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18 Towns Like Derry, Maine

A historic building at Derry, Maine.

Derry, Maine is a fictional town, created by Stephen King, a prolific author of horror novels. He based this town on the place where he lives — Bangor, Maine. Bangor is a picturesque town that is known for its extensive forests and lakes. As of 2020, approximately 32,000 people live there. Lumber, fishing, and tourism are their main industries.

Tourists come to Bangor to enjoy a wide variety of cultural activities. The Penobscot Theatre, Bangor Auditorium, Bangor Art Association, and the Bangor Historical Society are some of the many places they visit. Three-star hotels average at $218 per night.

Affordable housing ($150,000 median home value), accessible cost of living, safe neighborhoods, and top-rated schools makes Bangor a nice place to live.

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1. Muskegon, Michigan

A small dock at Muskegon, Michigan.

Muskegon, Michigan is a city with a population of about 37,000. It is located in western Lake County, Michigan and is part of the Grand Rapids-Holland-Muskegon metropolitan area. Advanced manufacturing, aerospace and defense, and food processing/agribusiness are the main industries.

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Tourists come to Muskegon to participate in water sports, relax anywhere on the 26-mile shoreline, or explore the forested dunes. Other attracctions include 20 miles of paved trails and the Lakeshore Trail, which offers scenic views. Three-star hotel rooms average at $193 per night. 

How It’s Similar to Derry, Maine

Muskegon also has an arts and culture center that residents and tourists can enjoy. Attractions include the Lakeshore Museum Center, Muskegon Civic Theatre, Muskegon Museum of Art, West Michigan Symphony Orchestra, and The Block (music concerts).

The average home value is $155K. Single adults can live there for about $32,000 per year.

How It’s Different to Derry, Maine

Muskegon has a dense suburban population, depending on where you live. The North side is less populated. Property and violent crimes are more common.  Its schools rank 12,482 in the National Rankings.

2. Golden, Colorado

City signage at Golden, Colorado.

Golden, Colorado is a city with a population of just over 20,000 people. It is located in the Clear Creek Valley, with spectacular views of the mesas and mountains. Energy, medical device, and bioscience are the main industries.

Tourists can enjoy a wide variety of museums, restaurants, hiking, and scenic drives. They can also go on a Coors Brewery tour and participate in a variety of festivals, live music concerts, craft classes, and more. Three-star hotel ratings average around $185 per night.

The average home value is $741,000, which attracts young professionals.

How It’s Similar to Derry, Maine

Golden offers gorgeous scenery and plenty of things for residents and tourists to do. It has a small-town vibe and a strong community. It is a popular “get away” spot for Denver residents who want to relax.

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How It’s Different to Derry, Maine

Home prices are high, as is the cost of living. The chance of becoming a victim of a property or violent crime is 1 in 25, which is high. Schools have mixed reviews from parents, depending on the district.

3. Ithaca, New York

Ithaca, New York has a population of almost 31,000 people. It’s located in the Finger Lakes region and is home to Cornell University. Industries include high-tech, tourism, business machine manufacturing, agriculture, and dairy farming.

Tourists come to hike to over a hundred waterfalls, go wine tasting, eat delicious food, enjoy concerts, and more. Three-star hotel ratings average around $416 per night.

The average home value is around $389,000, which exceeds the National Average.

How It’s Similar to Derry, Maine

Both cities are beautiful, with lots of outdoor activities. They’re both college towns, but they don’t have many similarities besides that.

How It’s Different to Derry, Maine

Ithaca is much bigger than Bangor, so it’s harder to get around. There are fewer attractions in Ithaca. Crime rates are higher in Ithaca.

4. Bozeman, Montana

A small city at Bozeman, Montana.

Bozeman is located in southwestern Montana, nestled in the Rocky Mountains and north of Yellowstone National Park. It has a population of over 48,000 people. Industries include oil and gas extraction, quarrying, mining, finance and insurance, and utilities.

Tourists go to the Montana State University’s Museum of the Rockies to learn about the area’s history, visit the planetarium, and visit the Dinosour Complex. They can travel north to the Bridger Range or south to the Spanish Peaks to participate in a wide variety of outdoor adventures. Three-star hotel ratings average around $341 per night.

