As the cost of living around the United States continues to grow and the world of online work expands, the affordable lifestyle and snow-capped mountains of Wyoming become ever more attractive.
The state boasts some of the best scenery in the US, but its many charming cities and small towns ensure Wyoming is also a great place to live and start a family. Many of the towns on our list boast great education, and the enveloping nature provides all residents with an active, outdoor lifestyle.
The reasons to move here are varied. The best cities in Wyoming provide great employment opportunities without the bustle of a bigger metropolis and although small towns can limit jobs, online work and an affordable lifestyle make it a hurdle that’s possible to jump.
Surrounded by snow-capped mountains, with affordable housing and beloved small town charm, Buffalo is a great place to live. Students in Buffalo enjoy an above average school district and family-friendly amenities to keep them busy on the weekends.
Just out of town is the Bighorn National Forest, where you’ll find some of the best hikes in the state. These take you through a mix of rugged mountains, vast valleys and reservoirs with waterfalls, rivers, and ample places to camp.
One aspect stopping Buffalo from being higher on our list is the cost of rent. Although lower than the national average, it’s high for this part of Wyoming.
Around 25 miles north of Cody, which is number one on our list, Powell is a great spot for artists and those who love the outdoors. Not only is Powell within driving distance of Yellowstone National Park, but the many nearby hikes and campgrounds mean you can easily stick close to town.
Beyond the mountains, Powell boasts a strong artists’ community which belies its population of 6,500. The town, however, does have a smaller labor force. For couples and families who are able to further their careers here can make use of the town’s low cost of living and affordable housing market.
Around Powell, there is a college, farmers’ market at Washington Park and great schooling.
10. Green River
With a solid average household income and very affordable housing, it’s easy to see why Green River is a popular place to live. The 12,600 residents enjoy a good school system, lower crime, and a tight-knit community with plenty of events throughout the year.
The town was named after the Green River, which flows through the heart of town. This provides both pleasant scenery for locals, along with outdoor fun on the weekends. Along the river there are great fishing opportunities, while fishing and hunting are popular activities beyond the city limits.
Green River is close to Rock Springs (below) and shares its beloved Flaming Gorge Days festival along with its own Art on The Green.
As one of the most scenic towns in Wyoming, Jackson has transcended its original status to find itself in the midst of pop culture and a national destination. Boasting incredible skiing and snowboarding, plus the Grand Tetons and nearby Yellowstone, it’s the top tourist destination in the state.
Residents and travelers alike revel in the impeccable views, with rugged, rocky cliffs rising out of the otherwise flat prairie. There’s no shortage of outdoor adventures to be had here, from rock climbing and mountain biking to hiking and kayaking.
It does, however, come at a price, with the cost of living and house prices higher than the rest of Wyoming. For many, it’s the price to pay and strong local wages help bear the burden.
With a population of under 10,000 people, Laramie often belies its status as a small town. It has much to offer new residents, especially young families and those looking to buy their first home. Alongside low median rent, Laramie is one of the most affordable places to buy a home in the state.
But for residents, much of life in Laramie revolves around the University of Wyoming. The school is a major employer and provides what is otherwise a small town with a burst of energy, nightlife and culture. While sport provides year-round entertainment, especially when the football team puts the pads on.
For outdoor fun, you can go skiing at Snowy Range or hiking in the Medicine Bow National Forest.
7. Rock Springs
Encased in beauty, with a simple work commute and affordable living, Rock Springs is another that blends city amenities with a small town lifestyle. Despite its relatively small population, it’s a very diverse city offering a lot in the way of cuisine, entertainment, and the arts.
In the warm months, Rock Springs offers concerts in the parks and the nearby museums and parks help to showcase Rock Springs position in history. There are community events, fairs, and festivals, including the Flaming Gorge Days that dive into Rock Springs culinary and arts diversity.
Life in Rock Springs is extremely affordable, with the average rent-to-income and home-to-income ratios well below the national average. Here, almost three quarters of the population own their own homes.
From an economic perspective, Gillette is one of the top cities in the state. It’s known as the nation’s energy capital, with a booming business district along with its rich production of fuels and minerals.
Gillette, however, is not just a place for career-oriented couples and families. Outside of work, the community enjoys a sprightly way of life thanks to Gillette’s proximity to the Thunder Basin National Grassland, Bighorn National Forest, Devil’s Tower, and Mount Rushmore.
An aspect of Gillette that residents also love is its balance of town and city vibes. It’s big enough from a work-perspective, with residents bringing home well over Wyoming’s median income, but not so big that it lacks a family-friendly, close-knit feeling.
For first home buyers looking to lay down some roots in Wyoming, Lander is a popular option. Here, the housing market remains relatively cheap, with a lower than average median rent and almost two out of every three residents owning a home.
It would be easy to cast Lander as a sleepy town, but that’s just not the case. Its infrastructure makes for an easy commute and the school district has a good reputation. But once the day is done, residents can explore the charming main street where great restaurants and pubs reside.
Lander boasts a number of insightful museums that showcase life in the Old West. There is also the nearby Sink Canyon State Park featuring gorgeous flora and fauna and fabulous hiking.
Known as Wyoming’s Jewel, Sheridan is indeed as beautiful as its nickname suggests. In the foothills of a vast forest and the Bighorn Mountains, residents will find themselves minutes away from outdoor adventures, with Sheridan also boasting “dude ranches” for a taste of cowboy life.
Sheridan has a strong community vibe, a place where everyone knows each other. With a population of under 20,000 people, it has a charming small town aura with its cozy downtown streets a far cry from the wild surroundings.
Families will be happy to hear that Sheridan has some of the best public schools in the state, with a reputation for being a great place to raise a family.
One of the top up-and-coming towns in the state, Casper has quickly become a great place to live and run a business. For now at least, the housing market remains in good stead with a single family home costing around 30% below the national average.
Casper has a storied past, having been a stop along the Oregon Trail and a fixture of the regional oil boom. As the second largest city in Wyoming, residents can enjoy the full range of local amenities, with two dozen schools and a college.
Like much of Wyoming, there’s plenty of natural beauty around the corner and you won’t find yourself far from kayaking and hiking on or around the North Platte River.
Home to the world’s biggest outdoor rodeo, Cheyenne offers a great mix of leisure and affordable living. The Cheyenne Frontier Days runs in July each year and not only attracts some of the top cowboys and cowgirls, but the best in country music.
But all throughout the year, you’ll be able to enjoy an affordable rental market and a town that has a reputation for being family-friendly. Wyoming’s capital city is known as the Magic City of the Plains and offers great public parks, several museums and plenty of things to do in nearby nature.
Residents only have a short drive to Granite Springs Reservoir and the Vedauwoo Recreation Area for excellent hiking, fishing and camping.
A gateway town to Yellowstone National Park, Cody, is a historic town surrounded by natural splendor. Cody was named after the infamous Buffalo Bill, aka William Cody, with a thrilling stampede event now named after him.
Along the central streets you’ll find Old West-style shop fronts and saloons providing a glimpse into the past. But the architecture is just one part of Cody’s charm. For residents, they get to enjoy an excellent school system, lower on average cost of living, with the average price of a single family home well below the national average.
Yellowstone is an exciting destination, but Buffalo Bill State Park is also right by the town. Enjoy outdoor adventures or go fishing on the lake.