A mother walks with her two daughters, hand-in-hand, toward the Houston skyline

10 Suburbs/Cities Near Houston You’ll Want To Call Home

Houston Texas

by Tim McCormick Posted on March 29, 2024
Houston is a vibrant metropolis known for its diverse culture, booming economy, and rich history. But what if you could enjoy all the perks of living in Houston without actually being smack-dab in the hustle and bustle of the city? Imagine having the best of both worlds in one of the best cities near Houston: easy access to the big city’s myriad attractions and amenities while enjoying the peace, space, and community vibe of suburban living. 
Planning to move to a city or suburb near Houston? See how PODS can help you make the move.

One main reason why you may want to consider an area outside the city limits? The cost of living in Houston proper versus its surrounding suburbs can vary significantly, reflecting a complex balance between urban convenience and suburban tranquility. Generally, living in the city center of Houston will have a higher cost of living due to the premium on housing and the proximity to a wide range of amenities, including dining, entertainment, and cultural institutions. Conversely, the suburbs surrounding Houston often present a more affordable living option (although not always), with housing costs typically lower than in the city itself. 

From Spring Valley Village's tranquil streets to Katy's family-friendly parks, the area surrounding Houston offers a variety of living experiences that cater to every preference and lifestyle. Whether you're drawn to the tight-knit communities of West University Place or the scenic beauty of Meadows Place, there's likely a perfect city or suburb near Houston waiting for you. Let’s take a look at our top choices.

The Houston skyline seen in the distance from a nearby park, with a row of residential townhomes in between

Cities Near Houston, TX -- FAQs

Q: What cities are 30 minutes away from Houston?
Cities that are 30 minutes away from Houston include Pearland, Sugar Land, League City, Baytown, Kingwood, Katy, The Woodlands, and Tomball. They each offer a mix of urban amenities and suburban comfort. 

Q: What are the closest cities to Houston?
Galveston, The Woodlands, League City, Baytown, Katy, Tomball, Kingwood, and Conroe are some of the closest cities to Houston, each offering unique attractions and lifestyles.

Q: What is Houston’s surrounding area?
Houston's surrounding area encompasses a diverse range of communities, from bustling suburbs to quiet, scenic towns, catering to a variety of preferences and lifestyles. Galveston, The Woodlands, League City, Baytown, and Katy are some of the closest cities.

Q: Are Houston and Dallas close?
Houston and Dallas are approximately 240 miles apart. It takes about 3.5 to 4 hours to travel between the two cities under normal traffic conditions.

Best Cities Near Houston, TX

1. Spring Valley Village, TX

Spring Valley Village, recognized as one of the best places to raise a family in Harris County by Niche, epitomizes the ideal blend of suburban peace and metropolitan convenience. This Houston-area gem, with its leafy, well-maintained streets and upscale neighborhoods, provides a serene backdrop to the buzz of the big city. 
The area, served by the Spring Branch Independent School District, is home to top-rated schools. And a safe, close-knit community vibe is the proverbial cherry on top, making this the perfect place in Houston to settle down and raise a family. 

2. Bellaire, TX

Bellaire stands out because of its blend of residential charm and access to high-quality amenities. Rated as one of the best suburbs in Houston by Niche, Bellaire offers a strong family environment and robust employment opportunities at companies such as BioPath and OrthoAccel Technologies, Inc. 

The area also has a variety of dining options, from American comfort food at places like Dandelion Cafe to the exotic flavors of Thai Cottage Bellaire and drool-worthy slices at Luigi's Pizzeria. Combine this with the suburb's beautiful parks and strong community feel — among many other perks — and you can see why Bellaire is so popular.

2. West University Place, Texas

West University Place, rated as an A+ Houston suburb by Niche, offers a safe lifestyle with exceptional public schools — notably two of the top 10 public high schools in Texas, Carnegie Vanguard High School and Michael E. Debakey High School for Health Professions.

Top employers in West University Place and the surrounding Houston area are in the education, healthcare, and energy industries, underscoring the suburb's economic diversity and opportunity. And its residents tend to be wealthier than the national median. In fact, the median income in West University Place is above $250,000, according to the Census Bureau.

The entrance sign to Hedwig Park in Hedwig Village, Texas
Source: City of Hedwig Village

4. Hedwig Village, TX

Sorry, Harry Potter fans; you won’t find any magical pet owls here. The “magic” is economic: Hedwig Village is one of the most affluent suburbs in Houston. Like Spring Valley Village, it’s located in the Spring Branch Independent School District, giving you access to one of the best school systems in Houston.

And as part of the Memorial Villages section of Houston, locals enjoy coffee shops like Blacksmith and Catalina Coffee, as well as weekend meals at favorites like The Union Kitchen and Brenner’s Steakhouse. Make sure you take the kids to Terry Hershey Park for a family bike ride to take advantage of its 11+ miles of trails along the creeks.

5. Katy, TX

Katy is one of the best small cities near Houston. It's celebrated for its abundance of parks and highly rated public schools, making it an ideal place for families. The Katy Independent School District, in particular, is noted for its excellence, ranking among the best in Texas for athletes, overall quality, and diversity. The area's commitment to quality education is evident in its top public schools, such as Campbell Elementary School, Adams J.H. Middle School, and Seven Lakes High School — all of which receive high marks for their academic programs.

Katy’s also one of the most affordable cities near Houston, TX, with an average home value much more affordable than other nearby suburbs and cities like West University Place.

