Best Places to Live in Ohio: Top 4 Communities, Most Recommended by Experts

Wanting to find a new place to call home? Ohio may be the choice for you! You may think there’s not much to the Buckeye State, but you’d be wrong. From wide open fields to bustling cities, Ohio has something for everyone! Not to mention some of the best cuisine from their Cleveland-style BBQ to their award-winning sweet corn. Like what you hear so far? Let’s take a deeper look at the some of best places to live in Ohio and see what the Buckeye State has to offer!

For starters, one of the largest great lakes, Lake Erie, is located in Ohio. And as if the picturesque view of the lake wasn’t enough, you can view the lake atop any of the roller coasters at Cedar Point, one the oldest and biggest amusement parks in the U.S. From water playgrounds and kiddie rides to daunting coasters, this park is a main attraction for everyone! Dubbed the best amusement park in America, Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, is a favorite of coaster enthusiasts. “Located along the shores of Lake Erie, Cedar Point is known for its diverse selection of 70 rides, including 17 world-class roller coasters,” says U.S. News. “Notable coasters range from Steel Vengeance, boasting 30 seconds of airtime (the feeling of weightlessness), to Valravn, which drops riders 223 feet at a 90-degree angle before spinning on a 270-degree roll.”

Moreover, Ohio is the place to be if you’re single and looking for love! According to a study, two Ohio suburbs made the list of top suburbs for singles. This study revealed that Euclid, Ohio is chock-full of singles ready to mingle. In fact, 2019 Census records find that 62 percent of residents in Euclid are single. On the list is also Lakewood, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, which contains 58 percent singles. In fact, Cleveland is second only to Detroit for the highest percentage of single residents. The study found that nearly 70 percent of the entire population is available!

A move to the Buckeye State would mean you’d be joining almost 12 million other people, thereby increasing the odds of finding your significant other – or just some awesome friends to have fun with! Statistics aside, let’s get to the list of the best cities in Ohio. We have compiled the top four places you should consider moving to, according to travel experts. If you have a favorite destination in the Buckeye State that did not make this list, please share in the comments below! 

aerial view of city near lake during daytime
Town along the Ohio River (Photo by Carl Schlabach)

The List: Best Places to Live in Ohio, According to Experts

1. Columbus

It’s no surprise Columbus, the capital city makes the top of the list. With The Ohio State University making its mark on the city, there’s plenty to offer for all walks of life. The Crazy Tourist lists six towns in Columbus as some of the best places to live in Ohio, stating, “Central Ohio has always been known as one of the best places to live in the Buckeye State, and a 2017 survey by Niche, a website that analyzes school and neighborhood data, proves it.”

view of bridge and high-rise buildings at daytime
Columbus, Ohio (Photo by Oz Seyrek on Unsplash)

US News writes, “Columbus, Ohio, is perhaps best-known for its unbridled passion for college football. The fierce loyalty to the Ohio State Buckeyes is a significant part of life here. However, look past the scarlet and gray that adorns the streets, and you will see that this metro area has much more to offer. Columbus is teeming with art, music, theater, museums and culture. Thanks to the sprawling Ohio State University and many businesses, it’s also home to a bustling and energetic workforce. Locals know how to have fun, too. From the lively bars and restaurants in the Short North to the charming, historic German Village to the many parks and gardens – and, yes, to Columbus’ professional and college sports teams – residents are never left looking for entertainment.”

“While it boasts an almost endless array of museums, historic sites, and sporting spectacles, the city’s diverse economy and high quality of life have enticed young professionals and families alike for decades now,” adds Touropia. “Set at the spot where the Scioto and Olentangy rivers meet, the sprawling metropolis has all kinds of different districts for you to explore with soaring skyscrapers and top-class museums lying next to picturesque parks and untouched green spaces. Although it is an important center of business and technology, it also has a very dynamic and youthful feel thanks to its sizeable student population. Despite its extensive artistic, entertainment, and employment offerings and all its outdoor activities, Columbus has a relatively low cost of living in comparison with other massive metropolitan areas.”

