Best Places to Live 2006
What do you think of this year's Best Places to Live list? Which are your favorite cities? What makes them great American towns? Would you consider moving to one of them? What do you think is most important when considering where to live -- real estate prices, school systems, taxes, job opportunities, lack of stress? Tell us what you think. The best replies will be published here, and possibly in a future story on
Posted by 1:00 AM 1068 Comments comment | Add a Comment

Tell us what you think of this year's Best Places to Live list.
Posted By Anonymous : 3:51 PM  

What's most important when considering where to live?
Posted By Anonymous : 3:51 PM  

Which are your favorite cities? The best replies will be published here.
Posted By Anonymous : 3:51 PM  

your list is very impressive but when I looked at it I thought one might be missing. State College,PA is probably the cleanest place to live I have ever seen. Its got a wonderful view, is a college town, alot of job opportunities. etc. I just thought you were missing one.
Posted By Michael Lanich, Philipsburg,PA : 10:08 AM  

Your ommision of Corpus Christi TX is quite amusing. But then again it is appreciated. The longer our city can remain an un-discovered secret, the more we like it.
Posted By Michael Leonard - Corpus Christi TX : 10:13 AM  

Why is it that whenever there is a survey such as this that the Upper Peninsula of Michigan never gets a mention. It is beautiful up here, Marquette and Munising are lovely little towns and the people of the UP are just incredible.

Posted By Joan Baker, Chatham, MI : 10:43 AM  

Having moved from Naperville Il to greater Cincinnati OH a year and a half ago I can say that the Cincinnati suburbs have it all over Naperville. Less traffic, better roads and no tollways, beautiful scenery, cleaner, more culture, more and better resturants, shorter commutes with jobs in closer proximity to homes, better home values, larger home lots, closer to downtown, and better weather are a few of the advantages that Anderson township, Maderia, Union township etc. have over Naperville.
Posted By Stuart Koford Batavia OH : 11:05 AM  

Next Year please take a look at Geneva, Illinois. Geneva is about 10-15 miles west of Naperville, IL. It is a smaller community located on the Fox River. It is a quaint beautiful town with excellent schools, shopping, and restaurants. It is a suburb of Chicago with the feel of a small town. The crime rate is extremely low and the level of community involvement is high. It is a wonderful place to raise a family.
Posted By Margaret Geneva, Illinois : 11:15 AM  

Where is Montana??? I have lived here for over 60 years and would not move to anywhere....even Naperville where my daughter lives!!
Posted By Jerry Hoyer Great Falls, Montana : 11:45 AM  

I have lived in Ft Collins my whole life and I'm so proud that it has been recognized for what it's worth. I've never come across another city like my own and I always thought I was biased. I'm so honored to live here! Thank you for the recognation!
Posted By Jane P., Ft Collins, CO : 11:54 AM  

Another place you want to check out for next years list is Ludington, Michigan. Lake Michigan Shoreline, beautiful town, beautiful people and growing steadily.
Posted By T. Robbins, Michigan : 11:55 AM  

I go to CSU and absolutely love Fort Collins. I grew up in a small mountain in Colorado, and Fort Collins has that same feel, but with everything you need. I love it. I do plan on making it my home once I am done with school.
Posted By Emily- Salida/ Fort Collins, CO : 11:59 AM  

Long Beach, NY is a great place to live. We've got the Atlantic, all types of housing, a diverse community, and a commute to Manhattan of under an hour. All homes here are walking distance to the ocean, and we have a beautiful white beach and a 2.2 mile boardwalk where folks can walk, run, bicycle, attend concerts or just sit and enjoy the view. We're cooler in the summer and walmer in the winter than other localities by up to 10 degrees, and we have a wealth of leisure activities for all ages. Great restaurants and popular night spots attract people from all over the area. In short, Long Beach has much to offer, and if you love the ocean, there couldn't be a better place to live.
Posted By E. Devine, Long Beach, NY : 12:01 PM  

I noticed Monterey, CA wasn't even in your top 90, but it's the best placed I've EVER lived (and I was born in Longmont, CO) but I guess it didn't make your list because it's an expensive place to live. What a shame (as I look at my Pacific Ocean view).....'cause you ask anyone who knows this's paradise!
Posted By Holly Monterey, CA : 12:24 PM  

Fort Collins is finally receiving the attention it deserves. We'll be moving back to Fort Collins in the next couple of years. It is a fabulous place--beautiful, moderate climate, lots of sunshine and fresh air, and an open rural, yet culturally satisfying environment. It's also reasonably convenient to Denver International airport and all the additional activities and attractions in Denver, Boulder, and Rocky Mountain National Park. There's a beautiful new events center just outside of town that is attracting great concerts and sporting events. A new state-of-the art medical center is nearly completed. Recreation possibilities are endless. It's family friendly and open to newcomers. Career choices have taken us to other states for a few years now, but we will be returning to Ft. Collins as soon as possible! (Real estate is still affordable there--great upside potential in the market!)
Posted By K.L. Anderson, Phoenix, Arizona : 12:30 PM  

Sugar Land, Texas is a great place to live and work. The schools are outstanding, the parks and recreation areas are excellent, and the shopping and restaurants are fabulous. Housing is reasonable and the properties are beautifully maintained. And, the state is expanding the freeways into the city, so the commutes are quick and easy. We love it.
Posted By Bob Nall, Sugar Land, TX : 12:33 PM  

I have lived in many places over the years, and I must say that Sparks, Nevada embodies everything any family could desire. The Money poll did not do justice to our fine town. The Money poll failed to mention our downtown events - practically one every summer weekend - the Rib Cook off, Hot August Nights events, Balloon Races, Street Vibrations, Farmer's Market, Fourth of July celebrations, events at the Sparks Marina. While some of these may be listed as Reno, Nevada events, Sparks has concurrent celebrations that provide great family outings. There is an abundance of sunshine, great family neighborhoods, friendly stores and even motorists who wave and graciously give access for turns and right-of-way! Our high schools enjoy broad community support for events such as football, marching band, and theater presentations. And the weather - you can't beat the weather anywhere; lively springs, just right summers, colorful falls, and just the right amount of snow in winter.
Posted By Teresa Blume, Sparks, Nevada : 12:33 PM  

How Grosse Pointe, MI doesn't even make the top 50 I do not understand...great schools and parks, phenomenal architecture, no crime, right on Lake St. Clair, and affordable (compared to other upscale Detroit suburbs). The best kept secret in Michigan.
Posted By Andrew, Grosse Pointe Park, MI : 12:34 PM  

I live in Fairfield, CT and, although I enjoy it, this city does not belong in the top 10. I grew up in Newton, Ma and can honestly say that it is a far superior city. There is so much more to do, it has a great public school system, and it's a very safe place to live.

Very enjoyable list though, looks like I might have to check out Fort Collins. Also, I have traveled to almost every major city in the U.S. and Austin, TX and San Diego, CA are the two most enjoyable places I have ever been.
Posted By Mike Fairfield, CT : 12:34 PM  

You should check out Bel Air,MD it's a great place to live and is located right next to the chesapeake bay.
Posted By steven estabrook, bel air, maryland : 12:44 PM  

Naperville is GREATLY overrated. It was a nice town 20 years ago, but is now just another mega-suburb of Chicago with high home prices.
Posted By Jerry, DeKalb, Illinois : 12:47 PM  

I was surprised that Chattanooga, Tennessee didn't make it. We've got a great down town, low cost of living and outdoor amenities that rival anywhere else in the country.
Posted By Matt, Chattanooga TN : 12:53 PM  

I can't beleive Charleston, West Virginia, with its mountains, tourism, and low cost of living didn't make the list. A city with a great cost of living, low cost of doing business, great culture, a wonderful river, and great fairs and fastivals, Charleston WV should be on this list.
Posted By Matt Ball Elkview West Virginia : 1:02 PM  

I can't believe that California only had three cities in the top 50. Obviously, you did not take climate and beauty into consideration.
Posted By Jerry Schreck - Sacramento CA : 1:08 PM  

You obviously can't find your way to the west side of michigan. Grand Haven MI made the top 10 beachs of america. We have the best schools in the state. We consitantly run far above state averages on the MEAp. As far as math and science goes our Science Olympians have gone to Nationals where they consitantly place in the Top 3 the last 15 years in a row. I see alot of cities on the east side but I invite your researchers to come to the West!! I am sure you will agree we do have one of the best cities in America if not the world. My husband has lived all over and he always is saying that GH is the best place to raise children and to live our retirement.
Posted By Christine Houghtaling Grand Haven MI : 1:18 PM  

I went to visit Gilbert, AZ to decide if I wanted to purchase a home there about 3 weeks ago. No wonder it made the top 20, the city is absolutely amazing. I have decided to buy there and become part of this fantastic growing community.
Posted By Brad, Aliso Viejo CA : 1:21 PM  

Cary, NC is a great place to live--if you like big SUV's, McMansions, and new sprawling shopping centers that all look the same.
Posted By Christie, Raleigh, NC : 2:02 PM  

First, a number of these communities simply don't belong on a small town/city list. I lived in Gilbert, AZ and I loved it but it is a part of the Phoenix metro area and shouldn't be considered much else. That is true of a number of the communities listed.

As for small towns to consider, there are loads in the middle of the country, places like Northwest Arkansas, Springfield, IL, the Quad Cities area of Illinois and Iowa, Cedar Rapids, etc.

Also, one of my favorite towns is Hershey, PA.
Posted By Brad, Rogers, AR : 2:11 PM  

Thanks for keeping Huntsville, Alabama a secret. Most who come here from all parts of the country like it and stay or come back if they have to leave. Small is great and we have it all.
Posted By Ray Sells, Huntsville, AL : 2:23 PM  

Heh. Glad you missed - apparently didn't even look at - Durango, Colorado. There is no Front Range city that comes close to matching the quality of life here!
Posted By Andy Dashiell, Durango, CO : 2:31 PM  

Livermore, right. Hot, hot, hot, as in over 100 degrees today. Traffic on the 580 (the major freeway in or out) is a nightmare and will only get worse as the central valley towns continue to grow. Do your homework Money.
Posted By C Summers, Orinda CA : 2:34 PM  

Overland Park is a quaint little community nestled on the fringes of Kansas City. It is a nice place with terrific amenities such as great restaurants, theaters (both movie and live), many concert venues, and majestic art museums to name but a few. The only thing standing between OP and world renowned greatness is the fact that it is in Kansas (which carries with it a certain social stigma associated with flat prairies, tornados and little girl with a dog that fights with witches and flying monkeys). It is one of the U.S.'s best kept secrets... shhhh! Don't tell anyone how great this place is. They might be tempted to move here.
Posted By Joe in Prairie Village, KS : 2:34 PM  

Naperville, IL is stunning. High Quality of life. They missed talking about BEST Libraries our city has to offer. Other advantage is train infrastructure that connects to Chicago in 30 minutes.
Posted By Ram, Naperville, IL : 2:39 PM  

Sugar Land, Texas?! If these were indeed the best cities to live in then we would all be living there. This is primarily a list of the Blandest Places in the Country. The best places to live are the ones that continually attract and retain residents, such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Pasadena, Boston and Cambridge. Still, it is nice to see how happy all these boosters posting comments here are with their own little suburban Edens.
Posted By Angelic Pabst, Cambridge MA : 2:40 PM  

I first arrived in Fort Collins in 1981 and am leaving this year / 2006. If you appreciate traffic, sprawl, anal neighbors, congestion, depressed air quality (ozone, haze, pollution ), and commuting > 50 miles to Denver ( i.e., to make a decent wage ), Fort Collins is calling your name. Home prices have fallen atleast 10 - 15% over the last few years given the export of local IT jobs overseas. Escaping to the mountains on weekends has become "take a number" given the line of traffic heading up SR14 and I-70. Natives and semi-natives are moving out to Wyoming and Montana and elsewhere to escape the californication of Colorado. Open space is rapidly being swallowed up by commercial interest(s). What was once "Colorful Colorado" is now "Crowded Colorado". "When you call someplace paradise, kiss it goodbye - The Eagles".
Posted By John Zack, Fort Collins, CO : 2:40 PM  

Henderson, NV? I have been there, and not much to see, except the Vegas skyline. What about Santa Barbara or San luis Obispo? Both great California Cities with great weather & little crime. Weak List.
Posted By Doug, Templeton, CA. : 2:43 PM  

i think that Bloomington, indiana, not even in your top90 is crazy and should deffintly be added
Posted By dan puett, bedford, indiana : 2:52 PM  

When you rated the cities, you forgot to factor in something that makes a big difference in quality of life: weather. I live in Carlsbad, CA, which did not make your top 100 list. I previously have lived in Eden Prairie, MN and near Fargo, ND - both on your top 100. I will trade glorious sunny days and proximity to the ocean for all the restaurants, movie theatres, and cheap housing that supposedly gives "quality of life". Fargo, ND can resemble Siberia for 8 months out of the year. Eden Prairie, MN has weather that is only slightly better. Quality of life means not having to get up at 5 a.m. to blow 2 feet of snow out of the driveway so you can get to work on time.
Posted By Julie Cameron Carlsbad, CA : 2:52 PM  

Pembroke Pines and Mirimar Florida both in the top 100? you're kidding, right?

We just moved the family from this area within the past two months to Texas. Home insurance is going up as much as 80% due to the hurricanes. Taxes are on the rise, as well.

Traffic is higher than it should be for an area such as this to be considered top 100, as well.

Median home price of $260k? maybe three years ago. Home prices in this area are so out of control that cities are looking for ways to subsidize the cost of a home for teachers.
Posted By Scott- Rowlett, TX : 3:03 PM  

I am glad you have totally neglected New England. Were the truth to get out about places such as St. Johnsbury, Vermont or Hanover, New Hampshire, our idyllic communities would likely lose their lustre and wonder.
Posted By Sarita, Vermont : 3:05 PM  

Folsom, Ca DOES have a beautiful new Community College, Folsom Lake College
Posted By Dan Groat Folsom, CA : 3:08 PM  

I noticed there was only ONE town in the state of Indiana on this list.
Indiana has some of the smallest, cleanest,friendliest, non crime neighborhoods...!
My town has 1 stop light, no congestion, plenty of little shops and such and vertually NO crime record at all! Come on now! I think you need to research EVERY town and city in EVERY state before coming to these conclusions! I mean places on your list with populations in the 900,000 mark SURELY with NO DOUBT have CRIME!!!Hmmmf!
Posted By Ashley, Veedersburg, IN. : 3:09 PM  

I am from Colorado Springs, and now I go to school at Colorado State in Ft. Collins, Colorado! I must commend you on your excellent choices as you hit the nail on the head with this one!
Posted By Liz, Colorado Springs/Ft. Collins, Colorado : 3:09 PM  

Thank you for not putting Austin, TX high on the list. The housing prices here have gone out of sight and the only people moving here are from California. We don't need anymore Starbucks,k?
Posted By Jason May, Austin, TX : 3:12 PM  

It never fails, survey after survey. Are there any folks that compile these surveys from the "Inland Empire" - Eastern Washington? Spokane is almost never mentioned - good or bad on these lists. Maybe it's a good thing it's not. That way the city/metro area can continue to be a quiet, clean, safe place to grow up/live/work.
Posted By Bob Haagenson, Abingdon, Maryland : 3:20 PM  

Where is Lexington, KY?? Easily top 10 in low crime, schools, medical services, weather, etc.
Posted By Curtis, King George, VA : 3:20 PM  

why is it whenever these surveys come up Hawaii isn't included as a state? what is the criteria for the best place to live? Hawaii should be among the top because it is relatively safe to live, you can drink water straight from the tap that is sweet and refreshing with no chlorine taste, weathers always good, people are nice, convenient transportation and convenient shopping, all the good stuff is there already, so why isn't it in here?
Posted By Honolulu Hawaii : 3:26 PM  

Have you looked at Grandview Ohio? We are a community located very near downtown Columbus. (Commuting is a breeze.) Great schools, trendy shops and cafes, and wonderful older homes. This is a very real community filled with good old fashioned pride, and a whole bunch of school spirit. We have lovely older homes here and plenty of parks and green space. A small village in the city where neighbors care about each other. Come see us before you post your next Best Places survey!
Posted By T. Keller, Grandview, OH : 3:28 PM  

I live in Fort Collins and love it. I have lived in many places in the US but nothing compares to the weather, (300 days of sunshine) the people, year round golf and cheap houses. We bought our 4 bedroom 4 bath with 3 car garage last year for only 258000 and the house is only 9 years old at the end of a cul-de-sac. I guess now that this story hit NBC and CNN, prices are going up.
Posted By Scott, Fort Collins, CO : 3:30 PM  

Why aren't 'people' considered in the list? I've lived near one or two places on the list and the people in those places were so unfriendly. How can a place be great to live in if the people aren't nice?
Posted By Rick Adamczak, Columbus, Ohio : 3:33 PM  

I find it amazing that Annapolis, MD (a quaint historic town on the edge of the Chesapeake Bay) wasn't even in the running. Ellicot City (one of the finalists) can't hold a candle to Annapolis and Rockville is just one long shopping mall!
Posted By Sarah Stiles, PPB New Jersey : 3:35 PM  

I lived just outside of Raleigh and Cary for 25 years, a large portion of my youth. It is beautiful and full of good schools, affordable real estate, and virtually stress free. However, I think it should be noted that it is mainly such for people with families or on the brink of starting up a family. Also, it's somewhat unfortunate (while fortunate at the same time) that these two cities keep making the poll, it's growing some of the charm right out of the cities. In the past 20 yrs. it has become a virtual hotbed of relocated persons from the northeast.
Posted By Christi, New York, New York : 3:36 PM  

They might be the best places to live, but boring as all get out.
Posted By Bob C., Chicago, IL : 3:38 PM  

I agree with the comment about the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I lived there for 6 years, and currently live in Canton, MI. I would go back to Marquette in a heartbeat if there was work.
Posted By Ryan Hernalsteen, Canton, MI : 3:38 PM  

Did weather ever cross your minds. How could anyone prefer to live in any place that freezes? Humidity makes life horrible too. Having lived in Naperville the #2 city, it just can't compare with about 50 cities in Southern California.
Posted By Jesse, Fullerton CA : 3:43 PM  

I don't know who told you that Mt. Pleasant, SC has a commute time of 19 minutes, but they were either lying, or measuring it at 3 a.m. Between 7 and 10 am and 3 and 6 pm, it takes at LEAST 45 minutes to get anywhere.
Posted By Josh Wolf, Mt. Pleasant, SC : 3:44 PM  

Ft C was a better place to live 40 years ago before all the traffic and concept restaurants moved in. I am not sure how all this data is accumulated but as someone who drove 150 miles round trip to work everyday for 6 years I know more people commute to Denver or elsewhere to work than what is claimed here. I-25 is packed at 5AM every day and it doesn't let up until around 9AM.

Over the last few years we have seen some of our biggest employers move out and others lay-off many more people.

