Article Overview: Best Places to Live in Georgia
If you’re looking for the best places to live in Georgia you’ve come to the right place. I was born and raised in the peach state, moved all around the country (New York, Portland, LA, DC, Bozeman, more) for work and now I’m back.
Georgia is a state of many reputations. If you’re looking for something particular, odds are you can find it here. We’ve got small towns with charm, major cities with all the hubbub, and everything in between.
I grew up in a suburb of Atlanta and have personally been to every single one of the best places to live in Georgia on this list. In fact, I have friends and relatives in most of them!
Ready to dive in? Let’s get started!
Best Places to Live in Georgia
Table of Contents: Best Places to Live in Georgia
Table of Contents: Best Places to Live in Georgia
- Best Places to Live in Georgia
- 7 Best Large Cities to Live in Georgia
- 5 Best Mid-Sized Cities to Live in Georgia
- 5 Best Small Cities to Live in Georgia
- Map of the Best Places to Live in Georgia
- Summary of the Best Places to Live in Georgia
7 Best Large Cities to Live in Georgia
- Population: 127,793
- Median home price: $290,264
- Average age: 28
Best known for being home to the University of Georgia, Athens is a charming college town with plenty to see and do. From nightlife and restaurants to shopping and college sporting events, Athens has so much to offer, and it’s located just an hour from Atlanta.
The fact of the matter though, is that Athens is a college town, so sometimes it can be very crowded with major traffic issues – especially during football season and around graduation. Not so much fun if you’re just trying to do errands and commuting.
Athens, however, is one of the best places to live in Georgia if you are looking for affordable housing. The average home cost in Athens is around $290k, making it a great place to buy a home.
Locals enjoy a variety of things within a short walk or drive from home including all the urban amenities one could hope for.
- Population: 147,088
- Median home price: $340,000
- Average age: 33
Spanish moss, live oaks, warm summer nights, beautiful town squares, delicious home cooking, and accents that drip like molasses. Savannah is one of the best places to live in Georgia for people looking for a calmer, more laid back way of life.
Here you’ll find no shortage of beauty in both historic charm and natural beauty. As the state’s oldest city (founded in 1733 by James Oglethorpe) spared from Sherman’s torch, Savannah has some of the most beautiful homes in the country.
On the natural side, the city is home to a staggering twenty-two magnificent squares complete with cascading fountains, massive live oaks, and park benches (just add Forrest Gump). Add in its location right on the water and you have all the ingredients for one of the best places to live in Georgia.
- Population: 66,446
- Median home price: $630,042
- Average age: 40
Located just 25 miles North of Atlanta, Alpharetta, GA is an affluent community that is a great place to raise a family. This popular Atlanta suburb is considered to be one of the best places to live in Georgia due to its low crime rate and variety of community oriented events.
Urban professionals who work in Atlanta but want a quieter, upscale community for their downtime flock to Alpharetta where the average home price is around $630k.
Avalon is a very popular attraction in Alpharetta, GA. This diverse multi-use development offers shopping, dining, and fun activities for people of all ages. From outdoor movie nights to yoga sessions on the lawn; Alpharetta offers residents so much to see and do right in the center of their community.
4. Johns Creek
- Population: 81,023
- Median home price: $622,440
- Average age: 42
Another one of the best cities in Georgia to live is Johns Creek. In fact, it is considered to be one of the safest cities in the state and one of the safest cities to raise a family in the U.S. The crime rate in popular Johns Creek is 80% below the national average, making it one of the best places to live in Georgia and the U.S.
There is plenty to keep locals busy in the city, with parks, trails, nightlife, restaurants, bars, and lots of other entertainment options.
Johns Creek offers some of the Atlanta area’s most exclusive neighborhoods and is known for its gated communities, safety, and cleanliness. Homes in the multi-million dollar range are the norm, but the average home price in Johns Creek is around $625k. As one would expect, the schools in Johns Creek are also exceptional, which is just another reason it is so great for families.
- Population: 91,619
- Median home price: $582,721
- Average age: 40
One of the best cities in Georgia to live in if you love the great outdoors is Roswell. This historic city has a stellar reputation around the U.S. and is known for their historic homes and the incredible walking tours offered that even locals still enjoy.
The average home price in Roswell, GA is around $585k and your neighborhood is likely to be surrounded with lots of green space, as there are 18 parks in the city.
Locals enjoy the ‘Alive in Roswell’ family friendly festival, which takes place from April through October on the third Thursday of the month. Neighbors enjoy live music, food trucks, vendors, and more in historic Roswell, GA.
- Population: 62,626
- Median home price: $436,296
- Average age: 35
Those who want to be in the suburbs of Atlanta with a short commute to the city enjoy living in Marietta. With a population of around 60k, Marietta is the perfect mix of urban professionals and families who want the convenience of being by nearby Atlanta but the more relaxing vibe of living in suburbia.
