The best small towns to live in US are not only charming and beautiful, but they also offer residents an exceptional quality of life. These small cities range from rural areas to suburbs, giving you plenty of choices based on your preferences, lifestyle, and current situation.
They are quiet towns with idyllic views to friendly communities where everyone knows your name. These smaller municipalities offer just as much opportunity for fun activities and entertainment as a typical metro area does, if not more.
1. Westlake, Florida
2010 Population: 6
2020 Population: 2,800
Westlake, Florida, is a small city in the southern state. It was once a rural town with only six residents in 2010. However, according to the US Census Bureau, in 2020, its population has risen to nearly 2,800 residents.
This growth is thanks to the region’s booming real estate market. In addition, its low crime rates have attracted young families who want an inexpensive lifestyle without having to live too far from big municipalities.
2. Vineyard, Utah
2010 Population: 139
2020 Population: 12,543
Vineyard, Utah, is a municipality on the eastern shore of Utah Lake. It is part of Utah County and lies within commuting distance to Orem and Provo. The town was first settled in 1863 as an agricultural community. However, Vineyard’s economy turned when the Geneva Steel Mill opened in 1941 during World War II.
The closing of Geneva Steel Mill left many residents out of work and looking for other sources of income within their communities. According to the Census Bureau, some chose to stay local. However, others moved away from the area entirely due to a lack of job opportunities.
3. Timnath, Colorado
2010 Population: 625
2020 Population: 6,487
If you’re looking for a small city in the United States that is great for families and offers a variety of amenities, Timnath is an excellent choice. This small town of fewer than 10,000 residents has long been home to residents who primarily work in farming and agriculture.
However, since it borders Fort Collins, Timnath has an eclectic mix of businesses and homes with beautiful views of the Rocky Mountains. The town’s classic small town feel includes complete local shops and restaurants for good eats.
There are also plenty of affordable housing options for renters or buyers looking to settle in this charming community. And if you think that costs are too high, there are tips online on how to negotiate house prices to help you.
4. Watford City, North Dakota
2010 Population: 1,744
2020 Population: 6,207
There are many reasons why Watford is one of the best small towns to live in US. It’s a town that has seen its population growth due to the North Dakota oil boom and has a median household income of $75,000.
Watford is located in McKenzie County, considered one of the fastest-growing counties in America. The population has increased dramatically over the past decade due to new residents from other parts of the country looking for job opportunities related to energy production.
5. Iowa Colony, Texas
2010 Population: 1,170
2020 Population: 8,154
Iowa Colony is a small town just outside the Houston metro area. Only one of two small towns in Fort Bend County, Iowa Colony, has grown over time to be home to about 1,170 residents as of 2010.
The expansion of Houston’s metro area has helped boost interest in this sparsely populated spot. The population of this college town was still less than 300 people throughout most of its history until the 1970s, when oil drilling started on surrounding lands.
6. Dripping Springs, Texas
2010 Population: 1,788
2020 Population: 4,650
According to the US Census Bureau, Dripping Springs, Texas, is a tiny municipality of just 1,788 people. It’s one of the smallest cities in America, but it still has plenty of reasons why you should consider making this place your home.
For starters, Dripping Springs is home to Hamilton Pool Preserve. One of the town’s best-known attractions and one that will definitely make you want to move there. Dripping Springs also has some great cafeterias and local shops throughout its downtown area.
7. Liberty Hill, Texas
2010 Population: 967
2020 Population: 3,646
Liberty Hill, Texas, has a small town charm with an estimated population of 3,646 as of 2020. The small town has experienced significant growth in recent years and has grown roughly 30% since the 2010 census of 967 residents.
The unincorporated community is home to many annual events to attract visitors and give locals a small town feel. Liberty Hill hosts an annual Christmas Festival each December with a parade and gathering of food trucks from across the state.
In previous years, it has also hosted festivals such as Hot Air Balloon Festivals and Sculpture Festivals. These bring in artists from around the world for two weeks each year.
8. Cheat Lake, West Virginia
2010 Population: 7,988
2020 Population: 9,930
Cheat Lake, West Virginia is a small town in Randolph County with just over 9,000 residents. It’s part of the Huntington-Ashland-Ironton Metro Area and is located in the Allegheny Mountains.
Residents enjoy living in Cheat Lake because they can easily access nearby municipalities like Morgantown and Moundsville. Which has more cultural amenities than an average small town has.
The median household income in Cheat Lake is $95,450, much higher than the national average for this size community ($67,521).
9. Whitestown, Indiana
2010 Population: 2,867
2020 Population: 10,178
Whitestown, Indiana, is what you’d expect from the best small towns to live in US. It’s home to about 10,000 residents and has an old-fashioned main street with a supermarket and gas station at either end.
