Best Small Cities to live in the USA

Tallahassee, Florida, city in USA

While some people dream of booming metropolis cities like New York, LA, or Miami, there are a ton of smaller cities all over the US that are equally as appealing (and much easier on the wallet). You can find beautiful, buzzing places to live with equal opportunity and plenty of activity. From the Great Smoky Mountains to the sandy white beaches of Florida, check out some of the best small cities in the USA below!

Tallahassee, Fl

There are so many reasons why residents love to call Tallahassee home. Florida’s capital city offers some of the best amenities in the southeast. Home to about 191,000 residents, Tallahassee has affordable housing, a thriving job market, and a beautiful year round climate. 

Living can be expensive, but here in Tallahassee, you are sure to find something sustainable and affordable. The median home value for Tallahassee is at $220,100 while the median home value for the US is at $291,700. There is a 0% state income tax and a 6% state sales tax rate. Groceries and medicines are tax free and there is a no car tax on personal property. Overall, Tallahassee strives to keep its residents fulfilled with a high quality of life. 

With great weather year round, Tallahassee is the perfect place for residents looking to get outside and explore the outdoors.  You can hike at the Leon Sinks, take a walk around Lake Ella, or splash around at Cascades Park. If you are interested in biking, check out local area trails with different types of terrain including: Capital Circle Southeast Trail, Karst Trail, and Cadillac Mountain Trails for biking enthusiasts. And don’t forget about the beautiful Wakulla and Aucilla Rivers for paddle boarding or fishing!    

With countless activities within Tallahassee, it can be hard to leave, but it’s always fun to take a road trip! One of the coolest spots to check out is Providence Canyon State Park, aka “Georgia’s Little Grand Canyon.” There are multiple canyons to hike and over 1,003 acres of land to explore. Another great spot for a day trip is the beautiful 22-mile barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico, known as St. George Island. With uncrowded beaches, local shops, and great restaurants, St. George Island offers plenty for every visitor.

When it comes to food Tallahassee offers some of the coolest locally owned spots to grab a bite. With arguably some of the best pressed sandwiches in town, Jeri’s Midtown Cafe offers all ten of their specialty sandwiches on their brunch menu. In need of a pick me up? Whether you’re a coffee connoisseur, new to coffee, or somewhere in between, you are sure to love Lucky Goat Coffee. And don’t forget about Chuck’s Fish for dinner. Happy hour starts at 4pm with their mouth watering fried oysters and bang bang shrimp. 

Interested in taking that next step and coming to Florida’s beautiful capital city, Tallahassee? If so, download the guide here for more information. 

Asheville, NC

Located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville, North Carolina has captured the “city life aspect” while being only miles away from some of the coolest nature spots in North America. Asheville’s downtown has a wide variety of art galleries, boutiques and some of the best tasting food. 

If you are looking for warm summers and chilly winters, you have come to the right place. The summer high averages 84 and the winter averages 25. Asheville gets about 10 inches of snow per year (the US average is 28 inches). The best months to enjoy the outdoors are September, June, and May. 

The cost of living in Asheville is around 106.0, with a median housing value of $354,700. There is a flat state income tax of 5.25% and The average effective property tax rate for the state is below the national average. 

When it comes to things to do, Asheville, North Carolina has a list that goes on and on! Discover a true American fairy tale at the Biltmore Estate, a grand castle built by George Vanderbilt in 1895. You can also try the new, innovative paddle sport that was invented in Asheville called the Bellyak. This unique boat is designed for paddling on your stomach with webbed gloves. Don’t forget about some of the most beautiful hikes on the East Coast, with towering cascades to tumbling rapids. Make sure to check out the Catawba Falls Trail, just 25 miles outside of Asheville.

Interested in relocating to Asheville?  Click here for more information. 

Brentwood, TN

Brentwood, Tennessee is a suburb of Nashville, located in Williamson county. It was once home to many farms, which is still evident today thanks to the beautiful rolling hills, large lots, and vast open spaces with beautiful parks. The small city is home to about 42,407 residents.

Some of Brentwood’s parks include: Concord Park, Crockett Park, and Granny White Park. They are perfect for long walks with family, daytime picnics, or sports games with friends. Wherever you reside, you are most likely only walking distance from at least one! The weather in Brentwood has its best months in October, September and May. On average, there are 210 sunny days per year in Brentwood, just over the US average, with 205 sunny days. The summers are nice and hot and are great for cooling off in the beautiful lakes nearby such as, Radnor Lake and Percy Priest Lake. You can rent boats, canoes, and paddle boards! On the other hand, the winters get pretty chilly, with an average of 4 inches of snow per year. 

Residents love living in Brentwood, and that’s reflected in the cost of living. Compared to some of the other small cities listed, Brentwood is on the higher side; it averages 161.3 with a median home value of $894,600. 

The downtown area of Brentwood offers an array of shops, outdoor dining, and cafes and bakeries. Wanna Waffle is a huge hit, located right in the center of downtown, offering waffle creations of all kinds. Whether it’s classic, nutella overload, or fried chicken style, it sure does melt in your mouth. Make sure to also check out Cap’s Oak Street Bar and Grill, Brentwood’s landmark restaurant.

If you’re ready to make that move, check out more resources here.  

