The Best Cities in Pennsylvania for Remote Workers

If you can work from anywhere, these fantastic Pennsylvania cities are the place to be. 

By
Sarah Kuta
On Thursday, February 25, 2021 - 18:55
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If you find yourself working remotely these days (or you have a permanent work-from-home setup), you may be taking a long, hard look at where you live. Now that you can work from anywhere, why work just anywhere

Especially if you currently live somewhere expensive, crowded and far from nature, it might be time to make a move. Your family’s quality of life matters, and if you’re not tethered to a particular city because of your job, the possibilities are truly endless.

If you’re not quite sure how or where to start your search for a new hometown, consider Pennsylvania, which is home to many remote-friendly communities waiting to welcome you with open arms. Here are a few of Pennsylvania’s best cities for remote workers, based on the availability of broadband internet, cost of living, access to nature, quality of life and ways to have fun once you close your laptop at the end of the day. 

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iStock/DenisTangneyJr

Erie

Even though you’re working remotely, you’ll feel a true sense of community and camaraderie in Erie, home to some 280,000 residents. This industrious city on the shores of Lake Erie in northwestern Pennsylvania has it all — world-class medical centers, outdoor recreation opportunities during all four seasons, natural beauty that will take your breath away and a family-friendly atmosphere, complete with top-notch schools.

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iStock/Darla Graff

Need to bounce an idea around or practice your next presentation? Head to Radius CoWork downtown. Want to clear your head over your lunch break? Step away for a moment at Presque Isle State Park. Ready to bolster your resume? Enroll in a class at one of Erie’s six colleges and universities.

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iStock/Sean Pavone

Pittsburgh

You’ll wake up inspired and ready to hit the ground running each day when you work remotely from Pittsburgh (and save some money to boot!). Not only is Pittsburgh’s cost of living lower than other major U.S. cities, but it’s also bustling with energy and innovation. In Pittsburgh, you’ll be surrounded by some of the best and brightest minds in robotics, healthcare, energy, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and other fields. Oh, and did we mention there are 90 unique neighborhoods to choose from? 

After you close your laptop for the day, your only struggle will be deciding what to do with your free time in Pittsburgh. Exploring the 15,000 acres of public parks or catching a live sporting event? Visiting one of the 32 world-class museums or cozying up with a good book in the city’s 19 public libraries gifted by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie? Sampling one of the city’s thousands of amazing restaurants? Decisions, decisions.

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iStock/DenisTangneyJr

Reading

Join the nearly 90,000 residents of Reading, an affordable and welcoming mid-sized city in southeastern Pennsylvania with robust business roots. The city helped drive the Industrial Revolution with its Philadelphia and Reading Railroad, which helped transport iron and steel across the state throughout the 1800s.

Today, you can find whatever style of home you’re looking for in Reading, whether it’s a historic Queen Anne or a modern loft. And when you get tired of staring at the walls of your home office, you can head to the innovative Berks LaunchBox coworking space and makerspace, located inside the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts. When you’re done with work for the day and it’s time to shake off the day’s cobwebs, hop on your bike and check out the region’s award-winning mountain bike trails, shop for antique treasures or hit up one of the area’s breweries (our favorite: Chatty Monks Brewing Co. in West Reading). 

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Chambersburg

If you’ve been craving a slightly slower pace of life and a new community with a small-town vibe, then put Chambersburg at the top of your list. This tight-knit borough in south-central Pennsylvania is home to roughly 20,000 people, with another 50,000 residents living in the surrounding region. 

Your remote work salary will stretch further in Chambersburg, which has low taxes and a low cost of living. Plus, you’ll be surrounded by hard-working, friendly neighbors willing to lend a hand whenever you need help. On the weekends, you’ll love diving into the region’s rich Civil War history and exploring the four nearby state parks, then treating yourself to a delicious dinner at Bistro 71 or Copper Kettle.

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iStock/DenisTangneyJr

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre

These twin cities offer a refreshing change of pace for remote workers, no matter what industry you’re in. Why? A combination of the region’s friendliness to small businesses and startups, its diverse recreation and entertainment offerings, its affordable cost of living and its great schools. If you’re relocating with your family, your kids will love experiencing the four seasons and all the fun things to do, including the interactive Everhart Museum and the Seven Tubs Nature Area.

The Wilkes-Barre THINK Center offers coworking space, as well as plenty of opportunities to network with other professionals during meetings, tech competitions, events and workshops. And there are plenty of cozy coffee shops to camp out in with your laptop, including Zummo’s Cafe in Scranton and Pour in Wilkes-Barre.

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Photo Courtesy of River Mountain Resort

Bonus: River Mountain Retreat

If you’re not quite ready to make a permanent move to Pennsylvania, why not try it on for size? You can do just that when you visit River Mountain Retreat, a new outdoor-focused resort in southern Pennsylvania with modern coworking spaces designed for people working remotely. Access to the resort’s remote workspaces is included with your stay, along with 24/7 coffee, complimentary happy hour, meeting spaces, group classes and experiences and access to 150 acres of nature.  

It’s the perfect way to give life in PA a spin, but when you find yourself making plans for a permanent move within hours of arrival, don’t say we didn’t warn you.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sarah Kuta is an award-winning Colorado writer and editor. She regularly writes about travel, nature, education, personal finance and other topics.