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Best U.S. Cities for Tiny Homes

Wanting to live in a tiny house? Tiny homes are a strong trend among young people, digital nomads, or travelers on a budget. Whether you want to build, rent, or just experience living in a tiny home, these are the best cities in the U.S. for the tiny home lifestyle!

Durango, CO

  • Population: 17,817
  • Cost of Living: 26% higher than the national average
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 16% of U.S. cities
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.7%
  • Perfect For: Nature lovers

Whether you’re looking to change your lifestyle or for a vacation home that’s just the right size, the city of Durango might be the place for you! Nestled in the San Juan Mountains in southwestern Colorado, Durango is an outdoor lover’s paradise. With four distinct seasons, this mountainous community provides a host of fun activities and ranks as one of the best cities to celebrate Christmas. Colorado has always been at the forefront of the tiny home movement, with the Colorado Tiny Home Festival showcasing the lifestyle. Durango’s riverfront tiny home community, Escalante Village, offers locals, newcomers, and visitors a place to buy or rent a custom tiny home along the Animas River.

Things to Do in Durango

Stroll through contemporary visual and performing arts, or attend a workshop, art lecture, and film screenings at the Durango Arts Center. Head to the Purgatory Resort to warm up in an outdoor hot tub after hitting the slopes. Explore 1.8 million acres of southwestern Colorado and watch the kids learn about nature conservation in the San Juan National Forest. Have an unforgettable excursion from Durango to Cascade Canyon while riding an old-time locomotive on the same tracks as cowboys, settlers, and miners at Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. Bike Durango trails with smooth roads, big turns, and mountain views during the Iron House Classic. Stop in for the all-you-can-eat lunch buffet or select from menu items like the Nariwal Machha or Yak Korma at Himalayan Kitchen. Experience fusion Japanese food like the Beef Kushiyaki, Roasted Beef Home Fries, and the Hand Grenade at East by Southwest. Plan a night out and sip on Raspberry Wheat Ale and sample the Thai Curry Quinoa Bowl at Carver Brewing Company. Or treat yourself to artisan ice cream flavors like Almond Fudge Ripple or Orange Blossom Pistachio at Cream Bean Berry.

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Flat Rock, NC

  • Population: 3,254
  • Cost of Living: 26% higher than the national average
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 85% of U.S. Cities
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.2%
  • Perfect For: Outdoor enthusiasts, vacation homeowners, nature lovers

Searching for tiny home communities on the East Coast? Look no further than Flat Rock! Thanks to Simple Life—a cottage community developer—tiny home living continues to expand in this small North Carolina town. Residents of The Hamlet and The Village have their pick of one or two-bedroom tiny homes in three different neighborhoods. In addition, Simple Life reduces the number of platted homesites in their community to one plat. Planning and zoning regulations allow significantly more freedom to lower costs of the environmentally-friendly nature of these developments. Other incentives include amenities like group fitness classes, cooking lessons, dog parks, swimming pools, and a tight-knit community. Flat Rock is popular with young professionals who commute to Asheville, as well as empty nesters and retirees who don’t want to worry about lawn care or maintenance.

Things to Do in Flat Rock

Enjoy a wooded hike, greet some goats at the farm, or take a tour of the historic house at the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site. Practice your short game or spend an afternoon playing 18 holes at the Kenmure Golf Course! Attend a Broadway musical like Mama Mia! or Catch Me If You Can at the Flat Rock Playhouse. Shop ’til you drop or find the perfect accessories and decor for your tiny home at the Blue Ridge Mall in nearby Hendersonville. Start your day with a walk around the 1.3-mile trail or listen to the “heartbeat of nature” in the Maybank-Rhett Nature Center at The Park at Flat Rock. Start the day with a Ranchero Skillet, French Toast, or a Farmhouse Skillet at breakfast joint Honey and Salt. Order the Pulled Pork Platter, Brisket Stack Sandwich, and Cornbread with Honey Pecan Butter at Flat Rock Wood Room. Enjoy fine dining dishes like the Grilled Duroc Pork Tenderloin, Maple Leaf Farms Duck Leg, or Mushroom Braised Beef Short-Rib at Season’s at Highland Lake. Or stop by The Brandy Bar to try a Cognac Flight, an Applejack Brandy, or a Cherry Bomb.

Fresno, CA

  • Population: 513,807
  • Cost of Living: 1% higher than the national average
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 9% of U.S. cities
  • Unemployment Rate: 7.8%
  • Perfect For: Backyard rental properties, multi-family housing, nature lovers

Thinking about building a tiny home in California? As one of the most expensive states in the U.S., it makes sense why people here are thinking small. Fresno was actually one of the first cities to authorize tiny homes and specifically addressed the new housing trend in its city code as an effort to increase the availability of affordable housing. Fresno’s new tiny house codes also apply to tiny homes on wheels, which were previously treated like RVs. As one of the top agriculture producers of peaches, plums, and nectarines in the country, this city is focused on green, eco-conscious living. As a continuation of green living, Fresno continues to be an integral part of the California tiny home movement by hosting tiny home expos and speaker series.

