Even in 2019, Wyoming still has that twinge of untamed western spirit that makes its majestic natural beauty all the more thrilling. As the second most sparsely populated state in the US, it’s the perfect home for nature lovers, offering everything from skiing to fishing to hunting to rafting. Even if you’re more a fan of indoor amusements than you are of outdoor ones, you’ll still find plenty to love in its borders. Don’t believe me? Then check out these 20 highly desirable towns and cities, all of which offer more amenities, facilities, jobs, and activities than any of us could rightly wish for.
Caper is a town on the rise: within the last year, local businesses and activity centers have been popping up like wildfire, turning an already attractive town into one of Wyoming’s most desirable new hot spots. Fortunately, the housing market hasn’t yet caught up with its newly elevated status: act fast, and you should still be able to pick up a very decent single-family home for just $196,200.
With a population of 31,783, Gillette is big enough to offer plenty in the way of indoor and outdoor amusements, but small enough to still give off a friendly, close-knit vibe. With the average house value coming it at just $203,900, it’s an extremely affordable option, especially when you consider that most residents are bringing home way above the average median income of $74,348. The only thing holding Gillette back from a higher-ranking position is its crime rate, which, while still lower than the national average, is slightly higher than some of its competitors.
Located just an hour and a half from Salt Lake City, Evanston is a great option for commuters. Its motto of ‘Fresh Air, Freedom and Fun “certainly holds true: during winter months, residents have access to some of the best skiing in Wyoming, while the summers months come packed with opportunities for fishing, hiking, and enjoying the abundance of other outdoor recreational pursuits on offer. You may have to hand over $367,300 for a house here, but considering you can expect to earn around $74,901 once you move in, it’s an investment well worth considering.
$226,600 will get you a home in the small town of Buffalo. For that price, you’ll get access to a low crime rate, friendly neighbors, snowcapped mountains so close you can almost touch them, plenty of parks, and a small-town charm that’s hard to beat. The only thing that stops the town reaching a higher position on our list is its schools; although decent, they don’t quite match up to some of the educational establishments our other entries have access to.
16. Rock Springs
With great accessibility for commuters, affordable housing, and a stunning situation, Rock Springs is a popular choice among those looking to enjoy the quiet life without forsaking the city entirely. Residents can expect to earn around $74,542, enjoy some very good local restaurants, decent schools and a way of life that combines the best of small-town friendliness with big-city amenities.
Move to the small town of Newcastle and you can expect a median home value of just $141,000, an equally low average rental price of $846, 3,480 welcoming neighbors, a crime rate that stands well below the national average, a median household income of $53,171, plenty of opportunities to engage in some outdoor pursuits, a very pretty lake, and a few very nice restaurants. It may lack the big city attractions of Cheyenne, but if you’re more a fan of the quiet life than you are of a buzzing nightlife, you’ll be more than happy in Newcastle.
14. Green River
With numerous fishing, hunting, and hiking opportunities, Green River is a great option for nature lovers. The median household income is a very healthy $72,656, while the housing is extremely affordable at just $197,900 for an average single-family dwelling. According to the latest stats on Livability, 12,604 people choose to set up camp in this small town, which, considering the good schools, low crime, and abundance of community activities like the Flaming Gorge Days and the Art on The Green celebration, is easy enough to understand.
Located just 10 minutes from Kemmerer Municipal Airport, Kemmerer provides the ideal base to raise a family while being just a short hop, skip and jump from the booming job market in Denver. With just 2600 residents, Kemmerer has a warm, friendly vibe that wouldn’t be out of place in a rural village, while the supremely affordable average house price of just $170,200 ($14000 less than the national average) makes it an ideal place to get your first foot on the property ladder. As you’d expect of such a small, close-knit community, crime is virtually unheard of, while the above-average median income of $63,750 affords residents a more than decent quality of life.
If affordable housing is your number one priority, you’ll find it hard to beat the small town of Worland. For just $137,800 (a mammoth $46,900 less than the national average), you can get your hands on a very decently sized single-family home. If your finance doesn’t stretch quite that far, $606 will get you a very nice little rental property instead. Combine those low prices with a good school system, an almost nonexistent crime rate, a decent median income of $49,191, and a peaceful, wholesome kind of vibe, and it’s easy to understand why Worland is one of the best places to live in Wyoming.
If you’ve set your cap on Pinedale, you’ll be in good company. The 2003 residents of this small town in Sublette county may be few in number, but they’re big in heart. Expect plenty of community events, and at least a few pies left on your doorstep when you move in. A low crime rate, good schools, a very decent median household income of $78,194, and affordable housing complete the very pretty picture.
With excellent schools and access to some of the best outdoor attractions in Wyoming, the small town of Powell makes a great choice for anyone looking for affordable housing: $179,000 will get you a very decent property to buy, while $650 will get you a great rental home. Granted, the median income is slightly below the national average at $50,872, but with house prices this low, you’re unlikely to hear many complaints.
