It’s hard to tell what exactly attracts everyone to our great state—it could be our delicious food, our growing innovation, or simply the fact that everything is bigger in Texas—but one thing we know for sure is that the pipeline between Texas and California has grown stronger over the years. As more tech companies pivot to make Texas their headquarters, Californians are packing up and heading for Texas. In fact, Harris County has become a magnet for former Cali residents, mostly due to the affordable housing and more bang for your buck.
It’s not surprising (to us at least) that a select handful of celebrities have abandoned the Hollywood Hills for greener pastures in the Lone Star State. Texas has been in the spotlight more and more, making its way to our television screens, too. A handful of television shows and movies have been shot in Texas this year alone, so it’s a no-brainer that celebrities are making Texas their home.
Here are a few household names that you’ll find living in Texas:
1. George Strait
The “all my exes live in Texas” crooner has called the Lone Star State home since his birth in Poteet, Texas. Strait has even said that he can’t imagine living anywhere but Texas! As one of the most recognizable faces of country music, Strait has helped to make Texas a hub for the genre—his rodeo performance secured a record turnout earlier this year. He sold his $7.5 million mansion in San Antonio in 2021, however, the esteemed singer has multiple Texas properties, including a cattle ranch.
2. Matthew McConaughey
A native of Uvalde, Matthew McConaughey is another hometowner still living in Texas. Known for his starring roles in films such as Dallas Buyers Club (ironically filmed in New Orleans), Interstellar, and HBO’s True Detective, McConaughey lives part-time in Austin. He's seen regularly at college football games cheering on the Longhorns, and was even once rumored to be toying with a run for the governor of Texas. When he’s not on the big screen or talking politics, he’s teaching students in the radio-television-film department at the Moody College of Communication at the University of Texas.
3. Sandra Bullock
Though she’s not in Texas as often as she once was, Bullock still has roots in the state. The Oscar-winning actress, who has warned recent Hollywood transplants to Austin, “don’t try and change it”, is even financially invested in the food scene. Bullock owns the popular deli, Walton's Fancy and Staple, located on 6th Street, where she’s heavily involved in the curation of the menu.
4. Kyle Chandler
Kyle Chandler (aka Coach Taylor) is well established in the acting world thanks to his Emmy-winning role on Friday Night Lights. The show was filmed in Austin in the late 2000s, and Chandler and his family loved the area so much that they've been living in Dripping Springs since 2007, on a stunning 33-acre ranch. The most eclectic feature of Chandler’s home? A handful of pet miniature donkeys.
5. 50 Cent
One of Houston’s newest residents is rapper and media mogul 50 Cent. The Get Rich or Die Tryin’ emcee has immersed himself in all things Houston. He was recently spotted at the rodeo (wearing a cowboy hat and Timberland boots, we might add) and was recognized as a top bidder at the rodeo's wine auction. From the look of it, he’s diving even deeper into Houston culture—he recently announced a budding sports partnership with the Houston Astros.
6. Tommy Lee Jones
Oscar-winning actor Tommy Lee Jones is an 8th-generation Texan, meaning that the Southern drawl you hear in his roles in The Coal Miners Daughter, The Fugitive, and Lonesome Dove isn’t the product of an acting lesson. His 3,000-acre ranch in San Saba County features spacious land for his cattle and 50 horses. Jones even has a polo field, where he and his wife play.
7. Erykah Badu
Dubbed the “Queen of Neo Soul,” South Dallas native Erykah Badu lives in an eclectic home. At 3,400 square feet, every inch of Badu’s home is just as creative as she is—if not more. An artist that loves to be one with nature, Badu’s home overlooks White Rock Lake and has tons of green space.
8. James Marsden
If we could pinpoint what the “boy next door” looked like, our pick is James Marsden. His swoon-worthy performances in rom-coms like The Notebook, 27 Dresses, and The Best of Me are etched in our hearts forever, and for us Texans, now he’s even closer. In May of 2021, Mardsen purchased a home on roughly one acre of land in the Commons Ford area of Austin.
9. James Van Der Beek
As the Austin area continues to boom, some stars are living on the outskirts to get the best of both city and rural life. For James Van Der Beek, it’s especially true, as he and his family moved to Spicewood in 2020. The Dawson’s Creek star and his wife Kimberly love Texas (both frequently post Instagrams from their 36-acre estate), so it seems like a perfect fit for their family of eight.
10. Willie Nelson
Country singer Willie Nelson currently resides in a nearly 700-acre log cabin-style estate dubbed the “Luck Ranch,” where he likely enjoys his own strain of cannabis. When he’s not making his genre of “outlaw” country music, he’s driving his pickup truck across his land in the Texas Hill Country and rescuing horses; he’s saved over 70 steeds who now roam freely on the property.
11. George Foreman
Many Texans tend to stick to their roots, so it’s not a shock to us that Marshall, Texas native and heavyweight champion George Foreman purchased a luxurious pad sprawled across 300 acres in Huffman. We suspect he spends most of his time admiring his championship belts and cooking on his namesake grill. Aside from being an accomplished athlete and businessman, Foreman has a deep love for animals, and owns everything from ostriches to goats, llamas, and even Arabian horses.
12. Jared Padalecki
Supernatural and Gilmore Girls alum Jared Padalecki and his wife Genevieve took the meaning of “everything is bigger in Texas” to the next level with their stunning Austin-area farmhouse. The Walker, Texas Ranger star (naturally) put down roots in Austin in 2010, and shared that they loved the city for the “slower pace.” Padalecki, originally a native of San Antonio, and his family of five occupy a spacious homestead big enough to accommodate guests, plus their dogs, chickens, miniature ponies, and a beehive from which they make their own honey.
13. Jensen Ackles
Interestingly enough, just a stone’s throw away from Padalecki is his Supernatural co-star, Jensen Ackles. He and his family live in a 7,500-square-foot lake house in Austin. Much like his character Dean Winchester in Supernatural, Ackles has a deep love for music and art, so their homestead screams maximalism. A native of Dallas, Ackles adorned his living room with several guitars, and you’ll also find a massive portrait of Prince and a 1970s Venetian diorama. When Ackles isn’t with family or working, he’s adding even more color to his home by purchasing works from local artists.
14. Elon Musk
The world’s wealthiest person seems to believe that Texas is the future, so much so that he decided to move here. Elon Musk, the owner of Tesla and SpaceX, has a home in the Lone Star State. Though Musk has an abundance of financial means—an estimated $261 billion in fact—his Texas home in Boca Chica is a humble abode, as he reportedly only spent $45,000 to purchase it. The home is within walking distance from the SpaceX command post, where his team of engineers is building a massive rocket.
15. Joe Rogan
Former MMA commentator and controversial podcast host Joe Rogan moved his empire from Los Angeles to Austin in 2020, stating on his podcast that California had just “gotten too crowded.” Upon making the big move, he stopped by the governor’s mansion where he met Governor Greg Abbott, who said he “fit right in.” He left behind his roughly 8,000-square-foot home in the Golden State for a 10,000-square-foot estate in Austin, where he had a built-in studio made to record his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience.