Getting the Most out of Life

The 5 Best Places for Rural Living

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Do you prefer fresh air and open spaces to high-rises and subways?

While Millennials are frequently depicted as city dwellers, some of the generation gravitates toward a more idyllic lifestyle. If you picture yourself in a spacious, nature-centered community, then check out these five best places for rural living.

1. Benton City, Washington

With more than 300 days per year of sunshine, moderate winters, and a mountainous backdrop, Benton City is a prime place to live an outdoor-oriented lifestyle. This town of only 2,800 people is located near the Yakima River in a fertile, green space. As a bonus, Benton City is one of the most highly educated rural areas in the U.S., according to AOL; nearby Kennewick has some of the highest projected job growth in the nation.

2. Kendall County, Texas

Named a top rural place to live by CNN Money and Progressive Farmer magazine, Kendall County is a gorgeous area positioned about 30 miles north of San Antonio in Texas Hill Country. Populated by around 34,000 people and located at 1,500 feet above sea level, it’s an ideal spot for living in the picturesque rolling hills.

3. Horse Creek, Wyoming

Located northwest of Cheyenne, Horse Creek is home to an active ranching area that will fulfill every dream of living the country-western lifestyle. If horses and cattle are your thing, then it may be the home you’re looking for. Horse Creek is an unincorporated community, and it enjoys one of the lowest national crime rates.

4. Yankton, South Dakota

Looking for a rural living area that provides ample opportunities for hunting, fishing, sailing, and hiking? Yankton lies near the Lewis and Clark Recreation Area along the Missouri River and is a prime spot for outdoor enthusiasts. The city maintains 15 parks, the largest of which includes a swimming pool, basketball courts, sports fields, trails, and a performing-arts space. Yankton offers low crime, high employment rates, and a low cost of living, making it an extremely livable small town.

5. Gerlach, Nevada

Although it’s only about two hours from Reno, Gerlach is the ultimate small town: population 206. It’s located in the midst of the Black Rock Desert, a breathtaking expanse framed by mountains on the horizon. It’s also about a one-hour drive from Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation, which is populated by around 2,000 people and features a welcome oasis in the form of a massive lake. The major economy in Gerlach is tourism, though some residents operate their own Internet-based businesses.

One more benefit to these five small towns? All are located in states without income tax, and all offer low costs of living. That means your dollars will stretch further. Moving isn’t the most pleasant experience, but finding yourself in an affordable new town featuring the lifestyle you crave could be worth it.

Paula Pant is the founder of award-winning website and a journalist and blogger specializing in personal finance, real estate and lifestyle design. She has been featured more than three dozen publications, including Forbes, DailyFinance, Marketplace Money, Business Insider, Inc. Magazine, and many more.