The laid-back lifestyle is a mainstay of Austin culture, so it should come as no surprise that we're surrounded by some pretty chill towns. In fact, Cedar Park, Georgetown, and San Marcos were recently named three of the most relaxed small cities in the United States.
Real estate website Movoto looked at cities with a population between 50,000-60,000 and ranked them based on low levels of unemployment, cost of living, crime rates, population density, commute time, average work weeks, and the percentage of earnings spent on rent. Movoto also considered the number of relaxing escapes in the city, such as massage parlors, yoga studios, and outdoor parks to determine the top 10 chill spots.
According to these factors, Cedar Park ranks fifth. "One of the main reasons Cedar Park ranked so well was for its high number of parks per capita," says Movoto. "There also seems to be a lot of room for other relaxing amenities, specifically, massage businesses, and yoga studios."
The next Central Texas city on the list is Georgetown at No. 7, due in part to its low population density. "Not only do Georgetown's residents have plenty of space; they also have plenty of parks and jobs, ranking 13th and 12th in these categories, respectively," Movoto points out.
Last but not least is San Marcos at No. 10. Movoto believes that our neighbors to the south have discovered the perfect balance between work and free time. "The average work week here is just 32.8 hours, and just 3.4 percent of residents are unemployed," says the real estate website. "San Marcos also had the ninth lowest cost of living — a score of just 86, compared to the national average of 100."
Movoto is quick to point out the trend in the Texas representation: Each city's proximity to Austin, "which everyone knows is kind of the epitome of chilled-out in the Lone Star State."
These three Central Texas towns are pretty chill, but the most relaxed cities in the country are Richland, Washington; Dubuque, Iowa; and Manhattan, Kansas.