If you’re a millennial, or know a few personally, you’ve probably found many of the stereotypes associated with Generation Y a little tricky to disprove.
Millennials want flexibility and security. They want to work hard and have time left over to play. They won’t make too much of a commitment until they’re sure it’s the direction they want to go.
With more and more millennials entering the workforce each year, we are learning more and more about their living preferences and professional habits.
Millennials are much more willing and eager to travel for business than previous generations, for example. To do that, they need places to call home, and it just so happens those places span across multiple states and metro areas in the US.
Whether you’re a millennial or looking to hire one, these are the best cities for this generation to start to settle down.
1. Denver, Colorado
It turns out the “Mile High City” is a good fit for this ambitious, the sky is barely the limit group of young adults. They’re looking for opportunities, and the more that come to stay, the more opportunities they create both for themselves and for others.
Denver is popular among Generation Y because of its wide array of job opportunities and proximity to other areas easy to commute to or from on a daily basis for work.
Denver International Airport is also a big draw, in addition to its average less then $900/month rent—extremely low in comparison to other metropolitan areas.
2. Manhattan, New York
Though it might seem a little stereotypical, in general millennials are all looking for the same thing: the chance to make their dreams come true.
Manhattan is a constant blur of opportunities, both vocational and social. It’s a place millennials can launch their careers, establish a social life and immerse themselves in a culture that praises hard work and ambitious thinking 24/7.
More millennials are also choosing to rent out apartments rather than purchase them because of price and a hesitancy to commit, and Manhattan has plenty of opportunities for them to do so.
3. Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., like many other major cities in the United States, appeals to millennials not only because of the opportunities it promises, but those it delivers—so much so that, once they’re there, they don’t have many reasons to leave.
A survey found that many who were already in the area planned to stay, establish themselves in their careers and become homeowners.
Another draw for millennials in the D.C. area, a large percentage of which do not own cars, is that public transportation makes it very easy for them to get wherever they need to go.
4. San Francisco, California
San Francisco has a higher percentage of millennials than the entire state of California, which makes sense, since the city offers just about everything the average 20 to 37-year-old is searching for.
The city’s elegant culinary scene, nightlife and breathtaking scenery is great for tourists, but even better for those who have the privilege of calling it home.
Similar to other cities on this list, most millennials in San Francisco don’t own cars, but ample public transportation has normalized that significantly.
5. Cambridge, Massachusetts
Cambridge is home to antique shops and art galleries, cruises and bookstores galore: for the intellectual in search of equal parts learn and play, it’s the perfect spot to stop and stay awhile.
This city’s draw comes from—you guessed it—its convenience when it comes to commuting from place to place. While the median rent for housing is high, the amount of attractions millennials can get to from here is enough to make them stay.
6. Portland, Oregon
Portland is the ideal place for the young, active entrepreneur. Running, biking and hiking, all common pastimes for residents, are just several of the many things newcomers can engage in when they’re not working.
While the traditional job market might not be as promising as a millennial’s heart would hope, its unique culture allows more ample opportunities for creative innovators and those willing to build their own independent livings.
7. Chicago, Illinois
Chicago’s high percentage of college educated young adults, many of whom prefer renting their residences and living close to their friends, brings millennials to the city to learn, earn and explore.
The Windy City is most attractive for its short commute time, plethora of bars, resident diversity and higher education opportunities.
8. Austin, Texas
Austin, full of arts and culture, food and great places to work, is another place millennials can flock to if they’re looking for an even mix of vocation and recreation.
It’s not just the city’s budding economy, but also its quality of life, that draws millennials south. In a city where local cuisine takes precedence over chain restaurants and the music scene is as diverse as its residents, Generation Y will feel right at home.
The city is also a popular location for entrepreneurs and plays host to a variety of startup companies.
9. Seattle, Washington
For millennials looking for short commutes, cheap housing and big corporate career opportunities, this city is another ideal place to call home.
Seattle is a city filled with opportunities for education and innovation, home to larger-than-life corporation headquarters like Starbucks, Microsoft and Amazon and plenty of jobs to choose from.
It’s also a good place for incoming millennials to meet other millennials, an important staple to the budding socialites.
No matter what your preferences are when it comes to housing, transportation and opportunities to grow and thrive, there’s a little something for all millennials in cities all over the country.
The good news is, if you’re worried about balancing working to pay your rent and exploring different cultures while figuring out where you fit in this world, there’s a chance for you to do all these things no matter where you go.
Do your research, figure out which locations are going to suit your needs the best and go. After all, you can’t live with your parents forever (nor do you want to).