Thinking of moving to Texas? You are not alone. The Lone Star State is hotter than ever, and for good reason. With a strong job market, low cost of living and high quality of life, it’s no wonder Texas has one of the highest population growth rates in the US.
If you’ve decided to move to Texas and aren’t sure which city to live in, get ready for a difficult choice. As the largest state in the US, there is no shortage of places to choose from. Don’t know where to start? Put your worries aside because we are here to help. Here are the best places to live in Texas and a look at why they’re so great.
Austin, Texas Skyline
Median rent for a 2-bedroom apartment: $1,713
Median household income: $71,576
Walk Score: 41
Transit Score: 34
Bike Score: 54
Whether you’re a recent college graduate or a remote worker looking for a trendy city to move to, Austin is usually on everyone’s bucket list. Known as the live music capital of the world, the city has top-notch nightlife, which is a big draw for young adults. One part of the city that is particularly unique in this regard is the famous Sixth Street. This iconic street is illuminated by neon signs at night. Expect a rowdy crowd to watch the party, plenty of drink specials and a huge selection of live music venues.
Entertainment isn’t the only thing that makes Austin so special. Money.com ranks Austin as the number one big city in the country, thanks in large part to its strong economy and job market. Unemployment is low and opportunities are high. In fact, Austin’s job market growth is expected to reach 43% over the next decade. It’s a great time to move to Austin and the future is bright. Despite relatively higher rental prices compared to other large cities in Texas, the median income is also higher, so that continues. Nightlife is one aspect of it, but the entertainment options don’t end there. Austin prides itself on its festivals, and its residents celebrate music at every opportunity. South by Southwest is one of the biggest and brings together two of Austin’s biggest industries: music and tech.
If you want to celebrate one of Austin’s most interesting things, check out Bat Fest. This festival combines food vendors and music with the sight of 1.5 million Mexican bats flying under the Congress Ave Bridge. Interested in short-term living in Austin? Consider renting with Sunny! Sunny is a new specialty short-term rental brand in Austin, TX. Go on an adventure or explore a new neighborhood seamlessly – without having to earn money.
Skyline of Houston, Texas
Population: 2.35 million
Median rent for a 2-bedroom apartment: $1,918
Median household income: $53,600
Walk Score: 47
Transit Score: 36
Bike Score: 49
As one of the best places to live in Texas, Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States. Expect to see a lot of diversity in the city, which in turn creates an eclectic food scene that Houston diners live in. The city hosts many food festivals throughout the year with food from all over the map. One week you’ll find a barbecue festival and the next an African food festival. If you want to try food from different cultures, Houston is a foodie’s paradise.
Another big draw for Houston is its museum district. This place breathes the culture of Houston and is the crown jewel of the city. Home to 19 museums and the Houston Zoo, this 9-mile district celebrates many cultures and art forms. It’s a huge tourist attraction as well as a huge driver of Houston’s economy.
One important thing to note about the city is its density. Although Houston’s walking and biking scene is booming, you’ll need a car. The area is known for its spaciousness, although public transport (while improving) still needs improvement. The commute and traffic can be challenging, but for one of the fastest growing job markets in the US, moving to Houston is well worth it.
Read about the cost of living in Houston.
In downtown Dallas
Population: 1.34 million
Median rent for a 2-bedroom apartment: $2,454
Median household income: $54,747
Walk Score: 46
Transit Score: 39
Bike Score: 49
Dallas is part of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, commonly referred to as DFW. The metroplex is home to 13 different counties, all centered around Dallas. The city is the economic center of Texas and is home to many large corporations and Fortune 500 companies. The business-friendly city offers some of the best job opportunities in the state. The two most important industries in Dallas are technology and finance. Although there are many job opportunities, there is strong competition in the market. In fact, Forbes named it the most competitive job market in the United States.
Although Dallas is smaller than Houston, it is still a big city and carries the same diversity. Both cities offer an exciting restaurant scene with a variety of cuisines. You can see this diverse food scene in full display during the Texas State Fair held in Dallas. Of course, everything is bigger in Texas, and the State Fair is no different. Was rated 7th best in the country.
Great job market, diverse food scene, large population… How do you choose between Dallas and Houston? The main differences come in the sector of work. If you specialize in oil and gas, Houston has better opportunities for you. Are you interested in banking and finance? Dallas is the place to be. Your sports fandom can also play a role in this decision. Both are major sports cities and each has six professional teams. Sports are huge in both cities and can play a role in deciding where you want to live. Learn more about moving to Dallas.
