Houston is a pretty great place to live. With professional sports, professional theater, world-class restaurants and more places to shop than you can count, it’s really a city that has it all. But what if city living isn’t for you? Not to worry — Houston suburbs are the perfect answer for those in search of a relaxed lifestyle without compromising on all the incredible amenities the city has to offer.
Check out a few of our favorite Houston suburbs, each with a distinct flair all their own.
League City/Texas City
League City and nearby Texas City are a breath of fresh air — sea air, that is. Located on Clear Lake (which feeds into Galveston Bay), League City is a paradise for water enthusiasts. Fifteen marinas are nearby, housing more than 7,000 recreational boats and there are many places to fish. Galveston Island is just down the road for those who want to experience island life Texas-style. The area is also home to some of Houston’s largest attractions, including Kemah Boardwalk with amusement park rides, dining and shopping. The 12-acre crystal clear lagoon in Lago Mar is partially open to the public and will be an entertainment destination when fully built out. Space Center Houston draws people from around the world to see the historic mission control, the Saturn V rocket, astronaut training facilities and dozens of interactive space exhibits. And it’s very possible that those who live in our Coastal Point community might just have a next-door neighbor who is a rocket scientist — League City is also home to NASA.
Conroe is the place where it’s easy to enjoy the great outdoors. The 21,000-acre Lake Conroe is a haven for water-skiers, jet skiers, fishermen and pleasure boaters. Plentiful hiking can be found at Sam Houston National Forest — one of four national forests in Texas — as well as the 96-mile Lone Star Hiking Trail, the longest continuous hiking trail in Texas. Bird watchers are particularly fond of W. Goodrich Jones State Forest, where the endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker can be found. Those who like to camp have only to go about 30 miles to get to Huntsville State Park, which has 21 miles of trails, a bird blind and a boat ramp to enjoy the 210-acre Lake Raven and 160 campsites. With a naturally forested terrain, many residential communities in the Conroe area — such as Harper’s Preserve — have been able to retain the treed landscape.
Fulshear is where you can get away from it all (without being too far away). It’s easy to spot cows, horses or other livestock along its rolling terrain and grassy prairie land. The small-town charm of Fulshear is attracting homeowners to master-planned communities like Fulbrook on Fulshear Creek, where they can coexist happily with its natural landscape. Considered one of Houston’s fastest-growing areas, Fulshear also has earned notice for its family-friendly atmosphere and has been named one of the best places to raise a family in Texas based on public schools, crime rates, cost of living and amenities. Out of the 1,752 cities in Texas, Fulshear is ranked No. 1 in transaction safety, No. 18 for education (being served by both Katy ISD and Lamar CISD) and No. 65 in livability.
An early 1900s oil boomtown, Humble is quintessentially Texan. It’s a place where boots can be paired with formal wear and whose economy is still dominated by oil. You can delve into its roots at the Humble Museum or see its history with a walk through old downtown, maybe stopping for a daily special at Humble City Café. Like much of the Houston area, there are plenty of opportunities to get outside. Ten golf courses are within 10 miles of Humble and the Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens promises a restful afternoon. Jesse H. Jones Park and Nature Reserve offers ample opportunities for hiking and Old McDonald’s Farm is a favorite with children. Many of Humble’s master-planned communities also boast impressive on-site amenities, such as the 2-acre Crystal Lagoon® amenity at Balmoral.
Tomball is another Houston suburb with its own small-town vibe. It’s easy to feel removed from the city’s hustle and bustle, yet Tomball has an excellent location along Highway 249 just north of the Grand Parkway. With ample retail and dining, Tomball residents have everything they need near at hand. Keeping the small-town ideal alive is a vibrant city government that — during normal years — hosts nearly a dozen family-friendly events, such as the Tomball Bluegrass Festival, the Tomball German Heritage Festival, Rail & Tails Mudbug Festival, the German Christmas Festival and Christmas on Commerce. Residents at communities such as the Reserve at Spring Lakes are less than five miles from the year-round, weekly Tomball Farmers Market, where they can pick up fresh produce, local coffees, fresh eggs and other items.
Sometimes called “Cy-Fair,” the Cypress/Hockley area is a favorite with all ages, but particularly families who are drawn by excellent school systems and a family-oriented lifestyle. Parents seek out highly acclaimed Cypress-Fairbanks ISD schools while those who prefer a smaller educational experience for their children prefer Waller ISD just to the north, which is expertly managing growth in the district brought by popular communities such as Dellrose. The Berry Center is a hub of entertainment for the Cypress area, with venues to host concerts, galas, football games and more. Houston Premium Outlets is another popular destination, offering steals and deals from 145 designer and name-brand stores. And just because Cypress is a suburb, that doesn’t mean you can’t find excellent dining. Bridlecreek residents are lucky enough to be less than two miles from Mezzanotte, voted one of Houston’s top restaurants. And one of the area’s best burger joints — we mean, “burger resorts” — can be found a few miles down the road at The Shack Burger Resort.
Wherever you decide to live in the Houston area, you can’t really go wrong. Take a look around at some of the communities in which Empire builds, see what feels like a right fit and make the move! You’ll be glad you did.