It doesn't get much more scenic and inviting than Mercer Island, an island (of course) in the middle of Lake Washington between Bellevue and Seattle. The school district is the top-ranked in the state, and the space is mostly residential, with wooded areas, landscaped homes and miles of shoreline.
Residents enjoy public beaches and a city-owned boat launch, plus walking trails along the water and the occasional kayak launch point. While the major shopping is on the mainland, Mercer Island offers the basics, including grocery stores, banks and a few small restaurantsSubscribe 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.