It’s no doubt that Norman holds a special place in the hearts of all the graduates of the University of Oklahoma
. But we believe the town, which is the only city in Oklahoma to make the list this year, is a charming place to call home for all kinds of folks.
With a population of just under 130,000, Norman is the third largest city in Oklahoma, and it offers the best of both worlds: It punches above its weight class in terms of amenities (largely thanks to the university) while maintaining a small-town feel.
Norman, located about 20 miles south of downtown Oklahoma City, boasts an affordable cost of living much lower than the average of all the 1,300-plus places we considered this year. The median home price clocks in under $215,000, according to ATTOM’s home sales data — also well below average.
There’s lots to do, too. Several free events regularly take over the streets of Norman’s downtown, including the Norman Art Walk
, a festival that showcases local artists, vendors and musicians on the second Friday of every month, as well as the annual Norman Music Festival
, which hosts a throng of bands over a multi-day, multi-genre event that shuts down Main Street in late April.
If you’d like to avoid the crowds, head East, where you can camp, bike or kayak your way through the breathtaking Lake Thunderbird State Park
. — Adam Hardy
Median Household Income
Median Home Price
Sources: Population and median household income provided by Synergos Technologies Inc.; unemployment rate (by county) provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics; and median home price provided by ATTOM Data Solutions.