Small Towns With Big City Feel

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Two person walking on the side of a rail track - Small Towns With Big City Feel.

Do you love the big city but want to go a little more out into the wilderness, or just can’t afford city life anymore? Don’t worry. There are plenty of small cities, but they feel like big cities or on track to become big cities in their own time.

There are benefits to both big and small cities and towns, and finding these towns with a mix of both can allow you to have the best of both worlds.

No matter where in the states you want to go, you will find yourself with options near you for small towns with a big city feel. To learn more about some potential cities, continue reading below.


Which Ones are the Most Popular?

There are plenty of small towns to choose from, but which ones are popular and looking to grow bigger due to their popularity? Again, there are plenty of options. Some of the most popular include:


  • Castle Rock (pop. 70,687) – Located just thirty miles from Denver, Castle Rock manages to be its town and not just a suburb of a big city.


It has a pretty large population but isn’t packed with buildings. In fact, it has 5,475 acres of open space and beautiful views.


  • Santa Fe, New Mexico (pop. 84,612) – Santa Fe is located about 65 miles from Albuquerque.


It is often called “The City Different.” Tailgating is large and big on tailgating, but if you want a little more nightlife, you can make the drive to a bigger city nearby.


  • Asheville, North Carolina (pop. 92,452) – Asheville is located a little more out of the way from another major city. It is about 120 miles away from Charlotte.


But there is plenty to do, especially if you enjoy the outdoors. There are restaurants, white water rafting, hiking, and more.


What Gives Them the Big City Feel?

Many small towns don’t have the amenities that big city dwellers come to depend on. Sometimes, there is nothing nearby, and even for groceries, you have to drive several towns over.

Additionally, in really small towns, there may be a lot of drama and favorites of council members, which makes it hard to start a business or really get comfortable.

However, with these small towns that have a big city feel, you have amenities like restaurants and banks, and the town is usually big enough that you don’t get small-town drama or ganging up on you.

There are also multiple restaurants to choose from, so you can get any food you may want instead of being stuck with one local restaurant. In addition, some things help you to continue having nightlife, and plenty of job options are available.


What makes a Small Town Attractive?

Small towns, even those with a big city feel, are often much quieter. There isn’t the constant hustle and bustle. There may be a bit of nightlife, but there is still a noticeable quietness at night as the town settles down for the evening.

You can also get closer to people in your neighborhood or town and actually feel like a community instead of just a small piece of a big city.

Often, cities have far more of an attractive feel to those who like nature. There are usually more open areas and parks and quick access to a city, mountains, or water for those who want a safe and comfortable space but quick access to nature.


What Generation is Moving to Such Places?

Almost every generation is moving to smaller towns. It is mostly people focused around the millennial age range, though the younger generation of Gen Xers and the older range of Gen Zers are also involved at the moment.

This equates to people between the ages of 24 and 40. Since 2014, an annual average of 30,000 people have actively moved out of the city and into small towns or small towns with a big city feel in that age range.

They did this to escape the city’s rat race and experience a slower and more relaxed lifestyle.


What are the Flaws of Such Towns?

One of the biggest problems with small towns with big cities is that they often grow at a rapid rate. As people flee from cities and pick up these towns, the population jumps up faster than the town can handle.

This causes big problems. Traffic can start to get backed up, lines for food places are long, constantly running out of food from local grocery stores, and more. High housing costs are also common, as people realize their houses are desirable and raise the prices.

Even finding jobs can be a problem once the population starts to jump, as new homeowners start taking all the jobs. This can also lead to losing your small-town feel, as new faces constantly surround you as people move in and out quickly or rent out their homes.


Final Thoughts on Small Towns With Big City Feel

Small towns may be too much for people that are used to living in cities where things are easily within walking distance. However, small towns with a big city feel are a nice medium where you can get the benefits of both.

For the most part, these are ideal options, but there can be downsides as people tend to move into these small towns in waves which can lead to it no longer having the benefits of a small town and you losing that connection to your neighbors.

Additionally, the costs can increase, especially as people begin renting out their homes and bringing in large amounts of tourists.