The 15 Best Places to Live in Texas

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Dec 30, 2023

Texas is the 2nd largest state and is home to almost 30 million people, a number that continues to increase every year thanks to the many charms that the Lone Star state has to offer. With average home prices in Texas in the mid-$300,000 range, the state is an affordable place to move for anyone seeking a diverse culture and a thriving job market. The best places to live in Texas include an enticing mix of big cities like Dallas, bustling suburbs with great schools and economic hotspots like Austin. In fact, with options like this, you’ll probably find it tough to choose.

With that said, if you’re new to the state or just aren’t completely sure which part of Texas you’d like to move to, the following are considered to be the best places to live across the state.

In this article, we will discuss:

1. Flower Mound
2. Plano
3. Round Rock
4. Waco
5. Southlake
6. Port Aransas
7. Conroe
8. San Antonio
9. Frisco
10. Denton
11. New Braunfels
12. Leander
13. McKinney
14. Beaumont
15.  Corpus Christi

1. Flower Mound

About 30 miles northwest of Dallas, you’ll find Flower Mound. Though it’s considered a suburb of Dallas, the city’s population is still a little over 75,000. Flower Mound, often called “Flo Mo” by locals, is an affluent suburb that is bordered by Lake Grapevine to the south. It boasts a strong economy driven by its retail sector and the introduction of light industry in recent years. It’s seen an influx of out of state residents and continues to grow rapidly.

This family-friendly community offers a high quality of life with its well-maintained parks, miles of hiking and biking trails, and a variety of recreational activities. The town’s commitment to preserving its natural beauty while fostering a strong sense of community makes it an attractive destination for families and individuals seeking a harmonious blend of suburban tranquility and urban accessibility. With its top-rated school district and proximity to major employment hubs, Flower Mound is a perfect blend of comfort, community, and convenience. The rapidly growing North Texas region caters to young professionals with its thriving downtown Dallas scene and an array of local amenities in the Dallas Fort Worth suburbs.

  • Population: 80,883
  • Median Income: $171,734​​
  • Median Home Price: $631,900​​
  • Median Monthly Rent: $2,075​

View homes in Flower Mound, TX

2. Plano

Plano, Texas, part of the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, is renowned for its exceptional quality of life, thriving economy, and family-friendly atmosphere. It’s a city that skillfully blends suburban comfort with urban sophistication. Plano’s public schools, under the Plano Independent School District, are consistently ranked among the best in the nation, drawing families who prioritize education. The city’s economy is robust, marked by a strong presence of major corporations and a burgeoning tech industry, offering ample employment opportunities.

Plano’s diverse community is reflected in its wide range of dining and shopping options, cultural events, and recreational activities. The city boasts numerous parks and nature preserves, providing residents with outdoor spaces for relaxation and exercise. Safety is a key highlight, as Plano is often cited as one of the safest cities in the country. With its mix of top-rated schools, economic strength, cultural diversity, and safety, Plano represents an ideal living environment for professionals, families, and retirees alike.

  • Population: 291,450​​
  • Median Income: $103,916​​
  • Median Home Price: $466,100​​
  • Median Monthly Rent: $1,771

View homes in Plano, TX

3. Round Rock

Round Rock, Texas, situated just north of Austin, is a vibrant city that’s increasingly becoming a top choice for those looking to invest in real estate. This rapidly growing community is known for its affordability, making it an attractive option for families and professionals alike. Round Rock’s strategic location within the Greater Austin area provides the perfect balance of small-town feel and big-city amenities. The city is celebrated for its excellent public schools, part of the Round Rock Independent School District, which is highly rated for academic and extracurricular excellence.

The economic landscape in Round Rock is robust, anchored by a mix of technology companies and health care providers, offering a stable job market. Additionally, the city is a sports and outdoor paradise, boasting numerous parks, trails, and the renowned Round Rock Sports Center. With its combination of educational opportunities, economic stability, recreational facilities, and a favorable real estate market, Round Rock is an ideal place for those looking to establish roots in a dynamic and welcoming community. If you want to be close to Austin, this place is tough to beat!

  • Population: 131,235​​
  • Median Income: $86,587
  • Median Home Price: $291,300​​
  • Median Monthly Rent: $1,551

4. Waco

Waco, Texas, nestled along the Brazos River, is a city rich in Texas history and culture, offering a unique living experience that blends small-town charm with urban amenities. It is widely recognized for being home to Baylor University, a major educational and cultural institution, which adds a vibrant, youthful energy to the city. Waco’s cost of living is notably lower than many other urban areas in Texas, making it an attractive option for families, students, and retirees.

