A bench beside a tree in Hermann Park Conservancy in Houston, Texas

Houston is one of the best places to retire in Texas. Here's why active adults love it.

Sprawling across 627 square miles, Houston is a thriving, ethnically diverse Texas city with an abundance of exciting activities. Living in Houston, Texas gives residents access to world-class dining, endless recreation opportunities, and a low cost of living. In fact, Houstonians pay about eight percent less for general housing expenses than people living in other large U.S. cities, according to research from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Also, there’s no shortage of free things to do in Houston. For active adults living on a fixed income, this means you can enjoy more of the city without depleting your savings. Those who appreciate art can explore a vast array of museums in Houston, including The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston which contains more than 63,000 works.

From art to sports to fine dining to shopping, Houston has it all. If you’re wondering what living here is like, this post highlights some important things about Texas’ largest city.

What to Do

There are many things to do in Houston, TX. Outdoor enthusiasts can stroll through 60 acres of meticulously maintained gardens at Mercer Botanic Gardens or try kayaking along Buffalo Bayou. Sports aficionados can immerse themselves in Houston’s rich sporting culture, whether they’re cheering on professional or semi-professional teams.

Houston also contains some unusual attractions, including the world’s longest car wash, which can accommodate up to 16 cars at a time and cost $3 million to build. 

Active adults looking for things to do in Downtown Houston can traverse the city’s downtown tunnels, which span 95 city blocks and feature restaurants and movie theaters. Discovery Green is another hotspot in Downtown Houston. This 12-acre public park holds weekly festivals and events, including film presentations and dance productions in the amphitheater. Whether you want to get some fresh air or catch a show, you can round out your experience at one of the park’s two upscale restaurants, The Grove or The Lake House.

Where to Eat

Houston boasts a culinary scene as diverse as its population. Whether residents are hungry for Tex-Mex or Manchurian cuisine, they can find it somewhere in the city. Take State of Grace, for example. This chic restaurant serves dishes that merge American, Latin, Gulf Coast, German, and Asian cuisine. Another local favorite is Blood Bros. BBQ, which has garnered national acclaim for its traditional Texas barbecue complemented with Asian and Louisianan fusion dishes.

How to See the City

Active adults can explore the city at their own pace by hopping on a double-decker bus. This idea for a hop-on, hop-off bus originated in London, but it's great for touring the streets of Houston during the morning and early afternoon. It picks up at the GRB Convention Center, the Market Square Park, the City Hall Visitor Center, the Downtown Aquarium, Hermann Park, and the Museum District. Seniors can ride at a discounted price of $29.95.

Houston also offers a rail system and several bus services. Those who prefer to catch a cab will pay a flat taxi fare of $6 for all trips in the downtown area. Through Houston’s BCycle program, active adults can check out a bike for only $3 per 30 minutes from any kiosk. Bike enthusiasts can purchase a membership and take unlimited 60-minute trips.

Where to Live

When it comes to living in Houston, Texas, active adults have many options. Whether you want to live near the coast or near the tranquil trees of The Woodlands, there are many active adult communities throughout the region.

Active adults looking for one of the most affordable places to retire in Texas can explore CountryPlace in Pearland. This 55+ community offers Texas homes for sale starting in the low $100s. Active adults who enjoy boating and water recreation can check out Towne Lake – Sunset Harbor. This gated community contains a marina as well as private and public boat docks.

Where to Shop

There’s no shortage of places to shop in Space City. Whether you’re browsing for designer clothing or a vintage find, you can find it one of the city’s malls, boutiques, or outlets. Start at The Galleria, which features more than 400 stores (70 of which are exclusive to Houston) and 60 eateries. In Rice Village, you can peruse more than 300 stores, including national chains such as Chico’s and Urban Outfitters as well as local boutiques that offer jewelry, gifts, housewares, and more.

Is Living in Houston Right for You?

Living in Houston, Texas opens the door to endless adventures. However, if you’re thinking about moving to Space City, be prepared for traffic. Houston ranks as one of the world’s most congested cities, according to the TomTom Traffic Index.

Also, Houston didn’t land the name "Bayou City" for nothing, and the hot and humid climate of the bayou makes it an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes. Whether you’re spending time outside or just getting the mail, give yourself a good coat of bug spray, especially during the breeding season (July through September).

Despite the traffic and mosquitos, Houston remains one of the best places to retire in Texas for its affordability and culture. Get to know more about the type of Texas homes for sale in Houston by browsing 55+ communities.