Things to Do in Fresno

Enroll the kids at Zoo Camp, feed the giraffes, marvel at the Winged Wonder Bird Show, and more at Fresno Chaffee Zoo. Savor the aroma of fresh citrus trees and grapevines while stepping through underground, handmade Sicilian-style passageways and tunnels at the Forestiere Underground Gardens. Shop the city’s oldest and largest outdoor market, offering 54 acres of open-air shopping in Fresno’s Raisin Belt at the Cherry Auction. Camp for the weekend or take a day trip north to see magnificent waterfalls, go on glorious hiking trails, and more at Yosemite National Park. Sample Shrimp Louie, Snapper Bites, and Clams Linguine at Pismo’s Coastal Grill. Try unique fusion cuisine like Butter Chicken, Paneer Tikka Masala, and Desi BBQ Grilled Chicken Pizza at The Curry Pizza Company. Tour the A. Nonini Winery like a real sommelier and test out their robust wine menu offerings, which all have “Big Fruit” flavors. And grab high-quality coffee beans like the El Salvador Yellow Bourbon Natural, Fireside, and the F.O.M.O Decaf at Hi-Top Coffee.

Minneapolis, MN

brown tiny home with blue roof and two patio chairs photo via @be_settled

photo via @be_settled

  • Population: 404,670
  • Cost of Living: 7% higher than the national average
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 2% of U.S. cities
  • Unemployment Rate: 5.1%
  • Perfect For: Nature lovers, vacationers

Twin City to St. Paul and capital of Minnesota, Minneapolis offers tiny home living in the Midwest! Tiny home communities aren’t just for those who want to downsize—they’re for everyone, especially those searching for affordable housing options in Minneapolis. Sacred Settlements has developed holistic tiny home communities for those in need. Additionally, Avivo’s indoor tiny home community, the Avivo Village, offers 100 secure, private tiny dwellings to Minneapolis residents. Plus, it’s possible to live simply in solitude within 80 acres of woods and trails at The Sanctuary Minnesota, a tiny home community located just outside the Twin Cities metro.

Things to Do in Minneapolis

Shop groceries and support over 100 local farmers, artists, food makers, and more at Mill City Farmers Market. Marvel at visual, performing, and mixed-media art while attending a free First Saturday at the Walker Art Center. Explore the city by foot and admire Mosaic Cafe, Aztec Temple Panorama, Gorditas El Gordo, and other public murals in Minneapolis! Experience the Cheeseburgerfry Soulroll, Soul Platter, and a Bachelor Boy Soulwich at Wendy’s House of Soul. Indulge in the Classic BBQ Platter, Smoked Chicken Wings, and Smoked Trout & Greens at Northbound Smokehouse Brewpub. Savor Sea Salt Brownies, Sunbutter Cookies, or a Maple + Pecan Scone at Sift Gluten Free Bakery. Or bring the whole crew to try drinks like the Wonderstuff Pilsner, Guavatron Pink Guava Gose, and Lounge Wizard Hazy Pale Ale at Bauhaus Brew Labs.

Orlando, FL

  • Population: 263,306
  • Cost of Living: 3% lower than the national average
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 4% of U.S. cities
  • Unemployment Rate: 5.9%
  • Perfect For: Retirees, vacationers, nature lovers

Already more affordable to live in than other U.S. cities, Orlando offers tiny house hunters big-city amenities like high-quality golf courses, amazing shopping, and of course, globally-famous Disney World and Universal Studios—to name a couple! Along with being ranked as the top place to to retire in the U.S., Orlando also offers residents some of the best year-round weather in the U.S.! Best yet, Orlando’s tiny home community has a quaint and picturesque vibe, right next to the shoreline in College Park. Along with the Florida Tiny House Festival, Orlando welcomes anyone to stay, live, and relax in their Orlando Lakefront Tiny Home and RV community.