The city has experienced a cultural renaissance in recent years, showcased by the revitalization of its downtown area, where residents and visitors enjoy a variety of shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Additionally, Waco is famous for its landmarks such as the Dr. Pepper Museum and the Magnolia Market at the Silos, drawing tourists and locals alike. The city’s commitment to community development, combined with its rich heritage, educational opportunities, and affordable living, makes Waco an appealing choice for those seeking a balanced and enriching lifestyle.

  • Population: 142,241
  • Median Income: $63,418
  • Median Home Price: $186,659
  • Median Monthly Rent: $1,319

5. Southlake

Southlake, Texas, often regarded as one of the best areas in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, offers an unparalleled living experience, blending affluence with a close-knit community atmosphere. This city is renowned for its exceptional school system, Southlake Carroll Independent School District, which is consistently ranked among the top in Texas, making it highly sought after by families prioritizing education. Southlake’s affluence is evident in its upscale shopping centers, like Southlake Town Square, and in the well-manicured neighborhoods featuring luxurious homes.

Despite its upscale ambiance, Southlake maintains a strong sense of community, with numerous city events and festivals fostering a tight-knit environment. The city’s strategic location provides easy access to both Dallas and Fort Worth, offering the perks of city life while preserving a suburban feel. Additionally, Southlake’s focus on safety and community services makes it one of the most desirable living locations in the region. With its top-tier schools, luxury amenities, and vibrant community life, Southlake stands out as an ideal place for those seeking a high-quality suburban lifestyle near major urban centers.

  • Population: 30,779
  • Median Income: $250,001
  • Median Home Price: $854,900
  • Median Monthly Rent: $1,698

View homes in Southlake, TX

6. Port Aransas

Port Aransas, Texas, a charming coastal town on Mustang Island, is an idyllic destination for those seeking a laid-back, beach-centric lifestyle. Known for its beautiful sandy beaches and rich marine life, Port Aransas is a paradise for beach-goers, fishermen, and nature enthusiasts. The town’s relaxed, small-community atmosphere is complemented by a vibrant arts scene, anchored by the Port Aransas Art Center. This center serves as a cultural hub, offering workshops, exhibitions, and events that celebrate local art and artists, enhancing the town’s creative spirit.

Additionally, the Port Aransas Community Theatre adds to the town’s cultural richness, showcasing local talent through various theatrical productions, drawing both residents and visitors. The local economy is bolstered by tourism, fishing, and a growing number of small businesses. Port Aransas’ combination of natural beauty, artistic and cultural offerings, and a strong sense of community makes it an appealing choice for those looking to escape the hustle of city life and immerse themselves in a serene, culturally-rich coastal environment.

  • Population: 3,478
  • Median Income: $59,293
  • Median Home Price: $448,300​​
  • Median Monthly Rent: $1,539

7. Conroe

Conroe, Texas, located just north of Houston, stands out as one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States, offering an attractive blend of economic opportunity, recreational activities, and community living. This growth is fueled by its proximity to Houston, providing residents with easy access to big-city amenities while maintaining a distinct, small-town feel. Conroe is renowned for its natural beauty, particularly Lake Conroe, a popular spot for boating, fishing, and water sports, making it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.

The city’s economic landscape is diverse, with a thriving local business community and proximity to major employment centers in Houston. Conroe’s housing market offers a range of options, from affordable single-family homes to luxurious waterfront properties, catering to a variety of lifestyles and budgets. The city also boasts a strong sense of community, with regular events, festivals, and a vibrant downtown area. With its combination of natural attractions, economic growth, and a welcoming community, Conroe represents a compelling choice for families, professionals, and retirees seeking a dynamic and fulfilling living experience.

  • Population: 103,035
  • Median Income: $92,288
  • Median Home Price: $320,086
  • Median Monthly Rent: $1,073

8. San Antonio

San Antonio, Texas, one of the state’s most historic and culturally rich cities, offers a unique blend of Old World charm and modern vibrancy. This city is known for its significant landmarks like the Alamo and the River Walk, which provide a glimpse into its deep historical roots and attract tourists worldwide. Despite being a major urban center, San Antonio maintains a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, making it a great place to live for a diverse population. The city’s proximity to natural attractions like Canyon Lake enhances its appeal, offering residents easy access to outdoor activities such as boating, fishing, and hiking in a scenic hill country setting.

San Antonio’s economy is robust and diversified, including sectors like healthcare, military, tourism, and a growing tech industry, ensuring ample employment opportunities. Additionally, the city’s rich cultural heritage is celebrated through numerous festivals and events, reflecting its vibrant community spirit. With its combination of historical significance, economic strength, and natural beauty, San Antonio presents an ideal living environment for individuals and families seeking a balance of cultural richness and modern conveniences.

