50 Best Places to Live in the United States
Home is where the heart—and the affordable houses and the best jobs—are. From the cities with the most stunning scenery to those with booming economies, these are the 50 best places to live in the United States according to U.S. News and World Report.
If yinz (that’s Pittsburgh-slang for “y’all”) love sports, Steel City might be your spot. Not only did WalletHub recently rank it as the best city for football fans but it also has the second-highest percentage of championship wins among its professional sports teams of any city.
Kansas City, Missouri
Buying a new home in Kansas City won’t break the bank thanks to its incredibly affordable housing prices, which come in a cool 25 percent below the national average. And all that money you save can be spent on what’s really important in the nation’s most central big city: authentic KC barbecue slathered in spicy sauce. Psst: We can guess where you’re from based on your favorite food.
Rolling farmlands? Check. Quaint suburbs? Check. Bustling downtown? Check. No matter what lifestyle you prefer, you can find it in Lancaster. One of the city’s hidden gems, though, is its art scene, spotlighted on First Fridays, when all of the galleries, studios, and museums on Gallery Row open their doors for a night of live performances and stunning exhibitions.
“Of all the beautiful towns it has been my fortune to see, this is the chief.” That’s what Mark Twain had to say about Hartford, where he and his wife lived during the 19th century. And Connecticut’s capital city, with a river running through it and plenty of parks, is still gorgeous and has a charming college-town vibe with the University of Hartford, Trinity College, and the University of St. Joseph all located within its borders.
Knoxville isn’t just one of the best places for people to live—it’s also one of the best for pups to live, too. With plenty of pet-approved activities like “yappy hours” and canine cafes along with seven dog parks and the University of Tennessee’s College of Veterinary Medicine, Knoxville was voted the Most Dog-Friendly City in the Southeast by Dog Fancy Magazine. Just make sure you follow these weird dog laws you probably didn’t even know existed.
Charleston, South Carolina
The definition of charming, Charleston has topped plenty of “best places” lists throughout the years—and for good reason. There’s the food (fried chicken! shrimp and grits! she-crab soup!), the beautiful beaches, the rich colonial history and mild year-round temperatures (the average high in January is still 59 degrees). And of course, there’s that good old Southern hospitality, which earned it a spot on our list of the nicest places in the United States.
Big city meets small town. That’s what you’ll get in the capital of Pennsylvania, which has the perks of a major metropolis including an impressive entertainment district, a solid healthcare system, and a thriving economy. At the same time, its tree-lined trails, affordable housing, and friendliness of its residents make it feel more like a small town than other east coast cities. On that note, these are the most charming tiny towns in each state.
Manchester, New Hampshire
The largest city in New Hampshire, Manchester is also a great place for employees, voted the seventh-best metropolitan area for income growth by the Equality of Opportunity Project. And you’ll be able to save some of that money, too since New Hampshire doesn’t have a state sales tax. To pay even less in taxes, here are the 13 tax secrets every homeowner should know.
Need more space? You’ll have plenty in Jacksonville, which happens to be the largest city in the United States at a whopping 840 square miles. And the majority of that is pretty parks filled with lush greenery and gardens, as the Florida city is home to the country’s biggest urban park system—111,000 acres! They make for the perfect place for al fresco dining, just like these best picnic spots in every state.
You won’t need help getting your 10,000 steps per day if you live in Lansing. The city prides itself on its walkability, with miles of bike and foot trails winding through the downtown area. The most popular is the boardwalk that runs along the river and connects Michigan State University to the rest of the city, which benefits from the Big 10 school’s ample resources and amenities.