As the saying goes, "Everything's bigger in Texas," and more than 28 million wouldn't choose to live anywhere else. Texas’ leading role in diverse industries like biomedical sciences and petrochemicals is definitely an appeal. Others may be drawn to the laid-back image of the cowboy lifestyle. The Lone Star State serves up size, beauty, and a wealth of opportunity. One of these great locations could be the perfect home for those thinking about becoming a Texan.
Located in the south central U.S., Texas is bordered by Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and New Mexico; and shares an international border with Mexico. It also borders the Gulf of Mexico. The state capital of Texas is Austin, the second most populous state capital in the country, and its largest city is Houston, the fourth-largest city in the U.S. The name “Texas” comes from the Caddo word “Tejas,” which means “friends.”
Texas is traditionally thought of as a desert state, but in fact only 10 percent of Texas’ land area is desert. The state’s diverse geography ranges from coastal swamps, to rolling plains, to the desert. Three of Texas’ borders are formed by rivers: the Rio Grande, which forms a natural border with Mexico to the south; the Red River, which borders Oklahoma and Arkansas to the north; and the Sabine River, which forms a natural border with Louisiana to the east. Due to its size, Texas crosses several climate zones; while the Texas Panhandle can have very cold winters, the Gulf Coast has very mild ones. However, summer highs throughout the state routinely climb into the upper 90s.
Unlike some other scenic states, Texas is both rugged and sophisticated. The state has its own genre of cuisine, the nation’s top BBQ restaurants, and is home to the first Six Flags amusement park property, Six Flags over Texas. There is a diversity of activities to take part in throughout the state, from the Dallas nightlife to the beaches and islands of the Gulf Coast. The cost of living in Texas is cheaper than in other states, so don’t be shy about taking it all in. Due to the state’s vast size, you can base yourself in a major city like Austin or Fort Worth, but having a car or taking the bus is essential to getting between all of Texas’ major attractions, like its beautiful state parks.
The mix of urban flare and rural charm is what really makes the Lone Star State so appealing. Some of the trendiest places in Texas are also the most quiet, where brewers craft innovative beers and restaurants serve up an ever-changing mix of dishes, all inspired by the various cultures that have moved into Texas throughout its history.
Finding the best places to live in a state as big as Texas definitely isn't easy, but we'll help you out: these cities and neighborhoods are our top picks. To narrow down your list of the best places to live in Texas, you can also search by population size, search radius and other criteria that matters most to you.