Top 10 Best Small Cities To Live In The United States of America In 2024

Many smaller towns in the US offer the same amenities as big cities, including fresh air, trees, streets lined with trees, lots of opportunities to say “quaint”, and enough culture, bars, restaurants, and other facilities to keep up the pace of the big guys.

The Demographic Research Unit of the Department of Finance states that to be considered a small city, an area must have at least 100,000 inhabitants. We can only assume that they will warmly welcome you into their community and point you to their favorite dive bar.

These are 16 of the coolest small towns in America.

Top 10 Best Small Cities To Live In The United States of America In 2024

1-Kahului, Hawaii

Population: 29,993

The largest city on Maui has a well-connected airport and a relative dearth of tourist traps. It also boasts a thriving dining scene that rivals its established surf scene.

This is a welcome escape from the more crowded islands. At any time, the population is around 30,000. This represents a healthy mix between local ex-pats and residents who earn a household income that ranks in the top 10 of small American cities. There have numerous bars and restaurants in the area. You can also find other attractions such as shopping districts and cultural museums. But, this is Hawaii and you’re there to enjoy the beaches.

Kahului’s waves are inviting for surfers of all skill levels. Casual beach-goers can admire their efforts from the posts on the soft sand.

Baldwin, Kanaha, and Ho’okipa Beach Parks are great places for windsurfing, parasailing, and kitesurfing. Further inland, there are many natural escapes such as Kanaha Pond State Wildlife Sanctuary, Iao Valley State Park, and Maui Nui Botanical Gardens. These have a variety of birdlife and offer plenty for the turf crowd.

You should not leave Maui without Cruising Hana Highway. This 64.4-mile stretch winds around Maui’s eastern coast and passes through lush tropical rainforests, tranquil shorelines, majestic waterfalls, as well as 59 historic bridges. –Meredith Heil


2-Bloomington (Indiana)

Population: 84,691

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Bloomington is a Midwestern college town that is full of enough indie grit and charm to satisfy the most discerning shoe-gazing hipster. It combines fairytale-level pastoral charm and all the benefits of a larger metropolitan area.

Are you looking for live music in a small venue? Check. Unbeatable global cuisine? Double check. Do you know any renowned breweries, wineries, or distilleries? Yes. Are you looking for rugged hiking, biking, and swimming opportunities, as well as fishing opportunities? You got it. You get all that and more, including dive bars, top-quality sporting events, thoughtful art galleries, farm-to-table eats at every corner, and rents so low they make Chicago seem like Dubai.

3-Juneau, Alaska

Population: 32,099

The capital of Alaska is the epitome of the great frontier. Here you can enjoy the beauty of Alaska by climbing steep glaciers and watching the whales play in the turquoise waters. You can also follow overgrown trails up to stunning summit views. After all that, you can settle in for a delicious meal of wild-caught seafood at a top-notch restaurant.

Juneau is also known for its beer, which is made by the Alaskan Brewing Company.

A strong Smoked Porter will help you to withstand the harsh winter winds or the blinding summer sun. Then, get to know South Franklin Street’s historical lineup of original saloons as well as Victorian-era architecture. In the best possible way, the backdrop of the 1898 Gold Rush town could double as the setting for any Western movie. You can also visit Heritage Square where you will find a variety of Southeast Alaskan indigenous arts at Sealaska Heritage institute and elsewhere.


4-Fort Myers, Florida

Population: 83,505

Fort Myers is a beachfront paradise that’s all fun and sunny. The laid-back, small city of Fort Myers makes the most of its location on Florida’s western edge. It has easy access to many idyllic islands, as well as outdoor recreation areas and, perhaps, the best known, a network of world-class baseball practice and stadiums that come alive each March during MLB’s spring training.

The annual event attracts thousands of sports fans to Fort Myers, bringing a lively spirit to the city and allowing them to catch the Bigs in action at a fraction of regular season ticket prices.

It’s not all peanuts, CrackerJack, and ice cream down here. Fort Myers also has a wide variety of great places to eat or drink, including sandbars serving seafood and breweries that are buzzing with customers. Don’t forget the beaches! Miles of soft sand give way to warm, crashing surf, with plenty of quiet spots to relax the day away.

5-Hot Springs, Arkansas

Population: 38,697

Hot Springs were born out of the boiling geothermal waters that flow beneath its surface. Al Capone and Owen Madden, mobsters, flocked to the soothing water for their vacations (also to gamble); Babe Ruth used them as a way to relax after spring training.

