The Best Places to Move From NYC From Other Big Cities to Small Towns

Published: 26 Oct, 2021

Last Updated: 22 Jan, 2023

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No matter why you lived in New York city for a while, job opportunities, cost-of-living, or other reasons may drive you out of the Big Apple to another location. The best places to move from NYC depend largely on what you hope to get in your new home. For some, you simply have no choice because your company transfers you to a different office or your children gain a spot in a prestigious new school. People leave the largest city for a wide variety of reasons. The following three general options include many different specific locations that may suit your needs and interests perfectly.


Big City Life in a New Metro Area

If you loved living in NYC for its bustling urban atmosphere, cultural diversity, and opportunities for entertainment and exploration, you may prefer moving to another big city somewhere else in the country. In general, these also provide the greatest opportunity for high-paying jobs and strong career advancement opportunities. However, it is important to note that the real estate prices will be higher, and you may struggle to find a truly family-friendly area at your price point.

  • Los Angeles, CA – When it comes to big cities, LA is the West Coast version of NYC. It is busy, full of high-tech jobs and cultural centers, close to the shore and mountains, and even more expensive when it comes to real estate purchases and cost-of-living.
  • San Francisco, CA – Although some people like to think of San Francisco as a small city, its physical area and total population is quite high. However, it does generally have a smaller city vibe than places like Los Angeles and downtown New York City.
  • Seattle, WA – Head all the way across the country to the Pacific Northwest for a large city with a lot of employment options. It is extremely popular for huge corporations like Microsoft and Amazon, but a host of other career types are well represented too.
  • Austin, TX – If you have lived in New York for any length of time, you may not think that a southern city could possibly have the same excitement and feel as the Northeast. While nowhere is the same as the Big Apple, Austin offers the same modern urban ambience with tons of cultural and career opportunities. One huge benefit is the affordability that comes with the same lifestyle.

Leaving NYC for Smaller Cities

When you are ready to leave the big-city life behind and take yourself or your family to a smaller urban center or college town, there are many places to choose from. You may not get the 24/7 lifestyle of NYC, but you will find many job opportunities and entertainment options. One of the biggest draws for smaller cities is the much lower cost of living and you can find in any of the above-listed places.

  • Flagstaff, AZ – This city tucked within a sprawling pine forest gives you the best of everything out west. You get picturesque nature, a four-season climate, and active economy, nightlife, and a unique homey feel you may not be able to find amid high-rises and subway lines.
  • Greenville, NC — While Asheville is also a prominent small city that many people moving consider, Greenville boasts a more active cultural and art scene. You also get plenty of nature nearby without compromising an urban feel that may feel more like home in NYC. This is one of the smaller destination cities on the list.
  • Arlington, VA — This smaller city adjacent to Washington DC grows in popularity more and more as time goes by. Although many still consider it a large suburb, it does have city-like buildings, public transportation, and lifestyle amenities similar to those found in any urban center. You get a unique blend of walkability and opportunity amid high-ticket real estate.
  • Boise, Idaho – While more Californians had to Idaho than natives of New York City, it is a popular destination for people who want something a bit slower and more affordable compromising career opportunities and urban living. You get all of this with an amazing amount of green nature a quick car ride away.

Switch to the Suburbs or Small-Town Life

Families especially leave New York City for suburban areas or small towns with the desire to raise their kids in a more laid-back and comfortable location. You can find exceptional public schools, plenty of outside recreation, more safety, and still a wide variety of career and cultural opportunities in these spots. When you are choosing the best places to move from NYC, think about your own personal tastes and what you need for your best life possible.


Connecticut, New York State, and New Jersey Suburbs

Some of the most popular places to move to from the city are suburbs nearby still offer commuting possibilities. Without taking away complete access to the Big Apple, suburbs in these three states give a more family-friendly and laid-back lifestyle. The closer you are to the city, the more expensive the real estate and cost-of-living will be. Ultimately, your choice comes down to where you find a job, which schools you prefer, and similar factors.

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