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Photo courtesy of Lake Austin Spa Resort

When the Lake Austin Spa Resort went shopping for a 25th-anniversary gift for guests, it aimed higher than traditional silver and picked treatments that incorporated gold, diamonds, and caviar. As a result, the dreamy destination spa now offers some of the most opulent, exclusive, and — at upwards of $1,000 — most expensive facials in the world.

In anticipation of its milestone anniversary in 2022, the Lake Austin Spa Resort’s LakeHouse Spa partnered with Swiss luxury skincare brand Valmont to introduce the new facials, which are as cutting-edge as they are indulgent.

Creme de la creme among them is The Regal by Valmont, which costs a jaw-dropping $1,050. The Regal was designed in Switzerland exclusively for LakeHouse Spa, and Austin is the only place in the world to get it.

“It’s definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience for a lot of people,” says Becky Bence, Lake Austin Spa Resort lead esthetician. “And it’s definitely worth it.”

The 135-minute facial begins with the high-tech deep cleanse of the HydroFacial and proceeds with seven masks, including four collagen masks, a papaya enzyme, and a medical-grade LED light mask. Every single product from Valmont’s ultra luxe “masterpiece collection” called l’Elixir des Glaciers is used; some products are made with an uber anti-aging essence of gold sturgeon fish. All are applied using a Valmont signature “butterfly” motion that helps to lift and sculpt the face.

What puts the Regal over the top, though, are 35 minutes of choreographed massage, including a 500-year-old technique called “kobido,'' developed for the empress of Japan. Touted as a “surgical facelift as a massage," Bence says, kobido was once reserved only for nobility and the empress, then later handed down from masters to disciples.

So rarified is the Regal facial, that just six of the 21 LakeHouse Spa estheticians are trained to perform it. They learned at a weeklong “bootcamp” conducted by two Valmont experts who flew in to Austin from Switzerland.

“It was kind of like the Navy Seal program of facials,” Bence says. “It was kind of like being handed down something from a true master.”

The $1K price tag hasn’t kept people away. Since the Regal was introduced several months ago, guests have come from all over the world — and from all corners of Texas — to experience what the spa calls “the ultimate in anti-aging perfection and cellular renewal.” (After all $1,000 is still far less than an actual facelift or even regular nick-tuck-plump-ups by a cosmetic surgeon.)

Why reach all the way to Switzerland for the palatial new treatments? After emerging from COVID shutdowns, Bence says, LakeHouse Spa personnel “auditioned” just about every single skincare line out there. The estheticians voted, and Valmont won.

“We wanted to add something really special, something luxurious but yet something out-of-this-world amazing that truly benefited the skin,” Bence says. “Something almost to replace Botox and fillers …that gave you basically a natural face-lift without being invasive but still being relaxing.”

In addition to the Regal, other new Valmont facials introduced in this 25th anniversary year include:

  • The 150-minute Gold & Diamond Trifecta Facial that involves three massages, four masks, infra-red LED, and a hydrogel mask with micronized gold and diamonds, which costs $990.
  • The Golden Aura Rose & Caviar Facial, a 100-minute treatment that incorporates marine products containing caviar extract and Diamond Collagen, costing $790.
  • Energy of the Glaciers, a 90-minute facial that features rare ingredients from Switzerland and deep, structural massage of the face, stimulating muscles to tone and lift; $750.
  • Luminosity of Ice Facial, a 90-minute treatment described as a “toxin-flushing, facial reflexology-inspired facial” that uses a cocktail of seven plants organically cultivated at high altitudes; $650.

The spa also has a complete menu of non-Valmont facials and dozens of other signature treatments.

Luxe but laid back
Lake Austin Spa Resort’s Dallas-based co-owner, Mike McAdams, says the new facials are indicative of how high the spa wanted to aim for its 25th anniversary.

“Our guest demands a luxurious, more refined experience, and Valmont helps us deliver on that objective,” he says.

And yet, Lake Austin Spa Resort remains a place where robed guests can emerge from a $1,000 facial and step over geckos skittering along the sidewalk while a speedboat whizzes by pumping Beyonce through the speakers. It’s upscale but unpretentious, luxurious but laid-back — almost like “spa camp.”

“We never wanted to create the ‘zen’ spa with stark lines and absence of color – we aimed to create just the opposite,” McAdams says. “Your surroundings absolutely have an impact on how your wellness journey can unfold and influence your daily life. The colors and textures that surround you mimic the vibe of the Texas Hill Country and pay homage to nature.”

