Posted: 5 September 2018
Once the temperature starts getting into the negative 50s, you might be thinking twice about living in the North.
The U.S. North–whether it’s the Pacific Northwest, Midwest, or New England–has plenty of beauty to behold. But for a lot of people, the freezing cold winters are not one of them.
If you’ve had your eyes set on the warmer South, then we’ve got some good news for you.
Southern states topped the U.S. News World & Report’s 2018 list of the best cities to live in America.
Today, we’re going to take a look at the best places to live in the South and why you should move there.
What the South Has to Offer
We’re talking in broad, generalized strokes here, but the South is often known for a few things:
- Warm climate
- Good food and drinks
- Lower living expenses
Obviously, that can vary from one state or city to the next and some places excel in areas more than others.
For example, most Southern cities are warm, but some may be more humid or arid than others.
Some may be more expensive to live in than others, but some have more opportunities for employment.
All in all, you’ll be less likely to be budget-crazy versus other Northern cities.
A lot of what you’re seeking in a place to live is going to come down to personal preference.
To find the best places to live in the South, we took into account many factors, such as population size, average income, average living expenses, etc.
We tried to narrow it down to no more than one city per state.
So without further ado, let’s take a look at that list.
1. Asheville, North Carolina
With a population of over 89,000 and situated in Western North Carolina, Asheville is a thriving arts and culture city.
The downtown districts are filled with arts and performance, including live music, theater, and sports. It’s also a prime destination for the historical nerds interested in architecture.
With such sights as the Basilica of Saint Lawrence, there is plenty of preserved history in this city.
Plus, being surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains isn’t half bad if nature and hiking are your things.
2. Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta is a city that’s big and continually growing.
Lots of outsiders looking at living in the South seek out this city.
Atlanta is sort of the perfect blend of big city and country vibe. If you want the bustle and opportunity of a big city but with more of the laid back and friendly attitude of the South, this is what you’re looking for.
Seeing as how so many successful companies are headquartered in Atlanta, it’s a great place to live if you’re seeking new employment opportunities.
Not to mention, the arts and culture of Atlanta are rich with film and television growing more than ever before.
3. Austin, Texas
Maybe not quite as big or as populated as Atlanta, Austin is another fast-growing city with arts and culture at the forefront of reasons why.
Live music is one of the biggest drives in the city hosting some of the largest music festivals in the country.
4. Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston is arguably one of the most classically “Southern” cities on this list.
If you’re seeking genuine, true historical aesthetic and beauty in your Southern city to live, this is one to consider.
It’s a very old-style and classic way of living; therefore, it may feel a little slower for some people. If you’re used to fast-paced hustle and bustle, you might want to steer clear.
Then again, if you’re looking for the best places to raise a family in the South, Charleston is a prime choice.
5. Fayetteville, Arkansas
Relative to this list, Fayetteville is a fairly small city that has shown quite a lot of growth over the years.
Between the University of Arkansas and the headquarters of several Fortune 500 Companies, the city has shown its chops for both education and entrepreneurialism.
6. Greenville, South Carolina
Greenville can be a hot one during the summers, but the heat is well worth braving.
The city has claimed a cultural revival with plenty of shops, restaurants, cafes, and bars to explore.
With a relatively low cost of living, this is a great destination for a move if you’re looking to get the most out of your salary.
7. Lexington, Kentucky
On the outside, Lexington seems to offer two things: horses and bourbon.
In fact, Lexington is quite proud of its horses and whiskeys, but it’s certainly not all the city has in store. Lexington has a cool, college-centered feel to it these days with an increasing sense of locality when it comes to its business.
More and more, you see smaller, privately owned shops, restaurants, and bars opening their doors. It doesn’t hurt that the city is also surrounded by lush greenery and nature.
8. Nashville, Tennessee
If there’s one thing Nashville has always been known for its country music.
But that’s not all.
Nashville has managed to expand its horizons well beyond the usual suspects (Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, etc.). Plenty of hip-hop and rock and roll hails from Nashville’s borders.
If music is your thing, there’s no wonder that Nashville has always been considered one of the main destinations.
9. Sarasota, Florida
Sarasota found a lot of growth in tourism over the years, making employment easy to come by.
Most of all, Sarasota’s claim to fame are its prize-winning beaches. It’s not an exaggeration when the residents say the beaches are filled with powdery white sand. You’d almost think you were walking in snow.
The beachy vibe also is home to a lot of excellent restaurants and bars, some even situated right on the water.
If you’re looking for the beach-side condos life, this may be the city to check out.
Sorting Out the Best Places to Live in the South
This list is by no means exhaustive.
There is a multitude of cities in the South that are well worth living in, whether due to their hospitality, relative safety, average median salary, or more.
Hopefully, you got a better idea of where to look for the best places to live in the South, though.
Once you’ve moved to your new city, you may be looking for ways to upgrade or renovate your home. If so, check out our best tips for creating a modern dining room!