What kind of Texan are you?

Texas flagTexas is hotter than a fur coat in Marfa, and we don’t just mean the temperature. According to the latest census figures, five of the 10 fastest-growing cities in the U.S. between 2011 and 2012 were in Texas, including Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Dallas and Fort Worth.

So which city is the best place to live? It depends on who you ask. Each comes with its own unique culture that can be difficult to figure out unless you ask a local. So that’s exactly what we did.

Redfin real estate agents from Houston, San Antonio, Austin and Dallas/Fort Worth gave us some insight into what makes their city special. We used their input to develop the following quiz, which highlights some of the key differences between each city. So if you’re moving to Texas, read on to determine which city is right for you.

If you’d like to learn more about the types of homes in each city, check out our companion report published today: Is Texas the New California? To search for homes for sale in Texas, visit www.redfin.com.

What industry would you want to work in?

Many technology companies have moved to Texas, including Dell, which has its headquarters just outside of Austin in Round Rock, TX

Many technology companies have moved to Texas, including Dell, which has its headquarters just outside of Austin in Round Rock, TX. Photo via Tim Patterson/Wikimedia Commons

  1. Oil
  2. Technology
  3. Business/Finance
  4. Military

If you answered…

  1. Houston. “The oil industry in Houston drives a lot of the revenue and relocation to the city. Many major oil companies are headquartered here, including Phillips 66, ConocoPhillips, and Halliburton, and Exxon is moving its headquarters here in 2014,” said Tara Waggoner, a Redfin real estate agent in Houston.
  2. Austin. “Technology is big in Austin; a ton of tech companies from California have moved in. Apple has a large office here, along with IBM, Dell, AMD and Activision,” said Cyndy Stewart, a Redfin real estate agent in Austin.
  3. Dallas. “There are a variety of corporations with headquarters in Dallas, including JC Penney, AT&T, Texas Instruments, Southwest Airlines, GameStop, Affiliated Computer Services and Exxon Mobile. The city is known for being a finance hub, though not to the degree of New York,” said Jason Aleem, a Redfin real estate agent in Dallas/Fort Worth.
  4. San Antonio. “The military and government agencies are the biggest employers, but what makes San Antonio unique is the diversity of jobs in the city. Trade and transportation are also big, because of where San Antonio is located in the state. There’s also a lot of tourism, as well as oil, gas and energy,” said Sandy Coffey, a Redfin real estate agent in Austin who grew up in San Antonio.

What do you prefer to wear to work?

The military is one of the largest employers in San Antonio. Photo via D. Myles Cullen, U.S. Army/Wikimedia Commons

The military is one of the largest employers in San Antonio. Photo via D. Myles Cullen, U.S. Army/Wikimedia Commons

  1. Formal business attire (i.e. suit)
  2. Casual attire (i.e. t-shirt and jeans)
  3. A uniform
  4. Business casual (slacks and a button up shirt)

If you answered…

  1. Dallas. “Dallas is probably the most formal in regards to clothes. You’re more likely to see guys in suits and slacks, and women in business casual/dressy attire. It’s more of the vibe in the city. There’s a lot of designer shopping in Dallas,” said Aleem.
  2. Austin. “We’re really influenced by the tech companies that moved here and the California culture. Anything goes, so you see people wearing flip flops to work. If you’re in a suit in downtown Austin, people know you’re from out of town,” said Stewart.
  3. San Antonio. “There are a lot of military bases that require uniforms, but outside of that, San Antonio is on the laid back side. It’s more of a casual environment than a suit and tie environment,” said Coffey.
  4. Houston. “People wear business casual here more than suits,” said Waggoner.

What kind of car do you drive?

Those in Houston tend to opt for a luxury SUV over a minivan. Photo via Sfoskett/Wikimedia Commons.

People in Houston tend to opt for a luxury SUV over a minivan. Photo via Sfoskett/Wikimedia Commons.

