15 of the Most Popular Cities to Move to in 2021 and Beyond

While the COVID-19 pandemic held people in place through much of 2020, Americans are on the move (or planning to be) in 2021 and beyond. Reasons people give for wanting to move include lower costs of living, being closer to family, and the ability to live wherever they want while working remotely. The desire to move is affecting a large percentage of the population. In fact, 20% more people plan to move in 2021 than did in 2020. If you’re one of those Americans with wanderlust or a need to be in a new city, start your research with our list of 15 popular cities to move to below.

1. Durham, North Carolina

Durham, North Carolina, offers plenty of big-city amenities, but living here feels more like living in the suburbs. Outdoor lifestyles are possible here, even in populated areas, thanks to plenty of parks and green spaces and the nearby Butner Falls of Neuse game lands.

If you’re looking to buy a house when you move to your next city, Durham may be a financially sound choice. The cost of homeownership in the city is 23% lower than the national average.

2. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh offers affordable housing, especially when compared to other northern cities, and it has plenty of amenities and cultural opportunities for singles, couples and families. With 15,000 acres of green spaces in the city and easy access to larger state parks, you can go from museum or concert to picnic and hike easily.

3. San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio is a cultural powerhouse in the heart of Texas. From the Riverwalk, where you can eat, shop or take a lazy boat tour down the river, to the Alamo, there’s plenty to do in this city. And while San Antonio is a full-fledged big city with all the amenities that usually come with that designation, it maintains a sleepy, community feeling that other large cities can’t pull off.

4. Wilmington, North Carolina

Wilmington, NC, lets you enjoy coastal living without the high price tag that often comes with easy access to the ocean. The cost of living in the city is below the state average, and locals overwhelmingly rate the city as friendly to neighbors, families, and pets. Around 60% of residents in the city say they can walk to nearby restaurants and enjoy the sense of community the city offers.

5. Tampa, Florida

Tampa is a great gateway for those looking to move into Florida. Enjoy sunny climates and a laid-back Florida lifestyle without putting your career on hold or giving up access to plenty of cultural, entertainment, shopping, or dining amenities. Tampa rides the middle of the road when it comes to cost of living, coming in just at the national average, but the crime here is 18% lower than the national average.

6. Sacramento, California

Sacramento often plays second fiddle to scenes such as San Francisco and Los Angeles. But the California state capital has its own robust arts scene, plenty of locations to make foodies salivate and options for outdoor activities include river rafting and cycling. Plus, it’s only a couple of hours from San Francisco, making it possible to access the Bay Area on weekends or days off.

7. San Diego, California

Many people might not realize that San Diego was the first point settled by people coming from the East to the West. It’s not surprising settlers hundreds of years ago would be drawn to this landscape. Mild weather with lots of sun and access to beaches makes this one of the popular cities to move to a favorite of singles and families. You’ll find plenty to explore during your days off, include SeaWorld and the iconic San Diego Zoo.

8. Leawood, Kansas

Leawood, KS, is one of the popular cities to move to outside of Kansas City. If you’re looking to cut down on costs by making a move, this isn’t the place you want to land. The cost of living is above both state and national averages. But young families looking for a safe place to live with awesome amenities and great schools may want to give this city a look. On average, students here score well above national averages, and overall crime rates are more than 50% below national averages.

9. Chicago, Illinois

The Windy City is a love-it-or-leave-it type of place, but with neighborhoods that cover all types of culture and living situations, it’s a favorite of many young professionals and couples. Moving to this area gives you access to the Great Lakes, plenty of nightlife, and some of the best museums in the nation.

10. Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas, is a great place for career builders, as you’ll find plentiful opportunities across a wide variety of industries. Tech professionals especially may find numerous opportunities in the city, and singles and young couples may love the nightlife and entertainment options available. In Austin proper, the culture is more open-minded, and you can find family-friendly neighborhoods peppered throughout the metro area, too.

11. Charleston, South Carolina

If you want to split your time between beaches, historical sites, and great nightlife, Charleston may be an ideal move for you. While the city’s cost of living is higher than the state average — due in part to coastal real estate driving up the housing market — you can find lower costs in nearby suburbs and still access all that Charleston has to offer. Magnolia Plantations, Fort Sumter, and the Historic Charleston City Market are just a few must-enjoy sites for those living nearby.

12. Alpharetta, Georgia

Alpharetta is a suburb city of Atlanta, and moving here lets you access all that A-Town offers. But Alpharetta brings statistics to the table that Atlanta can’t match, including crime rates that are 42% lower than the state average. More than 70% of current residents consider the area quiet, and over 60% say it’s family- and pet-friendly.

13. Athens, Georgia

For big-city living without the fast pace, consider Athens. History buffs will adore the antebellum architecture and historical sites throughout the city, but Athens has plenty to offer modernists too. An enjoyable art scene that starts at the Georgia Museum of Art can be explored, and couples and families can spend time in nature with numerous parks and the State Botanical Garden of Georgia.

14. Hartford, Connecticut

Hartford is the capital of Connecticut, but it’s also home to plenty of culture and history. Readers might love living here, where they can visit the Mark Twain House, and artists and intellectuals alike can find plenty of options for entertainment and learning in the city. Plus, it’s only half a day’s drive (or train ride) away from other major metro areas, including the Big Apple, so it makes a wonderful base camp location for urban explorers.

15. Cayuga Heights, New York

Cayuga Heights is one of the more popular cities to move to in the state of New York. The crime rates in this city are more than 65% less than the state average, and 100% of the locals say the area is friendly for families and pets. When asked, locals said the city was quiet and safe at night, making this a great location for young families looking to flee more dangerous urban environments.

Next Steps With LemonBrew

Choosing where you might want to live next is just the first step in what can be an exciting but stressful process. Next, you’ll need to find a home to move into. Match with a LemonBrew agent in your desired city today to start the process.

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