By definition, the best small cities in America is a metro area with a population that hovers around 100,000 people and usually does not exceed 500,000. If you’re the sworn city slicker, these may not be the best places to settle in. However, anyone who doesn’t mind a less kickback vibe without all the commotion associated with large cities will tell you there’s no better place to put down roots in.
In fact, you’ll find most “Best Places to Live” lists are populated by smaller cities, most of which make up our own list today.
These are the usual culprits that have been featured on many a list over the years, but for this article, we’ve based our choices on a recent report courtesy of Resonance Consultancy.
The list by the leading consultancy group is said to be the most comprehensive ranking of cities in the world, relying on a holistic approach that takes into account a wide range of factors.
Before you pick up that phone and start talking to long distance movers, here are the 5 best small cities in America you should give some thought to.
5 Best Small Cities in America
1 Reno, Nevada
Dubbed the “Biggest Little City in the World”, Reno is nestled at the feet of the snow-capped Sierra Nevadas, just an hour away from Lake Tahoe.
The city of 471,265 people is most popular as a casino hotspot, but it has more going on for it. A growing number of tech companies are pitching tent in the city, which explains the high number of educated young workers who make up its population.
With incredible weather, you can enjoy an outdoor lifestyle in Reno from January to December. It’s little wonder the city earned a No.2 ranking on Instagram Hashtags among small cities.
It boasts amenities galore, with its restaurants also scooping top spot in the country among small cities.
2 Naples, Florida
Florida is one of the most visited destinations in the country each year, but that comes with the downside of being too touristy; not exactly what you want for a place you call home.
That’s why Naples – a city of 378,488 residents – is just the kind of small city you want to consider when relocating to Florida.
You’ll find top-notch shopping and seafood dining amidst its walkable palm-lined promenades, with its restaurants ranked #2 among US small cities in 2020.
It landed top spot in the country in the Parks & Outdoors category, thanks to its pristine sandy beaches, state parks, refuges and preserves.
3 Santa Fe, New Mexico
The capital of New Mexico, according to the 2020 Resonance study, was the most Instagrammed small city in the US.
If there ever was a place that’s got it all, the city of 150,000 residents makes for a serious contender. Snuggled at the base of southern Rocky Mountains, you can be in a mountainous landscape one minute and in a cholla-filled desert the next.
With a rich 400-year-old history, this is the oldest state capital (and highest in altitude).
It’s big on architecture and artisan galleries, with an enviable shopping scene that was ranked No.1 among small cities.
4 Savannah, Georgia
Savannah had the best neighborhoods in the country among small cities, according to the study, also ranking No.1 on the Google Trends category.
The small cobbled coastal city of Georgia has a population just shy of 390,000. It is famous for its historic sights as it is for its award-winning culinary scene, with 150+ festivals (from art to music, cuisine and more) held here annually.
5 Asheville, North Carolina
Known for its thriving arts and music scene – and even more, for its love of beer and good food (it’s one of the best beer cities in the US, with over 50 beer companies) – Asheville is also one of the best cities in America for remote workers. It ranked No.1 among small cities in Nightlife (No.2 in Shopping) , and provides great bang for the buck, making it a great place to call home.
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