I know. I recently talked about how exciting, if expensive, it is to live in one of the country's beautiful coastal cities. San Fran, New York, Boston - no one can deny they are fun and energizing places to live. Though I'm partial to San Francisco myself, you don't have to live on one of the coasts to find fun, fulfillment and opportunities.
Niche.com recently ranked the top 100 cities for millennials. Rankings took into account each area's commute times and commuting options, average rent, employment/unemployment stats, crime statistics, opportunities and quality of life - you know, the essentials - bars, restaurants and coffee shops. If you're looking for something different, think about one of these cities.
Fargo - It's Not Just a Film
If the only time you've ever heard of Fargo, North Dakota, is in the Coen Brother's film, you're in for a treat. It's not always cold and snowy. And, it's not desolate. In fact, Fargo is a great place for millennials. The largest city in North Dakota, Fargo has a population of just under 111,000. Violent crimes are well below the U.S. average. Median incomes are slightly below the national average, but so is the cost of living. Unemployment rates are low. The local population tends to be well-educated. Several colleges and universities call the Fargo area home, including North Dakota State University, North Dakota State College of Science - Fargo and Rasmussen College. Fargo has a wide variety of cultural events and disciplines, including theater, concerts and museums. Fargo also offers a wide range of recreational activities including golf, winter sports, a zoo and several sports teams.
And, yeah, winters are cold and snowy. Summers are warm, even, hot, with frequent storms. Still, if Fargo is where you're headed, don't forget to take your winter coat.
Find a Little Heat in Tempe
If snow isn't your thing, try Tempe. The Arizona city has a population of around 167,000 people. The populace is generally educated and diverse. Restaurant and entertainment choices are plentiful. Neighborhoods tend to be quiet but within an acceptable distance to many entertainment venues. Downtown Tempe has approximately 175 shops, nightclubs and restaurants. Home prices are lower than the national average, but rents tend to be a bit higher.
Tempe is a vibrant community that provides a small town feel with big city entertainment. Its close proximity to Phoenix doesn't hurt, either.
Oh, That Columbia!
Yeah, that one. Columbia, Missouri, is a midsize city with low unemployment levels, average home values and rent costs and a whole lot of bars, coffee shops and restaurants. Its population is surprisingly diverse. Columbia is a college town, noted for its progressive politics and love of the arts. Colleges include Columbia College, the University of Missouri and Stephens College. Education, insurance and health care are the region's primary industries. Jazz and blues festivals bring some of the finest musicians to the area. And if you want libraries, Columbia has some of the finest.
Columbia's climate is a study in contrasts - cold and snow, although not as much as Fargo, in the winter and hot and humid in the summer. Fall leaves are gorgeous and autumn temps comfortable. Columbia is definitely an exciting place to live, particularly if you love all four seasons.
The Niche.com 100 best cities for millennials includes other little recognized places such as Ann Arbor, Michigan, Bellevue, Washington, and Round Rock, Texas. You'll also find bigger names like Chicago, Atlanta and Pittsburgh. Get packed up - the possibilities are endless.
Ready to go?