Some of us don’t want to live in the hustle and bustle of a big city, but we don’t want the isolation of a super tiny town either. We want something right in the middle. A place where there are tons of things to do, but the traffic isn’t a nightmare. Luckily, there are plenty of places like that in Texas. Here are 11 of our top picks.
1. The Woodlands
The Woodlands gives you the big city vibe that we all like to enjoy from time to time without the horrendous traffic of Texas' metros. There's lots to do here including eating at unique restaurants, shopping, seeing a concert at the famous Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, and even spending some time outdoors at the George Mitchell Nature Preserve.
McKinney has that unmistakable small town feel that we all long for without being remote and isolated from modern society; it's the perfect balance. With its historic downtown district, low cost of living, and plenty of things to do as well as ample city parks to bring you closer to nature, it's a great place to live or just visit.
Suburbs have way more perks than drawbacks in my opinion. In Pflugerville, you're far enough from Austin to avoid the bumper-to-bumper traffic, but close enough to drive in and reap all the benefits of the city whenever you desire. However, the town itself has plenty to keep you busy - a water park, a beautiful lake (that's WAY less crowded than Lake Travis), and tons of festivals downtown year-round.
With a population of under 200,000, Amarillo is right in the middle of the totem pole as far as cities go. The beautiful Palo Duro Canyon is right nearby, and Cadillac Ranch and the historic Route 66 are both in the city, so I'd say it's a pretty awesome place.
Richardson is such a nice little community. It feels like a small town with its quaint downtown district while still having everything you could ever need to raise a family and live a modern life. It was actually rated in the top 100 places to live in America by livability.com!
6. Marble Falls
This Austin suburb might err more on the small town side, but given how close it is to the city, I'd say it can pass as an inbetweener. I can't even count how many things there are to do here. Between the lake, wineries, berry farms, restaurants (particularly Blue Bonnet Cafe), and the beautiful rolling hills in every direction on the horizon, I can't think of very many cities that trump this one.
Fredericksburg used to be a quiet little town, but with a recent influx of tourism, that much can't be said anymore. Personally, I'm glad more people are finding out about this gem. It's still a good size with a population of around 11,000, and more people are getting to reap the benefits of its wonderful healthcare system, beautiful historic buildings, and unbeatable nature spots. A win-win situation, for sure.
This town is so underrated. I hadn't even heard of it until I started doing research for this article! It's so sad that more people don't know about it considering how beautiful it is. There are 11 parks and hiking areas in the town alone, and it's been rated the safest city in Texas by safewise.com. Not to mention it's only minutes away from the DFW Airport.
Plano has been voted the second best place in America to raise a family by livability.com, and I can definitely understand why. There are plenty of places to get outdoors and be active like the Plano Aquatic Center and Arbor Hills Nature Preserve. The high school graduation rate is one of the highest in the countr, and the healthcare is top-notch. The food isn't half bad either - places like Poor Richard's Cafe (the oldest restaurant in the city) cook up down-home southern meals that will take you back to Sunday supper at grandma's.
Tyler is such a beautiful, perfectly-sized city in East Texas with so many things to do. From Caldwell Zoo and the largest rose garden in the country to museums and wildlife refuges, you won't be missing the biggest cities or smallest towns of Texas one bit.
Granbury is one of those cities that just feels safe and cozy. The historic town square and welcoming locals will make you feel right at home immediately. And with so many activities like an opera house, a lake and city beach, outdoor hiking trails, a brewery, and more, I can guarantee you'll never be bored here!
Have you ever been to one of these towns? What other towns in Texas are ‘just right?’