After graduating college, many people are faced with a big decision: where they want to live. The choice may be contingent on a job, family, or friends, but if you are like me, it really comes down to the opportunity for new experiences. Here are the best US cities to live in during your 20’s in no particular order.
1. Seattle, WA
There are lots of job opportunities in Seattle currently in the tech sector, which is booming. Although the median rent is higher than the national average, they make up for it in quality of life. There are a plethora of bars and restaurants to try, and many that are geared towards healthy options. If you don’t want to, you never have to eat the same thing twice (provided you have the money to eat out that much). Additionally, it is a great city for biking so you can go green and save money on gas. Win win.
2. New York, NY
One in five Millennials say that NYC is their ideal city. As “the city that never sleeps” there is always something to do. Incredible nightlife, endless opportunity, museums, amazing restaurants, lots of diversity and rich culture so nothing will ever feel like the “same old, same old” easily making it one of the best US cities to live in. The Metro makes it easy to get around the city without having to own a car. Not to mention NYC is rich in history making it one of the most interesting cities to live in. The rent, again, is higher than average, but no one said they moved to NYC for an inexpensive apartment.
3. Boston, MA
With so many colleges in and around the Boston area, it makes it a hot spot for young professionals. In addition to great nightlife, there are also a lot of music festivals and weekend events so you won’t get bored. The job market in Boston is thriving making it perfect for entry level roles with the opportunity for growth and advancement. The T makes getting around impeccably easy to maneuver from one area of the city to another in a short period of time.
4. Denver, CO
Denver is definitely an up and coming city. You are able to enjoy the juxtaposition of mountainside (Rocky Mountains) and downtown, which is refreshing. The weather is also a plus, never dipping too low or getting too humid. It is also known for its architecture and abundance of artwork from local street art to museums. If you like spending time outdoors, skiing or hiking Denver is definitely an option you want to explore.
5. Austin, TX
Austin is a great option for many reasons. There are lots of higher education opportunities, job opportunities, and nightlife. Austin is especially known for its music festivals and concerts of which they have over 25 live music venues. It also has the third best job market in the country. It is a moderately big city but not anywhere as cosmopolitan as NYC or Boston. Austin is youthful and friendly. And, of course, has great weather.
6. Washington, DC
As the nation’s capital, it is a great place to live if you are looking for a career in politics. Over the last few years it has undeniably become a hub for young professionals. There are incredible museums and monuments to check out. There are restaurants that feature many different types of cuisine, lots of diversity, and vibrant nightlife. What more could you ask for?
7. San Francisco, CA
Culturally diverse, eccentric, and energetic, the quality of life is unrivaled in many of the cities in California. It has gorgeous water views and a climate that cannot put you in a bad mood. The community prides itself on green living, healthy living, open mindedness, and social awareness. It is also one of the best cities for outdoor activities.
8. Portland, OR
The dream of the 90’s is alive in Portland according to Portlandia. I really don’t think it would be possible to find a more hipster city. Actually I bet you five dollars that it is impossible. The cost of living is manageable, and the culture is so unique you won’t find anything like it.
9. Charleston, SC
Charleston is not only one of the best cities to live in for Millennials, but it is also one of the best cities to retire in. There are beautiful beaches with incredible views and a great downtown nightlife. There are always local musicians nearby. In downtown, you can eat at a five star restaurant, visit the shops, site see, go on carriage rides, or explore the history. Job opportunities are also increasing here for entrepreneurs.
10. Chicago, IL
Not only is rent lower in Chicago than NYC, but your money also goes further. Chicago also has a convenient central location, so you are able to travel more conveniently than if you were living in a coastal state. The city is diverse and they have big celebrations; for example, St. Patrick’s Day and festivals like Lollapalooza. The night scene is heavily focused around music, late night bars and dancing, but of course, like any city if you are looking for something in particular it is likely that you can find it with ease.