Median home price (2006): $257,746
Average property taxes (2006): $2,638
Apple Valley is bearing much more than fruit these days. Once a quiet farming community, this Twin Cities suburb has seen subdivisions, many inspired by New Urbanism, sprout up across the landscape. While residents take advantage of the many miles of walking trails, the real attraction is the Minnesota Zoo, with more than 2,000 animals, including an excellent tiger exhibit and an aquarium. And with a top-performing magnet high school focusing on environmental science, Apple Valley has plenty to offer nature buffs, young and old alike. -B.N.
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