The top-rated spa and resort is a far cry now from the place McAdams purchased on January 1, 1997. Located along the shores of scenic Lake Austin in the Texas Hill Country, the property had lived previous lives as a fishing camp, nudist enclave, rodeo ranch, and diet camp.

McAdams — at the time a commercial real estate developer for Dallas-based Trammell Crow — experienced a personal work-life-balance crisis that's wholly relatable in today's post-pandemic, "great-resignation" world two-and-a-half decades later.

“I was living on a plane, traveling a lot. It was high stress, and high energy and I loved it,” he says. “In 1984, I found a place that changed my life — the Ashram in Calabasas, California. It was a true bootcamp, with physical activities and dietary restrictions that were very intense… This experience forced me to come down from my hectic lifestyle of traveling, eating, drinking, and not exercising."

After adopting healthier habits in his own life, he and an LSU fraternity brother, Billy Rucks, seized an opportunity to buy and transform the Lake Austin Spa Resort; they still co-own it today. “It was a diamond in the rough," McAdams says.

More 25th anniversary offerings
One of the biggest challenges running the spa the last 25 years (besides navigating a global pandemic), McAdams says, has been continually evolving in an industry dominated by fleeting fads and headline-grabbing gimmicks.

“The changes in the last 25 years in the spa industry have been monumental,” McAdams says. “The global wellness industry is now a $4.5 trillion economy, with ‘spa’ being one small part of the bubble. We are all seekers looking for ways to look and feel our best, and I think the growth is due to a demand in wanting to take our health into our own hands.”

One of the resort’s newest touts (proudly stated on their home page) is that they’re Texas’ only destination spa on a lake. Recently they’ve introduced a full range of water activities, including a water taxi that transports guests to the spa and back.

“When we bought Lake Austin Spa Resort in 1997, our guests would put a toe in the water — but we’ve also evolved and now understand the power of being near a moving body of water and how it affects your health, happiness, and even alleviates depression,” McAdams says.

Along with the new fancy facials and lake programming, the resort has also added new classes and activities and upgraded amenities for its 25th anniversary. Befitting its location in the “live music capital of the world,” Austin-area musicians now entertain guests nightly around s’mores pits. There’s new artwork around the campus, too.

“My favorite part of celebrating our 25th anniversary this year has been to watch a very special piece of commissioned art be installed in the first few months of the year,” McAdams says. “A local Austin artist created a 64-foot long, 400-square foot abstract mural of stone, glass, and tile designed to honor our magnificent natural location on Lake Austin.

"Within the creation, I wanted to honor all of the amazing past and present people who helped get to where we are today. Their names are included in this mural, discreetly placed within this homage to nature. Because of these special people, Lake Austin Spa Resort has enjoyed many wonderful accolades through the years.”

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To mark its 25th anniversary, Lake Austin Spa Resort is offering 25 percent off stays of at least two nights or more, through January 31, 2023. Reservations must be booked by October 31. Some packages include generous spa credits, but sadly, the $1,050 Regal facial is not 25 percent off. Find more information at www.lakeaustin.com.

Photo courtesy of Lake Austin Spa Resort

A red light mask is part of the $1,050 Regal by Valmont facial.

Photo courtesy of Icon Global

NFL legend Terry Bradshaw's ranch near North Texas lists for $22.5 million

Celebrity listing

An Oklahoma ranch around 70 miles north of Dallas-Fort Worth that’s owned by NFL Hall of Famer and Fox Sports analyst Terry Bradshaw is back on the market for $22.5 million.

Bernard Uechtritz, owner of Dallas-based real estate agency Icon Global Group, says the 744-acre ranch was relisted after a deal with a would-be buyer fell through. Cancellation of the purchase followed a series of contract extensions, along with repeated assurances from the potential buyer and their representatives that the deal would close, according to Uechtritz. It’s unknown how much that buyer was willing to pay for the ranch.

Over the years, Uechtritz and Bradshaw have been “inundated” by inquiries about selling the ranch, where the E! reality TV series The Bradshaw Bunch was filmed, according to an Icon Global news release.

