s Chinese Theater.
9. McAllen, TX
McAllen, Texas, is a bustling metropolis that is known for its thriving retail, international trade, tourism, and manufacturing industries. Despite its reputation as a border town, McAllen boasts a high quality of life, ample medical facilities, and a diverse, young community. Additionally, the city is home to a welcoming population that welcomes thousands of tourists, known as “winter Texans,” who flock to the Rio Grande Valley during the mild fall and winter seasons, bringing in millions of dollars to the local economy.
McAllen’s metro area is a popular destination for Mexican nationals crossing the border to Texas. Many come to shop and explore the city. Organizations such as Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley and Sacred Heart Catholic Church in McAllen assist people seeking to establish new lives in the US. Due to this, the Hispanic culture is prominent and celebrated in the area.
10. El Paso, TX
El Paso, Texas, may be viewed as just another small Southern town known for its cowboys and steakhouses, but it has evolved into a city with a diverse array of recreational and cultural offerings. Festivals like the Hueco Rock Rodeo bring the community together, there are opportunities for outdoor activities such as marathons and bike races, and the city’s rich Mexican heritage is reflected in its local restaurants and the Abraham Chavez Theatre in the shape of a sombrero. It is no longer known as the “Six Shooter Capital” and its outlaw and vices past are long gone.
The city of El Paso is often viewed negatively due to its proximity to Juarez, Mexico, but it is quite safe and offers a variety of job opportunities in fields like government and healthcare. It’s important to keep in mind that El Paso is just one of many great cities in Texas and the best one for an individual will depend on factors like personal preferences, job opportunities, and lifestyle.
Best Areas to Live in Texas
Choosing where to live is a major life decision that requires balancing personal desires and employment opportunities, while also striving to achieve both financial success and personal satisfaction.
Some of the best areas to live in Texas include:
1. Fort Worth
Fort Worth is a picturesque city located in North Texas, offering the same urban amenities as Dallas but with fewer downsides such as high crime rates and unaffordability. The city boasts a strong workforce, thanks in part to the presence of Texas Christian University (TCU), one of the state’s top universities and home to a consistently ranked top 25 football team. Additionally, Fort Worth is home to the world’s largest indoor rodeo.
2. Round Rock
Round Rock, located north of Austin, boasts a high growth rate and a high median household income of $80,637 per year. It is a great location for those in the tech industry to reside in, as it offers the benefits of Austin’s culture without the traffic and congestion.
McKinney is the 5th fastest-growing city in the state, and like its neighboring city Georgetown offers residents access to the cultural amenities of Dallas without the high violent crime rate and low median household income. McKinney residents have a median household income of $89,964 per year, the 3rd highest in the state, and the city is also known for its safety.
Best City to Visit in Texas
Texas is home to numerous fantastic cities, each with its own unique culture and attractions. Some top choices include:
1. Port Aransas
Mustang Island’s small town offers plenty of options for beach fun. Take a break from sunbathing, parasailing, and swimming to test your fishing skills in the “Fishing Capital of Texas” or go on a dolphin-watching tour. Additionally, it’s a bird-watching haven, where you can spot the rare whooping crane and other birds. Plan your trip to coincide with Port Aransas’ festivals, which showcase art, music, and food.
2. Boca Chica
Boca Chica may not be as famous as other Texas beach towns, but it’s a great choice for a relaxing vacation. Spend most of your time on the 8-mile-long beach, but remember to bring your equipment as rentals for water sports such as surfboards, snorkeling gear, and kiteboards are not available. Take some time to observe the wildlife as well, as the area is home to a variety of bird and sea turtle species. Come in the spring or summer to potentially witness the critically endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtle coming ashore to lay eggs.
3. San José Island
San José Island, a former ranch turned beach destination, is easily accessible by ferry from Port Aransas. With only 21 miles of publicly accessible sand below the vegetation line, the privately owned island offers a secluded beach experience. Visitors can enjoy fishing and birding with over 600 types of fish and 300 bird species, as well as shelling and surfing.
The ideal city to visit in Texas is contingent on one’s interests and desired activities.
Best Cities in Texas to Raise a Family
Some of the top options for raising a family in Texas include:
1. Heights Park
Heights Park is a neighborhood in Richardson, Texas with a population of 2,757. It is located in Dallas County and is known for being a great place to live. The area has a suburban feel, with many residents owning their homes. There are plenty of options for dining and recreation, including restaurants, coffee shops, and parks. The neighborhood is made up of a mix of families, young professionals, and retirees, and residents tend to have conservative views. Also, the public schools in Heights Park are highly rated.
2. Cinco Ranch
Cinco Ranch, a suburb of Houston with a population of 17,588, located in Fort Bend County, is considered one of the best places to live in Texas. It has a dense suburban feel with a high homeownership rate and is a popular location for families. The residents tend to have moderate political views and the public schools are highly rated.
3. The Woodlands
The Woodlands, a city in Texas with a population of 114,532, is located in Montgomery County. Known for its suburban feel and a high percentage of homeowners, The Woodlands offers a variety of restaurants and parks. It is a popular choice for families and residents tend to lean conservative. The public schools in The Woodlands also have a reputation for being highly rated.