Finally you have stated nothing about the local foreclosure rate which is well above the national average.
Posted By Mike Salasek, Ft Collins, CO : 3:51 PM  

The most overlooked city in America is Indianapolis. Having lived in Japan, Germany, California, Utah and New Hampshire, Hoosiers aren't missing anything with what they have: Eli Lilly, Cummins, Wellpoint, Toyota, GM, Chrysler, Honda, etc. employers, low, low expenses, great road system around Indy, America's best sports on college and pro-levels. Did I mention all the monuments and arts around downtown? Indy is also probably the cleanest big city in the world.
P.S. This survey validates my lack of confidence in surveys because they are so far off!
Posted By Ken Smithee, Fairmount, Indiana : 3:53 PM  

I've lived in 3 of the top 25. They all deserve to be there!
Posted By Stacey - Plano, TX : 3:54 PM  

Chicago is always looked at as just a big, dirty city with lots of crime. Well, come visit, and you'll see why us Chicagoans would never move!! :)
Posted By Robin, Chicago IL : 3:55 PM  

Fishers, IN. no. 33 The population must be way off because the residents of Fishers are packed so close together that they can barely breath. I'm sure its well over 100,000 at least thats the way it seems if you try to get there during rush hour.
Posted By Don Ball, Indianapolis, IN. : 3:57 PM  

I find it VERY disappointing that this list is composed of many cities and/or states that are listed as the best places to live yet are hit yearly by power outages, tornadoes or wild fires. This list eliminates Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh entirely for all but ONE listing. PA is a BEAUTIFUL state as well is the city of Pittsburgh for living. Nor do we ever have any of the listed natural disasters. Thank You!
Posted By Sherie, Natrona Heights - PA : 3:57 PM  

come on down to Palm Springs, California.. It's 115 today and we only have another month and a half of this heat. You stay inside and your a/c
bill can be up to 300 a month. It's so hot you melt when you go outside and can only stay in a pool for a little amount of time. The other 6 months its beautiful here.
Posted By jimj, palm springs : 3:58 PM  

Not true about Cary, NC. Single family homes start at 400,000.00;Unless you want to live in a 1300 sq. foot shack. Taxes are going up (start at $2,000.00 py) because this area is kept as one of the best places to live. Take it off your list before it get ruined anymore by developers who clearcut and build houses 10 feet apart from each other.
Posted By Tracy, Raleigh, NC : 3:59 PM  

I think trying to rank cities is a lot like trying to herd cats. You can't do it effectively. There are justs too many variables. The variables I consider are cost of living, crime rates, and the friendliness of the people living in the area. That is why I live where I do.
Posted By B Thomas Des Moines, IA : 4:00 PM  

I recently moved from central New Jersey to Atlanta metro (Alpharetta)GA, and I find it VERY hard to believe that (5) cities from NJ made it and (0)from GA??!!!
Posted By w.e. armstrong, alpharetta GA : 4:02 PM  

Too many of these cities on the list are auto-centric sprawling suburban cities that you must have a car to get around to anything. What will happen to these cities if gas prices reach $6/gallon? Or a large percentage of the baby boomer generation is unable to drive? They will be forced to stay in their little retirement communities, totally dependent on others for everything. It is time to get over the fascination of sprawling suburbs with huge cookie-cutter homes, large yards, massive roads, and massive congestion problems. We need to start building and promoting denser, walkable neighborhoods, otherwise there will be no scenic, undeveloped land left in this beautiful country.
Posted By Eric, Sacramento, CA : 4:03 PM  

WOW, I saw Naperville, Boca Raton and Coral Springs, lol. I would hate to live any of those places...what about Mendacino, Ashville or Portland??
Posted By Jaime, Miami Florida : 4:06 PM  

The congestion around Naperville and the 1 and 1/2 hour commute to drive to Chicago should put this city at the bottom of your list.
Posted By Lucy, Richfield, WI : 4:08 PM  

We moved here 18 mos. ago, and I will first say I'm prejudiced as the CEO of the Convention and Visitors Bureau. Lived in Denver and in Co Springs in the 80's, so thought this would be a similar experience.

This has far, far exceeded my expectations. We have lived in 6 cities in 4 states and by far this is the best place ever. My wife loves it, as do the kids. Not crowded, beautiful, great climate, and one of the coolest downtowns you'll ever visit. The outdoor feel combined with the chic of a college town and the education level of a high tech area all thrown into one place.

Your free time is tough. You have to decide between hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, fly fishing, rock climbing, rafting and kayaking, walking the dogs in fabulous parks, hanging out in Old Town, going to theater, touring the breweries, strolling the galleries...

Life doesn't get much better than this.
Posted By Jim Clark, Fort Collins, CO : 4:09 PM  

What about Fond du lac, Wisconsin? We are from Milwaukee and we astonished at how safe, cheap housing, safe (and I mean nobody locks their doors--bothcars/homes!) affordability and talk about a short commute? It takes literally 1o minutes to et from one end of the city to the end...and Fond du Lac is one of the most BEAUTIFUL cities we've ever seen! The schools are also great and we also have so many (too many to count---per capita) resources/organizations for helping the poor, etc. We LOVE living here! People treat each other like neighbors!
Posted By Renee Walker : 4:09 PM  

You'd better like the "great indoors" too in Fort Collins. If you don't ski or like to build igloos there isn't much else going on from November to March.
Posted By Dave Reiter, Gaithersburg, MD : 4:10 PM  

Murfeesboro was the only TN city to make the top 100 list. I, being a TN native, can certainly refute and reject that idea. Nashville and Chattanooga both far surpass any positive that Murfeesboro has to offer its citizens. Terrible, terrible list if I must say so myself.
Posted By Darin, Chattanooga, TN : 4:12 PM  

fort collins is a boring town. how'd you come up with that ? thanks.
Posted By T, Denver, CO : 4:14 PM  

These are all suburbs! The only reason that they are somewhat decent is because they are close to interesting places like Austin, etc. Sugar Land is going to have a field day with this. It doesn't need any more ego.
Posted By k.h sugar land, tx : 4:18 PM  

I'm very glad you overlooked Pittsburgh....saves us from turning into an awful urban sprawl...please continue to overlook us...keeps our city clean, beautiful, unique(not full of strip malls and chains)and also low volumes of traffic!
Posted By Thomas, Pittsburgh, PA : 4:20 PM  

Wow. Fort Collins #1. Being born and raised in Colorado, and residing in Denver, I'd have to say it must have come a long way since my college years. But I assume this is mostly based on where some people think it's best to raise a family.
Posted By Jason, Denver, CO : 4:21 PM  

nice list, but not even close to what I would think and I've been in mnay of those places.
Posted By Tom, white plains, NY : 4:21 PM  

I was really happy to see Austin on the list of best big cities. I want to move there after graduating college because it's a "young" city with lots of tech jobs, but still has low real estate prices. Here in Silicon Valley, senior engineers with families live in small apartments because house prices are so astronomical. In Austin, I could raise my future kids in a nice house like the one I grew up in.
Posted By Brianna S., Sunnyvale, CA : 4:27 PM  

Columbia/Ellicott? This isn't even in the top ten for the DC area...very amusing indeed.
Posted By Debbie Elliticott City MD : 4:31 PM  

I was interested to see the see if I wanted to move to one of these places. But when I saw Sugarland,TX as #3, I knew the list was worthless. I live in the "Houston area" and anywhere within 100 miles of Houston is a crappy place to live. The quality of life in this area is the worse I've seen.
Posted By April Zannone, Spring, TX : 4:37 PM  

We live in Cheyenne, WY and love visiting, shopping and just hanging out in Ft. Collins. You just feel more alive there. It is absolutely beautiful and vibrant. So many things to do and see. It's fabulous. I'm kind of sorry it's voted #1 as I've always felt it was this area's best kept secret. But now, everyone will know what we know. Fabulous, fun, safe, beautiful place to live!!!
Posted By Debbie Cheyenne, WY : 4:41 PM  

I live about 45 miles south of Fayetteville, Ark. and find that it is not only better, but cheaper. Try again and put the Fort Smith area (Van Buren) into the mix......
Posted By George M Kesselring, Major USAF Retired : 4:41 PM  

Where did you get these banaas from...have they ever been upstate NY? Right under their noses,Glens Falls/Queensbury,probably the fastest growing per capita area on the east coast has the lowest crime, low taxes,breathtaking beauty at the foot of (Lake George,greatest lake in America)the Adirondacks. Ask them why everybody from 2 countries converge here.Please hire me at a reasonably cheap price(a lot lower than you paid for this garbage report)to assess these whizbangs that came up with to report this....I mean Edison?Wayne?Middletown?Ramapo? What were these people thinking of????
Posted By Gene Casella Queensbury New York : 4:43 PM  

My son lives in Scottsdale while attending school. Whoever the moron was that said this is a great place to live must make well over 100K a year! It's rediculously hot and too expensive. My son can't wait to get out of ther!
Posted By ED, Douglas, AZ : 4:43 PM  

Great article and was surprised to see a place like Napierville, IL on the list(lived in the area). If you included the property taxes in your survey, probably a third would not be ranked in the top.
Posted By rob bloom, galena, oh : 4:47 PM  

I can not believe that not one city in Georgia was named.
Posted By Leigh / Savannah,Georgia : 4:49 PM  

So happy to hear that our old town Eden Prairie, MN is on the list! It was wonderful place and a great place to raise a family. Although we love where we are living now on the east coast, we have fond memories of our old stomping grounds. Great choice Money Magazine!
Posted By Liz , Darien CT : 4:50 PM  

Where is Vienna, Va? Last year it was #4 and this year it's not even a finalist. It's a great place!
Posted By David, Vienna, Va : 4:51 PM  

Your list of the 10 best big cities is biased against the older cities of this nation (except for New York). For instance, my hometown of Cleveland outshines any of the cities on your list (except for New York). Cleveland has the third finest medical center in the country; one of the "Big Five" symphony orchestras; one of the ten best museums of art; a main public library building second in size only to New York's; a performing arts center second in size only to Washington's Kennedy Center; the beautiful "Emerald Necklace" Metroparks System; the beautiful Lake Erie shoreline; and some of the finest (and affordable) housing stock in suburban areas that you will find anywhere. Plus, I didn't even mention Jacobs Field and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!
Posted By Stephen Svab, Arlington, VA : 4:51 PM  

The fact that Warren, Michigan is #82 on your list makes it completely null and void. That city is a dump. I lived in the area near Warren almost my entire life and couldn't wait to leave. I live in beautiful Yorktown, Virginia now which deserves to be on the list much more than Warren. Also, the fact that you left out Michigan's Upper Peninsula is questionable too. Whomever put this list together needs to do a better job next time.
Posted By Anja N. Yorktown, VA : 4:53 PM  

Thank goodness. My favorites didn't make your list.
Posted By Gary Pundsack_Scottsdale, AZ : 4:54 PM  

It's great to live in one of the top 100.
Posted By don, livermore ca : 4:54 PM  

Median home price $405,000 $256,659 for Bellevue washington? ok apparently no one has spent time there, that is off by atleast 300,000.
Posted By Ryan, Seattle WA : 4:56 PM  

Out of curiosity, a lot of people love San Francisco, but its not on the list. Any particular reason?
Posted By jacky boy, SF, CA : 4:58 PM  

The ommission of Chico, California one of the amazing jewels of the US is glaring. The only negative I see is the jump in housing prices the last five years. Chico has so much culture and so many local natural opportunities not to mention a great downtown and a highly diverse population for norcal. Chico is just an amazing place.
Posted By Kurt Wilkins, Chico, ca : 5:00 PM  

I'm sorry but you seem to have left out a state that I'm quite sure would rank high on your lists of cleanest air,high incomes,coldest,and most definately one of the most beautiful states with all kinds of out door activities year round. The state in which I speak of is Alaska, I don't see it on any of your best of lists, why is that? Please don't tell me that you didn't know it was part of the United States of America {as it seems a lot of people don't know this} Or is it that because Canada seperates it from the rest of the states that it does'nt qualify to be in such a "Best of" survey? You can't tell me that Alaska does'nt have the qualities your survey lists. Maybe I would be more inclined to believe this survey to be accurate if next year you include all 52 states and thier cities in your survey
Posted By Kelley Smith, Lake Havasu City, Az : 5:00 PM  

Fort Collins' No. 1 ranking is justified. Both my daughter and her husband teach at Colorado State University and enjoy all the city's amenities attributed to a healthy, active family lifestyle. I also agree with Scottsdale's No. 7 ranking since it is my residence of choice after assessing many other locations for a warm climate,very active semi-retirement.

You may wish to evaluate Coeur d'Alene, Idaho for your next list. National Geographic ranks Lake Coeur d'Alene as one of the five most beautiful lakes in the world and its lifestyle and amenities should more than qualify for future consideration.

Millie Thomson
Scottsdale, AZ
Posted By Millie Thomson, Scottsdale, AZ : 5:01 PM  

I was quite surprised to see that only one city in North Carolina was posted. Although I now live in Maryland, I was born and raised in North Carolina and have also traveled to many other cities and states and have yet to find a state or city as friendly, beautiful or clean as North Carolina. Just a thought...
Posted By Taylarr Lopez, Largo, MD : 5:01 PM  

What? Not one in Louisiana? Shocking!
Posted By Eva, Slidell, LA : 5:09 PM  

I grew up in Columbia in the '80s. A lot has changed since then. There a lot more strip malls and the spirit of rich, poor, black, white, etc.. living side by side seems to have been tested a bit. Still, it was a wonderful place to grow up.
Posted By Rebecca, San Francisco, CA : 5:10 PM  

How about the 100 most interesting places to live, since many of these best places are BORING?
Posted By Dane S. Claussen, Pittsburgh, PA : 5:18 PM  

Your list seems quite interesting. There are a couple of cities that boggle my mind. One in particular is Aurora. How can Aurora IL be on that list? There are far better cities in the outskirts of Chicago especially the Northern suburbs. Where's Lake Forest, Northbrook, Wilmette, Evanston, Skokie, St. Charles? I gurantee you that any one of those towns are better than Aurora
Posted By Warren, Skokie IL : 5:20 PM  

Your telling me that with 90 cities and only 50 states... That Delaware couldnt even field one city... Time for me to call my Realtor!!!
Posted By Mark Wilmington, Delaware : 5:31 PM  

Mission Viejo, CA one of the safest cities in California
Posted By Jim Case, Mission Viejo, CA : 5:34 PM  

I would take Bozeman, MT. over almost every place listed on your BEST PLACES TO LIVE.
Posted By Becky Kendall/ Dillon, MT. : 5:34 PM  

I cannot believe that Delaware isnt mentioned. We have some great schools (Lake Forest) and some wonderful beaches ( Rehoboth). There is a housing boom ( Lower DE.) and a very low crime rate.
Even better we are 3 hours from anything you might want to do (3 hours to NYC, 1 to Washington DC, 1.5 to Phildelphia 2.5 to Virginia Beach) and still be able to come home to country quiet.
What a shame everyone is missing this gem.
Posted By Hellen, Frederica, DE : 5:36 PM  

Not a place in Montana? What are your priorities? I can live anywhere and I have chosen the best state in the USA.
Posted By Tim Cyr,Big Sky,MT : 5:37 PM  

we have been in Corpus Christi, TX for 4 years now and absolutly love it - you have some great TX cities in the mix - but add the beach and palm trees and it's over the top - next time look at the Guld Coast area - you wont be dissapointed.
Posted By Dr. Chad Peters, Corpus Christi, TX : 5:43 PM  

I grew up in Loveland and was in high school in the 1990s. Fort Collins was the cool place to hang out and cruise the downtown area. It's a great place to live or visit!
Posted By Debi Jenkins, Frisco, Texas : 5:46 PM  

I completely agree with Fairfield, CT being in the top ten, but where are these stats coming from? average commuting time of 22 minutes. That is only accurate if they're just desscribing the average time to get THROUGH Fairfield on the Turnpike or Parkway.
Posted By Carl, Guilford, CT : 5:48 PM  

I grew up in Dallas, Texas, and I'm still suprised to learn that suburbs of the city end up at the top of these kinds of lists. Plano, Richardson and Carrollton, all in the top 25, are not horrible places to live, but I can't see how they are the best either, because they are so far away from the main city and lack decent public transportation systems. Many people call Plano "The Bubble" b/c it's like a protected little suburb that you don't have to leave to do anything. All three areas are very boring and sterile.
Posted By Lori Price, Milwaukee, WI : 5:49 PM  

It's really easy to find nice communities when all the median home values are over $300,000. Why not find some cuter places that are actually affordable for the typical american family that isn't swimming in debt?
Posted By Mandi Moshay, Bremerton, WA : 5:50 PM  

Thank you for leaving Maumelle, Ar off your list. It is the best kept secret in Arkansas!!
Posted By Mike, Maumelle, AR : 5:50 PM  

Why aren't there any places listed on the top places from the other places in Charlottesville and the middle peninsula of Va ie Gloucester and Williamsburg area?
Posted By sallyParkinsonGloucesterVa. : 5:51 PM  

The data on the individual cities is useful, but to try to roll it up and conclude what is "best" is silly. The same person who would want to live in Ft. Collins is not going to consider Naperville or Sugerland good 2nd and 3rd choices. If you like skiing and kayaking you'll love Ft. Collins and would go insane in Sugerland TX.
Posted By Bill, Portland OR : 5:52 PM  

Greenville,SC has to be in there somewhere
Posted By Travelers Rest, SC : 5:52 PM  

Rockville, MD, Reston, VA, and other suburbs surrounding larger cities might be nice places to raise kids but they are the most ugly, dull parts of our country. Rockville is nothing but a string of strip malls.
Posted By Chris, Manhattan, NY : 5:53 PM  

I lived in Sugar Land. Parts of it are really nice... some parts are pretty dumpy. I'm suprised it ranted so high.
Posted By Tim, Houston TX : 5:55 PM  

Where is Ashburn, Virginia?
Posted By David Brantley, Ashburn, VA : 5:56 PM  

The best city in Pennsylvania is Bethlehem, an old, run down steel town. It's a suburb of Philadelphia, yet no other Philadelphia suburb made it? Now that's odd.
Posted By Lance, Lakewood Ranch, Florida : 5:56 PM  

I grew up in Ft. Collins and still have family there to visit. It's a great place to be any time of year!
Posted By Dianne Lawson, Reno, NV : 5:57 PM  

Amazing. Not one in Georgia. I think Fort Valley, Georgia is the best place to raise a family if you want your children to have a truly rounded education. Demographics are mixed and the school system is getting better each year.
Posted By Kevin, Fort Valley, GA : 5:58 PM  

Nice to see Scottsdale, AZ in the top 10 (as it deserves to be). We've been here for 5 years
(from the MD/N-VA area). We traded snow shovels, rain, snow, humidity for 300 days of sunshine.
Yes, we roast like a chicken for 3-4 months, and you have to change your routine. But for 8 months, temps raning between 65-85 is awesome.
We have a low crime rate, awesome shopping, affordable housing (compared to many east coast areas), and there aren't enough days to visit all the restaurants. Commuting on average for most folks is under an hour. Many folks spend less than 30 minutes on the road commuting. Arizona has everything. Ya like to ski? Head north for 90 minutes. Beaches aren't around the corner, but there are many lakes and most folks
have a pool or access to one.
Posted By Marla, Scottsdale, AZ : 6:00 PM  

Way to go, Delaware. You fail to place on the list at all, and none of your residents even bother to blog any surprise.

