The Most Popular U.S. Location in 2021

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There are so many amazing places to visit in the U.S., but have you ever wondered what the number-one most popular location is? Zillow now has the answer after reviewing its pageview traffic, available housing inventory, price appreciation, and more for thousands of zip codes within America's top 100 largest metropolitan areas.


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Drum roll, please. The most popular U.S. location in 2021 is ... South Lake Tahoe, California! According to Zillow's press release, this city is known for its vacation-style living near the largest freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. It also earned first place as the most searched-for area in the small towns and vacations towns categories.

Overall, South Lake Tahoe received 5,469 pageviews per listing and the typical home there is valued at $692,792. Plus, the city is also known for its easy commute to places like the Bay Area, Sacramento, Carson City, and Reno.

In addition to the most popular place overall in the U.S., Zillow also listed winners in more specific categories:

  • Most popular beach town:​ Newport, Oregon
  • Most popular retirement town:​ Lavallette, New Jersey
  • Most popular small town:​ Calabasas, California (following South Lake Tahoe)
  • Most popular vacation town:​ Big Bear Lake, California (following South Lake Tahoe)
  • Most popular college town:​ Tempe, Arizona

If you're looking to live in the most popular beach town, the average home in Newport is priced at $428,534, while the typical home value in Lavallette — the number-one retirement town — is $874,325. For the latter, Zillow defined retirement towns as "areas where at least 33% of the population is over the age of 65 and has no children or other relatives (other than their spouse) living in the home."

For those looking for a small town vibe with populations between 15,000 and 25,000, Calabasas, California, is a solid choice. However, it is on the expensive side — especially since it's known as a popular place for celebrities to settle down. For a standard home in the city, you should expect to pay at least $1.5 million.


When planning your future vacations, one location you'll want to consider is Big Bear Lake, California, where the environment is ideal for outdoor living. There, you'll find plenty of lakes, parks, and mountain and hiking trails, along with one of the highest inventories of housing units for vacation or recreational use. Other vacation towns to consider, thanks to Zillow's data, are California's Lake Arrowhead and Holmes Beach, Florida.

Lastly, for those seeking a college town, Tempe, Arizona — where Arizona State University is located — might be the right fit. In addition to having one of the largest populations of undergraduate and graduate college students, Tempe also has one of highest numbers of pageviews per rental listing.

So whether you're looking for a place to have outdoor adventures or somewhere to continue your education, there are plenty of popular options for you to choose from in America.