  1. Pickup truck
  2. Hybrid car
  3. Luxury SUV
  4. Luxury sedan

If you answered…

  1. San Antonio. “Pickup trucks are popular in San Antonio, and everywhere in Texas. People like the versatility of having a truck that can haul things around. It’s just part of the Texas culture,” said Coffey.
  2. Austin. “There are a lot of hybrids in the city, and people use Car2Go downtown. There are still a lot of pickup trucks, but hybrids are more common in Austin than in other Texas cities,” said Stewart.
  3. Houston. “We see a lot of luxury vehicles here in Houston, and people like to drive large SUVs that fit the whole family,” said Waggoner.
  4. Dallas. “There’s a lot of diversity in the city, but if you had to generalize, people in Dallas like luxury cars. There are a lot of BMWs, Audis and Mercedes,” said Aleem.

What’s your favorite sport to watch?

San Antonio, Houston and Dallas all have NBA teams, but the Spurs fans are known for being particularly passionate about their home team. Photo via Zereshk/Wikimedia Commons.

San Antonio, Houston and Dallas all have NBA teams, but the Spurs fans are known for being particularly passionate about their home team. Photo via Zereshk/Wikimedia Commons.

  1. Pro Football
  2. College Football
  3. NBA Basketball
  4. Soccer

If you answered…

  1. Dallas: “If you’re a pro football fan, you probably want to live in Dallas or Houston. The Dallas Cowboys are a legacy, and they have loyal fans despite the team’s performance over the past few years. People here just love football; high school football is big everywhere too. Friday Night Lights is real in Texas, we don’t mess around with that,” said Aleem.
  2. Austin: “Austin might not have professional sports teams, but they love UT football. There’s a huge fan base here, and around the state. When the Longhorns are having a game downtown, if you’re not going, you stay away because it’s so crowded. They sell out the stadium, which is one of the biggest in Texas,” said Stewart.
  3. San Antonio: “The San Antonio Spurs have won four championships, and the fans are crazy for the team. It’s in their blood. People are lifelong season ticket holders. When they were in the championship and lost to Miami, it took us months to get over it,” said Coffey.
  4. Houston: “The Dynamos are really popular in Houston; soccer is a big deal here. The Dynamo stadium was just built, and fans adore them. In Houston we also have the Rockets and the Texans, which are both very popular as well. When the Texans play on a Sunday, we know there’s going to be fewer tour requests during that time,” said Waggoner.
Rockets fans can now purchase "Fear the Beard" t-shirts to show their support for James Harden. Photo via Derral Chen/Wikimedia Commons.

Rockets fans can now purchase “Fear the Beard” t-shirts to show their support for James Harden. Photo via Derral Chen/Wikimedia Commons.

How would you use the phrase “fear the beard?”

  1. To cheer for James Harden
  2. To comment on someone’s ironic beard
  3. To refer to the Maverick’s pact not to shave until the team reached .500
  4. To congratulate the winner of the Alamo Beard Club Facial Hair Competition

If you answered…

  1. Houston: “The trio of basketball players on the Rockets is really exciting. This year the tickets are really hard to get. The fans shout ‘Fear the Beard’ to root for James Harden, and they even wear fake beards,” said Waggoner.
  2. Dallas: “In Dallas we said it when the Mavs were doing poorly last season and made a pact to grow their beards until they reached .500,” said Aleem.
  3. Austin: “All of the young people are sporting beards. I don’t know why, maybe it’s just a trend, but everybody is wearing a beard. It’s a big deal,” said Stewart.
  4. San Antonio: “The Alamo Beard Club holds an event where ‘beardos’ compete in a contest for having the best facial hair. It all raises money for charity,” said Coffey.

What’s your favorite holiday?

The Dallas skyline turns green in honor of St. Patrick's Day. Large crowds gather on Greenville Ave  to celebrate the holiday.

The Dallas skyline turns green in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. Large crowds gather on Greenville Ave to celebrate the holiday. Photo via Adrian Valenzuela/Wikimedia Commons.

