15 Best Places to Live in Georgia (US)

Written by Darren Griffiths
Updated on
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If a list of the most lovable states was drawn, you could wager your house that Georgia will be among the top 10 states. There is just something about the Peach State that endears it to many.

Maybe it’s its deeply rich history. Or the breathtaking natural sights spanning mountains, farmland, dense forests, and coastal beaches. Some love it for its genuine Southern hospitality (and accents). And equally hospitable people.

Others love Georgia for being the cradle of the world’s favorite syrupy drink. And Brunswick soup. And being the biggest producer of peaches. And peanuts. And pecans. And for the fried fish, and fried everything, including vegetables.

The Augusta Masters tournament. The football. The famous BBQs. We could go on.

With a population of 10.3 million, this Deep South state remains highly affordable for budget-conscious residents. It guarantees more bang for your buck for everything ranging from housing to fresh farmer’s market produce.

Georgia generally boasts a high cost of living, with 18 Fortune 500 companies among the biggest employers (and 33 Fortune 1000 companies). The generous tax incentives attract all sorts of businesses, including the film and TV industry which has grown in spades.

Most cities in Georgia are considered safe, with an incredibly diverse population everywhere you go.

The Peach State has a widely varying topography that promises a unique lifestyle, and the blend of city and country atmosphere appeals to many. The endless supply of attractions also means there is always something to do for everyone, young and old.

If locating to Georgia is on the cards any time soon, these are the 15 best places to live in Georgia, all factors considered – education, healthcare, cost of living, quality of life, crime rate, attractions, and amenities.

1. John’s Creek

Johns Creek, GeorgiaSource: Thomson200 / Wikimedia
Johns Creek

Situated in North Fulton County is the suburb of Johns Creek, a popular suburb in Georgia that is highly sought after by families looking for excellent schools, job opportunities, and high quality of life.

Johns Creek is known for having some of the best golf courses in the state of Georgia, in addition to its prestigious country clubs. Located throughout the community, residents enjoy delicious restaurants, shop, walk through the local parks, and take advantage of recreational opportunities.

While living in Johns Creek, you won’t need to commute far as this suburb boasts plenty of job opportunities for its size. With Money Magazine ranking Johns Creek as the thirteenth highest-earning city in the country, it’s a great place to call home.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in Johns Creek are:

  • Autrey Mill Nature Preserve and Heritage Center
  • Newtown Park
  • Johns Creek Arts Center
  • Heritage Sandy Springs Museum
  • Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area
  • Downtown Alpharetta Historic District
  • Masterpiece Mixers Johns Creek
  • Atlanta Botanical Garden
  • Johns Creek Symphony Orchestra
  • Golf at Atlanta Athletic Club
  • North Atlanta Dance Theatre
  • Lake Lanier
  • Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area
  • Atlanta BeltLine
  • Atlanta Monetary Museum

2. Alpharetta

Alpharetta, GeorgiaSource: Thomson200 / Wikimedia

A city known for its sweet southern charm, Alpharetta made the list as one of the best places to live in Georgia. This southern city has excellent public schools, a booming economy, and many community opportunities.

You won’t need to venture far to find what you need, as Atlanta is only thirty minutes away. Money Magazine ranked Alpharetta as one of the nation’s top fifty places to live. Due to its construction and development, Alpharetta’s population remains on an incline.

In addition to its thriving economy and excellent schools, Alpharetta has a fantastic shopping district. Downtown Alpharetta, which is very popular among its residents, has many boutique shops and restaurants.

Residents living in Alpharetta have endless opportunities to explore the outdoors with its various parks, walking paths, and sports fields. While living in Alpharetta, you’ll have everything you need and more!

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in Alpharetta are:

  • Alpharetta and Old Milton County History Museum
  • Alpharetta Arts Center
  • Jekyll Brewing
  • Downtown Alpharetta Historic District
  • Big Creek Greenway
  • Wills Park
  • Walk of Memories
  • World of Coca-Cola
  • Alpha Loop Connection
  • Archibald Smith Plantation Home
  • Publix Aprons Cooking School
  • Painted Horse Winery and Vineyard
  • Topgolf Alpharetta
  • Farmers Market

3. Athens

Athens, GeorgiaSource: ESB Professional / shutterstock

The Athens version of Georgia is a proud place to call home, although not much for families. If you are looking for great schools or a mature environment, Athens is not your kind of town. Because this is a college town most ideal for the young at heart.

Athens is situated just sixty miles north of Atlanta, known for its performing arts scene, great food, and unforgettable experiences. This college town is home to the Athens Beer Trail and Georgia Theatre.

Athens is one of the best college towns in Georgia and is known for being one of the best cities to retire. This city has friendly neighborhoods, downtown living, various shopping opportunities, restaurants, and recreational activities.

