Residents call West University Place an enclave, and it feels like a small town, even though it's almost surrounded by Houston. Bordering Rice University and less than five miles from Houston's downtown business district, West U attracts a slew of doctors, lawyers, and energy executives who enjoy good schools and tree-lined neighborhoods.
The streets share names with well-known universities (Vanderbilt, Amherst, Duke) and poets (Tennyson, Marlowe, Browning). Very apropos for one of the most educated communities in the South, where 85% of adults hold a bachelor's degree or higher.
Residents have replaced many of the city's smaller bungalows with 5,000- to 6,000-square-foot homes that carry seven-figure price tags. Of the 100 or so homes for sale there, more than half cost $1 million or more.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.