Austin is the No. 2 Fastest Growing City in the United States.
Austin's got major appeal from its outdoor activities to its cultural institutions.
Dallas offers a combo of big-city and small-town life.
Big Tex is a Dallas icon.
Buffalo Bayou is a free Houston attraction.
Gatlin's got a shout-out.
Of course they didn't forget The Alamo.
San Antonio's Fiesta is an epic tradition.
Houston may have been getting the most restaurant buzz as of late, but that doesn’t mean it’s the shiniest star in the Lone Star State. There’s another much-hyped Texas city on the tip of everyone’s tongue nationally — Austin.
For the longest time, the charming capital has been seen as hands-down the best place, maybe even the only place, to visit in Texas. It’s often regarded as the main draw.
Between its myriad outdoorsy options, whether you’re into hiking or paddling, immense amounts of concerts and now cutting-edge tech, Austin’s got it all.
At the very least, it’s got enough to be crowned the No. 1 spot in U.S News & World Report’s 125 Best Places to Live in the USA. For the third year in a row.
How’s that for a dynasty? The Golden State Warriors don’t even win this often.
Austin came in as the three-peat champion with an overall score of 7.6, a quality of life score of 7.3 and a value score of 7.3.
But it wasn’t the only Texas city to get some love. Residents and fans of Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio needn’t fret too much. These classic Texas cities made the cut, too, with Dallas/Fort Worth No. 21, Houston No. 31 and San Antonio No. 34, respectively.
Six other Texas spots hit the exclusive list, too — Killeen at No. 101, Corpus Christi at No. 105, Beaumont at No. 108, El Paso at No. 110, McAllen at No. 112 and finally Brownsville at No. 116.
But Austin’s the one deemed the No. 1 city to live in all of America.
U.S. News & World Report gave a nod to Austin’s treasured history, from its bronze Stevie Ray Vaughan sculpture to the capitol and LBJ Presidential Library, along with its al fresco appeal and plethora of cultural institutions.
Of course, the nickname “Live Music Capital of the World” didn’t go unnoticed. The national magazine heaped praise on Austin City Limits, South by Southwest and the relative newcomer Fun Fun Fun Fest.
Dallas-Fort Worth, the next honored Texas area, got kudos for being a winning blend of suburban living and big-city thrills. Think a combo of cowboy or (Cowboys) life, Friday night football games, plentiful shopping and trendy bars.
And it’s all growing, with the Dallas region’s population booming from 5.8 million people in 2005 to more than 7.1 million today. The area earned a 7.0 overall score, 6.7 quality of life score and 7.1 value score.
Coming in at No. 30, Houston won U.S. News & World Report‘s heart with its entrepreneurial spirit and host of large companies.
Sure, the magazine’s point of focus wasn’t exactly glamorous, but it is amazing Houston weathered the economic downturn better than most, gaining back almost all of jobs lost and adding two jobs for every one lost.
Speaking of the economy, the publication points out how far you can stretch a dollar in the city, hitting up complimentary and cheap attractions like Buffalo Bayou.
Dining gets the briefest of mentions, with a shout-out to Gatlin’s BBQ and “award-winning establishments,” though none of the numerous ones are named.
San Antonio earned the No. 34 spot, largely thanks to its relaxed, inviting atmosphere and world-renowned attractions. It’s not just the home of the Alamo — it boasts the Six Flags Fiesta Texas theme park, too.
U.S. News & World Report doesn’t neglect to mention that there are a robust 50-plus festivals and major events yearly in San Antonio, like the Ford Holiday River Parade and Lighting Ceremony and Fiesta.
Even the proudest of San Antonians, Dallasites and Houstonians can’t argue the allure of Austin. Even if you’re loyal to your own city, it’s hard to deny the Keep Austin Weird crowd’s claim.
One thing’s for sure — no matter where you are, you can’t go wrong living in Texas.