Looking for Fun Places to Live? Find Top Town Attributes for Remote Work Appeal

By MakeMyMove Staff • Jun 30, 2022

The global pandemic propelled remote work, but home offices are here to stay for many workers in the U.S. According to data scientists at Ladders, 25% of all professional jobs in North America will be remote by the end of 2022.

With workers no longer tethered to a specific city or region, communities across the country search for ways to attract professionals to their towns to drive culture and boost the economy. And with towns vying for a quarter (or more) of the professional workforce, advertising and promoting attractive city attributes proves critical.

From the happiest places to live to the best cities for nature lovers, explore some of the top town attributes that appeal to remote workers.

Best Quality of Life Cities

Ditching the commute not only affords workers more time to get the job done, it also increases time for recreation, whether that be visiting museums, hiking, or lying on the beach. And with the ability to choose where they live, workers increasingly consider quality of life and how they like to spend their downtime.

According to U.S. News & World Report — which takes into account affordability, access to quality education and healthcare, crime rates, and general wellbeing — these are some of the best quality of life cities.

Fayetteville, Ark.

Remote workers love Fayetteville’s small-town feel combined with the benefits of residing in a college town once they log off for the day. After buckling down and finishing projects throughout the work day, they can escape to unique bars and restaurants, live sporting events, and myriad cultural opportunities.

“The area has a plethora of outdoor activities and amazing cycling, a growing food scene, cultural spaces like the Crystal Bridges Museum, and really kind people,” says Anela Malik, one recent mover to the area. “So far, we're really loving it!"

Grand Rapids, Mich.

Grand Rapids offers remote workers ample opportunities for entertainment and adventure. Watersport enthusiasts enjoy swimming, fishing, and boating on the city’s four rivers.

Known as Beer City, USA, Grand Rapids boasts 40+ craft breweries within a 30-minute drive.

For the remote employee working for the weekend, a vibrant arts scene and local restaurants provide much to explore.

Other best quality of life cities, according to the U.S. News & World Report, include:

Best Cities for Nature Lovers

According to research published in NeuroImage, there’s a direct link between green spaces (nature) and stress reduction. From beaches and lakes to mountains and wildflower hikes, people seek out greener pastures to live a more peaceful existence.

Do you live to play outside? Make your inner child happy by exploring one of the best places to live for outdoors recreation. From hiking, biking, and walking trails to fun in the sea or sand, these cities have something to attract any nature lover.

Prefer places to live with beach and mountains? Consider the majestic beauty of Seattle, Vancouver, or Honolulu.

Looking for a mountain town? The following places rise to the occasion:

Beckley, W.Va.

Remote workers in Beckley enjoy stunning views of the Appalachian Mountains when they look up from their laptops. Enjoy some green time with 10 parks and five hiking trails. Less than an hour from New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, a day trip in nature awaits.

Outside of the great outdoors, Beckley attracts remote workers with museums, antique shops, an art gallery, and a low cost of living.

Asheville, N.C.

Surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville tends to be an oasis for young workers due to its vibrant art scene, numerous hiking trails, and quirky charm (you’re bound to find a Keep Asheville Weird T-shirt). With mild weather year-round, remote employees benefit from the walkability, access to nature, and numerous wineries.

Other best mountain towns to live in, according to Travel + Leisure, include:

  • Park City, Utah

  • Jackson, Wyo.

  • Taos, N.M.

  • Stowe, Vt.

  • Estes Park, Colo.

  • Leavenworth, Wash.

  • Lake Placid, N.Y.

Lake lovers should consider these cities:

Bemidji, Minn.

Bundle up for the brrrs in Bemidji. As long as you can weather the cold winters in this northern Minnesota college town, you’ll benefit from 400 lakes within 25 miles. Known as the birthplace of folk hero Paul Bunyan, Bemidji greets visitors with a giant statue of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox (the nation’s second most photographed icon). With a variety of places for dining, shopping, and imbibing, Bemidji offers plenty to do on nights and weekends.

Eau Claire, Wis.

To the east of the Land of 10,000 Lakes, Wisconsin is steeped in lake life, too. In fact, you’ll find 11 lakes in Eau Claire County alone. Eau Claire residents soak up the outdoors year-round, ice fishing and snowshoeing in the winter, and swimming, biking, and hiking in the warmer months.

The area offers plenty of restaurants, coffee houses, and breweries to visit. Home to Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, Eau Claire’s music and arts scene is bustling, making it a growing destination for young professionals.

Looking for more of the most affordable lake towns? Realtor.com research suggests the following options:

  • Chelan, Wash.

  • Branson, Mo.

  • Lake Placid, N.Y.

  • Effingham, Ill.

  • Eureka Springs, Ark.

  • Guntersville, Ala.

  • Marble Falls, Texas

Want to find the best places to live for hiking? RunRepeat applied a livability comparison to the best outdoor-centric towns to come up with a list of the best towns for hiking, which includes:

Provo, Utah

Just over 40 miles from Salt Lake City, Provo offers an abundance of recreational opportunities, such as skiing, hiking, bouldering, and mountain biking. Locals benefit from a vibrant tech community and a tasty food scene.

Bend, Ore.

From mountain trails to lakeside vistas, and even volcanoes, Bend hikers enjoy a diverse array of terrains. Aside from hiking, Bend offers public art displays, an Ale Trail of breweries, and plenty of family-friendly activities.

Other top hiking cities include:

  • Boise, Idaho

  • North Conway, N.H.

  • Salt Lake City, Utah

  • Alexandria, Va.

  • Morgantown, W.Va.

  • Lander, Wyo.

  • Santa Fe, N.M.

Fun Places to Live

When given the opportunity to choose their location, it’s no doubt people look for fun places to live. U.S. News & World Report calculates the most fun places to live in the U.S. by considering Best Places to Live rankings, metro size, popularity as a flight destination, and access to parks, outdoor activities, cultural attractions, restaurants, professional sports teams, shopping venues, nightlife, and concerts. Their list includes:

Santa Rosa, Calif.

Need to “wine down” after a long day at the home office? Much of Santa Rosa’s fun may come from being nestled in the heart of wine country, but the city also boasts 1,000+ restaurants and 100+ parks. Santa Rosa residents never run out of things to eat, drink, do, see, hike, and bike.

Indianapolis, Ind.

Home to several tech companies with remote workforces, including Angi and Salesforce, Indianapolis provides an ideal place to live, work, and play. Enjoy walking or biking on the Cultural Trail, which connects the city’s six Cultural Districts.

Other fun places to live include:

  • Madison, Wis.

  • Boise, Idaho

  • Fresno, Calif.

  • Pittsburgh, PA

  • Raleigh, N.C.

  • Portland, Maine

  • Nashville, Tenn.

Other top considerations for remote workers include sustainability (check out the most sustainable cities in the U.S.) and friendliness. Many adults meet friends through work, so when working remotely, you may heavily lean toward the friendliest cities.

Working from home gives you the unique ability to choose where you live based on your lifestyle and take advantage of moving incentives. There’s been no better time to live where you love and love where you live.

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.