Moving to Texas? What to Know About Big & Small TX Cities

In this blog, we discuss the ins and outs of moving to one of Texas's big cities or small towns. Both urban and rural Texas have many selling points that would make for a great life if you're thinking about relocating to Texas.

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Wondering "Where should I move in Texas?"

There are a lot of great places in the Lone Star State to choose from. With a low cost of living and high rates of hospitality and southern charm, you really can’t go wrong. 

Texas boasts bustling metropolises, sweet small towns, and family-friendly suburbs in between. Today we’re breaking down the pros and cons of different places to live in the state – so you can decide where you want to call home. 

Why are so many people moving to Texas anyway? Read our other posts to learn more:

-Top 5 Reasons Why Everyone is Moving to Texas 

-What to Know Before Moving to Texas 

-Moving to Texas? Use this Moving Checklist (resource will be available soon)

Whether you’re moving to a big city or nestling into a small town, Energy Ogre is here to help make sure you save big on your electricity bill. Learn if we can help you.

Competitive Electricity? Energy Ogre’s CEO Explains

“Hi, I'm Jesson Bradshaw. I'm the CEO of Energy Ogre, and I'm here to talk to you a little bit today about the competitive electricity markets in Texas. For those of you that have been in the state for some time, you'll know that all the way back in 2002, we instituted retail choice for most of the metropolitan areas in Texas.

That means the greater Houston and Dallas metropolitan areas, as well as some other locations, in Corpus Christi, etc., those areas are open to retail competition, which means that there may be hundreds of different electricity providers with thousands of different rate plans that are available at any given time. It can be a little bit confusing, but I think it's a challenge sometimes for folks particularly that are moving into this state from places that have not had the opportunity to choose their retail electricity providers.

It's important to keep in mind that some of the municipal utilities and some of the other areas of the state are not open to competition. Some notable exceptions to the competition areas would be San Antonio and Austin and other places like Brownsville and El Paso, Texas as well.”

The Best Small Towns in Texas

Sure, you’ve heard of Austin or Houston. But the big bright lights aren’t the only places where Texas charm shines. There are many small towns throughout the state that deliver on culture, community, and a low cost of living. The following is a sample of some of the most cherished small towns in Texas:

  • Marfa – Located far out in West Texas, this town is famous for its arts community, unexplained Marfa Lights, boutiques, and museums.
  • Fredericksburg – Brimming with German heritage, this town is known for its wineries, museums, and country pride.
  • Wimberly – Live in the beautiful Texas hill country and enjoy swimming holes, underground caves, amazing views, live music and more.
  • Bandera – The Cowboy Capital of the World, this town is built around dude ranches, canyons and the best of frontier history.
  • Dripping Springs – With easy access to Austin, Dripping Springs features respected distilleries, shopping, dining and the oft-visited Hamilton Pool Preserve.
  • Round Top – Located between Austin and Houston, this sweet little town is full of historic southern charm.
  • Port Aransas – Looking for a beach town? This haven features 18 miles of beaches, a large birding community, great fishing and more.

What to Expect from Rural Culture

While Texas is known for its cowboys, cacti, and saloons (at least in the movies), our small towns provide a wide range of cultural experiences. Residents and visitors alike can enjoy live music venues and dance halls, country boutiques and modern art installations, good home cookin’ and the latest in food innovations.

Speaking of food, one of the best things small Texas towns are known for is barbecue, wineries, kolaches, and Tex-Mex. Some of our favorites include:

Texas’ smaller towns are rich in nature as well as culture. From crocodiles and armadillos to pine trees and swamps, our natural offerings run the gamut. And nature lovers can enjoy 80 state parks, two national parks, and 14 protected areas in the state. Many of these areas are near popular small towns or can be easily accessed by the bigger cities. Spend your time hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, birdwatching, and more.

National Parks

Noteworthy Texas State Parks

Texas small towns provide cozy corners of culture that make them great places to live. They often have more affordable land and housing, as well. 

However, there is less diversity both in the population and the culture displayed. Additionally, since the state is so large, small towns can become isolated from surrounding areas – so be prepared to drive often.

