The United States of America is a massive country with dozens of major cities dotting the landscape from coast to coast. Those with dreams of one day visiting the U.S. – or living there – have their work cut out for them in terms of where to travel or settle down.
The truth is you could spend a lifetime exploring the United States and still have plenty left to see and do. With this in mind, the best approach is to focus on the handful of American cities deemed to be the most famous and significant.
Let’s be clear: there’s more to the United States than her major cities. But for first-time visitors and potential residents, the top-rated cities in terms of tourism are also viable options for starting a new life in the new world.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at several great American cities for visiting and living:
Nicknamed “America’s Finest City”, San Diego doesn’t disappoint! A picture-perfect climate and year-round sunshine make it a popular destination for visitors and settlers alike.
Visiting San Diego
Don’t skip the zoo! The San Diego Zoo is considered one of the best in the country. The city is also home to several beautiful beaches and a hopping downtown district, providing visitors with plenty to see and do.
Living in San Diego
San Diego is considered one of the most desirable American cities to live in. As a result, rent doesn’t come cheap. The same goes for mortgage rates. Those looking to save money on housing should focus on affordable areas such as Chula Vista, Mission Valley, and Normal Heights.
The city by the bay is a world-renowned tourist destination. From iconic architecture to historical monuments to exciting nightlife, San Francisco has it all.
Visiting San Francisco
A trip to San Francisco is not complete without a visit to Alcatraz Island. Also known as ‘The Rock,” Alcatraz was once home to the meanest and most vicious convicts in the federal penal system. The Golden Gate Bridge and historic Chinatown are also considered must-see destinations.
Living in San Francisco
Space is limited in San Francisco. That means property values are high. Those thinking about moving there should look into coliving in San Francisco as a potential option. Having roommates is practically unavoidable unless you have the means to afford $3000 a month for a one-bedroom apartment.
The Mile-High City is considered the true gateway to the west (sorry, St. Louis!) Positioned on the east side of the Rocky Mountains, Denver is the last stopping point before reaching high altitude. It’s all downhill from there until you reach the Pacific Ocean.
Denver is home to many wonderful museums. It’s also a short drive away from natural splendor. In the shadow of the Rocky Mountains, Denver is also a great jumping-off point for those who love to ski and snowboard.
Living in Denver
While not as expensive as living in California, Denver remains a highly sought-after location. The average rent for a one-bedroom runs around $2000.
The Windy City is considered the default capital of the American Midwest. Indeed, there is no Mid-American city larger or more economically powerful than Chicago.
Those visiting Chicago have their work cut out for them. From the Field Museum to Willis Tower (formerly known as Sears Tower) to the iconic L-train, there is no shortage of things to see and do.
Living in Chicago
Since Chicago is the undisputed megacity of the Midwest, it’s no surprise it has the highest cost of living. With that said, moving to Chicago is not limited to the affluent. While the average rent for a one-bedroom runs around $2000, it’s easy to find coliving arrangements aimed at lowering the cost to a third of that or less.
The list of great cities in America is long. If reduced to the best cities for visiting and living, the list remains impressive. We hope the preceding information has provided you with the knowledge needed to travel or move to the United States. Good luck!
Julie Steinbeck is a freelance writer from Florida. She enjoys covering topics related to business, health, and travel.