If you think the very best place to live in the U.S. is your own city, we're not here to argue. But if you're looking for a change of scenery, well, you've got options. Americans made big moves over the past couple of years, taking advantage of work-from-home policies while seeking refuge in smaller cities with larger shares of outdoor space. And as citizens departed larger metropolises, smaller and sleepier towns have snapped awake thanks to an influx of new residents.
Are we surprised? Not really. Some of these refreshed cities have serious curb appeal: access to strong education systems, better job opportunities, jaw-dropping landscapes, and actually affordable fine dining. What about cheap rent or affordable real estate?? Yeah, that's a real thing that exists when you leave expensive places like New York, San Francisco, and Chicago. And frankly, some of these cities just have better weather (let’s face it, we could all use a little extra vitamin D).
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Not sure where to begin? Check out the best family vacations in America to test the waters before taking the plunge. And if you find yourself dreaming about a new hometown that's not on our list, peruse our guide to the most beautiful cities in the U.S. for a little inspiration.