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Best Places to Live in Georgia

So, you’re dreaming of moving to Georgia. And what’s not to love? The Peach State is home of Coca-Cola, Waffle House and the Blue Ridge Mountains. If Johnny can beat the devil with a fiddle down in Georgia, just imagine what kind of victories await you!

Whether you’re moving the whole family, scoping out a new young-professionals scene, or looking for your dream retirement destination—we’ll help you narrow down the best places to live in the Empire State of the South.

Best Places to Live in Georgia

As you might’ve guessed, the top of the list goes to the Atlanta metro area. Several of the Atlanta areas we’ve included (mostly in Fulton County) were inspired by a list that ranks the best places to live in Georgia using stats on quality schools, housing trends, crime rates, employment and access to amenities.1 We also added a handful of other popular areas located inside and outside Atlanta as a bonus.

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Keep in mind, all “best places” lists are pretty subjective when you think about it. Still, this list can inspire you with ideas on where to live. So, let’s dig into some of the most popular places in Georgia so you can compare their stats and features to see if any stand out to you.

Atlanta

The Atlanta area scores a top spot as one of the best places to live in Georgia for many reasons. First off, there’s always plenty of fun things for locals to do. The Georgia Aquarium (the largest in the U.S.!), Coca-Cola museum, and College Football Hall of Fame are all within walking distance from each other in the heart of downtown.

You also get access to the Atlanta BeltLine, which is a repurposed railroad track converted into a 22-mile paved trail for walking, running and biking. The BeltLine loops around Atlanta and connects neighborhoods to eateries, breweries, shops and awesome places to visit like the Ponce City Market and Krog Street Market.

For you sports fans, there’s no shortage of pro teams to cheer for. You can root for the Atlanta Braves (MLB), Atlanta Falcons (NFL), Atlanta Hawks (NBA) and Atlanta United FC (MLS)! United alone averages nearly 44,000 fans per game—the highest average attendance in the league and ninth in the entire world!2

If you’re more of an art junkie, there’s also the historic Fox Theatre where you can catch live performances and enjoy cultural events. Here are some stats on the Atlanta metro area:

Metro Area Population*

6 million3

Median Household Income

$71,7424

Median Monthly Rent**

$1,4855

Median Home Price

$389,9506

Average Annual Rainfall

47"7

*Metro Area Population numbers include the city together with the surrounding urban and suburban areas.
**Median Monthly Rent numbers refer to two-bedroom apartments unless otherwise noted.

Fulton County

Okay, now let’s take a look around the rest of Fulton County. Home to popular company headquarters like UPS, Chick-fil-A and Arby’s, Fulton County offers some of the best places to live in Georgia, including: Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Milton, Midtown and Roswell. Let’s take a closer look at each.

  • Median Household Income: $69,6738
  • Median Monthly Rent: $1,5199
  • Median Home Price: $425,00010

Alpharetta

In northern Fulton County, Alpharetta is one of the best places to live in Georgia for families. The city ranks high for excellent schools, jobs, outdoor activities and safety.11 Alpharetta’s Annual Scarecrow Harvest gets the whole community involved in decorating the city with more than 150 creatively designed scarecrows.12 While Alpharetta is an amazing place to live, residents do pay for it—the median monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the city is nearly 70% higher than the national median!13

Johns Creek

Johns Creek is a northeastern suburb of Atlanta and a neighbor to the east of Alpharetta. Fun fact: The city got its name from the great, great uncle of famous classic actor, performer and cowboy Will Rogers.14 Similar to Alpharetta, Johns Creek has good schools and low crime—and has a diverse community.15 On the down side, Johns Creek shares Alpharetta’s expensive housing prices with a median monthly rent at about 66% higher than the national median.16

Milton

To the north of Alpharetta, Milton is another city that ranks high as one of the best places in Georgia for families.17 Milton offers a rural, small-town feel—a refreshing escape from the big city vibes of Atlanta. With roots as a horse town, you may find neighbors riding along the street on horseback. Each fall, Milton puts on the Crabapple Fest where more than 100 local antique and art vendors take over downtown to showcase handmade arts, crafts, jewelry and antiques—and, of course, food!18

Midtown

Now if you’re looking for more of a young-professionals vibe in the Atlanta area, check out Midtown. This might be one of the best places to live in Georgia for singles. Midtown scores high for categories in nightlife, health and fitness, and jobs.19 You’ll experience the best that Atlanta’s city life has to offer while surrounded by high-rises, restaurants and shopping centers. And when you need a break from the hustle and bustle, escape to Piedmont Park’s 185-acre green space to soak up some nature.20

Roswell

The city of Roswell is a smidge southwest of Alpharetta and has plenty of outdoor spaces to enjoy. You can explore a waterfall, hiking trails and a historic machine shop at Old Mill Park. There’s also Alive in Roswell—a family (and dog!) friendly annual block party where the community comes together to eat, drink and support local vendors in Roswell’s historic district.

Okay, now let’s check out other desirable Atlanta suburbs beyond Fulton County.

Woodstock

Inside Cherokee County, Woodstock is full of restaurants, galleries and historic architecture. Woodstock also offers the Outlet Shoppes at Atlanta where you can get your discount shopping on—cha-ching! Here are a few stats about living in Cherokee County:

  • Median Household Income: $82,74021
  • Median Monthly Rent: $1,56522
  • Median Home Price: $435,00023

Peachtree City

South of Atlanta, Peachtree City is known for its charming golf cart community—for real, there are a ton of those little buggies zipping around. And thanks to its nearby filmmaking studios, the city is also a famous site location for The Walking Dead, Avengers: Endgame, and Ant-Man, and plenty of other shows and movies you probably know.

