Views are priceless — but they can cost you up to 25% more when you live in a home with spectacular sights.
If you can afford the premium price, then which cities promise you the most stunning scenic vistas?
To find out, Lawn Love ranked 2022’s Cities with the Best Residential Views.
We looked for cities with plenty of home listings featuring views of mountains, water, city skylines, and parks.
Look through our rankings and in-depth analysis to see where your city stands and perhaps where to set your sights for your next move.
In this article
See how each city fared in our ranking:
More than a tropical mirage
Waterfront properties are more than a dream in desirable oceanside cities.
With premium sights, Honolulu takes first place overall, landing near the top of almost every metric. The Big Pineapple might disappoint when it comes to Park Views (No. 146), but who’s missing those when you can see cascading waterfalls, ocean waves, and towering volcanoes from your balcony?
An ocean away, Florida cities dominate in the share of available waterfront homes, with Fort Lauderdale (No. 8) and Cape Coral (No. 10) floating to the top of our ranking, thanks to high marks in the Water Views category.
You’ll need to pay up for a pretty panorama in these cities — they’re located in some of the Most Expensive Metro Areas to Rent.
West Coast wonders
Remarkable sights abound along the Pacific, where 14 cities make up our top 25.
Seattle brings home the bronze, impressing with abundant Water, Mountain, and City Views.
Nestled between Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish, Bellevue (No. 9) — the name of which comes from the French belle vue, meaning “beautiful view” — delivers on its promise. Many residences also have a sight of looming mountains like Mount Rainier and the Cascade Range.
Farther down the Pacific Coast, you’ll find golden glimpses galore in California cities Rancho Cucamonga (No. 5) and Irvine (No. 6). Irvine dominates the Park Views ranking, while many in Rancho Cucamonga can see the towering San Gabriel Mountains from their homes.
If you prefer not to hike through arid mountain ranges, admire them from the comfort of your home. Some Southwestern cities peaked at the top of our ranking, with Reno, Nevada, at No. 2 overall and leading at No. 1 in the Mountain Views category, thanks to the imposing Sierra Nevada.
Colorado Springs, Colorado (No. 7), and Tucson, Arizona (No. 14), follow closely behind in impressive Mountain Views, but other desert regions leave much to be desired when getting a picturesque perspective.
At rock bottom of our ranking, Arizona cities Glendale, Tempe, Chandler, and Mesa rank decently in Mountain Views and Park Views but fail to rise in any other metric. Despite being near the Sandia Mountains in New Mexico, many residents are unable to admire the natural beauty of Albuquerque (No. 196) from their living rooms. The mountains surrounding these cities are obstructed by suburban sprawl and poor Air Quality.
Prefer glimmering city lights over tranquil nature settings?
California cities impress, with hilly residences in San Francisco (No. 11) offering a dazzling spectacle of the city’s skyline. There are plenty of Park Views (No. 15) in The Golden City for people-watching, too.
Los Angeles (No. 29 overall) is full of angelic City Views (No. 5), with some homes also overlooking parks or shadowed by mountaintops. Unfortunately, La La Land’s scenery can be choked out by poor Air Quality (No. 170).
Over on the East Coast, Atlanta (No. 15) is runner-up for best City Views. Despite being nicknamed the City in a Forest, Hotlanta’s dogwoods won’t block you from waking up to admire the cityscape as you enjoy your morning brew.
Behind the ranking
For each of the 200 biggest U.S. cities, we gathered publicly available data on the factors listed in the table below.
We then grouped those factors into five categories: Water Views, Mountain Views, City Views, Park Views, and Air Quality.
Next, we calculated weighted scores for each city in each category.
Finally, we averaged the scores for each metro across all categories.
The city that earned the highest average score was ranked “Best” (No. 1), while the city with the lowest was ranked “Worst” (No. 200).
Note: “Available Homes” include for-sale and recently sold residences.
Realtor.com, U.S. Census Bureau, United States Environmental Protection Agency, and Zillow
Final thoughts: Grow your own view
Not everyone is lucky enough to live in a home with a view that takes your breath away.
Even if your home lacks spectacular sights, you can bring beautiful views to your backyard with the art of landscaping.
Here are some ideas for creating the Instagrammable backyard hangout of your dreams:
- Invite fluttering friends to your backyard or balcony with plants that attract butterflies.
- Let your garden show some personality by planting a goth garden.
- Impress your neighbors with a rose garden.
- Give your yard a unique flair by building a sensory garden.
- Bring some color to your backyard with flowering trees.
- Make an oasis for your furry friend with dog- and cat-friendly landscaping.
- Fill your yard with native plants and perennials for low-maintenance beauty.
- Love birdwatching? Bring them right to your back door with plants that attract birds.
No backyard oasis is complete without a nice green lawn. Hire a local Lawn Love pro for all your lawn care and landscaping needs.
Main photo credit: Shutterstock