Where Should I Live as Someone New to the Working World?

Looking for a city where you can save money, be successful, and have a good time? Lucky for you, you have come to the right place.  Not only are these U.S. cities filled with ambitious and driven young professionals, but also with bustling nightlife and contagious energy. If you are trying to find the right work and life balance, read below to find your dream city.

Top 10 Cities With a Booming Professional and Social Scene:

1. Austin, Texas

cities for young professionals, Austin

As one of the newest tech hubs in the U.S., Austin is the place to be. The city is filled with young entrepreneurs looking to find affordable living and a fun environment. While rent is slightly more expensive, there are many opportunities to get well-paying jobs. Approximately 157 people move to the city everyday, chasing all of the opportunities offered.

  • Median Annual Salary: $50, 830
  • Average Age: 33.9
  • Median Rent: $1,047 per month

Best Neighborhoods for Young Professionals:

  • Old West Austin
  • Downtown
  • Triangle State


Looking for nights with great music and a young crowd? Austin is filled with lively bars and clubs that will do the job. The most popular bars include:

  • Antone’s (known for the best Blues)
  • Seven Grand
  • Las Perlas

2. San Francisco, California

cities for young professionals, San Francisco

San Francisco has a booming tech scene, similar to Austin. While San Francisco is quite expensive to live in, it does have the second-strongest job market in the country. Also, it is an ideal location for young people because of its great source of public transportation (BART). The city has incredible culture with acclaimed restaurants, popular sports teams, and lively nightlife.

  • Median Annual Salary: $69,110
  • Average Age: 38.7
  • Median Rent: $1,558 per month

Looking to find out more about the routes of BART? Click here to learn more about the best way to navigate the city.

Best Neighborhoods for Young Professionals:

  • Mission District
  • Russian Hill
  • South of Market (SoMa.)


San Francisco is known as a great city for bar hopping, karaoke, and a good time. Keep reading for the best bars filled with young professionals.

  • Trad’r Sam 
  • The Riddler
  • Silver Clouds (if you are looking for a great karaoke night)

3. Seattle, Washington

cities for young professionals, Seattle

Seattle is a place with endless opportunity. While it is a hub for huge employers such as Amazon and Microsoft, it also has charm many big cities don’t have. If you are looking for beautiful landscape, a less cute-throat environment, and friendly people, this is your place.

  • Median Annual Salary: $61,170
  • Average Age: 37.1
  • Median Rent: $1,185 per month

Best Neighborhoods for Young Professionals:

  • South Lake Union
  • Belltown
  • Capitol Hill


With a happening nightlife and a young crowd, Seattle is a great place for a night out. The city has a great mix of dive bars, trendy hole-in-the-walls, and large venues. Read below for the most happening spots.

  • Russell’s
  • Essex
  • Radiator Whiskey 

4. Washington, District of Columbia

cities for young professionals, Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. is a booming place not only for politics, but for driven young people. It is one of the most diverse cities both in terms of population and things to do. With beautiful greenery and a great job market, Washington D.C. should definitely make your list of places to live. However, it is a bit more expensive than other options.

  • Median Annual Salary: $68,000
  • Average Age: 36.5
  • Median Rent: $2,100 per month

Best Neighborhoods for Young Professionals:

  • Dupont Circle
  • Navy Yard
  • Capitol Hill


A good bar can be essential to meeting people in a new city. Lucky for you, Washington D.C. is known for bars packed with young people looking to mingle, network, and have a fun night. Below are the most popular places.

  • Showtime Lounge 
  • Red Derby
  • Nellie’s Sports Bar 

5. Boston, Massachusetts

 cities for young professionals, Boston

Boston is a major college city with young people, the most well-known sports teams, and an electric energy. Home to the most prestigious universities, Boston is filled with motivated people and endless opportunity. The city is stunning, has extremely low unemployment rates, and is a dream for millennials.

  • Median Annual Salary: $64,080
  • Average Age: 38.7
  • Median Rent: $1,320 per month

Best Neighborhoods for Young Professionals:

  • Beacon Hill
  • Back Bay
  • North End

Looking for a more in-depth description of the best things to do in Boston? Read this to find out more about the best way to maximize your experience.