  1. Easter/Spring Celebrations
  2. St. Patricks’ Day
  3. Christmas/Winter Holidays
  4. Thanksgiving

If you answered…

  1. San Antonio. “Fiesta is a big two-week festival that takes place around Easter. There are a lot of different events, including a night parade, a day parade, and a river parade. It’s a tradition to crack Cascarones over people’s heads, which are dyed, hollowed egg shells filled with confetti,” said Coffey.
  2. Dallas. “There’s a big Saint Patrick’s Day parade in Lower Greenville. Everyone starts on one end of Greenville Avenue and then walks a few miles down the road. There are bands playing, people drinking in the street, people riding in party buses. This year Snoop Lion performed,” said Aleem.
  3. Austin. “The Austin Trail of Lights at Zilker Park is a tradition that has been going on for generations. Even those who don’t celebrate Christmas go to look at the lights there. The Zilker Tree Lighting is a major event that draws big crowds,” said Stewart.
  4. Houston. “The H-E-B Holiday Parade is the biggest Thanksgiving Day parade in Texas. It’s family-friendly, with floats, drill teams and marching bands,” said Waggoner.

What’s your idea of a romantic date?

Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck, at the top of Reunion Tower, is a popular date night location in Dallas. Photo via Batrak/Wikimedia Commons.

Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck, at the top of Reunion Tower, is a popular date night location in Dallas. Photo via Batrak/Wikimedia Commons.

  1. Watching a play
  2. Having dinner with a view
  3. Seeing live music
  4. Walking hand-in-hand by the river

If you answered…

  1. Houston. “Houston is known for its great theater options. There are several venues in the Theater District, including the Alley Theatre, which is a popular spot for a date,” said Waggoner.
  2. Dallas. “The restaurant at Reunion Tower is a popular spot for romantic dinners. It’s at the top of the tower, and rotates around. It’s one of the highest points, so you can see all of Dallas,” said Aleem.
  3. Austin. “Austin is the ‘Live Music Capitol of the World’ because there are so many venues and shows. You can go anywhere, any night of the week, and find live musicians. It is the norm because so many restaurants and bars have it,” said Stewart.
  4. San Antonio. “The River Walk is a romantic spot. The San Antonio River runs through downtown, and there are sidewalks so you can walk along the river and visit the shops and restaurants. There are also river barges that take you through downtown,” said Coffey.

What do you like to eat for lunch?

Chinatown in Houston offers an array of restaurants to choose from. Photo via  Hequals2henry/Wikimedia Commons.

Chinatown in Houston offers an array of restaurants to choose from. Photo via Hequals2henry/Wikimedia Commons.

  1. Southern food
  2. Ethnic cuisine
  3. Mexican food
  4. Anything from a food truck

If you answered…

  1. Dallas. “There’s a lot of southern influence in Dallas. Popular spots include Hattie’s, The Porch, Sissy’s, and Babe’s Chicken. There are also many fine dining options, including Al Biernat’s, Javier’s, The Grape – there are too many to list,” said Aleem.
  2. Houston. “Of all the big cities in Texas, Houston offers the most variety of ethnic foods. There are so many good restaurants in the city. As far as fine dining goes, steak and seafood are popular choices,” said Waggoner.
  3. San Antonio. “Mexican food is popular everywhere in Texas, but it’s a main staple in San Antonio, thanks to the heavy Hispanic influence on the city. Mi Tierra is very popular; it’s in downtown San Antonio and is open 24-hours. They have mariachi bands that serenade you while you eat,” said Coffey.
  4. Austin. “Food trucks are really popular in Austin; you can get anything you can possibly think of, even lobster, from a truck. The Chi’Lantro is a well-known one; it’s Mexican/Korean fusion. The locals love it, and visitors love it too. Farmer’s markets and freshly delivered farm goods are also becoming a big trend,” said Stewart.

What’s your drink of choice?