They are the reason that part of the city has been surrounded by the first national park in the country, with miles and miles of beautiful mountain trails to explore.

Take advantage of the Natural State. Nearby Lake Catherine and Lake Ouachita State Parks offer hiking and waterfalls as well as houseboating and other water sports. Garvan Woodland Gardens, covering 210 acres, hosts an annual tulip festival. The area’s unique topography makes the area an exceptional place to search for gems, including diamonds. Crater of Diamonds State Park is a good place to try your luck; this year, 265 diamonds were found.


6-Merced (California)

UC Merced

Population: 84,081

Imagine that you had always wanted to go to Yosemite. But along the way, you can live your retro road trip dreams. Enter Merced. It is a small town located just one hour from the national parks.

There are many vintage eras to choose from, including 1920s art deco architecture and 1950s neon signs. Modern remodeling is awaiting the insides, so everything here is both in and out with the old.

You can find treasures at the Merced Antiquary Mall and Second Time Around. You might be interested in old machines. The town’s Agriculture Museum has Grapes of Wrath-style farm equipment and railway machinery. For retro aircraft, you can visit the nearby Castle Air Museum. Your DeLorean will be all you need at that time.

7-Myrtle Beach (South Carolina)

Population: 33,638

This South Carolina vacation destination is more than just the Myrtle Beach of debaucherous senior trips memories. It has been a popular tourist attraction since 1936 when it was connected to Horry County by the last stretch of the 2,700-mile-long Intracoastal Waterway.

The coastal paradise attracts thousands of tourists every year because of its mix of fancy attractions, bars and restaurants, pro-golf courses, stunning natural areas, and 60 miles of beach bliss.

Las Vegas-style shows dominate the bill at the many venues in the area. Outdoorsy types love the surf-ready jet skis, while those who are more adventurous can’t get enough. And everyone can’t help but be amazed at Family Kingdom’s SkyWheel, the tallest Ferris wheel in America, which is centrally located at the Family Kingdom. Are you an aquatic? Ripley’s Aquarium offers 85,000 square feet of underwater views. Or, you can face your fears at Alligator Adventure with a scaly encounter with an animal. There are plenty of bars, clubs, and live music venues to keep the night owls entertained. Don’t forget to take advantage of the early morning tee times at the 100+ manicured golf courses. Myrtle Beach is one of the country’s fastest-growing small cities thanks to an increase in international business investment.


8-Ithaca New York

Population: 30,715

Ithaca is home to three universities. But Andy Bernard would be wrong to think that it’s just another college town. It’s possible to enjoy bars, farm-to-table dining, live entertainment, or shop until you drop. All this without having to put 30 miles on the legs. Take a look at the beautiful, historic houses of East Hill and Cornell Heights before you stroll down tree-lined streets downtown.

You can spend lazy afternoons on lush trails or crossing old bridges that lead to scenic gorges and lakes not far from the city. You should go out and chase waterfalls. There are more than 150 within 10 miles of downtown. You will be amazed at the beauty of Cayuga Lake, which you can view from Stewart Park.


9-Flagstaff, Arizona

Population: 73,319

Flagstaff is the place to go if you want to dispel your preconceptions of Arizona. Flagstaff is home to the state’s largest ski resort, Humphreys Peak at nearly 7,000 feet, and a pine forest covering 1.8 million acres. 

You’ll find all four seasons where you might expect to see two seasons, sub-zero winter and freezing summer. You can explore Coconino National Forest’s largest stand, the world’s oldest, of ponderosa Pines, in the warmer months. Or you can take to the trails on any of the many epic routes. Kachina Trail is a great place to trek, with its lava cliffs and forested canyons.

The Abineau-Bear Jaw Loop allows you to see the Grand Canyon from 70 miles away. Take a dip in the temperature and hit the Arizona Snowbowl for some snowshoeing. There are 55 runs, 260 inches of annual snowfall, and plenty of opportunities to enjoy apres-ski showboating.


10-Bend, Oregon

Population: 97,032

Bend, located three hours from Portland and separated by a snowy mountain range is a city full of contradictions. The town is known for its white-water rafting, river floats, and high-desert ranch lifestyle. The laid-back and artsy downtown, which is serenely divided by the Deschutes River, manages to radiate small-town warmth despite its sprawling population of nearly 100,000. You’ll find a growing mix of creative cowpokes, students, and career bartenders as well as free-spirited artisans, hardy agrarians, and college kids, all coming together to enjoy the beautiful scenery and enjoy some of the best restaurants in the PNW.

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