This Small Town Was Just Ranked The No. 1 Happiest Place In America In 2024

This Small Town Was Just Ranked The Happiest Place In America In 2024
Picture for illustration purposes only

Frequently overlooked in favor of bigger cities, countless small towns in America provide residents with an outstanding quality of life marked by very low unemployment rates, access to better and affordable housing, a sense of togetherness and lately: Happiness.

After reviewing statistical indicators like the number of inhabitants (in this case, less than 8,000,) average family income, accessibility to real state, education and crime, The Travel, an online travel magazine, named White Rock, New Mexico, the “Happiest Small Town in America” in 2024.

“We’re honored to have White Rock receive such high acclaim from The Travel, and we know the town is certainly deserving of the title,” said Ellyn Felton, a Los Alamos marketing specialist.

As per Los Alamos Counselor Denise Derkacs, multiple factors contributed to the town getting the top distinction: “We have a very low crime rate, we have excellent schools, these are both things that make it great to raise a family as well as living here,” said Derkacs. 

Being home to three national parks also makes it the perfect destination for those craving outdoor adventures but not too willing to leave the state they live in, said the officer.

Other charming small towns that made it to the top five of the happiest destinations include Sugarcreek; Ohio, Tybee Island, Georgia; New Harmony, Indiana; and Eureka Springs; Arkansas. Check the full list here.

Why the “Happiest Small Town in America” is a Must-See in 2024

White Rock Overlook

The allure of this small town lies in how people interact with their farmer markets, artisans, eateries, and beloved natural landmarks while enjoying “beautiful dark skies” and an extensive network of hiking routes. 

Here are some of the reasons why you should put White Rock on your bucket list. 

Pig + Fig Café – Featuring a variety of palatable gourmet dishes, this White Rock venue earned the distinction of Best Small Town Restaurant in 2021, according to TravelAwaits.

Bandelier – Nestled in a canyon, this 33,000-acre national monument is filled with a myriad of paved and ADA-accessible hiking paths, ancient petroglyphs, rock cliff houses, and masonry-built walls.

White Rock Overlook– Capture postcard-like sunsets while exploring the canyon by horse or bike.

If feeling adventurous, don’t miss the chance to go visit Los Alamos, where “Oppenheimer” took place.

In recent years, Americans have increasingly shown interest in moving to small towns, as reported by Gallup News. As of 2022, small communities in the South welcomed 0.9 people per 100 inhabitants, compared to 0.6 in bigger cities also in the South.