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Best Places To Live In Kentucky

Sidney Richardson8-Minute Read
April 19, 2021

Deciding to move can be overwhelming. There is so much to consider, from cost of living in an area to the length of your potential commute. While the COVID-19 pandemic has made this process even harder in many ways, it has also made it possible for many who now work from home to live wherever they’d like.

If you’re moving and looking for a state rich in natural beauty and filled with things to do for residents of all ages, consider Kentucky. Kentucky is one of the more affordable states in the U.S. in terms of cost of living and is home to many unique features, from Mammoth Cave National Park to the Kentucky Derby.

Not sure where in Kentucky you’d be interested in? Read on for our guide to the best places to live in the state and what you can expect when living there.

The Ten Overall Best Places To Live In Kentucky

To help you get an idea of what the cities we’ll go over are like for residents, we’ve included some statistics for each city, including population and the average local commute to work. Before we get into those individual statistics, here are the averages for the entire United States, for comparison:

  • Population: 328,239,523
  • Median home price: $217,500
  • Median monthly rent: $1,062
  • Average commute: 26.9 minutes

Fort Thomas

Fort Thomas is a small city full of history, known mainly for being an 1890 U.S. Army post. There are plenty of historic structures still standing here for history and architecture lovers, including a 102-foot-tall stone water tower built in 1890.

With a low crime rate and plenty of nature and history to explore, Fort Thomas would make a good home for anyone. It also rests along the Ohio River across from Cincinnati, a bonus for frequent city-goers or those seeking riverfront property.

  • Population: 16,263
  • Median home price: $227,600
  • Median monthly rent: $907
  • Average commute: 19.5 minutes

If you’re interested in Fort Thomas, check out Rocket Homes® to see real estate trends in the city or homes for sale.

Middletown

Middletown is a small city that was previously a neighborhood of Louisville. This quaint area has something for everyone, with proximity to parks, multiple golf courses and multiple historical sites. It’s a short distance from Louisville for those who may work in the city and may be a nice option for home buyers seeking a quiet suburban area not too far from their job.

  • Population: 7,877
  • Median home price: $215,100
  • Median monthly rent: $1,103
  • Average commute: 21.3 minutes

If you’re interested in what Middletown has to offer, check out homes for sale in the city or browse real estate trends across Louisville.

Villa Hills 

Not far from Fort Thomas, Villa Hills is also located along the Ohio River near Cincinnati. Nature lovers will be right at home in Villa Hills, which boasts spectacular views of both the river and surrounding mountains near the city. For those looking to enjoy the outdoors while still living near a major city, Villa Hills is the place to be.

  • Population: 7,461
  • Median home price: $220,200
  • Median monthly rent: $933
  • Average commute: 24.1 minutes

Mt. Washtington 

Known as the “Crossroads of Kentucky,” Mt. Washington is a fast-growing city located south of Louisville. Growing in popularity as a commuter town, Mt. Washington has gained appeal with many homeowners for having lower housing costs at the expense of a longer commute to bigger cities like Louisville. With good schools in the area and a low crime rate, Mt. Washington could also be a great spot for families, if you don’t mind a longer commute.

  • Population: 14,817
  • Median home price: $170,400
  • Median monthly rent: $757
  • Average commute: 33.3 minutes

If you’re interested in checking out the Mt. Washington area, browse homes for sale or check out real estate trends across Bullitt County.

Edgewood

Edgewood is a small, family-friendly city with plenty of activities for all. This city is home to an expansive park known as Presidents Park, which has hiking trails, baseball fields and many other outdoor activities. In addition to its lovely parks, Edgewood is also home to St. Elizabeth Hospital, which has been rated among the top 50 hospitals in the U.S. by some sources, making it a potentially great and affordable option for those that might work in healthcare.

  • Population: 8,759
  • Median home price: $225,600
  • Median monthly rent: $1,166
  • Average commute: 22.4 minutes

If you’re interested in Edgewood, check out Rocket Homes® to see homes for sale in the city or real estate trends across Kenton County.

Fort Wright

Fort Wright neighbors Fort Mitchell but has a considerably smaller population and boasts lower housing costs. The city is a part of the Cincinnati metropolitan area and is just south of the massive Devou Park, a 700-acre park that overlooks the Cincinnati skyline. If you’re on the hunt for an area with lots to do outdoors and great views, Fort Wright may be a great and affordable option.

  • Population: 5,745
  • Median home price: $201,900
  • Median monthly rent: $879
  • Average commute: 20.5 minutes

If you’re interested in Fort Wright, browse homes for sale or check out the real estate trends in the area.

Lyndon

Lyndon is a short drive from downtown Louisville and is home to many points of interest, from historic mansions to lush parks and trails. The cost of living here is quite reasonable compared to surrounding cities, and the commute time to Louisville can’t be beat. Lyndon has the best of both worlds in that it’s a small community yet just a short drive away from the restaurants and other attractions of downtown Louisville.

  • Population: 11,423
  • Median home price: $191,300
  • Median monthly rent: $976
  • Average commute: 19.8 minutes

Interested in finding a place to live in the Lyndon area? Check out homes for sale in the city and real estate trends for the area.

