While some people are settled in places they love, others are looking for new adventures in fast-growing cities that promise jobs, activities, and affordable housing in fun, safe communities. You’ll find these urban gems in states like Texas, Utah, California, and Arizona, but nearly every area of the US has its up-and-comers. Some are small historical towns sitting in the suburbs, and others are natural beauties with a slower pace of life, but they’re all bringing in new residents to enjoy their booming economies and bustling shopping districts. You don’t need to be a social science expert to get that each of these places is notable for a good reason, one that might be compelling enough to earn your intrigue and maybe a visit, too!
Bend, Oregon, is one of the few fast-growing cities that isn’t sitting near a major metropolis. Living in Bend means appreciating the advantages of a slower-paced lifestyle. It also means abundant opportunity to connect with nature and experience stupendous scenery every day. Surrounded by lakes and mountains, citizens of Bend can ski in winter and hike in summer, finishing off every excursion with dining and shopping in the quaint downtown. Tourism is a primary economic driver, but Bend is also home to many small companies and large retailers.
Not every fast-growing city can boast of a landmark historical destination, but Round Rock, Texas, has as its namesake a large round stone in a creek used by 19th-century pioneers crossing with wagons in low-water zones. Today, residents take root in River Rock to benefit from plenty of parks, shopping, good schools, and job opportunities at Dell Computer’s international headquarters. With a quick drive to Austin and other nearby cities and national parks, this town probably isn’t slowing down anytime soon.
The Piedmont area of North Carolina is known for its forests and rolling hills, but it’s also home to the rapidly growing city of Concord, a suburb in the Charlotte metropolis. Home to the popular Charlotte Motor Speedway and the expansive Concord Mills shopping mall, residents can enjoy a life balanced with nature, history, entertainment, and ample employment in the sectors of healthcare, government, and telecommunications. Being close to the Carolina Renaissance Festival and only a few hours from the Outer Banks makes for plenty of outdoor fun!
The Orange County metropolitan area in western California is growing at impressive speed, and Irvine is at the center of the action. Situated between Los Angeles and San Diego, this suburban oasis with year-round sunshine is a hub of peaceful residential streets, fresh new shopping malls and condos, palm trees, family fun zones like the Pretend City Children’s Museum, and the sparkling blue tide pools at Crystal Cove State Park.
Nestled on the gulf shore of southwestern Florida is the city of Fort Myers, a longtime beach destination for people around the state and country. In addition to interesting local history, the region offers miles of sandy beach and a lively boardwalk atmosphere. A bit further out, you'll find no lack of comfortable housing, shopping, schools, and entertainment. Residents old and new settle here for the good economy, warm weather, and easy access to nature trails and spectacular spots like Sanibel Island, which offers one of the most pristine beaches you’ll ever see.
Located near Boise and its national forest, the suburb of Meridian is the fastest-growing city in Idaho. With jobs in food processing, manufacturing, and healthcare fueling the local economy, new residents are practically tripping to get a piece of the potato pie. Family life in Meridian means plenty of chances for both indoor and outdoor activities like hiking, rock climbing, bowling, and roller skating. Schools teach the region's history, creating a sense of community pride for Meridians of all ages.
On the outskirts of Salt Lake City is the mountain city of South Jordan, Utah. Rapid growth here might be related to the city’s low crime rate, affordable new housing, and ample fun at the water parks and aquariums. South Jordan is an original Mormon settlement, and the church’s presence is evident in the many temples and religious statues in the downtown and surrounding areas. Residents can fish and canoe in the many waterways and cruise along the Jordan River. When it’s time to work instead of play, jobs in finance, healthcare, real estate, and manufacturing are available to qualified candidates and those willing to train for the jobs.
Deep in north-central Texas is the growing city of McKinney. With an exploding population, this historic town attracts new residents from the Dallas metropolitan area and elsewhere. They're in search of affordable housing, good dining, shopping, and a safe, small-town vibe -- all the things McKinney is known for. Weekend activities can include hiking the Limestone Quarry Park, a historical walking tour, a café brunch, and a visit to the Heard Natural Science Museum. With so much to do, it’s no wonder this Texas town is taking off!
Some towns just can’t seem to stop growing. That’s the case with Buckeye, AZ, located outside Phoenix in Maricopa County. Situated on the western side of the state, residents bask in a temperate climate that’s always inviting them to hike, camp, and enjoy the outdoors. In addition to picturesque destinations like the Victory Steps at Verrado and a nearby wildlife refuge, “Buckeyes” benefit from a bustling economy and plenty of jobs in healthcare, education, and construction.
Just 25 miles north of downtown Dallas is the fast-growing city of Frisco, TX. With quaint residential streets lined with historical homes and plenty of family-friendly fun, new residents find easy roots here and enjoy ample shopping and dining throughout the year. Jobs abound in financial services, insurance, real estate, and healthcare. But it’s not all about work -- Frisco dubs itself “Sports City USA” and is home to four major stadiums and six professional teams.
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