15 Cities To Move To Before They Get Too Popular

There are plenty of underrated adventure destinations in the U.S. that are worth your time. Many are ideal for exhilarating quests ranging from exploring a lesser-known corner of the planet or going on a unique expedition. Most are perfect to call home.

Des Moines, Iowa

This is the most affordable place to live in the U.S. in 2017, according to research. It's only natural for people to catch up with the news and start moving there. This will inevitable bring the prices up, and you may well miss your chance.

Hood River, Oregon

This small adventure town and "recreational boomtown," as National Geographic calls it, is perfect for a weekend getaway. Why not make it your permanent home? Everyday activities can include kayaking off Celestial Falls, seeing jaw-dropping scenery, and mountain biking. You won't miss the big city at all; Hood River is just about an hour away from Portland.

Northampton, Massachusetts

You don't have to live in expensive Boston or Cambridge, which are just about an hour or two away, to enjoy the perks of a college town. Northampton has everything you'd expect from a place when a lot of young people live but it also has the benefit of being surrounded by forests and meadows. Northampton is known as an academic, artistic, musical, and countercultural hub.

Greenville, South Carolina

This awesome off the beaten path city in the country is snuggled into the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Greenville is a magnificent blend of traditional southern charm, spectacular natural splendor and a contemporary calm. It's nice to live in a place with a world-class collection of museums and theaters, and with many mountain hills to explore.

Jacksonville, Florida

Called Boldest City in the South, Jacksonville offers many adventures to do on a budget, including biking the tree canopied Baldwin Trail, going on a Budweiser Brewery tour and tasting, and beach hopping. You won't have to make a choice between living in a great city or taking Fido with you. Jacksonville is also a very pet-friendly city with awesome dog parks. Your furry friend will, too, have lots of fun.

Boise, Idaho

One of the most underrated cities in America, Boise nabbed the top spot on Time Magazine's cities that "get it right" in the 2014 "Solutions for America" article. The fact that other cities are at least 5-6 hours away has forced locals to build whatever they need – such as theatres and even a symphony – in their own city. Sitting at the intersection of desert and mountains only adds to Boise's allure.

San Marcos, Texas

Most people who want to live in a fun, open and friendly place in the South often think of Austin. A nice alternative to the crowded Austin is San Marcos, which is actually not far from Austin at all. Move there while the rent is still cheap and you can afford a nice two-bedroom apartment with just one full-time job. You'll still be able to enjoy delicious barbeque food and outdoor live music concerts.

Bozeman, Montana

Why wouldn't you want to move to one of the fittest cities in America? Low obesity rates, a population that demonstrates healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels, and a high general health status ranking. And if that's not enough, Bozeman is home to notable attractions like the Montana Arboretum and Gardens, three different ski areas, parts of Yellowstone National Park, and the Lewis and Clark Caverns. Winter is the time for amazing skiing trips.

Port Chester, New York

Who wouldn't take a chance to live in a place that has that awesome Brooklyn feel without the sky high prices? No wonder this small town is getting on people's relocation radars. In case you miss Manhattan, just get on the train. Port Chester is about an hour away from the iconic Grand Central Station. Don't worry; there are plenty of activities for everyone to enjoy.

Fayetteville, Arkansas

This is a small metro area but it's rapidly growing. Its population grew by more than 6 percent between 2011 and 2015. U.S. News ranked it the fifth best places to live in America in 2017. The small town has transformed from a sleepy one to a center of higher education, culture and commerce. Bonus: Its location in the Ozark Mountains attracts outdoorsy people who love the many state parks, playgrounds, parks and walking trails.

Golden, Colorado

Denver, as awesome as it is, is too popular. The Colorado Rockies are easily accessible from Golden as well. It lies along Clear Creek at the base of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. The small municipality offers miles and miles of skiing and hiking trails as well as some of the best rock climbing spots in the country. Boulder, another popular city in the state, is just half an hour away.

Portland, Maine

Don't confuse Maine's Portland with the more popular city in Oregon. Art galleries, outdoor recreation and the magnificent waterfront can win over every traveler. Add to that the charm of cobblestone streets and old Victorian mansions—you might not want to leave. Portland made the list of the best foodie towns in the U.S. The city has almost 600 restaurants, which gives travelers an excellent variety to choose from.

Charlotte, North Carolina

The largest city in North Carolina has become more and more popular among people who are looking to relocate. It was on the U.S. News' list of the most desired places to live in 2017. Its population has grown by 6.07 percent in just four years from 2011 until 2015.

Knoxville, Tennessee

Knoxville is a hidden gem. The city was also named by Trip Advisor as one of the Top 10 Destinations on the Rise. Most people will go to Memphis or Nashville. Some of Knoxville's most appealing attractions are within walking distance of the very vibrant downtown, according to Visit Knoxville. That only makes it more attractive to people looking for off the beaten path destinations. You'll get a chance to experience live music, culture, outdoor adventure, eclectic shopping, and highly acclaimed cuisine in just one unique location every day.

Wilmington, Delaware

The local economy is booming as big financial institutions have moved in. This means more well-paid jobs, more young professionals, who ring a livelier nightlife, and a better standard of living. The good news is that the cost of living is still affordable. Bonus: Wilmington is a walk-friendly city; you don't need a car to go grocery shopping due to lack of sidewalks. Gorgeous beaches are not far, in case you need a quick escape.