The Best Small Towns for Remote Workers

By Natalia Wolting  • Apr 24, 2024

The pandemic has caused more people to relocate to small towns or rural areas where they can enjoy a more affordable lifestyle and a change of pace. For remote workers there is even a greater incentive since they don’t have to worry about securing employment in their new community. Towns that should be at the top of their list include Paducah, Kentucky, Jackson, Michigan and Pittsfield, Illinois. These three communities provide a low cost of living combined with beautiful natural surroundings, family-friendly atmospheres and unique local attractions. Here's a closer look at what makes each of these three up-and-coming small towns so appealing:

Paducah, Kentucky - Situated at the confluence of the Ohio and Tennessee Rivers in western Kentucky, this rivertown of less than 27,000 people, is known as a place where art is a way of life. As a designated UNESCO Creative City. Paducah’s walkable historic downtown includes the Yeiser Art Center, Market House Theatre and Paducah Symphony.

Paducah's restaurant offerings include everything from sophisticated dining for a romantic date night at the freight house to the Gold Rush Café where busy families can enjoy breakfast served all day. An abundance of activities for kids includes bowling at Cardinal Lanes, Kingsway Skateland and Atomic City Park. Kids will also love spending time outdoors at the Paducah International Raceway or Brockenborough Rotary Park. Paducah also has a strong public school system as well as higher education options nearby at West Kentucky Community & Technical College.

Additionally, the median home price in the area is $280,000 making housing affordable and two major hospitals, Baptist Health Paducah and Mercy Health-Lourdes, provide excellent healthcare services to ensure remote workers and their families receive the utmost care.

Paducah's downtown is full of events, shops, and restaurants.

Jackson, Michigan - Located halfway between Detroit and Chicago, Jackson is buzzing with music, art, breweries, wineries, food, festivals, nature and history - offering remote workers plenty of variety. Downtown Jackson is known for its bright-colored murals and hosts a variety of events throughout the year including Bark and Brews, the Hot Air Jubilee and Civil War Muster. Residents can also learn more about Jackson’s role as a key stop on the Underground Railroad during the Civil War on a historical walk offered by informed locals.

For outdoor recreation, Jackson has a great network of parks and trails including the scenic Townsend Beaman County Park along Vandercook Lake. The area also offers plenty of walking, biking and hiking trails, golf courses and rivers providing endless recreation options. Jackson Public Schools has a diverse student body and private school options include St Mary Catholic Grade School and Jackson Christian School. Baker College is located just outside the city limits and offers students the opportunity to earn an associate's or bachelor's degree in a variety of programs.

Jackson has many safe residential areas with a variety of homes from urban condos to suburban neighborhoods available at a median price of $170,000. Major healthcare in the area is provided by the Henry Ford Jackson Hospital.

Downtown Jackson, Michigan, showcasing its historic charm with classic architecture and bustling streets under a clear blue sky.

Pittsfield, Illinois - In the heart of west-central Illinois, the small city of Pittsfield delivers an exceptionally high quality of life at an extremely low cost with a median home price of only $149,000. Founded in 1833, Pittsfield’s downtown includes a town square whose charming storefronts serve as a gathering place for the local community. Popular local restaurants include Nucci’s Pasta House and Gianni’s Pizza and Italian Ristorante. Families enjoy spending the weekend at community events such as the Pike County Fall Pickin Days and Pittsfield Pig Days.

Outdoor enthusiasts will love easy access to recreational areas like Pittsfield Lake which offers opportunities for hiking, biking, fishing, kayaking and two Championship Disc Golf Courses. Pittsfield has family-friendly amenities like the well-regarded Pikeland Community School District, abundant parks and greenspaces, a public pool and the Pittsfield Public Library. Healthcare needs are met by the Illini Community Hospital.

For remote workers, Pittsfield provides reliable internet infrastructure combined with a very welcoming community atmosphere that's perfect for raising children. It's a peaceful small town just a couple hours from major cities like St. Louis and Chicago.

Championship disc golf at Lake Pittsfield

Between their amenities, affordability, seamless connectivity and tight-knit community atmospheres, it's easy to see why Paducah, Jackson and Pittsfield would make excellent home bases for remote workers and their families. Even better, all three cities participate in the MakeMyMove program, offering cash incentives of up to $5,000 for remote workers who relocate to one of these communities. This money can help cover moving costs, temporary housing and more! For remote workers looking to embrace a new lifestyle in a small town, these three communities are worth a closer look.

About MakeMyMove

Remote work has freed millions of Americans to live where they want, and many are making the move to places that better match their lifestyle. In turn, cities and towns across the country are offering incentives like cash, perks and programming to remote workers who move and work from their communities. At MakeMyMove, you can explore all the places, get personalized help to find the one that’s right for you, connect with locals, and access support to make your move a piece of cake.