Terry Bradshaw ranch The E! reality TV series The Bradshaw Bunch was filmed here.Photo courtesy of Icon Global

Bradshaw says in the news release that he and his wife, Tammy, are “sad to leave this great big ranch and our wonderful home, which has been our idyllic retreat of so many years; however, it is time that we slowed down a little, freeing us up to travel more, as well as enjoy new grandchildren, family, and other interests.”

The Bradshaws now live on a smaller farm in Texas where they continue to operate their Quarter Horse breeding business. In conjunction with the sale of the ranch, the Bradshaws are selling 150 Quarter Horses at an October 22 auction.

Terry Bradshaw ranch The ranch sits on 744 acres.Photo courtesy of Icon Global

The ranch, just east of Thackerville, Oklahoma, and a few miles west of the Texas-Oklahoma border, will keep operating until the new owner takes over. The property, overlooking the Red River, sits within the boundaries of the Chickasaw Nation, which is home to the massive WinStar World Casino and Resort.

“The property and facilities are a turnkey-ready proposition for a major equestrian player in the horse business, or continued use as a cattle or private recreational ranch,” Uechtritz says.

Highlights of the ranch include:

  • Rustic 8,600-square-foot home with six bedrooms, six bathrooms, two half-bathrooms, and four fireplaces
  • 2,600-square-foot manager’s house
  • Four-bedroom bunkhouse
  • Outdoor patio encompassing about 1,000 square feet, with a full kitchen, bar, fireplace, hot sauna, and fire pit
  • Eight lakes and ponds
  • Outdoor pool
  • Two-story doghouse made of stone
  • 12-stall stallion barn
  • 20-stall show barn
  • 50-stall mare barn with a laboratory, breeding facility, office, and covered arena
  • 20-stall barn for weaning horses
  • Hay barn
  • Show-pig barn

The property has been on and off the market for a number of years. At various times, it’s been priced at $11.9 million, $10.8 million, $10.6 million, and $9.9 million, according to media reports.

Terry Bradshaw The Bradshaws are selling 150 Quarter Horses at an October 22 auction.Photo courtesy of Icon Global

As quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1970s and ’80s, Bradshaw led the team to four Super Bowl victories and twice clinched Super Bowl MVP honors. The Louisiana native, who celebrated his 74th birthday earlier this month, retired from pro football in 1984 after a 14-year stint with the Steelers and then joined CBS Sports as a football analyst. He’s been a Fox Sports football analyst since 1994.

Photo courtesy of Origin Hotel Austin

The 10 best Austin hotels to book for a full ACL Fest experience this fall

Night Moves

Ready or not, Austin City Limits Festival is right around the corner, and hotels in Austin are booking up fast. The October event brings approximately 400,000 people to the city's Zilker Park over two weekends, many of whom have to make their way en masse to hotels, perhaps not knowing that P. Terry’s is a great move for a late-night snack well below festival prices.

As one might imagine, hotels around Austin offer ACL deals, but they’re not very well publicized. Frankly, they don’t need to be, because people will find them. And fast. There are two long, official lists of hotels with vacancy on the festival website, for plucky travelers who love to scroll.

For everyone else, here are 10 great hotels and deals to springboard the search, from budget finds to music industry favorites. Since rates are slippery with all the different room sizes and dates available, CultureMap compared the lowest prices from each hotel on the same four nights, and assigned a dollar-sign rating:

$ — $250 or less
$$ — up to $500
$$$ — up to $1,000
$$$$ — above $1,000

At the end of the day (literally), as long as a hotel is safe and comfortable, it’s auxiliary to the ACL experience. But why not have a little extra fun?

Hampton Inn — $
The lowest priced of the entire ACL-sanctioned list, the Hampton Inn at 4141 Governors Row in South Austin will likely still require a paid ride to Zilker Park, about seven miles away. But it’ll be worth it to save hundreds with a few exclusive rate offers remaining. Even if those run out, it’s a reasonable option that’s very close to South Congress. It’s a mile-and-a-half from Cosmic Coffee, an excellent place to wake up before a busy day.

Origin Hotel — $
Origin Hotel, a four-city boutique hotel that just opened in Austin's Mueller neighborhood in June of 2022, is offering a special ACL rate. This deal gives a great opportunity to stay somewhere buzzworthy and unique for roughly the same price as a status-quo national chain. Origin also contains an all-day diner called Blue Lacy, something a little hard to find in Austin. Almost six miles from Zilker, it’ll require a drive, but the more residential area will be a great escape near locally loved restaurants.

