When the single years are over and you’ve taken the plunge, you probably won’t want to move back into your frat house or live in an apartment building where your neighbors party until five in the morning. Getting hitched doesn’t have to mean giving up, though. Newly married couples tend to look for restaurants, movie theaters, nightlife, parks – you know, things to do.
So where should you go when you come back from the honeymoon? Everyone wants to live in Los Angeles, San Francisco, or New York. But these awesome cities are expensive. Like, crazy pricey. Fortunately, there are plenty of great cities in the U.S. that have culture, nightlife, great restaurants besides Chili’s and Applebee’s, and – best of all – affordable rents. Here are the top five cities for newlyweds to live:
5 Houston, TX
This is a gigantic, sprawling city with a zillion freeways, lots of traffic, and some gorgeous sunsets (hello, smog). Still, the economy in Houston is thriving and the neighborhoods are lined with beautiful trees. The rent and down payment on a house is definitely nothing to scoff at. If you’re a new couple, give it a chance!
4 Kansas City, MO
If you want a mix of rich history, architecture, great neighborhoods, and a thriving art scene, Kansas City might just be your thing. There’s also a new center for performing arts like opera, concerts, and dance. The Midwest is known for its friendly people, which is great for the newly married. Who wants to move into a neighborhood with a bunch of jerks for neighbors? There are also a ton of festivals and events, and if you’re a graphic designer this might be your new home. For some reason (maybe the art school) this place is a Mecca for graphic designers.
3 Dallas, TX
No, not everyone in Dallas rides around on horses and lives on top of an oil well. There’s a lot more to this thriving city that J.R. Ewing and the rodeo. It’s a growing metropolis that also has the benefits of nice residential neighborhoods, a great art and film scene, and delicious Tex-Mex. You can also check out football games at the new gigantic stadium. Plus you have the awesome city Fort Worth just a hop, skip, and jump away (literally, it’s about a 15- to 20-minute drive), which is home to Billy Bob’s Honky Tonk, the Stock Show and Rodeo (it’s fun), and the Modern Art Museum, which was designed by famed architect Tadao Ando.
2 Raleigh, NC
This city might not have the “It” factor that Austin has, but it’s a friendly, affordable, pretty town with plenty to do. It’s also one of the best places for business and career, which kind of makes sense. What newlywed wants to struggle financially? If you love concerts, the symphony, oak-lined streets, and a thriving artist culture, this place is worth a peek. They have amazing farmer’s markets and the North Carolina Museum of Art is pretty great. There are also a ton of parks and rec areas for those who love the outdoors.
1 Austin, TX
Everybody just loves Austin, and for good reason. It’s an awesome city with a crazy good music scene, great restaurants, plenty of outdoor activities (lakes, Barton Springs, hiking – you name it), and it’s also diverse and affordable. Even though Austin is no hidden gem anymore and everyone from Brooklyn hipsters to Hollywood celebs have decided to call it home, the rent is still great. Plus you’re a short drive into the Hill Country, which is beautiful – wineries, ranches, and the Blue Bell Ice Cream factory.