Portland, ME

Forget Portland, Oregon – Portland, MAINE is where it’s at for small city lovers! Experience the character of a region that blends the present with a very special past. Portland maintains its beautiful maritime heritage all around the city. 

From vast beaches to iconic lighthouses and beautiful trails, there is plenty to see and do. It is a great place for outdoor activities such as skiing, sailing and especially fishing. The proximity to the water also means fresh seafood at your convenience! 

The city of Portland is very safe with an incredibly low crime rate. The median home value in Maine is $434,800 and the cost of living averages around 108.2. The neighborhoods are cozy and quaint with eateries all around that keep locals fed all year long. 

If you are interested in a new adventure, check out more resources here. 

Flagstaff, AZ

In search of a small city in the USA with four FULL seasons? Flagstaff, Arizona is known for its vibrant seasons that are enviable by many. Winter averages around 108 inches of fresh snowfall, while summers reach a warm 80 degrees with blue skis and crisp mountain air. In the spring, you can catch the beautiful blooming flowers, or the breathtaking aspen foliage in the fall. 

Flagstaff is home to around 70,000 residents who love to head outdoors at every opportunity. A typical day for someone living in this city includes biking, hiking, running, or even rock climbing. Don’t forget a stop at one of the local coffee shops and breweries. Sit outside to enjoy the mountain air and gorgeous views. 

The median home value is around $499,400 with the cost of living at 117.0. It is a very family friendly community that offers something for everyone, including your pets! Whether bringing your pet to beautiful historic parks, dog friendly restaurants, or pet friendly breweries, Flagstaff welcomes all four-legged friends. 

If you’re a fan of fresh produce and healthy living, Flagstaff puts on two great farmers markets; one located downtown and the other in the Sunny Side area. It is a great way to spend your mornings with sustainably grown food as well as other hand-crafted products. It is also a great place to pick up some items for an evening cookout! 

If you are interested in more information about moving to Flagstaff, click here! 

Bend, Oregon

From whitewater rafting to brewery tastings and outdoor picnics, there are endless opportunities for the outdoors here! Bend, Oregon highlights all the multidimensional beauty it has to offer. It has a beautiful, laid back feel with gorgeous mountain weather. With just a little over 90,000 residents, Bend is a tight knit community where residents know their local baristas, servers, and neighbors. 

The median home value in Bend, Oregon is about $634,200 with the cost of living at 123.5. The crime rate is very low, keeping residents safe. From single family homes, to cottages, or quaint apartments, there is something for everyone to feel warm and cozy. 

If you decide to make the trek to Bend, make sure to check out the Sparrow Bakery Northwest  for the mouthwatering ocean roll, a flaky pastry layered with cardamom vanilla sugar. It will surely have you coming back for more. Another great spot is Ariana restaurant with simple, refined food, incorporating seasonal produce from Oregon. 

If you want to learn more about Bend, click here! 

Greenville, South Carolina 

Greenville is located in the upstate northwestern corner of South Carolina and is right at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is halfway between two major hubs, Charlotte and Atlanta, which makes traveling easy and affordable. If you’re looking for day trip ideas, it is also only a few hours away from the beautiful east coast beaches! 

Greenville has a consistent climate with hot summers, an ideal fall season, mild winters, and a beautiful spring. Some of the best months in Greenville are May, September, and October where the temperatures range from 65-70 degrees. 

This city has a growing economy and is bringing numerous industries into the city. The cost of living here is around 89.8. The median home value averages around $234,600 which is lower than the US average of $291,700. 

There is always something to do in the charming downtown of Greenville. Take a ride on one of the trolleys to explore all of the rooftop bars, boutique shops, and beautiful scenery. Don’t forget to check out Ink N Ivy, one of downtown Greenville’s best restaurants with rooftop seating. If you are interested in the arts scene, make sure to check out the Greenville County Museum of Art or the Carolina Music museum. 

Learn more about Greenville here! 

Savannah, GA

Savannah, Georgia is one of the oldest cities in the country and is known for its old brick roads, quaint shops and boutiques, and eerie ghost stories. It is located right along the Savannah River, and has beautiful 18th-century ruins, gardens and trails. 

The historic downtown has 22 park squares with restored monuments, homes, and museums. The Savannah city market is a four block open-air market that’s been in operation since the 1700s, with live performances, unique shopping, and some of the best restaurants. Don’t forget about the Candy Kitchen located on River Street. Even if you don’t like candy, this shop is a must. Old wooden barrels with candy overflowing are all around the store. There is even a place for you to watch how taffy is made! 

Savannah has a rich culinary scene, offering delicious, southern comfort cuisine or melt in your mouth food truck items. If you are a foodie, make sure to check out some of the food tours including The Southern Flavors of Savanna or Savannah Taste Experience Tour.

The cost of living here is about 83.2, while the US cost of living is 100. The median home value averages around $211,300. The quaint neighborhoods are filled with cozy homes and a great amount of character to each. 

If you are interested in making the move to Savannah, click here for more information! 

Moving to a new city is exciting but it can also be stressful. We hope this guide to outlining some of the best small cities to live in the USA makes the process a bit easier. While we’re partial to Tallahassee, there are loads of great places to live all over the US! 
And if Tallahassee is at the top of your list, be sure to check out our custom relocation guides here.