As one of the most populated states, Texas has many great cities for retirees, families, and young professionals! If you’re looking for a Texas city to call home, here are the eight best places to live in The Lone Star State.


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  • Population: 965,872
  • Home Price: $358,600 median purchase price; $1,346 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 11% of Texas cities
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.2%

As Texas’ capital city, Austin is an excellent place for young adults who want to be in the middle of the action! Whether you’re looking to start a career or attend college, ATX has a lot to offer. You can pursue a career in Austin in key industries like advanced manufacturing, life sciences, and space technology, and find jobs with major companies headquartered in the Greater Austin area—including Whole Foods, Dell Technologies, and Kendra Scott. For aspiring college students in the area, Austin is home to schools like The University of Texas at Austin, Concordia University Texas, St Edward’s University, and Huston-Tillotson University. ATX is also one of the best cities for renters, with a variety of affordable homes and apartments to choose from. Additionally, young adults can stay busy with annual events and plenty of things to do! Attend Austin City Limits Music Festival, which spans two weekends every year and features more than 100 performances, fabulous festival food at the ACL Eats Food Court, and even a mini-fest for kids. Walk along the Congress Avenue Bridge at dusk to see the largest urban bat colony in North America take off. For barbecue in Austin, try the Brisket Sandwich or Pulled Pork Sandwich and save room for a piece of Bourbon Banana Pie from Franklin Barbecue. Or head downtown to enjoy award-winning Indian dishes like Chicken Tikka Masala, Saag Paneer, and Curried Mussels at Clay Pit.

Corpus Christi

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  • Population: 326,332
  • Home Price: $150,100 median purchase price; $1,055 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 3% of Texas cities
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.6%

Looking to live near the Gulf of Mexico? The city of Corpus Christi is the perfect place! Home to a wide range of people, from young professionals to families and retirees, Corpus Christi is an affordable city with a cost of living 4% lower than the Texas average and housing 26% lower than the national average. Young professionals in the area can find jobs in Corpus Christi with employers such as ARG Holdings, Repcon, and Corpus Christi Medical Center. Families with ties to the military can take advantage of the convenient Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, and retirees can choose from an abundance of retirement communities, including The Waterford at Corpus Christi or Brookdale Trinity Towers. And if you’re wanting to live in a place with great outdoor rec, the Sparkling City by the Sea has plenty of options! Explore the Mustang Island Paddling Trail or go birding, stargazing, and fishing at Mustang Island State Park. Cycle or skate along the concrete paths across the beach or enjoy a day of fishing on the jetty at North Beach. Order seafood in Corpus Christi like the Padre Island Shrimp Cocktail, Fried Flounder, or Grilled Coconut Shrimp from Doc’s Seafood & Steaks. Or try the Southern Style Chicken Fried Steak, Good Ole Deep Fried Oysters, or Bayou Style Fried Shrimp from Catfish Charlie’s.

El Paso

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  • Population: 679,879
  • Home Price: $132,800 median purchase price; $857 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 49% of Texas cities
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.8%

Located near the New Mexico and Mexico border, El Paso is an affordable place to live in Texas, attracting outdoor-lovers of all ages. One major draw for residents is the cost of living in El Paso, which is 11% under the national average! And those interested in buying a home in El Paso will find that the median home price is 28% lower than the national average—plus, El Paso offers residents a first-time homebuyer program! For jobs in El Paso, young adults can find employment with major local companies like Fred Loya Insurance and Las Palmas Del Sol Healthcare. To top it off, El Paso’s outdoor recreation is unbeatable. Camp, go rock climbing in McKelligon Canyon, or hike over 100 miles of trails in the scenic Franklin Mountains State Park. Get a day pass for Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site and take a pictographs and petroglyphs tour, spot more than 200 species of birds, or enjoy a picnic in the rocks with your family. After a day of fun in the sun, enjoy El Paso’s extensive restaurant scene. Visit L&J Cafe, established in 1927, and order regional Mexican dishes like Chile con Queso, Picadillo Tacos, and Mole Enchiladas. Or check out The Hoppy Monk and enjoy a lager, pale ale, or cocktail with a Gochu Chickenwich or Bacon Jam & Egg Burger.

Fort Worth

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  • Population: 892,221
  • Home Price: $190,400 median purchase price; $1,115 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 12% of Texas cities
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.9%

As part of the DFW metro in North Central Texas, the Texas city of Fort Worth is great for those wanting big-city amenities at a lower cost. Residents will find that the cost of living in Forth Worth is 7% lower than the national average and 5% lower than in nearby Dallas. Young professionals in Fort Worth can find jobs in Fort Worth industries like transportation, oil and gas, manufacturing, healthcare, and hospitality and tourism. And families living in Fort Worth can send their kids to top-rated schools in the Fort Worth ISD. Wanting to move somewhere with plenty of things to do and great food? Fort Worth has that covered, too! Learn about John Wayne, tour the Cowboy Channel Studios, grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants, or attend the Stockyards Championship Rodeo at the Cowtown Coliseum, all part of the Fort Worth Stockyards. Explore one of the many gardens or attend signature events like the Japanese Festivals or Spring Market at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. Savor Blackened Redfish, a Spicy Chicken Sandwich, or Lobster & Bay Scallops Alfredo when you dine at Lucile’s. Or try the Broiled Shishito Peppers, Orange Chicken Rice Bowl, or the Cali Roll from Pacific Table.


