Located at the very northern edge of the DFW Metroplex, Denton has a small-town feel with big city amenities like two universities — University of North Texas and Texas Woman’s University — as well as a thriving music and arts scene, and a charmingly Texan downtown square.
Denton earned a slot on our list in part because of the city’s high health score, thanks to its access to some of the best healthcare facilities in the state like Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton and several Cook Children’s Pediatrics locations throughout the city. Denton County was also named the healthiest county in Texas last year, citing its health outcomes, or how long people live and how healthy they feel while they’re living.
Additionally, Denton earned accolades for its many amenities, like its popular live music scene: On any given day of the week, you’re able to catch a show in a variety of genres like jazz, rock, country, blues or indie.
Local Obsession: Denton loves music, and especially jazz. Whether they’re listening to their acclaimed UNT Jazz Singers or attending the annual Denton Arts & Jazz Festival, Denton likes to hear that swingin’ bass.
Climate Described in 6 Words Or Less: Rarely cold, but sometimes scorching
Top Industries and Employers: The top industries in Denton are healthcare and education. The top employers in the city are University of North Texas, Denton Independent School District and Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton
Local Dream Job: Donning a beatnik beret and teaching Jazz History at the University of North Texas Division of Jazz Studies
Quintessential Meal: Al pastor tacos from Taqueria Guanajuato — we’re drooling just thinking about it.
Favorite Weekend Activity: Nothing beats strolling through The Square, Denton’s picturesque downtown, which was built in 1896.
After-Work Meetup Spot: Want some ambiance with your cocktails? Check out Oak St. Drafthouse and Cocktail Parlor, located in one of the oldest houses in Denton.
Beloved Bookstore: Recycled Books, Records & CDs is the largest used and rare bookstore in Texas, so y’all better clear your schedule for a visit to this book-lover’s paradise.
Free Way to Have Fun: When the Texas sun isn’t blazin, grab your binoculars and head to Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center, which has eight miles of nature trails and is a great spot for birding.
Truly Hidden Gem: Texas-Tulips, a technicolor field of tulips that’s only a 20-minute drive from the city center and the perfect place for a romantic picnic.
- Jamie Birdwell-Branson