Top USA destinations for an alternative lifestyle

One of the biggest draws for British workers to relocate themselves and their family abroad is a change in lifestyle. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day routine of UK life, while dreaming about warmer climes, a better work/life balance and the benefits of a higher disposable income.
America is a real country of contrasts, and many expatriates cross the water in search of a new, improved lifestyle in the ‘land of opportunity’. An alternative lifestyle means something different to every individual, so the best places to live are dependent on the way of living being sought. Here we look at five destinations in the USA that offer a different way of life for British expatriates.

San Francisco

The cultural hub of California, San Francisco is famed for its alternative lifestyle. Pretty much anything goes, and life in general is laid back. The sunny warm weather means that expats and locals alike are outside a lot of the time, on the beach, hiking the canyons or enjoying the plentiful open spaces. There is a strong focus on healthy living and good food, which is an attractive proposition for many. There are established communities for all lifestyle choices, which makes it easy to build a network and integrate into a new home. It’s also known as progressive and enlightened, as well as being highly tolerant of newcomers, including expats.


The largest city in Oregon, Portland is a great option for those who want to balance career prospects with an alternative lifestyle. It offers good job growth and lots of employment opportunities, across a wide range of industries, including technology, shipping, manufacturing and steel. However, it’s also a place full of diversity with a strong focus on creativity. There are plenty of independent shops for interesting purchases, as well as a strong arts scene. The locals are welcoming and accepting, and there are plenty of open spaces to visit at weekends.


One of the key draws of this Florida city is that it benefits from the fact that the state does not collect income taxes, which means that a high standard of living is possible, as well as more disposable income to make big lifestyle changes. It also has the trademark Florida sunshine, but it doesn’t tend to be too affected by the hurricane season. It’s a small community, which gives it a really friendly vibe, with a buzzing arts scene and plenty of cultural pursuits. It can get busier in summer when tourists descend, but it is less crowded than some of Florida’s more popular holiday resorts.


Famed for its location in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Boulder is the perfect place for those with a keen interest in health, fitness and outdoor living. Walking, hiking and running are popular, given the natural landscape. It also has a ‘hippy’ history from the Sixties, which has developed into a very liberal population. The city is culturally diverse, which is reflected in its arts scene and choice of eateries. It has a healthy respect for the environment and eco-living is encouraged, as well as supporting small and independent businesses.


This might not be somewhere that is commonly touted as a good place for expats, but it offers a great location and a wonderfully diverse lifestyle. It is close to Seattle, with all its employment opportunities, but with a much smaller population and a homely feel. With a good percentage of residents coming from minority backgrounds, the city is a thriving hub of culture and festivals. It’s a little out of the way from the rest of the USA, but that makes it a good place to escape, particularly for those wanting to spend time outside hiking mountain trails and taking part in sporting activities.
If you are considering moving to USA, Cadogan Tate will assist you every step of the way – from your first enquiry to unpacking at your new home, we are here to help and advise you. For more details about Cadogan Tate’s specialist international removals services from London, click here.
Information correct at the time of publication