The Pacific Northwest and the Golden State of California are known for their picturesque landscapes and bustling cities, but it's their smaller communities that have recently garnered national attention. Six small towns in CA, WA, and OR have stood out, making headlines as they're named among the best small towns to live in America.

From the coastal gems to the forested retreats, these top-rated small towns offer a blend of charm, history, and natural beauty that's distinctly West Coast, cementing their places in America's town picks. Whether you're looking to visit or settle down, these standout small towns in Washington, California, and Oregon should be on your radar. See the Photo Gallery below.

13 Magnificent Reasons Why Living in a Small Town is So Great

Living in a small town in the USA offers a unique set of advantages. Here are some of the aspects people often appreciate:

  1. Community and Familiarity: Small towns often have tight-knit communities where people know each other well. This familiarity can foster a strong sense of belonging and support.
  2. Lower Cost of Living: Typically, small towns have a lower cost of living compared to urban centers. Housing is often more affordable, and people might get more space for their money.
  3. Safety: Crime rates tend to be lower in small towns. Many residents feel safer leaving their doors unlocked or letting their children play outside.
  4. Peace: With fewer people and businesses, small towns often offer a quieter and more relaxed environment. There's usually less traffic, fewer sirens, and less noise in general.
  5. Natural Beauty: Many small towns are situated in picturesque settings surrounded by nature. Residents might have easy access to hiking, fishing, and other outdoor activities.
  6. Simpler Lifestyle: Life in a small town can be less rushed and less complicated. The slower pace can be conducive to stress reduction and improved mental well-being.
  7. History and Heritage: Small towns often have rich histories and traditions that are celebrated by the community. Local festivals, parades, and other events can provide a deeper sense of place and continuity.
  8. Local Businesses: Small towns often have unique local businesses that offer personal service. The money spent at these businesses usually stays within the community.
  9. Less Pollution: With fewer vehicles and factories, the air quality can be better in small towns.
  10. Less Traffic and Commuting Times Less population density often means fewer traffic jams, and residents can usually reach their destinations faster.
  11. Strong Local School Involvement: Schools in smaller towns often have more community involvement, which can lead to unique extracurricular opportunities and strong bonds among students, teachers, and parents.
  12. More Land and Space: People in small towns often have larger plots of land, which can be great for gardening, keeping animals, or just having more personal space.
  13. Civic Participation: It can be easier to get involved in local politics or community service in a small town. Many people find that they can have a direct impact on their community's future.

Of course, what one person sees as a benefit, another might see as a drawback. The appeal of small-town living varies depending on individual preferences and values.

Best Small Towns in the USA from California, Washington, and Oregon


#9: Trinidad, CA

#22: Mendocino, CA

#53: Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA


#35: Cannon Beach, OR

#96: Hood River, OR


#37: Leavenworth, WA

Check Out The Photo Gallery of Top Rated West Coast Towns

Lake Chelan, Washington - Have You Been to Washington's Deepest Lake?

LOOK: 25 must-visit hidden gems from across the US

From secret gardens to underground caves, Stacker compiled a list of 25 must-visit hidden gems from across the United States using travel guides, news articles, and company websites.

More From 870 AM KFLD