Texas is a huge state with stunning nature scenes of raw beauty and warm, friendly people as well. There are many Texas cities and towns that make idyllic retirement places. Review our 10 favorite and best places to retire in Texas below.
1. El Paso
The metro Texas city of El Paso is attractive to many retirees. This city has lots of outdoor activities that can be enjoyed year-round, and El Paso is a vibrant and thriving cultural hub as well.
Lowered housing and cost of living expenses, access to top healthcare facilities, the city's nearby scenic spots, where canoeing, fishing, hiking, golfing and more fun activities can be pursued, along with state-of-the-art sports, music and other entertainment venues make this city an ideal retirement destination.
There are many green spaces, nature parks and indoor recreational centers for seniors who wish to remain active.
There are also many fine restaurants of every cultural persuasion, upscale retail shops and affordable shopping plazas and malls, lots of museums and tourist related attractions to see and many community events to enjoy like the Franklin Mountains Trail Run and the Plaza Classic Film Festival.
- Franklin Mountains State Park
- See a show at the restored Plaza Theatre
- Take the El Paso Mission Trail – see historic Spanish mission stations – hiking trail, food venues, art galleries and visit the Tigua Indian Cultural Center
- Browse the Centennial Museum and Chihuahuan Desert Gardens
- Visit the stunning Magoffin Home State Historic Site – historic mid-Victorian era family home
- El Paso Museum of Art
- See the Fort Bliss and Old Ironsides Museums
- Plan to visit the Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site
The charming town of Austin is well known for its arts and culture venues and festivals that draw many outsiders to this region to enjoy live music festivals, like the Austin City Limits Music Festival and other community events. It is easy to spot the vibrant murals painted on buildings throughout the downtown area.
Austin is a wonderful city to retire in for its lowered housing and living costs, friendly neighborhoods, lots of outdoor areas to explore, great healthcare options, unique local stores to shop along South Congress Avenue, a.k.a. SoCo, restaurants and other eateries.
There are also lively entertainment and bar options on Rainy Street, live music events on Sixth Street along with tons of local coffee shops and breweries.
- Enjoy water adventures like fishing and canoeing in Lady Bird Lake – centrally located with hiking and biking trails as well
- Zilker Botanical Gardens
- Zilker Metropolitan Park – see Bartons Springs Pool
- McKinney Falls State Park – camping, hiking, biking, wildlife and birdwatching opportunities
- See the Cathedral of Junk – a must-do activity
- Hit the trendy boutiques and eclectic shops and dining venues along South Congress Avenue
- View the Enchanted Rock – located in downtown Austin
- Enjoy live music at Stubb’s, The Elephant Room, the Continental Club or Cedar Street Courtyard
- Grab a cold brew at Austin Beerworks or Lazarus Brewing
- See spectacular scenic views from Mount Bonnell
McAllen is far more than a simple border town in the great state of Texas. This large city offers plenty of cultural events and venues from interesting museums, theaters, music performances and venues, upscale shopping, fine dining and so much more.
The warmer climate and scenic location of McAllen, in the beautiful Rio Grande Valley, attracts many retirees and tourists especially in the colder months of the year.
Since its beginning, McAllen has always been an important trade center and has a large and widespread south-of-the-border cultural inspiration that is evident in the city's historic homes, churches and other architectural structures.
In addition, there is a decidedly Hispanic influence on the city's foods, music and art. Senior residents enjoy lots of outdoor recreation options, access to topnotch healthcare facilities and a lowered cost of living expense.
- Walk across the famed hanging bridge at nearby Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge
- The Landmark – good food and drinks and live music with Miami-inspired, tropical club vibe
- International Museum of Art and Science or IMAS
- Spa La Posada – relax and get luxurious spa treatments
- Attend a Mexican music festival – Catrina Festival
- Plan to stay at the upscale Casa De Palmas – local Spanish-inspired resort hotel
- See exotic Spanish gardens and many bird species at Quinta Mazatlan – historic Spanish-styled mansion and gardens
- Attend Movies in the Park – pack a picnic lunch
- The McAllen Art Walk – September through May on first Friday of the month
- McAllen Performing Arts Center
Located in the middle of East Texas, Mineola is a friendly small town that is ideal for living a fulfilling retirement lifestyle. The low cost of living expenses, affordable housing and the spectacular scenery with a wide variety of outdoor activities to pursue all make moving here a smart choice.
