5 Best Places to Live in Pennsylvania

March 08th, 2023

5 Best Places to Live in Pennsylvania

Best Places to Live in Pennsylvania 

What are the best places to live in the state of Pennsylvania? If you are moving to Pennsylvania, check out these top five Pennsylvania cities. 

Pennsylvania is the fifth most populous state in the nation, with over 13 million residents spread throughout its many cities, towns, and neighborhoods. Known for its proximity to other metropolitan areas, such as New York and New Jersey but with a lower cost of living and safer, cleaner neighborhoods, this is a great place to live. 

Located in the northeastern part of the country and one of the first 13 states of the nation, Pennsylvania is rich in U.S. history and hosts stunning landscapes of mountains and one of the five large great lakes. 

Philly skyline with yellow flowers in the forefront and the sunset over the water

With a variety of lifestyles to choose from, you have a wonderful mix of more suburban outdoor towns to major cities such as Philadelphia and Pittsburgh playing key roles in American history and industries such as coal and steel railroads. 

No matter what type of living you are looking for, you are sure to find it here and most likely at a lower cost than its surrounding states. Let's take a look at some of the best places to live when moving to Pennsylvania based on various attributes such as overall living, schools, things to do, safe and welcoming neighborhoods, convenience, and housing options. 

Check out these top places to live in Pennsylvania


Philadephia is Pennsylvania's largest city in the southeastern part of the state bordering New Jersey. With a population of over 1.5 million, residents live a very urban city lifestyle with the area full of history, attractions, restaurants, arts & culture, and great public transportation options. 

The cost of living in Philadelphia is higher than in other cities in Pennsylvania. The median home value in Philadephia is around $250k, with homes ranging from apartments and condos to family-sized homes.

Located in the heart of the city, you will find some of the best neighborhoods with high-rise apartments, condos, and historic rowhouses. These are attractive to young professionals or individuals that want the excitement and convenience of a big-city lifestyle. But, in neighborhoods right outside of the downtown area, there are also many beautiful family homes taking on designs of the environment around them, including rock and brick exteriors or some newer design builds taking on contemporary designs as well. 

The Philadephia Love Sign

Many individuals that move to Pennsylvania choose to move to Philadelphia because of the rich history that is still standing within the city itself, as well as the convenience of not only the many restaurants, shops, parks, schools, and businesses within the city but surrounding ones as well. 

Philadelphia is also rated one of the best cities to raise a family due to its fairly safe neighborhoods, great school districts, and so many family-friendly activities, such as cheering on one of the city's major league sports teams, visiting one of the many museums, enjoying the outdoors at the lush green parks, or visiting the local zoo. 

Check out some of the local favorites in Philadelphia below. 

Local Favorites 

  • Philadelphia Museum of Art-This three-story museum is at the top of a hill overlooking the city of Philadephia. Known for its long ascending staircase bringing you to its entrance that was seen in the Rocky movies as well as its artifacts, art pieces, and more from all over the world. Explore its 200 galleries on Thursday-Monday as well as temporary exhibits and events! 
  • Citizens Bank Park-Home to the Philadelphia Phillies, this Major League Baseball stadium is a fun activity for the whole family. With many vendors, a beer garden, an interactive kids' area, a fan shop, and more, these games bring the community together to cheer on their home team. 
  • Philadelphia's Magic Garden-This non-profit art environment and gallery space located on South Street holds Isaiah Zagar's largest mosaic art piece spanning three city lots, including an indoor gallery and outdoor labyrinth of color. Showcasing some of Philadelphia art and culture, you will just have to visit and see it for yourself. 
  • Independence National Historical Park-This federally protected area located near Washington Square park and just east of City Hall holds some of America's most prized artifacts and buildings, including the Liberty Bell, Benjamin Franklin museum, Independence Hall, Congress Hall, Declaration House, First Bank of the United States, and more. See firsthand where this country got its start and recognize the importance Philadelphia had on where we are today. 


The second largest city in Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, is located in the western part of the state at the junction of three rivers; the Ohio river, the Allegheny river, and the Monongahela river. Known as the "Steel City" or "City of Bridges" for both its powerful role in the history of the U.S. steel industry and its 446 bridges, this is a unique and amazing city to live in.

