and we just want a better environment for our kids to grow up in.
I live in Houston, which is a very large, diverse, multicultural city on the Gulf. I live about two hours from the beach (admittedly not as clean as the Pacific). Houston is the kind of city where the very conservative Bible belt lives side by side with more crunchy liberals and immigrants and visitors from around the world. We have one of the best medical centers in the world, beautiful museums, a large zoo, a major port, and a thriving economy. If you work in medicine, oil, or technology, there's a job for you here in Houston.
Austin is also a beautiful city, smaller with cooler weather. Austin's motto is "Keep Austin Weird!" It's home to the University of Texas, and a great place for families. (So is Houston.) Austin is especially known for its music scene. If you happen to homeschool, Texas is a GREAT place for this, and I have been told that Austin has an excellent homeschooling community.
I don't know as much about Dallas or San Antonio (except that San Antonio is absolutely beautiful!) In general, Texas is a great place to live. Our economy is doing well, we're friendly people, and there is so much beauty all around. There are tons of historic small towns, parks and campgrounds, beaches and islands (like South Padre), and other grat vacation spots. It's just a wonderful place to live!
I completely agree with michelleepotter. Texas is awesome! I also live in Houston, but I am about 15 minutes from the beach which I love! Probably a bit different beach experience than California, but still it's awesome.
There's tons of things to do here with kids, free or otherwise. There's something for everyone. It is very diverse so you will be exposed to people from all walks of life. Our economy is doing really well and the cost of living is one of the lowest for a major metropolitan area. You can't go wrong moving to Texas :)
Texas Tech University is here and it has a great med school and hospital. The University has a big football program. There are some highly educated people here. Cotton farming is big business in this area and supposedly an oil boom going to bring people and money to town. Lots of parks, community centers filled with activities, a funky art scene and a great public library system.
The cost of living is the the biggest perk. I stay home with our daughter and we're able to afford to buy a big, beautiful house for less than the cost of a small condo in California.
lol The Dallas area (we call it the Metroplex because it's really two big cities with a truckload of suburbs for both) has a lot of the same stuff as Houston except the beach and the humidity. Don't get me wrong, there's humidity, but not as much. The northern suburbs of Dallas are really nice, IMO. I'm not sure constitutes "affordability" for you, but I'd imagine (in my totally uneducated view lol) that any cost of living here would be lower than CA. And there's no trouble finding a place of worship here. Church, synagogue, etc. And pretty much anywhere in the state is chock full of friendly folks! My only beef with Austin is the traffic and a higher cost of living than Dallas. Other than that, it's got a super cool culture.
Hello!! I am relocating to Houston this summer. Can either of you Houstonians recommend a daycare that is reasonably priced (less than $1000/mo.) but crunchy friendly and with consistent staffing? I'll be working in the Northside/Northline area, and will likely choose a place to live near wherever I find a good daycare. I need one with extended hours as I work from 7am to 4:30pm.
Any other Houston recs (from vegan restaurants and other vegan shopping to pediatricians, parks, etc.) are super welcome! My kiddo is almost two.
There are tons of childcare options in Houston, however traffic can be a big problem, so you do not want something too far away from your commute path. There are tons of Montessouri schools, and we had no problem finding one that had us send out own food/snacks. There are also a lot of options for hiring a nanny if that works better for you.
I am also a California transplant. I moved from the middle of the the California desert to South Texas near Corpus Christi. I lived near the Gulf for 10ish years before moving to Denton which is barely north of the DFW metroplex. I am very much a California girl and hated Texas when I first move. I think the transition would have been easier if I had come to North Texas first though.