19 Friendliest U.S. Cities to Visit (and One to Avoid)

Written By Jill Taylor

The US has a long history of immigration, both internationally and between states. Thankfully, while the residents of many cities are conservative and heavily wary of new faces, you have these 19 cities that will take you in with open arms.

Alexandria, Virginia

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Alexandria, popularly known as George Washington’s hometown, has amazing, culturally diverse residents that are welcoming, regardless of your racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic class. And because of this, it has been a favorite choice for many families and young professionals over the years.

Madison, Wisconsin

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The capital city of Wisconsin offers you amazing residents to go with its easy walkability, rich food scene, and soothing natural landscape. The AARP announced Madison’s inclusion in its network of age-friendly cities, as it gives both young professionals and retirees one of the best livable experiences in the US.

Colorado Springs, Colorado

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Although you may notice that people in Colorado Springs love to keep to themselves, they never hesitate to lend a helping hand when you need one. The city is also famous for having many diverse neighborhoods, the best of which include Fountain, Aurora, and Cimarron Hills.

Savannah, Georgia

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If you’ve been wondering what Southern hospitality is really like, then Savannah offers you the experience you seek. This city provides compatibility with both old-world charm and contemporary aesthetics through its attractions and residents, and its high safety ratings make it a perfect fit for your family.

Virginia Beach, Virginia

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Virginia Beach has more than just scenic views; it has beautiful homes and tree-lined streets. US News mentions the city’s warm residents, relaxing atmosphere, and pet-friendly beaches. And what’s more, thanks to Fort Story, military veterans will feel even more welcome here.

Winston-Salem, North Carolina

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Winston-Salem is the seat of Forsyth County, home to the UNC School of Art and a diverse population of 1.7 million. Residents here feel a sense of community, and there are many attractions where you can hang out with strangers, friends, and family. Neighborhoods like West End, Ardmore, and Buena Vista are said to provide the best experience.

Pensacola, Florida

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Thanks to the diversity in its population, Pensacola ensures you find people to fit in with perfectly—putting you in an environment that makes you feel at home immediately. And, like many cities in Florida, it also offers beautiful beaches to go with it.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Walking through the suburbs of Milwaukee, don’t be surprised when you’re greeted by complete strangers. A considerable 5% of the city is made up of immigrants, and Milwaukee’s neighboring cities are also as friendly as it is. This makes Milwaukee a safe option for anyone who loves some inter-city adventure.

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

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The capital of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, offers you a relaxed atmosphere with one of the most diverse populations on our list. And it should be a top priority for you if you’re big on equality and fair representation concerning race and gender identities.

Charleston, South Carolina

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Charleston is another town known for its southern hospitality, and it has received multiple voter choice awards for this specific reason. However, even more enticingly, you’d find Charleston to be one of the most comfortable cities in which to set up and run a business.

Greenville, South Carolina

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In Greenville, to get familiar with the people around you, there’s easy access to multiple community events and volunteer opportunities. Here, you also get to live in green neighborhoods, have access to a walkable downtown, and feel secure among the many families that have grown to love the city.

Des Moines, Iowa

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Community efforts in Des Moines, particularly the “Great Places for All Ages,” have gotten recognition from the WHO, earning it the name “Age-Friendly World” from the organization. These efforts aren’t just from community members but also involve contributions from public officers, businesses, and care providers to make sure the city remains hospitable for all ages.

Rochester, New York

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In one of the most culturally diverse states in the US, you’ll find Rochester—a dream city for many with community members who aren’t afraid to strike up conversations whenever they can. Rochester’s biggest asset is its people, as it has residents with an unmistakably warmer countenance than other downstate cities.

Lexington, Kentucky

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Lexington’s dense suburbs are known for their warm hospitality, and you’ll specifically find the entrepreneurial market here the most welcoming sector of all. What’s more, this city’s cost of living, housing, and healthcare come at averages that are relatively friendly to your pockets too.

Santa Fe, New Mexico

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New Mexico is already known for its mix of culture and easy-going residents, and Santa Fe brings you the very best of these. There are many festivals and community-driven recreational activities to get involved in here, and the city’s safe streets additionally make it a great place to raise a family.

Indianapolis, Indiana

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Indianapolis residents are so tight-knit that, as a Fox survey tells us, 86% of them know most or all of their neighbors. In Indianapolis, you have a huge, welcoming community of families and young professionals that makes sure your big-city experience never comes with regrets.

Nashville, Tennessee

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You’ll experience Nashville’s southern charm and hospitality in any social sector you choose to explore—whether it’s the music scene, job market, or education. Residents are eager to tell you all the city has to offer, and neighborhoods like Melrose, West End, and Germantown are known to be among its nicest.

El Paso, Texas

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El Paso doesn’t just have warm residents and safe neighborhoods. It also gives you access to homebuyer programs managed by the government itself, specifically aimed at making sure that your status as a first-time homebuyer comes with little stress. The warm climate here is also a plus!

Austin, Texas

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There’s a sense of togetherness in Austin that extends hospitality beyond neighbors or local communities. The social scene here is bustling, neighborhoods are safe, and the government makes sure it fulfills its proclamation of Austin as the city for international newcomers.

Miami, Florida (Don’t Visit)

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Our worst city, if rude and individualistic residents are a deal-breaker for you, is Miami. Here, inhabitants are as unhelpful as they are extravagantly wealthy, and CBS shares how Miami is ranked the second most unfriendly city for single women to live in.

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