10 most underrated LCOL cities
Learn about the top ten most underrated LCOL cities off the beaten path. These places may be small, but they offer plenty of good times and high quality of life at an affordable price.
by Vinicius Barbosa
Discover the hidden gems of the low-cost-of-living scene
It may surprise some, but not all cities are created equal regarding the cost of living. Let’s take a look at some of the most underrated LCOL cities to live.
Many so-called “LCOL” cities – that is, cities with a low cost of living – are often overlooked by those looking to relocate.
While these cities may not have the same flash and glamour as their more expensive counterparts, they offer a high quality of life at a fraction of the price.
Big cities tend to get all the attention. But what about the little guys? These places may not be as glamorous or well-known as their metropolitan brethren, but they offer many of the same perks at a fraction of the cost.
These hidden gems have a lot to offer, from eclectic art scenes to vibrant nightlife.
Be sure to check out one of these most underrated LCOL cities. You just might be surprised at what you find.
Living the high life on a low budget
There are a lot of underrated cities in this great country of ours. These 10 rank among the most undervalued and overlooked.
If you’re looking for a low-cost-of-living (LCOL) city that doesn’t get the credit it deserves, look no further.
Here are three of the most underrated LCOL cities in the country. And remember, just because they’re underrated doesn’t mean they’re not awesome!
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1. Charlottesville, VA
In Charlottesville, you’ll find all the charm of a small town with all the amenities of a big city. This is one of the big advantages of living in LCOL cities like this one.
The historic downtown area is full of cute shops and restaurants, and the University of Virginia provides a vibrant cultural scene.
And did I mention that it’s located in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley? If you’re looking for a place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, Charlottesville is the perfect spot.
2. Athens, GA
Athens, GA, is often overshadowed by its bigger neighbor Atlanta. However, Athens is a vibrant and welcoming city in its own right.
It’s often been rated as one of the most livable and affordable small cities in the US, and it has a surprisingly lively music and arts scene.
The University of Georgia provides a steady stream of young people and fresh ideas, and plenty of green spaces to enjoy.
3. Columbus, OH
For one thing, it’s home to a vibrant and innovative culinary scene. But Columbus is one of the most underrated LCOL cities for many reasons.
Columbus is also great for outdoor enthusiasts, with over 200 miles of biking and hiking trails throughout the city. In addition, the city’s museums and art galleries are world-class, and its live music scene is thriving.
4. Raleigh, NC
The weather is great, the people are friendly, and there’s plenty to do. The food scene is fantastic, with both local and national restaurants represented.
And if you’re a fan of the outdoors, Raleigh has you covered, with parks and greenways galore.
So why isn’t Raleigh more well-known? That’s a question for the ages. But one thing’s for sure: Raleigh is a great place to live, work, and play.
5. Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids has something to offer everyone, from its thriving art scene to its vibrant food culture.
And if you’re looking for a little adventure, there’s no shortage of things to do in the area. There’s no shortage of outdoor activities in Grand Rapids, from hiking and biking trails to lakes and rivers.
6. Louisville, KY
The cost of living is low, and there are a lot of opportunities for job growth. The city also has a lot to offer in terms of culture and entertainment.
There are plenty of things to do, whether you’re into art, music, or history.
And if you’re a foodie, you’ll be in heaven – Louisville is home to some of the best restaurants in the country. LCOL cities can offer you high-quality experiences too!
7. Brownsville, TX
Situated on the border of Mexico and the US, Brownsville offers a unique blend of cultures and experiences.
The city is home to a vibrant arts scene and various outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and birdwatching. And because it’s in the Rio Grande Valley, Brownsville enjoys mild weather year-round.
Best of all, the cost of living in Brownsville is extremely affordable. This is a great advantage of living in LCOL cities.
8. Worcester, MA
This hidden gem has everything you could want in a city without the high price tag. Worcester is home to 12 colleges and universities, including the renowned College of the Holy Cross.
The city also boasts a lively arts and culture scene, with galleries, performance spaces, and museums scattered throughout its vibrant downtown.
With so many good things about this LCOL city, it can be considered one of the most underrated cities to live in.
And let’s not forget about the food! Worcester has something to please every palate, from classic New England fare to international cuisine.
9. Des Moines, IA
For those looking for a high quality of life at a low cost, it’s hard to beat Des Moines, Iowa.
This Midwestern gem is often overshadowed by its more glamorous neighbors (Minneapolis, Chicago, Omaha), but that’s exactly what makes it one of the most underrated LCOL cities in the country.
In addition to its affordable housing and excellent public schools, Des Moines boasts a thriving arts and culture scene, a vibrant foodie culture, and an array of outdoor activities.
10. Tulsa, OK
Tulsa is another midsize city that doesn’t get the credit it deserves. It’s home to a vibrant arts scene and several excellent restaurants.
The cost of living is also very reasonable, making Tulsa an excellent choice for those who want to live in an affordable city without sacrificing the quality of life.
What is an HCOL area?
On the other spectrum of LCOL, there are HCOL cities. Moving to an HCOL area will impact your life. It’s important to analyze a specific situation depending on your goals.
Read our next post to know more about them.
What is an HCOL area? Learn what it means
An HCOL area can be good or bad, depending on your lifestyle. The first step to finding out if it works for you is to read this post.
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