2. Cleveland

Cleveland is the place to be if you enjoy professional sports. From the Browns, to the Cavaliers and Guardians, rooting for your hometown isn’t simply a seasonal activity. And if you’re not big on sports, don’t worry! This city offers something for everyone!

white and blue concrete building under blue sky during daytime
Cleveland, Ohio (Photo by DJ Johnson on Unsplash)

“While it might be known as the “home of rock and roll,” Cleveland has so much more to offer. Glassdoor named Cleveland one of the ‘Best Cities for Jobs’ in 2020, and with innovators like the Cleveland Clinic and burgeoning industry, there is opportunity around every corner,” writes Tourism Ohio. “It’s not all work though! Last year, U.S. News & World Report ranked Cleveland as no. 8 in its list of ‘The 30 Most Fun Places to Live in the U.S.’ Thanks to professional sports teams, over 400 concert venues, and museums like the Rock Hall and Cleveland Museum of Art, this Lake Erie city gives residents a dynamic place to call home.”

Trip 101 adds, “Cleveland is one of the top places in Ohio to live and it’s not hard to understand why. This bustling neighborhood has everything you could ever wish for on your doorstep. Whether you’re a fan of the art and want to spend time at the theaters and music venues, or a foodie and want to explore the local cuisine, you won’t be disappointed here. Families can also enjoy the many family-friendly activities, such as the Great Lakes Science Center and the aquarium. For accommodation, head straight to the fabulous Hyatt Regency Cleveland at the Arcade. This luxurious hotel includes a spa, restaurant, and lounge, where you can enjoy cocktails and delicious meals.”

“Cleveland, Ohio, is another beloved city. Located on one of the major Great Lakes, Lake Erie, Cleveland alone has a population of nearly four million residents. Best known as a sports-craved city, people constantly move to this city or enjoy visiting,” says UpHomes. “Home to Rock and Roll and award-winning dining destinations, Cleveland is known for its diverse culture and welcoming community to everyone who comes into the city. While people may think that Cleveland is an expensive place to call home, it is actually quite affordable. The cost of living in Cleveland is 6% lower than the national average, and Cleveland’s housing prices are 17% less than the national average. These are all good signs for those who are deciding whether to move to this city or not.”

3. Cincinnati

Cincinnati is home to some of the best family-centered neighborhoods, including Mason and West Chester. The year-round Findlay Market and seasonal favorites like the Fountain Square ice rink keep visitors and families alike coming back year after year. 

city skyline during night time
Cincinnati, Ohio (Photo by Jake Blucker on Unsplash)

“Featuring numerous top-rated schools, Kings Island Theme Park, and one of the largest community centers in the state, this beautiful suburb attracts many families to call it home,” says Nomad, in a description of Mason. “Enjoy swimming, rock climbing, hiking, and biking on its vast network of bike paths, or watch the world’s best tennis players play at the annual ATP World Tour Masters, the activities to enjoy here are endless

“Although Cincinnati is often perceived as a sleepy Midwestern metro area, residents benefit from a wealth of amenities, including museums, professional sports teams and a wide selection of restaurants. Families are drawn to Cincinnati for its excellent public and private schools and many Montessori schools. Plus, Fortune 500 companies bring in national and international talent. But Cincinnati is hardly a place that’s all work and no play. Locals love a good party, be it for the first day of baseball season or in honor of the city’s German heritage. Even when the event calendar is empty, residents have plenty of ways to stay busy, from visiting an array of museums to noshing on the region’s famous chili,” adds US News

Touropia writes, “Rivaling it in terms of quality of life is the ‘Queen City’ of Cincinnati in the southwest corner of the state. Although often perceived to be a sleepy Midwestern metropolis, this important economic and cultural hub has a myriad of attractions, amenities, and entertainment options for locals and visitors to benefit from. Located on the north bank of the Ohio River, the fast-growing settlement is home to a diverse range of cultures and communities with the ‘Athens of the West’ being renowned for its iconic skyline. On top of this, it has numerous parks, museums, and attractive nineteenth-century architectural gems to check out with the Bengals and Reds also attracting hordes of fans with their action-packed games. As well as an excellent school system and strong job market, Cincinnati has good connections to other nearby cities while the lush green hills that surround it are never far away.”

