Best Places to Live

How to Pick a Place to Live

Child looking at a map of the world on the wall
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As a society, or even as couples, we don't always agree on the best places to live. You might prefer the desert or maybe the mountains, while your spouse or partner prefers ocean views and a nearby beach.

One of the nicest aspects of living in the United States is that we can relocate to any place in the country that suits our lifestyles, and those places are diverse. But there are so many of them that it can help to have a little guidance in narrowing them down.

Key Takeaways

  • Online publishers have created lists of the best places to live in the United States.
  • A few top lists include the Best Places to Live by Forbes, Best Places to Live by Money Magazine, BestPlaces, and Kiplinger.
  • You can also check Bustle, NeigborhoodScout, and City-Data. Best Places to Live

The Forbes website offers a collection of top 10 lists that cover the worst to the best based on just about any topic you might care about. We all use different criteria for selecting the perfect place to live, so Forbes has categorized its annual top 10 selections.

Money Magazine's Best Places to Live

Enter the keywords "best places to live" on Money Magazine's website and you can then enter your own criteria for a search. Money publishes these Top 100 lists every year.

Find Your Best Place to Live

BestPlaces walks you through criteria that's important to you by asking you 10 questions. It might tell you that you want to live in Hawaii when you're finished...or Alaska. The verdict uses certain factors to help you choose the place in America that's most suited for you, including:

  • Big or small town
  • Ideal weather
  • Cultivating culture
  • Educational opportunities
  • Recreation
  • Geography
  • Community and politics
  • Faith-based preferences
  • Taxes and mortgage calculations


Kiplinger publishes finance-related topics, so it's no surprise that its "best places" lists tend to focus on money-saving and tax-benefit perks that make certain cities and states more desirable. But the site doesn't stop there.

Kiplinger also provides readers with quality-of-life facts about places, such as whether towns have walking trails, recreation, and entertainment, in addition to factors such as median salary per household and the average cost of real estate. This publisher also lets readers know if a place is retirement-friendly, and it lists places depending on whether you hate the heat or hate the cold.

Check out the "Best Cities for You" site if you don't mind answering a few questions and you're the interactive type.

Some Honorable Mentions

Bustle offers a series of 10 interactive quizzes as well that can help you nail down your perfect locale.

NeighborhoodScout or City-Data are a couple of other good websites if you want some hard, cold facts about the area you're considering before you start packing your bags and calling for a moving van.

City-Data will fill you in on everything from schools to restaurants to the number of registered sex offenders in the area. NeighborhoodScout is more dollars-and-cents oriented and it requires a subscription for the most comprehensive services.

At the time of writing, Elizabeth Weintraub, DRE # 00697006, is a Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento, California.