They say everything’s bigger in Texas—does that also include the yawns? Last month, the Movoto Real Estate Blog looked at the 10 most exciting places in the Lone Star State, and now we’ve ventured back to rank the places where the only things being lassoed are sheep. You know, the ones residents are counting while people in more thrilling places are out partying the night away.
We used counting (plus lots and lots of data) to determine that Rowlett gives the fewest hoots about having an exciting time. In fact, the most interesting thing it did was round up a posse of nine other places to comprise the 10 most boring places in Texas:
1. City of Rowlett
2. City of Schertz
3. City of Mesquite
4. City of Duncanville
5. City of Cleburne
6. City of Rosenberg
7. City of La Porte
8. City of Lancaster
9. City of Grand Prairie (tie)
9. City of Pearland (tie)
In the rest of this light-hearted skewering of Texas snooze fests (you’ve seen us poke fun at California’s most boring places, right?) we’ll be talking about just why Rowell and the rest of these spots are so blah in the fun department. First, though, let’s rustle up some details on how we put this ranking together.
How We Found The Dullest Spots On The Map
Don’t worry, we won’t bore you with too many details. Basically, we made a list of the 100 largest places in Texas—the same we used for our exciting ranking—and ranked them all based on the follow criteria using data from the U.S. Census and business listings:
- Nightlife per capita (bars, clubs, comedy, etc.)
- Live music venues per capita
- Active life options per capita (parks, outdoor activities, etc.)
- Fast Food restaurants per capita (the fewer the better)
- Percentage of restaurants that are fast food (the lower the better)
- Percentage of young residents ages 20 to 34 (the higher the better)
They were given a score from 1 to 100 in each, with 100 being the worst. When we averaged these rankings into one overall Big Deal Score, the highest total score was the most boring (we’re looking at you, Rowlett).
When we were finished, we had the following ranking—and the detailed chart of the 50 most boring places you can find at the end of this post.
Now, before we get to the good stuff, we just figure it needed to be said: we’re sure these are all nice places and we’re not saying there aren’t great things about them. They’re just boring, and we’re just having fun. Now, let’s get started, shall we?
When you’re researching a place and the first descriptor you find about it is “quiet,” you know you’re not dealing with excitement central. In fact, we don’t have this 100 percent confirmed, but we’re pretty sure the reason the Dallas Cowboys rejected a big to move here a few years back is because it’s so dang boring.
Anyway, the numbers are what got Rowlett into this predicament, so let’s talk a little about them. For starters, only about 19 percent of the residents here were between 18 and 34 years old. That’s just not going to work for an exciting place, and put Rowlett in 94th place in terms of a youthful populace.
The city also placed 88th overall for nightlife, which, while not the worst, it’s out of 100 so it’s pretty boring. For live music it placed 63rd, and in terms of active life options it came in 69th. Finally, 22 percent of the dining options here were fast food (read: boring) and Rowlett placed 98th for the percentage of non-chain eateries overall.
Schertz? Like the article of clothing? Well, at least there’s perhaps some connection to the thrilling history of the blouse or classic T? Alas, no. Schertz is close to Randolph Air Force Base. It also has several annual festivals and sounds perfectly nice. Also perfectly boring.
This city has loads of fast food (it ranked last for original dining), is plenty old (only 22 percent of it is 18 to 34), and its nightlife options placed 69th. Maybe it has a lot of shirt stores? That would be an interesting factoid but not something we’re awarding points for, unfortunately.
Oh man, Mesquite? Everyone’s heard of Mesquite! It’s the place with the… and the… hmm. Oh yeah, the largest employer here is UPS. What can brown do for you? Ship you somewhere more exciting, if you’re lucky.
In all seriousness, Mesquite’s nightlife ranked 93rd. Its active life options per capita were nearly the worst in the top 10 at 88th. Hey, maybe UPS can ship in the excitement?
Duncanville is near Dallas, but it’s not Dallas. Dallas was 10th in terms of nightlife when we ranked the most exciting places in Texas; Duncanville was 95th. It was only 33rd for fast food places per capita, though, with them accounting for only 14 percent of eateries. That’s at least something to get quasi-excited about.
Oh, and did we mention it’s near Dallas? That’s good, because at least folks there can head to Dallas for something to do. We ranked places based on things actually within their city limits, however, so no points for proximity to more exciting places. That would be cheating.
Cleburne was named after a Civil War general (Patrick Cleburne) and… oh yeah, there’s also a lake nearby named for the guy. Fracking in the area has been looked at as a possible cause for earthquakes there, which we suppose is semi-exciting if you’re into hydraulic fracturing of rock by pressurized liquid. (Really, who isn’t? Well, apart from that “Gasland” guy.)
With a live music ranking of 63rd, that’s probably the only way this place is rocking.
Rosenberg was the absolute worst place on our ranking when it came to boring ol’ fast food per capita, and almost 26 percent of the dining options here are chain restaurants. On the sort-of-a-plus side of things, the city was 54th in terms of per capita nightlife, which puts it just about in the middle of the 100 places we looked at.
If there’s something fun to do here, please let us know. We understand there’s an annual Czech Fest? Do things really pop off there?
7. La Porte
If you couldn’t guess by the name, La Porte is a port town. It sits on Galveston Bay and was once a popular tourist destination. Past tense. A former hotspot seems like a perfect fit for a top 10 of boring places, no?
Perhaps these numbers would have been higher during La Porte’s heyday, but nowadays nightlife there ranks 42nd overall and live music 63rd. What’s more, the selection of activity options came in 81st.
When we ranked the most boring places in California, one of them was called Lancaster. Now we have another. If the next state we look at does, we’re going to start getting worried. For now, we’re just concerned about where this Lancaster ranked and why.
While this city’s Cold War Air Museum might be exciting to some (the author of this ranking included), those seeking true excitement won’t find it in the 90th ranked nightlife or 94th ranked active life options. No, the best they can hope for is a surprisingly high percentage of original eateries. Lancaster ranked 11th for that with the lowest per capita concentration of fast food in our top 10.
9. Grand Prairie
We actually had two places tie at No. 9 for this ranking, so we’re including them in alphabetical order. Grand Prairie gets the honor of being dissected first, and inside its lifeless husk we found a bunch of numbers—and they didn’t look good.
We’re talking about an active life options rank of 90th and a nightlife rank of 86th. The sort-of-saving graces here that placed Grand Prairie low in our top 10 were a 54th place ranking for live music and 44th rank for young people age 18 to 34.
Place No. 9 part two has an impressive number of shopping centers for a town its size. Unfortunately, those aren’t exciting, at least not to anyone but rabid shopaholics and that’s a ranking for another day. When it came to things that mattered in this ranking, Pearland was just… eh.
Befitting of its low place in the top 10, Pearland wasn’t as bad in some categories as other cities. For instance, where No.1 Rowlett was 88th in nightlife, it was 71st. They actually tied at 63rd in terms of per capita live music though. In fast food per capita, however, Pearland was 88th while Rowlett was 58th. Set taste buds to “bored.”
Thanks For Visiting Dullest, Texas
We think we found what we came for, and hopefully you had some fun with us along the way.
As we say around these parts, the data doesn’t lie. That being said, we’re sticking to our guns no matter what you say, but if you’d like to take a crack at making these cities sound cooler, fire away. Just remember: rodeos DO NOT COUNT. Everywhere has rodeos. Seriously.