County: De Soto
Nearest big city: Memphis
Just south of the Tennessee border is Olive Branch, where the sounds of the Delta blues mix in with the smell of magnolias in a city that offers rural charm with a modern twist.
The city is a short 20-minute drive from downtown Memphis, where you can walk down Beale Street — the official “Home of the Blues” and the unofficial home of great barbecue. Are you a fan of the King? Elvis’ Graceland is only 15 miles away by car.
Back in Olive Branch, explore the shops in historic Old Towne or visit the Brussel’s Bonsai Nursery, the largest bonsai nursery in the U.S. You can get fresh veggies, eggs and baked goods, as well as handcrafted soaps and crafts, at the Old Towne Farmers Market, which runs from June through September. Fancy a game of golf? You have one private and three public courses to choose from.
Thanks to its easy accessibility (the city can be reached by air, railway, highway and water), Olive Branch has outposts for more than 80 different businesses as diverse as Snap-On Tools, Cardinal Health and Williams-Sonoma. Jobs are expected to grow by more than 14% by 2025. The median household income is $82,559, and the median home price is $258,368, making it one of the more affordable cities on our list for housing. — Leslie Cook
Olive Branch, Mississippi