Huntsville, Alabama (Photo by Alex Robinson on Unsplash)

Living in the south offers the splendor of a warmer climate, a delicious array of comfort food, and good old southern charm and hospitality. Known historically for its leading cotton industry, the Yellowhammer state is no exception as one of the admired states below the Mason-Dixon. some of the best places to live in Alabama boast exceptional universities, football fans, and home cooking that will knock your socks off.

It’s also the state that houses one of the top five cities in the entire country to live in, Huntsville, according to a recent StudyFinds review. Alabama also has a variety of other cities to choose from. “Alabama is a great state to live in if you’re looking for an affordable place to live,” says Redfin. “With 213 days of sun, Alabama boasts excellent weather all year long for all sorts of activities.”  

Why make the move? According to a recent study on relocating Americans, their motivations include moving closer to family, lowering their cost of living, wanting to live in a new place, and a desire to be in a warmer climate make up the five biggest motives for a move. All of these can be achieved by moving to Alabama, among many other reasons.

If you’re looking to move to the Yellowhammer state, StudyFinds set out to do the research for you, visiting 10 expert websites to put together this list of the best places to live in Alabama. If you’ve got your own suggestions, please leave them in the comments below!

The List: Best Places to Live in Alabama, Per Experts

1. Huntsville

We probably spoiled the number one pick when we mentioned its global acclaim in the introduction, but this thriving southern town also happens to be in the Heart of Dixie. A snapshot into the city by U.S. News reads, “An outbreak of new construction downtown means more shopping, dining, and apartment options are available. Just west of downtown, a defunct cotton mill became a bustling arts center, and craft breweries, restaurants, and an ax-throwing venue have sprung up in a renovated old middle school.”

Fountain in downtown Huntsville
Fountain in downtown Huntsville (Photo by Megan Lee on Unsplash)

Rocket Homes says, “When you’re ready to relax there are plenty of activities and attractions to keep you busy. There are several farmer’s markets, theaters, museums, and secret art trails to keep you loving where you live in Huntsville, Alabama.”

You might even say that Huntsville is out of this world. “Huntsville has a good blend of places to work—from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies. It’s also home to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center and NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, where the Apollo program originated,” says Ramsey


2. Birmingham

One of the largest cities in Alabama sits in the northern part of the state and resides in Jefferson County. Nomad Lawyer sums it up nicely, “A thriving city in Alabama, Birmingham has top-notch schools, vibrant neighborhoods for families, and a prosperous future for students and working professionals.”

Birmingham skyline at dusk
Birmingham skyline at dusk (Photo by Zach Farmer on Unsplash)

There are many suburbs to pick from in Birmingham, namely Vestavia Hills: “For starters, it’s one the safest places in Alabama, so there’s no need to fear Amazon porch pirates here. If you’re moving here with children, you’re in luck, because GreatSchools gave Vestavia Hills public schools an average score of 9/10,” says Home Snacks

Livability agrees when they say, “One of the most important business and banking centers in the Southeast is Birmingham, which features a beautiful skyline with 10 buildings that are at least 20 stories tall. Residents have many college and university choices, a relatively low cost of living, a range of housing options, several entertainment venues, and good healthcare facilities.”

3. Montgomery

The capital of the state stands at number three on our list. New Homes Source says, “Alabama’s capital city lands as the best place to live in the state. Montgomery features plenty of activities and attractions, ranging from a zoo, museums, and riverside parks.”

It’s a city with a very important history“Montgomery has lots of history—it was the birthplace of the civil rights movement, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made his ‘How Long, Not Long’ speech on the steps of the state Capitol. The city has several civil rights museums, as well as the Hank Williams Museum and the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts,” says Ramsey

Adding to the history of the city, U.S. News says, “Once home to Hank Williams, Nat ‘King’ Cole and F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Alabama’s capital city is where the Wright Brothers set up their first flight school and where the first citywide electric streetcar ran.”

4. Mobile

Believe it or not, coastal living is possible in Alabama when you look towards Mobile. “Nature lovers can explore the various rivers and state parks in the area. This is a great place for kayakers, hikers, and people who love to fish. Mobile has a population of 186,000 and is the fourth-most populous town and oldest city in the state,” says UpNest

USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile
USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile (Photo by Jp Valery on Unsplash)

It’s a city that’s known for the birth of some good times and great vibes“Residents say that Mobile was ‘born to celebrate,’ and the city does not disappoint. Many may not know, but Mobile is the birthplace of Mardi Gras in the United States. Festivities begin two and a half weeks before Fat Tuesday and include parties, balls, and over 40 elaborate parades with floats, masked marchers, flying beads, trinkets, and Moon Pies,” says Rocket Homes

UpHomes adds to this, “On the other hand, Mobile is also known for its fusion of economic growth, innovations, old-world charm, high quality of life, and especially its low cost of living! This old city has a lot to offer you, whether it be the history, location, cost of living, or weather, you will love where you are at!”

5. Tuscaloosa

Rounding off the list is the home of the University of Alabama. A mecca of college football and everything that Alabama has to offer. “Tuscaloosa is a city of around 100,000 people in west-central Alabama. It’s the core of the Yellowhammer State’s industry, commerce, and education. It’s also first in the list of the safest places to live in Alabama,” says Monster

University of Alabama football field
University of Alabama football field (Photo by Brayden George on Unsplash)

Even if you aren’t into college life, there’s something for you. Nomad Lawyer says “Alabama’s largest city, Tuscaloosa, is located along the Black Warrior River. Known as the ‘City of Festivals’ since there are a lot of festivals here every year, like ArtFest, Taste of Tuscaloosa, and JazzFest.”

Livability says, “Tuscaloosa is the regional hub for industry in West Alabama as well as home to The University of Alabama. Another large employer is a Mercedes-Benz automotive plant, and quality of life amenities include three hospitals, several parks, and a Bama Theatre in the downtown entertainment district.”

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.

About Winston McDaniel

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StudyFinds publishes digestible, agenda-free, transparent research summaries that are intended to inform the reader as well as stir civil, educated debate. We do not agree nor disagree with any of the studies we post, rather, we encourage our readers to debate the veracity of the findings themselves. All articles published on StudyFinds are vetted by our editors prior to publication and include links back to the source or corresponding journal article, if possible.

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1 Comment

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