More than that, college towns also tend to be bike-friendly and walkable, with fantastic public transportation, as is apparent in Athens. There is never a dull moment, with an abundance of entertainment, dining, and shopping options, all of which you can enjoy at a fraction of the price in this great town.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in Athens are:

  • The State Botanical Garden of Georgia
  • Georgia Museum of Art
  • Sanford Stadium
  • Bear Hollow Zoo
  • Georgia Theatre
  • Sandy Creek Nature Center
  • Sandy Creek Park
  • Downtown Athens
  • Athens Farmers Market
  • Rush Athens Trampoline Park

4. Roswell

Roswell, GeorgiaSource: www.roswellgov.com

Known as one of Georgia’s largest cities, Roswell has some of the friendliest neighbors in its communities, gorgeous scenery, and many exciting things to entertain its residents.

Roswell has historical landmarks, gorgeous antebellum homes, spacious parks, and recreational opportunities. Roswell is consistently recognized for providing its residents with top-notch amenities and high-quality facilities.

Situated in Fulton County, Roswell is one of Georgia’s best places to live. Its suburban feel, excellent school system, easy commute, and job opportunities for its young professionals.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in Roswell are:

  • Archibald Smith Plantation Home
  • Sky Zone Trampoline Park
  • Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area
  • Bulloch Hall
  • Computer Museum of America
  • Chattahoochee Nature Center
  • Atlanta
  • Barrington Hall
  • Faces of War Memorial
  • Morgan Falls Overlook Park
  • Roswell Mill
  • Variant Brewing Company
  • Canton Street
  • Roswell Fire Museum
  • Presbyterian Church Historic Sanctuary

5. Decatur

Decatur, GeorgiaSource: www.decaturga.com

East of Atlanta, you’ll find the city of Decatur, one of Ohio’s best places to live. If you’re relocating for work, commutes are one less thing you’ll need to worry about here. Decatur has three MARTA train stations connected to Atlanta and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

Decatur is a small community of close to twenty-one thousand people that Niche ranked as the best place to live in Georgia in 2017. Snuggled in DeKalb County, the city’s motto is “Everything is Greater in Decatur,” it seems to live up to its hype in every respect.

The schools here are ranked as some of the best in Georgia, with students spending the second-highest amounts in the state, although this comes with the bonus of getting lots of personal attention. Crime is also low in this beautiful suburb, making it an excellent area for families, especially considering the wealth of dining, shopping, and recreation options available.

Whether it’s fine dining, soul food, BBQ, or fusion restaurants you’re after, Decatur has you covered.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in Decatur are:

  • DeKalb History Center
  • Woodlands Garden
  • Callanwolde Fine Arts Center
  • Eddie’s Attic
  • Decatur Ghost Tours
  • Fernbank Museum of Natural History
  • Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Park
  • Decatur Historic Districts
  • Stone Mountain
  • Michael C Carlos Museum
  • Three Taverns Brewery
  • Briarcliff Mansion

6. Suwanee

Suwanee, GeorgiaSource: Thomson / Wikimedia

Known for its crowd-pleasing parks, events, and developments, Suwanee is ranked one of the best places to live in Georgia. While strolling through Downtown Suwanee, you’ll find two parks, a water fountain, an amphitheater, a library, and many local boutiques and restaurants.

Suwanee also has several outdoor activities, such as walking trails, the Suwanee Creek Greenway, and Main Street Park. The neighborhood kids enjoy spending the day at Playtown Suwanee, a community-built playground perfect for families.

Yes, for all the right reasons. Suwanee is an all-around great place to live; that much is not in doubt for families, single professionals, or retirees. Public schools are right up there with the best, and the low cost of living is low for a neighborhood of its standards.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in Suwanee are:

  • Sims Lake Park
  • Suwanee Town Center
  • Suwanee Creek Park
  • Big Splash Interactive Fountain
  • Monkey Wrench Brewing
  • Settles Bridge Park
  • Peachtree Ridge Park

7. Marietta

Marietta, GeorgiaSource: Rob Hainer / shutterstock

Marrieta is a town near Atlanta that you will find in Cobb County. It has many notable schools with a strong rating of 9/10 on GreatSchools.org, with Lassiter High School being ranked the seventh-best in the state by U.S. News & World Report.

Living in Marietta is affordable, with monthly rent averaging below the national average. If you want to purchase property, around $200,000 is enough to snap up a lovely two-bed one-bath single-family house.

Marietta has more than enough attractions to accommodate its fifty-eight thousand residents. Theatres, museums, and 18 parks.

History lovers will appreciate the Civil War museum and war reenactments in the area, while outdoor lovers will fancy the 18 miles worth of trails in the nearby Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park.

