What is the best place to live in Georgia for families?

If you want to live comfortably without breaking the bank, while still giving your kids access to a great education, Georgia may be the perfect place to raise your family.

Also known as The Peach State, Georgia has it all—from stunning mountains to beautiful beaches. With its warm climate, families can enjoy loads of outdoor activities and exciting adventures all year round.

Whether you live in Georgia already or you’re moving from another state, we’re here to help you decide on the best fit for your family.

Let’s dive in!

Overview: The Best Places to Live in Georgia for Families

CityCost of Living Public School Rating Median Home Value Avg Commute Time 
Columbus $146,000 20.2 minutes 
Alpharetta $$$ $469,800 28.2 minutes 
Savannah $$ $170,500 20.7 minutes 
Johns Creek $$$ $452,700 30.2 minutes 
Peachtree City $$ $368,300 29.2 minutes 
Athens $$ $199,300 23.2 minutes 
Augusta $123,400 21 minutes 
Milton $$$ $561,000 29.9 minutes 
Decatur $$$ $583,900 26.8 minutes 
Buford $$ $265,600 29.4 minutes 

How We Determined the Best Places to Live for Families in Georgia

Moving to a new city or suburb is a big decision for anyone, but especially when you have a family (or are hoping to start one soon!). That’s why it’s important to get a holistic view of the city you’re thinking about moving to, from the availability of outdoor activities to the quality of public schools.

In this guide, we’ll help you compare the best cities for families in Georgia based on:

  • School Rating: We looked at the public elementary, middle, and high schools in the area and averaged their ratings, with A being the highest possible rating. We gathered data from Niche and GreatSchools.
  • Cost of Living: Depending on the city’s average home price and cost of necessities like food and gas, we broke down the data from BestPlaces and rated the cost of living for each city as “$” (low cost), “$$” (medium cost), and “$$$” (high cost).
  • Median Household Income: We looked at income demographics reported on the S. Census as well as Niche to determine the median household income for each city.
  • Median Home Value: We researched home values in the area to determine the median value of homes in each city.
  • Outdoor Activities: We used Niche to determine the rating of outdoor activities available to families in each city.

Let’s dive into the best 10 places in Georgia for families to settle down in. This list isn’t ranked in a specific order because each city has its own advantages for different families. Our handpicked list aims to help you choose the perfect city for your family’s new home.

1. Columbus, GA

Columbus is a great choice for families looking for top schools, an affordable cost of living, and a close-knit, family-oriented community. Check out one of Columbus’ many parks or community events, and you’ll see families enjoying the amenities Columbus has to offer.

  • School rating: B
  • Cost of living: $
  • Median household income: $50,542
  • Median home value: $146,000
  • Outdoor activities: B

In Columbus, outdoor recreation spaces are abundant, such as Woodruff Riverfront Park, Standing Boy Trails, and Cooper Creek Park. Across the city – you’ll find little ones playing on our many playgrounds, older kids fishing in the creek, and families walking or cycling together on our Dragonfly Trails. Columbus is also home to the world’s longest urban whitewater course. It’s the perfect place for your family to embrace a healthy, active lifestyle without the hefty price tag associated with other top cities in Georgia.

When you’re not exploring the outdoors, your kids can attend one of the state’s best schools, Columbus High School. Ranked #4 in Georgia public schools, it boasts a stellar 10/10 rating on Great Schools. With a focus on S.T.E.M. and future career opportunities, Columbus nurtures a thriving economy supported by a skilled workforce.

Columbus, Georgia is also home to highly rated hospitals like Piedmont Columbus Regional. These healthcare systems prioritize the safety and well-being of families, ensuring top-notch care. There are also plenty of gyms and boutique fitness centers in the area for your health and wellness needs.

Want to learn more? Discover what it’s like to live in Columbus, Georgia here!

2. Alpharetta, GA

Just 30 minutes north of downtown Atlanta, Alpharetta is the perfect suburb for families looking to be close to the hustle and bustle of the big city, yet far enough away to enjoy a family-oriented community with excellent schools.

  • School rating: A
  • Cost of living: $$$
  • Median household income: $133,920
  • Median home value: $469,800
  • Outdoor activities: A

Alpharetta High School is ranked #3 in the state of Georgia and The Fulton Science Academy in Alpharetta is ranked in the top 40 private K-12 schools in the United States. These are just a couple of the many top-rated schools in the area. While it’s true the cost of living is above both the Georgia and national average, Alpharetta offers top-rated schools, both statewide and nationally.

3. Savannah, GA

This coastal Georgia city has a unique blend of historic southern charm and modern amenities, making it a great choice for families. One distinct feature is the city’s historic district, with its cobblestone streets, antebellum architecture and 22 picturesque squares. Fun fact: Parts of the movie Forest Gump were filmed in Chippewa Square, smack dab in the middle of the city’s historic district.

  • School rating: C
  • Cost of living: $$
  • Median household income: $49,832
  • Median home value: $170,500
  • Outdoor activities: B

Savannah’s rich history creates an enchanting environment for families to explore, fostering a connection to the city’s past. Savannah also offers a unique southern charm and beautiful outdoor spaces, making it a great spot for families looking to explore different landscapes and be part of a unique local community.

