Some Fine Towns
While CNBC may rank Austin, Texas as the best place to live in 2019, it’s also notable that the list on which this city is included bases its ranking in terms of large metropolitan areas. It is assuming from the outset that size is a defining agent in quality of life, which is objectively untrue. However, there are excellent big cities in which to live across the countries.
This writing will explore some of the larger cities, and some of the smaller ones. To summarize CNBC’s article, in order of desirability, their writers ranked these cities with Austin at the top, followed by Colorado Springs and Denver in Colorado, Des Moines in Iowa, Fayetteville, Arkansas, Portland, Oregon, Huntsville, Alabama, Washington, D.C., Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Seattle, Washington at the bottom of the list.
Breaking Down CNBC’s Ranking
If you’re arching an eyebrow when reading that list, you’re not alone. Seattle and Portland have inner-city wastelands, constant rainfall, soaring price values, and a stuck-up conglomeration of citizens with their noses in the air and their minds in the gutter. Sure, they’re both nice places between July and September; but they don’t deserve to be on that list.
Minneapolis is pretty fine, D.C. is a hell-hole, Huntsville is drenched in humidity but does have affordability in property value and strong community, while Fayetteville is a college town that’s ideal for millennials, and fairly metropolitan. Des Moines is humid, claustrophobic, and slightly bucolic—though it has its amenities, it’s kind of in the middle of nowhere.
Denver has some good and bad areas. It’s a lot like Southern California, only about 40% cheaper, and apply the same reduction in terms of traffic. The legalized recreational cannabis is nice, but don’t move based on that.
In the next ten years half the U.S. will have legalized it, at which point the value spike we’re seeing in terms of economy will top out and start going the other direction, meaning wealth built around the weed-boom will be followed by a weed-bust. This is speculation, but that tipping point is probably when half the U.S. has legalized it recreationally.
Next we’ve got Colorado Springs, where there is exceptional beauty and hiking, but a strange communal atmosphere that’s equal parts clean-living family-oriented types likely harboring military affiliation due to the military base in the city, and straight gangsters. Meanwhile, Austin has a strange community atmosphere in terms of politics, lampooned by television show Portlandia as being the Portland of Texas.
Some Alternatives Worth Considering
Alternatively, Fort Collins in Colorado is just sixty miles north of Denver, has less than 200,000 people, a university, theaters, entertainment, a booming music and stand-up comedy scene, beautiful landscaping, affordable housing that’s been stable and growing for years, and a generally positive economy.
If you’re in Texas, Dallas is also a fine alternative to Austin. Granted, it’s a much larger municipality, but there are some excellent places to live between it and Fort Worth. You can find more here on fine Dallas apartment rentals.
Missoula, Montana has affordable housing, beautiful hiking and summers, and winters from the backside of the abominable snowman. However, if you like full and robust seasons, it’s a great place to live. As a collegiate town, though smaller, Missoula boasts a fine atmosphere; and Montana does have a great deal of wealth. Plus, Canada is in your backyard.
Finding Your Home
It all depends on what you’re after. If you like mountains, Missoula, Montana, Fort Collins, Colorado, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming represent some fine options. If it’s the ocean you love, you might look at San Diego, CA—the nicest city on the west coast by far (Portland and Seattle…nope), and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Jacksonville, Florida is also fine, though it’s usually quite warm and humid. The only one, in the opinion of this blog writer, that CNBC got right was Minneapolis; which provides temperate, lush, green, wet Summers and frozen winters full of liquid spirits and hockey, yet fully metropolitan.
Lastly, Alaska’s Anchorage is costly, but worth the pilgrimage for those seeking solitude and adventure; while Hawaii has been Hawaii since…well, since it became known as Hawaii: beautiful, but touristy unless you’re a local. Where you ultimately end up living is up to you; but there are some considerable options in the US.