Best US Cities for Digital Nomads

What are the best cities for working remotely as a digital nomad?

Brianne Sandorf
Staff Writer, Home Security & Smart Home
Read More
July 01, 2022
3 min read

Work remotely? Itching to become a digital nomad? We know exactly where you should go.

Info Box
What is a digital nomad?

A digital nomad is someone who puts the remote in remote work. Instead of working from one location, they use their flexible lifestyle to travel from city to city (and sometimes even country to country).

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10. Denver

Enjoy some local chilaquiles and the Colorado Rockies while working out of Denver! You’ll especially love this haunt if you’re into the great outdoors because Colorado has a ton of spots for outside recreation.

Image source: Reviews.org

9. Philadelphia

Get a dose of brotherly love with your digital nomadism in Philly. On average, this city has the most affordable rentals out of our recommendations. And if you’re a history buff, you can go all National Treasure and visit the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall.

Image source: Reviews.org

8. New York City

A digital nomad lifestyle allows you to live short term in the hustle and bustle of this expensive city. If you don’t like crowds, this one isn’t for you, but you’ll love it if you’re into good food, art, and culture.

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7. San Francisco

Pizza! The Golden Gate Bridge! Ghirardelli Square! You can experience all this and more working remotely in San Francisco. Like NYC, San Fran is über expensive, so a temporary stay is a great way to experience the Bay Area life without putting down costly roots.

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6. Washington, DC

Now’s your chance to work out of the nation’s capital while seeing the sights. But don’t come just for the White House—Washington, DC also has the fastest internet speed out of all our recommendations.

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Light Bulb
What do digital nomads need to work remotely?

At the very least, most digital nomads need Wi-Fi or a hotspot and a mobile phone with good cross-country coverage.

5. San Jose

Like San Francisco, San Jose is a good choice if you want that temperate Cali weather. You’ll be right in the heart of Silicon Valley while you tour the parks, gardens, and museums (including the wild Winchester Mystery House).

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4. Atlanta

Craving a little Southern hospitality? Veer down to Atlanta to enjoy some peaches and barbecue, music, and sports. There’s a major airport right in the city, so it should be easy to find an affordable flight down.

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3. Chicago

Cross Chicago off your bucket list by working from the Windy City for a while. Admire the architecture and get yourself a deep-dish pizza while you’re at it.

Image source: Reviews.org

2. Portland

Hipster haven Portland is a must-see on your digital nomad travels. It’s perfect for hikers and bikers and boasts quirky attractions like a hat museum and the smallest park in the world. And if you have a dietary restriction (organic, gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan), you might be refreshingly surprised by the Portland food scene.

Image source: Reviews.org

1. Seattle

We know tons of people who’ve opted to work remotely in Seattle, and we don’t blame them. For one thing, it’s easy to stay connected there—out of all our recommendations, Seattle has the most free public hotspots. For another, it’s big on coffee (a must-have for many remote workers).

Image source: Reviews.org

Recap

To summarize, here are Reviews.org’s top ten cities for digital nomads to work remotely in the US:

  • Denver
  • Philadelphia
  • New York City
  • San Francisco
  • Washington, DC
  • San Jose
  • Atlanta
  • Chicago
  • Portland
  • Seattle

But these aren’t the only cities we researched. We actually determined the top 100 best cities for digital nomads.

