As alluring as New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles are with their sky-high buildings and twinkling lights, they might not be the best places to move to right after college with sky-high costs of living to match. Between student loans and rent, recent grads can barely scrape up enough money to grab a beer after work – if they can even find a job, that is.
Here are the top 5 cities to consider moving to after college. Keep an open mind in your searching – you never know what opportunities are hiding in these gems.
1. Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis is such an underrated city. This city comes in second – with NYC in first – for the city with the most theatre seats per capita. Imagine the amount of shows you can attend! Minnesota is also full of great restaurants, bars, music scenes, and outdoor activities. Not to mention everyone – and I mean everyone – is so kind. “Minnesota nice” is a real thing. According to Forbes, the average rent for a 2-bedroom apartment is around $1,770.
2. Cincinnati, Ohio
Maybe I’m partial to Cincinnati since it’s the city I call home, but it really is one of the greatest places in America. The median rent for a 2-bedroom apartment is $2,100. Aside from the low rent, Cincinnati is full of awesome activities. We have the Great American Ballpark and Paul Brown Stadium on the same street, which is packed full of bars and restaurants. Cincinnatians also love a tall beer and a walk through one of our many museums, guaranteeing a lively nightlife after working in beautiful downtown Cincy.
3. Baltimore, Maryland
Baltimore is another overlooked city. This place is full of art, music, beer, and to-die-for seafood. It’s also one of the top (number 8 out of 100, to be exact) cities to move to if you’re looking for a STEM job. Rent here is shockingly low, coming in at around $1,500 for a 2-bedroom apartment. Baltimore really knows how to have fun as a community and the Power Plant Live! hosts some of the greatest live music on the East Coast. According to Forbes, a quarter of the population is made up of millennials, so you’ll fit right in.
4. Austin, Texas
Oh, Austin. This city will steal your heart in an instant. There’s live music every night, comedy clubs, and barbeque for days. Something is always going on in Austin and you’ll want to be right in the middle of it. According to the Apartment Guide, the median rent for a 2-bedroom apartment is around $1,500. Did we mention the weather? Because it’s absolutely perfect if you hate the cold. Austin stays pretty warm nearly year-round, with the exception of December through February. Austin is also a great place to live if you lean to the left. Step out of city limits and you’ll be surrounded by Republicans, which makes for great political debate if you’re into that. Grab a margarita and chill out in this awesome city.
5. Seattle, Washington
We all fell in love with Seattle because of Grey’s Anatomy, but have you considered living there yet? You should. Seattle is known for its coffee and gloomy weather, which is completely charming if you love a good cup of Joe while listening to the storms. There are tons of options for history and art, some of which are free to the public. It’s also one of the most technologically advanced cities as it’s home to Amazon, Microsoft, and Boeing. People can relate to you on a geeky level and the LGBTQ pride here should be adopted throughout the rest of the states. Rent here for a 2-bedroom apartment is around $1,700. Not convinced yet? The scenery is absolutely breathtaking. You can ride your bike to a beautiful lake or go hiking anytime you like.
Sure, we all fantasize over the huge, thriving cities, but for recent grads with no job, those aren’t always the best options. Make sure to do your research on average rent costs, lifestyle factors, and employment opportunities before you pack up and move to your next city.
cities you should move to after college