The dawn of a new calendar year often brings a desire for change. Some opt for a new diet, others a new hairstyle, but we say make this year big and go all in for a new city. We asked over 1,200 people: What are the best cities to move to this year? These 19 had too many mentions to ignore.
From places with good weather to rich cultural attractions to affordable costs of living to strong job growth, the chosen cities have a staggering number of compelling assets. Now, how to choose between them? We'll have to leave that up to you.
1. Anchorage, Alaska
Anchorage has been gaining steam in the minds of the crowd-weary, and its vast surroundings call out to the adventurous at heart. Pack your bicycle, because Anchorage has 135 bike paths that run through the city, including the super scenic Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. With median household incomes nearly $25,000 above the national rate, no state sales tax or income tax, and unique perks like the Northern Lights, midnight sun, and access to some of the best seafood and scenery in the country, living in Alaska is looking better and better.
2. Bangor, Maine
Midsized cities are the new big cities, if answers in our survey are any clue. And Bangor's reviews are in: it's one of the up-and-coming cities to move to this year. With a good walk score, relatively low median home price, and a charming downtown, this city in the Maine highlands is primed to attract more new residents this year. Many wonderful places to enjoy the outdoors, including snowmobile trails in winter and the mountain bike-friendly Backcountry Expressway Trail, round out the ways Bangor will up your quality of life.
3. Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country for a reason: job and wage growth are up and the median home price is still affordable compared to other big cities. Amenities like world-class shows and restaurants are close at hand, but it's a favorite choice for much more than the tourist draws of the Strip. The desert provides lots of open spaces to discover new hobbies like hiking and biking. Why not make this the year you become a serious cyclist? The Lake Mead area offers excellent biking opportunities along the River Mountains Loop Trail. Don't worry—your new hobby won't hinder your living space. Plenty of storage options can house your cycling gear.
4. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
What can we say, people love Myrtle Beach. The population is growing at higher rates than most cities, and is unlikely to slow in 2019. The relatively low cost of living, wealth of things to see and do, oceanfront location, and sense of community make this place more than just a big tourist draw. It's a great place to raise a family, and there's just no beating the perks of beach life (like relaxed vibes and beautiful skies).
5. Honolulu, Hawaii
Who doesn't want to live in paradise? Hawaii's biggest city is not the most affordable, but it may be the most beautiful on the list. The island utopia consistently beats out other states in well-being scores, and opportunities for young businesses are growing. In Honolulu, unemployment is well below the national average, new businesses are on the rise, and organizations like Blue Startups seek to help that trend continue.
6. Key West, Florida
If you can't imagine one more winter of scraping ice from your windshield (and it seems many of our pollsters can't), keep Key West in mind. With an average February temperature of 76 degrees F, the people of this place spend the height of winter in flip flops, and the only thing that's frozen are the daiquiris. It's also a water lover's dream, where a kayak is seemingly more common than a car. Get geared up with one of your own at Lazy Dog.
7. Los Angeles, California
Our survey takers may have stars in their eyes, because many chose LA as one of the top cities to move to in 2019. This city has more than Hollywood glitz to offer, of course. Variety is the spice of life here (except for the weather, which is consistently sunny). There is an area of the city to appeal to almost any interest, and its proximity to mountains, desert, and beaches make it ideal for day trips. Climb the craggy rocks of Joshua Tree 130 miles to the east, ski Mt. Baldy 45 miles out of town, or stay close to home and hang at the beaches of Santa Monica.
8. Nashville, Tennessee
It's not just aspiring musicians who have their eye on Nashville, and we think we know why. Whether you prefer city living or are attracted to beautiful suburban communities, you'll love this city's eclectic residential options. Amenities are on-point here, too. From premium shopping to incomparable nightlife to the tight community spirit, Nashville calls to all. A plethora of things to keep you entertained, well-fed, and comfortably housed come standard in this city. DIY-ers will love the Nashville Flea Market, one of the best places in the country to score fixer-up goods. And if you need a place to keep your finds, there's plenty of storage around town.
9. Colorado Springs, Colorado
Few things lend majesty to a city like a mountain backdrop, and Colorado Springs is blessed with a very impressive scene. It's not just about looks though; the mountain terrain brings plenty of fresh air, generally mild weather, and lots of outdoor recreation spaces. If you've resolved to be healthier this year, moving to Colorado Springs should top your to-do list. Residents take full advantage of beautiful surrounding areas like Garden of the Gods. Colorado Springs jobs range widely, but even the most corporate of climates tend to be more casual here, so you can move easily from office to outdoors.
