Meet the 20 Nicest Places in America
These are the 20 Nicest Places in America, from tiny Hayesville, North Carolina (pop. 371), to the city of Providence, Rhode Island. You really can find kindness all over the U.S.
With America more divided than ever, where can you turn to meet nice people who treat each other with the respect and civility that we all deserve? As Reader’s Digest recently found out in its nationwide search for the Nicest Place in America, lots of places!
In a recent poll, 75 percent of Americans called incivility a “national crisis.” Well, we found nearly 300 places where that’s just not the case—and here are the top 20!
Yassin’s Falafel House in Knoxville, Tennessee
Amanda Friedman for Reader’s Digest
Yassin Terou, a refugee who came to Knoxville in 2011, is a local celebrity. His falafel house won the Nicest Places in America contest in 2018 because it serves as a welcoming and safe place for people of every color, culture, and religion. Even though not everyone accepts him for who he is, Yassin likes to give everyone a chance because he was given a chance to fulfill the American dream. Read more about Yassin’s Falafel House and why it’s the Nicest Place in America in 2018.
In 2017, Katy, Texas was hit hard by Hurricane Harvey. About 700 homes and 80 businesses were destroyed or damaged in the small town. Without hesitation, local residents and businesses immediately pitched in to help their neighbors recover. Read more about this resilient Texas town.
Courtesy Rick Lucas
Ellijay, Georgia might be a small town, but every resident has a very big heart. One couple that stopped in for a quick breakfast felt so welcomed and at home that they ended up moving there. Read more about the kind spirit of Ellijay.
Courtesy Kalamazoo Public Schools
Student loan debt is an ever-present issue for students looking to further their education, but in Kalamazoo, it’s not an issue. An organization funded by anonymous donors called The Kalamazoo Promise pays for any student that attend Kalamazoo public schools to go to college. Read more about this town’s amazing promise that is keeping hope alive.
Enoch Pratt Library in Baltimore, Maryland
Courtesy Enoch Pratt Free Library
Enoch Pratt isn’t your typical library; it’s more of a community services center. In a city with a high crime rate, it offers help to people that got in trouble with the law. Volunteers, including local lawyers doing pro bono work, serve hundreds of people every week. This library is writing a new chapter for Baltimore. Read more about this inspiring library.
Courtesy Judy Gratton
In Bothell, Washington, there’s a small coffee shop that knows how to serve up kindness. The owner, Beca Nistrian, started an annual Cup of Kindness Day to spread joy around her community. Read more about Beca’s Brew and one very special employee that inspired the day of kindness.
Life Moves Yoga in Killeen, Texas
Courtesy Life Moves Yoga
Killeen, Texas, is home to the largest military base in the country, and it’s working to help reduce the stress that comes along with being a service-member. One military spouse opened up Life Moves Yoga studio right across the street from the base to help wounded warriors recover from their time serving our country. Read more about this anything but ordinary yoga studio.
North Riverside, Illinois
Courtesy Carol Spale
Everyone in this small Chicago suburb takes kindness seriously, including the mayor. The town runs an organization called the Neighborhood Services Committee. Every street has a “block captain” that serves as a guardian angel to the houses on their street. They do everything from building a community among all the residents, to raising money for a family in need, to being a shoulder to cry on. Read more about all the acts of kindness North Riverside has seen over the years.
Courtesy Ashley Erikson
Folks in the North Evergreen Street neighborhood in the city of Burbank, California, love to share. Whether it’s a smile, wave, a cup of coffee, or help with yard work this community makes every member feel welcomed and right at home. Read more about this kind community nestled in the bustling city of Burbank.