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Watch out, Austin, though you’ve been endlessly ranked on the lists of “Best Cities to Live In”, Cedar Park may not be far behind. After all, it’s already earned the titles of Best Place to Raise a Family, Fourth Fastest-Growing City in the US, 16th Best Small City, and 7th Top City for Millennials. And it makes sense why. This laid-back suburb, just 17 miles north of Austin and minutes away from Round Rock and the Texas Hill Country—offers an easy working commute to Austin, family-centric neighborhoods with wide lawns and friendly neighbors, and enough exciting recreation that you don’t ever have to leave.

Calling all joggers and nature buffs

Cedar Park boasts a whopping 47 city parks and 22 miles of trails, so you’re pleasantly surrounded by green space in this suburban paradise. Spend the day in the green waters of postcard-worthy Brushy Creek Lake Park. The twisting trails, live oak, and even a splash pad for the kids make this scenic park a local favorite. By night, sports fans can rile up their Texas pride and cheer on favorite players at a game of either the AHL Texas Stars or the NBA Austin Spurs—or grab the board and head to Cedar Park’s Skatepark, featuring a large bowl, mini bowl, and street course. For a fun weekend afternoon, rouse the whole family and head to Twin Creeks for a country club, 18-hole golf course, and water park for the kids, or hit the HEB Center to catch your favorite bands play in an energetic stadium venue. For a quieter Sunday afternoon, ignite your curiosity through out-of-this-world exhibits at the Texas Museum of Science and Tech, or stroll through the Cedar Park Sculpture Garden after a leisurely picnic.

Texas Football

Families with school-aged kids, get ready to experience true Texas high school football, a la Friday Night Lights. Cedar Park has won multiple state titles and is the only Texas high school to win UIL state titles in both band and football during the same school year, so rooting on the Timberwolves and the Rangers will be on your list of duties as a true Texan. Cedar Park students attend either the Leander Independent School District or the Round Rock Independent School District, and both have received accolades for not just their sports programs, but academics, too. As for higher education, Austin Community College has a satellite location here—Cypress Creek—as does Texas State University.

As an educated city that’s also a hub of high-tech employers, this booming Austin suburb is ideal for professional growth. Add to that the safety, affordability, and community-minded family atmosphere, and Cedar Park offers a quality of life that can’t be beaten.

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