15 Best Small Towns in Texas to Retire To

You’re ready to retire and begin an exciting new season of your life! The Lone Star State has so many benefits from retirees. Just look at the numbers. Texas doesn’t tax social security or pension income, and the cost of living across the state is lower than the country’s average.

When looking for the best small towns in Texas to retire to, you have choices. With over 266,807 square miles of space, the state is the largest after Alaska. Find mountains and deserts in the west, swamps, forests, and coastline to the east, and the Great Plains in between. No matter the elevation or season, the weather stays pretty mild.

Enjoy Texas’ rich cultural history and take advantage of everything there is to do. Perhaps you’re an outdoorsman or spend your weekends at music and art festivals. Whatever you want this next phase of life to look like, there’s a small town in Texas for you. Keep reading to find my top suggestions!

#1 Burnet

A photo of an old Texas BBQ building, with an old car sitting out front. Both are sitting on dry dirt.

First on my list of best small towns in Texas to retire to is Burnet, the Bluebonnet Capital! This quaint town is about an hour outside Austin on Highway 281. You’ll find median home prices at $192,152. Burnet is a popular retirement community, with 19.8% of the 6,436 residential population over 65.

Feel comfortable with local access to Seton Highland Lakes Hospital. There is Central Texas College and multiple 4-year colleges in and around Austin. Burnet also provides seniors with a community meal delivery program.

If you like to stay active, you’ll enjoy everything Texas Hill Country has to offer. The town boasts three city parks, a golf course, an Air Force Museum, a living history museum, and a few local wineries. Nearby, go hiking at Inks Lake State Park, take advantage of quality fishing on Buchanan Lake, or visit Eagle Eye Observatory.

#2 Boerne

Enjoy small-town living in Boerne with all the benefits of San Antonio, just 30 minutes away. Settled by German immigrants almost 200 years ago, Boerne offers residents a rich cultural setting today. Of the town’s 18,232 population, a whopping 53% are over the age of 65! Should you want to invest in property, the median home price is $332,606.

If you’re looking for a social community and plenty of shopping, this is the place for you. Check out local antique stores, clothing boutiques, and niche home goods stores. Relax at one of Boerne’s nine public parks, walking the trails or feeding ducks along Cibolo Creek.

Visit Boerne City Lake, where you can enjoy all kinds of watersports, or take a tour of the five local breweries. Check out Boerne’s city website for a long list of community events. Find out about community clean-up days, summer movie nights, the annual Christmas festival, and more.

#3 Childress

If you’re looking for a sleepy farming community to retire to, check out Childress. Halfway between Amarillo and Wichita Falls, the nearest city is at least 90 minutes away! This small town has a population of 6,408, of which 11.8% are over 65 years old. The median house price is $91,006.

One of the best small towns in Texas to retire to, Childress benefits from a top-notch healthcare center. Known as the “Gateway to the Panhandle,” this 200-year-old town has had many lives, starting at a stop on the Fort Worth and Denver City Railway line.

Though the railway closed down long ago, Childress survived as an agricultural town. Enjoy peace and quiet, or if you want to get out, there’s plenty to do. Visit Fair Park for a round of golf, a community pool, and hiking trails. Check out the Mashburn Event Center and Rodeo Arena for regular events.

#4 Crockett

In the heart of the Pineywoods of East Texas is Crockett, one of the oldest towns in Texas. It’s about an hour north of Huntsville and 2 hours north of downtown Houston. With a population of only 6,385, 19.1% are over 65. Average house prices run at $115,607.

If you’re looking for a town that will offer the ultimate outdoor lifestyle, consider Crockett for its natural amenities. Nearby you have Davy Crockett National Forest for camping and hunting. Check out Houston County Lake for fishing and swimming. There are also fun annual events, museums, and historical sites all over town!

#5 Horseshoe Bay

Over 51% of Horseshoe Bay residents are over 65 years old, making it one of the best small towns in Texas to retire to! Located about an hour west of bustling Austin, it has a population of just 4,257. The cost of living remains lower than the rest of the country, despite house prices averaging $747,471.

This wealthy community is a beautiful place to retire with many amenities for residents. It feels like a giant sprawling retirement community. Enjoy boating, watersports, swimming, and fishing on Lake Lyndon B. Johnson. There are hiking trails, a local golf club, and countless resorts to take advantage of. Check out the waterfront if you like frequenting local wine bars and restaurants.