It’s also close to Indianapolis, providing easy access for residents to commute into the municipality for work or shopping. The cost of living in Whitestown is much lower than in other major municipalities nearby, making it easy on the wallets of residents.
10. Celina, Texas
2010 Population: 6,028
2020 Population: 16,739
Celina, Texas, is a small town with big city amenities and a college town feel. The metro area in Celina, Texas, has more than 15,000 people and the surrounding counties have almost half a million residents combined.
It’s easy to get around Celina with its many attractions, including multiple parks and recreation areas, museums, and historic sites. There are plenty of cafes to choose from and great shopping venues like malls or outlet stores for visitors.
11. Cave Springs, Arkansas
2010 Population: 1,729
2020 Population: 5,495
Cave Springs, Arkansas, is a tiny municipality in the south-central part of the state that’s seeing its population grow along with nearby Bentonville, the second largest city in Arkansas.
The community has access to excellent hiking trails and lakes, plus plenty of other outdoor activities such as hunting and fishing. With this access comes a sense of peace and calm.
The cost of living in Cave Springs is low compared with other places across America. Therefore, residents can save money while enjoying all their small town offers. That is a big plus if you’re considering moving to a city vs town vs village.
12. Thompson’s Station, Tennessee
2010 Population: 2,194
2020 Population: 7,485
Thompson’s Station has been a part of Tennessee since at least the 1700s and continues to grow into a thriving community. It’s known for its warm, small town charm and tree lined streets. In fact, it was named one of the Best Small Towns in America.
With just over 7,000 residents, Thompson’s Station is perfect for those who enjoy living in the country while still being close to Nashville or Brentwood. The storied history of Thompson’s Station also attracts visitors from across the world.
13. Josephine, Texas
2010 Population: 2,119
2020 Population: 2,381
Josephine is a small place located in southern Texas, just north of Corpus Christi. The town has a population of just over 2,000 residents, and there’s plenty to do and see without having to deal with city traffic.
The most popular industries are retail trade like grocery stores, construction, and education services. Suppose you want to live in an old-school rural Texas town where you can enjoy a wide array of open spaces. In that case, Josephine may be the place for you.
14. Manor, Texas
2010 Population: 5,037
2020 Population: 13,652
Manor is the perfect place to live, whether you’re looking for an affordable home or simply want to be close to the city. It’s a bedroom community that offers quick access to Austin and nearby municipalities while featuring its walkable downtown area, with a safe main street and plenty of outdoor activities.
The city is known for its older neighborhoods closer to the town center. These are great locations for families because they provide good schools, lots of green space, and convenient access to all amenities.
15. Hardeeville, South Carolina
2010 Population: 2,952
2020 Population: 7,473
With a population of 7,000, Hardeeville in South Carolina is one of the smallest cities on our list. But its size doesn’t mean it lacks charm or quality living options.
The Hardeeville, South Carolina area is home to pristine beach resorts such as Myrtle Beach and miles upon miles of marshland. This provides plenty of room for recreation and job opportunities.
16. Prosper, Texas
2010 Population: 9423
2020 Population: 30,174
Prosper, Texas, is located on the northern edge of the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area and has grown to nearly 30,000 new residents. It’s become one of the fastest growing small cities in America, with a population that has increased by more than 30 percent over five years.
The place looks like many other small towns in America, with its historic downtown area featuring several restaurants and shops. The municipality also has a library that doubles as an art gallery with changing exhibits throughout the year.
Suppose you’re looking for something different from big city life but don’t want to sacrifice amenities like museums or parks. In that case, you might want to consider moving here.
17. Taos, New Mexico
2010 Population: 5,716
2020 Population: 6,474
Taos is genuinely a metropolis with just over 6,000 residents. It’s also one of the most beautiful places in America, with forested mountains rising on all sides and hot springs bubbling underfoot.
Taos isn’t the place to go if you’re looking for nightlife since it’s near the second oldest city in the US (Santa Fe, New Mexico). Fortunately, several restaurants along the main street serve reasonably priced delicious meals at the food hall.
18. Fruitland Park, Florida
2010 Population: 4,078
2020 Population: 8,325
Fruitland Park is a town tucked away in central Florida. It has all the perks of a small community but access to significant municipalities like Orlando and Tampa.
In this municipality, you’ll find many events for families to enjoy together. You can enjoy ample access to lakes, rivers, ponds for fly fishing or kayaking, and whitewater rafting.