Speaking of Kennesaw…

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in Marietta are:

  • Marietta Square
  • Marietta Cobb Museum of Art
  • Six Flags White Water
  • Marietta Fire Museum
  • Marietta History Center
  • Marietta Square Farmers Market
  • Glover Park Brewery

8. Kennesaw

Kennesaw, GeorgiaSource: Rob Hainer / shutterstock

Situated to the north of Atlanta is the homey town of Kennesaw, one of the fastest-growing cities in Cobb County. Kennesaw has a small town with extensive amenities that an estimated thirty-two thousand residents can enjoy.

The city is known for having top educational resources, top-rated parks and athletic facilities, affordable recreation programs, and safe neighborhoods.

Why, you may ask? For starters, the area has an extremely low cost of living.

With houses going for around average, you can scour the entire state, but you won’t find a better deal than this when you gauge cost versus benefits. Kennesaw is also desirable to families due to its high-performing schools, and this little diverse community is known for its low crime rate; there are multiple incidences each year, but there is a reason the area scores “A+” on the “desirability for families” category on Niche.com.

There is also a historic town here, walkable, where you will find brick walkways, museums, parks, specialty shops, restaurants, and a nice infusion of that unmistakable southern charm.

The presence of the Kennesaw State University gives the town a college feel and some vibrancy, but not so much as to override the overall vibe in the area.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in Kennesaw are:

  • Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
  • Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History
  • Sky Zone Trampoline Park
  • Lake Acworth
  • Lazy Guy Distillery
  • Museum of History and Holocaust Education
  • Smith-Gilbert Gardens
  • Marietta Gone with the Wind Museum
  • Dry County Brewing Company
  • East Palisades Trail
  • Six Flags White Water
  • Old Railroad Depot
  • Farmers Market
  • SkyView Atlanta
  • Splash Pad

9. Mountain Park

Mountain Park, GeorgiaSource: Paul Brennan / shutterstock
Mountain Park

The name itself is a dead giveaway as to what you can expect in this suburb of Gwinnett County, home to 12,700 residents. Indeed, it is here that the vast stone monolith is located that serves as a gateway to the Stone Mountain Park, one of Georgia’s biggest tourist draws.

The distance between Mountain Park and Atlanta would not be ideal for anyone working there. But the affordability of homes in this stunning area is low enough to appeal primarily to growing families just starting.

The median home value in Mountain Park stands at an attractive $168,500, and if nature, a serene environment, and a close community appeal to you, you need to move to Mountain Park before properties rise any further.

With the nearby Stone Mountain Park, which also features a theme park among many other attractions, the kids will love this place and have it etched in their memory well into old age.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in Mountain Park are:

  • Stone Mountain Park
  • Summit Skyride
  • SkyHike
  • Mabry Park
  • Harrison Park
  • Geyser Towers
  • Sweat Mountain Park

10. Peachtree City

Peachtree City, GeorgiaSource: BernardBoyGenius / Flickr
Peachtree City

With a population of 34,900, Peachtree City is regarded as one of the best places to live in America by many notable entities, including CNN and TIME Magazine.

Located just south of Atlanta in Peachtree City, a city with a diverse population and excellent residential areas for its residents. Peachtree City has over one hundred miles of cart paths, so you don’t even need to travel by car here if you didn’t want to.

In Peachtree City, you’ll quickly notice the welcoming hearts and hands of the community and where you’ll truly discover the meaning of southern hospitality.

But the high-salaried households whose residents work for Panasonic and TDK are well cushioned from the high cost of living, with their annual salaries at $85,420.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in Peachtree City are:

  • Southern Hollywood Film Tour
  • Lake Kedron and Lake McIntosh
  • Commemorative Air Force Dixie Wing
  • Mastermind Escape Games
  • Line Creek Nature Area
  • Carlos Museum
  • Golf
  • Road to Tara Museum
  • Frederick Brown Jr Amphitheatre
  • Line Creek Brewing Company
  • Holliday-Dorsey-Fife House
  • Zac Brown’s Southern Ground
  • Flint River Adventures
  • Peachtree City Farmers Market
  • Escalade Indoor Rock Climbing

11. Evans

Evans, GeorgiaSource: jimmywayne / Flickr

Evans is another town that has received notable plaudits over the years. You will find the town in Columbia County, where thirty-three thousand residents are happy to call home.

Evans may give off the feeling of a rural town, which it is, but a 10-mile commute will get you to downtown Augusta where the likes of Fort Gordon – the U.S. Army Center and Georgia Regents University are based.

