Become a digital nomad in the United States

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Updated 2021-08-03 12:26

It's hard to find a nomad out there who doesn't have a road trip through the US on their bucket list. The third-largest country in the world has a lot to offer its visitors — from the thriving innovation-driven environment to the incredible coastline and world-famous sightseeing.

Why is the United States a good nomad destination?

Most digital nomads have considered travelling to the US at least once, and many have the country in their list of must-visit destinations. Home to Silicon Valley, the world's number one tech, innovation, and startup hub, the globe's third-largest country is one of the best places for networking, coworking, bringing your projects to life, and getting ideas and inspiration.

The thriving entrepreneurial scene is the main factor in making the US a popular nomad destination as well as the country's many natural, historical, and cultural attractions.

Good to know:

The US is not a low-cost destination and staying here for the long term will be MUCH more expensive than, say, Thailand or Indonesia.

Best cities to work from

If it's inspiration you are looking for, there is no skipping New York on your trip. Praised by Frank Sinatra as the place for the ultimate skill test ('If I can make it here, I can make it anywhere'), New York is a place of motivation, exchange, and achievement.

If what you are looking for is combining your work hours with some relaxing beach time and the chance of running into celebrities on the street, Los Angeles is the perfect spot to explore. Known for its stunning coastline, young and hip work culture, vibrant boutique coffee scene, and one-of-a-kind nightlife, LA is one of the world's most popular travel destinations and home to a growing freelance and digital nomad community.

San Francisco is the Bay Area's centrepiece and one of the most visited cities in the United States and the world. With its hilly terrain, signature summer fog, and all things high-tech, it's a city where the hippie and yuppie culture live side by side with the backdrop of mushrooming young startups. Here, you will not only find a myriad of coffee shops catering to the freelancer but also one of the best possible selections of coworking spaces and world-class networking.

Dallas may not be the first city that comes to mind when you think of a digital nomad lifestyle, yet it ranks among the top nomad-friendly cities in the US. The city is rated highly for safety and, what's of note, walkability. Dallas also has more restaurants per capita than New York City, offering a friendly setting for nomads and foodies alike.

The internet and coworking spaces

The average internet speed in the US is 42.86 Mbps — but the actual speeds vary from state to state.

The East Coast boasts the highest internet speeds in the US — they are often more than double the speeds in some rural areas in the country. As of 2021, the following states have the highest internet speeds in the US: Rhode Island (129.0 Mbps), New Jersey (120.4 Mbps), Delaware (119.1 Mbps), Maryland (118.2 Mbps), Washington, DC (117.7 Mbps), Virginia (116.7 Mbps), Massachusetts (116.4 Mbps), Texas (110.7 Mbps), California (110.0 Mbps) and New York (108.8 Mbps).

The states with the slowest internet speeds are Montana, West Virginia, Idaho, Maine and Wyoming.

Big cities such as New York and Los Angeles offer no shortage of coworking facilities, cafés, and eateries to work from and mingle. If you choose to settle in the suburbs, however, you may need to go for a drive to the nearest coffee shop or choose to work from home.

Coworking spaces in New York

The Farm SoHo, 447 Broadway, 2nd Floor

The Commons 157 East 86th Street, 4th Floor

Primary, 26 Broadway

Coworking spaces in Los Angeles

Cross Campus, 800 Wilshire Blvd

Village Workspaces, 11845 W Olympic Blvd #1100

LAX Coworking, Ste., 9100 S Sepulveda Blvd

Coworking spaces in San Francisco

Bespoke Coworking, Level 4, #450A, 845 Market St.

DropDesk, 1186 Valencia St

Canopy, 2193 Fillmore St.

Coworking spaces in Dallas

NÅD Coworking, 17290 Preston Rd.

Common Desk, Deep Ellum, 2919 Commerce St.

SPACES, 1919 McKinney Ave.

Leisure in the United States

You won't be strapped for choice when it comes to leisure in the US. From going on a road trip from the East Coast to the West Coast, exploring the breathtaking views of the Grand Canyon, discovering the natural beauty of the Yellowstone National Park or taking a trip to the active volcanoes and craters of Hawai'i, the United States is a country of stunning natural diversity.

Some of the prime urban attractions include the iconic Statue of Liberty, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Empire State Building, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), the National Air and Space Museum (Washington), and the USS Midway Museum (San Diego).

What to know before arriving

The United States has some of the strictest border control regulations in the world. In fact, the literal instructions given to the Customs and Border Protection Officers is to presume that everyone entering the country is a potential immigrant and it's up to the applicant to prove otherwise. Thus, it is advised to apply for a US visa way ahead of your trip.

Another thing to consider is transportation. America is the country of cars and unless you are planning to settle in a big city, renting a car will be unavoidable. Another alternative is to use new taxi services such as Uber or Lyft but this could get pricey over time.

Useful links:

US Customs and Border Protection

Map of free Wi-Fi hotspots in the United States

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.