The 8 Best Small Towns to Retire in Texas – 2023 Update

We’ve updated our list of the best small towns to retire in Texas with new data for 2023 so that you know where you can enjoy a charming, relaxed Texas life.

Based on a series of different criteria, we’ve identified eight Texas small towns that  are a great place to retire due to their well-rounded community and amenities.

This list will help you find the perfect place for your next move, whether you prefer to relocate to a more rural environment or if you’re thinking about moving to a small town that is close to a big Texan city.

We made sure to find small towns that are spread out across all the different parts of Texas so that you can choose from a variety that will suit your needs.

Choosing a town where you’re going to spend your retirement is an important decision that should be taken with plenty of research to back you up. So, we hope that this guide of the best small towns to retire in Texas will provide you with the detailed evaluations that you need to make your choice.

So, pack your stuff and let’s start our journey to discover the best small towns in Texas to retire in 2023.

Best Small Towns to Retire in Texas – Our Methodology 


To create this ranking and give you an objective view on the best small towns to retire in Texas, we first need to define what exactly constitutes a “small town.” In this evaluation, we set our population limit to towns with a maximum of 10,000 residents.

Then, we used a series of parameters to help us gauge the quality of life and livability of every town in Texas with under 10,000 residents. The categories we chose were:

  1. Cost of living
  2. Availability of housing options
  3. Amenities & things to do
  4. Crime rates
  5. Cultural events
  6. Overall appeal

For each category, we then analyzed all the figures that are available online and combined them with the general opinion of residents, travelers, and visitors of each town into one large database.

We then quantified all of the information and came up with a score for each place, giving us a clear picture of which are the best small towns in Texas to retire in and how these towns should be ranked from 8th to 1st.

The 8 Best Small Towns to Retire in Texas in 2023

8. Horseshoe Bay

Population: 4,024
Location: Check on Google Maps

Horseshoe Bay starts off our list of the best small towns in Texas to retire in for 2023.

Located on the south side of the Colorado River about 1 hour west of Austin, Horseshoe Bay is well-known for being surrounded by natural beauty and offers a wide-range of outdoor activities for all ages.

The data regarding crime clearly shows how safe this town is, as its average crime rate is 90% lower than the state average.

Retirees can also enjoy the fact that the median age of its residents is 64.6.

However, Horseshoe Bay is a bit more expensive than the state average, with a cost of living that is about 15% higher than the rest of Texas.

7. West Lake Hills

Population: 3,286
Location: Check on Google Maps

West Lake Hills is a small town just 6 miles outside of Austin that also sits right on the banks of the Colorado River. Its location near the state capital gives it a more suburban feel and is not an isolated, rural environment.

West Lake Hills offers great amenities and outdoors attractions like the beautiful Lake Austin.

The cost of living in West Lake Hills is quite high compared to the Texas average and is mostly affected by its high median home costs.

But, it is just a 15 minute drive to downtown Austin, where retirees can take advantage of all the cultural events and extensive choices of restaurants that the big city has to offer.

We even named Austin as the 2nd best place to live in all of Texas for 2023.

6. Jefferson

Population: 1,915
Location: Check on Google Maps

Jefferson is the smallest town on this list, which makes it one of the best small towns to retire in Texas for those looking for a truly intimate community where you can get to know everyone.

It is located close to the border with Louisiana on the east side of Texas and is approximately 2.5 hours away from Dallas by car.

Additionally, Jefferson is a well-known Texas tourist destination, offering attractions such as the Excelsior House Hotel with Jay Gould’s Railroad Car.

Its biggest perk is probably its low cost of living, which is about 9% lower than in the rest of Texas. 

Its average home prices are also under $300,000, which makes it an extremely appealing place as well.

So, if you’re looking to retire and buy a house in a small and quiet town in Texas, then Jefferson may be the perfect place for you.

5. Burnet

Inks Lake, Burnet, Texas

Population: 6,406
Location: Check on Google Maps

Burnet is a beautiful small town located right in the heart of the Texas Hill Country about 1 hour northwest of Austin.

With its average housing costs and a slightly lower cost of living when compared to the rest of Texas, Burnet is a great place to retire for those who are looking for a mix between a suburban feeling and outdoor attractions that can be enjoyed almost all year round.

Burnet’s strong overall livability is due in part to its great combination of wide-ranging amenities, below average crime rates, and a great selection of outdoor attractions.

Buchanan Lake is just 15 minutes away while there are numerous other parks, lakes, and caverns at the Longhorn Cavern State Park as well.

4. Hollywood Park

Population: 3,342
Location: Check on Google Maps

Hollywood Park is a town filled with great amenities that is already home to many retirees.

It is located only 15 miles north from San Antonio, which is a 20 minute drive to reach downtown San Antonio.

It is also a quiet town with crime rates that are 33% lower than the rest of the state.

Meanwhile, the town is surrounded by a wide range of excellent restaurants to try, including numerous steakhouses, Mexican restaurants, and gastropubs.

3. Mineola, Texas


Population: 4,766
Location: Check on Google Maps

Mineola, Texas is a small town that is situated about 1.5 hours from Dallas in the heart of East Texas.

Mineola offers a 2,900 acre natural preserve that makes it extremely appealing for those who would like to retire in a small town that is surrounded by nature and wildlife.

There is also the beautifully restored Historic Downtown District that features antique shops, locally-owned restaurants, and friendly neighborhood bars and cafes.

Additionally, its cost of living is 7% lower than the state average, which is one of the lowest on this list of the best small towns to retire in Texas.

Furthermore, average home prices here are around $200,000 according to the data on Zillow.

2. Dripping Springs

Population: 5,708
Location: Check on Google Maps

Dripping Springs takes second place on our list with its excellent blend of rural nature and a suburban feeling with tons of things to do. 

The town offers a great overall livability and a safe and quiet surrounding as shown by the crime rates that are about 80% lower than the rest of the state.

Additionally, Dripping Springs’ proximity to Austin, which is only 35 minutes away,  makes it one of the best small towns to retire in Texas.

This “Gateway to the Hill Country” is surrounded by natural wonders and beautiful state parks, including the breathtaking Hamilton Pool Reserve.

Meanwhile, the town itself features a quaint, historic downtown district that has become a haven for foodies and beer lovers. In fact, the town is home to eight different breweries.

1. Helotes


Population: 9,961
Location: Check on Google Maps

After looking at all the data, Helotes is ranked 1st as the best small town to retire in Texas.

Located just 25 minutes northwest from San Antonio, this small town just made our population cutoff of 10,000 people.

It offers an extremely high overall livability and safe surroundings, with crime rates that are about 47% lower than the Texas state average.

There are several commercial areas around Helotes that offer shops, restaurants, and cafes.

But, there are also numerous tree-lined suburban neighborhoods that are scattered across the town as well.

Best Small Towns to Retire in Texas – Summary

After taking into consideration all our data, the final ranking of the best small towns in Texas to retire in is:

  1. Helotes
  2. Dripping Springs
  3. Mineola, TX
  4. Hollywood Park
  5. Burnet 
  6. Jefferson
  7. West Lake Hills
  8. Horseshoe Bay

All of these towns are great destinations for those who are looking to relocate to Texas to live and enjoy their retirement. They all offer their own perks and are excellent places to start living a more relaxed life.