Texas - Retirement Living In The Hill Country
As a place to retire, Texas certainly offers a tremendous of choices. Whether you prefer a large urban area with luxury golf course communities, world-class restaurants and shops and major league sports... a laid back coastal retreat on the Gulf of Mexico...or a small town environment with a sense of community and civic involvement; Texas is big enough to fit each of those criteria.
But if you want to narrow the selection process, and start your search with an area that has a great year round climate, beautiful four-season scenery and a host of outdoor recreational opportunities, we might suggest that you consider the Hill Country of Texas. This verdant, rolling landscape stretching out westward between Austin and San Antonio, with numerous lakes, quaint bed and breakfast inns, and relaxing golf course resorts, is a popular summer home destination and playground for Texas' city dwellers. One commentator has described this sun-drenched region as being "...like Jackson Pollack on a rampage... Splashes of fuchsia and magenta dart against a cerulean curtain."
Now, retirees are discovering that the spectacular beauty of this countryside and the towns scattered throughout it is also a great retirement destination. Places like Fredericksburg, Kerrville, Marble Springs and several others, are being discovered by retirees from throughout the Mid-west and other areas from across the U.S.
Fredericksburg, at the heart of the Hill Country, was originally settled by German immigrants in 1846 and today their influence is still evident in the town's architecture and culture. One of the more popular tourist destinations in Texas, its streets are filled with shops for arts and crafts, antiques, clothing and interesting places to eat.
Nearby Kerrville, just twenty-two miles away, has been named by several publications as being among the best places in the country to live. With a population of only 20,000, this town is notable for its desirable quality of life, excellent healthcare and schools and an appreciation for the arts. With a low crime rate and proximity to city amenities in nearby Austin and San Antonio, it is easy to understand why so many consider Kerrville and the surrounding area as one of the best small town environments in which to retire.
Although there has been a recent surge in the development of upscale upper-income golf course communities at several locations in the Hill Country, the region as a whole remains very affordable with a cost of living below the national average. Further, the number of affordable housing choices offers several attractive options, including a number of new communities targeted to retirees and active adults.
Another aspect of the Hill Country that appeals to many retirees is the abundance of lakes throughout the region. In addition to being havens for boating and fishing, area lakes have spawned a growing number of housing communities developed on or near the water. In some cases, such as Horseshoe Bay and Georgetown, the lakes are an integral part of community life.
In fact, Georgetown has increasingly become one of the most popular retirement spots in the southwest. With a genuine small-town feeling, this hospitable and inviting community offers residents an abundance of recreational activities, one of the nation's lowest crime rates, the opportunity to know your neighbors, and real peace of mind.
If the climate and natural beauty of the Hill Country appeal to you, but yet you prefer a more urban setting; Austin and San Antonio are, perhaps, options to consider. It has been said that Austin is not like the rest of Texas. With a "hip" and vibrant music scene, spurred on by the 50,000 students at the University of Texas, and surrounded by three lakes and beautiful countryside, this city has a sense of excitement and adventure that many active retirees find especially enticing.
Its diverse mix of cultures and lifestyles, seamlessly blended into a vibrant and growing community, make San Antonio a truly unique place to live, one with a relaxing lifestyle, affordable housing, a reasonable cost of living and an outstanding array of cultural and entertainment opportunities. Retirees find this rich heritage, bustling downtown scene and the availability of new housing designed to fit the demands of active baby-boomers compelling reasons to consider San Antonio as their retirement choice.
Of course, retirement opportunities in Texas are not limited to the Hill Country. Beach lovers may want to look toward the Gulf Coast, which stretches from Galveston to Padre Island. And many retirees have found several small towns around Dallas and Fort Worth suit their personal needs. These are options that will be explored in future articles on retirement living in Texas.
Austin Photos Courtesy AustinCVB
This Month’s Spotlight City: Georgetown