Alexandria

Located southeast of Cincinnati, Alexandria is another small and fairly affordable city. Though a bit further from the city than others on this list, Alexandria is home to lush nature and beautiful parks. Alexandria is a great place for fans of fishing, hiking, and all sorts of other outdoor fun. The city is also home to the yearly Alexandria Fair, which showcases livestock from across the state.

  • Population: 9,715
  • Median home price: $179,700
  • Median monthly rent: $867
  • Average commute: 26.1 minutes

If you’re interested in living in Alexandria, check out homes for sale or browse real estate trends in Campbell County.

Bellevue

Bellevue is a city in northernmost Kentucky that rests along the Ohio River. Bellevue is a great and affordable spot for those looking to live near a larger city or along the river. It is also near multiple riverside parks, an aquarium, and a pedestrian bridge between Kentucky and Ohio.

  • Population: 5,721
  • Median home price: $136,400
  • Median monthly rent: $794
  • Average commute: 20.0 minutes

If you’re interested in finding a place to live in Bellevue, check out homes for sale in the area or browse real estate trends.

The Three Best Places To Live In Kentucky For Families

Fort Thomas

While Fort Thomas was already on this list as the overall best place to live in Kentucky, it also takes first place as the best place to live for families in the state. In addition to being located along a river and housing many historical sites and attractions, Fort Thomas is very family friendly. With good schools and a welcoming community, this city brings a small-town suburban feel to the Cincinnati area.

  • Population: 16,263
  • Median home price: $227,600
  • Median monthly rent: $907
  • Average commute: 19.5 minutes

If Fort Thomas sounds like a good fit for your family, check out Rocket Homes® to see real estate trends in the city or homes for sale.

Union

Union is another great Kentucky city for families. With six public schools, plenty of parks and lots of beautiful nature to explore, it’s a wonderful place to share with your loved ones. The cost of homeownership is also considerably lower here than in many other Kentucky cities, so it’s also a little more affordable.

  • Population: 14,381
  • Median home price: $92,100
  • Median monthly rent: $597
  • Average commute: 22.6 minutes

If you’re interested in Union, check out homes for sale in the area or browse real estate trends in Boone County.

Wilmore

Wilmore is a small, quiet town south of Lexington. For those looking for a smaller town to call home, Wilmore certainly fits the bill. It’s known for its tight-knit community of friendly neighbors and is the home of Ashbury University. There is also plenty of nature to explore, with hiking trails and even small caves nearby.

  • Population: 6,435
  • Median home price: $170,800
  • Median monthly rent: $718
  • Average commute: 17.5 minutes

If you think Wilmore would be a good fit for your family, check out homes for sale or browse real estate trends in Jessamine County.

Wilmore is a small, quiet town south of Lexington. For those looking for a smaller town to call home, Wilmore certainly fits the bill. It’s known for its tight-knit community of friendly neighbors and is the home of Ashbury University. There is also plenty of nature to explore, with hiking trails and even small caves nearby.

  • Population: 6,435
  • Median home price: $170,800
  • Median monthly rent: $718
  • Average commute: 17.5 minutes

If you think Wilmore would be a good fit for your family, check out homes for sale or browse real estate trends in Jessamine County.

Best High-Property-Value Places To Live In Kentucky

While affordability is an important factor for many, some home buyers may be looking for a more expensive property. If this sounds like you, read on for a few places you can find beautiful homes with beautiful Kentucky views to match.

Anchorage

Anchorage is a suburb of Louisville and one of the wealthiest cities in all of Kentucky. It’s full of beautiful historic homes and estates as well as lush nature trails. This city is known for the thick canopy of old trees that shade the majority of the area from the sun. If you’re looking for a beautiful historic home and don’t mind the price, Anchorage is the place to be.

  • Population: 2,399
  • Median home price: $672,400
  • Median monthly rent: $1,153
  • Average commute: 18.4 minutes

If you’re interested in living in Anchorage, check out homes for sale or real estate trends in Jefferson County.

Buckner

Buckner is a city northeast of Louisville. Homes here are on the expensive end, though they are less costly than properties you might find in Anchorage. Buckner is very rural compared to Anchorage, so if you’re looking to enjoy peace, quiet and the outdoors, Buckner is a great option. It’s well known for its tight knit community as well, so it also makes a great neighborhood for families.

  • Population: 5,837
  • Median home price: $327,100
  • Median monthly rent: $1,128
  • Average commute: 28.8 minutes

If you’re interested in living in Buckner, check out homes for sale or real estate trends in the area.

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking to move and seeking a place that has beautiful scenery and tight knit communities, consider Kentucky. While it isn’t one of the U.S.’s most populous states, it is rich in natural beauty and has a unique blend of Midwestern and Southern life for its residents to enjoy.

For help on your journey to finding your dream home, visit Rocket Homes® to find home buying tips and tricks, explore homes for sale, and even research real estate trends.

*The statistics in this article were sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau and based on the most recent data available, including 2019 population estimates, median household incomes and commute time for those 16 and older. Real estate trend information was sourced from the Rocket Homes® Trend Report.

Sidney Richardson

Sidney Richardson is an intern writer covering homeownership, mortgage and lifestyle topics. She is a senior at Oakland University pursuing a degree in journalism and advertising.