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Two Underrated Cities Worth Checking Out

One of the great things about the United States is its massive size and diverse landscape. From sea to shining sea, our country boasts populous cities, gorgeous countryside, majestic mountains, rolling rivers, vast deserts, and just about every kind of region imaginable.

Besides well-known metropolises like New York, Los Angeles, or Atlanta, two overlooked – and affordable – cities are worth a second glance.

Albany/Troy, NY

Located just an hour south of bucolic Lake George and under three hours from New York City and Boston, Albany has quite a bit to offer.

The greater Albany area boasts a fascinating history. The neighboring town of Troy, NY is the birthplace of Uncle Sam. Another neighboring town, Waterford, is the oldest incorporated village in the United States. Albany itself boasts some surprisingly good eateries. And what city would be complete without a ghost tour?

After checking the Cost of Living Index, we learn Albany’s cost of living is slightly higher than the national average, earning a COLI score of 103.1 (meaning it is 3.1% higher than the national average). Even so, it is an absolute bargain compared to Manhattan in New York City, which comes in at 226.5. Probably not surprisingly, housing cost is the biggest difference between the two areas, with Albany’s cost of living score rated at 104.4, with Manhattan clocking in at a whopping 503.6.

With lots of museums and scenic waterways to walk by, Albany is worth a second look.

Baltimore, MD

There is a lot to like about Baltimore.

The Enoch Pratt Library is a book lovers’ paradise and well worth a visit by itself. The city also is the home of Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Hospital, known to be some of the finest institutions in the world. The University of Maryland School of Dentistry is known as the birthplace of the Doctorate in Dentistry (D.D.S.) as well as the final resting place of Edgar Allen Poe. And, of course, there is Oriole Park at Camden Yards, home of the Baltimore Orioles, and widely regarded as one of the most beautiful ballparks in the US. Charm City is also the home of the Star Spangled Banner

Running through the Cost of Living comparison index, Baltimore is much more affordable than neighboring Washington, DC. Baltimore’s cost of living score is 100.9, putting it in the average cost compared to the rest of the country, whereas Washington, DC comes in at 147.4. While many factors contribute to the cost of living difference, it shouldn’t be surprising that housing is the major factor in increased cost of living. Baltimore’s housing index is lower than the national average, at 93.9, while DC is at 240!

There are many other underappreciated regions worth looking at. What overlooked areas would you recommend? Let us know and we will write about them!

To learn more about other products or how your organization can become a data collection participant for the Cost of Living Index visit www.coli.org.