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10 Best Places to Live in Texas for Young Adults

With a population of nearly 30 million, Texas is the second-largest state in the U.S. 

With its thriving food scene, diversity, unique cowboy culture, and friendly people, it’s no surprise that many young adults choose to live here. 

That being said, some cities in Texas are better suited to young working professionals than others. These areas balance work and pleasure perfectly — they offer plenty of job opportunities, music, restaurants, and outdoor activities. 

This article explores the 10 best places for young professionals in the Lone Star State, highlighting why each area is ideal. We also mention cities that may not be ideal for young adults so you can rest assured that you’ll choose the right place to call home. 

Why is Texas a great place for young adults?

Texas offers young adults career opportunities, affordability, and quality of life. Here are some main reasons you should consider living in Texas if you’re a young working professional. 

  • Thriving job market: Texas has a thriving and continuously growing job market. In August 2023, the state had 809,000 job openings — 35,000 more than in July of that same year. 
  • Affordable cost of living: The cost of living in Texas is 94.2, which is lower than the U.S. average. This means typical home costs, including housing, utilities, and groceries, are relatively low compared to other states. In many cases, even the most costly cities in Texas are more affordable than major cities in other states. For example, while the median rate of rentals in Austin, Texas, is $1,670, it’s $2,266 in Washington, DC. If you already have a job in Texas, you can determine how much you can pay in rent to ensure you don’t bite off more than you can chew. 
  • Vibrant nightlife: Certain cities and neighborhoods in Texas, such as Austin, Houston, and Dallas, offer vibrant nightlife with various bars, restaurants, and dance clubs for every taste and preference. 
  • Thriving food scene: Similar to its nightlife, some Texas cities offer unbeatable food scenes. For example, Dallas was recently featured in The New York Times as one of the cities with the fastest-growing food scene with its arrival of several high-end national restaurant groups, such as STK and Komodo. 
  • Abundance of outdoor activities: Texas has many outdoor activities, including biking, camping, and lodging in multiple tent pads and RV sites, walking and hiking in the national parks, and more. 

10 best places to live in Texas if you’re a young adult

Austin and Houston are some of the best Texan cities to live in for young working professionals. Not only do these areas have booming job markets, but they’re also rich in activities, such as art, music, nightlife, and restaurants. 

Below is a list of the 10 best places to live in Texas for young adults, including the top areas in Austin and Houston, as well as attractive locations in other cities with everything young adults could need. 

These neighborhoods were chosen based on several factors, including their thriving job markets, unbeatable nightlife and food scenes, and many outdoor activities. 

Top areas in Austin

With a population of over 974,000, Austin, Texas, is often regarded as the “crown jewel” for young professionals in Texas. 

Filled with abundant jobs, various recreational opportunities, and cultural diversity, it’s an incredibly popular city with a lot to offer. You can also find affordable rentals in Austin that suit your needs and lifestyle. 

1. Mueller

Once the site of the former Robert Mueller Municipal Airport, Mueller has now become a popular planned community for young professionals and eco-conscious families.

With its proximity to restaurants, retailers, and entertainment, you can cut travel time by half. The neighborhood is also only 4.5 miles from Downtown Austin and has public transportation and bus services, so you can avoid traffic and relax during your commute. 

Meuller has plenty of outdoor space to walk your dog or ride bikes — perfect for active young adults. There’s also a Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In just beyond Mueller’s borders where you can enjoy art-house or classic movies. 

Average rent price: $3,250 per month

2. Downtown Austin

With vast career opportunities in the heart of Austin, you won’t have to travel far for work or entertainment.

Here, you’ll find towering apartment buildings and many condos featuring stunning waterfront views due to their location along the Colorado River. 

You won’t ever have to leave Downtown Austin since you’ll have everything you could need, including restaurants, nightlife, job opportunities at its many tech companies, and more. 

The neighborhood is also filled with entertainment, including Paramount Theater and the Museum of the Weird, reminiscent of P.T Barnum and Bailey’s circus.

Average rent price: $3,110

3. South Lamar

South Lamar is ideal for young professionals looking for a fun and vibrant neighborhood. Home to the legendary Broke Spoke, a dance hall founded in the 1960s, you can let down your hair and dance the night away. 

If you’re one for karaoke, you can get a private karaoke room at The Highball. Locals also gather at well-known attractions, such as The Park on South Lamar, the Barton Springs Saloon, and the Aviary Wine + Kitchen. 

With its proximity to downtown (3.4 miles), you can also travel to work easily using the public bus service. 

Average rent price: $2,230

4. Zilker

Home to one of Austin’s most beloved outdoor spaces (Zilker Park), Zilker is an excellent neighborhood for young professionals who enjoy the outdoors. The park is home to the Zilker Botanical Garden, which offers stunning natural scenes. 

The area is also home to the Barton Springs Pool, fed by underground springs and offers 68-degree water nearly year-round. 

