Best places to live on the East Coast
What is your idea of the perfect place to live? A burgeoning city with an energetic social scene? What about a quaint town with access to gorgeous and secluded stretches of nature? Or do you look for nationally-recognized public schools and well-educated neighbors?
When it comes to living on the East Coast, there are hundreds of places that can potentially fit the bill. Whether charming New England towns steeped in Ivy League history or warm, sunny shores along the coast of Florida, the East Coast is chock full of diverse towns and cities that truly stand out.
Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live on the East Coast using 2020 data from Niche. Cities, towns, and suburbs in the following states were considered: Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, and Virginia. No more than 10 locations per state were included.
Some of the places on this list will be familiar to you. Take, for example, a historic New Hampshire town that thrives on its collegiate history and traditions. Or that bustling suburb outside of D.C. with the luxury shopping and historic mansions. Others, however, you likely have never heard of before, such as that rural community in Georgia whose population has jumped 13% in the last five years. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to start a family, or are an energetic, young single wanting to launch your career and accelerate your social life—there is a town or city on this list for you.
Each slide includes the city's population, median home value, median rent, and median household income. Whether you're thinking of the next big move, or you're just browsing to see if your town has made the cut, keep reading to discover the best places to live on the East Coast.
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#100. Farmington, Connecticut
- Population: 25,546
- Median home value: $330,400 (72% own)
- Median rent: $1,354 (28% rent)
- Median household income: $94,606
Farmington is a charming, historic town just 10 miles west of Hartford. It is known for its outdoor recreational activities, from the Metacomet Trail to the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail. But it is also known for its cultural attractions like the Hill-Stead Museum, as well as being the headquarters for a number of large corporations, from United Technologies to Otis Elevator Company.
#99. Norwich, Vermont
- Population: 3,335
- Median home value: $446,800 (74% own)
- Median rent: $1,011 (26% rent)
- Median household income: $116,050
It doesn't get more quintessentially New England than Norwich, Vermont. From charming Main Street lined with historic Georgian, Federal, and Greek Revival buildings, to the banks of the Connecticut River, there is plenty of culture and natural beauty for residents to enjoy in Norwich.
#98. Forest Acres, South Carolina
- Population: 10,433
- Median home value: $186,700 (75% own)
- Median rent: $922 (25% rent)
- Median household income: $64,926
Forest Acres is a small town located in South Carolina's central midlands. It's a community-driven place to live, with a strong penchant for activities and events. From spring to fall, the town hosts a weekly farmers market, rooftop concerts, and seasonal gatherings. Forest Acres has several neighborhood parks, as well.
#97. Westport, Connecticut
- Population: 27,840
- Median home value: $1,167,500 (84% own)
- Median rent: $1,902 (16% rent)
- Median household income: $187,988
Connecticut's shoreline is known for its boating community, fresh seafood restaurants, and historic New England charm. Westport is no exception, from its bustling downtown, Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts, and the popular, 29-acre Compo Beach along the Long Island Sound.
#96. Weatogue, Connecticut
- Population: 2,788
- Median home value: $322,200 (87% own)
- Median rent: $1,304 (13% rent)
- Median household income: $119,659
Weatogue is a small village just outside of Simsbury, Connecticut. Nestled west of Hartford in the Farmington River Valley, the historic New England town offers residents a wonderful quality of life, from the outdoor recreation at Talcott Mountain State Park to the historic district and the Simsbury Meadows Performing Arts Center.
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#95. Oviedo, Florida
- Population: 39,599
- Median home value: $273,300 (77% own)
- Median rent: $1,521 (23% rent)
- Median household income: $90,482
Oviedo offers a tranquil, rural vibe just 20 miles from the international hustle and bustle of Orlando. The historic community is perched on the banks of Lake Jesup. Residents love experiencing the outdoors, from the farmers market and lake activities to the Econlockhatchee River Paddling Trail.
#94. Holly Springs, North Carolina
- Population: 33,341
- Median home value: $283,700 (83% own)
- Median rent: $1,399 (17% rent)
- Median household income: $104,822
Holly Springs, North Carolina is just outside of the vibrant, cosmopolitan city of Raleigh. The small city is packed with activities for families and residents of all ages, from the Daniel Dhers Action Sports Complex to Bass Lake Park and the Holly Springs Cultural Center. It is also home to several craft breweries, including Bombshell Beer Company, which is one of the first women-owned breweries in the state.
#93. Clemmons, North Carolina
- Population: 20,050
- Median home value: $214,400 (74% own)
- Median rent: $878 (26% rent)
- Median household income: $70,918
Just outside of Winston-Salem is the beautiful village of Clemmons. Steeped in Southern charm and packed with things to do, Clemmons has plenty to offer its residents, from history, restaurants, and shopping to museums and miles of trails. It's also not far from the Yadkin Valley, which is one of the first viticultural areas in America.
#92. Horizon West, Florida
- Population: 32,530
- Median home value: $331,900 (65% own)
- Median rent: $1,809 (35% rent)
- Median household income: $99,823
Composed of five different villages and a town center, Horizon West offers a collection of distinct atmospheres and vibes for its more than 32,000 residents. The master-planned suburb of Orlando is known for its shopping, dining, and luxury homes. The Orlando Sentinel in 2017 called Horizon West one of the fastest-growing communities in America.
#91. Maitland, Florida
- Population: 17,622
- Median home value: $344,800 (52% own)
- Median rent: $1,360 (48% rent)
- Median household income: $74,199
A charming suburb of the greater Orlando area, Maitland, Florida, offers a bevy of activities and services for its more than 17,000 residents. The Maitland Art Center, for example, dates back to the 1930s and has architecture that is unique to the area, sometimes referred to as Mayan Revival Style. Maitland is near the Howell Branch Preserve, which spans more than 10 acres and offers many recreational options. It's not far from Lake Apopka, as well.
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