With tons of things to do, a variety of restaurants and shops, four major sports teams, and a charming and colorful downtown area, this is a convenient and affordable area to live and work while never getting bored. 

Pittsburgh bridge looking to the city skyline

The median home value in Pittsburgh, PA, is around $220k, with homes varying in size and structure from ranch-style homes that are single-storied structures to homes spanning multiple stories. The architecture in Pittsburgh is also a bit more historic, with styles such as cottage, row houses, Tudor revival, and second empire homes making up many of the neighborhoods and giving them a certain look of charm. 

Pittsburgh draws new residents each year due to its low cost of living but high-quality city amenities, good education systems, diversity, and rising job opportunities. Check out some of the local favorites in Pittsburgh below to see what excites you most about moving here. 

Local Favorites

  • Carnegie Museum of Natural History-Originally founded in 1896 by Andrew Carnegie; this museum houses 22 million specimens from interactive exhibits to art galleries. 
  • Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens-This glass castle located in Schenley Park is actually a gorgeous botanical garden and a Pittsburgh landmark. Home to dozens of exhibits, classes, and events year-round, you can never go wrong by visiting. Providing a world-class garden experience since 1893, this 15-acre garden has a 14-room glasshouse and 23 gardens, leading as an example with sustainable architecture and greenhouse practices. 
  • Heinz Field-Now is known as Acrisure Stadium; this football stadium is located in the Northshore neighborhood of Pittsburgh and is home to the Steelers NFL team and multiple events and concerts throughout the year. 
  • Point State Park-This state park is located at the point of downtown, surrounded by water on 36 acres of land. A scenic area to enjoy a picnic overlooking the water, take photos of the large fountain, jog on the paved paths, play outdoor games with friends, or layout in the large field. 


Sitting on the banks of the Susquehanna River, Harrisburg is the capital of Pennsylvania and a great place to live. Known for its beauty and rich history, this city was an important location during the Westward expansion, Civil War, and Industrial Revolution. 

With a population of just over 50,000 residents living in Harrisburg provides you with an old town feeling but new opportunities with low unemployment rates, affordable housing, and lots of exciting things to do. 

Photo of downtown Harrisburg,PA

The median home value in Harrisburg, PA, is around $215k, with homes featuring traditional stonework and multiple stories, making it perfect for families or young professionals. 

Directly to the north of Harrisburg is the Blue Mountain Ridge of the Appalachian Mountains, providing you with easy access to stunning hiking trails and outdoor activities as well as historical monuments, museums, delicious restaurants, parks, and more to explore while downtown. 

Check out some of the local favorites in Harrisburg below.

Local Favorites 

  • Broad Street Market-First opened in 1863; this farmers market is one of the oldest in the country. With over 40 different vendors selling locally-grown and organic produce, there is something for everyone. Many vendors also prepare meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner using their locally sourced ingredients to provide guests with a fresh and delicious meal. 
  • The National Civil War Museum-One of the largest museums in the U.S. that portrays the whole story of the American Civil War. This non-profit educational institution was created to preserve and educate those on the Civil War and keep its history alive. 
  • Wildwood Park-A public park and nature sanctuary spanning 229 acres and 6 miles of trails. Enjoy some peace and quiet while walking the boardwalk over the wetlands, or take in nature on the trails while getting some exercise outdoors. This is a great area to be one with nature and see some wildlife in their natural habitats. 
  • Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex-This capitol building of the state of Pennsylvania was built in the early 1900s and featured Beaux-Arts design with decorative Renaissance themes and was deemed as one of the most beautiful in the nation. With a large ascending staircase and a complex of artful buildings surrounding it, this area is a landmark of the city and a remarkable place to spend some time. Take a tour to learn the state's history or just enjoy the stunning architecture from the outside. 


Allentown is a city located in eastern Pennsylvania known for its award-winning park system, the endearing downtown area, museums, art & culture, and rich Pennsylvania Dutch history. 

Known as a mid-sized city with over 125k residents and Pennsylvania's third-largest metro area, people come to Allentown for its landscapes of mountains, safe and welcoming neighborhoods, convenient location, vibrant community, and lower cost of living. 