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The average home value is approximately $374,000, which exceeds the National Average.

How It’s Similar to Derry, Maine

It’s very similar, in terms of the forested landscape and the small-town charm. They also have good schools, plus a wide variety of restaurants and bars, a thriving arts community, cultural centers, and museums.

How It’s Different to Derry, Maine

The cost of living has risen because of the rise in tourism. Homes are expensive, and there are fewer affordable housing options.

5. Portland, Maine

A small dock in the city at Portland, Maine

Portland is located on a peninsula that extends into the Casco Bay. Its Old Port waterfront has working fishing wharves and warehouses that house shops and restaurants.

It has a population of close to 67,000 people. Industries include fishing, healthcare and social assistance, plus professional, scientific and technical services.

Tourists have a wide variety of things to see and do. This includes cruises and tours, arts and entertainment, shopping and dining. Three-star hotel ratings average $260 per night.

The average home value is approximately $433,403, which is high.

How It’s Similar to Derry, Maine

Portland offers an above average education for public school education. They also have colleges and universities.

How It’s Different to Derry, Maine

Portland is about twice the size, but it has a more congested feel, as well as a homeless problem. It also doesn’t offer that small-town atmosphere.

6. Redding, California

Located on the northern edge of California, Redding  is a bustling community that hasn’t lost its small-town feel, despite its size and bustling tourism.

It has a population of approximately 92,000 people. It serves as the regional hub for several industries that include retail, professional services, government, and more.

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Tourists enjoy visiting the Shasta State Historic Park, Turtle Bay Exploration Park, the Sundial Bridge, and the Whiskeytown National Recreation area. Three-star hotel ratings average $184 per night.

The average home value is approximately $345,000, which is high.

How It’s Similar to Derry, Maine

Redding is surrounded by mountains and forests, making it attractive to residents and tourists who enjoy participating in outdoor adventures. Both cities are known for their outdoorsy culture. Redding’s schools are listed as above average.

How It’s Different to Derry, Maine

Redding has a larger population, but it’s less dense. It doesn’t offer the same cultural diversity or activities.

7. Burlington, Vermont

A snow in winter at Burlington, Vermont.

Burlington, Vermont is located south of the Canadian border, on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain. It offers historical museums, gorgeous scenery, and an active community.

It has an estimated population of just over 76,000 people. The city is home to many businesses including financial services, manufacturing, wholesale trade, health care, educational services, and other fields.

Tourists can visit the Shelburne Museum, the Champlain Islands, Lake Champlain, and the Adirondack Mountains. Three-star hotel rating averages $155 per night.

The average home value is approximately $285,000.

How It’s Similar to Derry, Maine

Both places have a reputation for being environmentally friendly. Burlington has a large number of parks and trails.

How It’s Different to Derry, Maine

Burlington has a higher median income than Derry. It also has a rather high crime rate with property theft. Other than that, it’s a pretty safe place to live and offers above-average schools.

8. North Potomac, Maryland

A railroad and historically building at North Potomac, Maryland.

North Potomac is a suburb of Washington, DC. Located along the banks of the Potomac River, North Potomac is rich in history and wealth.

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This town was founded in 1791 and is home to many historic sites such as Fort Foote, Fort Lincoln, and the old Navy Yard.

There are around 19,500 residents living here. This makes it one of the smaller cities in the state.The economy relies heavily on federal employment.Three-star hotels average $150 per night.

The median home value is approximately $673,000, which is very high.

How It’s Similar to Derry, Maine

North Potomac has a strong military presence. There are many historic sites nearby.

How It’s Different to Derry, Maine

North Potomac isn’t as wealthy as Derry. It also lacks the cultural diversity that Derry does.

9. Durham, New Hampshire

Durham is located near the center of the Granite State. It has a lot of natural beauty and is home to some great attractions.

Tourists can go hiking at Mount Monadnock, take in the views from the top of White Mountain National Forest, and explore the local wildlife.

There are about 17,000 residents living in this small town. The economy is based mostly on education, healthcare, and finance.

Hotels in Durham tend to be quite expensive. Average three-star hotel rates are $200 per night.