If you’re a first-time buyer, you could do a lot worse than set your sights on the small town of Lander. Just $201,800 will be enough to get you a decently sized abode. Rental prices are equally attractive at just $793 per month, well below the national average of $949. Violent crimes are virtually nonexistent, while property crimes fall far below the national average. The schools are decent, the amenities are abundant, and, if the reviews on Niche are anything to go by, the residents are more than happy. “Lander is such a warm, friendly town! It's definitely an example of quality over quantity. My time here has been spent recreating in the beautiful mountains. visiting wonderful local stores and restaurants, and taking part in many community picnics and events,” says one, while another adds, “I think the people are very friendly and if you like the outdoors there are a lot of things to see. It is not very far away from Yellowstone National Park. Also sinks canyon state park is something you don't want to miss. The fishing is awesome in most of the rivers and lakes. A lot of trails to go hiking and bike riding.”
The state capital of Wyoming comes in at number 8. A low crime rate combines with some exceptional local attractions and cultural events (the annual Cheyenne Frontier Day, weekly farmers markets and yearly Goblin Walk are not to be missed) to make for a very attractive town. The affordable housing ($193,200 for a single-family home), and good school system complete the favorable outlook.
Safe, small, and supremely wealthy, Ranchettes makes a great option for those looking for a rural hideaway. Granted, you won’t find much by way of a buzzing nightlife, but the great school system, low crime rate, (semi) affordable housing, good job opportunities, excellent infrastructure, and easy access to the thrills and spills of nearby Cheyenne more than makeup for the deficit.
With the Yellowstone Regional Airport on its doorstep, Cody makes an excellent home for commuters looking for somewhere to raise their families in a safe, congenial environment while enjoying easy access to the jobs and attractions of the city. An excellent school system combined with affordable housing (expect to pay around $214,500 for a single-family home) makes this Park County town a very desirable addition to our list indeed.
Sheridan’s population of 17,816 enjoys access to some of the best schools around (Woodland Park Elementary School, Sheridan Junior High School, Sagebrush Elementary School, and Highland Park Elementary School all score a grade A on Niche, first-class restaurants, and an incredible range of outdoor and recreational activities to enjoy. As one Niche reviver sums up, “Sheridan is a wonderful place to raise a family. It offers the best of small, western town life. The mountains are located nearby. The schools are ranked #1 in the state of WY. The restaurants are very good and there are even a couple of local brewpubs. There are plenty of activities for children all throughout the year. This area of WY is considered "God's Country" and it truly is a wonderful and beautiful place to live. There are plenty of outdoor activities available for the whole family which is really great: camping, hiking, boating, skiing, skating, music festivals, rodeos, art festivals, food festivals, family community gatherings, church gatherings, and many more fun-filled activities for the whole family. I have lived in many places around the US but this is my home. The people of Sheridan are very welcoming and kind. You can always find a helping hand if needed.”
If you’re a fan of the outdoor lifestyle, you’re going to love Jackson. As popular with millennials as it is with families, the town offers some of the best hiking and skiing opportunities in Wyoming thanks to its close proximity to Jackson Hole Mountain, Snow King Mountain, and Grand Targhee, as well as Grand Teton National Park, and Yellowstone National Park. Granted, living here doesn’t come cheap (the average house costs a hefty $524,400) but with its good commuting distance and wealth of job opportunities, most residents are earning enough ($75,406 on average) to support the price tag.
If you want to enjoy access to some of the most affordable housing in Wyoming ($210,600 will get you a house to own, while $750 will get you one to rent), a low crime rate, great schools, a buzzing nightlife, a diverse, welcoming community, and a full range of amenities and facilities, you might want to consider the college town of Laramie. While the median income may be slightly below the national average at $43,191, the low cost of living ensures local residents still have plenty of cash left at the end of the month, regardless.
2. Rafter J Ranch
Rafter J Ranch may be home to just 1,535 people, but it’s not short of attractions. The infrastructure and commuting distance are both first-rate, while the fabulous schools, good range of wining and dining options, an abundance of amenities, and job opportunities galore fully justify the hefty median home value of $689,900 (as, no doubt, does the average salary of $122,059).
1. South Park
The rural, idyllic little stretch of prime real estate that is South Park makes it to the top spot with ease. With a population of just 1,681, it’s got the kind of close-knit, friendly vibe that makes it a prime destination for those looking to either raise their family or start one. Which isn’t to say it’s not an equally attractive draw to the young, free, and single: with excellent job opportunities, a good range of amenities, low crime, and the prospect of a $103,358 median income, it’s hugely popular with just about anyone who can stretch to the $882,100 property price.
Written by Benjamin Smith
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