Must be a great place to live.
Posted By Eric, Castle Rock, CO : 6:01 PM  

Does anyone know where Addison Texas is? It's a wonderful towne in the middle of Dallas, Texas.
Posted By Faith Meyer, Addison, Texas : 6:01 PM  

I am from WI originally... I can't fathom why any of the places where you freeze your tail off for half the year made the list.

I can't figure out why so few in NC made the list. It is nice here and the climate is reasonable.
Posted By Robert Schorr, Whitsett, NC : 6:03 PM  

Come on places like Eden Praire, Naperville, Scottsdale and Sugarland to name a few are just suburbs of large metropolitan areas. To single them out over the entire metro area is a joke.
Posted By Les Portland ME : 6:04 PM  

By coming up with a single list of what is "best" you are essentially saying that all people want the same things. I think that it would be better to have a few categories so that people could choose one that they indentify with. For example, the top 3 cities on your list are going to appeal to completely different groups of people. I've been to all 3, for example, and would live in Ft. Collins but not even consider Naperville or Sugerland. Why? Because I like to ski, kayak, paraglide, and do other activities that require mountains.

So you might want to think about some categories like:
"urbanites" (music, restaurants, hip coffee hangouts, etc. get extra weighting)"
"outdoor mountain sport lovers"
"suburban families"
"retired" (want to be close to a hospital, quiet, safe, ...)

and so on. Each category would have criteria that it must meet (like having mountains nearby) and then the other criteria would be weighted differently for each category.
Posted By Bill, Portland OR : 6:05 PM  

I moved from central New Jersey to Columbia, MO and I find it VERY hard to believe that (5) cities from NJ made it and rank higher than Columbia(#76). We have so much better quality of life and the entire family loves this place.
Posted By Gagneesh, Columbia, MO : 6:06 PM  

Do any of these top ten cities have much racial and economic diversity? At first glance they all look like pretty white and affluent communities?
Posted By Mark Joeckel Dallas, Texas : 6:07 PM  

We moved to Plano, TX 6 years ago and the only thing hot about it is the weather. Air quality is horrible. If you dont have alergies when you relocate here, you will once you Excellent schools though......
Posted By Carla Jones, Plano, TX : 6:12 PM  

I've lived in Overland Park, KS for about 40 years. What a great area. I've traveled lots and always am glad to come home. Kansas City area is a great area. Very friendly people who are always willing to help someone in need of a smile.
Posted By Mary J. Overland Park, KS : 6:15 PM  

I'm in San Fran. Drove my car twice last month. Prices? How is that figured?
Posted By Arney, San Francisco, CA : 6:17 PM  

Lived in Larimer County until the bust. I do believe it is the Best Place to Live. Just bring your own job, 'cause you can't eat the mountain views.
Posted By JC Shepard, Slayton, MN : 6:20 PM  

FC is great. Excellent fishing in northern colo. Horsetooth Reservoir is 10 minutes up the road with great camping, skiing, and fishing. ( Outlying towns are booming. Downtown Old Town is special!
Posted By Bill, Fort Collins, CO : 6:23 PM  

I was rather shocked not to see Montana on your list but now understand why.... you are helping to keep it still the "last best place". I would not give up the Majestic Rocky Mountains for anything. There is nothing better. Life is good here in Montana!!
Posted By Tori Babbitt, Missoula Montana : 6:23 PM  

A lot of you seem to not realize that the criteria for making this list is for the place to first have more than 49k people. Some of these little towns all you are proposing, they might be good but are too small.

As for Fairfield at #9... culture and low crime might be why the extraordinary cost of living and traffic nightmares are ignored. Also, it's funny seeing them so high when right next to it is Bridgeport, one of the worst in New England.
Posted By Brian, Danbury CT : 6:23 PM  

I'm actually more amused by the blatant "homering" of the bloggers here. Yes, yes, everyone loves where they live and yes yes YOUR city is amazing and overlooked. Hey, you like it, you live there.

Different people like different things. I personally don't care about a good barbeque but to each their own. For example the list contains Bellevue, Washington. As a Seattle resident, and one who also lived in Bloomington, Orlando, and Baltimore, I don't care for the "lifestyle" in Bellevue (read: materialistic) even if it comes with good schools and lower crime.
Posted By gordon, Seattle WA : 6:26 PM  

Folks, this list and 95% of the comments here are just plain silly:

First, the grass is always greener where YOU live, no matter what the stats and percentages and crime data are. Comparing cities/towns is like comparing peoples' tastes in automobiles and fruit. Leave it to humans to compete for who lives in the "Best Place". Good grief...

Second, substantiating my digs in point #1, if I remember correctly, ALL of the California cities cited in the top 50 are inland, waaaaaay off the coast, in smog-ridden, barren, San Bernardino/Fresno-style places: Simi Valley, Santa Clarita. Haahaa. You may as well have included Palmdale and Norco.

And by the way, I am not surprised, dismayed or concerned that my little town was not included. But it's a great town... just like yours ;)
Posted By Brad Jensen, Sierra Madre, Ca. : 6:27 PM  

No best places to live in Vermont? Do your writers even know where Vermont is?
Posted By Steve Phelps, Shelburne, VT : 6:28 PM  

I grew up in Sugar Land and believe it is a great place for a family while still being close to a HUGE metroplitan city with art, culture, food etc
Posted By L. Cummings, Calgary, AB : 6:34 PM  

I just moved from Naperville, IL back out west to Lake Tahoe. Yeah, Naperville is nice, but ONLY if you live downtown where homes are 1 million. The rest of the town is way overcrowded with horible traffic! Of course you have to deal with the Humidity in the Summer and the freezing Winters as well. How can this place beat out Most cities on the west coast? If you enjoy doing things outdoors, this is not the best place to live.
In all fairness, the people in Naperville were the nicest I have ever met.
Posted By Coralee Walther Incline Village, NV : 6:35 PM  

I would like to see your survey take the "green" qualities of a city into account next time. Air quality and park space only scratches the surface. What about the quality and extent of the mass transit systems? How do the recycling programs and volunteerism of the various cities stack up? Which of these cities are doing the most to be more ecologically sustainable? Did you know that Portland is working to make their downtown area a "car free" zone? Another, better way to measure the quality of life in a city is by the percentage of it's residents that belong to the "creative class". If artists, authors, architects, professors, etc. want to live there, it's probably a nice place to live.
Posted By Laura, Fullerton, CA : 6:47 PM  

My husband grew up here and had lways wanted to come back. We have been here 5 years with our daughter and I have to admit I like it here. Our work is 5 miles away and our daughter's school is across the street. Restaurants and stores are within 5 miles or less. Yet we have a greenbelt behind our house. And the mountains are just minutes away for hiking and camping in the summer and skiing in the winter.
Posted By Sandi Ludwig, Ft. Collins, CO : 6:57 PM  

It is a remarkable place. Our family moved there in 1955, when the population was still under 10,000 and the major employers within the city were Kroehler Furniture and PAG hybrid seed corn. Everyone else seemed to work for Western Electric (Hawthorne Works in Cicero), Argonne National Laboratory, or various railroads and airlines.

On a visit in 2000, my daughter was really amazed by the amenities and the general prosperity of Naperville. She finally took to calling it "Pleasantville", which its somewhat unreal character does tend to inspire.
Posted By Bill E, Richmond, VA : 7:14 PM  

Where is Kentucky on this list? Most people who live there actually end up staying there, such as myself, and I am an educated professional unlike the stereotypical Kentucky. What more could you want that all four seasons, thoroughbreds, green pastures, and friendly people?
Posted By Kristin, Dayton, KY : 7:29 PM  

it's about time that cranston and rhode island in general got some recognition. rhode island is an amazing place to live.
Posted By Michaela, Cranston, RI : 7:33 PM  

Upper Peninsula of Michigan is one of the most beautiful places in the country. And a great place to raise children. Marquette is a great city.
Posted By Becky, Murray, Kentucky : 7:34 PM  

Presently live in Eden Prairie after living in many different cities and I love it.
Posted By Diana,Eden Prairie, MN : 8:00 PM  

Though I was born in Denver, and have lived other places in Colorado, Fort Collins is my favorite location in the state. People, shopping, and climate are wonderful. It is a clean, attractive city. The view to the west is breathtaking. The new Budweiser Events Center just south of the city features some great entertainment--our family saw the Harlem Globetrotters there this spring. Our son goes to college there now, and it is a pleasure to visit him there.
Posted By Amy, Brush, CO : 8:07 PM  

As a resident of a former "Best Place To Live", Madison, WI, I can tell you that any ranking won't change the reality of your city's situation. Madison IS a great place to live however. There is plenty of great restaurants, athletic opportunities and water recreation possibilities on our four lakes. On the downside, taxes are high and the winter can be long if we don't get enough snow for skiing. All things being equal, the best place to live is where you are happy and where your family and friends are. Go Badgers.
Posted By Matt Madison, WI : 8:13 PM  

Having lived 30+ years in the Chicago suburbs, 4 years in Boulder, Co., 8 years overseas and now 8 years in the SF. California area, I can't believe Naperville came anywhere near the top. Once you leave the midwest winters and lack of geographic variety you will never go back. California's weather compares with Australia as the most comfortable climate you will find on earth, plus it has mountains, ocean, wine country and it is a melting pot of many different cultures. Yes, it is expensive, but Chicago isn't cheap these day either. I think I will cancel my subscription!!!
Posted By Jeff, Cupertino, CA. : 8:15 PM  

Please include the diversity of the culture and eating establishments as a major criteria. If you have extra cash and no where to go, who cares?
Posted By David, Morristown, NJ : 8:16 PM  

it is funny. all of these places are really the same. strip malls, driving on expressways and chain restaurants. america has little culture. if you ask me, new york city should be tops on this list.
Posted By eric, NYC : 8:36 PM  

I found your list quite interesting. My husband and I are New Englanders who moved to Santa Clarita, Ca. 5 years ago. We loved it. We moved last September to retire to Sugar Land, Tx. We are enjoying our new community and the people are wonderful. We now know what southern hospitality is. We are not going to move any more.
Posted By Debbie, Sugar Land, Tx. : 8:51 PM  

Food for thought for sure ... but under "safest" I figured more than just crime data. I believe locally produced goods and services make a community safer (e.g., less vulnerable to breakdowns in infrastructure, more sustainable ...)
Posted By Karen, Medford, Oregon : 8:52 PM  

I just moved from Naperville to Ohio six months ago...Naperville will always have a special spot in my heart. In fact, I hope to go back some day. It really is the perfect town. Safe, amazing schools, educated people, lots to do. I miss it!
Posted By Erin, Columbus, Ohio : 9:02 PM  

I've lived in Iowa City, Reston, spent much time in Ft. Collins, and other cities on your list. I've now retired and live in Knoxville, TN, and must laugh at some of the cities you gave high ratings to. Have any of your staff ever been to Knoxville? Maybe it's better kept a secret anyhow :-)
Posted By Gary Knoxville, TN : 9:13 PM  

Fort Collins is would be a nice town to raise a family. That said, if you're under-40, sans kids and looking for culture/nightlife, there is no way you'd top your list with it.
I went to school there and liked it. That said, after four years I was chomping at the bit to get out of there. It has recreation, clean air and good schools but wages are skewed towards the tech sector, cost of living is somewhat high and you can't drive anywhere not called Denver without making a weekend out of it.
Posted By Joe, Warwick : 9:42 PM  

I lived in Ft. Collins from 1995-1997 and I have to say I was completely bored out of my mind. I love the outdoor activities, but the nightlife stinks. Its mostly college students who live there and married folks with kids. Not a good place to live if you are single and looking for lots to do at night. Yes, it is a beautiful city and safe, but jobs are not plentiful. Most people commute 70+ miles each way to Denver to make a decent wage. I got tired of the cold and shoveling snow off my car and traded it in for sunny San Diego.
Posted By Terri, Carlsbad, CA : 11:12 PM  

I graduated from CSU but moved away and spent 15 years in Washington, DC and then returned to take a job in Fort Collins one year ago. It took me awhile, but it's good to be back.

The view of the mountains takes your breath away just about every sunny morning, and the people in Fort Collins are the greatest, housing is reasonably priced and the weather is perfect.
Posted By Mary Rudolph, Fort Collins, CO : 11:27 PM  

I have lived in Boise for 32 years and I would discourage anybody from moving here. All the good things they say are wrong and what they don't say is terrible. Polution,gangs,weather,lifestyle--Ugh.
Posted By Terry Sherman Boise Idaho : 11:54 PM  

obviously you have to be a special place to continously make the top 5 of this list. Naperville has great schools, libraries, downtown area, restaurants,culture, etc. Basically a great vibe for any family even one with a budget. Though, keep in mind that townhomes in naperville go for the same as a home twice its size in a adjacent city, but its worth it.
Posted By john, naperville, il : 12:19 AM  

Scottsdale in the top 10? Obviously selected by someone who has never lived in the Phoenix metro area. It has the most vain and superficial people I have ever met - appearance and material goods are everything, substance is nothing. High maintenance self-centered people who have little grasp of reality outside of their own self imposed importance.
Posted By Bill, Phoenix, AZ : 12:29 AM  

The Monterey Peninsula is HEAVEN but as no one city has much of a population it doesn't register in your poll. That's good. Please stay away.
Posted By Joe Truskot, Salinas CA : 12:34 AM  

10 or so years ago Seattle was rated in all the surveys as one of the best places to live. No longer.

Ten years of poor government, high taxes, increasingly unaffordable housing, boom/bust job growth and some of the worst traffic and air pollution problems in the nation have left us in the dust.

Very sad, paradise lost. Rue the day your community becomes "No. 1".
Posted By G. Nagol, Seattle Wa : 1:11 AM  

I lived in Naperville for about 10 years when I was growing up. It is a great place to live and its really growing. My sister still lives there and loves it. I don't miss the humid summers and harsh winters. Great place to raise a family!
Posted By Shawn, Boise Idaho : 1:30 AM  

I just spent 2 weeks this past June in Ft. Collins, and have not stopped thinking, or talking about it! I played golf, hiked in the Rocky Mountain National Park, the Front Range hills around Horsetooth Reservoir, and Pudre Canyon. I have always loved the outdoors, but I was blown away by the beauty that was everywhere! Ft Collins was the cleanest town I have ever visited, and had no trouble driving around and locating anything I wanted or needed. I can't wait to go back again next Summer!
Posted By Dennis Martin, Tampa Fl : 3:43 AM  

Although ranking high on lists such as these, Naperville has also become synonymous with commercialization. The downtown area has fewer and fewer local and non-chain stores as new buildings housing huge chains have drained Naperville of any distinct flavor of its own, bar the Riverwalk.

The school system is for the most part very good. The local high schools have exploded in population, but this also allows for a broader selection of courses to be offered.

The housing situation leaves something to be desired for lower income families, however. In many neighborhoods of smaller homes, it is common to find "teardowns" popping up where previously more affordable housing had been. Often selling for prices in excess of $700k, they drive up the property taxes of the smaller houses around them, effectively forcing out the lower middle class.

Naperville is a haven for the well-to-do. This homogenous composition is increasingly wealthy, and suggests a class division between the haves and the have-nots. There are many who work in Naperville but cannot afford houses here, sadly. They are paid to mow Napervilles lawns and do jobs the residents don't want to do but not paid enough to get in on the action for themselves, due to a lack of affordable housing. It frankly disgusts me to what an extent money is worshipped here. SUVs, teardowns, and a shopping mall of a downtown hint at the concentration of money and lack of charity this suburb of "haves" doesn't have. Despite having lived here for 11 years I do not want to be associated with such a materialistic, insular and selfish suburb for much longer.
Posted By Paul, Naperville IL : 6:20 AM  

Ten of the top 100 are in Texas? You gotta be joking! I have lived on both the West and the East coast and find both MUCH more appealing!
Posted By Laury, Westford, MA : 7:37 AM  

this list is a joke.....not one place in Oregon cracks the top 60? Obviously your listmakers live under rocks!
Posted By ron callan/st.helena,ca. : 7:53 AM  

Whilst I agree with Austin for TX, I'm at a loss for Newton, MA. It is a nice town, but there are hundreds nicer, in my opinion. Amherst, Northhampton, Great Barrington, Maynard, Acton, Westford, Chelmsford, Stow and of course Concord, if you can afford it. That's just a few.
Posted By Ernie, Austin TX (formerly Acton, MA) : 8:13 AM  

I have lived in Fort Collins a couple of times and did not like it at all. The main complaint is the city engineers. They require all kinds of medians be put in when a retail business builds, making it IMPOSSIBLE to get to the business unless you are going in the right direction. Also, most of the bike paths are just the edge of busy roads...also, have you ever tried to get around on college avenue? You need rubber bumpers on your car because everyone is driving like madmen. I'll even take Cheyenne over that chaos (which I don't care for either)
Posted By Bruce LaPlante, Cheyenne, WY : 8:28 AM  

Raised in Appleton WI and believe that it should be rated high. THe one problem with these best places to live is that they are incredibly boring too. I have spent most of my adult life out of this town and out of the country for that matter because the worst places to live are sometimes the most rewarding.
Posted By Andrew Appleton, Wisconsin : 9:09 AM  

Would you rather live in Fargo than San Diego? Be my guest!
Posted By Ed Pyle, La Jolla, CA : 9:44 AM  

All the best rated places pretty much also have very high median income. You can live just as well or better or many more places around the country if you have similar income levels. Comparative income is the driving force.
Posted By Steve G. Chicago Ilinois : 9:47 AM  

I'm not entirely sure what the methodology is, but I completely discredit this report.

Burlington, Vermont is superior to several small cities on the list. I can say that firsthand, since I've lived in a few. It has 2 major universities and a scattering of smaller institutions. Easy access to Canada, lots of recreation in both summer and winter, 3 hours to Boston, low crime, good environmental conditions, etc.

Money doesn't know what they're talking about.
Posted By Christopher Smith, S.Burlington, Vermont : 10:11 AM  

We moved to Naperville, IL 7 years ago and I am in total agreement with your choice to name Naperville number 2 on your list, although it is number 1 with me. We love our city, the schools and neighbors, it is a wonderful place to raise a family. Before moving here, we lived in Downers Grove, IL, about 6 miles east of Naperville, and the people there always said that the people here thought they were better than the ones in the surrounding towns. It's not that we think we are better, we are just very proud of our city and everything that Naperville has to offer. The city is clean and beautiful and you never have to worry about walking around whether its day or night. We have never regreted moving here. Thank you for naming our city number 2.
Posted By K. Keener Naperville, IL : 10:52 AM  

I am one of the original residents,moved here in 1968. I raised two daughters here and the education system is excellent. The fact that people move here for the ethnic diversity,the good schools and the friendly and accepting aura makes it a very comfortable place to be. People usually don't leave here to retire. We are equadistant from two major cities, Baltimore and DC that offer any entertainment or culture beyond Columbia you could want.Columbia is pretty, clean, user friendly and an excellent place to settle.By the way over the years I have lived for short times in other places...San Jose, CA and Sarasota, FL...I am what does that say?
Posted By Carole Dennison,Columbia, MD : 10:56 AM  

I lived in Naperville for 20 years and have moved. I now live in neighboring Oswego Il. It will be the next Naperville in 5 to 10 years. But, my stay in Naperville left many great memories.
Posted By R.S. Oswego Il. : 11:03 AM  

Any survey that lists Maryland as a good place to live is bunk in my opinion. Lots of jobs here, but the area is crummy. Number 4 - I think NOT.
Posted By Victoria, Annapolis, MD : 11:44 AM  

rockville, MD is a great town if you have lots of $$.

it has become very overpriced, 1 bedroom condos selling for 350K and more. and don't try to drive a car around Rt. 355 during most of the day if you have to be somewhere on time. Montg. County is suffering from tremendous overgrowth- due to building massive apt. and condos without the road infrastructure to handle it.
Posted By jay, rockville, MD : 12:08 PM  

We have the Ohio State Buckeyes, case closed:)
Posted By Pat , Columbus Ohio : 12:22 PM  

One huge factor that is not considered in the list: Friendliness. Yes, jobs, schools, climate, etc. are very important, but equally so is the kind of people.