Beer is a popular choice no matter what city you live in. Photo via Oscar Franzén/Wikimedia Commons.

Beer is a popular choice no matter what city you live in. Photo via Oscar Franzén/Wikimedia Commons.

  1. Beer
  2. Wine
  3. Alcohol
  4. Michelada

If you answered…

  1. Any City. “Dallas is starting to get local breweries, like Community Beer, Lakewood, Rahr & Sons, and Deep Ellum Brewing. Austin has a lot of local breweries as well. Beer is popular in Houston and San Antonio too, though the microbrews aren’t as common; you see people drinking national brands like Bud Light and Coors,” said Aleem.
  2. Houston. “Houston has a lot of small, eclectic bars, which offer drink specials and wine tasting. Of all the cities, you’ll probably find the most wine drinkers in Houston, though a Bud Light will always be the preference at any tailgate,” said Waggoner.
  3. Dallas. “New vodka distilleries are starting to pop up in Texas, like Deep Eddy Vodka in Austin, and Western Son in Dallas. I learned that Dallas was where the frozen margarita machine was invented!” said Aleem.
  4. San Antonio. “Michelada, which is a mix of tomato juice and beer, is popular in San Antonio. It’s a lot like a bloody Mary. Margaritas are also really big,” said Coffey.

Where do you like to go to cool off in the summer?

Barton Springs is a hot spot to cool off in Austin. Photo via Downtown Austin/Wikimedia Commons.

Barton Springs is a hot spot to cool off in Austin. Photo via Downtown Austin/Wikimedia Commons.

  1. Swim in a natural spring
  2. Go to a water park
  3. Shop in air conditioned stores
  4. Eat in air conditioned restaurants

If you answered…

  1. Austin. “Barton Springs is a local swimming hole that’s been a summer tradition for decades. People also like to go boating on Lake Travis and Lake Austin; anywhere you can swim is great when it gets so hot here in the summer,” said Stewart.
  2. San Antonio. “In the summer people travel to Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels to go to the water park there, or they visit Fiesta Texas and SeaWorld. People also like to take a day trip to float down the Comal and Guadalupe rivers,” said Coffey.
  3. Dallas. “There are a lot of great places to shop in Dallas. People are into fashion, and the latest designer clothes. Almost everywhere is air conditioned,” said Aleem.
  4. Houston. “In the summer people tend to rearrange their schedules so they’re not out during the hottest part of the day. There are so many good restaurants here that they’ll go to in the evenings,” said Waggoner.

And a few final thoughts from our Redfin agents…

Austin: “Austin has a different vibe than the other cities in Texas. There’s not a set way of doing things; everything goes. There are a lot of creative, and very smart people here. Because there are people from around the world moving to Austin, it’s becoming a melting pot; not just in pockets of the city, but everywhere. And Austin tends to be a healthy city in general; everyone is out running and biking, and they care about eating local and organic food,” said Stewart.

Dallas: “As more and more people move to Texas from around the world, we’re starting to see the differences between each city dissipate. In the past you would go to a city, get your job, and be there forever, but now you might move to another city in Texas, and take those attributes with you. We’re becoming way more similar to each other than ever before. People unite under the Texas pride, not necessarily the city pride,” said Aleem.

Houston: “Houston is the largest in regard to land mass, and there’s oil money that brings a lot of wealth to the city. It has historically been the most diverse city in Texas. It has a very cosmopolitan feel, thanks to the arts and fine dining options. As far as homes, Houston has a lot of high end options, even in first-time homes. As Redfin reported, Houston has the most luxury features, such as granite countertops and higher end kitchens and baths. You can still find affordable homes with those features in Houston,” said Waggoner.

San Antonio: “What makes San Antonio special is that it’s so diverse, in the people and the industries that are there. There’s also a lot of history; it’s known for The Alamo, and there are historical homes and missions. Even though it’s the second largest city in Texas, it still has a small town feel. People love to host family gatherings, and people tend to stick to their traditions,” said Coffey.

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