If you’re thinking about making a move that involves sunshine year-round, tasty barbecue, and big-city amenities, you’ll have many choices in the South. Plus, everything from housing costs to dining out tends to be less expensive, with even the most popular Southern cities typically offering a cost of living below the national average.
Boredom is a word seldom heard in the South’s biggest cities, including these.
Houston is the largest city in Texas and the Southern U.S., with a population of more than 2.3 million. It’s a vibrant hub that appeals to many as it’s more affordable and more family-friendly than most big cities and is the most ethnically diverse metro area in the country, with at least 145 different languages spoken by residents here.
Looking for job opportunities? There are more Fortune 500 companies here than anywhere else other than New York City, with lots of highly-skilled, high-paying jobs in high-demand sectors like aerospace, energy, education, and healthcare.
One of the most popular big cities to move to in recent years for its affordability and jobs, many people have been buying up the Atlanta houses for sale as soon as they’re put on the market. Georgia is home to 18 Fortune 500 companies, and many are right in the city, including Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines, and UPS. It’s a mecca for young professionals looking for a high salary and a lower cost of living.
Those who travel frequently will appreciate the easy access to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, a major air transport hub that makes it faster and cheaper to get just about anywhere. Plus, the mountains are just a short drive away, making it easy enjoy all sorts of outdoor adventures.
The most populous city in Florida and the largest city by area in the contiguous U.S., Jacksonville lies on the Atlantic coast, spread over 874 square miles. It offers a reasonable cost of living that’s significantly less expensive than Miami, yet it has a strong economy and a number of major employers like the Mayo Clinic and Johnson & Johnson, along with a growing tech sector.
There’s plenty to do in Jacksonville, with beautiful beaches, gardens, parks, and museums. The city boasts 22 miles of sandy beaches for swimming, fishing, boating, paddleboarding, surfing, and kayaking. There’s a total of 1,110 miles of navigable water, including the longest stretch of the St. Johns River.
Other major hubs in the South like Orlando, Atlanta, Savannah, and Charleston can be easily reached within a few hours’ drive bringing many opportunities for fun weekend trips too.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte has a cost of living that’s just below the national average and a strong job market focused around the financial services industry, although there are other hot job markets like manufacturing, transportation, insurance, and healthcare.
You can enjoy a high quality of life for less, spending that extra cash by attending NFL or NBA games or watching your NASCAR favorites race around the track at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. The dining scene is diverse and outstanding, with plenty of Southern comfort fare, including lots of mouth-watering barbecue along with quality sushi and just about every other type of cuisine imaginable.