Best Places to Live: Top 100

For this year's list we focused on smaller places that offered the best combination of economic opportunity, good schools, safe streets, things to do and a real sense of community.

Claremont,  Calif.
Pomona College, with the San Gabriel Mountains in the background.
5. Claremont, Calif.
Population: 35,900
Median home price (2006): $643,549
Average property taxes (2006): $2,834
Pros: Tight-knit community with topnotch schools
Cons: Poor air quality, high home prices

Thirty miles east of Los Angeles, Claremont came into its own in the early 20th century after the founding of Pomona College. Streets were named after prestigious East Coast schools, and residents were encouraged to plant trees.

Today, Claremont is called the City of Trees and Ph.D.s. The city has won the National Arbor Day Foundation's Tree City USA award for 19 straight years, and Pomona is part of a prestigious consortium known as the Claremont Colleges.

The downtown is a mix of hip boutiques and old-school businesses. And the historic College Heights Lemon Packing House is now home to the Claremont Art Museum, restaurants, a jazz bar and artists' lofts. And relative to much of California, it's affordable (emphasis on "relative").

See complete data and interactive map for Claremont
 Find homes for sale in Claremont

Middleton

Hanover

Louisville

Lake Mary

Claremont

Papillion

Milton

Chaska

Nether Providence (Wallingford)

Suwanee

Sammamish

West Goshen

Montville

Apex

Horsham

La Palma

Olney

Sherwood

Corrales

Lisle

Chelmsford

Holly Springs

Hillsborough

Nanuet

Baldwin

Parker

Eastchester

Apple Valley

River Vale

Germantown

Winter Springs

Lake Oswego

Marlboro

La Mirada

Rocky Hill

Vadnais Heights

Plymouth Township

Coronado

Urbandale

Schertz

New Berlin

Elkridge

Jenks

Hewitt

Berkeley Heights

Westerville

Sayreville

Easton

Catonsville

Keller

Friendswood

Libertyville

Somers

Mechanicsville

Farmington

Eldersburg

Clayton

Readington

Saline

Lincoln

Woodridge

Moorpark

Camas

Peachtree City

Mooresville

Glen Allen

Liberty

Trumbull

Mukilteo

Vienna

Schererville

Crofton

Westborough

Granite Bay

Highland Heights

Martinez

El Dorado Hills

Moorestown

Pike Creek

Ridgeland

Mason

South Elgin

Mansfield

Beavercreek

Salem

North Haven

Emmaus

Lansing

Olive Branch

Franklin (Milwaukee County)

Helena

Grand Terrace

Twinsburg

Wilbraham

Bartlett

Gahanna

Grapevine

Seven Oaks

Silverdale

Cottonwood Heights
Source: OnBoard
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