The historic downtown area offers many restaurants, unique shops and convenient professional service businesses, and Mineola boasts an upscale golf course and country club along with a beautiful Mineola Nature Preserve and city parks. Dallas is just 1 1/2 hours away with all its urban amenities.
- Iron Horse Square located downtown – ride the famed Mineola Mini Train – picnic and playground areas and community event location
- Mineola Country Club
- Mineola Civic Center RV Park – camping and more
- Mineola Historical Museum – learn about regional history
- Shop the quaint Mineola Downtown Historic District
- Mineola Main Street Wine Train
- Mineola's May Fiesta Day – arts and crafts
- Iron Horse Heritage Festival
- Watch a show at the historic Select Theater
5. San Antonio
Located near the beautiful Texas Hill Country, San Antonio is a mix of old-world style and modern city amenities. This is home to the historic Alamo site along with many other intriguing historical landmarks.
Residents can shop till they drop at the Historic Market Square, and scenic Brackenridge Park is a terrific place to unwind amidst the beauty of the Japanese Tea Garden that is present here.
San Antonio is an ideal retirement locale with its easy access to top healthcare facilities, low cost of living expenses and affordable housing. Along with the Alamo, the city's famed San Antonio Missions have been claimed as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2015. This city is considered one of the fastest growing cities in the United States in recent years.
- The Alamo – famous historic landmark where the battle between Texas and Mexico was won
- Stroll the 15-mile San Antonio River Walk – meanders through downtown
- San Antonio Missions National Park
- See bats up close at Bracken Cave – visit at dusk
- The Quadrangle and The Tower of the Americas in Hemisfair Park are must-see attractions
- Buckhorn Saloon and Museum
- San Antonio Museum of Art
6. Fort Worth
Fort Worth began as a trading post, and today draws many retirees looking for a mostly modern Texas city that is near to Dallas in the state's glorious North Central Texas region.
The housing here is relatively affordable for most, and this area is home to many topnotch healthcare facilities along with many cultural draws like fine restaurants, upscale shopping, museums, theater and much more.
Hit the lively Rockin’ the River shows at the Panther Island Pavilion featuring live concerts during the summer months. Tour Log Cabin Village which is a 19th century village replica with historic buildings and costumed guides. Step back in time at the Fort Worth Stockyards District. This is an 1800s era historic city district.
- Take a fun and alcohol-infused Cowtown Cycle Party
- Tour Southfork Ranch – famous as the TV ‘Dallas' series movie site
- Visit the Texas Motor Speedway – drive a NASCAR car or ride along with a skilled driver
- Head to Sundance Square to shop, hit the art galleries or grab a bite to eat
- Visit the Cowgirl Hall of Fame
- See the Fort Worth Water Gardens
- Take an invigorating hike at Eagle Mountain Park
- Attend the Four Day Weekend Show – famed comedy troupe
7. Corpus Christi
Corpus Christi is an enchanting seaside town that offers plenty of recreational pursuits, city attractions, affordable housing and a laid-back and friendly overall vibe that attracts many seniors eager to live their best years near the water.
This is home to the Hans & Pat Suter Wildlife Refuge, where local wildlife is featured, and the famed Padre Island National Seashore.
Get a glimpse of the area's interesting maritime history by seeing the USS Lexington. The Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History offers more on the region's historical narrative through the years. Corpus Christi also has an upbeat arts scene along with boasting a wide variety of delectable food venues and trendy shops and boutiques.
- Stroll the South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center
- See stunning artwork at The Art Museum of South Texas
- Browse the Texas State Aquarium
- Learn about surfing and fishing at the quaint Texas Surf Museum
- Tour the music legend Selena Museum – costumes, musical history and exhibits dedicated to this Latin pop artist
- View the stunning Corpus Christie Harbor Bridge
- See a game at Whataburger Field – sports field
- Ride the horses, and/or attend a Ranch Cookout or Hayride at Horses on the Beach
- Eat delicious and fresh seafood at Snoopy's Pier – local restaurant
- Tour the Art Center of Corpus Christie
Fredericksburg is situated in Central Texas with quick and easy access to nearby cities of San Antonio and Austin. Many seniors have retired in this historic and beautiful city due to its moderately lowered tax rate, affordable housing and nearby access to great healthcare and urban amenities.