Home values range between $300,000 and $1 million.

How It’s Similar to Derry, Maine

Durham is close to both Boston and Portsmouth. It’s not too far from the ocean either. The city also offers small-town charm.

How It’s Different to Derry, Maine

Durham is smaller and more rural. As a result, it doesn’t have as many restaurants, shops, and entertainment options.

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10. Hagerstown, Maryland

A welcome signage at Hagerstown, Maryland.

Hagerstown is located in western Maryland. It’s known for its beautiful rolling hills, quaint downtown area, and proximity to the Appalachian mountains.

This town is home to many historic buildings like the Old Courthouse and the Masonic Temple. It’s also home to the Antietam National Battlefield where the Battle of Antietam took place.

There are about 18,400 residents living in this small city. The economy is based on government jobs, retail trade, and health care.

Tourists can enjoy a wide variety of indoor and outdoor activities. Average three-star hotel prices are $137 per night.

Median home values are $320,000.

How it’s Similar to Derry, Maine

Hagerstown is surrounded by forests and farmland. It’s a little bit less urban than other places and is a safe place to live. It offers a growing arts community, good schools, and a safe community.

How It’s Different to Derry, Maine

Hagerstown is closer to Baltimore and Philadelphia. Housing prices are more expensive.

11. Newport News, Virginia

A James river beach sunset at Newport News, Virginia.

Newport News is located in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia. It’s an important port city.

It’s also the largest city in the Peninsula region. In addition to being a major shipping hub, Newport News is home to several historical landmarks.

There are over 20,000 people living in this small city, making it one of the most populated areas in the state.

The economy is largely driven by business services, financial activities, and construction.

Tourists can visit any of the historical museums and attractions, go on an outdoor adventure, tour historical sites, enjoy free festivals and events, and more!

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Hotel prices vary widely depending on location. Three-star hotels average $111 per night.

Medians home values are $170,000.

How It’s Similar to Derry, Maine

Newport News offers boating and fishing, museums, and a thriving art community. Housing prices are a bit higher, but still reasonable. Residents have access to good schools and safe neighborhoods.

How It’s Different to Derry, Maine

Newport News Is Larger Than Derry. It’s also closer To Washington DC and Richmond.

12. Annapolis, Maryland

A dock and a church at Annapolis, Maryland.

Annapolis is located in central Maryland. It’s the capital of the state.This city was founded in 1649 and is home to many historic sites.

There are nearly 40,000 residents living in Annapolis. The economy is primarily based on government, business services, and tourism.

Tourists can enjoy learning about the city’s nautical heritage, visit the National Cyrptologic Museum, shop at the state’s largest outlet, and much more.

Three-star hotel costs average $182 per night.

Median home values are $260,000.

How It’s Similar to Derry, Maine

Annapolis is an historic city that is located within 10 miles of a beach. Its waterfront serves the Naval Academy. The cost of living in this city is comparable.

How It’s Different to Derry, Maine

Annapolis has a lot more attractions. It Includes museums, parks, and beaches. Housing prices are more expensive, but the salaries are higher.

13. Columbia, South Carolina

Columbia is located in the midlands of South Carolina. It’s known for having some of the best universities in the country. It is also home to the University of South Carolina.

There are approximately 134,000 residents living in this small town. The economy is driven by education, healthcare, and finance.

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Tourists can enjoy the Congaree National Park, historic and art museums, gardens, and more. Hotel costs range from $85-$150 per night.

Median home values are $180,000.

How It’s Similar to Derry, Maine

Their public schools are above average, and the cost of living is reasonable. Residents also don’t have to deal with long commutes to work. The city also has a rich historical heritage.

How It’s Different to Derry, Maine

Columbus is located 152 miles east of the coast. It has a higher population, which increases the risk of crime. 

14. Charleston, South Carolina

A church and sunset at Charleston, South Carolina.

Charleston is located in the south eastern corner of South Carolina. It has a lot of history and culture. It is also home to Fort Sumter which played a key role in the Civil War.

There are more than 60,000 residents living in Charleston. The economy is driven primarily by tourism, banking, and manufacturing.

Tourists can enjoy the arts and culture scene, take tours, relax on the beach, and much more. Hotel costs average $120 per night.