Personally, having lived on the east coast for a while, I'll take the midwest because the people there are great and friendly.

What difference does it make if you have lots of jobs, great schools and nice places to shop/ eat if the people you do all of that with are not nice and friendly?
Posted By Rick Adams, Columbus, Ohio : 12:23 PM  

Lived in Naperville nine years. Great place to raise a family, safe, attractive, upscale without being overly pretentious. Hope all the rest of you don't move here!
Posted By George Murray, Naperville, Illinois : 12:24 PM  

Fort Collins???

If you don't mind the smell of "livestock" blowing in the wind, expensive food, 900 new homes being built per year, large homes built on postage stamp size lots, water shortages. Are you kidding?
Posted By Bruce Smith, Boxborough, MA : 12:26 PM  

We are honored here in West Des Moines to be included in the Top 100 cities. We have a superb quality of life and when it comes to education, safety, and affordable but high quality living, we consider ourselves very fortunate. I think the results of this study are definitely corroborated by the terrific growth we have seen here in the last few years and will continue to see in years to come. Thanks for including us on this list with so many great cities!

-Jeff Pomeranz, City Manager, City of West Des Moines, Iowa
Posted By Jeff Pomeranz, West Des Moines, IA : 12:29 PM  

Moved to Fort Collins six years ago to go to school, love it here, and will probably never leave...beautiful town with all the amenities of a larger city, while being only 45 minutes to Denver. Happy to see it is being recognized for the amazing place that it is
Posted By Kirstin, Fort Collins, CO : 12:30 PM  

Bigger isn't always better... I will take Portsmouth NH over any of them.
Posted By Joshua, Portsmouth, NH : 12:36 PM  

I moved to Eden Prairie about 2 months ago, and I love it so far. It's only about 20 minutes from downtown Minneapolis so there are tons of restaurants and cultural attractions, but it's also doesn't have the "big city" feel. It's quite diverse and the people I've met are very friendly. The city itself is clean with lots of trees and lakes, increasing the aesthetic appeal. There are biking/rollerblading paths everywhere, and plenty of sidewalks unlike many suburban areas. I can walk to the library, mall or a coffee shop instead of having to drive everywhere.

Apartments are reasonably priced, but houses are expensive. There are quite a few companies located here though so, for me, the lack of a commute might help to offset the cost if I decide to buy here.

However, I haven't lived through a Minnesota winter yet so that may change my opinion!
Posted By CAB, Eden Prairie, MN : 12:44 PM  

Omaha, NE!?!

What in Omaha differentiates it from 100's of wonderful other cities with much more to offer.

Taxes are rediculous not only in Omaha but the entire state of Nebraska. Do you realize Nebraska is ranked 8th in highest taxed states. I own a $200,000 house and pay $4,300 in property taxes!

Yes, there is a wonderful new performing arts center in an improving downtown district but that is it.

Outdoor recreation consists of walking your dog, gardening and riding your bike on flat, boring trails through the city.

Worst of all, Omaha is a good days drive from anything. Try 8 hours to the mountains of Colorado or 7 hours to the lakes of Minnesota.

The midwest climate speaks for itself. The wind blows non-stop Fall through spring. The summers are hot and dry all while being very humid.

One word describes Omaha....BORING!
Posted By Jarod D, Omaha Nebraska : 12:45 PM  

No offense but I don't consider many of these to be "cities"
Posted By Ben, NY, NY : 1:21 PM  

If naming Ft Collins #1 means people will stop lining up to move to Boulder, where I've lived for 25 years, excellent news. Some of John's complaints - congestion, ozone, Cali-style gated community bs, etc - are absolutely valid, but by and large, the Front Range is still a pretty nice place to live. I've always liked Ft Collins, but it's a little far from skiing for my taste. Guess I'm spoiled.
Posted By DK, Boulder, CO : 1:27 PM  

NO PLACE in or around Dallas Fort Worth could be considered a "best place to live." Unchecked sprawl without improvement of roads and facilities, yuppie insanity and 100+ degrees for weeks on end in really must be joking.
Posted By Shannon, Dallas, TX : 1:30 PM  

I grew up in Naperville - lived there all my life - my family is still there (35 year residents) - the town has changed dramatically in the last few decades but has remained, in my humble opinion, the BEST place to raise children in the US.
Posted By Solyesh, NYC : 1:48 PM  

Thanks for including Wichita. With great people and continued growth within the city, Wichita truly is a fabulous place to live and work.
Posted By Rachel, Wichita Kansas : 1:52 PM  

I love Columbia, especially in the summer. There are free concerts, movies and shows every night outside in the town. The libraries are excellent with free activities for children and adults. There are lakes and miles of biking paths throughout the town. Columbia is between Baltimore and Washington, but you don't feel crushed by traffic and people like other Washington suburbs.
Posted By Kara Gard, Columbia MD : 2:09 PM  

Va Beach? You have to be kidding. Lived there, moved away.
Posted By Mason Chicago, IL : 2:09 PM  

Eden Prairie, MN. great if you love not being able to do anything without the approval of the city government, worry about what your neighbors think of your yard, and like to sit in traffic all day long, every day. There are a lot of places in Minnesota that are nicer to live than eden prairie.
Posted By Tim, St. Paul, MN : 2:12 PM  

I went to CSU and truly enjoyed my time in Fort Collins. It has grown, but the city planners have handled growth the right way. I still have family in Fort Collins and make it up there every chance I get. I'd love to live there when I retire!
Posted By Guy M. Blasi, Highlands Ranch, CO : 2:14 PM  

Chicago is the most livable major city in the U.S. hands down with a maximum amount of culture as well as natural beauty. I do not know the criteria that was used this study was obvioulsy flawed.
Posted By Larry Meza Memphis, TN : 2:16 PM  

I grew up in Fairfield, CT and am not surprised to see it on the list. It's really a great, beautiful place to be. However, the cost of housing in Fairfield and Fairfield County has become so outrageous that no one but the super rich can afford it anymore. I've just graduated college and even with a secure job, I doubt that I will ever be able to buy a home there. It's a real shame.
Posted By Craig Sheffield, Tacoma, WA : 2:23 PM  

I went to college at Fairfield University. It was a beautiful city situated right on the beach with beautiful homes and very kind people. The areas around it offer numerous places to dine and a lot of fun activities. It is also close enough to New York City to commute. I like that it has all the atmosphere of a small town with the ammenities of a larger one if not in the city, extremely close by. I love Fairfield and think it would be a wonderful place to live and raise a family!
Posted By Marissa Diamond Bar, CA : 2:24 PM  

Several places in CO are worthly of your "best cities" list, but I am happy to see places outside of Denver make it! Come on over!
Posted By Laura, Henderson CO : 2:47 PM  

Austin, TX is one of the greatest cities in the United States and I would recommend it to anyone with an open mind. There is so much to do here with the Colorado River that is dammed into lakes nearby as well as the hill country which provides for hiking and biking opportunities. This is definitely not your average Texas and don't think for one minute that people are close-minded here! Life is great here and I don't want to live anywhere else!
Posted By Jacob Vold, Austin, TX : 2:48 PM  

I go to Colorado State University located in Fort Collins and I love the atmosphere in the "Fort" It truley is a wonderful place to live
Posted By Sarah, Westminster Co : 2:50 PM  

I grew up in Naperville, graduated from High School in Overland Park, lived outside Austin for 5 years and now live in Colorado Springs. I guess I have done OK by your measures!
Posted By Paul Brach, Colorado Springs, CO : 2:52 PM  

Obviously no one who researched this article had ever lived in Columbus, OH. We have high taxes, ineffective city and state government, high professional unemployment and a flight of the best and the brightest out of the state. I'm following them in short order.
Posted By Scott, Columbus, OH : 3:03 PM  

Bend isn't all it's cracked up to be. The median family income takes into account a small percentage of very, very well paid people (mostly California commuters) and ignores the fact that the rest of us are lucky to find service-industry work. Add to it housing prices going sky-high and you can plan on your children moving out of the area... they won't be able to afford to stay. Poverty with a view is right.
Posted By Tina, Bend Oregon : 3:04 PM  

I was surprised to see Plano, TX on the list. I have visited that flat monotonous suburb many times and never felt like it possesed any real character. That is unless you count cookie-cutter houses, vegetation that is sparse and depressing, and strip mall after strip mall full of restaurant chains and icons of our capitalist economy which render the sense that one is stuck in the twilight zone character!
Posted By Melissa - New York, NY : 3:12 PM  

Virginia Beach is a jewel that many have not discovered. I am pleased that you have!!
Posted By Oral Lambert, Virginia Beach, VA : 3:13 PM  

So, obviously Pea Ridge Arkansas has never been visited. It is a little slice of heaven - Big Sugar creek [which is a navigatable creek] cuts through our property. In the fall and winter months, our farm becomes a bald eagle haven - with bald eagles everywhere. In the summer, we have cool swimming and small mouth bass fishing! Again, a little slice of heaven!
Posted By Cassie, Pea Ridge Arkansas : 3:19 PM  

Columbus is the capital of Ohio and is blessed with a number of excellent suburbs including Dublin, Ohio. Dublin has a highly rated school system, a thriving business community (the headquarters for both Cardinal Health and Wendy's International), several highly ranked golf courses, 77 miles of bike trails, 38 parks, a recreation center, and so forth. Dublin is also home to Jack Nicklaus's Memorial Golf Tournament and hosts one of the top Irish festivals in the USA. I look forward to a future Money poll that would show how Dublin, Ohio stacks up with other smaller cities around the country.
Posted By Gary in Dublin, Ohio : 3:20 PM  

Ft. Collins is amazing. Great choice!
Posted By Joe Loveland Colorado : 3:29 PM  

Very happy to see my home town of Mentor Ohio on the list. It has everything - beautiful scenery, a long sandy Lake Erie beach, a National Historic place (James Garfield Home), great food, great shopping, and fantastic schools and city support services, and reasonably priced homes. Best of all, it has some of the nicest residents you'll ever meet!
Posted By Chris Mentor, OH : 3:31 PM  

So, I was born and raised in Columbia/Ellicott City and if it is one of the top 5 places to live in the country that is a shame. If the best places to live are judged by how many national chain stores are within walking distance, how many overpriced homes that look exactly the same and have not one ounce of character in them, and how effectively a diverse population can be homogenized, then hooray for Columbia, but I honestly can't get far enough away. The funny thing is, I was in Naperville yesterday and thought how much like Columbia it was. My friend showed me this article today and now I see why.
Posted By Josh, Chicago, IL & Brooklyn, NY : 3:52 PM  

Stamford, Connecticut....I see my hometown made 46. It is one of the best places to live with lots of diversity! I recently moved to the midwest, and I really am proud to know that I was born somewhere were you get culture, diversity, and having he option of enjoying a day at the beach or a day in the country. I miss all that Stamford Connecticut had to offer and am proud we are number 46!
Posted By LaTonja King, : 4:22 PM  

I spent the 1st 25 years of my life in Ohio, growing up in Sandusky and spending the last 7 of my 25 years in Columbus. In the 22 years since leaving Ohio I've lived in Tucson, AZ (1 year), various locations around Boston, MA (5 years), 2 years in Austin, TX and the rest of the time here in Oregon. And like many readers, I'm guessing my Top 10 list might have 2 cities in common with someone else's list. The truth is we each have our own preferences that may/may not jive w/statistical data. I totally loved living in Ohio and MA but our family couldn't wait to move out of Texas and get back to a northern state. Oregon is a fantastic state and the Pacific NW unbelievably beautiful as an area to live in for countless reasons, but that's what my wife, kids and I think. When we lived in Texas there were more than a few neighbors who said they could never live in Oregon or Washington: "it rains too much." Statistics are nice but they can't begin to comprehend our individual human screening criteria.
Posted By Allen, Forest Grove, OR : 4:22 PM  

Most of the top 10 are good, but new york, get real only a new yorker would find any value in living in new york,
Posted By Don, Clinton, Utah : 4:44 PM  

No surprise to those of us who live and work here, Raleigh and neighboring Cary are great places for many reasons. In addition to all the facts you list, we are also home to the 2006 Stanley Cup Champion Carolina Hurricanes!
Posted By Mark Lombard, Cary, NC : 4:56 PM  

Love it!
Posted By Jim, Scottsdale AZ : 5:11 PM  

Historical, beautiful, very clean, diverse cultures and proximity to so many different activities. You can ski in Flagstaff in the morning and play golf in the afternoon in Scootsdale. Great for family living and untolled sporting teams and related activities.
You can go to a Rodeo or Philharmonic concert in the same day. Hee Haww
Posted By Buck. Scottsdale, A.Z. : 5:45 PM  

I can't believe that Fort Walton/Destin, Florida did not make the list! If all these other towns and cities are so great, then why is my hometown crowded with people who don't live here? Stay home and enjoy your 500 movie theaters, and I'll enjoy the crystal white beaches.
Posted By Sara H., Navarre Beach FL : 5:50 PM  

I love my hometown of Fairfield, CT. It was an ideal place to grow up and to this day, remains my favorite place to visit. Each time I go back, however, I am saddened by the number of large chain stores that have landed in town. I fear that soon, it will become unrecognizable.
Posted By Anne, Fairfield, CT : 5:51 PM  

I was surprised to see Eden Prairie, MN on this list. My husband works in Eden Prairie as a preschool teacher, but we can�t afford to live there. I believe that Eden Prairie looks good on paper because it�s a concentration of more affluent families. We�ve found that Eden Prairie is not culturally, racially or economically diverse. Because of housing costs and traffic congestion in the southwest Twin Cities� suburbs, my husband is looking for employment elsewhere.
Posted By Ann, Minneapolis, MN : 6:09 PM  

It looks good on paper, but it is a prime example of suburban sprawl - one strip mall after another, few sidewalks and no public transportation. The schools are great, but almost all kids must take buses.
Posted By James Kelly. Wheaton, Illinois : 6:11 PM  

Between my wife and I, we have lived in more than 10 of these cities. The criteria for voting the "best place to live" DEFINITELY needs to change...or...this country is just as screwed up as we thought. a paper and move to town!
BTW, Fishers, IN should be number 1!
Posted By Mr. & Mrs. Miller, Fishers, Indiana : 6:46 PM  

Surprised to see Richmond low on the list. Has great neighborhoods--Glen Allen, Midlothian, Mechanicsville, Lakeside, Bon Air, Fan District, Museum District, Westhampton. Most people live in the suburbs, but commute to Richmond to work. Richmond is in an excellent location--2 hours from the mountains or the beach, 2 hours from DC, which makes it very appealing. Good climate with 4 distinct seasons. Plenty of cultural activities in the schools, universities and a wonderful world-class symphony. Many excellent museums, home to 8 Fortune 500 companies. Charlottesville and Fredericksburg are good smaller cities. Great state, low taxes, plenty of diversity.
Posted By Margaret, Richmond, Virginia : 7:02 PM  

I am amazed at how few WA cities made the list. However, as a resident of Bellingham WA, I am glad since these inevitably draw hordes of invaders (like myself) looking for a great place to live. Inevitably, the great place isnt so great after a population boom. Us invaders may bring money and an culture, but also inflated home prices, sprawl and pollution.

Dont put Bellingham on any of these lists. It's boring and rains all the time. Stay away.
Posted By Scott Bellingham,WA : 7:17 PM  

How did Omaha make it? The state ranks 7th for taxes, it gets really cold, the zoo costs almost 12 dollars admission, Omaha steaks are overrated and I'm not sure how having Warren Buffett around helps the average resident.
Posted By martha pacific junction iowa : 7:18 PM  

Santa Clarita has everything: excellent libraries, great schools, amazing restaurants, great variety of stores and shopping malls, theatres, recreation centers and parks, safety, and a great planned community.
Posted By Santa Clarita, CA : 7:46 PM  

Moved to Eden Prairie 8 years. Great public schools, parks and trails. Kids stay busy with choice of after school activities. Winters are cold but you get used to it. Summers are cooler as well, which we like. Friendly people, quiet, and moderate traffic. Nice place to live.
Posted By Dwayne S., Eden Prairie, MN : 8:21 PM  

I'm really surprised that so many places around DC made the cut -- massive congestion; ridiculously high home prices; yuppie infestation everywhere; intrusive (and incompetent) local governments. If you're looking to move, you might want to look elsewhere.
Posted By Bob Falls Church, VA : 9:22 PM  

Fredericksburg Virgina is America's best kept secret. A perfect small town that embodies the very best of our country.
Posted By Sam Brett, Fredericksburg, VA : 1:27 AM  

Columbia comes about as close to suburbian utopia as is possible. We don't mind paying for a little higher standard of living, because that is what we acheive everyday.
Posted By Justin, Columbia, MD. : 8:06 AM  

Parsippany-Troy Hills, New Jersey.
Excellent public services, fine police department, department of public works, fire department, great public and private schools, within one hour of NYC, the Jersey Shore, the Pocono Mtns, affordable property taxes due to mix of commercial and industrial ratables...Best place to live in New Jersey.
Posted By Stephen J. Roman, Parsippany, NJ : 9:30 AM  

I can't take this list seriously - where are the California cities?? I know our home prices are steep, and our schools aren't the best - but 33 million people can't be wrong. All I see are the most conservative CA cities on your top 25 - including San Diego, which is in the big cities list. I'm confused. I think there are a few cities in the peninsula area of the SF Bay Area that would probably make it in every category other than housing prices.
Posted By Brownie, Oakland CA : 9:32 AM  

If Destin/Ft Walton, FL didn't make the list, why is it so crowded with tourists? Please stay home and enjoy your 500 movie theaters, and I'll enjoy the crystal white beaches, emerald green waters, and 9 months of perfect weather.
Posted By Sara Harris, Navarre Beach, FL : 10:12 AM  

It's the best! Great for the big kids in us all! Plenty of shopping and eating & the best part is the people are friendly! Then if you like the moutains as close by!
Posted By Ramona, Fort Collins Co : 10:23 AM  

I relocated to Columbia from NYC a few months ago and myself and my teenage son are loving it. I love the location, the school system,the diversity, the upkeep and maintenance, and Columbia in general. It's suburban but, if you want nightlife you're not too far from DC and/or Baltimore. I'm a federal government employee and I have met countless fellow government workers residing in Columbia. The housing prices have increased. However, you still get more for your money and a better quality of life than you would purchasing a "piece" of property in NYC. Overall, no complaints.
Posted By Sterling, Columbia Md : 10:54 AM  

I am glad to see that not much of Florida made it on this list. Florida is too hot, too crowded and too expensive. It is becoming like California where only the rich live. I lived in Florida from 1990-2004, best thing I ever did was MOVE!
Posted By Tammy, KC MO : 11:06 AM  

For me, it's Dallas, Pa! Great area,
friendly people, clean air, plenty of
woods & lakes, cheap housing, just plain, good old country living!
Posted By Ralph Walp, Piscataway, N.J. : 12:14 PM  

Lived in Parsippany for 12 yrs. One of best town in NJ.
Posted By M. Patel, Parsippany, NJ : 12:14 PM  

Origially from Ohio - lived in Richardson & Plano (TX) for over 15 years, 9 years in Ventura CA (south of Santa barbars) and now live at the edge of Reston VA.

