I love living in East Texas. There are many beautiful towns here that manage to combine most of the conveniences one enjoys in a big city, while maintaining a "cozy" feeling. Despite the fact that many of us loathe the morning and afternoon drive traffic, if we're honest, we have it pretty great as compared to the stress of the big city equivalents. On top of that, there is quite a cultural revolution taking place and a surge in our East Texas arts and food communities that have elevated our towns and cities into pretty great places to live.

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I live just outside of Tyler. And I tell ya, it's a very pleasant and "livable" place to be. And you and I aren't the only ones who think so. Recently, Livability.com featured Tyler and delved into some of the ways that living here is a true pleasure. This is a site that focuses entirely on the most livable cities in the U.S. and what makes them so special. Just a few of the reasons given for considering Tyler?

For many years, Tyler has been known as the Rose Capital of America, and it has been a long-standing celebration and tradition here in Tyler. We grow about 100,000 of these beloved flowers here. The Rose Festival alone brings in many visitors and gives a boost to our East Texas economy.

Speaking of beauty, one of the things I love the most is how much care is given to how our city is cared for. Anytime I visit areas outside of East Texas and Tyler, whenever I get back, I'm surprised at how pretty everything is--from our medians to the diverse, and maintained architecture and landscaping, the developing downtown, and the clear influence of a more and more thriving arts community.

Speaking of the arts--the artistic community here is growing every day. You can see it in our college and university's influences through visual arts, music and dance and even the utility boxes have been lovingly beautified thanks to the work of our local artists.

And what about the medical community? Tyler is quite a hub for healthcare in East Texas and "ranks as the largest retailmedical and business center in East Texas, so get ready to shop."

Gourmet and artisnal food options are growing--just like our Farmers' Markets. And of course, don't forget about our local breweries. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. There's much to love about living in Tyler and I encourage you to check out this article from Livability.com here.

And don't forget to stop and smell the roses.