- Southlake is the best in Texas for city-like amenities.
- Six out of the top 10 best suburbs for urban perks are part of the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metro area.
- Fulshear, part of the Houston metropolitan area, saw the most impressive population growth over the past five years, almost quadrupling its residents.
- Katy, TX, tops the charts for education.
Texas, a dynamic powerhouse of growth and opportunity, continues to be a captivating moving destination within the U.S. Nearly 600,000 Americans made Texas their new home in 2021 alone, according to the latest US Census data. With in-migration on a strong path, both newcomers and existing residents are seeking the best housing options for their needs — and budgets. Within the larger pandemic-influenced context, many people have rediscovered the benefits of suburban living.
The best part about the suburbs today is that they’ve come a long way from their sleepy, uninteresting feel of years past. Many suburban communities have seamlessly integrated a multitude of amenities and services, rivaling the allure of city living. Naturally, some places do much better than others in responding to active lifestyle needs, and that’s where research data comes in handy.
We looked at 75+ of the most popular Texas suburbs, those with populations ranging from 10,000 to 100,000 and ranked them based on various criteria, including:
- Residential factors (affordability, housing diversity, new construction)
- Business environment
- Shopping and dining options
- Health-related amenities
- Transportation options
- Self storage services
As it turns out, suburbs in D-FW are arguably the best in Texas when it comes to locations that blend urban and suburban perks — six of the top 10 suburbs in our ranking are located in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metroplex. But there are a few other places that rival the Dallas monopoly in terms of the quality of the suburban living environment.
If you’re searching for a new place to call home, here’s a rundown of the finest suburbs in Texas, those that fall right in the Goldilocks zone for suburban comforts and urban amenities:
1. Southlake, Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington
The prosperous Dallas suburb of Southlake impresses with its dynamic business environment, excellent schooling system and numerous retail and dining out options. There are over 63 businesses registered per 1,000 people, while the presence of numerous offices and coworking spaces eliminates much of the need to commute for decent work space if you’re a remote worker. The median household income, at almost $240K, is the highest among the Texas suburbs we analyzed, offsetting at least partially the pricy real estate market in the area.
Southlake is an excellent choice for families with children, with the Carroll Independent School District being one of the best-performing school systems in the state, if not the country. Moreover, the after-work activities in Southlake can easily match those you’d find in an urban location with plenty of fun things to do and see. The suburb has more than four restaurants and almost seven retail stores per 1,000 people, which means that dining out or shopping is never too far from home. Locals can also easily relax outdoors as the area features an impressive 1,100 square feet of park space per capita.
2. Boerne, Greater San Antonio
This cool little Hill County suburb, located only a half-hour from San Antonio, offers numerous city-like perks: a walkable downtown area known as Hill County Mile, with numerous dining out and shopping options, as well as an active local economy and good access to health care and education services.
The suburb’s population increased by 32% over the past five years, proof of its growing appeal. About a quarter of the local housing inventory consists of multifamily units, which helps newcomers find living solutions tailored to their needs. Public education in Boerne is top-notch: The suburb ranks fifth for this indicator among the 77 analyzed.
More than that, Boerne is also a very picturesque place to live, with a rich history and gorgeous architecture. The banks of the Cibolo River that flows through the city are dotted with historic properties, parks, trails, fishing piers and picnic tables, offering residents great alternatives for their free time.
3. Flower Mound, Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington
Flower Mound has seen impressive development in recent years, and it’s now a perfect place for those who seek peaceful living with a touch of urban convenience.
With a population of over 75K, Flower Mound is a 40-minute drive to downtown Dallas. The city is thriving economically with over 25 businesses per 1,000 residents and a median household income that stands at over $145K. It also provides good access to office and coworking spaces.
Flower Mound ranks first among the other Texan suburbs when it comes to the health indicator, ensuring good access to medical professionals and social assistance. Life expectancy reaches almost 80, while the obesity rate stands at 30% (ninth lowest among the 77 suburbs analyzed).
4. Prosper, Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington
Now at almost 29K residents, Prosper is a very sought-after location, with its population experiencing a whopping 89% growth over the past five years. Some of the reasons for this growing popularity include Prosper’s excellent public health and education systems, which make it a desirable place for families. The suburb ranks second for health in our ranking, and seventh for education, with students in this school district generally obtaining excellent scores in standardized tests.
The median household income in Prosper stands at almost $160K per year, making it one of the most affluent suburbs in the area. Although the housing stock in Prosper consists mostly of single-family homes, new construction is on a roll, with 51 housing unit building permits per 1,000 residents in 2022.