Texas wins - hands down!!
We WILL return to the Dallas area come retirement time - if not sooner.
Posted By Larry Leeth, Oak Hill VA : 1:43 PM  

my family moved to OP when i was in sixth grade; we found it to be a wonderful place to grow up. it's safe, the people are friendly, and the schools are great. now, i have my own family and am tired of the dirty, rude east coast and am looking to go back. go huskies!
Posted By maria, baltimore maryland : 2:32 PM  

I'm sorry but any list that would put Naperville, Illinois at #2 simply cannot be trusted. Ugh. A few nice homes and a cute downtown do not make up for the cookie-cutter subdivisions, the strip malls, the chain restaurants and the lack of any kind of diversity. Not to mention that Illinois has very little in the way of natural interest except Lake Michigan (unless you're into cornfields) and the weather stinks for 75% of the year. I should know, I live in Chicago. And had family in Naperville for years. No thanks!
Posted By GA, Chicago, Illinois : 2:33 PM  

It's the "kiss of death" to make it to this list.

My hometown was #1 a couple of years back - and everyone noticed - and moved there. Housing prices and taxes have skyrocketed since. I can't afford to move back.

You don't want to be on this list, trust me.
Posted By MLB, Sandy, Utah : 3:05 PM  

I am currently living in Centreville, VA which is a great suburban area. I am originallly from South Hill, VA which is a wonderful small town with great down-to-earth country folk. I will move back there after retirement, if not sooner. I love good ole country towns. They offer the best quality of living and the best food.
Posted By Rederica Whitfield, Centreville, VA : 4:19 PM  

Live in Miramar, FL No. 81 which is next to Pembroke Pines, FL No. 51, within 10 miles of Coral Springs, FL No. 27 and 20 miles from Boca Raton, FL which is No. 30. This area votes democrat and against additional taxes! We are in the Hurricane Zone, but do to decades of stricter building codes unless you live in a trailer or on the beach you do not need to evacuate. I recommend a generator we do lose power. If you are considering moving here -- teach your kids to swim. A large number of the homes have pools and the area has lakes, and a canal system. The folks aren't snooty, but then we have been getting people worldwide for decades and decades. I am a 6th generation Floridian and back in the 60s only 2 in my class of 30 were actually born here. I snowed once in my 55 years, in was 4AM and that little bit was gone before I got up. In the winter our light bills go down.
Posted By Marlene Toepel, Miramar, FL : 4:31 PM  

Colorado Springs is definately NOT the best big city. My family has lived there for two decades and the problem with this survey is that is counts the number of restaurants, not the quality. Almost all of the restaurants in Colorado Springs are chains, serving mediocre food. It also counts the number of museums and not the quality, the 4 museums in Colorado Springs are barely worth a person's time.
Posted By Chris, Colorado Springs, CO : 4:52 PM  

I think the whole best list of places to live is bull. The best place for me to live is somewhere i can afford. When I look at the cultural and economic make up of your list, it's obvious that you can't be looking for that melting pot we call America. There are nice communities everywhere and there are some of the best people to know in some not so (in your terms) desirable communities.
Posted By Don, Birmingham, Alabama : 5:03 PM  

I used to live in Columbus, Ohio and I must say that it has grown in since the 8 years that I lived there. It is a great place to live, & raise a family, but I'd wish the city would improve it's public transportation system. If, you live outside the High Street corridor (the main line), and you do not work a 9-5 job, COTA (the public transportation system) is totally unreliable, as it was highlighted in the first episode of Morgan Spurlock's "30 Days" series.
Posted By Charlotte Murray, Dallas, TX : 5:09 PM  

I live in Eden Prairie and I absolutely love it! It is very clean, well-kept, and high quality. All the neighborhoods are beautiful every convenience one needs is located here. I have never felt safer anywhere. I was considering moving to FL but have decided against it because I like Eden Prairie so much.
Posted By Arianne Eden Prairie, MN : 5:16 PM  

You should check out HOLLAND..MICHIGAN.....Great place to live and play......!
Posted By RON,HOLLAND,MI : 5:24 PM  

A great place to live, but has way too many arrogant, self-righteous snobs.
Posted By Tom, Napervile. IL. : 7:36 PM  

I live in Colorado Springs and have for more than 35 years now --- what this article fails to mention is that it's extremely over crowded and has been experiencing a huge growth spurt for more than 10 years now; housing prices are soaring; jobs are difficult to come by and wages for the general population are low unless you are employed with one of the many military installations; their weather stats are off as we've had several weeks in the 90's now (in July and even back in May, 2006) and they say the July "high" is 84. We have had several years running with a severe drought and wildfires all around with watering restrictions strictly enforced so the 17" of precipitation is a lot more than what we've experienced for several years now. Colorado Springs is my home and I love it here, but I certainly didn't recognize it based on the information published by Money Magazine.
Posted By D. Smith, Colorado Springs, CO : 9:14 PM  

I just love Cherry Hill and was happy to see we're #47. The schools are great. Almost every neighborhood has a pool, there are restaurants galore. The library is fantastic and there are lots of places to go shopping. Plus it's convenient to Philly, and only about an hours drive to the shore.
Posted By Irene Salcito,Cherry Hill, New Jersey : 9:47 PM  

I live in Olathe- which is a KC suburb-It is a nice place to raise children- but when we retire-- Here we come Montana- Shocked to not see one place from Montana on the list-- More in love than ever with the wonderful people of Montana for their mutual shock--
Posted By LS Olathe, KS. : 12:18 AM  

I was raised in Columbia and have been here since 1974. I am now raising my family here and couldn't imagine raising my sons anywhere else. Columbia is not Utopia, but it is as close as we can get with low crime, well-kept surroundings and neighbors who care about their property. You can sit in your house and enjoy the quiet, not sirens; you can walk or bike the entire city on bike paths; or you can work out in one of the athletic clubs. Columbia is very unique and the most welcoming, diverse place I know. I am proud to live in a town worthy of such an honor.
Posted By Tracey, Columbia, MD : 12:33 AM  

I think Fishers and Carmel are overrated. Some of the townships have good schools and low crime rates as well, as well as lower housing costs. Ask any Indianapolis native, the "Northside" has too much traffic, and is growing way too fast.
Posted By Matt, Indianapolis, IN : 12:45 AM  

Wylie, Texas is absolutely gorgeous. Great elementary and high schools. Outstanding and breathtaking scenery. Affordable homes. Nice people. Definitely affordable !! Move to Wylie!! people !!
Posted By Crystal Samonte, Wylie, Texas : 12:58 AM  

Naperville, IL number 2 best place in America to live? You have got to be kidding. Naperville is a nice place, yes, but it is filled with June Cleaver wannabes. People move in and out so fast there is little sense of community. And, it is so tract homish. No culture and no distinctive identity apart from the tract home
Posted By Dave, Libertyville, IL : 1:00 AM  

We fell in love with Sugar Land, Texas the very first time we saw it. It is very cosmopolitan, but with a deeply personal small town feel. Homes are affordable, and neighborhoods are flawlesly landscaped and maintained. We do not have children, but we know for a fact that schools are excellent. We live next to Oyster Creek Park located in the heart of Sugar Land's First Colony and we won't consider living anywhere else. To sum it up...SUGAR Land is a SWEET place to live.
Posted By Dan, Sugar Land, Texas : 11:49 AM  

In terms of beauty, quality of life, schools - public and private (home of Phillips Academy),friendly people, shopping and old New England small town charm, Andover, Mass tops my list. I've lived here for 9 years and plan to happily haunt one or two of these lovely homes when I die...
Posted By Marie, Andover, Massachusetts : 12:05 PM  

Thanks for the yearly update! I'm honored to have recently relocated to a top 15 city, Richardson, Texas, with no regard for its national ranking, just looking for more growth and more opportunities than offered minorities in St. Louis, Missouri. But -- the tap water here is digusting, the drivers are extremely rude and hazardous, fast-food trash is abandoned anywhere in stores and on parking lots where shopping carts are left everywhere. I do prefer the "dry heat" to St. Louis' humid heat. So all said, in terms of plentiful jobs and affordable housing, the Dallas area beats St. Louis, Missouri, hands down.
Posted By Letty, Richardson, Texas : 2:31 PM  

Bethlehem is moving forward. the old steel plant is hopefully going to become a casino/retqail/entertainment complex which will be a boon to the economy. I have live here for 10 years and many of the "old" timers are stuck in the past and aren't forward looking enough but the city is trying. Housing is affordable compared to NY/NJ, decent jobs tough to come by. The festivals are great but they don't make any money, historic downtown Bethlehem is very charming but lacks a nice anchor store to bring people down to shop. Hanover township & Bethlehem township are the places to live in Bethlehem
Posted By G Korner Bethlehem PA : 2:47 PM  

Boca is listed as #30 in your review of the Best Places.
I believe it should be in the top 10.
Low violent crime, combined with high levels of education and income make this a great place to live.
I have lived in 12 places in 50 years, and this is by far the best.
I've put down roots and plan to retire here as well.
The only negative is the cost of housing, but as with any market economy, the best places to live are always most costly.

PS: The only place I ever lived that the local grocery stores and doctor offices have valet parking
Posted By Gary From Boca Raton Florida : 3:27 PM  

Santa Clarita is a fantastic city to live in. We have more than just great weather. The schools, their sports teams, entertainment and our city's infrastructure are all the best I've seen.
Posted By Tim, Valencia, CA : 5:54 PM  

I used to live in the Chicago area, in Sugar Grove, IL, and would hang out at the riverwalk in Naperville almost every night. I'm sure things aren't they way they were then, but I remember Naperville as the place I sort of grew up with fond memories of great friends. I still miss being a "river rat".
Posted By Emily Mullan, Austin, TX : 9:35 PM  

I think that the best place to live isn't even in the U.S.--it's Canada--THE greatest country in the world!! Lots of wide open spaces and clean, cool, fresh air and water. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else in the world!!!
Posted By Ron Arthurs/Belleville/Ontario : 11:01 PM  

If you love all four seasons and diversity, you've got to love Pittsburgh and all outlying regions.
The city itself is strikingly beautiful, especially when entering from the Liberty or Fort Pitt tunnels. The skyline is breathtaking. We have the top medical facilities in the county and our museums rank among the best. The outlying communities have so much to offer year round with their rivers, mountains, historic sites, national parks, local festivals and seasonal events. Winters can be harsh, but our location protects us from most natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes. Looking at the big picture, we can't be beat!
Posted By Betsy/Uniontown, PA : 11:13 PM  

I have lived in Livermore Ca. (ranked as 31st in the nation) going on 12 years. While this town has some really friendly people and low crime rates it is hotter than blazes in the summer! Not a place for the heat intolerant. It also has a smog which settles into the valley almost the entire summer. long. Groceries are overpriced as well as gas and are higher than some of the other Bay Area cities. If you could judge a City by the quality of people and housing alone this would be a perfect place.
Posted By Brenda Treagan, Livermore CA. : 9:00 AM  

Columbus, Ohio... Are you kidding me. The town has no geography (no major mountains, lakes or rivers). If columbus is so great, how come so many people are moving out of ohio in record numbers?
Posted By John Anderson Columbus, OH : 9:47 AM  

I have visited Boise, Spokane, Colo Springs, Prescott, AZ, and Billings, MT as potential places to live. Boise seems like the best over all, despite my positive about Billings. Spokane seemed depressed, kind of beaten down. But there are beautiful surroundings. Colo Sprngs was a bit of a disappointment, though it is high on the list. It seemed like a well-maintained city. It was probably the best for employment. Prescott has a beautiful center-city, but it's pretty much downhill from there. Very heavy traffic, and confusing street layout. It's really easy to get lost even with a map once leaving the downtown. But, ah, Billings. That'd be my best place. I've never met nicer people, and the neighborhoods seemed great. And no sales tax! But watch out for the tax assessor! On the downside, I think the employment options really don't exist.
Posted By Bob, San Diego, CA : 10:34 AM  

It is good to see Wichita, KS make the list! Everything is very convenient, from getting car tags, to shopping and eating out. It's a great place to raise kids, plus there are a lot of golf courses, some nearby lakes, good paying jobs, affordable housing, and a lot of sunny days! Did I mention friendly people? I wouldn't want to live anywhere else.
Posted By Jane, Wichita, KS : 11:22 AM  

I am surprised that none of the cities in Orange county of California make it to the list. I have been living in Irvine( one of the safest city in US )for almost 8 years. So far so good, no complaint at all.
Posted By Vince, Irvine, CA. : 1:14 PM  

Ya know, I live in Colorado Springs. The #1 place? I wouldn't agree. I have been here for a few months. The weather is insane. Sunny winter, rainy summer. When it rains or snows or gets dark, people crash their cars. There are so many accidents here. I wouldn't say #1. Maybe in the top 100 somewhere, but not #1
Posted By Brandy, Colorado Springs, CO : 3:05 PM  

Why do these lists never include statistics on public transportation?
Posted By Bill Bayard, Portland, OR : 7:17 PM  

We moved to Rio Rancho about a year ago and think its great. The schools are great, plenty of stuff to do, very affordable housing and lots of sunny days. You can't beat it.
Posted By Rio Rancho New Mexico : 12:34 AM  

Yes it is a good city but it is far from being a great one. Growth has come too fast (ugly cookie-cutter homes on south/east end of town) and property values have gone crazy in Old Town. Traffic is terrible as there are only a few major roads for the 250,000 people in the area that flock to town. FtC is too far from Denver to be a part of RTD (the Denver metro transit district) but wages are too low so it is a nightmare commute up/down the very dangerous I-25 for too many people. Poudre School District is ok but actually lags other districts of comparable wealth in the state. I still love it here but we have much to improve.
Posted By Jeff, Ft Collins, CO : 2:17 PM  

Naperville being up here doesn't surprise me at all. It has every amenity imaginable and an unbeatable downtown. It even has a community beach. Homes here are more affordable than in other suburbs, because of its distance (30 miles) from Chicago. You can spend 50% more for the same house in Downers Grove or Wheaton, nearby.

Traffic is a bit congested, but this is Chicagoland - what do you expect? The traffic is better here than in Schaumburg, Oak Brook or many other Chicago suburban centers.

#1 Library, awesome park district, schools, nightlife, etc. Express trains to the city that beat any other suburb.

I will say that there is a pressure to keep up with the Joneses. Many people have money here, and it shows. We make $130K household income, and feel poor, and less able to afford things that some of our friends can. That part is hard. For the most part, though, people are friendly anyway when you get to know them one-on-one.

Naperville deserves to be on the list, but you need some disposable income, not to live, but to fit in.
Posted By Al G, Naperville IL : 2:19 PM  

You guys (and your computer model) miss the mark totally in my state of Rhode Island, and that's just as well. I'd want your readers to look at this survey, drive thru the so-called best places, and then keep going south on 95.
Posted By Paul, East Greenwich, RI : 2:33 PM  

Lists like these ruined Austin. I have lived in Austin for 23 years and witnessed the Californication of Austin. All the hip/groovy places have been closing and are being replaced by chain stores/restaurants and strip malls. Traffic is horrendous !!! The west coast housing bubble is being imported here rapidly.
Posted By Pete , Austin, Tx : 2:53 PM  

There are some great places to live in South Carolina. Ask all the people from the mid-west, Pa,& Florida that moved here. I live in Charleston and it's one of the most beautiful & historical places in the U.S. This is Tiger, Gamecock & Bulldog Country!
Posted By Richard, Charleston, SC : 3:06 PM  

I moved from Dallas, TX to Fort Collins so I could attend CSU. What a totally different world. Has all the best qualities of a well developed city, not to mention incredible views Rocky Mountains. I now call FOCO my new home nestled in the Foothills. Having graduated from CSU in Natural Resource Recreation & Tourism, I plan to make my future here with the thousands of opportunities the state has to offer new graduates.
Posted By Alain Abramovits, Fort Collins, CO : 3:09 PM  

I am a Naperville native and agree that it is a great place to grow... however, I live in Chicago now and would NEVER EVER go back, it is a suburb after all, not a real city.
Posted By Matt, Chicago, IL : 4:27 PM  

What's wrong with St. Louis? I love it, lots of culture and terrific arts, great suburbs, and an architectually beautiful downtown that is being re-vitalize.

