More than bluebonnets
The North Texas city known as a bluebonnet capital of Texas each spring is also one of the state's best overall suburbs. Ennis lands at No. 4 in a recent SmartAsset ranking of the best suburbs near a large city in Texas. Nationally, it's ranked 102nd.
Ennis, about 60 miles southeast of Fort Worth and 40 miles from Dallas (some might say too far to qualify as a "suburb"), earns a score of 59.47 (out of 100) in the affordability category, 84.60 in the jobs category, and 43.83 in the livability category in the SmartAsset study.
While many North Texans know about Ennis' famed Bluebonnet Trails and might have caught a race or two at the Texas Motorplex, the city's website also touts its many reasons to move there - quality of life, top-rated schools, and more.
"Ennis is a thriving Texas community of 18,513. Our unique downtown architecture is recognized by the National Register of Historic Places, and as a community we seek to retain the historic charm of the turn of the century through a variety of festivals and beautification programs," the city's website says. "Ennis is a nurturing place. We grow and support a productive, motivated and well educated citizenry."
Brownsburg, Indiana, a suburb of Indianapolis, tops SmartAsset's national ranking.
Among Texas suburbs, a San Antonio neighbor that touts its coveted presence in “God’s Country” - Hondo - lands at No. 1. Hondo is ranked No. 32 nationally. The community, 40 miles west of San Antonio, earns a score of 90.48 (out of 100) in the affordability category, 72.02 in the jobs category, and 47.84 in the livability category.
The City of Hondo website notes the presence in Hondo of its well-known sign, which declares: "THIS IS GOD’S COUNTRY, PLEASE DON’T DRIVE THROUGH IT LIKE HELL." Hondo, whose population exceeds 9,300, has used that trademarked phrase for more than 80 years “to preserve the city’s natural beauty” and to promote the city as a convention and tourism destination.
Other Texas suburbs ranked in the SmartAsset study are:
- Burnet (Austin), No. 53
- Cedar Park (Austin), No. 62
- New Braunfels (San Antonio), No. 106
- Georgetown (Austin), No. 116
- Taylor (Austin), No. 118
- Boerne (San Antonio), No. 126.
- Rockport (Corpus Christi), No. 137
- Sealy (Houston), No. 170
For the study, SmartAsset analyzed 13 metrics related to jobs, affordability, and livability for nearly 500 suburbs within a 15-minute to one-hour drive of a city with at least 250,000 residents.
“Large cities can be a great option for anyone looking for a walkable, fast-paced environment with easy access to shops and restaurants. However, the hustle and bustle of a large city isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition for everyone,” SmartAsset says. “Large cities are often expensive … and may have higher crime rates than their surrounding areas. Suburbs, in turn, can offer more affordable housing, lower crime rates, and a variety of entertainment options.”