Peachtree City is located inside Fayette County. Please note: The latest data we could find on median monthly rent for Fayette County is a little older than the other examples in this list.

  • Median Household Income: $90,14524
  • Median Monthly Rent: $1,32625
  • Median Home Price: $464,85426

Marietta

Marietta is on the northwest side of Atlanta. Moving to Marietta means close access to Six Flags White Water—a water park getaway with water slides, lazy river and kid-friendly play areas. There’s also the Gone With the Wind Museum where you can force your friends to dress up like Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler as you celebrate the Margaret Mitchell novel and film. Marietta is also where the Home Depot was founded and is located in Cobb County. Here are some more details about Cobb County:

  • Median Household Income: $77,93227
  • Median Monthly Rent: $1,68428
  • Median Home Price: $400,00029

Okay, we’ve been a little Atlanta-heavy with this list so far, so let’s explore other great places to live in Georgia outside of Atlanta—starting with Athens!

Athens

Up and over, in northeast Georgia, Athens is a college town and home of the University of Georgia (UGA). The Bulldogs have won three college football national championships, including a historic win over Alabama in the 2022 National Championship Game. Needless to say, the UGA stadium overflows with team spirit every game day.

If you’re a cyclist, you’ll love the Athens Twilight Criterium. This annual road cycling race is held in the spring and always buzzes with energy (partially due to the thousands of crazy college kid spectators). Here are some more detailed stats on the Athens metro area:

Metro Area Population

212,70630

Median Household Income

$50,96231

Median Monthly Rent

$1,10532

Median Home Price

$377,45033

Average Annual Rainfall

49"34

Augusta

The city of Augusta is near the South Carolina border and features a gorgeous riverwalk. Home of the Masters Golf Tournament, Augusta is a great place to live for golf lovers. In fact, the Augusta Museum of History has an entire exhibit dedicated to the sport of golf. The museum also celebrates international music icon and the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, who grew up in Augusta. No doubt, living in Augusta will have you singing, “Whoa! I feel good!” Check out these stats on the Augusta metro area:

Metro Area Population

610,64835

Median Household Income

$55,14336

Median Monthly Rent

$1,02737

Median Home Price

$284,95038

Average Annual Rainfall

43"39

Savannah

The coastal city of Savannah is one of the best places to live in Georgia near the beach. Typically, you don’t think of Georgia as having any beach towns—that’s what makes Savannah so unique! Savannah is home of culinary TV personality Paula Deen and a site location for many movies including Forrest Gump—so keep your eye out for celebrity sightings. The city is the oldest planned city in the U.S., so it’s a great place for history buffs. The Savannah College of Art and Design is a popular school that has influenced impressive art museums in the area. Here are some stats on the Savannah metro area:

Metro Area Population

393,35340

Median Household Income

$60,37141

Median Monthly Rent

$1,32442

Median Home Price

$377,45043

Average Annual Rainfall

46"44

Blue Ridge

Located in northern Georgia in Fannin County, Blue Ridge is a mountain town. If you’ve always dreamed of retiring to the mountains, this may be the place for you. The town’s Blue Ridge Scenic Railway features antique trains that take you on a journey past the river and through the countryside to visit beautiful mountain villages.

Please note: The latest data we could find on median monthly rent for Fannin County is a little older than the other examples in this list.

County Population

25,31945

Median Household Income

$47,99746

Median Monthly Rent

$79447

Median Home Price

$660,95048

Average Annual Rainfall

60"49

Is Georgia an Affordable Place to Live?

If you’re anything like us at Ramsey, you know one of the most important things to do before moving to a new area is to make sure you can actually afford living there.

One way to find out is to research the cost of living in Georgia. The biggest factor that’ll determine whether you can afford living there is the cost of housing.

To figure out your housing budget, use the 25% rule—never buy or rent a home that comes with a monthly payment that’s more than 25% of your monthly take-home pay.

If you’re getting a mortgage, that 25% limit includes principal, interest, property taxes, home insurance, private mortgage insurance (PMI) and homeowners association (HOA) fees. Use our mortgage calculator to enter your down payment amount and try out different home prices within your budget.

If you want a mortgage you can pay off fast, talk to the home loan specialists we trust at Churchill Mortgage about getting a 15-year fixed-rate conventional loan. Any other type of mortgage will drown you in interest and extra fees and keep you in debt for decades. 

And don’t forget about moving costs—those can sneak up on you if you’re not careful. By the way, a great way to get your stuff where it needs to go with a lot of flexibility is to use PODS. They’ll drop off one of their containers at your current address, and once you’ve filled it up, they’ll take care of getting it where it needs to go. It’s super convenient, and PODS has already been trusted with 6 million moves. Get a quote from PODS here.

Ready to Move to Georgia?

If you know the area in Georgia where you want to move, your next step is to work with an agent. For a fast and easy way to find Georgia agents we trust, try our Endorsed Local Providers (ELP) program. The agents we recommend have earned the right to be called RamseyTrusted by always serving with excellence.

Find a Georgia real estate agent we trust!

Ramsey Solutions

About the author

Ramsey Solutions

Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books (including 12 national bestsellers) published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners. Learn More.

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