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10 Reasons to Love Katy, Texas

From outstanding public schools to affordable housing, from a family-friendly environment to a thriving economy, it’s easy to see why Katy, Texas was named the #2 Boomtown by Business Week

With an excellent school system, a thriving economy, and an abundance of sports teams, recreational venues, and family friendly activities, it’s not hard to see why Katy is one of the fastest growing communities in the greater Houston area. Although there are hundreds of reasons why Katy is a wonderful place to live, here are out top ten.

1. Exceptional Schools

Katy Independent School District (Katy ISD) is considered one of the best school districts in the greater Houston area. Katy ISD currently has 52 schools with aggressive expansion plans to meet the growing population of students, which is currently more than 55,000. All of Katy schools offer outstanding facilities and equipment for teachers and students alike, including a highly advanced technology program that includes computers in each classroom and stationary and wireless labs in every school. Students in grades K-12 are exposed to a wide variety of extracurricular activities, from sports to drama and music.

The district operates the Kenneth D. Welch Outdoor Learning Center, 35 acres of land kept in its natural state. Students at all grade levels are able to participate in hands-on science and social studies activities, including living history and science classrooms, a museum, and a barn with a blacksmith shop. Domestic fowl and animals, nature trails, and a pond stocked with fish are just a few examples of how Katy ISD is using its natural resources and surroundings to provide a quality educational experience for its students.

2. A Thriving Economy

While many cities around the country are struggling with today’s economy, Katy is fortunate enough to have world-class business leaders such as BP America, Conoco Phillips, Igloo, Mustang Engineering, and Shell Oil North America headquartered in the area. There’s also a high level of employee productivity. While the energy services sector boasts some of the biggest names in the industry, it’s important not to forget about the other strong economic sectors, including wholesale trade, plastics and advanced materials, service, and retail. According to the Katy Area Economic Development Council, in 2008 over two million people were employed within a 30 mile radius of Katy with an average unemployment rate of only 4%. Proximity to Houston and the Energy Corridor is positioning the Katy area to rapidly develop into one of the region’s premier business growth centers.

3. Outstanding Neighborhoods

From large, open floor plans to small efficiency apartments, there’s definitely a home to fit your lifestyle. Patio homes are available, as are master-planned estate homes in gated communities. Katy has a great mix of older neighborhoods with houses built in the 1980s, while other neighborhoods are still under development. Many newer subdivisions offer numerous amenities including community pools, tennis courts, parks, hike and bike trails, and workout facilities. Pricing begins below the $100,000s and can go well above $1 million in the more exclusive communities. Whether moderately priced or a grand estate – you will find a home to love in Katy.

4. Fun and Flavorful Dining

No matter what your taste, you can find food that will please your palate in Katy. New restaurants are popping up all over, yet there are restaurants that the locals have been enjoying for years. On-the-go families can enjoy the convenience of fast-food, but don’t forget the ethnic restaurants and old-fashioned Texas barbecue joints. Mid-level family restaurants offer a variety of delicious cuisine, while more upscale venues make special evenings out even more enjoyable. Check out our dining guide and katymagazine.com for more information on tasty Katy cuisine.

5. Shop ‘Til You Drop

From department stores to boutiques, you can find it in Katy. Katy Mills Mall showcases popular brands in retail and outlet shopping, while LaCenterra and the nearby Villagio feature a more upscale shopping experience. The Old Katy area is home to many smaller shops (many off the beaten path) that offer more personalized options.

Another advantage that Katyites enjoy is the close proximity to malls and outlets in Cy-Fair, Houston, and Sugar Land areas. The Houston Galleria offers a shopping adventure in an upscale, three-story complex. Houston Premium Outlets, the Conroe Outlet, and the VF Outlet in Hempstead all offer great discounts. Trader’s Village off of Eldridge is an adventure in flea markets, festivals and great bargains. And First Colony Mall in Sugar Land offers over 160 wonderful stores and eateries.

6. Parks and Leisure

Because we have typically mild weather during the winter, there are even more opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. While most subdivisions have their own playgrounds, there are numerous public parks in Katy. Katy is known for its family-friendly recreation such as hiking, biking, golf, and nature walks. Families can also enjoy fishing, playgrounds, and picnic areas. Dog owners will love the Katy Bark Park with acres of green grass, a wading pool, and doggie showers. Youth and adult sports leagues are available year round. Some of the most popular are soccer, football, baseball, tennis and swimming, among several others.

7. A Sense of Security

Because Katy is a tri-county area, dipping into Harris, Waller, and Fort Bend Counties, there’s never a need to worry about safety. Katy has its own police force and several fire stations with emergency medical services strategically placed throughout the area. Constables patrol most neighborhoods, and Sheriff’s Deputies from all counties are quick to respond to emergency situations. The school district also has it’s own police force to ensure that all campuses provide a safe environment for students, faculty, and staff. All of this protection helps keep Katyites safe and sound. The secure, home-town feel in the midst of big-city conveniences is another plus for Katy.

8. Kid-Focused Fun

Birthday parties, swimming, bowling, gymnastics and dance lessons are just a few of the fun activities for Katy kids. Inspiring and educational lessons abound in Katy, from, art lessons and music classes to martial arts and horseback riding. Whatever your youngster’s interests may be, Katy has the studios and facilities especially geared toward the development of young minds and bodies. A variety of camps and child-care programs are also available during winter, spring, and summer breaks. Read ahead – our Lessons and Activities directory offers lots of entertaining and educational opportunities.

9. A Caring Community

No matter how desirable an area may appear to be, it just wouldn’t be complete without an abundance of friendly faces. In Katy, southern hospitality still exists. You’ll meet wonderful neighbors, friendly bank tellers, dedicated teachers, and highly qualified doctors. Over the years Katy has attracted the best in healthcare practitioners and hospitals, and the job opportunities in these fields continue to grow. Construction is already underway for Texas Children’s, St. Luke’s, and The Methodist Hospital, and Christus St. Catherine’s and Katy Memorial Hermann are established facilities available for emergency care and medical procedures. Additionally, specialized and highly qualified medical practices from urgent care to long-term care keep Katy patients close to home. See our medical guide for a list of health care providers.

10. Location is Everything

For living, working, playing, and learning, when you are talking convenience, Katy has it all – and then some! People choose to live here in part because of its proximity to Houston without having to deal with the hustle and bustle of city life. Katy provides work opportunities in many fields including retail, education, and medicine. And the Katyites who commute to work can just jump on the Westpark Tollway or the HOV lanes on I-10. The METRO Park & Ride system has two nearby locations serving Katy residents, making that trek into Houston just a bit more convenient. During non-rush hours or weekends, getting into the heart of Houston is less than a 30 minute ride.

© 2009 Katy Magazine

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