The great state of Texas has a long and storied history when it comes to oil. The state is home to some of the largest oil fields in the world, and the oil industry has played a major role in the state’s growing economy and development. All of that growth and development has inspired more industries—and subsequently, more citizens—to make their move to West Texas. West Texas is well known for its prominence in the oil industry, and people from all over the world have migrated to West Texas, helping to shape the unique culture of the region. Are you looking to relocate to Texas? Read on to learn more about what you should know about West Texas.

Small town life. In addition to bigger cities, West Texas has plenty of small towns for those looking to relocate to Texas to live more of a country lifestyle. Big Spring, with its beautiful landscapes and friendly families, is located at the crossroads of Highway 87 and Interstate 20. Andrews is about 30 miles east of New Mexico and 300 miles west of Dallas. Founded in 1903, this town has a low cost of living, low crime rate, and a great sense of community. Sonora is a spot exactly halfway between Florida and California and exactly halfway across the state of Texas, between Beaumont and El Paso. Though it’s a small town, it’s doing big business and helping to develop international trade by connecting with Mexico and Canada.

Dig deep. The Permian Basin—a geological wonder covering 250,000 square miles—is a sedimentary basin in West Texas that formed almost 300 million years ago. Over time, sediments from what was a shallow sea turned to rock. It holds some notable formations such as Wolfcamp Shale, the Bone Spring Formation, and the Spraberry Formation. A major economic driver of the region, the Basin supports a large number of jobs and generates billions of dollars in revenue each year. It’s home to a variety of resources and plays an important role in the global economy.

Not just wide-open spaces. West Texas contains three metropolitan areas including Midland, Odessa, and San Angelo. Midland is a growing city with a strong economy. It is also a family friendly city, with a number of good schools and parks. Locally, Midlanders are known for their hospitality and helpfulness. Odessa, another major oil and gas hub, is also a great place to live, work, and raise a family. Fun fact: The well-known book and film Friday Night Lights centers on the powerful high school football culture in Odessa and surrounding towns. San Angelo is located at the junction of the North and South Concho Rivers. It is a popular spot for both outdoor recreation and the arts. These bigger cities are all conveniently located just a short drive from the smaller communities, such as Andrews and Big Spring.

Big businesses. In addition to a large presence in the oil and gas extraction and pipeline transportation industries, West Texas is also well known for work in mining, agriculture, fishing, hunting, trapping, heavy and civil engineering construction, manufacturing, and truck transportation. Some of the major employers in the region include Halliburton, Weatherford, Ethicon, and Lone Star Beef. Fun fact: If this region were a state, it would have the nation’s 5th highest per capita income.

The arts are alive and well. Living in West Texas means living within a thriving arts community. The Odessa Shakespeare Festival produces plays by the Bard in a family-friendly event each year. Founded in 1978, the company also offers educational programs, workshops, lectures, and discussions. For even more theatre, the Permian Playhouse in Odessa offers a variety of productions each year including musicals, plays, and children’s shows. It also has educational programs for kids and adults. Odessa’s arts offerings draw audience members from throughout the region, including Big Spring and Andrews.

Diverse landscape. From the arid, mystifying Chihuahua Desert to the Concho River Valley to the impressive Guadalupe Mountains, there is plenty of natural beauty in West Texas. The Guadalupe Mountains are known as a hiker’s paradise with more than 80 miles of trails to roam. The Caverns of Sonora feature a unique cave with a stunning array of calcite and helictite crystal formations. The Permian Basin is home to a variety of wildlife including deer, antelope, and bighorn sheep; it’s also a popular spot for hiking, camping, and fishing.

Look to the locals. The Texas Economic Development Connection has been helping companies and all their employees relocate to Texas for more than three decades. Their aim is to help connect people with the best Texas community, based on their business and lifestyle needs. Finding the right fit for your family, your employees, their families, and your business is so important. If you are looking to relocate to Texas, let the experts at TexasEDConnection help to guide you on your move or expansion. Check out the relocation planning tool online, or reach out today at 214-775-0617.