Visit the city website for a long list of local community groups and activities. You’ll find everything from bird-watching groups and quilting groups to movement classes. There’s even a women’s group that goes on regular outings together!

#6 Poteet

A photo of a mailbox that is painted like the Texan flag. There is a paved street on the left, a sidewalk on the right and grass in the background

For another sleepy town on my list, consider Poteet. Enjoy all the benefits of San Antonio, less than 40 minutes north on Highway 16. This quiet farming community has a population of 2,795, with 12.7% being over 65 years old. Housing prices average around $174,798 in Poteet.

Enjoy the annual Strawberry Festival, put on by the self-proclaimed “Strawberry Capital of Texas.” Surrounded by strawberry farms, it’s a big draw. There are also several ranch vineyards in the area that host private and public events.

Poteet really is a quiet, family-friendly town with lots of space to retire. Take the grandkids to the Poteet Canyon Park or drive into San Antonio to go to Sea World. Bask in the quiet and endless horizon, or join the crowds nearby!

Related: Best Fly-In Communities in Texas

#7 Jefferson

Next on my list of best small towns in Texas to retire to is Jefferson, in Northeast Texas. With only 1,915 residents inside the city limits, you’ll undoubtedly enjoy small-town life here! Jefferson, located about 40 minutes outside Longview, is in Marion County. The county has an over 65-year-old population of 27.5%. Median housing prices in Jefferson are $227,737.

Dive into Jefferson’s vibrant and long history. This old settlement town has old family names and a dramatic past before, during, and long after the Civil War. Visit the Jefferson Historical Museum and check out the Confederate Ordnance Magazine ruins historical landmark. Take a historical walking tour through town.

If you like antiquing, this is the place to be. If you are looking for community involvement, Jefferson has regular events on their city calendar. Attend the annual city rummage sale or this month’s car show. Stop by the convention center for an orchestral performance or local play production!

#8 Bulverde

Originally an old German settlement, today Bulverde sits north of San Antonio with Highway 281 running through it. Home to a population of 5300 residents, 22.3% are over 65 years. Local house prices average $361,915 with rolling views of the Texas Hill Country. Enjoy relaxed country life with the benefit of city services.

This small Texan town is one of the best to retire to if you enjoy the simple life. Join the Bulverde Community Gardens or attend one of the churches in town. For a small Texas town, Bulverde feels like a quiet suburb. Enjoy fast-food stops, big-name stores, and all kinds of local businesses that you would find in a city neighborhood.

Visit a local vineyard or brewery. When the grandkids are in town, take them to the Natural Bridge Caverns and Wildlife Preserve. Nearby you also have Guadalupe State Park and the Guadalupe River.

#9 Krum

Enjoy all the perks of living in the growing Fort Worth-Dallas metroplex without residing inside the city limits. With a population of 5,018, more than doubling in the last decade, Krum is reviving as a small-town community. Just over 10% of the population is over 65 years. Local house prices average out at $219,563.

Krum makes the list of best small towns in Texas to retire to for its convenience. Live in the country, but drive less than 20 minutes from 2 hospitals and an airport. There’s also the University of North Texas and Texas Woman’s University if you are looking to be close to an institute of higher education.

This small town has a quaint feel with views of a rusty water tower, just minutes from downtown Denton. Take advantage of Denton’s art and jazz music scene when you want to get out and about. Back in town, attend a high school football game when the Bobcats are in town.

#10 Port Aransas

Head to the beach to retire to Port Aransas. You’ll find this coastal town on Mustang Island in the Gulf of Mexico. It has a population of 2,904, with 18.7% being over 65 years old. Median house prices are $188,725, ranging from boats and RVs to condominiums.

Just cross the Redfish Bay Causeway Bridge to reach the larger Aransas Pass on the mainland. You also have Corpus Christi across the bay. Enjoy the rural beach life with all its seasons. Settle down for the fall and winter and rev up for a busy spring and summer with the tourists!

Residents drive golf carts around town, but make sure to get your license! Keep your boat in the marina, and take advantage of all the local attractions. Go shopping on Alister Street or dine on the water at Harbor Lights and Grill. Make sure you check the local events calendar to see when they’re hosting the next yoga class or aerobics class in town.