Why did it score so low? job growth?
Posted By Virginia, St. Louis, MO : 5:49 PM  

PLEASE don't put us on the List. We are 45,000, nestled in a charming community with no air pollution, no freeways and only an hour from Santa Barbara. Also - affordable!
Posted By Connie Barlow, Lompoc CA : 7:12 PM  

I don't understand how Vermont did not make the list, considering that the state has some of the most livable cities in the country. It must be an editorial oversight. Or perhaps you believe the rumours that we got fed up with the United States, and seceded.
Posted By Dave B, Burlington, Vermont : 7:14 PM  

I live in Plano -- is like Irvine, California - lots of image conscious people, driving BMW, Lexus, Mercedes and pursuing their careers or perfect body. It's also the land of soccer mom's (driving Lexus 450s), tanning salons, and conspicuous consumption. Lots of peer pressure to 'look good' - it wasn't always this way until the big influx of transplants from all over the US.
Posted By Roger Reynolds, Plano, TX : 7:17 PM  

Reston?! Have then actually been here? The traffic is miserable, cost of living is outrageous, the local government is practically having a civil war. If you're going to live in Northern Virginia, Reston isn't my first choice.
Posted By Dan, Reston VA : 9:04 PM  

I'm glad to see that Carrollton, TX made the list because no one knows about the city. Carrollton has been a great city and its 15 minutes away from everything in Dallas, Denton, and Plano.
Posted By Linda D. Carrollton, TX : 9:06 PM  

Well,as a resident of a small town right outside Washington, DC [I live in Upper Marlboro, MD], I would have to say that although the overall atmosphere is great, the price for living near DC is HIGH! Housing prices are outta reach for most people and if you are a first time homebuyer, you definitely want to look elsewhere. I read the comments about Columbia and the only truth I find is that they "pay a higher price for living". Property taxes are extremely high in both Prince Georges County and Montgomery County and not worth the money. I am looking to relocate now and looking at this list, I really feel like the criteria should be reworked. I can't believe that Charlotte, NC did not even make the list at all -- what a shock! I am looking at somewhere in NC and it seems like Carey is the only place on this list that makes sense for me.
Posted By Ashlynn Crawford, Upper Marlboro, Maryland : 9:24 PM  

Portland, Maine??? Give me a break. 40 feet of snow from September until May and Mainers who won't give you the time of day? I will take southern humidity and hospitality any day.
Posted By Lane, Atlanta GA : 9:38 PM  

As a former resident of California, you forgot to look at the city of Foster City. It is a wonderful family community with lots of parks and many lagoons. It has low crime and excellent schools. I recently moved to Phoenix, Arizona and it has none of the charm that Foster City has. I hope someday to move back!!
Posted By Gretchen Evans, Phoenix, Az : 10:15 PM  

I grew up close to Fort Collins in Cheyenne, WY, went to college at CSU for 4 years, and later worked in Ft Collins for another 4 1/2 years. One point I would agree that if you know what Ft Collins used to be like, (say 10 to 15 years ago), you probably would not rate it #1 these days based on the traffic, pollution, housing market, etc., etc...whereas if you just moved to Ft Collins in the last 5 years from California you would think it is a top 10 small city. Everything is relative and everything will eventually change, including this rank list.
Posted By Scot, Albuquerque, NM : 11:10 PM  

What idiot picked all those places in Texas? 10 in Texass and none in Kentucky? Nothing like a bias study.
Posted By Steve Pinehurst, NC : 12:53 AM  

I grew up in Columbia, and moved away when I joined the Air Force. I'm back in the area now, but can't afford to live in Columbia. It was set up as a model city in the 60's, and I believe many others have since followed. Once I retire from the AF and get a better paying job I'd like to return to Columbia or the surrounding areas.
Posted By Mark Dawson, Baltimore MD : 1:56 AM  

I love West Bloomfield! Excellent schools and a feeling of hometown and a bit of country privacy all in one.
Posted By Ryan, West Bloomfield,MI : 10:01 AM  

I moved from Naperville to Oregon a few years back, and if you think housing in Naperville is unaffordable, think again. It's all relative. In Lake Oswego where I live, its ridiculous. Upwards of 600k for 1500 sq. foot homes! While I enjoy living here- clean, safe, good schools, mountains nearby- I'd move back to Naperville in a heartbeat. Great place to live and raise a family. And please stop complaining about how flat and cold it is there--that's why you take a vacation!!
Posted By Maggie, Lake Oswego, OR : 2:09 PM  

Lived in Naperville for 4 years and it is great!!
Posted By Mike, Naperville, IL : 2:37 PM  

Carmel and Fishers are very nice places to live...if you have lived in Indiana your whole life, you don't know how lucky you are. A 20 minute traffic jam is nothing compared to most cities. Great housing, restaurants, and if you actually look at the numbers, the housing costs are low compared to other cities on this list and even compared to other parts of Indy. There is little to no crime and highly rated schools. Even if you don't live there, it bodes well for all of Indianapolis.
Posted By Brenda Indianapolis, IN : 3:38 PM  

Ski Resorts? You put ski resorts as some sort of benchmark. So that favors cities in the mountains. How about beaches? Or lakes? Other stuff that people flock to during holidays and vacations. Cities like Miami or Corpus Christie aren't going to be able to compete with Colorado Springs and such if number of ski resorts is a singular qualifier for Leisure and culture.
Posted By Jason, Austin, Texas : 4:25 PM  

After living most of our lives in N.J. (40+) we moved to Ellicott City. We have spent the last 12 years there and couldn't have been happier. Two of our sons went through Howard County middle and high schools and received an excellent education. Our middle son is now an elementary P.E. teacher in Howard County - we couldn't be more proud. My husband & I relocated to Knoxville, TN 8 months ago - a career move. Although everyone we meet tells us there is no better place to live, we know we will be back to Ellicott City after retirement. We truly miss it!
Posted By Shirley Deppen, Knoxville, TN : 6:38 PM  

Having grown up in Naperville for 14 years - going through the public school system, being involved in Naperville Park District programs etc, I have to say that looking back it was one of the best places to prepare me for my time growing into an adult 1,000 miles away in a city. The public schools are absolutely amazing... especially Waubonsie Valley. GO WV!
Posted By Amanda - Boston, MA : 8:30 PM  

I'm 21 years old and have lived in Columbia my entire life. After living in a major city during my college years, I can now truly appreciate Columbia even more. There's no city like it that I know of. The extensive planning that the town was built upon creates a wonderful network of neighborhood "villages" that provide the atmosphere and community of a small town with the overall connectedness of the large city. The amenities are great--extensive bike paths, playgrounds, lakes, parks as well as a superior pool and gym system. The schools are great too. And perhaps the best thing about this town is the diversity it offers. With such a mix of cultures, religions, races, etc., I feel I am truly lucky to have grown up in such a place in which I can be comfortable with the world. This is where I plan to raise my family.
Posted By Rocco Loverro, Columbia, MD : 10:58 PM  

Cary is great. I live there. I love it. The people are friendly, the city is clean, the amenities are great, and the weather tends to be nice. The beach is 2 hrs away, the mountains are 2 hours in the opposite direction, what more can you ask for?
Posted By lt, cary, NC : 5:36 AM  

The fact that you have to review the postings submitted here indicates that your list is rigged. Why not post *all* the comments? Why review them to determine what's "appropriate"? Let people voice their opinions for crying out loud.
Posted By Fred, Franklin, MO : 8:02 AM  

I live in Ft. Collins, CO and yes, it is a wonderful place to live. But the work situation with regards to high tech, is NOT good. I have been laid off 4 times in 4 years by high tech companies and I know several people who take months and months to be able to find a job.
Posted By Jack, Ft. Collins, CO : 10:16 AM  

Murfreesboro is Amazing, Soon to be
the South's next major city. Rutherford
County (Murfreesboro,Smyrna,LaVergne)
was #1 in nation for Job Growth earlier
this year, Clarke County, NV was #2.
The City is very progressive with
it's road program. Murfreesboro is a
day's drive to 3/4 of the population!
Atlanta, The Great Smokey Moutain's
and Several Major Cities are within
3 to 4 hours, and it's on the major
routh from Chicago to Florida.
Many new Roads are in the works, Interstate 24 is being widened all the
way to Nashville (30 miles) and new exits are being built. New restaurants,
malls, hotels, parks etc. are being announced almost daily. The Avenues is
a 140 million dollar mall construction
is starting on this month, a new hotel
and convention center is coming,etc.,etc.,. There is so much
happenig here, MTSU is here with 23,000
+ students and Growing, New Business Parks are Coming,There is an awesome greenway system here that will soon be expanding. Every Part of this
town is booming and will continue well into the Future.
This is a Historical city, it was
once the capital of Tennessee from 1819
to 1825 and is home to Stones River Battlefield, a major Civil War Battlefield.
Nissan makes most of its vehicles
here in Rutherford county, it's also the video, cd and book distribution capital of the world with major companies like, Ingram, Borders, Waldenbook, Hollywood Video and many
more. Other major Companies include:
State Farm, General Mills, Cardinal Health, Old Time Pottery is Headquartered here and many more.
Murfreesboro is the home of Chris
Young, the Nashville Star Winner! It
has been the home to Astronauts, Pro
Football Player, Movie Stars, Country
Music Legends, Nobel Peace Prize winners, Great Politicans, to Great
American Hero's!
Murfreesboro is an
exciting, vibrant city that the people
that live here love. There is a feeling
in this town that makes you happy and
proud to be an American!
Posted By Richard Blair Murfreesboro, Tennessee : 12:33 PM  

I think the 216,000 medium housing in Ft. Collins is low. Even old houses can go for that
Posted By annie colorado : 12:46 PM  

I will be moving to Scottsdale from Seattle as my company decided 2 move its HQ. I really didn�t have many high expectations from a city all the way in AZ after living in a vibrant place like Seattle... but after the initial shock I do have to admit that I was rather pleased by Scottsdale. Things that really stood out were the number of restaurants, golf courses and the feeling that you are in a vacation 24/7. I know the summers are going to be brutal (I am moving in two days) but one has to appreciate the 300 or so days of sunshine. I was really surprised by the inflated home prices even after living in Seattle.
Posted By JR, Seattle, WA : 12:58 PM  

The good: Columbia is a nice, multicultural community that has lots to offer. There are plenty of restaurants, a concert venue, parks, etc. There are no huge billboards or signs, with plenty of trees that line the roads. I'm not sure about the schools, but from what I've heard, I'm sure the schools are nice. Overall, it is a very nice area.

The bad: Because of the lack of signs in Columbia, it's very difficult to find anything unless you've lived there for a while. It has a good location between D.C. and Baltimore, but the location can result in traffic congestion. Housing prices are absolutetly ridiculous. For the most part, the people seem to be nice. But, there are also plenty of snobs in the area.

My perspective: I've lived in Maryland all my life, and there is one thing that Columbia severely lacks. Although Columbia represents a very culturally diverse community, it has pretty much snubbed all local culture. Maryland is about getting together with your family to watch the orioles (better known as the Os) lose yet another game while throwing back a few beers, cracking open a few crabs (completely covered in Old Bay of course), and taking on a few pieces of corn on the cob. Sure, I like Indian food. There is an Indian restuarant in Columbia that I absolutely love. But, where can I get a good crab cake in Columbia? I don't know of any restaurant in Columbia where I can get a good crab cake. If someone does know of a place that has good crab cakes, then they better give me some pretty good directions to the restaurant. Otherwise, I'll never be able to find it. There are no signs in Columbia.

I live in Pasadena, MD. It's a waterfront/water-oriented area about 20-30 minutes from Columbia, depending on traffic. I grew up in Pasadena (a mixed white-collar/blue-collar town) in a more white-collar area. My wife grew up in a more blue-collar area of Pasadena (where we now live). We met in graduate school, where I received my Master's degree and she received her Ph.D. We didn't grow up in Columbia, but amazingly we have been fairly successful. As stated above, we live in a more blue-collar area of Pasadena, where there are plenty of trucks on the road with ladder racks, tool boxes, etc. Many people here don't speak with perfect grammar. Many haven't been to college. But, that doesn't mean that they're stupid (some people who live in Columbia may not agree). There are plenty of people here that can fix your car (most college grads wouldn't know where to begin). They can put an addition on your house, fix your plumbing, and do pretty much everything that you didn't learn in college or grad school that you wish you had learned.

Most people that live here work hard for a living, doing fairly physical labor. But, they know how to live. They know what Maryland is about. On the weekends, they might go out fishing, crabbing, water skiing, jet skiing, or sailing (sailing is more common in the white-collar areas). They may just go for a joy ride on the boat. They may pull their boat up to a waterfront restaurant or bar and just hang out for a while. Or, they may just drive their boat up to a local sandbar and hang out on the sandbar for the day. This is what Maryland is about. You just don't get that in Columbia. Columbia looks nice, but it's pretty much like staying at a Sheraton on a Carribean island. The Sheraton is pretty much the same whether it's on a Carribean island or somewhere in the U.S. It's nice, but if you don't move off of the hotel grounds, you don't get to experience the local culture.
Posted By Mark, Pasadena, MD : 1:12 PM  

I don't know how anyone, except for yuppies maybe, can consider 200k to 250k price tag is reasonable! How can that be considered affordable. Since housing is now considered "an investment" to line the pockets of so-called "baby boomers" (which age group I am in, unfortunately), instead of a basic necessity. Instead of having a nice, comfy home we are now pushed to have showcases that are better than our neightbors. The American mentality now is LUXURY.
Posted By Michael, Nsahville,TN : 2:31 PM  

I enjoyed comparing Camden, NJ to Detroit. As a Native of NJ now living in Maine, I often talk of Camden. And Everyone thinks Detroit is bad, HA! National Avg is 100, Detroit's personal crime index is 445. Camden, NJ is 609, same as its area code.
Posted By Chuck, Saco, ME : 2:44 PM  

Fort Collins, CO is indeed a wonderful place to live. No wonder it's number one!
Posted By Katie, Fort Collins, CO : 2:55 PM  

when i see a list like this, i hold my breath until i see that where i live is not on it. i love my location and the fewer people that know of it, the happier i am. for that reason, i will not include the city and state. thank you.
Posted By j. marks : 2:58 PM  

I live in Casper Wyoming and like it. There are a lot of fun things to do here and we are only hours away from Yellowstone. Whats not to like?
Posted By Phyllis Felt, Casper ,Wyoming : 3:05 PM  

Some may wish to consider living in New Zealand. For those who do not know NZ consists of 3 main islands 1200 miles East of Australia in the SW Pacific Ocean. We have the best boating in the world and also have some of the best ski resorts - all within short distances of each other.
I live in Kerikeri in the beautiful Bay of Islands on the NE coast of the North Island. We are 3 hours drive from Auckland, NZ's biggest city. Our climate is subtropical with temperatures ranging from 15 to 28 degrees Celsius. Our dollar is currently worth 62 US cents and real estate prices are reasonable - especially taking the exchange rate into consideration. So, take a trip down here and see what we have to offer.
Posted By Jim Donald, Kerikeri, Bay of Islands, Northland, New Zealand : 3:10 PM  

You have listed Detroit, MI as one of the best places to live. What are you guys smoking?
Posted By M J, Troy, MI : 3:25 PM  

As a first time home owner, fairfield connecticut is out of reach. You say the median family income is $113,429 and median home price is $565,000 most people who live their could not afford to buy in their at todays prices. My husband earns $350,000 per year, we have a sizeable down payment and can only afford a shack in fairfield. It is the best place to live if you are a millionaire or if your family bought in before the boom. We unfortunately missed the boat.
Posted By Anonymous : 3:26 PM  

Why isn't Albuquerque on the list? It has everything including great weather, The International Balloon Festival, Botanical gardens, unique zoo, Old Town, Sandia Mts., Sandia Casino, Tingley Beach, a live downtown, a wonderful convention center, the Kimo theater, The NM Symphony, The Isotopes, the Lobos, arts and crafts beyond those in Santa Fe, a popular State Fair, Horse racing and a casino at the fairgrounds, a flea market on Saturday's and Sunday. The best weather anywhere....
Posted By Margaret King Albuquerque, NM : 3:33 PM  

Interesting that Rochester, New York is on the list of one of New York's best places to live. Out of curiosity I looked and found it to be much higher than average in all the wrong categories! Personal crime rate is staggering despite local governmental promises and futile attempts to keep it to a minimum. Job growth is virtually at a stand still and increase in property value is at 0%. I'd like to know what kind of standards make it one of the best places to live when so many have left and so many more are trying to leave. I lived in Rochester most of my life and I can tell you that there are much more beautiful and peaceful places in New York to live than that one.
Posted By Denise McCall, Perinton, New York : 3:38 PM  

This blog is ridiculous. So many people are saying that their own hometown is underranked. The people who create this list aren't morons; they go off the best quantifiable data they can.
Also, what is with all these people complaining that places are too expensive. Its not too expensive for the people that choose to live there. Maybe a more apt complaint would be "I don't have enough money to live there." Its not the city's fault that you can't afford it.
Posted By Alex, Bethesda, Maryland : 3:39 PM  

Fairfield is very safe and you can do alot of things that you wouldn't be able to do in the big cities of CT. I live in Fairfield and one of the few minorities that live there but you still feel excepted even with the lack of diversity.
Posted By Jasmine, Fairfield,CT : 3:42 PM  

Commenting on Charlotte, NC. This city and state are woefully behind in keeping up with the massive growth this area has seen. Wanton development has left this city marred in heavy traffic and a disasterous school system. It is appalling how this city has been managed. Further, the air quality has gotten as bad as Los Angeles. Sad, sad realities.
Posted By Rick, Charlotte, NC : 3:46 PM  

I live in Honolulu Hawaii and it is sweet all year round; great beaches, weather, outdoor activites, etc. Having been here for 11 years, the growth continues and the H1,2 and 3 are getting crowded. Otherwise ALOHA!
Posted By Jay D., Honolulu Hawaii : 3:50 PM  

I grew up in Cherry Hill and hated it. Most people who live in NJ can't wait to get out of NJ. It's dirty, expensive, and unattractive. The summers are ungodly due to heat and humidity and there's very little charm to be found in bumper to bumper traffic everywhere you go. I wouldn't go back if you paid me.
Posted By J. Johnston, Portsmouth, NH : 4:04 PM  

I live in Las Cruces, NM and I do not agree with your numbers, at least most of them.
Posted By Jim Las Cruces, NM : 4:04 PM  

If I could live any place , I would choose Casey, Illinois
Posted By Wood F..Overholt, Sherman TX : 4:09 PM  

Glad you skipped us. North East Tennessee is awesome. We relocated here from CA and love it! The Tri Cities(Johnson City, Kingsport & Bristol)is a great place to live. Low housing prices and great people.
Posted By Susan, Johnon City, Tn : 4:44 PM  

In Idaho I failed to see one of the most beautiful places on your list. My family and I would one day like to move to. Sandpoint, ID 83864. BEAUTIFUL!!!!!
Posted By Sarah, Big Bear Lake, CA : 4:52 PM  

Whatever you do don't move to Cincinnati. The city has tremendous amounts of blight in the form of vacant buildings. The high tech consists of soap manufacturing and grass cutting. It has one of the highest costs of doing business and the city's old boy network in entrenched.
Posted By Donald P. Wang, Cincinnati, OH : 4:56 PM  

Notice the crime risk rates for Columbus, Ohio. When I lived there-- as much as I liked it-- I did not know one person who had not personally had a crime happen to them--most had property stolen and/or damaged.
Posted By Joan, Los Angeles, CA : 4:56 PM  

You say the high temperature in Lake Havasu City in July is 107, that's about the high in May or October, July is closer to 116 - 120 or higher, especially this year!
Posted By Leslie, Lake Havasu City, AZ : 4:56 PM  

I am from Tacoma WA, and i miss my hometown, and i have lived in Orlando, FL which i miss too, and now i live in Hawaii and it is very different and very expensive, but beautiful
Posted By Amy, Wahiawa, HI : 5:00 PM  

Overland Park, KS is a great hometown/big city mix!!
Posted By Vanessa, Overland Park KS : 5:02 PM  

Glad to be left off the list -- too many people would be drawn to our redwoods, ocean, mountains, and mild temperatures (where it's been a sweltering 80 degrees lately) and then we'd have traffic and it would take us longer than 10 minutes to get places!
Posted By Barbi Roth, Eureka, California : 5:12 PM  

Fort Collins, CO voted the best place to live? Sure - as long as you don't ask the people who live here.
Posted By Amanda - Fort Collins, CO : 5:13 PM  

We moved to Eden Prairie, MN ten years ago and has been a great place for schools, families, shopping and entertainment. Eagan is just as nice. Frankly, you can't go wrong in the entire State of Minnesota.
Posted By Ron Eden Prairie, MN : 5:14 PM  

New York City is a place like no other with everything just a train ride away. I am proud to be a true New Yorker. It is a whole different world and it's thrilling to be able to be a part of it. Everything is cultured and sophisticated even though it's pricey. There are incredible oppurtunities here for business, education and recreation.
Posted By Mariya, New York, New York : 5:17 PM  

as for the pennsylvania best cities. bethlehem. ewwww!. how about doylestown!!! it rocks. absolutely Beautiful!! alot to do here. excellent blue ribbon school system. low crime. i could go on and on. as for the other cities on the list. bensalem. levitown. cut me a break. have you been to these high crime, congested, bad schools, ugly towns? please visit before you make bad suggestions.
Posted By grant, doylestown, pa : 5:49 PM  

