Published on February 19, 2019

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Courtesy of iStock

What to know before you move.

We move to state capitals largely for convenience. Whether it’s for a shorter commute to work or proximity to an airport, there generally are practical reasons to move to these cities that often supersede their aesthetic qualities. As WalletHub points out in a new report, state capitals don’t always have the highest quality of life, which is why the report, which lists the best capital cities in the country to live in, is so useful.

If you’re looking to move to a big city this year, consider Austin. The Texas capital ranks at number one among all 50 cities. The findings are based on a compilation of everything from the cost of living to school systems to the number of attractions.

The rest of the top five list includes a range of geographically and culturally diverse cities:

  1. Austin, Texas
  2. Boise, Idaho
  3. Raleigh, North Carolina
  4. Madison, Wisconsin
  5. Lincoln, Nebraska

In case you want to know which state capitals to avoid, these are the worst five cities:

  1. Charleston, West Virginia
  2. Hartford, Connecticut
  3. Trenton, New Jersey
  4. Jackson, Mississippi
  5. Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Considering a move to Austin? These local hot spots may just be the final tipping point you need to convince you. Here are Outdoor Voices founder, Austin resident, and former Domino cover girl Tyler Haney’s top spots in the trendy city.


Sabia is the coolest apothecary-turned–wellness haven we ever did see. It also offers a range of services, and Haney recommends one in particular. “I travel back and forth between Austin a lot, and the Hydrafacial is especially nice after a long flight,” she says.

Barton Springs

Your public pool likely looks nothing like this. The Barton Springs pool spans three acres and, due to the fact that it’s filled with water from nearby underground springs, it maintains an annual temperature of 68–70 degrees. “It’s a great only-in-Austin activity,” Haney told us. “If you can time it right, grab a kickboard and float for sunset.”

Clark’s Oyster Bar

Looking for a respite from all the barbecue? “[Clark’s] is the ideal spot for a post-jog lunch,” recommends Haney. The seafood joint is known for its lobster rolls and oysters—though the stylish interiors definitely don’t hurt, either.

See more residential guides:
The Best Places to Live in Each State May Surprise You
Where to Move if You Want to Raise a Family
Millennials, Move to These States If You Want to Make More Money