  • Population: 1,479,493
  • Median Income: $74,154
  • Median Home Price: $254,014
  • Median Monthly Rent: $1,290

9. Frisco

Frisco, Texas, a dynamic city in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, has garnered widespread attention for its exceptional quality of life, so much so that in 2018, Money Magazine named it the number one destination to live in America. This accolade reflects Frisco’s unique combination of economic prosperity, top-tier educational institutions, and a family-friendly atmosphere. The city is a hub for corporate headquarters, tech startups, and a thriving retail sector, providing abundant job opportunities and contributing to a strong local economy.

Frisco’s public schools, part of the Frisco Independent School District, are among the best in the state, attracting families who prioritize education. The city also boasts a rich array of amenities, including premier shopping centers, diverse dining options, and expansive parks and recreational facilities. Frisco’s commitment to community development is evident in its well-planned neighborhoods, public art installations, and a wide range of community events and activities. With its blend of economic strength, educational excellence, and community focus, Frisco offers an ideal environment for families and professionals seeking a high standard of living in a vibrant and growing city.

  • Population: 227,528
  • Median Income: $165,827
  • Median Home Price: $661,578
  • Median Monthly Rent: $1,837

10. Denton

Denton, Texas, situated in the northern part of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, is a lively and culturally rich city, known for its vibrant music scene, historic charm, and academic excellence. Home to two major universities, the University of North Texas and Texas Woman’s University, Denton has a youthful and energetic atmosphere, fostering a strong sense of community and cultural diversity. The city’s music scene is particularly notable, with a variety of venues hosting local and national acts, and events like the annual Denton Arts and Jazz Festival drawing crowds from all over.

Denton’s historic downtown area, with its array of shops, restaurants, and antique stores, adds to the city’s quaint charm. The cost of living in Denton is relatively affordable compared to other cities in the metroplex, making it an attractive option for students, families, and young professionals. The city’s commitment to arts, education, and a thriving community life makes Denton an appealing choice for those seeking a dynamic blend of culture, education, and affordability.

  • Population: 160,564
  • Median Income: $84,099
  • Median Home Price: $354,874
  • Median Monthly Rent: $1,554

11. New Braunfels

New Braunfels, Texas, nestled between San Antonio and Austin, offers a unique living experience, rich in German heritage and natural beauty, including the stunning Canyon Lake. This city is a perfect blend of historic charm and modern amenities. The presence of Canyon Lake, a popular destination for water activities like boating and fishing, adds to the city’s allure, offering residents a serene and picturesque setting for outdoor recreation. New Braunfels is famous for its annual Wurstfest, a celebration of German culture and cuisine, reflecting the city’s strong cultural roots.

The city also boasts beautiful parks, the Guadalupe and Comal Rivers, and the Schlitterbahn Waterpark, making it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and families. The local economy is thriving, with a mix of tourism, manufacturing, and healthcare industries. New Braunfels’ combination of cultural heritage, natural beauty, and a strong sense of community makes it an ideal place for those seeking a balance of leisure and opportunity in a vibrant, growing city.

  • Population: 115,851
  • Median Income: $95,252
  • Median Home Price: $362,487
  • Median Monthly Rent: $1,468

12. Leander

Leander, Texas, a rapidly growing city in the heart of the Lone Star State, offers a unique blend of small-town charm and modern amenities, making it an increasingly popular choice for those seeking a high quality of life. Located just north of Austin, Leander is part of the Greater Austin metropolitan area, allowing residents to enjoy the perks of a major city while still maintaining a sense of community. The city boasts excellent schools, part of the Leander Independent School District, known for its strong academic programs and extracurricular activities.

Housing in Leander is diverse, offering options for various budgets and lifestyles, from charming single-family homes to modern apartments. The city also prides itself on its green spaces and parks, providing ample opportunities for outdoor activities and community events. Furthermore, Leander’s economy is thriving, with a mix of local businesses and larger corporations, ensuring a robust job market. This blend of educational excellence, housing variety, recreational facilities, and economic strength makes Leander an ideal place to live for families, professionals, and retirees alike.

  • Population: 81,371
  • Median Income: $139,053
  • Median Home Price: $445,318
  • Median Monthly Rent: $1,654

13. McKinney

McKinney, Texas, nestled in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, stands out as a gem for those seeking a balance of historic charm and modern living. Ranked as one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S., McKinney is known for its picturesque downtown area, which features beautifully preserved 19th-century buildings alongside contemporary boutiques and eateries. This unique blend of old and new gives McKinney a distinctive character, appealing to both history buffs and those who enjoy modern conveniences. The city is renowned for its high-quality education system, served by the McKinney Independent School District, which is praised for its academic excellence and innovative programs.

Housing in McKinney ranges from charming historic homes to new developments, catering to diverse tastes and budgets. The city also boasts numerous parks and recreational areas, promoting an active and outdoor lifestyle. Additionally, McKinney’s strong economic development, with a variety of businesses and industries, provides robust job opportunities. This combination of historical allure, educational strength, diverse housing, and economic vibrancy makes McKinney an attractive and fulfilling place to live for families, professionals, and retirees.