Colton House Hotel — $$
Colton House Hotel on South Congress, a new boutique hotel as of January 2021, makes a special offer for ACL guests of four nights, with one night at half off and free parking for anyone with tickets. In addition to its stylish, neutral rooms, the hotel maintains a private yoga studio, great for working on those hamstrings after lots of walking; Zilker Park is about a mile from end to end. Use promo code ACL2022 when booking online.

Hyatt Regency — $$
The closest of the official ACL partnerships is the Hyatt Regency at 208 Barton Springs Road. This is a straight shot to Zilker, with only about a mile-and-a-half of walking. With great views and accessibility to Auditorium Shores and all of downtown, this is a great option for guardians, partners, or friends coming along for the ride who haven’t bought a wristband or tickets every day.

Moxy Hotel — $$
Moxy Hotels have a fun, young vibe in their many locations, with smart, space-saving room designs that help keep prices relatively low for their downtown locations. This one at 2552 Guadalupe St. is just over three miles from Zilker, but because of its West Campus location, it’s very accessible to buses. Moxy doesn’t appear to offer any ACL discounts, but check-in comes with a free cocktail (and sometimes other perks).

Hotel Indigo — $$
Airbnb is not the only option for festival-going pet owners. ACL partner Hotel Indigo accepts pets of up to 50 pounds ($75) and is located on one of Austin’s busiest streets for nightlife Red River. This area is full of live music venues (great for a musical nightcap, which are sure to be raging during the festival), and the hotel is right next to one of Austin’s quintessential bars, Cheer Up Charlies. Intrepid festival-goers could technically walk the two-and-a-half miles to Zilker.

Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt — $$$
A special deal (weekends one and two) from the Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt combines a three-night stay with merch and two festival wristbands, for those who haven’t splurged on them yet ($2,850). Even if you have, the Rainey Street hotel is a unique place to extend the musical experience to the point of breaking sanity. Geraldine’s, the excellent rooftop restaurant and bar, has jazz brunches, a “record society,” daily guest artists, and monthly artists in residence.

Soho House — $$$
Don’t count this South Congress members-only option out yet — a Soho Friends membership ($14 per month or $130 per year) is much more affordable than the whole shebang, and allows visitors to book hotel rooms, bring guests, and save on dining and spa packages. Soho House’s ACL special includes welcome cocktails at the very cool Dante’s HiFi vinyl bar, plus a luxurious Sunday brunch for two. And just imagine the rainforest showers after a long day.

Hotel Zaza — $$$
This boutique hotel can offer something priceless during such a crowded time: mobility. Hotel Zaza’s free three-mile shuttle brings guests wherever they ask to go within its downtown radius. Between the ACL shuttle that stops on the same block as the hotel, and the hotel’s shuttle starting at 3 pm, guests may not have to pay for a rideshare throughout their entire trip. Visitors for three nights or more receive a percentage discount.

Hotel Saint Cecilia — $$$$
It doesn’t offer any ACL-specific deals, but it would be a crime not to mention this musical hotel for visitors who really want to commit to the bit. The famous Hotel Saint Cecilia, tucked behind South Congress, played host to the Foo Fighters during their 2015 headlining ACL run, who then recorded a five-track EP there. The rooms are music-themed and have Gibson guitars on loan. Even though there is no ACL discount, there are four-night and pre-booking deals.

Find treasures from Hines, Smith, and other prominent Houston families at new elite estate sale

valued treasures

Houston civic and philanthropic titans such as Gerald and Barbara Hines and Lester and Sue Smith were known not only for their immense contributions to the city, but for their discriminating eyes for design and decor — specifically with antiques.

To that end, a new estate sale showcases highly valuable art, antiques, and accessories from these Houston titans and many more. The four-day event held by Elite Estate Sales runs 9 am-5 pm Thursday, August 18 through Sunday, August 21. Deed restrictions have forced the sale from its original location to a warehouse located at 9730 Hillcroft St.

As is the case with any high-end estate sale, all items purchased are as-is and all sales are final. Most of these items are available in the warehouse, while many are on view by appointment only, given their value and need for safekeeping.

Savvy shoppers can look for pieces such as a Hines family Kensington Palace chandelier; an English, Louis XV bronze chandelier with original rock crystal that dates around 1750; a French Empire gilt wood chaise lounge upholstered in silk satin; an exquisite, handmade marble antique table from Italy; and a Bechstein six-leg grand piano made of bookmatched kingwood and gilt wood.

