Best Places To Live In Texas: Top 5 Lone Star State Cities Recommended By Experts

Texas is home to nearly 30 million people. From cowboys to buttoned-up businesspeople, the state has plenty to offer for everyone. With small towns full of old-fashioned Southern charm and big cities that rival any major metropolis, the state is as diverse as it is large. Making the move to Texas could be just the thing for someone looking to find a great community. With its reputation for friendliness and Southern hospitality, the best places to live in Texas make for great spots to put down roots. 

Looking to get to know your new neighbors? Research shows that being plugged into a community can have long term benefits on brain health. Researchers at Brighton and Sussex Medical School studied the cognitive abilities of participants in childhood and then again in old age. Results showed that those who participated in six or more enriching community activities (volunteer work, gardening, clubs, etc.) scored an average of 1.53 points higher than their counterparts. 

Another recent study from researchers at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona found that happiness does not come with increased wealth, but rather, from family, community, and time in nature. Life in Texas offers each of these things abundantly. With family-friendly cities, warm and welcoming communities, and access to year-round Southern sunshine, it’s no wonder that new citizens flock to the state each year. 

Considering making the move to warm, friendly, and exciting Texas? As the saying goes, everything is bigger in Texas, and the same is true for the list of potential destinations. To help trim down your options, StudyFinds gathered expert opinions from around the internet and put together this list of the top five best places to live in Texas. Don’t see your favorite? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!

The List: Best Places to Live in Texas, According to Experts

1. San Antonio

Coming in at number one on our list, San Antonio is a dream destination for history lovers and foodies alike. “Home of the Alamo, the city of San Antonio is full of history and Hispanic culture—not to mention great food for Tex-Mex and barbecue lovers,” says Ramsey Solutions.

“San Antonio is the perfect blend of Mexican and Texan cultures, a melting pot that gives us a glimpse into a potential future for the state,” adds HomeCity

But San Antonio has far more to offer than just barbeque and the Alamo. “San Antonio is considered one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States and the 7th largest city by population,” MovingWaldo notes.

Full of year-round sunshine, culture, and community, the city makes a fantastic place to call home for people of all interests. “Its dispersed outward growth allows residents to enjoy the benefits of a large city while still feeling like they live in a small town,” says HomeCity.

canal in Texas
Alamo Plaza in San Antonio (Photo by weston m on Unsplash)

2. Austin

As the capital, Austin earns its reputation as one of the state’s best cities to live in. With a lively downtown, active music scene, and friendly community, it’s a great place to both visit and call home. According to residents, the city is full of personality. “Located in the heart of Texas, Austin is known first for being ‘weird’—and the hippy, grungy locals that make up this cultural melting pot want to keep it that way,” says Ramsey Solutions

Whether you love to explore new restaurants, spend time in the sunshine, or enjoy a live show, Austin has more than enough to offer. “From SXSW in the spring to Austin City Limits in the fall and every night in between on Sixth Street and South Congress, you can hear the best music in the world here,” Bankrate says. “When you’re not in a club for a show, you can be outdoors hiking, biking or relaxing on one of the city’s patios, thanks to more than 300 days of sunshine and an average temperature of 68 degrees.”

Of course, there’s more to a city than its fun activities. But when the weekend is over and it’s time to get back to work, Austin is still a great place to be. “The metro area is one of the fastest-growing in the country as companies often relocate their headquarters or core operations to the tax-friendly state,” notes Forbes. “The area is also becoming quite a tech hub with a growing presence from giants like Tesla, Google and Apple,” Ramsey Solutions adds.

skyline at night
Austin skyline (Photo by Carlos Alfonso on Unsplash)

3. Fort Worth

If you’re moving to Texas for its Southern roots, Fort Worth might just be the city for you. Even in 2023, the city still tips its cowboy hat to the Texas of old. “Moving to Fort Worth will set you right in the middle of cowboy culture without completely stripping you of modern conveniences,” says LifeStorage. “From stockyards to worn down brick roads and an overall country aesthetic, there is a lot to appreciate about the vibe here.”

