In the Top 100 best cities to live in America, where do you think your city ranks? Livability.com tracks interest in small to mid-sized cities, or cities home to between 20,000 and 1 million people. This year, Livability asked more than 1,000 millennials from 47 states about how they decide where to visit, work or live, to produce their annual Top 100 Best Places to Live in America list.
The company compared 40 data points about different living factors, like infrastructure or health care accessibility, in U.S. cities to create their list, according to a Livability press release. Their survey showed that millennials prioritize affordability and job opportunities when deciding on a home base. Each city featured on the list maintains a median home price of $250,000 or less, the release states.
We took a look at what makes the top 10 cities so coveted. Spoiler alert – hiking trails, cute local shops and football fans ahead!
With a low cost of living and ample job opportunities, it’s no secret why Boise, Idaho ranks No. 1 on this year’s Top 100 best cities to live in. Boise residents said they spend their time hiking or enjoying a high-energy football game at the Boise State stadium. The tight-knit community in Boise makes this city a great spot to look for your next home. We love that Boise is an untapped market of old historic homes ripe for renovating.
Raleigh, North Carolina
In a city with long hot summers, Raleigh, North Carolina residents practically live at Howling Cow, an ice cream shop that uses North Carolina State University’s cows to produce delicious treats. Raleigh is ultra-connected to many of its universities, which are the city’s major employers besides tech companies. A colossal sports complex offers all levels of BMX terrains makes this town one of the best cities for those who love sports. Raleigh is also home to eight different historic districts, which is great for old-home lovers.
Nationally ranked college athletic teams means Madison, Wisconsin is home to young and vibrant residents and companies! This lakeside city with myriad local breweries is chock full of live music and good eats. Madison’s huge farmers market provides a perfect location for dates, family time or simply knocking items off your grocery list.
Iowa City, Iowa
There’s no shortage of barbecue, dancing or college football in Iowa City, Iowa. Popular local bookstore Prairie Lights reinforces Iowa City’s history as the first of only two U.S. UNESCO Cities of Literature. No wonder Iowa boasts the highest literacy rate in the country! Architecture buffs will enjoy the range of historic homes in and around the area available for touring.
If you’re living in Rochester, Minnesota, one of the best cities for the medical business, chances are you work at The Mayo Clinic. This city’s famous hospital is surrounded by great public transportation and volunteer-happy citizens. Residents can take advantage of 85 miles of interconnected trails that accommodate pedestrians, bikers and those using wheelchairs or strollers. Inexpensive farmland and its spot on the Dubuque trail made the area a hotbed of residential growth during the turn of the century, so you can bet there is a host of Victorian farmhouses and cottages that still dot the area today!
Visiting or living in Columbia, Missouri means you have no less than 30 pictures of you in Tiger Plaza, the beautiful botanical gardens with a huge bronze tiger statue. Columbia’s stellar 2.1% unemployment rate makes the city one of the best cities to live in for young families and recent grads. Plus, who wouldn’t want to run around 2,200 acres of hiking trails with their dog?
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
If you like long winters, arts and culture and short commute times, Sioux Falls, South Dakota might be a good home base for you. You might have to hole up in Sioux Falls’ variety of coffee shops and bakeries to brave the city’s six-month-long winters. But you can explore McKennan Park’s beautiful sculptures, gardens and leisurely sports arenas – like shuffleboard – come spring.
We all know how much Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania residents love their sports teams, especially the Steelers. But Pittsburg is also home to cool museums (Big Mac statue, anyone?) and is a great location for a dreamy night of stargazing. Plus, young families can find lots of employment in the city’s big companies, like Heinz. Pittsburgh is also row house and farmhouse central so for those looking to live in a home with history, you’re sure to find something to love.
A low cost of living and an abundance of art – both performing and visual – makes Lincoln, Nebraska one of the best cities to live in. Lincoln is filled with eateries offering classic American dishes and desserts. Could you see yourself golfing, fishing or watching the sunset on Holmes lake yet?
Greenville, South Carolina
We would like to inform all foodies that Greenville, South Carolina rings in No. 10 as the quintessential city for Southern-style home cooking. Greenville even offers food tours for the city’s best food themes, like a BBQ Trail! Don’t worry – you can work off all the meals with a walk along the 22-mile greenway along the river. Have you started packing your bags?
Looking to move into a historic home? Check out our guide of things to consider before that big purchase.