Marietta is one of the best cities in Georgia for those who enjoy arts and culture. With its proximity to downtown Atlanta as well as their own museums and theaters, there are plenty of artsy things to do in Marietta.
The average home price in Marietta is around $ 437k, which is pretty darn cheap compared to the million dollar homes in the Atlanta burbs. You’ll find a close-knit community with semi-affordable housing and an overall lower cost of living for the area. You also get lots of opportunities for outdoor time and activities with 18 different parks to hang out at close to home.
- Population: 496,461
- Median home price: $376,284
- Average age: 33
There’s a reason Elton John calls Atlanta home (one of many places). If you’re looking for prime access to all the things a major city has to offer then add Hotlanta to your list of the best places to live in Georgia. Here you’ll find it all including beautiful parks, bustling nightlife, great restaurants, skyscrapers, and more.
The major caveat I’d say is that Living in Atlanta you’ll find the city is quite fragmented and the downtown area is somewhat dull. There are some really fun pockets like Little Five Points, Vinings, and Buckhead but each is spread so far apart that they feel like cities in and of themselves.
For some folks that is an advantage as they can escape some of the not-so-nice crime statistics of downtown.
5 Best Mid-Sized Cities to Live in Georgia
1. Peachtree City
- Population: 39,790
- Median home price: $489,338
- Average age: 44
When it comes to awards for being one of the best places to live in Georgia, Peachtree City is on a winning streak. The popular Georgia city earned a spot on Expedia’s list of ‘19 Cities That Must Be Seen in 2019’, SafeHome.org’s declaration of being the safest city in Georgia and is in the top fifth percentile for safest cities in the U.S. according to the FBI.
The average home cost of around $490k is a steal for the brand-new planned developments like Pinewood Forest that used some of the best architects around to build the ultimate “live, create, and play community.” Residents also enjoy the amazing Trillith Community, owned by the founders of Chick-Fil-A, where you can live, work, and find entertainment options for the whole family.
A fun fact about Peachtree City is that it is legal to drive golf carts, and it is the preferred method of transportation for many locals. If you move to Peachtree City, grab your golf cart, and get ready to roll!
- Population: 37,094
- Median home price: $460,603
- Average age: 34
Canton, GA is popular with home buyers that want a decent sized city without all the crime and traffic that you get in major metropolitan areas. In addition, the school system is amazing, making it a great choice for families.
The average home price in Canton, GA is around $460k, and offers large lots with family oriented communities and plenty of farm land. In fact, since the city is perfectly situated over 20 square miles, many residents enjoy owning land where horses and cows roam, which you are likely to see during your daily commute around town.
Locals have the pleasure of plenty of parks and green spaces to enjoy and can relax with a slower pace of life in this North Georgia city.
- Population: 23,953
- Median home price: $314,404
- Average age: 38
Conveniently located inside Atlanta’s perimeter highway I-285, known as the ‘ITP’ by locals, Decatur offers the best of both worlds when it comes to city living versus being in the country. And even though this popular city is close to downtown Atlanta, it does not get lost in its shadow.
The lively nightlife and quaint charm of the small downtown area make Decatur one of the best cities in Georgia for those who like to hang out in a place where everybody knows your name.
The average home price in Decatur is around $315k and the residents swear it is worth every penny. Probably because Decatur is regularly voted as one of the best places to live in Georgia, which has tons to do with the family atmosphere, great schools, and the variety of fun things to see and do.
- Population: 45,230
- Median home price: $333,740
- Average age: 33
Lake living at its finest is wheat you will find in Gainesville, GA. Lake Lanier, one of the most popular lakes in the U.S., offers amazing homes and great water-oriented activities in North Georgia.
Water lovers and those who enjoy spending time outdoors will find Gainesville to be one of the best places to live in Georgia. In fact, the popular lake city hosted the 1996 Olympic Games for rowing, and you can still visit the venues along the shores of Lake Lanier.
With homes averaging around $335k, it is also an affordable option for families and singles and a convenient place to live for career minded individuals. Gainesville is known to be the main business center for northeast Georgia, so it is attractive to urban professionals looking to stay away from the hectic city living in Atlanta.
The vibrant downtown area offers foodies a place to hang out and drink their favorite craft beer while families can enjoy the Atlanta Botanical Gardens and easy access to state parks.
- Population: 38,487
- Median home price: $417,813
- Average age: 36
If you’re a person who can’t decide whether urban vibes or small town living is best for you, Woodstock may be one of the best cities in Georgia for you to settle down.
Situated just 30 miles north of Atlanta, Woodstock is a 12 square mile city known for its world-class hiking trails and parks as well as its vibrant downtown area. This popular little community has even received a few awards that include the Georgia Municipal Association’s Live, Work, Play City Award and is recognized as a Georgia PlanFirst Community.