Life in Fort Worth is also more affordable than in many of its neighboring cities. For those looking to stay within a reasonable budget, Fort Worth offers all the excitement and amenities of its neighbors at a far lower cost. “The city remains among the places with low violent crime rates, low cost of living, and affordable housing in Texas,” says North American.

“It enjoys all the same urban perks as its sister-city Dallas, without many of the downsides such as high violent crime rates, low growth, and unaffordability,” HomeCity adds.

string of shops in Texas
Downtown Fort Worth (Photo by Fallon Michael on Unsplash)

4. Houston

Big city lovers and career builders will find their ideal home in Houston thanks to its sizable population and booming job market. “The Houston metro area attracts people with an entrepreneurial spirit and those who want to work at some of the country’s largest companies,” claims US News.

“The city is home to Fortune 500 companies such as Center Point Energy and FMC Technologies, creating hundreds of jobs yearly,” North American adds. 

Off the clock, Houston has lots to offer its nearly 7 million residents. “When you’re not in the office, there’s no shortage of fun thanks to a packed calendar of annual festivals to attend, major league sports teams to root for and a collection of museums to learn about everything from cowboy history to printing,” says Bankrate. “NASA nerds can marvel at the space initiatives of the nearby Johnson Space Center. Sports fans can cheer on pro teams like the Astros, Texans and Rockets. Southern culture enthusiasts can ‘get their country on’ at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo—the largest livestock exhibition and rodeo on the globe,” Ramsey Solutions lists.

water fall
Water Wall Fountain in Houston (Photo by Chad Kirchoff on Unsplash)

5. Dallas

Rounding out our list, Dallas is a city full of shopping, food, and culture. As the largest city in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, it is a hub that connects its neighboring communities. “Dallas is the center of North Texas culture and the anchor that allows for the prosperity of all the Dallas-Fort Worth suburbs,” claims HomeCity. “Indeed, Dallas is North Texas’s economic and cultural hub,” adds Improovy.

Dallas residents have plenty to do for fun thanks to a thriving downtown full of restaurants, bars, parks, shopping, and much more. For art lovers, history lovers, and beyond, “Dallas is home to some of the best museums, galleries, and cultural accomplishments the Lone Star State has to offer,” says HomeCity.

For even more excitement, “Dallas hosts the Texas State Fair, [which] offers some of the craziest fried food you can think of, including lemon pie balls, gumbo balls and shrimp etouffee,” adds Ramsey Solutions.

city skyline during night time
Dallas skyline at night (Photo by Gabriel Tovar on Unsplash)

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This article may contain affiliate links.


    1. Truly spoken. None of those places are worth living in. Must be a liberals point of view. I live in Texas so I know what I am talking about.

    2. Who paid for this article? Those are the worse cities in Texas. Houston stays in the top 5 murder capitols in the US. Austin has defunded it’s police so crime has skyrocketed. Stay away…go rural.

  1. These are all Blue cities with high crime rates. Houston has no zoning laws. Choose wisely. Live outside the counties of these cities.

  2. El Paso is much much safer than Austin or Houston. Austin is so overrun with crime, homelessness, and unaffordable housing.

    1. Could they have put any less effort into making a list of the best places to live in Texas? Most Texans can list the 5 largest cities. And none of these would come close to the best places to live in Texas. The cities listed above also have things like the highest crime rates, high poverty, lowest scholastic scores and homeless folks. I would argue that the best places to live anywhere, even outside of Texas if you must, would be the small rual towns. Low crime, high test scores, lower unemployment and the best part, that everyone knows everyone farmilliar feeling. Whatever happened to caring about your family, friends, neighbors, and God? Now whats important are the shops, resturaunts, theaters, and night clubs. We need to go back to a simpler way of life before it’s too late.

