When it comes to thinking about the best places to live in the United States of America, the state of Wyoming seldom springs to mind. With vast plains, and of course the spectacular Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming really does have a lot to offer and is, as such, unfairly underrated.
Welcoming nearly 4 million visitors each year across their two official national parks and multiple national forest reserves, Wyoming is considered as one of the wilder and more rugged states. Home to over 65 species of mammals and dozens of species of birds and fish, Wyoming is the nature lover’s state for sure.
Although statewide crime rates hover a little higher than ideal, there are plenty of safe, secure and happy cities and towns to live in Wyoming, as you’ll explore below.
We took into consideration facts like cost of living, schools and job opportunities too; as well as crime rates and local amenities. These factors make up the five core principles we look for in a good place to live.
Let’s have a look at the best places to live in Wyoming:
Adopting an endearing yet functional rural feel, the small town of South Park tops the charts of the best places to live in Wyoming without question.
Not only ranking first as the best place to raise a family in Wyoming but coming in an impressive third for best places for millennials to live in the state too.
If you are seeking a place to continue growing your family or settle down and start a family, it is safe to say that South Park should be high on your list.
With a median household income of $97,286, South Park is comfortably one of the more affluent towns in Wyoming, with the wealth spread fairly across the population of 1681 people. With 82% of people owning their properties, it is evident that once you move to South Park you are in for the long haul.
Which can only be a taken as a healthy reflection on the contentment of the residents.
Rafter J Ranch
Situated a 6 hour drive north west of Cheyenne straight up Highway 80 is Rafter J Ranch. Home to just 1,535 people and following at a very close second place to South Park, Rafter J Ranch really does have it all.
Commuting distances and infrastructure are nothing shy of brilliant and what is taken away by occasional inclement weather is made up for in droves by job opportunities, excellent public schools, and nightlife.
Although such a small population would suggest somewhat of a sleepy vibe, it is safe to say that there is always something going on in Rafter J Ranch.
With the median home value weighing in at $593,500, Rafter J Ranch is a great place for entrepreneurial millennials who want to invest in property in a happy suburban area.
Home to Yellowstone Regional Airport, suburban Cody is the main port of entry for tourists traveling by air to Yellowstone National Park. With non-stop flights to Denver and Salt Lake City, this quiet town is fantastic for commuters.
For those wishing to raise a family in an area with ample amenities but within a stone throw of America’s most outstanding nature, Cody is the place to go. Coupling fantastic schools and plenty of activities for children, it is hard to find fault with Cody.
With average home values sitting on the $200,000 mark, buying property is somewhat more accessible here than in South Park; what’s more, there are many more properties available to rent which opens up more options too.
Officially ranked higher than Cody, statistically Laramie rolls in at a healthy third best place to live in Wyoming. Public schools in Cody get an A- rating whereas in Laramie is a resounding B+, a small margin on paper but potentially a deciding factor for some people.
For those looking for access to great schools, nightlife and also to rent a property then Laramie may be the place to look. Median rent is $713 against the national median of $928, this is another redeeming feature of life in Laramie.
However, Laramie ranks an impressive second best place to buy a house in Wyoming. It really does have everything going for it.
Considering the population of 9,741, a B crime rating is good going. With levels of theft lying at nearly half of the national average.
Within easy reach of the National Elk Refuge with riverside flats lying against the backdrop of the snow-capped mountains, Jackson is home to breathtaking scenery and wonderful wildlife. If having access to world-class hiking, skiing, and other outdoor pursuits is influential to you then Jackson is, without a doubt, the best place in Wyoming for you.
A popular suburb for Millennials, Jackson is diverse and prosperous. With a comfortable population of 10,000 people, there are countless opportunities to socialise and explore Wyoming from the safe streets of Jackson.
Although the cost of living here is a little greater than ideal, it is made up by the easy commuting option, access to National Parks and consistently satisfactory crime rates.
With residents citing ‘strong values’ and trustworthiness of fellow inhabitants being key factors in their contentment, Sheridan has a small town feel with a tight-knit community to match.
Nestled at the foot of the Big Horn Mountains, much like with Jackson, Sheridan is a great place to live if connecting with nature is important to you and your family.
With great activities and amenities, Sheridan is a triple-threat, teaming great nightlife with affordable housing and a diverse community.
Home to 17,775, Sheridan is open and welcoming with a truly suburban feel despite the proximity to Wyoming’s rugged and varied wildernesses.
Sheridan proudly holds the title for having the best public schools in Wyoming which could explain why the town feels so homely and happy.
The state capital of Cheyenne is home to just 62,000 people, with commuters boosting the workforce on a daily basis from Sheridan, and Laramie.
Although residents enjoy the good qualities of Cheyenne, low crime rates and friendly people to name but a few, it is disappointment in the local hospital’s performance that is a deciding factor for some. With locals claiming they would rather travel to Fort Collins to seek medical care.
