Hutto, Texas is a quiet suburb that has exploded in popularity with young families in recent years, thanks to its low cost of living, abundant affordable housing and proximity to the bustling Texas cities of Austin and Round Rock. It’s also famous for…hippos.
The origin of the city’s animal avatar is up for debate (one local legend involves a hippo that escaped from a circus train in 1915), but Hutto has embraced it with open arms. The local high school’s mascot is a hippo, and there are more than 3,000 concrete hippo statues scattered around town. You can even take a self-guided hippo tour to see the highlights.
Of course, there’s more to Hutto than its quirky mascot. The city boasts a historic downtown with century-old buildings, and residents enjoy more than 150 acres of public parks. All of this helps explain why Hutto is one of the fastest growing cities in Texas: the population has more than doubled over the past decade. Local planners are keeping up with that growth with a new development called the Co-Op District, a patchwork of agricultural land that will soon house restaurants, shops, apartments and municipal offices — like a new City Hall and public library.
For anything you can’t find in Hutto itself, it’s just a quick drive to Austin, which offers all the job opportunities (and nightlife) you’d expect to find in a big city.