  3. All big cities. Nothing more than an attractant article to the liberals attempting to escape the lib states. The result will be devastating to Texas in the long run; courtesy of asshats like you trying to turn Texas blue.

    1. I lived in San Antonio over 60 years and love it here, but surprise we are No.1? I would put Little Elm, Frisco, and Plano in the top 5. So beautiful and upcoming. Shopping, the food and music doesn’t compare. When you visit those cities you really are on vacation!! I think we missed it on the top 5 cities. Try again.

  4. Wow, how very insightful. You picked 4 of the biggest liberal cesspools in all of our great state. You must not be a Texan….. or, well, maybe you’re part of the liberal cesspool

  5. screw the carcinogenic coast and those Dallas snobs. IT’s all about vaquero country & life behind the pines.

  6. What an absolute garbage take. The author must have put in countless hours listing the top 5 cities in TX other than maybe El Paso (sarcasm). El Paso could have been included since most everyone refers to Dallas and Ft. Worth as DFW and not separately.

  7. Anywhere in Texas is ok by me. Houston has more refugees/immigrants then any city in the USA. Makes living here exciting. Best state in the best city in the USA! God bless America and pray for the big REVIVAL

  8. Waco should have been listed. It is a good city with alot of history as well. The city is growing everyday day. Many major businesses are moving to Waco.

  9. Where do yall get your info from, other than Fort Worth, and maybe San Antonio, these are the worst places to live in Texas. Really need to do some true fact searching and you would have known that

  10. Austin was a great place to live back in 1975. It is now just another big, dirty city. Roadways have not kept up with population growth, so now every hour is Rush Hour. 6th Street “great music venue” is an excuse for hundreds of people to get drunk. We now have homeless encampments which are barely being addressed by our laissez faire city council. Housing prices are some of the highest in the nation. No one will move here based on your rosy portrayal, though. They can’t afford it!

      1. Fort Woth is the most conservative large city in the Nation! Austin is a cess pool of liberalism and shows it!

  11. San Antonio has a lot to do just plan on spending most of your time driving. The traffic sucks and you will waste all your time driving. Not to mention the horrible drivers that don’t understand right of way and cross the solid lines whenever then want to. It use to be easy driving as little as 10 years ago but yes now the fastest growing and the infrastructure is crap. I live here and plan to move soon.

  12. I could not agree with you more!!!!
    Young intelligent, progressive minded, with some great business instruction is the reason why Austin, Houston, El Paso & closing of course with a great deal of fun, San Antonio!
    Of course conservative minded , control freaks with a racist bigoted background want nothing to do with fun loving , personable good natured folks.

  13. I’m a native Texan. Don’t move to Texas, stay where you’re at. All the yankees and californians are ruining this once friendly state. Everything is expensive now. Matter of fact why don’t all the non-native Texans move back where you came from. We native Texans want our friendly state back!

  14. Every one just needs to pray more and watch the kind of company that they be around and don’t do crazy things .

  15. This is a really bad list if you’re actually looking for a place to live in Texas. Houston is the most soul crushingly ugly concrete sarcophagus I’ve ever been in but its cheap. In San Antonio you’ll most likely have your car stolen nowadays. Can’t speak for any other on the list but I’d expect them to also suck. If you want that sweet spot of cheap living and easy to get jobs in Texas smaller less known towns are my suggestion. Good place to raise a family but if you want to have fun maybe the Austin and San Marcos area would be for you.

  16. Wow, this must have been written by a city boy/girl! Only good place to live is big city? What about wanting a relaxing small town atmosphere but access to amenities? Like Roundrock or Frisco or even Bryan/College Station with TAMU and the Bush Library? Also, Houston?

  17. So the five largest and most well known cities in Texas? Got it. Ask someone from New York to name a city in Texas and they’ll name one of these lol.

  18. What about Katy, people are great churches are plentiful beautiful schools,great restaurants.
    We have been in Katy and are pleased.