4. Dayton

Dayton is a refreshing change of pace from Ohio’s other major cities. The “Gem City,” with its more small-town vibe, is an excellent spot to raise a family or settle down. “Dayton has been a center of industrial, aeronautical, and astronautical engineering and a healthcare role model. Many magazines, such as Forbes, HealthGrades, SiteSelection, have been awarded Dayton in many different categories. There is also the National Museum of the United States Air Force, for the city is the birthplace of Orville Wright. Two major universities are located in Dayton: the University of Dayton and Wright State University. Dayton’s major advantage is its promotion of high culture in the institutions like the Benjamin and Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center. This city has been awarded as the 2nd best arts destination in the US.,” writes Elite Personal Finance.

aerial view of city buildings during daytime
Dayton, Ohio (Photo by Michael Bowman on Unsplash)

Rocket Homes adds, “Those of us raising kids will be glad to hear that Dayton school districts come highly praised, with the local Oakwood High School ranking among U.S. News’ top 10 best schools in the state. As for little ones, they’re sure to have a blast roaming the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, which has also been coined ‘Ohio’s largest playground.’ With live animal interactions and engaging educational programs, it’s no surprise that this museum was awarded the Pinnacle Award from the Center of Interactive Learning. But not only is Dayton fit for families, as an extremely affordable place to live, it’s perfect for anyone looking to settle down.”

“Dayton, the sixth-largest city in Ohio, is 25 miles southwest of Springfield. It’s a unique and diverse city, and with its low cost of living, Dayton is a highly desirable place to buy a home and start raising a family. The median home value is well below the national median, at $90,237. Aviation exhibits are popular and you can find a range of options to choose from, such as the National Museum of the US Air Force, Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historic Park, or America’s Packard Museum,” says New Home Source. “Springfield has a population of just under 60,000, offering a warm small-town feeling. You can zip in and out of grocery store checkout lines, and traffic congestion is rarely an issue. Both cities combined have 41 hospitals and 40 pet-friendly hotels.”

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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


  1. Delete Dayton proper. Today we no longer have major industrial companies and corporations; we have poor schools because of lack of qualified teachers (maybe not UD or Wright State), but the average Daytonian cannot afford to go there; we are one of the highest cities for crime and poverty in the nation. Kroger never has enough check-out lanes open and many stores encourage self-checkout. The suburbs may be a different story, but Dayton does not even have a downtown to speak of.

  2. What a joke! I worked in Cleveland for 38 years and it’s just a crime riddled city as is the other 4 cities listed! Guess the political forces of these cities are trying to keep people from fleeing the slums and high crime neighborhoods? Our business was robbed 29 times in 36 years!

    1. The title of this article should be the worst places to live in Ohio. With the exception of Columbus the other three cities are horrible places to move to. Crime and failing school systems along with an epidemic drug problem going on I’d say stay away.

      1. Columbus is just as bad as the rest. I’ve lived on the west side my whole life and can attest to nightly gun shots and plenty of drug dealing.

  3. Born and raised in Ohio and this list should be called- highest crime rates, rundown housing, worst school districts and places you wouldn’t want your children to be.

  4. Cleveland is definitely a fun city. We live 50 from downtown and we are in there regularly and often. We go to at least 10 plays a year in Playhouse Square, 8 to 10+ Cleveland Orchestra concerts a year, the Casino, The Art Museum, great restaurants, especially Little Italy, and the list goes on. As far as I, concerned, it should be #1.

  5. Have you ever been here. No one wants to live in Cleveland or Dayton
    2 of the worst cities in the state. This was the worst article i have read. You did not do sny research and obviously you have never been here. You should quit your job. You are bad at it!!!

  6. Dayton ??? I know somebody who literally watched a person get shot on the street, and killed there. Crime is out of control in Dayton.

  7. This is really lazy writing. These aren’t communities. They are major cities. You could have actually researched local communities and helped enlighten people. But you just picked 4 of the largest cities.

  8. This is so funny 😂 More like worst places to live in Ohio. I won’t go near ANY of those areas listed. Why are you all telling tall tales? Bless your heart

  9. Who in the world made this column! Cleveland is ranked the 7th deadliest cities in the country and run by Democrats! Cleveland homicides are tripled and set a new record! People are leaving Ohio in the droves! Juarez, Mexico is safer!

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