Living in Woodstock is very affordable as far as Atlanta suburbs go, with the average home price being around $415k. You get a lot of bang for your buck in Woodstock with a great school system, plenty of parks and green space, and a very low crime rate in the area.
Woodstock is one of the best places to live in Georgia if you are a small business owner, as there are literally hundreds of locally owned businesses that are thriving in the community. It’s also a popular tourist destination, making it a great place to work and call home.
5 Best Small Cities to Live in Georgia
- Population: 6,745
- Median home price: $311,761
- Average age: 23
Located in the heart of wine country, popular Dahlonega, GA, is located in the foothills of the beautiful North Georgia mountains. The quaint mountain town is popular with both residents and tourists and was just voted as ‘Georgia’s Best Small Town in 2023.’
Home to the University of North Georgia, Dahlonega offers quiet country living and a small town feel that is so appealing to those who know it. The average home cost in Dahlonega is around $315k and can range from a quaint mountain cottage with great views to a loft in the historic downtown square.
Dahlonega is all about community and family and is home to many festivals and parades celebrating local people and customs. Dahlonega is one of the best cities in Georgia to live in if you like the holidays, as it is known for its Hallmark movie type Christmas celebration which brings many visitors to the area during the holiday.
While home prices are low and quality of living is high, the small mountain roads do tend to get crowded from the hundreds of commuters that attend UNG as well as the tens of thousands of visitors during Christmas.
2. Blue Ridge
- Population: 1,283
- Median home price: $449,692
- Average age: 52
If you’re looking to retire to Georgia, Blue Ridge is one of the best cities in Georgia to retire to. The thriving mountain town is perfectly situated at the base of the Chattahoochee National Forest, making it a popular place to live and visit with its many wineries, apple orchards, and pumpkin farms.
The charming downtown area offers unique shopping surrounded by hiking trails and beautiful scenery no matter where you look. But with the perfect mountain town often comes too many visitors which can make it quite hectic. Since it is the ‘go-to destination’ for weekend getaways, Atlantans flock here by the droves and can wreak havoc on the roads causing traffic nightmares.
The average home prices have skyrocketed in the past five years with just a small cabin costing around $450k. Many think it is a small price to pay for paradise in the mountains and some invest in vacation rentals to let the folks from Atlanta pay their mortgage.
- Population: 1,875
- Median home price: $358,442
- Average age: 40
Stunning views and amazing outdoor recreational activities are what makes Ellijay one of the best cities in Georgia. Adventures abound from the mountains, lakes, and rivers, making it a recreational outdoor paradise for many.
The average home cost in Ellijay is around $360k, making it somewhat affordable for a year round or vacation home in the Georgia mountains.
Known as the apple capital of Georgia, Ellijay offers many apple orchards and the ever popular Apple Festival which attracts over 40,000 visitors yearly. Traffic can be a disaster during apple season, but locals know better than to venture out this time of year and stick close to home during the busy season.
- Population: 5,174
- Median home price: $395,663
- Average age: 33
This quaint Georgia town with a racing problem is home to NASCAR champs Bill and Chase Elliott, who are an active part of the community circle. If you’re ever in Dawsonville, Georgia when Chase Elliott wins a race, you can find the locals gathering at the Dawsonville Pool Room to hear the siren announce the win, so it’s definitely one of the best cities in Georgia for race fans.
The average home price in Dawsonville, GA is around $400k which can be spent on anything from farm land to horse farms to townhomes and sprawling estates. The schools are good, and it is a great place for families with its many festivals and community events.
Unfortunately, though, the city is quickly becoming overdeveloped, which leaves schools crowded and traffic backed up for miles down Highway 400, which can be a huge inconvenience to locals trying to get around town.
- Population: 7,738
- Median home price: $539,918
- Average age: 41
Cumming is considered one of the best places to live in Georgia outside of Atlanta and offers a booming economy. It is quickly becoming a suburban hotspot with its many attractions and entertainment ops.
Life in Cumming, GA is good with easy access to Atlanta’s offerings close by yet a place to call home with a small town feel. The average home cost in Cumming, Georgia is spendy at around $540k, but that price offers access to a variety of options for resort living in the area. From private golf club communities to swimming neighborhoods and those with tennis clubs, Cumming offers an upscale lifestyle for the professionals who commute to Atlanta for work.
The award-winning schools, quick access to Highway 400, and proximity to beautiful Lake Lanier, make Cumming, GA a mountain paradise near the city.
Map of the Best Places to Live in Georgia
Summary of the Best Places to Live in Georgia
Best Small Cities to Live in Georgia
- Blue Ridge
Best Mid-Sized Cities to Live in Georgia
- Peachtree City
Best Large Cities to Live in Georgia
- Johns Creek
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