The Best Mid-Sized Cities in Texas

Small towns not for you? Texas boasts a great number of medium-sized cities that offer the best of both worlds. Some of these cities are suburban offshoots of Texas’ metropolises, while others are college towns or simply grew on their own:

  • Waco – This city has become known as the family-friendly home of Chip & Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Market, but also features Baylor University and other cultural landmarks.
  • Lubbock – Home of Texas Tech University, this friendly city has a history steeped in music, nature and family fun.
  • El Paso – A border town, El Paso has amazing Tex-Mex cuisine and is brimming with culture. It’s called “Sun City” because it averages 302 days of sun a year.
  • Fort Worth – 40 miles to the east of Dallas, Fort Worth is a big city with a small-town heart. Enjoy an authentic rodeo and honky tonk in the same place as high-class dining and modern arts.
  • Galveston – Established in 1825, Galveston offers a beachside seat to unique architecture, boutique shopping, seaside culture, and more.

What to Expect from Mid-Sized TX City Culture

Whether you’re coming from a big or small city, moving to a mid-sized city can give you a taste of all the best things Texas culture has to offer. From popular Texan chain restaurants to historic sites, you’re sure to find something to love.

Popular Sites:

Famous Fast Food Chains:

Mid-sized cities provide a little bit for everyone: small town feel and big-city amenities. However, those seeking a city escape may find the traffic and population density still too much. On the other hand, these cities still haven’t made the big leagues and may lack diverse culture and opportunities.

The Best Big Cities in Texas

They say everything is bigger in Texas – and they are right. Texas is home to four of the top 10 cities in the country! Moving to one of the state’s largest cities means access to top jobs, world-class arts and culture, diverse populations and more.

  • Houston – 4th largest city in America 
  • San Antonio – 7th largest city in America 
  • Dallas – 9th largest city in America 
  • Austin – 10th largest city in America

Big City Industries

The reason many people move to Texas is for work opportunities. And business is booming throughout the state! However, the most popular industries tend to thrive in Texas’ big cities. The largest industries in the state are:

  • Oil & Gas
  • Information & Technology
  • Energy
  • Hospitality
  • Health

Bustling Arts, Culture & Sports

Throughout Texas’ four largest cities you’ll find a wide range of world-class cultural and art experiences. For example, Houston boasts a world-renowned company in every performance art. 

Austin is known for its eclectic art scene (Keep Austin Weird) and its music festivals and venues (SXSW, anyone?). San Antonio is known for the Alamo and River Walk – and has the largest collection of colonial Spanish architecture on the continent.

Interested in sports? Houston and Dallas both offer professional sports leagues in football, baseball and soccer. 

Fans enjoy cheering for the Astros, Rangers, Texans, and Cowboys, among others at popular venues like NRG Stadium, Minute Maid Park, Cowboy Stadium and more.

For some extra Texas fun, consider attending the State Fair of Texas in Dallas, the largest state fair in America. Or, enjoy a day at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, the largest in the world.

See – everything IS bigger here. These events draw people from all over the state and beyond to come enjoy fair food, live music, games, rides, and other activities.

Live Music Venus & Festivals:

Enjoy some of the world’s best artists and bands right here in Texas. Join one of the following music festivals – or go to all of them.

The Best Suburbs In Texas

Living in a Texas suburbs has a lot of benefits including easy access to big-city amenities, low cost of living, good schools, and family-friendly activities. There are great suburban areas surrounding all of Texas’ major cities, but some shine brighter than others.

  • The Woodlands (Houston)
  • Katy (Houston)
  • Frisco (Dallas)
  • Southlake (Dallas)
  • Hutto (Austin)
  • Rollingwood (Austin)
  • Live Oak (San Antonio)

Each of these communities has its own personality, but all offer the same great benefits. The cons? Texas suburbs are growing fast and since many have to drive into town for work, traffic can be pretty heavy. Expect longer commutes – and start picking out your favorite podcasts.

Ready to move? Energy Ogre can help you save money on electricity. Learn how we can help you save today!

To help you with the move, download our moving checklist below. It’s a great resource to make sure you don’t forget anything.

Download "Moving to Texas" Checklist

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