Aerial view of Fort Worth, Tx
4. Fort Worth
Median rent for a 2-bedroom apartment: $1,835
Median household income: $64,567
Walk Score: 35
Transit Score: 22
Bike Score: 39
Fort Worth was once a cowboy trading post at the end of the Chisholm Trail. Today, it’s a modern city with cultural hotspots like the Kimbell Art Museum. Locals can choose from world-class museums, aquariums, live music and festivals. You can get in touch with the cowgirl spirit yourself and honor the nation’s pioneers at the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame. Fort Worth holds its own as a big city, but seems to be less crowded and cheaper than Dallas.
Many newcomers and tourists associate Dallas and Fort Worth, but they are two very different places. Fort Worth is growing rapidly, with new residential communities and developments bringing newcomers to the city. The city is now the fifth largest city in Texas and the 13th largest in the US. This area is an ideal choice for young workers and families.
The city’s school system and job market are impressive thanks to major corporations including GE, Lockheed Martin and Exxon Mobil. Higher education opportunities also bring students to life in Fort Worth. The University of Texas at Arlington has a central campus in Fort Worth. Texas A&M University School of Law and Texas Christian University also call Fort Worth home. Like the rest of Texas, Fort Worth has a car culture. However, you can get around on two commuter rail lines, including TEXRail, which helps connect Fort Worth to Downtown Dallas. You will also find carpooling and vans for smaller groups of travelers.
Walk along the San Antonio River at night
5. San Antonio
Population: 1.435 million
Median rent for a 2-bedroom apartment: $1,489
Median household income: $53,420
Walk Score: 37
Transit Score: 31
Bike Score: 45
San Antonio offers a relaxed lifestyle and champions Texas culture. Texans have always been known as friendly people, but San Antonians epitomize Texas hospitality. Community spirit is alive and well in San Antonio, and locals pride themselves on a small-town feel with big-city living.
San Antonio offers a lower cost of living compared to other large cities in Texas. Although the labor market is not as stable, it is growing, contributing to the large population growth. If you have a military background, there are likely to be many career opportunities. San Antonio is a large military city and military and defense is one of its most important industries.
Food makes San Antonio one of the best places to live in Texas. The city also has a large Hispanic and Mexican population with amazing food. The local Mexican and Latin American dishes are the stars of the San Antonio food scene. Along one of San Antonio’s attractions, the River Walk, you’ll find many great places to eat. The River Walk runs through the city center and is lined with a sea of restaurants, bars and shops. The waterfront trails are perfect for a scenic morning jog or a busy night out. This unique attraction hosts many community events, festivals and cultural celebrations.
Plano’s Oak Point Nature Preserve
Median rent for a 2-bedroom apartment: $1,811
Median household income: $96,348
Walk Score: 41
Transit Score: 15
Bike Score: 52
Plano is located north of Dallas and is part of the DFW metroplex. You will find many young families living in Plano, with many residents commuting 20 miles to Downtown Dallas for their daily commute. While Dallas is home to many young professionals, Plano is a hotspot for those who have left the city to start a family. Plano has a strong commuter population, although the city is starting to be considered a hot job market in Texas. The city is a sign for families and those looking for their piece of happiness. WalletHub named Plano the happiest city in the United States based on a ranking based on high scores in emotional and physical well-being, income and employment, and community and environment. The job market in the area is growing and opportunities in Dallas are also within reach.
Plano has many clean parks and open green spaces, but nothing compared to Arbor Hills Nature Preserve. With miles of hiking trails surrounded by beautiful nature, it’s a great way to escape the often urban metroplex. Head to downtown Plano for the main downtown area and many entertainment resources. Discover popular local restaurants with food from different cultures. Although not as vibrant as Dallas, Downtown Plano has a strong nightlife. This city has a lot going for it and has an excellent location that easily connects you to all the amenities that Dallas has to offer.
Downtown El Paso skyline
7. El Paso
Median rent for a 2-bedroom apartment: $1,138
Median household income: $48,866
Walk Score: 40
Transit Score: 28
Bike Score: 42
Located on the western edge of the state, El Paso is one of the best places to live in Texas. The city borders Mexico and is separated by the Rio Grande River. The border has many Mexican influences and the Mexican food is to die for. This city is a great place to live, but keep in mind that other big cities in Texas are far away. The closest big city in Texas is San Antonio, and that too is about an 8 hour drive. The good news is that El Paso has a lot to offer locals.
Often called one of the safest cities in America, El Paso attracts families looking for a quiet and safe lifestyle. The cost of living in El Paso is also very affordable, allowing residents to spend money on entertainment in downtown El Paso. Enjoy different neighborhoods, all of which have their own unique look, feel and flavor. Mexican food is often the focus, but you’ll also find great local cafes, upscale New American restaurants and lively sports bars. Remember, El Paso is in the middle of the desert. Most cities in Texas have similar climates, but El Paso’s weather can prove to be more extreme. Summers are scorched by low humidity and dry heat. Be prepared for monsoons and flash floods between June and September. Rain is rare around El Paso, but a storm can quickly turn into a flash flood. When you move to El Paso, you need renters insurance with a good flood policy.