The city really comes to life during the annual Cheyenne Frontier Days, farmers markets and Goblin Walk.
Offering a desirably high rating for ethnic and economic diversity, the schooling system in Cheyenne is a big plus point for many families. With ample nightlife to keep the diverse population entertained and good health and fitness amenities too, Cheyenne is certainly worth consideration.
Offering ideal rental properties for a very reasonable median rent of $739 a month, Lander is a popular town with first-time home buyers, with 63% of residents owning their own home. Teaming this with a fair cost of living, considering the access to outstanding public schools and infrastructure for an easy commute, Lander really has a lot to offer.
Although considered a sleeping town, there is a lot happening. Of a weekend it is not uncommon for locals to don their hiking boots and get exploring the Sinks Canyon, State Park. Home to diverse flora and fauna, Sink Canyon is breathtaking year round and with each passing season, it changes and grows before your very eyes.
Although the weather is versatile to say the least, the odd rainy day can be granted given the countless desirable attributes of Lander itself.
Perfectly situated a 10-minute drive to Kemmerer Municipal Airport that connects you directly to Denver, the small, quiet town of Kemmerer ranks at a hearty 9th best place to live in Wyoming.
Home to a quiet community of just 2,600 people, despite the suburban aesthetic of Kemmerer there is very much a village feel to the area.
Certainly not the cheapest place to buy property in the state with average house prices lying at $169,700, Kemmerer is certainly a candidate for investment property. Although not ideal for commuters, Kemmerer would be an ideal location for a quiet retirement home, should that foresight be called upon.
The cost of living in Powell would see it trump somewhere like South Park and with excellent public schools, this small community of 6,408 people is somewhat overlooked by many on their search for the best place to live in Wyoming.
As with so many of Wyoming’s small towns, Powell is perfectly situated close to campsites and hiking tracks which would provide young families and couples alike ample weekend adventures.
Friendly, hospitable and hardworking are the people of Powell, but with such a small town comes the issue of job opportunities. In a world where remote working is becoming ever more popular, Powell may be of interest if you work from home.
Just a 15-minute drive north of the state capital Cheyenne, Ranchettes offers the best of both worlds; the small town, rural and community-driven feel teamed with excellent infrastructure into Cheyenne city sees the population of 6,138 ample satisfied.
By no means an affordable place to rent, you can see 90% of the people own their own home when the median rent is a staggering $1144 a month. Pitching Ranchettes as one of the most expensive places to rent a house in all of Wyoming.
Local’s favourite spots include the Wyoming Rib and Chop House and the Pizzeria Venti, but with Cheyenne so close by, you get access to everything you need within a half an hour round trip.
Tucked away on the Wyoming/Utah border, the small town of Evanston is ideal for those who need to commute daily to Salt Lake City, which is just an hour and a half drive away.
You will find that the provisions of Utah are more accessible than that of Wyoming when in Evanston and the town is somewhat out in the sticks. However, the population of little over 12,213 people are proud Wyomingites through and through.
Affected by the seasons in the best of ways, Evanston provides great opportunities to ski and sled during the snowy winter months.
The town’s motto is ‘fresh air, freedom, and fun’ and the locals really do live by it. Whether it’s a weekend trip to Rock Springs or a family road trip to Salt Lake City, Evanston is something of a hidden gem.
If Evanston is a hidden gem then surely Worland is a diamond in the rough. With outstandingly low crime rates and a diverse population, Worland can be found at the very heart of the Big Horn Basin.
Primarily an agricultural town, there are many thriving small business in the centre of town where the community atmosphere is actualised.
With traffic violations being the most prevalent crime, the people of Worland cite the low crime rates and access to health services as being the key reasons they have chosen to raise their families here.
Fishing in the Big Horn River is the chosen pastime of many locals, be ready to don your tackle to get acquainted with the neighbours!
It is the cost of living and accessibility for commuters that are the primary draws of the city of Rock Springs.
If top tier schooling is what you are seeking then head back to South Park and Rafter J Ranch, but for young couples and empty nesters, it is easy to see why Rock Springs is a popular choice.
Good housing with good home value, setting at a median of $199,600 sees many people opting to own rather than rent.
It is the rich and prosperous history of Rock Springs that can be explored at a steady pace that keeps the people of Rock Springs so passionate about their home. Locals are proud to help each other and as such the community feel to Rock Springs is a genuinely wonderful attribute.
With the mighty buffalo standing proudly on the flag of Wyoming, it seems only appropriate that Buffalo should round off our list of best places to live in Wyoming.
Offering consistently above average ratings for public schools, diversity and cost of living, it is hard to find fault with Buffalo. To be critical, the median rent of $838 is punchy compared to Lander and Laramie.
If a homely neighbourhood with its own family-run brewery and being close to the Big Horn mountains gets your ears pricked, then Buffalo is a good shout.