Whoever does these surveys doesn't realize that Hawaii is a state. Who has better weather or recreational activities than Hawaii? Get real.
Posted By Mike, Honolulu, Hawaii : 5:52 PM  

I have lived in Oregon all my life and i would never live anywhere else! Tigard, Oregon is one of the larger farming communties in the Portland Metro Area, but has wineries and stores all around!
Posted By Amanda, Tigard, Oregon : 5:59 PM  

I live in Livermore-it used to be nice here. Now it's just too crowded and our children can't buy their first home here it's too expensive! So they have to move away-that's not good for families. Ever hear of the I-580/Altamont Pass corridor? Why didn't that get mentioned? Don't come here-there is no more room left.
Posted By jayne tonowski, Livermore CA : 6:04 PM  

I'm suprised Maine isent on top. Sure, you have to shovel your roof in winter - but Fall and Summer are gloryous, clear skys, good sleeping weather. Winter sports abound for the outdoors type. Just bring your own job.
Posted By Tom Blackwell -Hallowell ME : 6:14 PM  

Of course there are beautiful places in Vermont!! The Islands, especially South Hero, are gorgeous. They are surrounded by Lake Champlain and they are near the Adirondack Mountains of New York. Beautiful lake and mountain views!!
Posted By Lolita Daze, South Hero, Vermont : 6:18 PM  

"Best place to live" is where you are known, loved and appreciated for who you are.
Posted By Jim, Livingston, N.J. : 6:41 PM  

Eden Prairie, MN...? It is a quiet and clean town, but it's also very lonely. There is no diversity of any kind, and people drive, drive and drive. If you decide to take a walk, drivers will stare at you like you are not from around. As a transplant it's very difficult to meet people, and to make meaningful friendships, although, at first people are "nice" here...
Posted By Russ, Minneapolis, MN : 6:44 PM  

Cary is a great, safe place to live. I wish it remained a well guarded secret. Articles such as this have made people flock here. Hope is doesn't turn into Atlanta.
Posted By Linda, Cary, NC : 6:45 PM  

I lived in COlorado Springs for 7 years. I should have never moved.I LOVED IT!!! Now I live in Georgia and hate it!!! I long for my life back in the Springs!!!!!
Posted By Victoria Gilmore, Columbus, GA : 7:10 PM  

We are retiring to Camp Clark Springs in Bracketville TX. A safe gated community with golf, swimming, horseback riding, etc in a beautiful historic 1800s army base. A bonus--it is the most affordable place we could find. Also it is 30 miles from Lauflin Air force base where we can shop at the PX and get medical care.
Posted By Donna Granchay Houston TX : 7:12 PM  

Scottsdale is a place for materialictic superficial people. Yes it has many restaurants and bars but, the food is average at best in many of these establishments and is overpriced. All everyone talks about is how big their house is and what they are driving....Hummer, Mercedes, Escalade..etc. If they did not have these things they would not have much to talk about. The homes are poorly constructed, impractical and they all look the same. It is a shame that these insecure people have to own these possessions to feel important and judge others who are not exactly like them. I can't wait to move away from here.
Posted By R Russell Scottsdale AZ : 7:28 PM  

Nothing beats Northern Maine - 35 acres, home and horse barn and track for 285K. Home Security is provided by locals, most reliable.
Posted By Jeff V, Herndon Virginia : 7:44 PM  

Gee, thanks for your ever useful survey. Takes a lot of the confusion out of where to live next!!

Hmmmm.... Decisions, decisions... Shall I move to Mesa Arizona or New York City... Hmmmm... I just can't decide. They have so much in common!!

But seriously, these kinds of surveys are precisely why Americans and their obsessions with lists drive me crazy. Any list that can equate Mesa (or Wichita, for that matter) with New York really makes me wonder about your methodology.

Ridiculous ... simply stupid!
Posted By Don, Boston, MA : 8:12 PM  

Montgomery's real housing prices are higher: homes appreciated 15% last year, driving the average price up to about $135,000. And you cannot find anything decent for that. You have new homes over $210K, and old ones in high crime neighborhoods for $60K. That's how they get the "average" price.
Posted By Jim; Montgomery, AL : 8:20 PM  

Horsetooth Reservoir is not a "natural" attraction - it is man-made, supplied with water from the Colorado-Big Thompson Project and held with four dams!
Posted By Brad Patterson, Fort Collins, CO : 1:01 AM  

There is a fatal flaw in your rankings: some of your cities are actually part of a metroplex not discernable from their parent city. For example, Overland Park, Kansas is really Kansas City in terms of how people identify it and where people go when they leave their house. Think of CNN's home city of Atlanta. How many of your fellow workers actually live within the city limits? Very few. And the stats for the city of Atlanta make it sound bad.
Posted By Joe Henderson, Atlanta, GA : 10:15 AM  

Virginia Beach, VA as a best big city? Are you kidding me? That place is perfect for a 15 yr old. Lack of career opportunities, non-existent night life...combine for a horrible place for singles to live. This list is a joke and was obviously not comprised with individuals that actually LIVE in these places.
Posted By Jermaine Heath, Chesapeake, VA : 12:43 PM  

Regarding the selection of Eagan Minnesota as a best place to live, are you aware the the recent opening of runway 17-35 at the nearby airport has resulted in a constant flow of jet noise over just about all of Eagan? Check it out. Eagan has changed.
Posted By W. Anderson, Eagan MN. : 1:15 PM  

Appleton is great, but Neenah, a close neighbor is much better. Small town feel with access to everything that Appleton has to offer.
Posted By Katie, Neenah, WI : 2:12 PM  

We have lived in Fort Collins for fourteen years and moved here because it is such a great place to raise a family. We have never been disapointed with our decision.

Its very safe, kids can play outside year-round, there are loads of family-oriented actiivites, neighborhoods are friendly, schools are great, weather is a mild four seasons, restaurants and arts scene are vibrant for a city of this size, the scenery is beautiful, and we are less than an hour from Denver and two hours from the mountains. Finally the cost of living is a bargain compared to other places with similar amenities.

The biggest downside to living here is that jobs are not plentiful and usually pay little. Yet, you can buy a very nice house here for $250,000 and taxes are low! It's a trade off. I have relatives that live on the coasts where you need at least a quarter of a million income just to survive and most people work 60+ hours each week.

If career fast track and night life are your top priorities, Fort Collins is probably not the place. If you like a balanced lifestyle, outdoor activities and a sense of community, there are few places that top it.
Posted By Deb, Fort Collins - Colorado : 2:59 PM  

I have lived in Colorado Springs for sixteen years, and I can say that its #1 spot on the big cities list is well-deserved. 300 days of sunshine a year, lots of stuff to do both inside and outside, nice people, cheap prices--what more could you want?
Posted By Tyler B., Colorado Springs, CO : 7:59 PM  

I moved to Fort Collins the end of May from southern Oegon because of the active lifestyle, theatre, educational opportunities and glorious sunshine. It is a joy!
Posted By Liz Houlihan, Ft. Collins, CO : 9:05 PM  

I grew up in Sugar Land and first moved there 33 year ago. It was still basically a company town then but has now become major suburbia - what a shame. Even Imperial Sugar Company for which it was named has shut down its refinery there. This is now just another Houston suburb.
Posted By C King, Tyler Texas : 12:40 AM  

I was very happy to see my wonderful city listed. Warren, Mi is a great place to live. The weather is average, the homes are average, but the people are above average. Me and my husband were both raised in Warren and after we married we moved to Utica, then to Shelby Twp, then to Troy. Three years ago we moved back to Warren. I am glad we're home again. I've almost forgotten how friendly and down to earth the people here are. I've thought about having a new city logo called "Warren Friendly".
Posted By Lynne, Warren, MI : 9:11 AM  

I completely angered by our ranking surely Short Hills, Wayne or Tom's River should have been listed as tops in NJ.

P.S. Parsippany unfortunately has no more vacancies and will be at maximum capacity for eternity.
Posted By Rob, Parsippany-Troy Hills, NJ : 2:15 PM  

Davis, California does not belong on the list at all. It seems the town exits simply to take advantage of students attending U.C. Davis. The community drives away developers so housing is overpriced, people have to go out of town to shop and there is very little entertainment
Posted By Steeve Hayes, Belmont, Calif : 5:42 PM  

Springfield, GA is the county seat of Effingham County Georgia in one of the 100 fastest growing counties in the nation. We are only thirty minutes from Savannah, winters are mild, low crime, houses are reasonably priced, plenty of room if you like acerage, and excellent schools.
Posted By Dianne, Springfield, GA : 7:07 PM  

I was quite disappointed to see that under Ohio's list, some of the worst cities in Ohio were listed. I wouldn't call a city great when you are afraid to go for a walk in the middle of the day.
Posted By Cheryl, Cleveland OH : 8:24 PM  

Gosh, have you guys never heard of the South Brunswick Isles or the Crystal Coast in NC?
Posted By Bill Kelly, Ocean Isle Bch., NC : 9:11 PM  

I think Saratoga, New York should be on the New York list!!!!!
Posted By Lee, Saratoga , New York : 10:03 PM  

I live in Cherry Hill and I agree that it is a fantastic place to live and grow up. There are many things to do and the proximity to Philadelphia is fantastic (as well as it does not have that Long Island overcrowded feeling).
Posted By Mike Cherry Hill, NJ : 1:13 AM  

i hope listing ft collins, longmont and westminster ahead of denver in the CO listing is a JOKE. please be a joke.
Posted By Joe Davidson, Denver, CO : 3:12 AM  

Will someone please check out "Baldwin County" in Alabama?
Not only do we have the best new Home prices,we also have the lowest Real Estate taxes.
Our County borders the Gulf of Mexico and is still one of the most beautiful to live in.We are on the other side of Mobile Al. and are called the Eastern Shore.Separated by Mobile Bay.
"Fairhope" is a Gem. So is Daphne,Spanish Fort,and Foley.All with short driving Distance to the Gulf.
Check out "Gulf Shores" and "Orange Beach" Our Beaches have Sugar white Sand and the Water is the Color of Emeralds.
Posted By Jutta Gomez,Fairhope,Al. : 8:02 AM  

We've lived in Ellicott City for 8 years. We love the walking paths in Columbia, the access to the airport (with well-priced fares to many destinations), great opportunities for athletics for our children, and the excellent schools. There is also great access to Baltimore and our nations' capitol. So much to do, so little time!
Posted By Karen McClelland, Ellicott City, Maryland : 8:45 AM  

Longmont Colorado is a very nice place to live. My family moved here about 4 years ago and really enjoy the climate and proximity to entertainment.

Longmont is 30 minutes from Denver, 15 minutes from Boulder, and 45 minutes from Fort Collins. I would consider Longmont to be a wonderful place to raise a family. Home prices are half of the price in Boulder!!

While technology jobs dominate the overall job scene, there are a number of other employment opportunities that make the employment base more diersified.

Longmont has a number of very community oriented economic development arms that continue to recruit new employment opportunities.

If you are looking for a balanced life, Longmont is worth a look!!
Posted By Mike Hindman, Longmont, Colorado : 11:33 AM  

I have lived in Fort Collins for almost five years. As an artist, I feel it can be a challenging place to find a good creative base and take in culture. There is no commercial contemporary art gallery to be found and very few residents truly understands the signifigance of the FC Museum of Contemporary Art, the only venue exhibiting contemporary art here. Otherwise, it is a pleasant place to live where you can ride a bike, safely, anywhere.
Posted By Jennifer, Fort Collins, CO : 12:01 PM  

Go Bethlehem !! Way to grow. So much going on here, it's great to see some recognition.
Posted By JJ, Bethlehem, PA : 10:53 AM  

I live in Naperville, and I think that it provides a perfect balance between city life and a laid back lifestyle. THe schools and libraries are great, and the downtown area is beautiful. Naperville's level of perfection is hard to attain, so I really enjoy living there!
Posted By Vignesh, Naperville, IL : 2:23 PM  

Seling homes in Livermore, California is easy. Livermore is home to stellar wineries, beautiful parks, wonderful homes, fantastic schools, strong employment centers and an address for a diverse and highly educated population. I've lived in town since 1967 and find it the perfect setting to raise a family. Growing up it was the perfect place to be a single gal and even before that it was the perfect place to be a child. Tradtions complete with a small town feeling yet close to bigger bay area cities and thrilling destinations--oceans, mountains and lakes!
Posted By, livermore, ca : 12:39 AM  

The key to being a great city is to have lots of open-minded people doing interesting things and a housing market that's affordable so people aren't living to pay their mortgage.

We lived in Silicon Valley for 8 years and unless you and your spouse bring home $250k+ per year, you will live worse than most college students. You will be obsessed with owning a home and considering "creative" mortgage strategies and cutting all non-essential costs (like eating out or taking vacations) to get one. Then you'll be house poor and a slave to your job.

I'm hearing the same pattern from friends in places like Boston, Seattle, DC, and Los Angeles thanks to housing prices. Folks, $300 per square foot is high... last time I was in Silicon Valley, the going rate was $600-800/sqft. That is ridiculous.

If you live in the Valley or Boston or whatever and you're in your 20's or 30's and don't own a house, heed my advice: MOVE.

You should seriously consider moving to Austin, Raleigh, Boulder or somewhere else open-minded and affordable. Your life is worth more than a house in Cupertino!
Posted By Malik, Austin, TX : 12:50 AM  

Most of your list of "small cities" are not cities but suburbs of large meto areas.
Posted By Jane Washington DC : 3:45 AM  

I would not live in a town that is more than an hour drive to a national sporting event, a university or a large hospital. The towns listed are mostly boring, too hot or cold, and long commutes.
Posted By D.Callen, Winter Haven, Florida : 11:48 AM  

I lived in Colorado Springs (#1 large city)in the 90's, and was very unimpressed. Take away the Rocky Mountains, and you have an ugly, uninteresting city, with a bizarre political landscape, and rampant sprawl.
Unfortunately, I've since moved to a far worse place...Greenville, SC.
Can't wait for the day I move back home to rural Pennsylvania. Sorry, I'm not identifying the town.
Posted By Patrick Liens-Dodge Burgess Greenville South Carolina : 12:18 PM  

Moved from NYC four yrs ago and lucked out with landing in Naperville. Seems to have everyuthing you need ( top notch school systems, vibrant downtown, etc.). Only negative is traffic is a killer. Xmas time in Naperville ( especially along Rte 59) is A Congestion Fest!
Posted By Greg, Naperville, IL : 12:42 PM  

Charlotte, NC is growing and vibrant. It has a beautiful mix of landscape and cityscape. It has some of the kinks of a rapidly growing city: traffic and construction. The city fathers are working hard to keep the growth under control and improve the traffic problems. The growth has brought Charlotte the best shopping in NC along with professional sports (NFL & NBA) and entertainment. The Panthers are being picked by most preseason polls as fovorites to return to the Super Bowl! Charlotte is poised to take it's place as one of America's 1st tier cities.
Posted By Maurice Whalen, MD Charlotte, NC : 3:38 PM  

I have lived in Naperville, IL and Omaha, NE. Naperville is safe, and nice but whenever I go somewhere the crowds really make it unenjoyable. People in Naperville are polite but not as friendly as in Omaha. One thing that surprises me about Naperville is that people rarely do any sports unorganized. People in Omaha were more likely to just play sports with friends and have fun. I agree with an earlier comment about Geneva, Illinois. It still has open spaces and people seem more friendly.
Posted By Tim, Sugar Grove, IL : 10:22 PM  

NAPERVILLE IS AWESOME!!!!!!!! I've lived near it my entire life and now I go to school there at North Central College!!
Posted By Heather, Naperville IL : 11:00 AM  

Sugar Land is beautiful...but I think Houston is better. Not downtown for living, but the greater Houston area is nice. I live just 20-30 miles out of Houston, if that, and I can still get to the entertainment and work in Houston easily, without the crime and business. The greater Houston area has smaller citys/towns and countryside. Its quite nice...dont count out Houston because of the crime rate...remember the greater Houston area. Nice places are Tomball, Waller, Cypress, Cyfair and Klein.
Posted By Jessica, Waller Texas : 12:03 PM  

How about a ranking of cities that are health-oriented with rank according to:
1. Neighborhoods' walking distances to grocery stores, banks, post office, cleaners, public parks, etc.
2. Availability of health food stores w/ plenty of organic produce
3. Availability of health oriented restaurants
3. Air Quality
4. Water Quality
5. Ease of Recycling
6. Safe parks for walking, cycling, etc.
7. Community Centers with gym, tennis courts, swimming pools, and activities for teens and kids
8. Crime watch and very good court system
10. Excellent health care w/ prevention and wellness programs
11. Schools that have healthy snacks and lunches and plenty of sports and
physical/health education
Posted By Janice Gloster, Macon, GA : 1:00 PM  

Coral Springs is awesome. Although housing prices listed in the article are long gone since the boom in the last two years.
Posted By Beverly, Coral Springs, Florida : 2:14 PM  

what about the rankings of 100 cities or MSA of over 1 million? I see the top 10 but seems like a ranking of America's largest cities would be more important than towns of less than 300,000?
Posted By joe saco Maine : 10:38 AM  

Fort Collins is a horrible place to live. Too many people moving here because of this article.

Just kidding its a great place!
Posted By Greg Ronkainen, Fort Collins, Co. : 10:19 AM  

Hi My girlfriend and I are thinking about relocating to Naperville for the sake of providing our children with a quality public school education. Does Naperville have mixed community culture?
Posted By USA, Maryland - Missy : 12:26 PM  

Listing only Anchorage for Alaska is doing a great disservice to your readers. Anchorage is "Any City, USA" - with high crime, lousy high schools, and overly expensive housing in old, ugly neighborhoods full of druggies. Traffic is a new problem, as is air quality. The city does offer excellent healthcare since it is often the final destination for trauma cases and it's also where everyone in Alaska goes for specialty medical services. Public transportation is not available at night or on weekends and cabs are quite expensive. Anchorage is very crowded and becoming more so since it is sitting in a small bowl-shaped slice of land, with water on two sides, high mountains and State parklands on the other sides - there isn't any land for new developments. One of the 'bridges to nowhere' actually would've opened up the city to the MatSu Valley - that bridge will HAVE to be built one day but the one proposed for Ketchikan was pure shenanigans. Anchorage's weather is different than any other town in the state, too - damp and cold, nearly year round. Although Fairbanks migh be cold in winter, it's extremely dry (and its summers are hot!).

This article needs to include the cities of Wasilla, Palmer, Kenai, Soldotna, Homer, Seward, Ketchikan, Juneau and yes, even Fairbanks! Anchorage is NOT the best place to live in this state. In fact, anyplace on the entire Kenai Peninsula is hot, hot, hot right now. Selling prices have soared, however, and the property taxes are outrageous to the old-timers but look good to newcomers.

