18. Carmel, IN
Population: 80,142
Median family income: $120,714
Median home price: $268,750

Life is sweet in Carmel. Among its upmarket amenities, the city counts a $24.5 million water park and mega-fitness center, a 1,600-seat concert hall, a 500-seat theater and even a Japanese-style garden -- smack in the middle of the Midwest. The culture and manicured beauty of the area attracts high-paid professionals, many of them executives at the headquarters of Delta Faucet, Pearson Education and CNO Financial Group.

The city is even a particularly safe (and picturesque) place to drive, thanks to 80 landscaped roundabouts that curb traffic instead of traditional signals -- the most of any city in the country.

See complete data and interactive map for Carmel


  @Money - Last updated August 23 2012 12:50 PM ET
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