Published on April 15, 2019

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Photography by Jeremy Banks

Determining the best place to live is a highly subjective business. After all, everyone places weight on different factors—some are most drawn to foodie-friendly cities, looking to live somewhere with a healthier quality of life, or simply making their decision based off the real estate market. So while it can be tough to name one destination as the catch-all “best” place to live, a new report seeks to do just that. Given that the #1 pick has remained in the top slot for three years running, we’re willing to bet it has some merit. According to U.S. News & World Report, the best American city to live in is Austin, Texas.

Researchers surveyed 125 of the most populous metro areas in the country, looking at five specific factors to create the list. With job markets, quality of life, desirability, value, and net migration to and from the city in mind, Austin took home the top spot. The U.S. News & World Report cited its position as one of the fastest-growing metro areas in the country, as well as its status as the Live Music Capital of the World and accessibility to outdoor activities.

While Austin has been #1 for the last three years, some of the other cities on the top five list are a little more unexpected—for example, Fayetteville is a more under-the-radar locale you might want to check out if the Austin heat isn’t for you. Here are the rest of the top five cities to live in:   

  1. Austin, Texas
  2. Denver, Colorado
  3. Colorado Springs, Colorado
  4. Fayetteville, Arkansas
  5. Des Moines, Iowa

Considering a move to Austin (or maybe just a vacation there)? Here are three can’t-miss spots to check out in the area.

To Eat

Head to Clark’s Oyster Bar for a nautical-themed, beachy escape. The seafood menu and bright interior will be a welcome break from all the Southern barbecue you’ll likely be ingesting on a more regular basis. It even has shady sidewalk seating, so you can dine al fresco during milder weather.

To Get Outside

You can’t miss Barton Springs, one of the city’s trademarks. This natural pool spans three acres and is fed from underground springs, so the water temperature is warm enough to dip into year-round.

To Treat Yourself

Outdoor Voices founder (and Austin local) Tyler Haney recommends hitting up modern apothecary-turned-wellness mecca Sabia. “I travel back and forth between Austin a lot, and the Hydrafacial is especially nice after a long flight,” she says. Go for the facial, stay for the glass bottle-lined walls and soothing interior.

See more of the best cities in America:
These 5 Cities Are Major Hotbeds for Homebuyers
The Best U.S. Cities to Live in, According to Your Job
These Are the Healthiest Cities to Live In

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