In the early 1900s, successful financiers from New York built big summer homes with wraparound porches in Ridgewood -- and then moved here full-time when the train and bus system into New York City arrived.
Today, thriving commuters enjoy a downtown full of mom-and-pop stores, an ever-expanding array of restaurants, a park, and an old-fashioned movie theater, surrounded by well-preserved architecture from the late 1800s and early 1900s.
In the fall, residents plant up to 6,000 bulbs for the spring daffodil festival. Add to that a high school ranked in the nation's top 200, and you have a well-rounded winner.Subscribe to Money Magazine
America's best small towns are not only thriving economically, they've also got all you could want in a place to raise a family.