Southern charm, breathtaking views and unmatchable hospitality are only some of the wonderful things you’ll experience living in a small Texas town. While Texas has large metropolitan cities, such as Houston and Dallas, the real gems of Texan culture lie within the lesser-known rural destinations. In this article, we outline the best small towns to live in, visit, raise a family and more.
Most Affordable Rural Towns in Texas
Located in the central U.S., Texas has relatively low costs of living compared to California or New York. What’s even better is there are plenty of rural towns within Texas that fall below the national average when it comes to affordability. Here’s a few towns that we think are worth considering:
A suburb of McAllen, Alamo has a population of 19,000 (in 2019). Alamo has a Median Household Income of $39,275 and the Median Home Value is $70,600.
Monahans, west of Midland/Odessa, has a population of 7,500 (in 2019) with a Median Household Income of $68,125 and a Median Home Value of $88,200.
Synder is a small West Texas town with a population of 11,000 (in 2019) with a Median Household Income of $56,585 and a Median Home Value of $84,300.
Safest Rural Towns in Texas
Safety plays a large factor when deciding where to live. These small towns in Texas are among the safest in the state, and that’s why they make our list:
*Data according to Safewise.com
West of Houston, Fulshear has a population of 13,790 (in 2019) with a violent crime rate of 0.1% in 2020 and a property crime rate of 4.4% in 2020.
Hutto, a suburb of Austin, has a population of 26,924 (in 2019) with a violent crime rate of 0.4% in 2020 and a property crime rate of 3.2% in 2020.
Part of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, Fairview has a population of 9,220 (in 2019) with a violent crime rate of 0.2% in 2020 and a property crime rate of 5.7% in 2020.
Best Small Towns in Texas to Retire
Not everyone wants to retire in Florida. Texas has a plethora of small towns perfect for retirees, whether you’re looking to be near family, a medical facility or even part-time work. Here are a few of our top picks for perfect towns for retirement with a population of less than 100,000 residents:
About an hour northwest of San Antonio, Kerrville is nestled in the Texas Hill Country and is well known for its beautiful parks along the Guadalupe River and loads of outdoor attractions. With a population of about 23,000 (in 2019), Kerrville is the home of Texas’ Official State Arts & Crafts Fair and the Kerrville Folk Festival.
Known for its German roots, cultural arts, boutique shopping, wineries and hospitality, Fredericksburg is located west of Austin in the Hill Country and has a population of about 11,000 (in 2019). With a mild climate, low housing costs, low crime rate and a large percentage of retirees, this quiet town is a perfect place to settle for retirement.
Known as the “Heart of Texas” because of its central location, Brady has a population of about 5,500 (in 2019) and has one of the lowest housing costs in Texas, making it attractive for retirees. Plus, if you love Texas barbeque, you’ll get to enjoy the World Championship Barbeque Goat Cook-Off each year during Labor Day weekend at the town’s Richards Park.
Best Small Towns in Texas to Raise a Family
Deciding where to settle down and raise a family is a big decision. Rural towns in Texas can be a great option because they offer highly rated school districts, outdoor activities and safe neighborhoods. Here are a few small-town options to raise a family in Texas:
Mansfield has some of the highest rated schools in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, making it a top contender for great places to raise a family. In addition to education, Mansfield is home to over 800 acres of parkland and trails, including Elmer W. Oliver Nature Park.
Just 33 miles southeast of Austin, Bastrop is home to a lovely historic downtown, a state park and a stunning natural environment with an abundance of outdoor activities. The rich culture and focus on community are just some of the reasons Bastrop is the perfect place to raise a family.
Location in Central Texas, Waco is home to Baylor University and the famous Magnolia Homes. Though its population exceeds 100,000, Waco embodies the small-town feel with its tight-knit community. Nestled near the Brazos river, Waco is inviting and full of history and character. Many families are flocking to this Texas town to experience its charm and southern hospitality. Looking for the perfect neighborhood? Try looking to settle in Woodway, Hewitt or Lorena.
Best Small Towns In North Texas
North Texas is among the fastest growing areas in Texas, and for good reason. Chalk full of charm and hospitality, these rural towns offer community events, unique shopping and lovely neighborhoods which is why they make the list for best rural Texas towns to live in:
With a population just over 20,000 (in 2019), Murphy is located northeast of Dallas and offers a very rural feel for its residents. Murphy is a tight-knit and fun environment. Yearly events such as the Maize Days mini fair make it easy to interact with neighbors and build relationships within the community. The abundance of parks and recreation and low crime rate also make it an attractive place to settle down.
North of Dallas, Celina is a quaint little town with a population of 9,300 (in 2019) and is one of the fastest growing towns in Texas. The Celina community prides itself on their hospitality and town spirit. On Friday nights in the fall, the town fills the stands to cheer on the Celina High School football team. Celina residents also like to enjoy the diverse restaurants on Celina square and visit local parks.
McKinney, a growing Dallas suburb with a population of 173,000 (in 2019), is a great place to start a family. Though it has a larger population than many others on our list, McKinney still has a sense of strong community that you find in rural towns. McKinney has a very active historic downtown square with boutique shopping and unique restaurants; and it is home to holiday events such as Oktoberfest and Home for the Holidays. McKinney has a plethora of hiking and biking trails, community parks and dog parks making its motto “Unique by Nature” ring true.
Best Texas Hill Country Towns to Live In
The Texas Hill Country is nationally renowned for its wine culture, scenic views and diverse heritage, which makes the area highly sought after. Here are our top picks for Hill Country towns perfect to settle down in:
Located between Austin and San Antonio, this small river town is home to the famous Guadalupe River, ideal for floating, swimming and fishing. It’s waters run through the town creating a scenic landscape for residents. Filled with live music and German heritage, New Braunfels is home to shops, restaurants and the second most populous Oktoberfest celebration in America, Wurstfest.
Famous for being the smallest town in Texas, Luckenbach is the place where “everybody’s somebody.” Located near Fredericksburg, this town is well known for its western feel and plays host to several country music concerts throughout the year.
With shady oaks and winding roads, Wimberly is a charming town perfect for residents who want a quiet and scenic atmosphere. Nature lovers can enjoy Blue Hole Regional Park and Jacob’s Well, or take a drive to Devil’s Backbone. Looking for something indoors? Wimberley Valley Winery and local art galleries are perfect for afternoon outings.
Texas has always been an attractive state for people looking for good schools, southern hospitality, affordable housing and a booming job market. If you’re looking to move to Texas, a quaint rural town from the list above could be the perfect place to call home. Need help planning your move? Call us today at (844) 350-4285 to get started!