For dine-out options, Katy’s most popular restaurants include La Finca, Star Pizza, Fuji Sushi, and Moi Vietnamese, providing a vibrant culinary scene. And for shopping, check out LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch.

6. Meadows Place, TX

Meadows Place, Texas, is a cozy community about 20 minutes southeast of downtown. Niche ranks it as one of the best places to live in Fort Bend County, noting its plentiful restaurants and parks. Mac McGrath Park, for example, offers plenty of green space — perfect for weekend baseball games, fishing, and hiking.

Our pick for the best place to eat? Kelley’s Country Cookin’. The meals are hearty, and you get more than you pay for. Be warned, though: You may find yourself fighting off a food coma after you chow down.

Most residents commute to Houston for work, and key industries are healthcare, tech, and aerospace. Easy access to the city makes it an economically diverse area with plenty of space for both white- and blue-collar workers. And Meadows Place is in the Fort Bend Independent Schools District, with top schools including Dulles High and Middle and Meadows Elementary.

A mural welcoming residents to Friendswood, Texas

7. Friendswood, TX

The Friendswood Independent School District makes this area one of the most popular suburbs in Houston. Safety is a hallmark of the community, and Friendswood is consistently ranked as one of Houston’s safest cities. This secure environment, coupled with a variety of parks and community events, underscores the city’s appeal to residents seeking a serene yet engaging lifestyle.

Like the other cities and suburbs near Houston we’ve mentioned, the local economy benefits from diverse industries including aerospace, healthcare, and energy. And Friendswood also offers a rich culinary scene, from quaint cafes to gourmet dining, alongside recreational gems like Centennial Park and Stevenson Park, making it a well-rounded place to call home. With its blend of educational excellence, safety, and a vibrant community life, who wouldn’t consider Friendswood as one of the best cities near Houston to relocate to?

8. Cumings, TX

Suburbia meets the bustling city life of Houston and the in-demand Sugar Land area in Cumings, Texas — nestled within Fort Bend County and part of the expansive Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land Metro Area. With a population just over 2,000 as of the 2020 census, it provides a cozy and intimate living environment while still being within close proximity to all the big-city action.

The area is served by the Lamar Consolidated Independent School District, which includes Jackson Elementary School, Briscoe Junior High School, and Foster High School. But since Cumings is a small town, when you’re looking for the top eats and parks nearby, you’ll want to look to the larger Fort Bend County area.

For restaurants, check out nearby Sugar Land. Pappasito’s Cantina serves some of the best Tex-Mex in the area, and Aga’s Restaurant & Catering offers excellent Indian and Pakistani dishes. Date night? Head over to Pier 36 Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar.

Brazos Bend State Park, known for its walking trails and wildlife observation opportunities, and George Ranch Historical Park, offering a glimpse into Texas's rich history, are just a couple of the notable outdoor spaces in the area, as well.

9. Sienna, TX

Sienna, Texas, is a master-planned community located in Fort Bend County, close to Cumings. Unlike its neighbor, however, Sienna is served by the Fort Bend Independent School District — meaning it shares its best schools with the number six location on our list, Meadows Place.

Golfers will particularly enjoy Sienna and the Sienna Golf Club, one of Houston’s most popular (and challenging) places to play. The area also boasts dozens of parks, making it easy to enjoy the outdoors, regardless of your sporting tastes. Families enjoy Camp Sienna Sports Park and the Recreation Complex, in particular, which give the kids safe, fun places to burn off some energy.

Sienna has no shortage of dining options, either. Brandani’s Restaurant & Wine Bar welcomes patrons with an elevated atmosphere and three-course meal options. And for more casual fare, look to La Escondida and Akashi Asian Bistro & Sushi. Spring Creek Barbeque is also a wonderful option, for you Texas BBQ lovers.

10. Hunters Creek Village, TX

If you’re looking for a luxurious experience in one of the best suburbs in Houston, Hunters Creek Village is your spot. Residents enjoy the serenity of suburban living with quick access to downtown Houston. One of the main draws? The area's crime rate is significantly below the national average, making it one of the safe cities near Houston, TX, you can’t miss. This tranquil suburb doesn't skimp on education, either, as it’s part of the Houston Independent School District, just like West University Place.

This area’s commitment to excellence in all aspects of life is what sets Hunters Creek Village apart from other Houston suburbs, making it an ideal choice for families and professionals alike seeking a distinguished lifestyle near one of Texas' most dynamic cities. And as part of the Memorial Villages area, like neighboring Hedwig Village, Hunters Creek offers easy access to strong dining options, such as Brenner’s and Cafe Rita.

For parks and recreational areas, nearby Memorial Park and the Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary are excellent outdoor spaces appreciated by residents for their natural beauty and available outdoor activities.

A father holds his son as he loads a PODS-branded moving box into a full PODS container

Choose PODS for Your Move to a City Near Houston

As you consider moving to one of the best cities near Houston, Texas, remember that PODS offers flexible and convenient moving solutions. With PODS, you can move at your own pace, thanks to their portable moving containers that can be delivered right to your driveway. Whether you're transitioning to the serene suburbs of Hunters Creek Village or the family-friendly streets of Katy, PODS provides the ease, efficiency, and peace of mind you need to help make your move as smooth as possible.

This content was created with the assistance of artificial intelligence. It was then fact-checked, proofread, and edited by the real-life intelligence of the PODS Blog team. 
Editor’s note: For ease of reading, monthly rental prices were rounded to the nearest $25 and home values were rounded to the nearest $100.

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