4. Johns Creek, GA

This suburb of Atlanta stands out as a family-friendly community committed to quality education and healthy lifestyles. At just 22 miles from downtown Atlanta, Johns Creek is renowned for its top-rated schools and ample outdoor activities.

  • School rating: A
  • Cost of living: $$$
  • Median household income: $133,948
  • Median home value: $452,700
  • Outdoor activities: A

In Johns Creek, quality education and a supportive community create an environment where families prioritize their children’s academic success. But it’s not just academics—Johns Creek offers plenty of well-maintained parks, trails, and sports complexes for outdoor adventure.

5. Peachtree City, GA

Peachtree City has a number of things that set it apart, but the most distinct one is its extensive network of golf cart paths. For families with teenagers who are itching for more independence, golf carts provide a great alternative to driving. In Peachtree City, 16-year-olds with or without a driver’s license can easily navigate the city and visit their friends at nearby parks, schools and shopping centers.

  • School rating: A
  • Cost of living: $$
  • Median household income: $103,374
  • Median home value: $368,300
  • Outdoor activities: A

Peachtree City is home to many parks, lakes, trails, sports facilities and nature reserves, providing ample outdoor opportunities for families. Enjoy green spaces and convenient transportation without the hustle and bustle of the big city. And if you need to commute to Atlanta, it’s just 30 miles northeast of Peachtree City.

6. Athens, GA

Athens is a great place for families that would like to live in an academic town with a vibrant arts and music scene. Athens is home to the University of Georgia and is known for its distinctive charm. There’s also plenty of natural beauty, such as Lake Oconee, just a short drive from downtown Athens.

  • School rating: B
  • Cost of living: $$
  • Median household income: $43,466
  • Median home value: $199,300
  • Outdoor activities: A

In downtown Athens, families can explore eclectic shops, live music venues and plenty of delicious restaurants. Art lovers can also find their haven in downtown Athens with numerous  galleries showcasing local and international talent.

7. Augusta, GA

Nestled near the border of South Carolina, Augusta is a homey Georgia city where families can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle without breaking the bank. The city’s diverse neighborhoods also offer many different housing options to meet any budget.

  • School rating: C
  • Cost of living: $
  • Median household income: $46,108
  • Median home value: $123,400
  • Outdoor activities: B

This charming southern city is home to the renowned Augusta National Golf Club, host of the prestigious 90-year-old Masters Golf Tournament. If you’re not a golf lover, don’t worry: there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy at nearby Phinizy Swamp Nature Park. Your family will also enjoy the beautiful beaches of Georgia and South Carolina, just a 2-3 hour drive from Augusta.

8. Milton, GA

If your family is looking for rural landscapes, great schools and proximity to Atlanta, then Milton is for you! This spacious suburb has plenty of charm, open spaces, and even a few horse-friendly neighborhoods.

  • School rating: A
  • Cost of living: $$$
  • Median household income: $136,020
  • Median home value: $561,000
  • Outdoor activities: A

Milton’s public schools are some of the most highly rated in Georgia, attracting many families to this beautiful suburb. After school, you can take your family to one of Milton’s green spaces, horse trails, parks or scenic hiking spots. If you have more time to spare, the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains are just an hour drive away.

9. Decatur, GA

This Atlanta suburb offers a walkable, vibrant, family-friendly urban environment. If you work within the Atlanta city limits (or, as locals call it, “inside-the-perimeter”), Decatur could offer a shorter commute compared to some of the city’s other suburbs.

  • School rating: A
  • Cost of living: $$$
  • Median household income: $123,617
  • Median home value: $583,900
  • Outdoor activities: A

Decatur’s downtown area is known for its tree-lined streets, stunning architecture and bustling town square. Families enjoy strolling through locally owned shops and restaurants or participating in community events. Education is also a top priority in Decatur, with plenty of award-winning schools and innovative programs.

10. Buford, GA

Depending on traffic, Buford is about an hour north of Atlanta—and it’s beloved by many families for top-rated schools and easy access to the Georgia mountains. In fact, Buford is home to the number 1 ranking K-12 public school district in the state of Georgia.

  • School rating: A
  • Cost of living: $$
  • Median household income: $54,321
  • Median home value: $265,600
  • Outdoor activities: A

In Buford, parents and community members actively support their schools, fostering a sense of pride in the district’s accomplishments. With strong local engagement and a focus on academic excellence, Buford is a top choice for families seeking a high-quality public education and a quiet, suburban community.

Which city in Georgia will you move to?

If you’re looking for a more family-friendly place to live, you’re not alone. Many families are leaving America’s biggest cities to get “more bang for their buck.” So how do you decide which Georgia city is right for you?

Well, it comes down to what you’re looking for in your new home. If you’re hoping to find a lower cost of living or elevate your career (without the long commutes that come with a bigger, more expensive city), Columbus, Georgia may be right for you.

Columbus is one of the best places for families in Georgia—and it’s the second biggest city in the state. That means you can access the perks of living in a larger city, like a thriving job market, while enjoying a strong sense of community and an affordable cost of living.

Connect with us

If you’re ready to learn more about living in Columbus, feel free to contact us here. Our team is here to help!