By Natalie Grigson
Texas: The Lone Star State, home of the Live Music Capital of the World, where everything is bigger, where near everything is better, and where the word “pride” may just not cut it. This true Southern state is not just great in size, but in countless other areas as well: a variety of nature, a whole country’s worth of weather packed into one state, tons of things to do, plentiful places to explore, and, of course, its rich and unique history.
It’s no wonder Texas Pride is not so much an attitude but a way of life-particularly in the places below. That’s because out of the hundreds of places we looked at in this latest analysis, these 10 were the cream of the crop; the cat’s Lonestar-covered pajamas; the “Red Headed Stranger” of Willie albums. They were the best. So, without further delay, allow us to present the 10 best places in Texas:
1. City of Fredericksburg
2. City of Midland
3. City of Levelland
4. City of Hereford
5. City of Odessa
6. City of Pampa
7. City of Hewitt
8. CDP of New Territory
9. City of Hutto
10. City of Sugar Land
What is so darned special about Fredericksburg? Is Sugar Land as sweet as it sounds? Keep on reading for these answers and more, as we not only take you through the method of our analysis, but stop by each place on our list to see what makes it shine, deep in the heart of Texas.
Just like our other Big Deal Lists, we needed some measurable criteria to come up with our top 10 ranking. Of course, if we judged our list on things like natural beauty, city pride, or, say, number of HEBs or boot shops per capita, we may have ended up with one long list of ties, because every place in Texas worth its salt is packed with these. So instead, we relied on these seven equally good, and slightly more measurable criteria:
- Total amenities
- Quality of life (cost of living, median home price, median rent, median household income, and student-to-teacher ratio)
- Total crimes
- Tax rates (sales tax and income tax)
- Commute time
- Weather (temperature and air quality)
From there, we looked at the U.S. Census data for all of the places in Texas with populations over 10,000 people. Now, in most of our lists-Connecticut or Kentucky, for example-this generally ranges anywhere from about 35-65 places. As you Texans know, though, everything is bigger in this gigantic state-there is just more space! So in the end, we ended up looking at a Texas-sized 242 places.
Then, each place was ranked from one to 242 in each of the seven criteria above, with one being the best possible score. After that, we averaged each ranking for an overall Big Deal Score, with the lowest score being the winner.
For all ya’ll Texans who don’t see your home in our top 10, feel free to hop down to the bottom to see our list of the top 50 places. Otherwise, keep reading as we take you on a virtual tour of our winners, starting with No. 1, the most German Texas place you ever did know, Fredericksburg.
This uniquely German city in Gillespie County, Texas, did well in nearly all of our criteria, but when it came to weather, unemployment rate, a median home price of $204,700, and education, this city did simply wunderbar.
Fredericksburg’s average summer temperature was a cool 79 degrees and it had an air quality score of just 35 (the lower, the better)-which, if you’re from Texas, the land of 90 degrees and up, you know this is almost unheard of. Something else nearly unheard of-Fredericksburg’s unemployment rate of 4.3 percent. This is 43 percent lower than the rest of the state. Finally, with a student to teacher ratio of just 12 to 1, Fredericksburg was among the best in Texas in terms of education.
Excerpt from Best Places in Texas – Movoto.com; Natalie Grigson