NEW YORK (Money Magazine) -
These two places, Cary, N.C. and Surgarland Run, Va., topped our rankings of the most desirable places to live in the eastern United States. For the complete list of top-ranked places to live click here.
Shade trees are everywhere, the mayor answers his own phone, neighbors know each other by name. But for all its folksy calm, Cary is deceptively high-powered. Mayor Glen Lang is also the millionaire CEO of a wireless broadband company.
The town has the highest median income ($77,091) in North Carolina and claims the highest percentage of Ph.D.s in the country for towns with more than 75,000 people. Something in the water? More likely it's the 14 major universities within an hour's drive and North Carolina's famed Research Triangle Park, whose tenants include Cisco, Ericsson, IBM and Nortel.
Sugarland Run, Va.
History, horses, high tech It's near Civil War battlefields, horse country, the Potomac River and the Beltway. George Washington actually slept nearby.
Newcomers find good schools and affordable housing options within the teeming D.C. exurb of Loudoun County -- most homes still are under $300,000 -- all within half an hour of Dulles airport and the federally subsidized cultural life of Washington. A rich nexus of employers in the area--many of them defense contractors and tech outfits--attracts workers flocking in from Atlanta, San Antonio, San Francisco and elsewhere.