5. Cedar Park, Austin-Round Rock
Cedar Park is situated only about 16 miles to the northwest of downtown Austin — and you can get to the big city both by car and by train. The suburb itself is a sizeable one, with almost 75K residents and a density of almost 3,000 people per square mile, which gives it that lively, city-like vibe. About 23% of the housing inventory consists of multifamily buildings, ensuring easier access to housing for newcomers.
Economically, Cedar Park is thriving, with about 27 registered businesses per 1,000 residents, good access to coworking places and office space, and a median household income of over $110K. In terms of health-related amenities, Cedar Park ranks third among the Texas suburbs analyzed. Families with children will be happy to know that the local school district offers an excellent 13.4 students-to-teacher ratio.
Shopping and dining out options are plentiful, but, on top of that, residents have ample opportunities for outdoor activities: The Bushy Creek Regional Trail is an excellent hiking area for the entire family, and there are several parks in the area as well.
6. Fulshear, Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land
An up-and-coming suburb, Fulshear saw a fulminant growth over the past five years: Its population almost quadrupled, now reaching over 17K residents. New construction is flourishing, trying to keep up with the influx of newcomers: There were almost 174 building permits per 1,000 people in 2022. Several master-planned communities, such as Jordan Ranch and Cross Creek Ranch, that include many city-like amenities such dining out options, fitness centers, swimming pools, pocket parks and more, have already been developed in Fulshear, with new ones in the pipeline.
Fulshear, a suburb that only had 1,000 residents back in 2011, managed to develop an impressive business infrastructure in a short period of time as well: There are 30 registered businesses per 1,000 residents, and the median household income stands at over $170K per year. Fulshear is also the safest suburb among the 77 analyzed — combined with good rankings in both health-related amenities and education, this makes it an ideal place for young families.
7. New Braunfels, Greater San Antonio
The third largest in terms of population among the suburbs analyzed, with over 87K residents, New Braunfels is strategically located 31 miles northeast of San Antonio — and Austin is not that far away. New Braunfels residents are less than 50 miles away from Austin, which makes this suburb even more appealing for newcomers.
New Braunfels ranks fourth for the residential sector due to its relative affordability and housing diversity (30% of the housing units in this suburb are multifamily units). City-like amenities such as shopping and dining out options, office space, and coworking spaces are well represented. The walkable, historic downtown New Braunfels is one of the best places for doing business, going shopping, having a bite to eat or enjoying different types of entertainment.
The suburb excels when it comes to festivals and events that gather the local community together: Old Gruene Market Days, Guadalupe River Troutfest or the ever-popular Wurstfest, to name just a few. Another ace up its sleeve are the two rivers that flow through here, Comal and Guadalupe, which turned New Braunfels into a hub for aquatic and outdoorsy activities.
8. Coppell, Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington
This dense Dallas suburb, with almost 3,000 residents per square mile, offers a mix of amenities that replicate the best parts of a city-like lifestyle, from a thriving business environment to numerous health-related amenities and good-quality public education.
Coppell ranks second only to Southlake for business among the 77 suburbs analyzed. It has an impressive 36 businesses per 1,000 residents, a median household income of almost $131K per year and 161 square feet of office space per capita, plus coworking places.
Coppell also features almost four health care and social assistance facilities per 1,000 people, while its high-performing education system ensures that students in the area consistently rank high in standardized testing. In other words, it is a very tempting place for families with children.
The dynamic, walkable old town district provides access to shops, dining and entertainment. Coppell hosts numerous events and festivals revolving around live music, art displays and other performances.
9. Keller, Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington
Keller, another Dallas metro area suburb, ranks high in our top 10 due to factors such as its dynamic local economy, varied shopping and dining out options and access to excellent education. The affluent Keller has around 28 registered businesses per 1,000 residents and an annual household income reaching almost $150K per year.
The suburb ranks third for education among all the Texan suburbs analyzed, with a favorable students-to-teacher ratio of around 14, and with public school students generally obtaining good scores in standardized tests. Keller also registers almost four health care and social assistance facilities per 1,000 residents, helping it score sixth for this indicator.
Old town Keller is a flourishing area that has been recently revamped and is now hosting small, local businesses providing residents with access to shops, specialty boutiques, health and beauty services, restaurants and cafes.
10. Grapevine, Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington
Rounding out the top 10 of the best city-like suburbs in Texas is Grapevine, a Dallas suburb as well. Grapevine has the best housing diversity by far among the top 10 suburbs, with 42% of its housing stock consisting of multifamily units. The local economy is booming: Grapevine registers 46 businesses per 1,000 residents, and the median household income is a little under $100K.
Lifestyle-related amenities abound as well: about seven retail stores and four restaurants per 1,000 residents, plus a very generous almost 1,600 square feet of park space per capita. Grapevine does a good job in terms of transportation, with a median commute time of under 23 minutes. Grapevine has many walkable areas with beautifully preserved 19th and early 20th century buildings, venues that offer live entertainment, art galleries and so on.