The median home value in Allentown is around $240k, with homes having a historical touch featuring brick and stone exteriors and accents as well as large chimneys on the sides. 

Downtown Allentown is a unique area with great shopping and dining options, a rich art culture, fan-filled sporting games, and a variety of breweries and bars to enjoy with friends. Also, a great place to raise a family; with exciting attractions, lush parks, and good schools, there is something for everyone to enjoy here. Take a look at some of the local favorites of things to do and see in Allentown below. 

Local Favorites

  • Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom-A fun amusement and water park that has been serving its community since 1884. This is the place to be for family fun; with more than 60 rides, shows, waterslides & pools, and snacks and food you can't get anywhere else, you will be sure to spend the entire day here. 
  • Allentown Art Museum-This museum is home to over 19,000 works of art and is known as a major regional art institution. First started as a grassroots effort during the Great Depression by Walter Emerson Baum, the museum continues to serve its community with historical and contemporary art from all over. 
  • PPL Center-This 8,500 seat sports arena is filled to the brim with cheering fans during any hockey game. Local fans come from all around town to cheer on their home team, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, and enjoy the vendors selling food and beverages. 
  • America on Wheels Museum-This unique museum takes you through the history of transportation. The 43,000 sq foot museum with three main galleries showcases cars throughout the ages, educates visitors on the history and the timeline of transportation as well as what goes into owning a car, and hosts events and shows throughout the year. 


Known as the location for the popular television show "The Office," Scranton is a city located in northeast Pennsylvania, offering top-quality universities, job opportunities, diverse restaurants and residents, and fun events and things to do in every season. What used to be the epicenter of the iron and coal industry is now a bustling city that still holds essential parts of history but with new contemporary additions. 

Living in Scranton provides residents with a dense suburban feel with a unique downtown area with tons of eateries, coffee shops, shops, towering buildings, and calm and quaint neighborhoods. Home to universities such as The University of Scranton, Johnson College, Maywood University, and more, the city's 75,874 residents are a mix of families, students, retirees, and working professionals. 

The median home value in Scranton is around $156k, providing residents with a very low cost of living compared to surrounding areas but high-quality attractions, historical monuments, educational museums, and gorgeous parks and outdoor areas. 

Check out some of the local favorites of things to do and see in Scranton below. 

Local Favorites 

  • Montage Mountain Resorts-Located only 8 miles from downtown, this is the place to be during the winter months in Scranton. This ski resort has 26 trails, two terrain parks, and one of Pennsylvania's longest rubbing areas. Whether you are a seasoned skier or just getting started, this is a great way to pass the cold days. 
  • Nay Aug Park-The largest park in Scranton, this gorgeous outdoor area has trails weaving through its trees and creeks where you can find treehouses and other secret spots to enjoy the sound of peaceful nature. There are also events and classes held here year-round to enjoy the beautiful area in other ways as well. 
  • Steamtown National Historic Site-This railroad museum and historical site of former Scranton yards of the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western Railroad is a symbol of Scranton's past. Located on 62 acres in downtown, you can learn about the railroad & trolley system's past and its importance in the history of the area or enjoy a ride on one of the trains to the surrounding areas. 

Best Place to Live in Pennsylvania-Final Thoughts 

Pennsylvania is a great place to live for individuals looking for a lower cost of living with a diverse selection of home styles, types, and locations, from large urban cities to more suburban areas with vastly stunning landscapes. 

With great school districts and safe neighborhoods as well as countless things to do and see, this is a fantastic place for a family, college student, or young professional. If you or anyone you know is moving to Pennsylvania, make sure to contact us here so that we can connect you with one of our Realty Specialists. No matter your budget, location, housing preferences, and style, we will work tirelessly to help find you the perfect home. 

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Ryan Fitzgerald

Ryan Fitzgerald

Hi there! My name is Ryan Fitzgerald, and I am a REALTOR®. My goal is to help you learn more about real estate through our Real Estate Blog! Hopefully, you enjoyed the above blog post and it found a way to provide help or value to you. When you're ready to buy or sell a home of your own let us know here. Please feel free to join the conversation by dropping us a comment below.