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  • Population: 2,313,238
  • Home Price: $186,800 median purchase price; $1,086 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 0% of Texas cities
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.2%

As Texas’ biggest city and one of the largest cities in the U.S., Houston is a great place to call home. With an extensive food scene, culture-filled neighborhoods, and multiple pro sports teams, The Bayou City is a diverse place ranking as one of the best cities in Texas, the U.S., and the world! A Southern Texas city for all ages, parents can send their children to schools in the Houston Independent School District—the largest school district in Texas—and those looking for jobs in Houston will find plenty of opportunities with Fortune 500 companies like Phillips 66, Sysco, or Baker Hughes. Residents can also find lots of things to do in Houston! Embark on a NASA Tram Tour, wander through the SpaceX Falcon 9 Booster Exhibit and International Space Station Gallery, and attend events like film screenings, family overnights, and sensory-friendly events at Space Center Houston. Take the family to the annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and learn about agriculture at Agventure, jam to live music at The Star Stage, or enjoy the aroma of the World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest in the Rockin’ Bar-B-Que Saloon. Feast on “the best breakfast in Houston” with Klubs Benedict, Biskits & Gravy, and Green Eggs & Ham from The Breakfast Klub. Or try modern Vietnamese cuisine like Viet-Cajun Oysters, Tofu & Veggies, or Braised Pork & Crispy Rise from Xin Chao, which uses locally sourced ingredients.

New Braunfels

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  • Population: 84,622
  • Home Price: $237,900 median purchase price; $1,217 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 50% of Texas cities
  • Unemployment Rate: 2.9%

If you’re looking for a tight-knit community and small-town vibes, but still want to live near a major city, New Braunfels is for you! Located about 40 minutes northeast of San Antonio and less than an hour away from Austin via I-35, New Braunfels residents have easy access to big-city amenities and entertainment. This Comal County city is known for its German heritage and architecture, and it’s great for all ages thanks to its safety, affordability, and beautiful scenery. Families will appreciate sending their kids to top-rated schools in the New Braunfels Independent School District, and with an unemployment rate almost 2% under the national average, you can find jobs in top industries like aviation, healthcare, and manufacturing. Looking for something to do in New Braunfels? Get a season pass to “the world’s best waterpark” and race down the waterslides, splash in the heated pools, and ride thrilling water coasters Schlitterbahn New Braunfels. Spend a day enjoying all kinds of outdoor recreation at Hinman Island Park, Prince Solms Park, and Landa Park, located along the Comal River and the Guadalupe River. Attend Wurstfest, a ten-day celebration of German culture featuring food and drink, music, dancing, contests, and more. Stop by Krause’s Cafe for Jager Schnitzel or German Meatballs for dinner. Or try a loaf of German Rye, German Chocolate Pie, or a slice of the Whole Peach Strudel from Naegelin’s German Bakery—”the oldest bakery in Texas!”


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  • Population: 288,870
  • Home Price: $341,800 median purchase price; $1,447 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 58% of Texas cities
  • Unemployment Rate: 2.8%

In the DFW Metroplex, located about 30 minutes north of Dallas, you’ll find Plano. Young professionals looking for employment in Plano can find plenty of opportunities, since it’s one of the best U.S. cities for jobs! Residents can find work with major employers like Medical City Plano, Liberty Mutual, and Fannie Mae. In addition to being a great city for young professionals, Plano also holds a lot of appeal for families. In fact, it’s been rated as one of the best cities to raise a family, thanks in part to the highly-rated schools in the Plano Independent School District. Plus, while living in Plano, there are plenty of things to keep residents busy. Take a hot air balloon ride in the “Balloon Capital of Texas” during the annual Plano Balloon Festival. Go hiking, kayaking, or paddle boarding at the 800-acre Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve—Plano’s largest park! For dining in Plano, try the Big Tex Breakfast, Pecan Waffle Breakfast, or Chop Steak & Eggs from Poor Richard’s Cafe. And order the Dungeness Crab Legs, Gumbo, or Catfish Po Boy from Fish Shack.

San Antonio

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  • Population: 1,529,133
  • Home Price: $156,700 median purchase price; $1,025 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 4% of Texas cities
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.8%

Looking to live in a big city in Southern Texas? Check out San Antonio! Even though San Antonio is one of the nation’s fastest-growing cities, it still offers a small-town vibe rich in Mexican and Spanish influences. The Alamo City is also more affordable than many other big cities, with a cost of living 10% lower than the national average. Not only is it a great Texas city for families, young professionals, and retirees, but also for military personnel! Nicknamed “Military City, USA,” San Antonio is home to Joint Base San Antonio, consisting of four main bases: Randolph AFB, Fort Sam Houston, Lackland AFB, and Camp Bullis. And there are plenty of fun activities in San Antonio! Ride the train, attend programming for both kids and adults like Dungeons & Dragons Game Night, and see the Friedrich Aquarium and Big Cat Valley at the San Antonio Zoo. See a show at the Aztec Theatre, browse over 1,000 vendors at the Traders Village, and check out river parades and holiday lights and luminarias at the San Antonio River Walk. Looking for Mexican food in San Antonio? Order Enchiladas de Mole, Tacos a la Parrilla, or Vegetarian Relleno from Acenar. Or get the flavors of Texas barbecue combined with Southeast Asian curry for dishes like the Curry Queso Hot Dog or the Brisket Smoke Show Curry BBQ Bowl followed by Flan Solo for dessert from Curry Boys BBQ.


Considering moving to Texas? Life Storage offers storage units throughout The Lone Star State to help make your move easier. Find self storage in Texas today!

City statistics from AreaVibes

This post was originally published on 01/12/2018 and updated on 02/08/2024 with updated information.

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