Courthouse in Denton, Texas
Median rent for a 2-bedroom apartment: $1,482
Median household income: $62,542
Walk Score: 34
Transit Score: N/A
Bike Score: 46
Located in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area, the charming city of Denton is one of the best places to live in Texas. Residents like Plano commute to work in Dallas, Fort Worth or other metro cities a short distance away. Denton is home to the University of North Texas, so you’ll find a nice mix of college students, young professionals, and families. Outside the campus area, you will find a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere with friendly people.
Downtown Denton Square, often referred to as “The Square”, is the place to be for shopping, dining and nightlife. Surrounding the square is the Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum, one of the most historic and beautiful buildings in Denton. You’ll find tons of unique locally made products on the streets of The Square, as well as Dentonites who enjoy the many festivals and community events held in the area.
Denton’s convenient location allows residents to make a short drive to some of Texas’ best destinations. If you’re looking for a small town feel and community atmosphere, but still want to be close enough to head to Dallas for a night, Denton is the perfect choice.
Corpus Christi, TX
9. God’s body
Median rent for a 2-bedroom apartment: $1,266
Median household income: $57,387
Walk Score: 40
Transit Score: 27
Bike Score: 42
This quiet beach town is one of the best places to live in Texas. Live your life on island time where most residents live just 10 minutes from a public park. Outdoor enthusiasts flock to the area for miles of beaches and beach activities such as kiteboarding, snorkeling, and surfing. Two water parks will keep you cool in the summer and history abounds. Check out the USS Lexington or the Britton-Evans Centennial House for a dose of local history. You’ll also find cultural offerings from the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra and the Texas Jazz Festival at Heritage Park.
The good news is that Corpus Christi is cheaper than many similarly sized cities, and you’ll be living by the water. Whether you want to have fun or live for a quiet family life, you’ll find the best of both worlds in Corpus Christi. New Downtown Frisco Texas from the air
Median rent for a 2-bedroom apartment: $2,023
Median household income: $128,761
Walk Score: 25
Transit Score: N/A
Bike Score: 39
Frisco is one of the fastest growing cities and has been named one of the best places to live by magazines such as Money Magazine. It was a sleepy farming town just a few decades ago, but now has a bustling town center and urban amenities.
Frisco has 49 parks over 1,370 acres. The city is also offering hundreds of undeveloped acres of land for future projects. At the top of Stonebriar Center, you’ll find 165 shops and many dining options. In addition to the shopping centre, Preston Road also offers a wide range of restaurants. In addition to shopping and dining, stop by the National Video Game Museum, the American Railroad Museum, or the Dr. Pepper Ballpark.
The job market in Frisco is growing rapidly and the number of jobs is estimated to grow by 15% in the coming years. The area attracts young professionals and families looking for quality schools with relatively affordable housing compared to the median income. The Dallas Cowboys AT&T Stadium is located in Arlington, Texas, USA,
Median rent for a 2-bedroom apartment: $3,073
Median household income: $63,351
Walk Score: 38
Transit Score: 0
Bike Score: 40
Arlington is a higher ed city and home to MENSA and the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA). In addition to retail and restaurants, you can cheer on the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium or the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field. River Legacy Parks features greenery with trails that cut through hardwood forests and teem with wildlife. The local River Legacy Living Science Center entices visitors with aquariums, terrariums and hands-on exhibits. Arlington is home to thrill-seeking attractions like Six Flags Over Texas and Six Flags Hurricane Harbor. The University of Texas at Arlington is home to the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame and Planetarium. Locals head to Arlington Heights for bulk shopping. Cooper Street Antique Mall also offers items for collectors and vintage lovers.
Arlington is the largest suburb in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and is undergoing a major renovation project with many restaurants, bars and retail options. The city is close to Fort Worth and Dallas, and while traffic can be bad, it’s an easy commute. While Arlington locals disagree, the neighborhood is suburban. They are the seventh most populous city in Texas and the 49th most populous city in the US
Aerial view of Downtown Amarillo, Texas in summer
Median rent for a 2-bedroom apartment: $922
Median household income: $52,941
Walk Score: 40
Bike Score: 46
Amarillo is known for its rodeos, equestrian competitions and motor sports exhibitions. The city still has a cowboy culture and a slow pace of life. People gather for the Tri-State Fair and Rose and the World Championship Ranch Rodeo. You can attend a rodeo at the famous Cadillac Ranch or explore the sites. Popular places around Amarillo include The Amarillo Zoo, the American Quarter Horse Heritage Center and Museum, and the Texas Air & Space Museum. You are not far from the scenic Palo Duro Canyon system with multi-use trails that lead to Lighthouse Peak. Texas is known for its heat, but newcomers can be surprised by the weather in Amarillo. The city has a semi-arid climate with dry summer temperatures and cool winters with cool winds.