If you prefer living closer to larger municipalities, such as Leesburg or Ocala. Then there is an hour’s drive from Fruitland Park. Those who prefer living in a large community but want all the benefits of living in a smaller community should consider moving here.
19. Triana, Alabama
2010 Population: 496
2020 Population: 2,890
The municipality of Triana is a town located in northern Alabama. As the name suggests, it’s home to the University of Alabama. The city is known as “The Heart of Huntsville,” which may explain why so many people call this place home.
According to the US Census Bureau, it sits near the profitable job opportunities available in the Huntsville metro area, which ranked fifth out of 150 in the US metro area.
20. Davenport, Florida
2010 Population: 2,888
2020 Population: 9,043
Davenport, Florida, is located just south of Orlando. It’s a municipality along the Gulf Coast with around 17,000 residents. The town is mainly made up of single-story houses, and its main attraction is the Davenport State Park.
This park features over 2,000 acres, including nature trails, a beach, and wildlife viewing. The number one reason people choose to live in this town is that it offers an affordable lifestyle while still being close enough to bigger municipalities.
21. Montgomery, Texas
2010 Population: 620
2020 Population: 1,640
Montgomery County has gained more than 1,000 new residents in the last decade. While its size may not be as large as other municipalities across America, this town has charm and amenities that make it stand out as a beautiful place to live.
The city is much older than you might expect; its history dates back to 1858, when it was first established on land. However, the original town burned down in 1872.
22. Spearfish, South Dakota
2010 Population: 10,494
2020 Population: 12,193
Spearfish, South Dakota, is a town of 12,000 people just south of Rapid City and west of Deadwood. While Spearfish isn’t as small as the other municipalities on this list. It’s still small enough to be considered a town rather than a city and has plenty to offer its residents.
The main street in Spearfish has boutiques, restaurants, bars, and shops for visitors. Several hot springs are nearby, including Sylvan Lake Hot Springs Resort & Spa.
23. Sitka, Alaska
2010 Population: 8,881
2020 Population: 8,458
Sitka, Alaska, is where you can enjoy the great outdoors without being surrounded by people. The city has dozens of parks and preserves that offer hiking trails, a swimming beach, and camping sites.
If you love animals, Sitka also has several zoos, including the Sitka Wildlife Refuge Zoo, where visitors can get close to native wildlife. With its mild climate year round, this city is an excellent choice for retirees who want to avoid extreme weather conditions.
Residents here also benefit from high employment rates thanks to healthy industries and tourism, which mean more job opportunities.
24. Whitefish, Montana
2010 Population: 6,357
2020 Population: 7,751
The cute town of Whitefish, Montana, is just an hour’s drive from Kalispell and the Flathead Valley. It’s a great place to raise a family or start a business because it has everything you need in one town: shopping, restaurants, live music venues, and more.
If you want to get out of the city but don’t want to drive too far. Then this is your place. Whitefish is also a ski town near Big Mountain, a popular ski resort for decades. The area is ideal for year round activities like hiking, biking, fishing, and more. Thanks to its proximity to the Glacier National Park.
25. Best Small City: Granville, West Virginia
2010 Population: 781
2020 Population: 1,382
Granville, West Virginia, is definitely one of the best small cities to live in USA. The population of Granville is under 1,500 people, and it has several things to offer its residents.
One of the main reasons people choose to live in Granville is its proximity to Morgantown, West Virginia. This allows for better access to shopping centers, restaurants, and other amenities that may not be available in smaller municipalities.
In recent years, Granville has become known for being home to one of the largest shopping centers in Monongalia County: The Shoppes at River Ridge Mall. This shopping center caters not only to Monongalia County residents.
26. Best Small Town For Hiking And Biking Trails: Fulshear
2010 Population: 1134
2020 Population: 16,856
Fulshear, Texas, is a great place to live if you’re looking for a town with large city amenities. According to the US Census Bureau, the town was incorporated as a municipality in 1977. However, its population surpassed 1,000 until the 21st century.
The local attractions are hiking and biking trails, a popular destination for new residents. As far as local grocery stores go, there are many options, such as HEB Grocery Store.
This small town appears to maintain its small town feel with plenty of community events scheduled throughout the year, such as an annual Christmas parade.
Best Small Towns To Live In US: Conclusion
The United States is a vast country with many diverse regions, cities, and towns. Each has its own unique character and advantages for the people who live there.
There are small towns that give you a sense of community, but also those that offer more jobs and opportunities for growth. Whatever your personal preference, it’s essential to do your research when choosing the right place to call home.
Take this list of small towns in America to heart if you’re in the market for a new house. And if you’re struggling to find one, HOMES by ARDOR is here to help you find an ideal home, whether one with a small town vibe or one with a big city feel.