Thinking about moving to the Lone Star State? There's plenty of room -- at nearly 270,000 square miles, Texas is the largest state in the contiguous United States and the second largest in the nation, behind Alaska. But its huge size also means the choices of where to live can be a little overwhelming, especially if you don't have a particular region or metro area in mind.
Some cities, suburbs and neighborhoods stand out across Texas' great expanse. If you're still trying to get the lay of the land and find the neighborhoods that are best suited for you, this guide should be helpful in your search.
There is plenty of room for the moving truck on Houston's streets. The city is Texas' largest, and it's the fourth largest in the country. You'll find the biggest medical complex in the world, the Texas Medical Center, right in the middle of this gigantic metropolis.
Other major industries in Houston are oil and petroleum, and as the home of NASA, it's also our terrestrial hub for aeronautics and space exploration.
It's not all work and no play. Houston also offers great food, great culture, and lots of sports. You can cheer on the Houston Astros, Texans, Dynamo, and Rockets -- and those are just the professional teams. Or, for something different, check out the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
Major suburbs around Houston include:
Now let's head north to Dallas. This city is certainly worth some cross-country moving. It is a major force in the oil and cotton industries, as well as in information technology. Also, many production companies from Hollywood prefer to shoot Texas-centric material in the greater Dallas area. With the major city of Fort Worth just a short distance west, the sprawling metroplex constitutes the fourth largest metropolitan area in the nation.
If you are a sports fan, you will enjoy watching the Texas Rangers as well as the Dallas Mavericks, Stars, and Cowboys. Like other areas of Texas, Dallas is mix of Southern hospitality and Western flair.
Major suburbs around Dallas include:
Located near the center of the state is Texas' capital city. Known as the "Live Music Capital of the World," it is home to the University of Texas as well as many other colleges and universities.
Austin has a fabulous arts and culture scene, and the terrain is quite hilly, unlike the rest of state. The top industries for employment opportunities can be found in the fields of technology, filmmaking, government, health-care and education.
Major suburbs around Austin include:
Just south of Austin is San Antonio, the city that brings to mind the famous phrase, "Remember the Alamo!" In the downtown area, you will find the River Walk, which has many shops and restaurants and serves as an entertainment hub for the city
Though many companies are headquartered in San Antonio, the city is well known for its edge in the biomedical field. And local sports fans can cheer on the San Antonio Spurs from right at home.
Major suburbs in San Antonio include:
Whether you're looking for a good place to raise a family or a home that's full of activities to match your lifestyle, you can find the best city for you in Texas.
Livability.com puts Harker Heights at the top of its list for family-friendly towns. Just outside of Fort Hood, Harker Heights is packed with family friendly entertainment options, parks and recreational facilities. It also has a large population of school-aged children, so your kids will never be lonely. Other cities that made the list include Pearland, Little Elm and the above-mentioned suburbs of Round Rock and Frisco.
Ready to mingle? Wallet Hub has pegged Austin as Texas' best city for singles and the 17th best spot for singles in the nation. With its huge live music scene and nightlife district, you won't have any trouble meeting other fun-loving singles here. Farther down the list, Houston ranked 26th, San Antonio 36th and Dallas 46th.
If you'll be making the move to Texas with your four-legged friend, you should find plenty of places to live in Arlington, which topped Apartment List's 2015 survey of American cities with the most pet-friendly rentals. There were several other Texas cities in the top 20, including Irving in 4th place, Garland in 11th, Harker Heights in 12th, Katy in 13th and Lubbock in 19th.
Is home just where you sleep when you're not camping? Then you might want to consider dropping anchor in Galveston, which ranked first in 55places' list of the best places to live in Texas for nature lovers. From beaches to forests, Galveston has it all, and without taking you far from civilization -- Houston is less than an hour's drive away. Other outdoorsy spots on the list include Brownsville, Amarillo and Grapevine.