Evans is ideal for anyone who doesn’t mind a small-town mindset, although this is not your ordinary small town. The nightlife is buzzing, made the merrier by the many different cultures living here. Crime in Evans is virtually non-existent, with outstanding public schools to boot.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in Peachtree City are:

  • Southern Hollywood Film Tour
  • Lake Kedron and Lake McIntosh
  • Commemorative Air Force Dixie Wing
  • Mastermind Escape Games
  • Line Creek Nature Area
  • Carlos Museum
  • Golf
  • Road to Tara Museum
  • Frederick Brown Jr Amphitheatre
  • Line Creek Brewing Company
  • Holliday-Dorsey-Fife House
  • Zac Brown’s Southern Ground
  • Flint River Adventures
  • Peachtree City Farmers Market
  • Escalade Indoor Rock Climbing

12. Sandy Springs

Sandy SpringsSource: Dennis Matheson from Atlanta, GA, USA / Wikimedia
Sandy Springs

Just north of Atlanta in Fulton County is a large city that goes by the name Sandy Springs.

It has a population of just over 100,000; whose only downside to living in this area has to be the hot real estate market. The average cost of homes is $415,600, which can only be good news if you have already finished paying up.

Other than that, Sandy Springs is a perfect place for families, with beautiful, well-defined neighborhoods everywhere you look.

Residents are well-catered in terms of healthcare. The area they have christened “Pill Hill” has a concentration of three large hospitals – St. Joseph’s, Northside Hospital, and All Children’s Hospital.

There is also a lot going on here regarding nightlife, and each year the community puts on multiple events and festivals.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in Sandy Springs are:

  • Heritage Sandy Springs Museum
  • Anne Frank in the World Exhibit
  • John Ripley Forbes Big Trees Forest Preserve
  • Abernathy Greenway Playable Art Park
  • The Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area
  • Nantahala Outdoor Center
  • Center Ice Arena
  • Lefont Theatre
  • Lost Corner Preserve
  • The Sandy Springs Farmers Market

13. Virginia-Highland

Virginia-HighlandSource: SFpAerial / shutterstock

Locals have an affectionate name for Virginia-Highland. They call it Va-Hi, and this is a neighborhood best suited for the city slicker who fancies living near Downtown or Midtown Atlanta.

It is a neighborhood particularly famous for young professionals. But it does double up as a good place for families who will particularly love its convenience regarding commute time and attractions.

They are beautiful, though, bearing the semblance of cottage-style houses.

There are many local businesses in Va-Hi, including boutiques, home décor shops, restaurants, and cafes.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in it near Virginia – Highland are:

  • Atlanta Botanical Garden
  • Piedmont Park
  • Blind Willie’s
  • Callanwolde Fine Arts Center
  • Georgia Aquarium
  • Skyline Park
  • Fox Theatre
  • The Roof at Ponce City Market

14. Druid Hills

Druid Hills, GeorgiaSource: Titaniumjjp / Wikimedia
Druid Hills

Next up on our list of best places to live in Georgia is an Atlanta suburb home to fourteen thousand people.

Druid Hills is an exciting place in that it is a mishmash of neighborhood/suburb/census-designated place, although it’s popularly referred to as Atlanta’s “second suburb.”

What Druid Hills may lack in an apparent identity, it makes up for in its sumptuous offering.

The place is drop-dead gorgeous, but you must pay through your nose to live in this affluent neck of the woods.

Druid Hills is beautifully diverse, with an almost zero crime rate. The nightlife, too, is impressive, and this is because the peaceful neighborhood peppered with giant houses is within proximity to Va-Hi and Emory University.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in Druid Hills are:

  • Fernbank Museum
  • SkyView Atlanta
  • The Painted Pin
  • Mason Mill Park
  • World of Coca-Cola
  • High Museum of Art

15. Milton

Milton, GeorgiaSource: www.cityofmiltonga.us

Milton rounds off our 15 best places to live in Georgia list. It is good to note that this new neighborhood was established as recently as 2006.

However, it has been growing at a phenomenal rate. Today, the population stands at 35,800, which has seen the area surpassing many Atlanta suburbs that have existed since long ago.

Milton is a place that oozes a small-town feel, albeit just a stone’s throw from the amenities in nearby cities. It has been recognized as one of the places in Georgia with the highest quality of life, so much so that it was ranked ninth-highest in the southern U.S.

Milton has an excellent education system, with more than enough to see and do – swimming, parks, golf, baseball, tennis, horseback riding, festivals, and more.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in Milton are:

  • Milton History Trail
  • Former Milton Country Club
  • Sawnee Mountain Preserve
  • Lake Sidney Lanier
  • Sky Zone Trampoline Park
  • Southeastern Railway Museum
  • Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area
  • Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area
  • Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park

15 Best Places to Live in Georgia (US):

  • John’s Creek
  • Alpharetta
  • Athens
  • Roswell
  • Decatur
  • Suwanee
  • Marietta
  • Kennesaw
  • Mountain Park
  • Peachtree City
  • Evans
  • Sandy Springs
  • Virginia-Highland
  • Druid Hills
  • Milton