The 20 Best Places to Live in 2019

These are the top American cities with the best quality of life says U.S. News & World Report.

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1: Austin, Texas

U.S. News & World Report based its 2019 Best Places to Live in the United States on a host of factors: the local job market, housing affordability, quality of life, the desirability of living in that area for non-residents, and the area's appeal in actually attracting new residents. Home to the University of Texas and a booming film industry, Austin, Texas has long had a reputation for quality of life coupled with a thriving cultural scene including the city's destination status for the annual South by Southwest festival each March.

2: Denver, Colorado

This former mining town now attracts active residents with a love of nature and physical fitness. The Mile High City is also renowned for its progressive values and beautiful surroundings.

3: Colorado Springs, Colorado

Nationally ranked colleges, military bases and low cost of living and low unemployment make low-key Colorado Springs a thriving destination for residents who can also enjoy proximity to great skiing.

4: Fayetteville, Arkansas

Home to the flagship campus in the state's university system, the University of Arkansas (pictured), Fayetteville is also home to corporate giants Walmart and Tyson Foods.

5: Des Moines, Iowa

Iowa's capital (shown here: the Iowa State Capital Building), Des Moines offers boundless cultural events, festivals and a thriving bar and restaurant scene.

6: Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota

For the third year in a row, the Minneapolis-St. Paul area ranks as the No. 1 healthiest city. Minneapolis was one of the first cities nationwide to add bike trails; it also sets aside a high percentage of the city as parkland. Another healthy draw is the Minneapolis Farmers Market. Established in 1937, the market supports some 230 local vendors.

7: San Francisco, California

What's not to love about this city by the bay? Sure, the cost of living is high, but it's hard to match San Francisco's reputation as a haven for entrepreneurs, artists, LGBTQ communities and free-thinkers and innovators of every stripe.

8: Portland, Oregon

A city whose motto "Keep Portland Weird" perfectly expresses the bohemian, hipster spirit of this fascinating spot, Portland is as beloved for supporting innovators as it is for its natural beauty and access to vineyards, hiking and outdoor activities of every sort.

9: Seattle, Washington

The city where American coffee culture was invented, Seattle is surrounded by mountains and water and is home to corporate juggernaut Amazon, as well as an influential music scene and cultural opportunities galore.

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10: Raleigh and Durham, North Carolina

North Carolina’s Research Triangle - made up of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill - often receives accolades for its quality of life, strong economy and excellent education system. With three nearby universities, there are many opportunities for jobs in education, as well as manufacturing, aerospace, biotechnology and green energy.

11: Huntsville, Alabama

Perhaps unexpected on a list of top 20 American cities, relatively small Huntsville is the fastest growing metro-area in Alabama. Known for playing a significant role in the space race of the 1960s, the area continues to attract a large number of engineers working at NASA and the U.S. Army's Redstone Arsenal.

12: Madison, Wisconsin

This vibrant college town and home to the highly-rated University of Wisconsin, Madison has a small-town vibe but big city sophistication with top chefs, restaurants and cultural happenings on offer.

13: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Michigan's Fulton Street Market (shown here) is just one of the reasons Grand Rapids was elected a Best Place to Live as well as ranked #6 on the Best Places to Retire in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.

14: San Jose, California

The unofficial center of Silicon Valley, San Jose is a tech hub with proximity to Apple and Google headquarters as well as great access to wineries, the ocean and many opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors and the area's unbeatable weather.

15: Nashville, Tennessee

The center of the country music industry, Nashville is also a magnet for celebrities and singers looking for a low-key alternative for living and raising families to New York or Los Angeles.

16: Asheville, North Carolina

Beautiful downtown Asheville blends big city shopping and art with back-to-nature beauty and garden attractions, including the sprawling Biltmore Estate.

17: Boise, Idaho

Downtown Boise, Idaho is a hub for business growth and great dining, but residents also take full advantage of the city's proximity to rivers, mountains, deserts and lakes.

18: Sarasota, Florida

Incredible weather year-round makes Sarasota a wonderful draw for celebrities, families and retirees. Sarasota is also #3 on U.S. News & World Report's Best Cities to Retire list.

19: Washington, D.C.

Great public transportation, top-notch (and free) museums, eclectic neighborhoods and a diverse population of international and LGBTQ residents make Washington, D.C. so much more than the nation's capital and seat of government.

20: Charlotte, North Carolina

As one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S., Charlotte, N.C. is a millennial magnet and has a ton of cool neighborhoods and breweries to show for it.

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