  19. Lived in El Paso good city to grow up in. San Antonio as an Adult has been good crime just like other big cities but have not been affected. I am comfortable and retired here.

  20. Check the new crime stats in Austin and Houston. Drop those off your list for sure. Austin is losing it’s police force and crime numbers are climbing.

  21. This place sucks! I wouldn’t move here. I’m waiting for when the time comes so I can leave this hell hole.
    Texans think it’s the greatest place but it’s depressing. Your electricity will go out with the smallest wind blowing. The food sucks TExMex yuck! The people are over barring and obnoxious and don’t know how to drive. Their beaches are nasty. Besides my family and wife having her family here I would gladly move back to California, Nevada he’ll even Arizona. This place is soul killing.

    1. apparently you must live in some place where you have not installed proper lines. I have lived west tx and east TX currently live in Dallas fort worth for Forty plus years. Go Back to where you came from… Thank you

  22. Not sure where they got their information on best cities to live in Texas, they better check again! Don’t even put Waco in there either.
    Out of all, Ft. Worth the best.
    All these cities listed are now over crowded dirty cities. Yes lots of food places and things to do, but not to live in. And I am a Texas girl.

  23. Texas has it’s problems, like defining the 2nd Amendment as having a right to carry a sword !! The archaic employment laws are designed to allow companies to “fire at will” and they do !! Massive Mexico illegal immigrant problem and Violence is quite prevalent !! I should know family history is over 6 generation Texan.

  24. Amarillo is a good place to relocate to because there’s a bunch of slaughter houses in or near by the city that hire almost anyone who walks in the door, and u can find relatively cheap apartments and the locals are friendly… I write this as there’s a dust storm and the air outside smells like cow shit…..

  25. Editor: “ I need you to write an article of the top 5 places to live in TX.”
    Virtual Assistant: “Alexia, what are the 5 biggest cities in Texas?”

    “Well that was easy.”LOL

      1. How is what [email protected] said racist? He invited people who don’t already live here in Texas to not move here and ruin it by trying to change it. He never claimed to own it. Playing the race card was unnecessary and ridiculous in itself.

  26. The writer of this article is clearly clueless as not one city named is worthy of such recognition. Being as I have lived here in Texas all my life, you could not pay me enough to even think about living in any of these listed cities. However, if you are looking for high gangster crime, pollution and unstoppable traffic delays, any one of these cities would suite you just fine.

  27. San Antonio is number one?! This place is an absolute shithole!! Shootings, drive bys, robberies, car jackings, you name it, on a daily basis. This place is nothing what it used to be. It’s dirty here, lots of homeless, lots of drugs, not a lot of work above minimum wage, and it’s WAY over populated for the roads. LA traffic compares during rush hour, but there is traffic here 24/7! Go to FT Hood, or out of Texas.

  28. This list is ridiculous if I made a list as a 40 year native Houston would be about 100. Tyler is the best place to live in Texas. If you love vid city it’s Austin or San Antonio.

  29. I’m a 75 year old native Texan. Apparently these “experts” are on some REALLY bad drugs! Texas has alot of really nice places to live, but these 5 AIN’T any of those.

  30. Austin should NOT be on that list! Horrible Traffic alone is reason enough to axe it plus liberal idiots lead the city. Fort Worth is the epic center of best museums and cultural activities. Certainly over Dallas! Who wrote this inaccurate article!???

  31. Nobody ever gives El Paso the shine it deserves. It’s a great place to live. A lot of business opportunities. Especially with the growth of Horizon City.

  32. 40! years ago the big cities in Texas were nice. Today there are too many foreigners and you can not shoot them like in the past. Go live where the Sheriff is the first guy that meets you at the entrance.

  33. Oh sure! Texarkana is turning 150 years of being a city this year, and you’re not going to recognize it?! You suck! It’s one of the nicest cities where people can gather downtown for events and things that our Museum Systems and Arts department does every weekend!

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