The 18 Best American Cities to Live in Right Now

Written By Jill Taylor

The United States is abundant with wonderful places to live, and both citizens and expats are spoiled for choice when choosing a location to settle down in. So, if you need some inspiration, here are 18 US cities that Americans say are the best places to live.

Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota

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Famous across America as the motherland of shopping, Minneapolis-St. Paul is home to the impressive Mall of America, but it’s not just about shopping. The Twin Cities also offer endless recreation and a great lifestyle while also being relatively safe and having a great education system.

Ann Arbor, Michigan

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According to Architectural Digest, Ann Arbor has the highest quality of life in the US! Thanks to low crime rates, quality education, and top healthcare, Ann Arbor is a phenomenal destination to settle down in. It also offers beautiful hiking trails, great nightlife, and plenty of culture for tourists!

Boulder, Colorado

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Boulder is a stunning city with a breathtaking landscape, but there’s more than just captivating scenery. Boulder also has a vibrant arts and culture community, which ensures that there is always something happening in the city and that the calendar is jam-packed with exciting events.

Sarasota, Florida

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One of Florida’s largest cultural hubs, Sarasota has a thriving arts scene with exceptional museums, galleries, and performance spaces. Located on the coast, Sarasota also has stunning beaches where you can enjoy days off, offering the perfect blend of urban and suburban living.

Fayetteville, Arkansas

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Fayetteville has a reputation for great quality schools and a low cost of living. While this makes house prices high, an affordable rental community balances this out. The city also features impressive green spaces and a big college football following, making it a desirable location for families around the country.

Raleigh, North Carolina

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Raleigh is another desirable place to relocate to because of outstanding schools, a thriving job market, and a strong economy. Rated the fourth best place to live in the US by Money, Raleigh is overflowing with southern hospitality, a great food scene, and competitive house prices.

San Jose, California

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At the heart of Silicon Valley, San Jose is a great destination for professionals. With excellent schools and phenomenal job opportunities, this Californian city is truly a place to succeed. However, don’t let this overshadow the city’s natural beauty, as it’s positioned perfectly to enjoy the Atlantic coastline.

Jacksonville, Florida

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Relatively crime-free with scenic beauty and great weather, Jacksonville residents are known for enjoying a lifestyle of minimal stress. With a low cost of living, it also offers the best of urban living without the usual price tag whilst also being just minutes away from the beach.

Albany, New York

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Albany is considered one of the best places to live in New York, offering the best of what NYC has to offer at a slower pace and a cheaper price. Its location is also great, with convenient access to Boston, Montreal, and New York City, as well as popular East Coast vacation spots.

Grand Rapids, Michigan

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It’s easy to see why Niche considers Grand Rapids one of the best places to live in the US. With living costs 44% lower than those of America’s largest cities, a vibrant art scene, great dining, and an abundance of outdoor recreation, there’s no wonder Grand Rapids is a top choice.

Knoxville, Tennessee

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At the base of the Great Smoky Mountains and nestled alongside the Tennessee River, outdoor enthusiasts thrive in Knoxville. The metropolitan hub of the city is vibrant, artsy, and cultural, with plenty to do. The cost of living is also reasonable, schools are highly rated, and job opportunities are bountiful.

Charlotte, North Carolina

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With idyllic neighborhoods and a welcoming community, anyone can find comfort in living in Charlotte. Great education, reasonable in-state college tuition, and outdoor opportunities are invaluable to local families. The city also boasts no estate tax, making the city a popular place to retire.

Colorado Springs, Colorado

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Often making lists as a top place to live in the US, Colorado Springs is a particularly great city for raising children. This is because of its diverse educational offerings, peaceful neighborhoods, and low crime rates. The city also offers great outdoor recreation, with hiking trails and biking spots surrounding it.

Boise, Idaho

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One of the country’s leading hotspots for outdoor recreation, Boise residents have a highly fulfilling lifestyle. With snowy winters and warm summers, you can enjoy a variety of activities, including skiing, river surfing, and hiking. The city is also an exciting cultural hub, hosting Idaho’s biggest art scene.

Asheville, North Carolina

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The city of Asheville is an enchanting location with an immersive and welcoming community. Livability notes that business opportunities thrive here, with independent stores, restaurants, and breweries keeping the city’s economy thriving. Asheville also has a reputation for its quirky side, with the city motto being, ‘Keep Asheville weird.’

Savannah, Georgia

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Savannah combines its small-town charm with a rich history and big-city amenities, offering the best of both worlds. It also offers a reasonable cost of living and house prices lower than the national average, along with diverse neighborhoods, picturesque parks, and scenic beaches to enjoy.

Austin, Texas

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Austin has become one of the country’s most popular places to relocate to in the last few years, thanks to its great weather, buzzing cultural scene, and thriving economy. It has one of the best public transportation systems in the country, top-rated schools, and a strong job market. What’s not to like!?

Green Bay, Wisconsin

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Finally, voted the top place to live in the US by multiple platforms on a regular basis, Green Bay consistently scores high for affordability, quality of life, and the job market. Life in Green Bay is also known to be relatively stress-free, and you’ll be opened with open arms by its friendly communities.

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