The best US cities for digital nomads

Rank
Metro
Speed test mean
Count of Wi-Fi spots
Average AirBnB cost/night
Distance from airport (major)
Distance to closest national park
Name of closest national park
Avg. annual temp (°F)
Number of state rec areas
Score
1Seattle, WA111164$19111 mi.44 mi.Mount Rainier National Park54°28982
2Portland, OR106153$1686 mi.93 mi.Mount Rainier National Park57°23480
3Chicago, IL104143$1987 mi.42 mi.Indiana Dunes National Park53°14077
4Atlanta, GA114138$1858 mi.146 mi.Great Smoky Mountains National Park65°11577
5San Jose, CA11163$1863 mi.32 mi.Pinnacles National Park71°29475
6Washington, DC12785$1863 mi.84 mi.Shenandoah National Park58°375
7San Francisco, CA124119$26211 mi.108 mi.Pinnacles National Park59°29472
8New York City, NY124107$1679 mi.284 mi.Shenandoah National Park57°33371
9Philadelphia, PA12668$1607 mi.188 mi.Shenandoah National Park58°17370
10Denver, CO10599$19619 mi.76 mi.Rocky Mountain National Park66°7470
11Tucson, AZ9276$1807 mi.76 mi.Saguaro National Park72°8369
12Dallas, TX11796$1935 mi.253 mi.Hot Springs National Park68°12368
13Sacramento, CA11240$1689 mi.105 mi.Yosemite National Park62°29468
14Charlotte, NC11147$1826 mi.96 mi.Congaree National Park63°8467
15Pittsburgh, PA11434$15213 mi.105 mi.Cuyahoga Valley National Park53°17366
16Los Angeles, CA11183$28112 mi.71 mi.Channel Islands National Park63°29465
17Houston, TX116105$18610 mi.355 mi.Hot Springs National Park73°12365
18Raleigh, NC10861$16011 mi.190 mi.Congaree National Park62°8465
19St. Louis, MO9235$17913 mi.11 mi.Gateway Arch National Park59°22564
20El Paso, TX9913$1647 mi.47 mi.Guadalupe Mountains National Park67°12364
21Indianapolis, IN10170$1868 mi.139 mi.Indiana Dunes National Park55°7964
22Baltimore, MD12046$2269 mi.111 mi.Shenandoah National Park59°7564
23Las Vegas, NV11665$2807 mi.101 mi.Death Valley National Park72°5264
24Phoenix, AZ96114$3214 mi.112 mi.Saguaro National Park76°8364
25Cleveland, OH7645$15610 mi.22 mi.Cuyahoga Valley National Park53°18463
26Fresno, CA8515$1774 mi.59 mi.Sequoia National Park67°29462
27Miami, FL11323$2906 mi.40 mi.Biscayne National Park78°21562
28Louisville, KY9663$2386 mi.81 mi.Mammoth Cave National Park60°7662
29Boston, MA12148$2293 mi.190 mi.Acadia National Park54°12962
30Minneapolis, MN9567$1987 mi.236 mi.Voyageurs National Park49°68262
31Salt Lake City, UT9652$2005 mi.131 mi.Great Basin National Park56°9461
32Greenville, SC10113$16510 mi.93 mi.Great Smoky Mountains National Park62°7061
33Colorado Springs, CO10641$2157 mi.90 mi.Great Sand Dunes National Park48°7461
34Milwaukee, WI9442$2006 mi.96 mi.Indiana Dunes National Park51°20861
35Columbus, OH8146$1696 mi.111 mi.Cuyahoga Valley National Park55°18461
36Columbia, SC7930$1927 mi.25 mi.Congaree National Park65°7061
37Chattanooga, TN10615$2016 mi.112 mi.Great Smoky Mountains National Park63°8760
38Riverside, CA11217$28614 mi.53 mi.Joshua Tree National Park80°29460
39Oklahoma City, OK10241$1457 mi.261 mi.Hot Springs National Park61°7160
40Albuquerque, NM7166$1614 mi.162 mi.White Sands National Park59°8160
41Detroit, MI9823$1716 mi.133 mi.Cuyahoga Valley National Park53°14060
42Spokane, WA8535$1506 mi.168 mi.North Cascades National Park51°28960
43San Antonio, TX11761$2378 mi.280 mi.Big Bend National Park70°12359
44Cincinatti, OH9443$18310 mi.159 mi.Mammoth Cave National Park56°18459
45Nashville, TN11555$3377 mi.79 mi.Mammoth Cave National Park62°8758
46North Port, FL1042$19217 mi.166 mi.Everglades National Park83°21558
47Austin, TX104134$3117 mi.344 mi. Big Bend National Park71°12358
48Reno, NV8528$2013 mi.94 mi.Lassen Volcanic National Park56°5257
49Greensboro, NC8925$1768 mi.158 mi.New River Gorge National Park60°8457
50Provo-Orem, UT9115$2114 mi.121 mi.Great Basin National Park66°9457
51Kansas City, KS1018$13714 mi.231 mi.Gateway Arch National Park64°10357
52Little Rock, AR5922$1904 mi.41 mi.Hot Springs National Park73°8557
53Huntsville, AL11426$23713 mi.169 mi.Mammoth Cave National Park62°6356
54Palm Bay, FL885$1926 mi.186 mi.Biscayne National Park82°21556
55Knoxville, TN6537$19611 mi.44 mi.Great Smoky Mountains National Park60°8756
56Virginia Beach, VA11324$26013 mi.158 mi.Shenandoah National Park70°8356
57Memphis, TN8429$1749 mi.184 mi.Hot Springs National Park64°8756
58Tulsa, OK8853$2107 mi.214 mi.Hot Springs National Park62°7156
59Jacksonville, FL11144$25911 mi.251 mi.Congaree National Park70°21555
60Omaha, NE9565$1694 mi.359 mi.Gateway Arch National Park54°10255
61Harrisburg, PA10012$2289 mi.143 mi.Shenandoah National Park57°17354
62Lexington, KY7740$2178 mi.111 mi.Mammoth Cave National Park56°7654
63Wichita, KS9521$1376 mi.319 mi.Hot Springs National Park59°10354
64Buffalo, NY8025$1818 mi.189 mi.Cuyahoga Valley National Park52°33354
65Birmingham, AL8526$1754 mi.241 mi.Great Smoky Mountains National Park65°6354
66Baton Rouge, LA9425$1956 mi.297 mi.Hot Springs National Park79°6754
67Ogden-Clearfield, UT1055$2353 mi.185 mi.Grand Teton National Park62°9454
68Asheville, NC8122$24011 mi.48 mi.Great Smoky Mountains National Park58°8454
69Augusta, GA9216$2827 mi.73 mi.Congaree National Park66°11553
70Grand Rapids, MI8333$2429 mi.116 mi.Indiana Dunes National Park51°14052
71Fayetteville, NC8611$2484 mi.142 mi.Congaree National Park73°8452
72Orlando, FL9543$2959 mi.207 mi.Biscayne National Park75°21552
73Lancaster, PA869$2286 mi.153 mi.Shenandoah National Park63°17352
74Rochester, NY6939$1934 mi.245 mi.Cuyahoga Valley National Park58°33352
75Bakersfield, CA9130$17774 mi.75 mi.Sequoia National Park77°29451
76Dayton, OH8119$22110 mi.168 mi.Cuyahoga Valley National Park61°18451
77Jackson, MO801$17112 mi.218 mi.Gateway Arch National Park68°22551
78Madison, WI7864$3016 mi.163 mi.Indiana Dunes National Park49°20850
79Hartford, CT9111$16012 mi.286 mi.Acadia National Park53°10350
80Fort Wayne, IN6930$23311 mi.102 mi.Indiana Dunes National Park53°7950
81Savannah, GA9812$3267 mi.119 mi.Congaree National Park68°11549
82Cape Coral, FL878$32312 mi.108 mi.Everglades National Park85°21549
83South Bend, IN9016$3304 mi.49 mi.Indiana Dunes National Park53°7949
84Lafayette, LA7616$1952 mi.319 mi.Hot Springs National Park79°6749
85Allentown, PA8510$2284 mi.221 mi.Shenandoah National Park55°17348
86Urban Honolulu, HI7832$3234 mi.141 mi.Haleakalā National Park80°2448
87Boise, ID5739$1634 mi.274 mi.Grand Teton National Park55°7448
88Myrtle Beach, SC5916$2533 mi.125 mi.Acadia National Park73°7048
89Syracuse, NY9216$2345 mi.301 mi.Cuyahoga Valley National Park52°33348
90Des Moines, IA7223$1855 mi.278 mi.Gateway Arch National Park53°14347
91Lansing, MI6713$2424 mi.152 mi.Indiana Dunes National Park57°14047
92Toledo, OH5819$22114 mi.105 mi.Cuyahoga Valley National Park54°18447
93Springfield, MA1077$27312 mi.261 mi.Acadia National Park61°12947
94Charleston, SC9318$40711 mi.69 mi.Congaree National Park67°7044
95Youngstown, OH701$22143 mi.59 mi.Cuyahoga Valley National Park58°18444
96Charleston, WV338$2483 mi.35 mi.New River Gorge National Park57°6043
97New Orleans, LA8835$29311 mi.357 mi.Hot Springs National Park72°6742
98Portland, ME6116$3263 mi.120 mi.Acadia National Park49°4940
99Albany, NY8326$3357 mi.307 mi.Acadia National Park51°33339
100Mobile, AL8018$34112 mi.373 mi.Hot Springs National Park67°6333