Median home values are $230,000.

How It’s Similar to Derry, Maine

Charleston offers a vibrant art community and plenty of things for residents and tourists to do. It also has a rich history.

How It’s Different to Derry, Maine

The cost of living is higher, but the low property tax makes up for it for many. Property crime rates are much lower, while the violent crime rate is a bit higher. Charleston offers some of the best schools in the state, but they ranked 43 in the national average.

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15. Savannah, Georgia

Tourist on a horse carriage at Savannah, Georgia.

Savannah is located in the southeastern corner of Georgia. It has a rich history and culture. It is also home to the famous Broughton Street Cemetery.

There are over 145,000 residents living in Savannah. The economy is driven mostly by tourism, finance, and insurance.

Tourists love the pedestrian-friendly city because they can walk to whatever attraction they would like to see. They also appreciate having the ability to choose their own adventure. Three-star hotels average $110 per night.

Median home values are $160,000.

How It’s Similar to Derry, Maine

Savannah is well-known for its Southern Charm, growing food scene, parks, and more. Tourists and residents enjoy taking ghost tours to learn the history and to seek a thrill. It offers affordable housing and beaches.

How It’s Different to Derry, Maine

Residents can enjoy warm weather year-round. Its population is more than double, but the relaxed atmosphere makes up for the crowd. Their schools are above average. Its crime rate is a bit high, with assaults and robberies.

16. Mystic, Connecticut

Mystic is located in the northeast corner of Connecticut. It’s known for its beautiful scenery and historic architecture. It is also home to the famed Mystic Seaport Museum which features exhibits on maritime life throughout history.

There are roughly 55,000 residents living in Mystic. The economy is driven by tourism, education, and healthcare.

Tourists enjoy visiting the waterfront, historical homes, going on seaport museum adventures, and more. Hotel costs range from $80-$150 per night.

Median home values are $250,000.

How It’s Similar to Derry, Maine

Mystic offers New England charm, a growing art culture, excellent public schools and a safe, family-friendly environment.

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How It’s Different to Derry, Maine

Housing is a bit on the expensive side. The city has a dense, suburban feel that most will enjoy but some will not.

17. Bend, Oregon

An old mill at Bend, Oregon.

BEND – A city rich in culture, natural beauty, and outdoor adventure. Located at the confluence of the Deschutes and Columbia rivers, Bend offers year-round outdoor recreational activities including hiking, mountain biking, fishing, boating, rafting, golfing, and much more!

Bend has a population of over 97,000 residents. The economy is driven largely by tourism, recreation, health care, and government services.

Tourists enjoy outdoor skiing and water adventures in the Cascade Mountains, visits to craft breweries, the High Desert Museum, and more. Three-star hotel costs start at $286 per night.

Median home values are $300,000.

How It’s Similar to Derry, Maine

Bend offers a small-town feel, with a relaxed atmosphere. The historic downtown district remains untouched, since the city was built in 1905. You won’t find any tall skyscrapers or huge warehouse-type stores. It offers great schools and is very family-oriented.

How It’s Different to Derry, Maine

Its population is quite a bit higher. As a result, the housing prices and cost of living are higher, as is the crime rate. Bend also has fewer rainy days, which makes it perfect for outdoor enthusiasts.

18. Big Sky, Montana

Brick building entrance at Big Sky, Montana.

Big Sky is located in the Rocky Mountain region of northern Montana. It’s known for being one of the most scenic places in the United States. It is also home to Glacier National Park.

There is an estimated population of 3,054 residents living in Big Sky, as of 2020. The economy is driven primarily by tourism, recreation, agriculture, and mining.

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Hotel costs range from $527 per night.

Median home values are $800,000.

How It’s Similar to Derry, Maine

Big Sky is known for its breathtaking scenery and plenty of things to do outdoors. It has above-average schools, a growing arts and cultural community, and a low crime rate. The city’s residents are friendly and unpretentious.

How It’s Different to Derry, Maine

While the housing and grocery expenses are high, the utility and transportation costs are low. Because of its remote location, Big Sky doesn’t get overcrowded with tourists like the other Rocky Mountain resorts tend to do.