Have you ever closed your eyes and thought about jetting off and chasing the American Dream? Every year thousands of people start a new life in the USA, and we’ve put together a list of some of the best cities in which to make your dreams a reality!

1. New York

View over NYC

View over NYC

If you haven’t visited New York before, it’s almost definitely on your bucket list! One-third of New Yorkers are foreign-born, so it’s a great city for ex-pats! NYC really has everything: countless bars, restaurants, clubs, cafes, and holes-in-the-wall cater to your eating, drinking, and partying desires. The thousands of galleries, museums, theaters, and music venues satisfy your cultural needs. And, for anything sport-related, just head to Central Park, Madison Square Garden, or any of the many other sporting venues. Of course this all comes at a price: click here for more info on New York’s cost of living. Like any  big city, NYC is not without its faults, but living the ex-pat life in one of the world’s greatest cities surely outweighs any negatives!

2. Raleigh, NC

Raleigh Museum

Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh

The ‘City of Oaks’ is a superb city for ex-pat families and students. It boasts quaint neighborhoods, great schools, and lots of child-friendly activities. The crime-rate and costs of living are low and skilled jobs are plentiful due to several major tech and creative companies setting up shop locally. If you ever need a time-out, simply head east to the coast or west to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Raleigh is also very popular with students as it is home to the renowned North Carolina State University and the prestigious Duke University. It even has great neighbours: Durham and Chapel Hill are about a 30-40 minute drive away and are both fantastically liveable cities as well.

3. San Francisco, CA

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

San Francisco has topped many liveability index lists for good reason. Its chilled out attitudes of environmental sustainability, inclusion and tolerance are strongly ingrained in the city’s DNA, but they haven’t prevented it from becoming a global player in innovation and entrepreneurship. It’s a particularly attractive city for young professionals and families. There’s always something to do inside or out, it’s child-friendly, has fantastic healthcare, and the public transportation system is comprehensive. The city’s only downside: it’s very expensive. You can find more info on San Francisco’s cost of living here. As an ex-pat, though, you might be lucky enough to have your company pay the rent, in which case, there’s no reason not to make the move!

4. Austin, TX

Liberal, young, single, and eco-friendly: Austin’s population is rather unique in Texas, but they contribute to making it a weird and wonderful city, and an ideal place for ex-pats under 35. While rents are high, Austin is affordable in other ways with cheap food and beer to be had all over.

View over San Diego

View over San Diego

Cool street art in Austin

Cool street art in Austin

5. San Diego, CA

Schools, parks, beaches, water-sports, and good weather make San Diego an ideal, fun-filled city for all ages and demographics. It also has a low crime-rate and plenty of culinary and cultural pursuits to keep anyone entertained.

6. Denver, CO

Colorado’s Capital is paradise for nature lovers who also enjoy the comforts of an established city. Surrounded by the Rocky Mountains, Denver is home to more than just snowboarders. It has a strong technology sector and is much more affordable than a lot of American cities despite the higher than average incomes.

7. Seattle, WA

The home of Nirvana and Pearl Jam isn’t just a city for music-lovers, its strong job-market and affordability make it a great destination for ex-pats. You also won’t have any trouble getting around with Seattle’s excellent public transportation system.

Seattle's Space Needle

Seattle’s Space Needle

Hawaiian Dancers in Honolulu

Hawaiian Dancers in Honolulu

8. Honolulu, HI

Some of the best surf in the world, wonderful weather, and – even though it’s on a remote island – great amenities and housing. This recommendation is perhaps more relevant for the nature-inclined beach lovers. Hawaii is a beautiful part of the world and Honoluluians enjoy a relaxed lifestyle and a real sense of community in their city. Also, there are more jobs available than you’d think, which is good because Honolulu is rather expensive.

9. Boston, MA

One of the USA’s most historical cities also happens to be one its most beautiful and liveable. If you’re not a history buff, fear not, Boston has a vast array of cultural, culinary, sporting, economic, and educational offerings and opportunities to take advantage of. If you like big city amenities but prefer a big house and yard, there are numerous quaint towns in the greater Boston area from which many people commute to the city. Nearby Cambridge, for example, is a home to Harvard University, MIT, and hundreds of companies offering well-paying skilled jobs. While the living costs in both Boston and Cambridge are higher than in most US cities and towns, both also offer a lot more than most.

10. Miami, FL

If you like it hot, humid, and sunny, Miami might be the place for you. Don’t let the beaches and parties fool you, though, Miami is an economic powerhouse with plenty of employment and business opportunities. The rent might be a bit expensive and the public transportation isn’t great, but the art and fashion scenes here are at the forefront and the food is amazing.

As with anywhere, the cities above have their upsides and downsides, but all of them come highly recommended by ex-pats and locals alike. Whether you’re already in the USA as an ex-pat, heading there soon, or just considering the move, check out the InterNations website for more information on housing and accommodation and to get connected with other like-minded ex-pats.

US flag - ex-pat

US flag