Given that the aforementioned Gerald D. Hines and Lester Smith passed away only recently, enthusiasts and Hou-storians can consider this a chance to own a piece of Bayou City history.

For more information on the sale, call (713) 553-4416 or visit the sale site.

Photo by TK Images

Contemporary 'treehouse' masterpiece in Piney Point blooms on market for $2.8 million

into the woods

Imagine a treehouse. Not some cobbled-together, DIY backyard affair, a few two-by-fours, maybe a blanket thrown up for a door. Think more upscale and in this case, stunning.

Think 11686 Arrowwood Cir. in Piney Point Villages. Think Roger Rasbach-designed, complete with that architect's signature blend of interior-exterior harmony and natural light. Think multi-level terraces and a roof top deck to enjoy the outdoors.

Think $2.779 million, the price of this stunning home, represented by Hedley Karpas of Martha Turner Sotheby’s International Realty.

Built in 1972, 11686 Arrowwood Cir. sits tucked away snugly in a forest setting — hence the apropos moniker, “The Treehouse” — that offers owners an oasis of calm, away from the city's cacophony.

Clean lines, floor-to-ceiling windows, exquisite hardwoods, and open floor plans are only the beginning of its dramatic details and the promise of incredible living.

This clean-lined abode unfolds across more than 6,000 square feet on multiple levels. Five bedrooms and five full baths provide space for everyone.

There are two primary suites — each offers its own sitting room, boutique-esqe closets, spa-syle bathrooms, and expansive views that feel like one is suspended in midair.

A gourmet chef's kitchen is ready to serve as a gathering space and a spot for home cooks to let their imaginations run wild. Rasbach designed the marvel as a home that handles everyday living as easily as entertaining a crowd.

Speaking of entertaining, guests are sure to fall in love with the multiple decks and sitting areas with the sweeping tree vistas.

Surrounded by walking trails and those views of the Soldier's Creek tributary, this is a home that needs to been seen to truly grasp its exquisite design and verdant surroundings.

Glass divides the loft-style setting.

Photo by TK Images
Glass divides the loft-style setting.
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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Iconic Texas 'cowboy-style' BBQ joint's Katy outpost closure leads week's top stories

this week's hot headlines

Editor's note: It's time to recap the top stories on CultureMap from this past week.

1. Iconic Texas 'cowboy-style' barbecue joint's Katy location quietly closes. Sadly, the local outpost couldn't replicate the magic of the original in Llano.

2. Ken Hoffman urges Houston travelers to keep calm and enjoy the trip at the new-look Bush IAH. Our columnist explains why travelers might be in "for a big, pleasant surprise at Houston’s Bush-Intercontinental Airport."

3. Houston's most spectacular winter light shows and events dazzle for the holidays. We rounded up where to see dazzling lights with family, friends, and visitors.

4. Disgraced Theranos CEO and former Houstonian Elizabeth Holmes sentenced to 11 years for fraud. Additionally, Holmes faces a fine of $400 million.

5. Houston's NASA leaders 'giddy' after historic Artemis 1 moon flyby. The spacecraft cruised just 81 miles above the lunar surface.

Disney's Strange World is a visual stunner with too many story ideas

Movie Review

For a studio whose entire reason for being seems to rely on creating and sustaining familiar characters, Walt Disney Animation takes its fair share of risks. In the last 10 years, it has released nine films, seven of which were not based on pre-existing properties (the other two were sequels for two of those seven). That’s a lot of new stuff, most of which has succeeded mightily for the perennially-popular leaders in animation.

They’re at it again with Strange World, which takes place in an unknown country/world known as Avalonia, where Jaeger Clade (Dennis Quaid) is a famous explorer whose only desire is to find a way over, around, or through the imposing mountains surrounding the land. His son, Searcher (Jake Gyllenhaal), doesn’t share his enthusiasm, and an early discovery by Searcher of a unique energy source leads to a rift between father and son. Jaeger continues onwards, while Searcher returns home with a plant they call Pando that creates harmony throughout the land.

Years later, when the plant shows signs of failure, Searcher is recruited by Avalonia leader Callisto Mal (Lucy Liu) to help in an expedition to find the source of whatever is attacking Pando. What they and others – including Searcher’s wife Meridian (Gabrielle Union) and son Ethan (Jaboukie Young-White) – find in their travels certainly lives up to the title.