Things to Do in Orlando, FL

Visualize your next grand slam while practicing in the batting cages, wrestle around the mats, or start on your gymnastics journey at Lebron’s Sportsplex. Inspire a passion for life-long science education by exploring the DinoDigs and Tiny Green Home exhibits at the Orlando Science Center. Hit a hole-in-one just minutes from Downtown Orlando at historic Dubsdread Golf Course. Picnic in the historical, equestrian-themed Trotters Park. Start your morning with breakfast items like Casper’s Call, Hungry Like the Wolf, and Le French Toast at White Wolf Cafe. Taste fresh seafood like Bacon Wrapped Scallops, Tsunami Shrimp, or Voo Doo Wings at Grills Seafood Deck & Tiki Bar. Appreciate wine such as the My Best Friend—Cat Red Blend, Winemaker’s Cuvee, and the Cantine Lonardo Taurasi Riserva 2003 at Quantum Leap Winery. Take your time to sip on an Affogato Coffee, slurp on Tomato Bisque, or try the Epic Grilled Cheese at Cafe Linger.

Pinetop-Lakeside, AZ

luxtiny dark wood tiny home Photo via @garciagroup

Photo via @garciagroup

  • Population: 4,314
  • Cost of Living: 4% higher than the national average
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 8% of U.S. cities
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.3%
  • Perfect For: Nature lovers, vacationers, outdoor enthusiasts

The city of Pinetop-Lakeside is known for its lakes and streams appreciated by fishermen, boaters, hikers, and adventurers alike! Due to the city being 6,000 feet above sea level, Pinetop-Lakeside features a different climate than the rest of Arizona, with green meadows dotted with blooming flowers vs. desert cacti. With crisp air and miles of trails, the city offers plenty of parks like Woodland Lake Park and Jack Barker Memorial Park, and facilities like Mountain Meadow Recreation Complex to keep residents busy. Pinetop-Lakeside is also home to Arizona’s first tiny house community, LuxTiny. This 6-acre tiny home community is made up of 37 spaces, making this city perfect for full-time tiny home living!

Things to Do in Pinetop-Lakeside

Adventure down trails or enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides at Pinetop Lakes Activity Center & Stables. Escape to the multi-use trails in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests of NE Arizona within the White Mountains Tracks Trail System. Learn about the strong and resilient White Mountain Apache Tribe who celebrate and share their culture at the Apache Reservation. Spend a day with the kids driving go karts, playing mini golf, or teaming up in the laser maze at White Mountain Family Fun Park. Grab a coffee or pastry along with cycling gear and custom apparel at Cyclelogical. Taste authentic American Italian cuisine like The Little Bronx pizza, Shrimp Michael Angelo, or Eggplant Parmesan at The Pasta House. Dine in and get a full belly with their Red Devil Veggie Pizza, baked Manicotti, or Pollo Siciliano at Red Devil Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria. Or relax with a perfect glass of Wilson Creek Peach, Fume Blanc, or Spanish Fly wine on the Arizona Exclusive tasting tour at Wine Mountains Tasting Room & Wine Bar.

Portland, OR

wooden tiny home with steps and green glass door Photo via @nicole_mark

Photo via @nicole_mark

  • Population: 620,589
  • Cost of Living: 27% higher than the national average
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 10% of U.S. cities
  • Unemployment Rate: 5.2%
  • Perfect For: Nature lovers, vacationers, adventure seekers

Want to embrace the tiny home lifestyle in one of the best places to live in the Pacific Northwest? Portland is an eco-conscious city offering tiny house residents a thriving art scene, healthy job market, and amazing outdoor recreation. With a spunky, growing population that’s invested in sustainability, it’s no wonder that tiny homes are so prominent. Tiny home living in Portland doesn’t have to be done on a “grand” scale—it can be incorporated into everyday living in PDX, with other tiny communities just outside of the city. Want to test it out first? Book a stay at local tiny house rentals and hotels, explore the area, or schedule a tour to see what it’s like!

Things to Do in Portland

See the beloved Portland Timbers (MLS) take on their rivals at Providence Park. Participate in a tea ceremony, explore over five acres of gardens, or attend a seasonal workshop at the Portland Japanese Garden. Bust a move at a dance party or see national touring acts like Jesse McCartney and Animal Collective at the Crystal Ballroom. Peruse stores like Loft Outlet, Carhartt, and Banana Republic at Cascade Station. Sip on a mimosa while digging into a three-course prix fixe brunch at Beast. Dine on Skirt Steak Skewers, Turmeric Curry, and Braised Chicken Thigh Roti at Hat Yai. Sample unique sour beers like the Tangerine Dream, Coastal Gose, or Brunch Line at Cascade Brewing. Or indulge in sweet treats like Cinnamon Snickerdoodle, Pear & Bleu Cheese, and Strawberry & Coconut Water Sherbet at Salt & Straw.

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Downsizing to a tiny home or want to experience tiny home living? Extra Space Storage offers convenient self storage facilities throughout the U.S. to help while on your tiny house journey. Find a storage unit near you!

Pinterest graphic: Cities for Tiny Homes: 7 Best Places in the U.S.

Pinterest graphic: Cities for Tiny Homes: 7 Best Places in the U.S.
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