10. Houston, Texas
Houston is a city that likes to eat, knows how to do it well, and offers every cuisine you can think of. The culture doesn't stop at food, and galleries and museums are big draws here as well. Comparatively, it's affordable for a big city and has a thriving job market, which makes it one of the best cities to move to if you crave big city amenities without the steep prices. Stick to the Inner Loop for metropolitan vibes, or venture to the outskirts for sleepier residential speeds and nearby outdoor activities.
11. Denver, Colorado
We're getting the impression that urban spaces in grand natural settings are hot stock for 2019, and Denver is the epitome of the genre. Maybe that's why it's growing at rates of up to 77,000 new residents per year. Firstly, with its central location, it's a convenient home base for exploring every corner of this beautiful state. Rocky Mountain National Park is at your fingertips, and when you're done adventuring, you have amazing food like the must-have burger at MyBrother's Bar to come home to.
12. Charlotte, North Carolina
Oft-mentioned for the number of things to do, Charlotte ensures a boredom-free life. Affordable living, outdoor recreation, and thousands of area cultural events are just a few of the reasons Charlotte will charm you. Add to that an inclusive, friendly community, great barbecue (and a good number of vegetarian and vegan options), 40+ breweries (like the excellent NoDaBrewing Company), museums, major and minor league sports, and countless doable day trips, and you have the ingredients for a happy new home.
13. Destin, Florida
A small-town community with a beachy flair, Destin is the perfect blend for people looking for vacation vibes in their hometown. With high livability scores, dream weather most of the year, and a relaxed atmosphere, Destin is destined for those who want the good life. If you've resolved to try new things, take up paddle boarding this year. Paddle Tribe Co. at Lulu's will get you set up with supplies and lessons. This is a watersport playground, after all, and you'll want to take full advantage.
14. Dallas, Texas
Dallas comes highly recommended according to our survey, and we understand. Its many neighborhoods each have a personality of their own, from residential Northaven Park to quirky Little Forest Hills to LGBTQ-friendly Oak Lawn. Whatever strikes your fancy, you'll find it in Dallas. Green spaces like Klyde Warren Park offer opportunities to meet your neighbors while soaking up the sunshine. When you're craving culture (and a delicious meal), head to the Bishop Arts District, where you'll find art galleries and irresistible dishes like the smoked brisket hash at Oddfellows.
15. Boise, Idaho
In terms of up-and-coming cities, 2019 is looking to be Boise's year. The city ranked No. 1 in growth in 2018 in population, employment, wages, and economic output, and the upswing is expected to continue this year. The good times haven't gone to its head, though. Boise attitudes are friendly and down to earth, and the happiness factor is high, according to its impressive livability scores. The area is known for healthy lifestyles, and residents enjoy many opportunities to be active and access healthy food options like the delicious power bowl (or anything on their perfect menu) at Wild Root Café & Market.
16. Virginia Beach, Virginia
Beach lovers are all about 2019, and their next highly recommended spot was Virginia Beach. This neighborly east coast community has natural beauty, lots of area attractions, family-friendly venues, and is a wonderful place to have pets. Lots of dog parks, hiking trails, and dog-friendly beaches, shops, and restaurants ensure your furry family member is as welcome as you are around town. One of the most fun places to hang with your pups is Back Bay Brewing Co., or treat them to sundaes with dog bone toppings at Bruster's Real Ice Cream.
17. Tulsa, Oklahoma
This charming city is an Oklahoma gem, with its green spaces, Art Deco architecture, and scenic riverfront. The cost of living is very attainable, while Tulsa boasts metropolitan amenities that rival its more expensive counterparts. Museums, opera, ballet, shopping, festivals, eclectic cuisine–the list goes on. Casual sophistication is a Tulsa specialty, which you'll discover at the best places in town, like Palace Café and the Philbrook Museum of Art.
18. Savannah, Georgia
Evoking dripping Spanish moss and a silky, slow pace of life, Savannah even sounds lovely when spoken aloud. Our survey respondents certainly think it's one of the best places to live in Georgia. Could it be the ways the city keeps things fresh and lively, with its many area colleges, cool and creative restaurants like Cotton and Rye, and the inventive galleries and eateries of City Market? Or the plentiful surrounding nature? Savannah's Lowcountry and nearby Tybee Island are ripe for exploring, and you'll know the marshes like the back of your hand after a stint with Moon River Kayak Tours.
19. Louisville, Kentucky
You don't have to love derbies, baseball, and bourbon to live in Louisville, but it doesn't hurt. Of course, there's much more to this friendly Southern city than its well-known draws. Old Louisville is the third-largest historic preservation district in the U.S., where neighbors meet for art events and festivals. The city has an impressive number of park spaces, which make spending time outdoors highly enjoyable. The city also boasts cool, walkable residential areas, such as Cherokee Triangle, the Butchertown area, and St. Matthews.Header image via digidreamgrafix/Shutterstock.com