Amarillo was once a ranch town, but now offers townhouses, large apartment complexes, and condos. Locals have easy access to Interstate 40, the highway formerly known as Route 66.
Rear view of a man in a hoodie walking his dog along the Mandalay Canal in Irving, Texas, USA.
Median rent for a 2-bedroom apartment: $1,593
Median household income: $66,567
Walking Score: 45
Transit Score: 29
Bike Score: 42
Located in the suburbs of Dallas, Irving, Texas is part of the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area.
Although Irving is considered a large city in its own right, Irving residents enjoy the best of both worlds when it comes to the comforts of the city and the suburban lifestyle.
Irving is a solid choice for commuters who want to stay close to the city to keep their trips on the shorter side.
Irving residents spend an average of 24.4 minutes commuting. But Irving’s proximity to the city doesn’t mean it’s a bustling concrete landscape. Overall, Irving has many urban elements, but most of its neighborhoods are on the quiet side and are known as family paradises.
It’s easy to see why Irving is so popular with families, as the quiet and safe community also has a well-rated school system.
In addition, Irving hosts many well-attended community events, from those that celebrate the city’s diversity to promising entertainment from music to comedy.
If you’re looking for a rental in Irving, there are plenty of options, so you’re sure to find something that fits your needs. Irving rentals include many luxury condo units within apartment complexes.
If you’re looking for something more subtle, you’ll find it. It will take time, however, as the city is full of rentals that offer basic apartment amenities like private pools, fitness centers, and more.
Median rent for a 2-bedroom apartment: $1,131
Median household income: $50,335
Walk Score: 30
Shipping Score: –
Bike Score: 38
Killeen is a suburban town in central Texas and is known as a military town. Killeen generally offers a suburban feel, with some urban areas. Most Killeen residents are renters, although the average home value in the city is relatively low compared to the rest of the US.
Killeen rental units range from luxury apartments to single-family homes. Luxury units in this town have impressive amenities like private pools and tennis courts, while Killeen family rentals have 4+ bedrooms.
Fortunately, it is possible to find affordable units in Killeen, as the average two bedroom apartment costs $1,312. If you’re planning to move to Killeen, be sure to take advantage of the city’s abundance of parks.
Within the city limits, Lions Club Park has biking and walking trails, playgrounds, sports fields, public swimming pools and more.
Temple Lake Park just outside of town is a popular campground with picnic areas, fishing and boating on the lake, a beach and more.
Killeen is generally popular with families for its outdoor parks and green spaces due to its proximity to Fort Hood. There are many military families that come and go according to their new station orders. In town, Killeen residents can spend a day on the town with their families, bowling, going to the theater, hitting the mall, or even working up a sweat at the local trampoline park.
Killeen is a great town for those who want the joy of small town living and a friendly family atmosphere. However, it is not the best fit for young professionals looking for more entertainment and work opportunities.
Beaumont is a city in southeast Texas
Median rent for a 2-bedroom apartment: $946
Median household income: $48,168
Walking Score: 31st
Shipping Score: –
Bike Score: 37
Beaumont is a medium-sized city in Texas with a large population and a good mix of urban and suburban vibes. This is another Texas city that falls into the big small city category.
Nightlife and entertainment options in Beaumont are available but somewhat limited.
Although the city does not offer as many entertainment options as a larger city, bars and restaurants are popular after-hours spots. Recreation during the day usually includes a trip to one of the city parks, a visit to a museum or a theater.
Speaking of parks, that’s one area Beaumont shines. Beaumont is located southeast of the Big Thicket National Preserve.
The area is heavily forested and offers everything from plains to sand. You can explore the park’s trails, visit the sand lake, rent a paddle boat, and more.
Beaumont residents looking to stay closer to home often head to Tyrell Park for a nature fix. The park features the city’s botanical gardens, a rose garden, a golf course, stables and more. The Art Museum of Southeast Texas is a favorite Beaumont attraction for art lovers. With an extensive collection and exhibits, you can easily make a day of exploring some of the best artwork Southeast Texas has to offer.
If you’re looking for a sleepy Texas town, Beaumont is the place to be. Beaumont is simple and offers basic entertainment and leisure options while keeping things family friendly.
However, if you want to have fun and are looking for a strong nightlife, Beaumont is not for you.