Moving to the US? Instead of going straight to New York or LA, consider some of the lesser known, smaller cities. There are plenty of great cities around the US, and some offer a low cost of living without compromising aspects like entertainment, food, employment and more.
Here are some of the best US cities to live in.
Known as the mile-high city, Denver is 5,279 feet high and sits at the base of the Rocky Mountains. It takes at least an hour to get up to the Rockies to snowboard or ski, and therefore, Denver is not considered a mountain town. Recently, Denver legalised recreational marijuana, creating a lucrative and flourishing cannabis industry. The city has some great sporting teams in each of the major sporting codes including NBA, MLB, NHL and NFL.
Denver has a population of almost 3 million people who get to enjoy the laid-back lifestyle. From grand, stately Victorian houses in the Five Points neighbourhood, to the bustling LoDo, this city is filled with great restaurants and nightclubs.
The capital of Texas supposedly gains around 50 new residents a day. Best known for its outdoor spaces, cultural institutions and fantastic music, the city is always offering up something for visitors and locals alike. Austin has thousands of acres of open parkland - perfect for hikes and offering exhilarating mountain biking trails.
This city plays host to some of the biggest music, arts and culture festivals in the country, including South by Southwest and Austin City Limits.
And don’t forget about the great Texas barbeque! Texans take their barbeques very seriously. With some world class barbeque joints throughout Austin, you'll experience barbeque eating not known in Australia.
Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina
Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill are collectively referred to as the Triangle. The area relies on its foundation of research and technology. Large multinational companies call the Triangle home. IBM, SAS Institute Inc. and Cisco Systems all have their headquarters located in the Triangle. Employment opportunity thrives in the strong job market. Partnered with a fantastic dining and drinking scene, the area is in rapid growth.
Not only are large companies located in this area, but its surrounds are also home to some of the nation's finest Universities and Colleges: Duke, North Carolina State, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Seattle sits between a stunning mountain range and the water, and residents love the calm, easy going atmosphere. The city provides jobs concentrated around technology, healthcare and maritime industries, however, some larger manufacturing companies are also located within the city limits.
The city has become a premier destination for arts and entertainment since hosting the World’s Fair in 1962. Seattle Art Museum, The Seattle Symphony and the Pike Place Market are all located in Downtown Seattle.
San Francisco, California
San Francisco has been described as the heart of bohemian lifestyle and the launching point of the technology era. Currently, the city may be best known for its tech companies and start-ups, but this shouldn’t take away from the beauty of the bay area and the lovely residents that call the city home.
Located right on the water at San Francisco Bay, the city is known for its steep inclines, cable cars, famous Golden Gate Bridge and colourful Victorian homes. Enjoy a relaxing day at Dolores Park or enjoy shopping and drinks in the Haight-Ashbury district.
Due to the influx of tech companies and the large financial district, the cost of living has risen in recent years. However, this city is one of the most vibrant and enjoyable places to live in the country.
San Diego, California
San Diego is easy living at its best. Year-round sunshine, fantastic beaches and endless options for entertainment.
Located in California, the city is perfect for young professionals, families and college students. World class dining, entertainment and sport bring close to 30 million tourists each year.
Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City is a hub of activity. The city offers a low cost of living and a great opportunity for employment. Innovation, creativity and a very rich history have made Kansas a place any resident can be proud to live in.
Do some research before moving to the US; you'll be surprised at the great locations you can find. Each city or state will have its own unique twist - all you need to do is find what suits you best!