There are lots of small, local shops, dining venues and other attractions that appeal to tourists and residents alike. This is a fabulous retirement destination that features many historical sites and museums along with some gorgeous scenery and spectacular views.
Known as the “peach capitol of Texas,” a visit to one of the local peach orchards should be on everyone's must-do list.
- Take a weekend tour of the famed Fredericksburg Wineries – various tours, live music, wine tasting and more
- Tour the Pioneer Museum or browse the National Museum of the Pacific War
- View the Japanese Garden of Peace – part of the above National Museum of the Pacific War
- See Wildseed Farms
- Shop for antiques, clothes, art and more along Main Street
- See the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park – short drive away with LBJ Ranch and other exhibits
- View the inspirational stained glass and other artwork at St. Mary's Catholic Church
- Visit Fort Mountain Scott
The cultural mecca named Houston is the largest city in Texas. In addition, the city is the fourth largest city in the country and boasts many fine art and history museums, upscale dining options, exclusive shopping sites and is home to many of the state's best healthcare centers.
The large variety of different activities, reasonable housing costs and a lower tax rate than the national average attracts many seniors looking for their dream retirement spot.
There are over 10,000 different restaurants and dining venues here, and the food choices include many international varieties like Indian, Japanese and Ethiopian among many others. Houston is made up of many different neighborhoods and hosts many community events throughout the year that includes its Art Car Parade and Houston Rodeo.
- See the fabulous dinosaur exhibits at The Houston Museum of Natural Science
- Take advantage of NASA Space Center and City of Houston Tours
- Stroll McGovern Centennial Gardens at Hermann Park – south of downtown Houston
- The Houston Zoo and a golf course are also located within Hermann Park
- Miller Outdoor Amphitheatre – see live music, dance and theater shows
- View beautiful butterflies at Cockrell Butterfly Center
- Tour the Museum of Fine Arts – see Houston's 6 amazing art museums
- Relax and unwind at Buffalo Bayou Park
- Shop at Historic Market Square Park
- Catch a show at Houston Theater District
Situated northwest of Austin, the charming small town of Burnet is perfect for seniors who enjoy a more suburban lifestyle with close access to outdoor nature and recreational areas.
Residents can catch fish for their dinner at nearby Lake Buchanan, explore an underground cavern, with a river running through it, and take a boat cruise along the scenic Colorado River.
The Burnet Historic Courthouse Square is a popular meeting place built in 1937 that features an impressive old-west architectural design style. The town holds an Annual Bluebonnet Festival each year the 2nd week of April. The low crime rate, affordable housing and lowered cost of living expenses make this town an excellent retirement destination.
- The Fort Croghan Grounds and Museum – learn details regarding local history
- Longhorn Cavern State Park – explore a famed local underground cavern with historic lore and underground river
- The Highland Lakes Squadron – see WWII air force planes and other artifacts
- Improve your game by playing golf at The Delaware Springs Golf Course
- Tour Falkenstein Castle – a European-inspired castle on 400+ acres
- Play outdoor sports, swim in indoor pool, enjoy a waterpark or picnic at The Galloway & Hammond City Park
- See vintage motorcycles at The Hill Country Motorheads Motorcycle Museum
FAQs about retiring in Texas
1. What type of climate and terrain exist in Texan cities?
The terrain and climate vary a lot between cities due to the large area of this huge state. Retirees can find seaside towns, modern metropolises and beautiful scenic regions like towns in the Texas Hill Country.
Most Texan towns have four seasons, but those cities near the Gulf of Mexico and coastline are generally warmer and more tropical in description. Other regional cities see significant snow depending on the location.
2. What is Texas best known for that would entice retirees to move there?
Texas is famous for its barbecues, its massive oil industry and stunning ranches that dot the countryside. This state also boasts some of the top healthcare systems in the country, affordable housing and a lower than the national average rating in taxes and cost of living expenses.