The 6 Best Places to Live in East Texas – 2022 Update

We found the best places to live in East Texas that are based on the overall livability of each city while accounting for the cost of living and things to do.

To find the best cities in East Texas, we looked through all the data and evaluated both big cities and small towns to find the top places in the region.

East Texas has been growing in popularity, especially in the last few years, as it has proven to be an ideal location for young professionals, families, and retirees as well.

If you are interested in moving to this region of the Lone Star State, then be sure to carefully read through our list of the best places to live in East Texas so that you can determine the right fit for your needs. 

Best Places to Live in East Texas – Our Methodology

We define “East Texas” to be the part of the state that shares its border with Louisiana, stretching as far west as Dallas as far south as Houston.

Then, to find the best cities in East Texas, we developed a large database of information based on several key factors, which includes:

  • Livability
  • Entertainment options
  • Value
  • Home prices
  • Quality of education 
  • Crime rates
  • Cultural events

We totaled up the scores for each city and came to our findings of the best places to live in East Texas and updated this list for 2022. So, let’s dive into the details to find out which cities we chose and what makes them so great.

The 6 Best Places to Live in East Texas in 2022

6. Longview

best-places-to-live-in-east-texas-Longview

Population: 81,631
Cost of Living Index: 4.3% Below Texas Average
Median Home Price: $199,237

Location: Check on Google Maps

Longview, Texas is a fast growing city that is located about 40 minutes outside of Tyler, Texas and is just an hour away from Shreveport, Louisiana.

While it is one of the largest cities on this list, residents here rave about its small town charm.

Longview is also known to be a good place to raise a family, as this quiet and quaint city offers lots of amenities that the whole family can enjoy.

It is also quite an affordable city, with homes that cost an average of only $200,000, according to the latest numbers from Zillow.

5. Tyler

Population: 106,985
Cost of Living Index: 0% Below Texas Average
Median Home Price: $207,363

Location: Check on Google Maps

Tyler, Texas is the largest city on this list of the best places to live in East Texas and is one of the most well-rounded cities in all of Texas.

It features a charming historic downtown district that offers many locally-owned restaurants, cozy cafes, laid-back bars, and several independent shops.

Tyler is also surrounded by nature and offers many green spaces across the city. Check out the famous Tyler Rose Garden that is located right in the heart of the city.

Meanwhile, there are many museums and cultural points of interest within the city as well. For instance, Tyler has its own museum of art as well as its own zoo.

The best part about all of this is its affordability, especially since it offers so many amenities. The cost of living in Tyler is about the same as the Texas state average, which itself is 8% below the US average.

For a full review of Tyler, Texas, check out our article on the pros and cons of the city.

4. Jefferson

Population: 1,915
Cost of Living Index: 9.8% Below Texas Average
Median Home Price: $133,818

Location: Check on Google Maps

Jefferson, Texas is a small town in Eastern Texas that is about 30 minutes from the Texas-Louisiana border.

It is also the smallest place on this list of the best cities in East Texas, making it a great choice for people looking to slow down and enjoy a more relaxed pace of life.

Jefferson is also one of the most affordable towns on this list, with a cost of living that is almost 10% lower than the rest of Texas.

Additionally, homes in Jefferson are super affordable, around $130,000 based on Zillow’s latest estimates.

3. Carthage

best-places-to-live-in-east-texas-Carthage

Population: 6,431
Cost of Living Index: 7.6% Below Texas Average
Median Home Price: $163,408

Location: Check on Google Maps

Carthage is a tight-knit community that is located about an hour east of Tyler, which puts it deep in the heart of East Texas.

It is probably best known for its dedication to high school football and is one of the best places to live in East Texas for those looking for that authentic, small town Texas football experience.

There are other things to do around the city as well. For instance, Carthage is home to the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame. There is also a quaint town square in the heart of the town, which features some excellent restaurants and local shops.

2. Marshall

Population: 22,831
Cost of Living Index: 9.8% Below Texas Average
Median Home Price: $115,642

Location: Check on Google Maps

Marshall, Texas makes this list of the best cities in East Texas as it offers a great blend of family-friendly activities and affordability.

In fact, Marshall offers one of the cheapest lifestyles on this list. The cost of living here is about 10% lower than the Texas state average.

Additionally, the average home costs just over $100,000 in Marshall these days, which is a bargain for this part of the state.

The city also holds many annual festivals that help bring the community together. Don’t miss the East Texas Taco Fest, Winter Wonderland of Lights, Fireant Festival, or one of the many farmers markets that are held downtown.

1. Kilgore

best-places-to-live-in-east-texas-Kilgore

Population: 14,852
Cost of Living Index: 7.6% Below Texas Average
Median Home Price: $171,085

Location: Check on Google Maps

Kilgore tops our list as the best place to live in East Texas. It has been one of the fastest growing cities in the region and offers a well-balanced life for everyone to enjoy.

The city offers an excellent blend of vibrant commercial areas with relaxed green spaces. There is even a junior college in Kilgore that helps give the city an energetic atmosphere.

Its proximity to larger cities like Longview and Tyler also allow residents here to take advantage of job opportunities and amenities in those places, while living in a more affordable city.

Best Places to Live in East Texas – Summary

Overall, the best places to live in East Texas based on our stats are:

  1. Kilgore
  2. Marshall
  3. Carthage
  4. Jefferson
  5. Tyler
  6. Longview

We think that all of these well-rounded cities offer a great way of life for virtually all ages. If you are looking to relocate to a quiet region and experience the true Texas lifestyle, then we think that these cities are all great picks.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Lone Star State, then check out our choices for the best cities in Texas.