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100: Colchester, Vt.
Population: 17,612
Pros: Natural surroundings, vibrant tech community
Cons: Small workforce, cold winters

Like many small New England towns, Colchester, located near idyllic Lake Champlain, offers easy access to camping, sailing, and great swimming. While there's no downtown, the Mallets Bay area serves as a hub for marina activity.

Colchester is still a quiet place, but the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies, an incubator for tech startups, recently built a facility in Colchester with the support of Sen. Patrick Leahy. David Bradbury, the center's president, says the incubator will help scientists and students at the nearby University of Vermont launch businesses based on their research and collaborate with existing companies in the burgeoning local tech community. -Mina Kimes

Interactive map: Colchester, Vt.
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