#11 Fredericksburg

A photo of six cows standing on a large area of green grass. There is a small hill in the background

With a population of 10,875, Fredericksburg is one of the larger small towns on our list. Over 29% of residents are over the age of 65. In the area, homes average costs of $320,059. Find Fredericksburg 30 minutes north of Kerrville in the Texas Hill Country.

It’s a charming town full of history and festive events. Spend a day taking a tour of local wineries or checking out the many museums in the area. If you love the nightlife, you’ll have your choice of dance halls, bars, and restaurants. Check out Main Street for antiques, handmade items, art, and more.

Enjoy the outdoors in Hill Country. Fish on Pedernales River or go hiking at Enchanted Rock. Take pictures of the grandkids in the bluebonnets at Wildseed Farms or go cycling through the hills. Also, plan on enjoying the holiday season when the town goes all out!

#12 Wimberley

Wimberley is 20 minutes north of San Marcos in the Texas Hill Country. It has a population of 2,839 people, including 28.5% of residents over the age of 65. Median home prices are $347,585. Settled on the banks of the Blanco River, Wimberley is primarily a ranching community with lots of outdoor activities.

Hike at Old Baldy Park or swim and picnic at The Blue Hole Regional Park. Get your heart racing at Wimberley Zipline Adventures or enjoy the sights at the Jacob’s Well Nature Preserve. Enjoy this small town with an urban feel when you retire in Wimberley. Find all the popular big-name stores, small boutiques, and even a charitable open market.

One of the best small towns in Texas to retire to, Wimberley has things to do for every taste. Check out the art scene in town, with several artists living in the area. Check out local glass blowing shops, art museums, and painting workshops at Creekhaven Inn and Spa!

#13 Aubrey

Check out Aubrey if you want to be near Fort Worth, which AARP named one of the best places to live for retirement. Aubrey is an excellent choice for small-town living with a population of just over 5,000 people. An even 12% of residents live in this community in Denton County, Texas. Aubrey is one of the best small towns in Texas to retire to for a casual lifestyle.

It’s a great outer suburb of the Metroplex without being in the city. Find hiking trails and horseback riding nearby. Drive into Denton or Frisco for any fun cultural events going on. Relax on one of the many lakes in the area or explore historical markers in Denton County. Check out the city events calendar for Senior Fit days at the local library, as well.

#14 Bandera

Sitting on the banks of the Medina River, Bandera is about an hour northwest of San Antonio. With a mere population of 900, the town of Bandera lies in a larger community that benefits from its amenities. 25.8% of the county’s residents are over the age of 65, and homes average a price of $165,664.

Also known as “The Cowboy Capital of the World,” Bandera has been home to a long history of country music singers and rodeo stars. They take the title very seriously. Check out Manfield Park for rodeos or visit one of the many dude ranches in the area.

The nightlife is hot in Bandera, with a dozen dance halls and saloons off of Main Street. Drive out to Medina Lake for boating, swimming, and fishing or g antiquing in town. Check the town’s website for events that are always happening and meet some of your neighbors. 

A photo of five small houses and one larger house. These houses are sitting at the bottom of a steep rocky cliff of red stone

#15 Alpine

Last but not least, head out west to Alpine if you’re looking for the best small towns in Texas to retire to. Alpine is in the middle of the Chihuahuan Desert in West Texas. Located on Highway 90, Big Bend National Park is 2 hours south. With a population of 6,035, 19.3% are 65 years old and over. The average home price comes to $178,805 in Alpine. 

Alpine is home to 5 parks, each with different amenities. Enjoy desert mountain views and check out the Museum of the Big Bend. Cool off in the Municipal Pool. This West Texas town is also home to Sul Ross State University, which might be a draw if you are looking to be near a historic educational facility.

Conclusion

Don’t be overwhelmed when looking for the best small towns in Texas to retire to. Where you’ll spend the next season of your life is an exciting choice to make! But it certainly brings up questions.

Do you want to be near a major city? Are there hospitals or job opportunities nearby? Think about whether you want neighbors to interact with or if you’d prefer to take advantage of the square footage you can find in Texas. Think about your social circle and how you want to spend your time.

Related: 21 Pros and Cons of Living in Texas