Co-directed by Don Hall and Qui Nguyen and written by Nguyen, the film is a visual stunner. The quality of animation in Disney movies rarely fails to impress, and Strange World is the latest and greatest example. Whether it’s the humans, the landscape, or the innumerable weird creatures that populate the film, there is almost nothing that doesn’t deserve to be stared at and admired.

It’s odd, then, that the story does not come close to matching the graphics. There are a variety of reasons for this failure. Nguyen is the sole credited writer, and he stuffs the film full of big and small ideas, probably too many for this type of project. Searcher’s family and the world of Avalonia and beyond are diverse in multiple ways, to the point that it feels like Nguyen was trying to include everything he could think of in case he never got another shot.

The bigger sin, though, is how quickly the film advances through its plot, often bringing up new things out of nowhere. While Searcher and his family make for an interesting group, the side characters never make an impact. There are also multiple instances where the story takes a turn that makes no sense, either in the world of the film or a storytelling manner.

This includes the final act of the film, which features a significant twist that is presented and accepted in a way that doesn’t fit with the rest of the film. It adds on yet another message in a movie that contains a lot of them, but in a way that even those inclined to believe in what it’s trying to say may wonder why that part is there at all.

The science fiction element of Strange World is a bonanza for the filmmakers and animators to go as wild as they wanted in the visual department. But all that splendor is in service of a story that just doesn’t measure up, making it one of Disney’s less successful offerings in recent years.

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Strange World is now playing in theaters.

Photo courtesy of Disney

Searcher (Jake Gyllenhaal), Jaeger (Dennis Quaid), and Ethan Clade (Jaboukie Young-White) in Strange World

Affluent Houston suburb leads region for highest holiday spending budgets in U.S.

Santa Baby

As the most wonderful time of the year approaches, holiday shopping budgets are in the spotlight, and a study from WalletHub lists Sugar Land as one of the top cities where Santa doesn't need a whole lot of help.

According to the personal finance website, the average holiday budget in Sugar Land is $2,793 per person, the 15th highest in the nation. As CultureMap previously reported, Sugar Land residents here make an average of $123,261; the average home price is $337,600.

Fittingly, Fort Bend, home to Sugar Land, was recently named the second-richest county in Texas.

As for Greater Houston, Santa's bag could be a mixed bag, with three suburbs in the top 100, but the urban center falling far behind:

  • Sugar Land, No. 15, $2,793
  • Pearland, No. 36, $2,172
  • The Woodlands, No. 71, $1,733
  • Houston, No. 366, $890

Each year, WalletHub calculates the maximum holiday budget for over 550 U.S. cities "to help consumers avoid post-holiday regret," the website says. The study factors in income, age of the population, and other financial indicators such as debt-to-income ratio, monthly-income-to monthly-expenses ratio and savings-to-monthly-expenses ratio.

Despite nationwide focus on inflation strains, holiday spending is expected to be healthy, and higher than last year.

"The seeming social upheaval in recent times may lead households to spend more in an attempt to take some control of the environment which they can control," says Robert Wright, University of Illinois, Springfield professor emeritus who was among five experts consulted for advice about holiday shopping.

Elsewhere in Texas, 10 North Texas cities landed in this year's top 100 heftiest holiday budgets:

  • Flower Mound, No. 3, $3,531 (The only Texas city in the top 10)
  • Allen, No. 17 , $2,670
  • Frisco, No. 37, $2,150
  • McKinney, No. 45, $2,070
  • Plano, No. 50, $1,999
  • Carrollton, No. 55, $1,837
  • Richardson, No. 58, $1,823
  • North Richland Hills, No. 81, $1,658
  • Lewisville, No. 90, $1,630
  • Fort Worth, No. 366, $890
  • Dallas, No. 401, $845

Spending in the Austin area won't be ho-hum with the Capitol City's budget of $1,705 ranked at No. 78. Two Austin suburbs, Cedar Park (budget $2,855) and League City (budget $2,541) ranked 14 and 20, respectively.

Things don't look too jolly for San Antonio, ranked at No. 431 with an average budget of $803 or Pharr, which was the lowest ranked city in Texas.

At No. 553 with a budget of $487, the Rio Grande Valley city came in just a few spots ahead of last place Hartford, CT with a budget of only $211.