When people think of America’s great cities, they usually think of New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and a few others. Yet there are many other cities across the nation with great qualities, whether you’re looking for a vacation destination or thinking of relocating. The following are the top five underrated cities in the U.S. that you should not overlook.
1. Albuquerque, New Mexico
While often overlooked in favor of the higher profile Santa Fe, Albuquerque is a charming and diverse city that combines traditional Southwestern charm with more modern additions. The city’s Old Town has buildings that date back to the time of 16th century Spanish explorers. It also has a growing arts scene, a mild climate and one of the region’s finest educational institutions, the University of New Mexico.
2. Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville is a small but vibrant city that has a combination of students, artists, retirees, tourists and people who appreciate the outdoors. Located in between the Smokies and Blue Ridge Mountains, this is a great area for hiking, mountain biking or just taking in majestic views. Asheville has also become well-known in recent years for its live music scene.
3. Portland, Maine
While not as well-known as its namesake in Oregon, the Northeastern Portland is a vibrant and unique city that has enjoyed steady growth. Originally a fishing village, it has more recently become trendier with art galleries, cafes and great restaurants. Another reason that Portland, Maine is a great place to visit or settle is its proximity to some of the nation’s most pristine wilderness.
4. Cincinnati, Ohio
Cincinnati is a city that has enjoyed a great deal of revitalization in recent years. It has many cultural attractions, such as the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Contemporary Arts Center and the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden. The city has several thriving and hip neighborhoods, such as the area near scenic Smale Riverfront Park. Cincinnati is also a city where you can find great value if you’re looking to rent an apartment from places like BRG Apartments or buy a home.
Pittsburgh has the reputation of an industrial city that was sustained by its steel mills, but lately it is emerging as a great place to visit, study or settle down. It is home to several high quality colleges and universities, such as Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. It also has an active arts scene, with lots of galleries, theaters, symphonies and ballet companies.
When considering places to visit or relocate, it’s best to look beyond the obvious. Trends and conditions are always changing, so you might be unaware that certain cities have improved in recent years. The above are just a few examples of underrated cities that offer unexpected pleasures and great value for visitors and people who want to retire or relocate.