While there are fancy bars that are better for networking, Boston is well-known for bars with a much younger feel. These bars are most likely filled with people coming straight from work and looking to have a good, cheap drink.

  • Legal Harborside
  • Lincoln Tavern 
  • Beacon Hill Pub

6. Denver, Colorado

cities for young professionals, Denver

Unexpected? This hot spot is a fast-growing city with beautiful views and a huge job market. Rent is extremely cheap, surroundings are extraordinary, and locals couldn’t be nicer. Interested in a slower paced big city? Definitely keep Denver on your radar.

  • Median Annual Salary: $55,910
  • Average Age: 36.2
  • Median Rent: $962 per month

Best Neighborhoods for Young Professionals:

  • Capitol Hill
  • Highland
  • Five Points


Denver is a great place to find cheap, fun, and casual places to meet people. Many bars are more laid-back, with a friendly and warm feel.

  • PS Lounge
  • Finn’s Manor
  • Fort Greene 

7.  Salt Lake City, Utah

Salt Lake City, Utah, Views

Salt Lake City is an ideal place for outdoor fun, great public transportation, and a booming business scene. The city is up and coming with many big companies entering the market. It has many local art exhibits and a bustling nightlife that continues to grow.

  • Median Annual Salary: $46,221
  • Average Age: 30
  • Median Rent: $1,206 per month

Best Neighborhoods for Young Professionals:

  • Liberty Wells
  • Capitol Hill
  • Downtown


If you automatically think of this city and disregard nightlife, you are making a big mistake. With the booming business scene, many young professionals often go out for a night on the town. Below you can find the best bars to have a good time.

  • Willie’s Lounge 
  • Beerhive Pub 
  • The Garage 

8. Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville, Tennessee, Views

One word: music. This city has some of the best live music you will ever hear. Additionally, while you are sitting with friends jamming out, you will be eating some of the best food in the country. The job market is booming, the crowds are young, and there are endless opportunities to take advantage of. What more could you want?

  • Median Annual Salary: $45,780
  • Average Age: 36.3
  • Median Rent: $1,458 per month

Best Neighborhoods for Young Professionals:

  • East Nashville
  • Germantown
  • Downtown


If you move here, get ready for some of the best nightlife in the country and for country music, of course! There are tons of bars, places to mingle, and areas for a fun late night out. If you are interested in Whiskey bars, Honkey Tonks, or live music shows, this is the place to be. Your first MUST SEE stop for an unforgettable experience: Broadway Street.

  • The Stage on Broadway 
  • Honkey Tonk Central  
  • Red Door Saloon 

9. Dallas, Texas

Dallas, Texas, Views

While Dallas is not a city that many people would think to be on this list, it definitely deserves to be. This city has a huge variety of restaurants, nightlife, sports, and more. Many businesses are moving to the city, making Dallas a city to keep an eye on. Also, most importantly, it is very cheap to live in!

  • Median Annual Salary: $67,382
  • Average Age: 32.2
  • Median Rent: $776 per month

Best Neighborhoods for Young Professionals:

  • Uptown
  • Lower Greenville
  • Deep Ellum


Looking for something to fill your nights besides Cowboys games? Lucky for you, you have many options. Dallas has many lively bars and fun places to go.

  • Barley House
  • Beauty Bar
  • The Old Monk 

10. Raleigh, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina, Views

Raleigh is a perfect mix of a big business city and a smaller city with southern charm. Surrounded by beautiful oak trees, you will love the quaint feeling of this place. The city is also a huge technology hub continuing to grow everyday. While this may not be an obvious choice, it definitely earns a spot on this list.

  • Median Annual Salary: $56,040
  • Average Age: 32.5
  • Median Rent: $1,122 per month

Best Neighborhoods for Young Professionals:

  • Morrisville
  • Downtown
  • Five Points 


Interested in a place where you can have a quiet night in and a fun night out? Raleigh is a place where both types of nights are common among millennials. There are many bars and clubs that stay open all night, but also many activities for you to have a calm and relaxed night.

  • Trophy Tap & Table 
  • Bittersweet
  • Fox Liquor Bar

Most statistics were sourced from U.S. News & World Report and Rentberry.

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