It is a fact that the population as a whole is naturally happier living in certain areas of the country. These are cities that have something to offer everyone, from a thriving job market to a rich cultural scene to plenty of opportunity for outdoor fun. So, if you are looking to make a change, you want to consider some of the top US destinations selected by Lonely Planet. Coincidentally, these are fantastic places to visit, too, so you could always start by planning a vacation to see if you instantly fall in love with the area.
Grand Rapids, Michigan
With historic neighborhoods like Heritage Hill and a myriad of theaters, stages, and museums you just know there are a lot of layers to peel away in the city. The job market in Grand Rapids is fantastic, as it is a center for automobile, aviation, and furniture manufacturing, plus Spectrum Health is headquartered here, which employs more than 16,000 medical professionals. Of course, if you are moving to Grand Rapids, you must spend as much time as you can enjoying Lake Michigan’s Gold Coast. This 300-mile stretch of beaches along Lake Michigan runs from South Haven past Traverse City. Make sure you visit one of the many lighthouses directly after a winter storm, as they turn into massive ice sculptures from the unforgiving waves splashing off them. Photographers come from all around to capture this display on film.
Yosemite National Park, California
This is a perfect destination for the outdoor enthusiast. There is a wide variety of real estate available here, ranging from cozy cabins to jaw-dropping chalets with million dollar views. The homes are not actually in the heart of the park, but they might as well be because most are secluded and surrounded by dense forest. Listings are found in Yosemite and Wawona. Living here means outdoor fun year-round, and considering there more than 800 miles of trails, you should be busy for a while.
If you visit Boston, you are almost guaranteed to not want to leave. New England’s largest city is considered a world leader in innovation, and it is one of the planet’s top 30 most economically powerful cities. Cultural roots run deep here, and cheering on your favorite sports team at the neighborhood pub over a pint of craft beer is a way of life.
Central Coast, California
The breathtaking Central Coast spans from Monterey Bay to Point Muga, passing through Santa Cruz, San Benito, Monterey-San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties. So, finding a desirable job and your idea of the perfect neighborhood will not be too hard. The region is known for tourism, agriculture, and white sand beaches. If you move to Central Coast, you must catch a sunset at Salinas River State Beach!
Jersey Shore, New Jersey
There are more than 40 diverse communities along the Jersey Shore. The area is known for its famous boardwalks with arcades, amusement parks, and water parks. Although Hurricane Sandy devastated the Jersey Shore in 2012, the area is bouncing back fast and will be better than ever. Now is the time to buy a home and be part of the rebirth here. If you move to Jersey Shore, you must check out the pipe organ at Ocean Grove, surfing events in Belmar, and the Wildwoods Shore Resort Historic District.
Kansas City, Missouri
In 2012, “Forbes Magazine” said Kansas City has one of the best downtown areas in the country. It is noted for its upscale shopping, rich culture in arts, a large variety of cuisine, and numerous fountains. There are more than 240 neighborhoods in Kansas City, so there is one to appeal to anyone. Plus, City Market is here, which is one of the Midwest’s largest farmer’s markets. Kansas City also offers 214 urban parks, with 132 miles of parkways and boulevards to keep active.
Cumberland Island, Georgia
If you love the outdoors and you can find a home near Cumberland Island, Georgia, you won’t regret your move. If you are simply looking for a vacation, you can’t pass up this destination. This is one of the Sea Islands in the Atlantic Ocean, and is a renowned for its 17-mile beach and high population of feral horses.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Nearly everyone has had the urge to move to Las Vegas at least once. There is something very appealing about a city that never sleeps, but it offers more than just flashy casinos, five-star restaurants, and an award-winning shopping opportunity. Housing is affordable, there is minimal rain, and it is a haven for anyone working in hospitality. It is also a short commute to Henderson, Paradise, Spring Valley, and Boulder City.
Sun Valley, Idaho
Most people visit Sun Valley for skiing, hiking, and trail-riding, but there are residents who live in this resort town year-round. There is always something to do here, and you can commute to work in Boise, Twin Falls, or Idaho Falls.
If you have ever dreamed of living somewhere tropical, this may be the destination for you. Known as Pineapple Island, Lāna’i is as serene as it gets, as there are no traffic lights, public transportation, or shopping malls. This would be the perfect place to retire, spending your day sea kayaking or horseback riding. If you move to Lāna’i, you must dive in Hulope Bay, as this marine preserve is considered one of the world’s best diving spots.