The sustained migration into Texas from highly urbanized places such as California’s urban hot spots or New York City, and the rise of remote work are just some of the factors that influence Texans’ preferences toward city-like suburbs, further enhancing their appeal. City-like suburbs provide a distinctive fusion of urban and suburban advantages that harmonize seamlessly with contemporary lifestyles.
Here are 77 of the biggest suburbs in Texas, ranked by their ability to match urban life offerings:
77 Large Texas Suburbs Ranked by City-Living Flair
|Rank||Suburb||Housing Affordability Index||Building Permits*||Single Family Homes %||Population Change (5 years)||Population Density (people/sq. mi.)||Businesses*||Median Household Income||Office and Coworking Space Index||Retail Stores*||Restaurants*||Park Space/ Capita (sq. ft.)||Health Care & Social Assistance Access*||Obesity||Life Expectancy||Education Index||Crime Rate||Car Usage||Commute Time||Self Storage per Capita||Self Storage Rent|
|3||Flower Mound, TX||186||6.9||88%||7%||1,790||25.2||145153||337||2||2.2||653.5||3.2||30%||79.6||24.8||0.70%||77.40%||27||2||98.7|
|5||Cedar Park, TX||215||0||77%||18%||2,942||26.9||110478||178||3.8||2.2||514||3||31%||79.4||29.8||1.40%||74.80%||27.4||3.5||110.8|
|7||New Braunfels, TX||207||30.5||70%||30%||1,937||25.4||76890||222||3.1||2||208.8||2.3||35%||79.1||36||1.50%||88.30%||25||11.7||108.7|
|14||Farmers Branch, TX||215||16.3||52%||12%||3,038||41||77306||41||4||2.2||176.8||3||37%||77.8||54||2.10%||85.00%||22.6||0.9||147|
|15||San Marcos, TX||211||14.4||37%||12%||1,899||21.2||42500||269||4.7||2.2||372.2||1.4||30%||78.8||54||2.50%||83.20%||22.3||7.4||99.1|
|44||Little Elm, TX||193||28.6||76%||27%||2,532||8.1||101693||669||0.7||0.7||601.7||0.6||30%||79.6||56.3||0.50%||81.90%||36.7||2.7||104.4|
|57||La Porte, TX||270||8.2||76%||2%||1,909||20.9||78665||530||2.2||1.5||281.7||0.7||38%||78||38.5||1.50%||91.20%||25.4||4.8||99.6|
|58||Cedar Hill, TX||195||5.3||87%||3%||1,368||16.8||77703||671||3.2||1.8||2057.8||1.7||37%||77.8||55||2.00%||87.70%||31.7||4.1||110.8|
|62||Deer Park, TX||255||0.1||78%||2%||3,269||19.4||81558||457||1.7||1.6||113.8||1||38%||78||41||1.80%||93.60%||24.9||1.9||80.6|
|68||La Marque, TX||241||11.7||84%||16%||1,297||15.4||60042||719||2.8||1.6||355.8||0.6||36%||76.8||53.8||4.80%||92.80%||27.9||5.5||89.7|
|72||Balch Springs, TX||216||1.5||74%||9%||3,033||12.6||55817||778||3||1.5||162.2||0.4||37%||77.8||55.8||4.00%||94.40%||36.6||2.5||91|
StorageCafe analysis of U.S. Census, Yardi Matrix, Commercial Edge, Coworkingcafe, Department of Education, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, FBI and Trust for Public Land data
This analysis was done by StorageCafe, an online platform that provides storage unit listings across the nation.
To determine the top suburbs that offer the best urban and suburban living combined, we ranked 77 suburbs located in Texas’s major metropolitan areas. We considered as a suburb any place located within a large metro area and with a population of between 10,000 and 100,000 inhabitants.
The ranking is based on the suburbs’ overall scores. Overall scores represent an average of all the suburbs’ weighted scores based on the metrics presented below.
To calculate the number of retail stores, restaurants and health care and social assistance establishments related to population, we used U.S. Census data and made estimates based on ZIP code data.
To assess education, we created a ranking based on standardized test results, numbers of public schools per 1,000 locals and student-to-teacher ratios.
Obesity rates and life expectancy were calculated based on county-level data from the CDC.
The data on self storage costs was taken from Yardi Matrix, StorageCafe‘s sister division and a business development and asset management tool for brokers, sponsors, banks and equity sources underwriting investments in the multifamily, office, industrial and self storage sectors.
Fair use and distribution
This study serves as a resource for the general public on issues of common interest and should not be regarded as investment advice. The data is true to the best of our knowledge but may change if amendments to it are made. We agree to the distribution of this content but we do require a mention in return for attribution purposes.