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.

Chaska,  Minn.
Chaska's downtown gazebo has hosted summer concerts for more than a century.
8. Chaska, Minn.
Population: 22,500
Median home price (2006): $272,932
Average property taxes (2006): $2,752
Pros: Quality jobs, a beautiful setting
Cons: Winter; highway expansion will spur growth

Chaska has beauty. Just 25 miles southwest of Minneapolis, it's one of the more rural towns on our list, and its small 19th-century downtown quickly yields to open fields, farmland and the Minnesota River. And it has brains too. More than a dozen technology and biotech firms are based there. The town is a magnet for families, who can find reasonably priced homes, low taxes and quality schools.

With no highway direct to Minneapolis/St. Paul, Chaska is a bit isolated from Twin City sprawl. That's about to change, with a highway expansion expected next summer. The downside: Chaska officials expect the town's population to increase 50% in 15 years.

See complete data and interactive map for Chaska
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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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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.