  • Population: 214,302
  • Median Income: $130,717
  • Median Home Price: $506,597
  • Median Monthly Rent: $1,708

14. Beaumont

Beaumont, Texas, located in the southeastern part of the state, offers a unique blend of rich history, cultural diversity, and economic opportunity, making it an appealing choice for residents. Known for its pivotal role in the Texas oil boom, Beaumont’s heritage is deeply rooted in the energy industry, which continues to be a significant economic driver. The city is celebrated for its diverse cultural scene, including museums like the Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown Museum, which commemorates its oil history, and the Art Museum of Southeast Texas, showcasing regional art.

Beaumont’s cost of living is relatively low compared to other urban areas in Texas, making it an attractive option for families and individuals seeking affordability without compromising on amenities. Additionally, the city is home to Lamar University, a well-regarded institution that contributes to the area’s educational and cultural richness. With its combination of historical significance, cultural offerings, affordable living, and educational opportunities, Beaumont presents a compelling option for those looking to settle in a dynamic and welcoming community.

  • Population: 109,264
  • Median Income: $71,028
  • Median Home Price: $143,306
  • Median Monthly Rent: $1,095

15. Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi, Texas, often referred to as the “Sparkling City by the Sea,” offers a unique living experience with its stunning coastal setting, vibrant cultural scene, and growing economy. Located on the Gulf of Mexico, the city is a paradise for beach lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, boasting beautiful beaches, a scenic bayfront, and the Padre Island National Seashore. The city’s marina and waterfront are hubs for boating, fishing, and water sports, making it an ideal location for those who cherish a life close to the sea.

Corpus Christi is also home to a diverse range of cultural and educational institutions, including Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, contributing to a dynamic and intellectually stimulating environment. The city’s economy is bolstered by its port, one of the largest in the nation, and industries such as petrochemicals and healthcare, providing solid job opportunities. With its blend of recreational activities, educational resources, and economic stability, Corpus Christi is a great choice for families, professionals, and retirees seeking a coastal lifestyle combined with urban conveniences.

  • Population: 317,615
  • Median Income: $79,398
  • Median Home Price: $213,840
  • Median Monthly Rent: $1,149


In creating this list, several factors were considered to ensure a comprehensive and relevant ranking.

  1. Affordability: This is a crucial factor, as the cost of living varies significantly across Texas. Housing affordability, including average rent and home prices, should be assessed. Additionally, the overall cost of necessities like groceries, utilities, and transportation plays a vital role in determining how affordable a city is for its residents.
  2. Employment Opportunities: The availability of jobs, the diversity of industries, and unemployment rates are essential indicators of economic health. Cities with a robust job market, especially those hosting headquarters of major companies or having a vibrant startup scene, often attract more residents.
  3. Education System: For families with children, the quality of education is a top priority. This includes the performance of public schools, availability of private and charter schools, and access to higher education institutions. The presence of well-ranked universities can also be a draw.
  4. Healthcare Facilities: Quality and accessibility of healthcare services are vital, especially in larger cities. The presence of renowned hospitals, clinics, and specialized healthcare services adds value to a location.
  5. Safety and Crime Rates: Safety is a paramount concern. Lower crime rates and effective law enforcement contribute to the appeal of a place.
  6. Quality of Life: This broad category encompasses various aspects, including recreational opportunities, cultural offerings, community events, and general lifestyle. Cities with a rich cultural heritage, diverse dining options, and abundant outdoor activities typically rank higher.
  7. Climate and Environment: Texas is geographically diverse, offering different climates. Some may prefer the warmer, coastal areas, while others might find the cooler, hill country more appealing.
  8. Transportation and Accessibility: Well-developed public transport systems and ease of access to major highways and airports are important, especially in larger metropolitan areas.
  9. Demographics and Diversity: A city’s demographic makeup and cultural diversity can be a draw for many, offering a vibrant community life.
  10. Future Growth and Development Prospects: Areas with potential for future growth, be it in terms of infrastructure, economy, or community development, can be attractive options.


Texas cities bring their own flair with advantages like no state income tax and a diverse range of outdoor activities. There’s no denying that Texas offers a blend of traditional and contemporary that is hard to find elsewhere. Whether you’re drawn to the charm of southern Texas or the vibrant life of a Texas city, there’s something for everyone in the Lone Star State.

To start exploring Texas neighborhoods right away, connect with a SimpleShowing agent who is familiar with these areas. We sell hundreds of homes in Texas each year! Best of all, when you work with a SimpleShowing agent, you’ll qualify for our Realtor Commission Refund Program, which could give you an average of $5,000 towards closing costs.

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