If you work in Downtown Austin, you only have to travel 2.5 miles to work — making Zilker the perfect location for work, live, and play. 

Average rent price: $3,000

Top areas in Houston

When searching for a great place to call home as a young professional, it’s all about finding a place that offers the right balance between work and play. Houston is just that, offering various job options and recreational activities. Renting an apartment in Houston is also a great decision if you’re looking for more cost-friendly options. 

5. Fourth Ward

With a population of 4,600, Forth Ward Houston offers an urban feel with more renters (74%) versus 26% buyers. 

This neighborhood is rich with history and offers many highlights, including The Old Place, Kellum-Noble House, and Sam Houston Park. This makes it an excellent place for music lovers, history enthusiasts, and art fans. 

Situated only 1.7 miles from Downtown Houston, you can easily travel to work or enjoy a fun night in multiple downtown nightclubs, including Main Street Crossing and Spire. 

Average rent price: $1,900

6. Downtown Houston

Speaking of Downtown Houston, this is the perfect neighborhood for ambitious and young working professionals since you’ll find Houston’s Central Business District here. 

Living in the urban center of this Texas city means you’ll be within a short walk, bike ride, or drive from all the best amenities, including restaurants, coffee shops, clubs, grocery stores, and more. 

You’ll also explore many unique attractions, such as the Market Square Park, the Houston Theater District, and Discovery Green. 

Average rent price: $2,270

7. Montrose

Located just west of Downtown Houston, Montrose is a unique neighborhood featuring several top-rated art galleries and eccentric antique shops. This makes it the ideal place for young creatives working in design, writing, or marketing. 

Though it’s a bit further from the Business District, the neighborhood offers public transportation and bus services, making commutes easy and convenient. 

In the summer, Black Canyon National Park offers excellent opportunities for hiking, expert-level rock climbing, and kayaking. 

Average rent price: $1,850

Other top Texas areas for young professionals

Here are other popular neighborhoods that don’t fall into Austin or Houston but also offer great communities, work opportunities, and nightlife. 

8. Downtown Fort Worth

Downtown Fort Worth is a very safe and walkable area — perfect for people who enjoy exploring the outdoors. This lively neighborhood is a great place to meet new people since it’s filled with apartment buildings and neighbors all around you. 

It’s also close to the Trinity River trails, which you can access by foot or bike if you want to break away from the hustle and bustle of the downtown area. 

The area also has a lot of businesses with plentiful job opportunities and numerous restaurants and amenities close by. 

Average rent price: $1,980

9. Addison

Addison is part of Dallas with a population of over 16,000 people. This neighborhood offers residents an urban feel, with most renting out their homes. 

The area is filled with bars, restaurants, and parks — perfect for professionals looking for nightlife and outdoor activities. It’s home to the Cavanaugh Flight Museum, which is an aviation museum with a 501 non-profit status. 

Many young professionals live in Addison, making the neighborhood well-known for its liberal people. 

Average rent price: $2,890

10. Tobin Hill

Since it’s quickly becoming the go-to entertainment district, Tobin Hills is one of the most exciting San Antonio neighborhoods for young adults. Home to San Antonio College, this area is always bustling with community events. 

North Main Avenue, in particular, is a popular nightlife destination, whereas the Pearl complex is perfect for dining and boutique shopping. 

Other big draws to this neighborhood include The River Walk and the area’s beautiful architecture with Tudor and Colonial Revival homes. 

Average rent price: $2,150 

Places in Texas that may not be ideal for young adults

While Texas has many cities ideal for young adults, some cities might not be the best fit for you. 

  • Fredericksburg: While Fredericksburg is a history-rich location with the Pioneer Museum and other attractions, including wineries, there may be better spots for young people since many retirees live here. 
  • Midland: Midland is closely tied to the energy industry — which could lead to economic volatility. This is primarily a concern for young professionals since it may not provide the same long-term stability as other places in Texas. However, you could still visit the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum or I-20 Wildlife Preserve.
  • Wichita Falls: While Wichita Falls is an impressive city with a close community and a relatively low cost of living, it may not offer the same job opportunities and amenities as other cities in Texas. Still, the city is home to Lucy Park, which has 15 miles of hiking, running, and biking trails to explore. 

Is Texas a good place for singles?

A 2023 WalletHub study ranked Austin, Texas, as one of the top 10 best cities for singles. This is because Austin offers various online dating opportunities and a bustling nightlife — perfect for meeting new people. 

Where is the warmest place to live in Texas?

If you’re a person who enjoys taking part in outdoor activities, the weather may play a vital role for you. While there’s a continuous debate on which Texan city is considered the warmest, Del Rio, Brownsville, and San Antonio are constantly ranked among the top five. 

Where is the best place to move to in Texas after college?

Austin, Texas, is considered one of the best places in Texas to move to after college due to its multitude of job opportunities — perfect for launching a new career. 

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