With a history that dates back to 4,000 B.C., when buffalo hunters inhabited the area, Copperas Cove, Texas, has a rich history as a railway center and a cotton manufacturer. Today, Copperas Cove provides pivotal services for soldiers stationed at nearby Fort Hood, as well as for their families.
When you see downtown Copperas Cove, you'll feel as if you were transported right back into a 1950s movie, complete with James Dean, Stetson hats and Bel Air convertibles. Perhaps it's fitting that Copperas Cove is located right in the heart of central Texas. The town seems to encapsulate the best, most intriguing aspects of the region, both in appearance and in spirit. With a population of 33,374 (2012 Census), Copperas Cove is part of the Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood metropolitan area, but it manages to maintain its own unique identity. Known to locals as "Cove," its history as an inhabited area dates back to 4,000 B.C., when nomadic tribes of buffalo hunters are known to have lived on the land. Today, Copperas Cove is a thriving small city that has everything you'd want in an urban-styled suburb, including a great public transportation system and a Wal-Mart Supercenter. With Fort Hood only about 12 minutes away, Copperas Cove is also an important service provider for those stationed and employed at the base.
Moving to Copperas Cove
Before you begin your search for apartments in Copperas Cove, keep in mind that one of the nation's premier military bases is just 12 minutes away. So if you're looking to find apartment complexes or rental houses, you'll find plenty to choose from. On the flip side, if you've found a fantastic house rental or one bedroom apartment that suits your budget and lifestyle, you'd better grab it because it won't be around for long. Luxury apartments will also go for a premium because of their popularity, so be prepared to decide quickly. You should also be prepared to pay first and last month's rent, as well as a security deposit on your rental property.
The good news is that, with central Texas' temperate climate, there's no real rental season, so you won't find any fluctuation in prices or availability from one time of the year to the next. Likewise, you won't have to worry about moving during the winter, because this is one area that rarely sees snow or even frost, so outdoor living is virtually year round.
Neighborhoods in Copperas Cove
This is a city with a number of attractive subdivisions and residential neighborhoods. Here are some of the most popular:
Northern Dove Lane: This bike-friendly neighborhood has a number of modern townhouses and condominiums for sale or rent. It's also close to area stores and restaurants such as Dairy Queen, Hidden Wonder Thrift Store, Gaias Garden and Home Lumber Company.
North 5th Street: This area has a great selection of apartment complexes, and you'll be able to find units at a variety of sizes and prices. It's also close to boutique gift shops such as Alfina's Place and eateries such as Dairy Queen.
N Main St: Centrally located, this section of town has a great selection of lovely ranch style and multi-level homes. Plus, it's just minutes from handy stores such as Dollar General, Dollar Tree and Martha's Boutique.
Pecan Cove: Beautiful and bike-friendly, Pecan Cove is known for its lovely contemporary multi-level homes, both for sale and for rent.
Primrose Drive: In this area, you'll find an assortment of apartment complexes and condos for rent, all centrally located near Hills of Cove Golf Course and Copperas Cove City Park.
Living in Copperas Cove
Copperas Cove has mild winters and hot summers. You can expect summertime temps in the 90s, even inching up toward 100 degrees in July, so be sure and get good air conditioning in both your car and your home or apartment.
As for getting around, Copperas Cove is served by the Hill Country Transit District, otherwise known as the HOP, which offers bus service throughout Copperas Cove, Killeen, Harker Heights and surrounding towns. Because of the city's layout however, it does help to have a car to get you where you need to go.
As with any city this size, you'll find a thriving commercial community that includes large numbers of retailers, as well as all the necessary service providers. In addition, Copperas Cove boasts its own Wal-Mart Supercenter, which makes the town pretty self-contained for a lot of its residents. There's also Five Hills Shopping Center, a recent addition with a large number of nationally known retailers and restaurants.
Speaking of restaurants, Copperas Cove has a great selection of locally owned eateries, some of them with a unique, funky vibe that brings folks back again and again. One of the most popular is Lil-Tex Restaurant, where the burger platters are humongous and the chicken fried steak is sheer poetry. If you want something a little more exotic, then stop by Bella Sera for the cannelloni alfredo and baked ziti -- and make sure you leave room for the amaretto cheese cake at the end of your meal.
To wash everything down, you can head on over to Dave's Ice House, where the drinks provide a cold respite from the Texas sun. If you prefer wine, you're in luck, because just down the highway you'll find a number of prominent local wineries. Just about 20 miles down the road in Lampasas there's Texas Legato Winery, a family-owned vineyard featuring Chardonnays, Cabernet Sauvignons and a variety of other wines. Another local favorite that's only half an hour away is the Vineyard at Florence, where a magnificent 32-acre vineyard yields delicious vintages that you can taste on site. Just about 40 minutes away, there's also Salado Winery, where you'll find fabulous home-grown, handcrafted wines that you can purchase by the glass, bottle or case.
After all that food and wine, you're going to want some exercise, so check out the Hills of Cove Golf Course, a lovely public 18-hole facility where you can also take lessons from an experienced golf professional. You can also drive half an hour away to Mill Creek Golf Course, where you'll find a scenic tree-lined fairway and some pretty challenging holes, all designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr.
Copperas Cove is also home to seven parks. Among the most popular are South Park, which features a lovely paved bike trail and a swimming pool. Historic Ogletree Gap Preserve is located on the original stage stop for the town and features a lovely nature preserve and a pavilion. Another popular gathering place for locals is the City Park Complex, which features 88 acres of baseball and soccer fields, basketball courts and swimming pools, as well as a pond for fishing.
In this part of the country, no small town would think of getting through the year without at least a handful of local events -- some of which are, admittedly, more eccentric than others. This being Texas, of course there's a chili festival and football game aptly-named the CHAMPS Heart of Texas (Hot) Bowl, which is held every December. There's also the Ogletree Gap Heritage Festival, where folks gather at the town's original stagecoach site every October for food, Civil War reenactments, entertainment and fun. There's also Rabbit Fest, a May event with yet another chili cook-off and a carnival. Perhaps the most unusual festival is the Krist Kindl Markt, an open-air market in December that authentically replicates the famed Krist Kindl markets held throughout Germany every Christmas.
Copperas Cove manages to maintain a small-town vibe that completely disarms residents and tourists alike. Surrounded by beautiful hill country on every side, you somehow don't think of Copperas Cove as a modern urban city, even though it has all the conveniences of big city life. Instead, it feels more like a small town where you'll find local festivals, historic sites, beautiful parks and loads of civic pride.