The Best Places to Live in Ohio 

There’s plenty of reasons to move to Ohio. We don’t need to tell you that, do we? Beautiful midwestern landscape, endless craft beer, and a bustling creative culture. If you need some more coaxing, we wrote an entire article covering some of the amazing aspects of the state, here

But, assuming you’re sold, we want to share with you the best places to live in Ohio (oh, and by way of introduction, we’re Bellhop — Cincinnati movers, Cleveland movers, Columbus movers and movers throughout the country).

We’ve got three great ones, and we’ll go ahead and kick things off with a hidden gem you may have never heard of, Columbus.

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The Best Places to Live in Ohio (A 2022 Guide) Bellhop Blog


The search for the perfect “hipster” city is growing ever the more difficult. Brooklyn and Chicago are way too expensive and Nashville isn’t too far behind them. Cities like Portland and Seattle are lovely but rainy… and there’s not really any reason to move there because we see pictures of them littered all over Instagram. Then, of course, there is Austin, but some would argue that the city is beginning to feel less “hipster” and dare we say “weird” with large tech companies setting up headquarters there.

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The hype that seems to permeate any city bursting at the seams with culture makes the wandering hipster in search of the new place to call home… challenging. The city is unique and wonderful in its uniqueness and then suddenly, a bunch of people move there, and the culture gets diluted.

Thank goodness there is Columbus, Ohio.

Columbus is a hidden gem in a great big state that often gets overlooked. For one, Columbus is home to the Buckeyes –– the 66,000 students that attend the university give the Midwestern city a nice energetic youthfulness that isn’t always present. And, with many of the graduates sticking around Columbus after graduation, a large portion of the population is under 40.

But, perhaps what is most unique about Columbus is the artistic culture that seems to flow through the city. One can’t avoid feeling it when they visit. Behind New York City and Los Angeles, Columbus has more fashion designers than anywhere else in the United States.

This fact, along with the presence of the renowned Columbus College of Art & Design has bred a creative mindset shared by clothing designers, painters, makers, and artists.

The creativity that flows through the city with as much abundance as the craft beer scene led by breweries like Barley’s, Land-Grant and Four String –– all places worth stopping by if you ever head to town.

And, while Columbus is growing at a crazy pace, it’s still affordable for being such a large city. According to Rent Jungle, as of December 2018, the average rent for an apartment in Columbus was $1,074, and the price for a one bedroom can go as low as $821 a month. Not too shabby. Pricey but certainly affordable when you consider the average salary in the city to sit right around $51,000.

So, how do you know for sure if Columbus is right for you? If you’re a young professional, you can’t go wrong with Columbus. Back in 2016, the city was ranked the #7 best place in the country for young professionals to call home and this has only become truer since. And, if you’re a creative… well then Columbus is a no brainer. If you are moving to Columbus soon, let us know, we’d love to help.

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So, we were just in Columbus, Ohio. If you were to jump in the car and drive southwest for an hour and a half, you’d run into another Ohio city… Cincinnati. Like Columbus, and indeed the entire state of Ohio as a whole, it’s often overlooked.

The Matador Network calls Cinci one of the most underrated cities in the United States, and we would probably agree with them.

Cinci is stunning, offering a landscape that’s quite a bit different from the flatness found in many Midwestern cities. It’s nestled by the Mississippi River and has lovely hills that give the place a wonderful sort of character.

The character that Winston Churchill fell in love with, calling Cincinnati, “the most beautiful of the inland cities of the union”.

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This natural beauty lays the perfect canvas for a city that seems to be going through a renaissance. Over-the-Rhine, more commonly referred to as OTR makes up a good portion of downtown Cinci and used to be one of the most dangerous areas of town. Today, it’s home to great bars and plenty of great spots to eat.

And in addition, Cincinnati has a surprising number of sports teams for only sporting (pun intended) a population of 300,000… both the Cincinnati Bengals and the Reds call the city home.

So, how’s the rent in Cinci?

According to Rent Jungle, Cincinnati is relatively similar in cost of living in Columbus. Average rent for an apartment is going to cost you $1,132, and a one bedroom can get as low as $900-ish. While the rent is a little higher than Columbus, the renowned breweries like Rhinegeist and Urban Artifact should help ease the bite with a cold beer that’ll make your eyes roll back in your head.

So, how do you know for sure if Cincinnati is right for you? Cincinnati lacks perhaps in the creativity, arts, and culture that’s very present in Columbus, Ohio. But, Cinci also offers some wonderful things that Columbus doesn’t… like professional sports teams and arguably some of the prettiest landscape in the state.

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If you head north in Ohio, you’ll eventually run smack dab into the states second largest city, Cleveland. Once the fifth largest city in the United States and one of the wealthiest, Cleveland used to be home to the controversial business tycoon, John D. Rockefeller. If you can believe it… it was at one time larger than Los Angeles.

Today, Cleveland is complicated. To the outside world, it can be misunderstood. But to those living in Cleveland, it’s in the midst of reinventing itself; something natives are very excited about and open to.

We see quite a few strengths in Cleveland. What’s most impressive to us are the opportunities in the city for young professionals and entrepreneurs looking to carve out a different path for themselves.

Here’s the best part: Cleveland is super affordable

Not to mention, according to Rent Jungle, rent can drop as low as $655 for a two bedroom in certain parts of Cleveland… which is dirt cheap considering it’s the second largest city in the state.

We like that young professionals and entrepreneurs hungry to get their careers started don’t have to worry about being “rent poor.”

And, the money that is saved on rent can be spent on some of the best food you’ll find. Cleveland has long been known as an excellent city for exceptional food. Thrillist considers the city to not only have one of the best food scenes in the country, but one that is continuously getting better. Time Magazine seems to agree with them, calling Cleveland the seventh best food city in the United States. Whether you’re looking for killer BBQ or fine dining, it’s all there in Cleveland, Ohio.

So, how do you know for sure if Cleveland is right for you? Cleveland is the perfect place for the city guy or gal on a bit of a budget. You get access to a solid city with professional sports teams and a great food scene, without paying an arm and a leg to sleep under a roof at night.

The Best Places to Live in Ohio (A 2022 Guide) Bellhop Blog

So, what’s the best of the best places to live in Ohio?

Ohhh, dadgummit. We knew you were going to ask that. In all seriousness, we always love to give a little MVP award to the city we are most impressed within the state we’re covering. For us, it was a difficult choice because Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati all have some fantastic things about them.

But, between the creative vibe, the culture, the fairly reasonable rent, and the crazy growth… we have to give today’s best of to Columbus, Ohio. We just have to.

It’s the largest city in Ohio, but it’s one that feels small. That’s a beautiful thing, especially for someone new to the city. But, you honestly can’t go wrong with any of the cities we threw on this list… after all, they’re the best places to live in Ohio.

Finally, if you decide to pack up and move to Ohio and notice your boxes are getting a bit heavy, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We coordinate local and long-distance moving services in Ohio, and we’d be more than happy to help. It’s what we do. Best of luck!

Harrison Stevens