Methodology

To rank the best cities for digital nomads, we used HighSpeedInternet.com’s list of the top 100 US metros with the fastest internet speeds.

We ranked each metro on seven different factors to find which ones would be the best for digital nomads. Each measurement was normalized on a 0–1 scale (with 1 corresponding to the measurement that would most positively affect the final score and 0 corresponding to the measurement that would most negatively affect the final score).

These adjusted measurements were then added together and weighted to get a score of 100.

Each metro was ranked based on the factors below:

  • Average Download Speed Mean (20%): a faster speed positively impacts the score
  • Number of Free Wi-Fi hotspots (20%): more available hotspots positively impact the score
  • Average Airbnb cost per night (20%): lower cost positively impacts the score
  • Miles from Nearest Airport (15%): closer airports positively impact the score
  • Miles from Nearest National Park (15%): closer national parks positively impact the score
  • Average Annual Temperature (5%): higher annual temperatures positively impact the score
  • Number of State Recreation Areas (5%): more state recreation areas positively impact the score

Sources

Brianne Sandorf
Written by
Brianne Sandorf
Brianne has a degree in English and creative writing from Westminster College and has spent 6+ years writing professional, research-based content. Before joining Reviews.org, she wrote safety and security content for ASecureLife.com. Her pieces and quotes are published across the web, including on MSN.com, Social Catfish, and Parents.com. Hobbies include wearing a seatbelt, wearing a life jacket, and keeping her arms and legs inside the ride at all times. Contact her at brianne@reviews.org.