America's 10 Most Beautiful—and Surprisingly Affordable—Places to Live

St. Louis skyline at night.
St. Louis skyline at night. / Mark Perry/ 500px Prime/Getty Images

Shopping for a home in a competitive housing market often means compromising. Conventional wisdom states the most desirable locations have the priciest real estate, while home buyers may have to search in less in-demand areas for more affordable properties. But it is possible to live in a charming American city without clearing out your savings account. For the most beautiful and affordable places to live in the country, check out the list below. 

Travel + Leisure compiled this ranking after comparing the U.S. News & World Report’s lists of the most affordable places to live and the best places to live in the U.S. for 2022 to 2023. In addition to picturesque scenery and reasonable housing prices, these locales come with the promise of a strong job market and high quality of living for anyone looking to relocate. 

Topping the list is Hickory, North Carolina. With median home prices of $161,000 and easy access to the Blue Ridge Mountains, the small city offers many of the benefits of rural life. The job market supported by new businesses—including Google and Apple data centers—also makes it an easy transition for urbanites looking for a quieter and more affordable lifestyle. 

Many Southern spots appear on the list, including Greenville, South Carolina; Louisville, Kentucky; and Knoxville, Tennessee. Home buyers looking to live higher north on the map have options as well, like Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

If price and location aren’t barriers to you, you may consider expanding your search to the most beautiful cities on Earth, according to science. You can read the list here.

The 10 Most Beautiful—and Affordable—Places to Live in America

  1. Hickory, North Carolina
  2. Grand Rapids, Michigan
  3. Greenville, South Carolina
  4. Louisville, Kentucky
  5. Knoxville, Tennessee
  6. St. Louis, Missouri
  7. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
  8. Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina
  9. South Bend, Indiana
  10. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

[h/t Travel +Leisure]