Sunset view of long wooden fishing docks stretching out into Galveston Bay, Texas

Coastal Texas or Northern Texas? It's not an easy choice, but we have the information you need to decide which is best for you.

Active adults searching for the best places to retire in Texas may wonder which is the better choice: Coastal Texas or Northern Texas. Both regions offer a distinct living experience. Coastal Texas is home to Houston, the state’s most populated city, while North Texas contains the sprawling Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

Which part of Texas is better for you? Read on to learn more about these two popular regions, each with its own unique offerings. If you’re thinking about moving to Texas, this guide offers some helpful insight into the Lone Star State.

What’s It Like Living in Coastal Texas?

Coastal Texas spans more than 370 miles along the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, making it a prime retirement destination for beach lovers. The region includes League City and Pearland, which offer easy access to Texas beaches, as well as The Woodlands, which boasts peaceful, wooded scenery and plenty of entertainment options.

Living in Coastal Texas opens the door for many recreation opportunities. For starters, Houston is a major sports hub. Home to six professional major league teams, the city has proven itself to be a leading sports destination. Those who enjoy water recreation can embark on fun adventures in the Gulf, from boating and swimming to deep-sea fishing. The Galveston Fishing Pier is one of the region’s most beloved destinations for its fishing. Here, anglers can fish for bull shark, king mackerel, flounder, red snapper, and more.

When it comes to climate in Coastal Texas, get ready for humid, warm temperatures almost year-round. Summers are long and hot, while winters are often mild and windy. Locals also know to keep an umbrella handy as the weather is often unpredictable in Coastal Texas. The region gets anywhere from 20 to 58 inches of rain every year.

Living in Coastal Texas also puts residents in the pathway of hurricanes. From 1851 to 2016, 289 hurricanes have affected the continental United States. Of these, 63 made landfall in Texas. In 2017, Hurricane Harvey ravaged Houston as a Category 4 storm, causing more than $120 billion in damage.

Yet despite the sometimes-tumultuous weather, Coastal Texas has much to offer active adults. Houston ranks as the nation’s most diverse city, beating out New York and Los Angeles and making it a place where all can feel welcome.

Active Adult Communities in Coastal Texas

Active adults who want to enjoy a laid-back lifestyle near the beach can check out The Village at Tuscan Lakes. This 55+ community in League City is just 10 minutes from the exciting Kemah Boardwalk and only 30 minutes from Galveston Island. The community contains 358 single-family homes ranging from 1,109 to 2,581 square feet.

Active adult homebuyers who desire a lock-and-leave lifestyle can browse several communities in Coastal Texas, including The Lagos at Aliana. This community in Richmond contains 44 single-family, luxury patio homes ranging from 1,742 to 2,703 square feet.

What’s It Like Living in North Texas?

They say everything is bigger in Texas, and in North Texas, the saying certainly holds true. North Texas spans 12 counties, includes more than 150 cities, and encompasses approximately 9,000 square miles, according to the North Texas Commission. The distance between the two furthest points is more than 150 miles.

Active adults who decide to call North Texas home can enjoy the best of two cities: Dallas and Fort Worth. Although these sister cities are just 35 miles apart, each one features its own appeal. Dallas boasts a largely urban vibe, ranking as the nation’s ninth-largest city, while Fort Worth prides itself on its cowboy culture. In fact, every day the city runs a cattle drive at 11:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. in the Stockyards Historic District.

If you enjoy trying new things and embracing new experiences, you’ll find yourself right at home in North Texas. There are many fun things to do in Dallas, from skydiving to horseback riding at Marshall Creek Ranch.

When it comes to the local landscape, North Texas is vast and varied, from the rolling hills of Denton to the lapping waters of Lake Grapevine. Like most other parts of the state, North Texas has a humid, subtropical climate with hot summers and mild winters. Active adults who want to escape cold, snowy climates can find respite in North Texas. The region seldom sees snow, although some cold fronts bring light winter precipitation.

Living in North Texas comes with many upsides, but prospective residents should be aware that the region is prone to tornadoes. North Texas averages about 25 tornadoes per year, according to NBC DFW.

Even though North Texas residents may face some scary weather on occasion, North Texas stands out as a great place to retire. Here, residents can experience new flavors in Roanoke, the Unique Dining Capital of Texas, or ring in the holiday season in Grapevine, the Christmas Capital of Texas.

Active Adult Communities in North Texas

Active adults who want to live near family can check out many communities in North Texas, including The Retreat at Craig Ranch. This active lifestyle community in McKinney features two home series that range from 1,527 to 2,459 square feet. It’s part of the master-planned golf course community of Craig Ranch, which is built around a town center to encourage a sense of community and friendship.

Active adult homebuyers who desire lake views can take a look at Frisco Lakes. This 55+ community is situated along the shores of Lake Lewisville, giving residents access to boating, fishing, and skiing. New and resale homes are available in multiple single-family floor plans.