I'm an anthropologist and I've lived all over this state for 20-plus years. By local opinions, Anchorage is considered the place to go shopping, to start college, and to MAYBE find some work but it's certainly no dream city! And very very FEW consider it any kind of final living destination.
Posted By Terry R, Homer, AK : 1:22 PM  

I grew up in the suburbs of Denver and lived in Colorado Springs from 90 - 91 and was not impressed - terrible economy, a political and cultural environment disproportionately dominated by the military and the religious right. I moved back last year for my wife (who I met online), and it seems like a different city: an endurance athlete's Mecca with incomparable weather, healthy eating options, a vibrant economy, friendly folks, a quaint but happening downtown, a great little zoo - the list goes on. The military and religious right are still here (which is fine), but now the city is more diverse. And if I didn't live here, I'd live in Fort Collins. But I do wonder why Albuquerque doesn't figure on these lists. That's a nice city, too.
Posted By Chris, Colorado Springs, CO : 2:40 PM  

Columbia is nice but overpriced just like all of Maryland. If you have a job that pays over 100 grand a year and like sitting in traffic, then Maryland is for you!!
Posted By Ken, Columbia, Md : 3:50 PM  

I work in's a nice college town, great university, growing community, recent announement to start designing MG automobiles. I drive through Oklahoma City every week (Edmond is close), spend time in Broken Arrow. How did Tulsa not make the top 100. Tulsa just blows these places off the map. I think you folks need to reevaluate the criteria. Tulsa, let's see home to 4 Universities, Quik Trip, WinnerComm, Williams, large prescence with American Airlines, and many, many energy companies and telecom, with a state of the art downtown arena designed by Ceasar Pelli. There are 5 decent lakes nearby and Grand hosts people from throughout the southwest. Omaha over Tulsa..hahahahaha.
You guys blew it.
Posted By Drew Dozier, Tulsa, OK : 6:27 PM  

I live in Madison, IN and it is within 1 to 1 1/2 hour drive from Louisville, KY, Cincinnati, OH and Indianapolis, IN so we have country living with accessability to arts, sports and shopping.
Posted By Randy, Madison IN : 9:59 PM  

i love gilbert i moved here 7 years
ago from chandler az, chandler is very
nice too, not a big fan of mesa but
alot of people are considering how
much it's grown. you can't really go
wrong anywhere in the southeast valley
of maricopa.
Posted By richard morgan, gilbert, az : 11:18 PM  

Lake Oswego, Oregon, although a pricey area to live, is indeed the cleanest, most friendly place to live. Not only is the population less than 45,000, the location is outstanding. A few minutes from Downtown Portland (20 minutes from Portland International), 2 hours to the Oregon Coast, and if needed, 3 hours from Seattle.

Kind, educated people live in this area. The average price of a home is a lean $300K, but with quality education and decent people, Lake Oswego is truly the best place to live in North America.
Posted By Pat, Lake Oswego, Oregon : 12:29 AM  

It's too bad my home town of Fort Collins has been rated #1. Now it will become worse off with even more and more people moving here and trying to find their paradise.
Posted By Eddie Nathen, Fort Fun, CO : 11:07 AM  

San Diego is listed as number 5 out of 10 for best big cities. I grew up here and for the most part love living here except that I can't afford it. A combined income of over 1 1/2 times the median income won't get your foot in the door of a home. Rents easily eat up a 1/3 to 1/2 of your income too. San Diego is a low wage, high cost place to live. If you are considering San Diego as a best place to live, I hope you love sunshine because you probably won't be able to afford a roof over your head.
Posted By Melissa San Diego, CA : 2:16 AM  

Randolph, NJ is a place for materialictic superficial people. Taxes are through the roof and the town has nothing to show for it! It has no decent restaurants, the food is average at best in many of the establishments and is overpriced. All everyone talks about is how big their house is and what they are driving....Hummer, Mercedes, Escalade..etc. If they did not have these things they would not have much to talk about. The homes are poorly constructed, impractical and they all look the same. It is a shame that these insecure people have to own these possessions to feel important and judge others who are not exactly like them. I can't wait to move away from here!
Posted By RMZ, Randolph, NJ : 10:20 PM  

LOVE Edmond, Oklahoma.. Should have been number one on the list.. We have lived in many places around the country. People are nice and open minded. Home prices are LOW. Quality of life is great. Children are safe. Schools are great. The most family friendly place ever. No wonder a lot of people are moving in and building like crazy...
Posted By John Mikimoto, Edmond, Oklahoma : 10:33 AM  

Eagan is basically dull freeway suburbia, unless you happen to be an elderly homeowner -- if your, rest assured that the city will casually displace you via eminant domain for light industrial development. Too bad for you.
Posted By Sven Olson, St. Paul, MN : 12:55 PM  

I moved here 6 years ago and Love Sugar Land.At first there wasn't much besides the mall and a few places to eat, but it has grown into a beautiful place to live with great schools and low crime.
Posted By Jamie Brook, GRI, e-PRO Sugar Land, Tx : 8:29 PM  

I can't believe that Naperville is number 2! The traffic congestion there is unbelieveable! Also, the number of housing developments that are not linked together, so one must use their car constantly is also really unfortunate. It is strip shopping mall after strip shopping mall. Naperville, in my opinion is just an average North American suburb. Nothing more.
Posted By Carolyn Brzezinski, Evanston, IL : 3:23 PM  

Much of the information for Louisville, KY is wrong including the population, avg. price of home, income level, etc. Seems very stale. The City and County merged in 2002 which has changed the size and dynamics of the City and Region entirely. I think a recount is required. The parks system and architecture in Louisville is among the best in the City.
Posted By Doug Leezer, Louisville, KY : 4:22 PM  

Chicago is absolutely the most exciting, beautiful, cultural and fun major city period. Sit on Oak Street or any of our beaches, play volleyball, sunbathe, fish, boat, play golf, tennis, baseball, soccer, enjoy Theatre at the Lake and love the sunshine. Take time to enjoy our exceptional "non-chain" restaurants from Le Bouchon to Four Farthings. Nightlife is extraordinary from Second City Theatre to the renowned Steppenwolf and the Goodman. And there's Lincoln Avenue and Rush Street too. Shop? Try countless centres from Water Tower to Armitage Avenue. All in all...Chicago is THE BEST MAJOR CITY in America.
Posted By Bob Thomas, Chicago, IL : 10:49 PM  

As for a Maryland location Rockville is more desirable than Columbia, excepting that housing is cheaper in Columbia. Rickville is more upscale, some areas are "villagy". Rockville is far closer to DC for useum, dining, theatre hopping.
Posted By Lynn Sweeney, Gaithersburg, MD : 5:51 PM  

SAN DIEGO! yeah it has extremely high housing prices, the nations highest gas prices, and high energy prices. But the weather is amazing. No rain, not too hot or too cold. Pretty much 70-80 year round, and plenty of sunshine. I don't have an air conditioner and never use my heater. It's probably has some of best scenery of any urban area in the nation. Everything is pretty close; Mexico is is basically a suburb of SD, Vegas in 4.5 hours, Santa Barabara 4 hours, Hollywood and Downtown LA 2 hours, Orange County 45 minutes, the desert 1.5 hours, the mountains, 1 hour. You don't even need to leave SD with all the nightlife downtown and in Pacific Beach. If you like being outdoors then San Diego is the place.
Posted By Shaun, San Diego/Pacific Beach, CA : 7:38 PM  

Housing in Minnesotta is way over priced...Insurance is sky high...Inter belt way high ways are a joke...Taxes will break you and how did Eagan and Eden Prairie wind up on this list?
Posted By Tracey, Huntsville Al : 12:19 AM  

I've lived up and down the west coast. Scottsdale Arizona is definately the best overall spot. The NW is too wet, the coastal cities are too expensive. The weather is Arizona is perfect for eight months out of the year and you spent the summer on your boat in in the pool. You can be to San Diego, LA, Vegas, Mexico, or Northern Arizona in five hours or less by car. The nightlife and restaurants are as good as any larger city. Parks and rec is outstanding . Homes are relatively cheap. There are some LA "wanna be's" but they are avoidable.
Posted By Jeff Bockert, Portland OR : 1:11 PM  

Naperville is a very diverse culture where children grow up learning and exploring worldwide amenities without leaving the comfort of home. Naperville still feels like the farm town that it once was. Naperville offers many sites and activities year round from sledding and sleigh rides (in Naper Settlement), to summertime musical performances by the Naperville Community Band and block parties by the different and diverse subdivisions. We have 2 major parties that happen, Ribfest in July and The Last Fling, over Labor Day weekend. Gardens, both private and public, abound with the fruits of our labors. Parades are abundant including the 175th anniversary of the founding of our fine municipality (this year). Both school districts are rated near the top in the nation. From soccer, baseball, and football, to LaCrosse, swimming, and wrestling, the sports programs within the schools and the programs and clubs outside school, are very competitive and rewarding.
Posted By John, Naperville, IL : 2:20 PM  

EL PASO, TX is absolutely the worst place I have ever lived. It is nothing like the rest of TX, and is a financial burden to TX and the US. It is overcrowded and dirty!
Posted By Stephanie, El Paso, TX : 8:54 PM  

I would like to say that the Big Island of Hawaii is the best place to live in the world. We sit on the slopes of Mauna Kea the beautiful white mountain which centers in the natural pyramid of the five mountains. We live ripe and full in the presence of "Pele" the Volcano Goddess who is constantly birthing her knowing and renewing her connection to the land. Hawaii is rich in culture, with powerful magic born of Ancient practices which center on alignment of the human heart and spirit. We have the best climate, most wonderful views and the essential and very rare "spirit of place" found in so few locations of this planet we share. We live in constant "aloha"
love of the land and people, we share the burdens and pleasures and unlike anywhere i have ever known or heard of
we are bound by the land and its history and "mana" or "power".

There is great spirit here
that you are able to feel, sense, and "know" when you step off the plane
and into this wonderful "Aina" or Land of Hawaii...
I invite you to join us for a stay.


Kim Rodrigues
Posted By Kim Rodrigues Kamuela, HI : 8:55 PM  

the locations are the best place to live if you are white with kids and live a middle t upper middle class, mostly conservative and reserved existence.

But what if your interests or definition "quality of life" are different. I live in Brooklyn, NY because there is a ense population of brilliant artists that feed me as an artist. I love the hum and activity of the city. I also feel that diversity equals safety. I feel less safe when a neighborhood is only one kind of people.

Not to mention being a gay woman in any one of these location will mostlikely compromise my freedom of being.

But maybe this poll doesn't take folks like me into account.

whatever. New York City is the not perfect but is real like no other place on earth.
Posted By Hanifah, New York City, NY : 10:28 AM  

You leave out the cities less than 40,000 population. Fillmore, Ca. was declared the "Last Best Small Town in the West" by Sunset Mag. By you should look at the small cities around the top 10 list. Quality of life is much higher in the surrounding small towns
Posted By Roger Campbell Fillmore Ca. 93015 Ph.# 805 857-2785 : 9:49 PM  

I lived in Ft. Collins while I went to school, and agree it's one of the best places ever! Crime is non-existent, and I could sleep with the windows open at night there. Plus, it's gorgeous and open, without being in the middle of nowhere. A nice happy medium for people that like to live in "civilized" cities.
Posted By Jennifer P, Newark, CA : 10:48 PM  

The mountains, the education, the Most High, what more can we say. We love living in Fort Collins. Hopefully now that we live in the #1 city, our family and friends will move here.
Posted By Marc, Fort Collins, CO : 10:49 PM  

I live in Australia, and want to move to the states, so where should I live???
Posted By Justin, Alice Springs, Northern Territory : 7:53 AM  

You will hate it here, too many people with too much money and no common sense moving here. Please stay away.
Posted By Larey Kerling, Fort Collins, CO : 9:51 AM  

I grew up in Eden Prairie and now live in Overland Park. Both are great!
Posted By Crystal, Overland Park, KS : 1:49 PM  

For Baby Boomers who want to maximize their spending power, moving 100 to 200 miles outside the big cities where they may have worked and raised kids can be a good idea. As you travel south, and particularly southwest down I-81, from Washington, DC, you run into charming small towns with log, victorian, brick and frame farm houses for sale that you could never find on the internet or a real estate website - the local realtors just don't use the technology. So these incredible "buys" always go to local folks, who are always waiting for good deals. Check out Clifton Forge, Va., a town on the tipping point of gentrification, sitting right between the famous Homestead Resort (30 min), the opulent Greenbriar Resort (30 min) and horse country in Lexington, Va- home of VMI and Washington and Lee. On McCormick Blvd, the best street in town, a charming Victorian "painted lady" just sold for under 65k. Huge Victorians and smaller cottages go for way under 100K. Georgian mansions sell for 200-300k. And you can get fixer-uppers for less than 10K! A local just bought a great place at auction for $2,500. Similar treasures abound in nearby Salem, Goshen, Iron Forge (around the com Clifton Forge, Long Furnace and nearby Lewisburg, WV - an incredibly charming town dotted with 4 star restaurants, patio dining, chic shops and a medical school. The views are unbelievable, the weather is wonderful, Roanoke (40 min) has all the gourmet grocery stores and wine shops you could need (Clifton also has a gourmet wine shop/bistro & an Italian restaurant imported straight off of Mulberry Street), and if you get here fast, the bargains are waiting. (Clifton Forge also has a train - Amtrak - that runs to DC and up and down the coast). So the next time you drive south from DC, pass Harrisburg and Staunton, and check out the small towns on either side of I-81 between Lexington, Va. and the Tennessee border. Virginia real estate is soaring, and thesese little towns are surrounded by million dollar estates and developments.
Posted By Kathleen Digges, Clifton Forge, Va. : 9:51 AM  

Wesley Chapel, Florida is a beautiful area to live in. It is situated in the suburbs of Tampa, in south central Pasco. The area has a wonderfull mix of communities largely young working families. It has very low crime compared to surrounding areas due to very active police, security and neighborhood watches. Although we have a large amount of restaurants for our population, it is projected to grow and many more businesses and a large mall are coming soon.

Wesley Chapel Fl made the 2005 best places to live but dropped off the 2006 list. Wesley Chapel grew up really fast from very rural Pasco pastures. Unfortunatly, many are of the opinion Pasco's current Board of county commisioners and county administrators are not able to harmonize the needs of the communities with growth. The local news and several websites have carried articles of high-traffic roads being designed to go through the middle of small developments instead of around them creating great hazards for the inhabitents of that community.

The local communities have voiced their opinions in vain to the commisioners and administrators.
Posted By Tom Katzenberg, Tampa, Florida : 10:57 AM  

It is important to know the political leanings of the locations. You could find yourself with some very incompatible neighbors. How could the voting records be included in the stats?
Posted By Joseph Courtney, Berkeley CA : 2:18 AM  

I think the research department should double check their facts. I currently live in South Florida and the average price of a home in Coral Springs is well over the $300,000 mark. The only thing you "May" be able to find in the 200's is a condo. This makes me want to reconsider the information given about other locations.
Posted By VanMoore, Ft. Lauderdale, FL : 2:25 PM  

I agonized one year over where to retire. Did my homework too. Coming from Southern California and living there almost all my working life, I decided that metro LA was not for me any more. I looked at "future potential" and decided that South Carolina is going to "boom" just like I experienced in California during the 40 years I lived there. SC is fabulous in all ways: great 4 season climate for the metro Charlotte area, (Fort Mill is 21 miles South) over 2 million folks in the metro area and major tax breaks for retirees like me in SC. This state is a diamond in the rough that is going to be cut and polished to perfection within the next 20 years. "Yowsa" South Carolina is the place to retire to.
Posted By D. J. Betts, Ft. Mill, SC : 3:35 PM  

After seeing Rockville, MD as #26, I'd like to make some comments on the city after living there 21 years. Overall, Rockville is a nice suburban city of Washington, DC. Rockville Pike has about every restaurant and shopping mall imaginable. It is also close to downtown Bethesda, which is very nice. Downtown DC is about 30 minutes away, and Baltimore is about 50 minutes away. Schools are good, crime is low. However, the housing prices are downright ludicrious. An average 3 bedroom house in an average neighborhood costs a good $500,000. Traffic is also terrible, pretty much wherever you go. Even so, living in Rockville is overall great. It is incredibly convenient to everything you could ever want or need, and it is great for jobs, schools and low crime. Rockville is nice, but you'll sure pay for it.
Posted By JM Rockville, Maryland : 7:17 PM  

All I have to say is that more people are moving to Florida every year than any other state in the union. There is no state income tax and the weather beats everyone of your top ten cities averages. The lack of Florida cities on your top 100 list is rediculous but not surprising. I would imagine that all this list does is help to bolster the economies and "move to" rate of the cities chosen. Something we in Florida seem to be able to do on our own. Wake up and smell the sunshine and OJ - Oh yeah, you guys don't have it year round like we do. Bummer! : )
Posted By Jake, Tampa FL : 1:48 PM  

Fort Collins has many things going for it, but It doesn't produce the quantity or diversity of jobs they way a larger city does. If you are able to land a job in your profession of choice, it is a great place to live. For those outside of Colorado contemplating a move, I'd suggest trying the Denver suburbs first. Jobs will be easier to find and several of Denver's suburbs are great places to live. Thoughts from someone who's lived in Colorado since 1973.
Posted By Bob, Fort Collins, CO : 3:20 PM  

I thought a small city would have under 50,000. Can anyone tell me where to find a good way of picking a smaller city then those listed on this site?
Posted By Cherish, Lake Havasu City, AZ : 11:55 AM  

Joke! Cranston and Warwick RI? Live in Cranston and work in Warwick and want to leave this runt of a state behind!
Posted By Bosco Schwartz, Cranston RI : 4:24 PM  

I think anywhere within 50 miles of London England is the best place to be. The countryside is superb. There is good public transport (though not as good as Germany). We get lots of rain and recently the summers have been hot 30C plus. It's relatively safe.There are good aiports and lots of cheap flights to most places in Europe. Plus the real winner is the number of good dormitory towns that are just plain gorgeous. Americans ...

see Berkhamstead, Chesham, Amersham, Sevenoaks, Tunbridge Wells, Henley, Esher to name just a few... there are plenty more. Oh and if you really want to see what money is all about, do a search on Windlesham and the �70m house(yup, it's on the market for 70 million quid) refurbished by the al Mahktoums...

Eat your hearts can keep the USA.........
Posted By Ian Ransome Wokingham England : 9:00 AM  

Scottsdale AZ? What a joke. You need a hefty income, a Hummer, and a snobbish attitude to be happy there. Plus, you can't go outside for 6 months cause you will sweat to death.
Posted By Barb Hedstrom, Chandler AZ : 9:29 PM  

I moved to Fort Collins from New Britain, CT in 1998, and it has been the best decision I have made in my life.
Posted By Sonya, Fort Collins CO : 6:07 PM  

there is one thing nobody talks about in florida's continual growth -- the water. in the floridan acquifer there is only enough water to support so many people -- in volusia county's sole-source acquifer the number is 750,000, and we have scheduled development over the decade of 2001-10 for about a quarter million more than that. What do we do when the fresh-water springs become salt water? betcha those desalinazation plants will get expensive, won't they?
Posted By andy ray, deltona, florida : 9:32 AM  

By looking at the stats, it doesn't make Austin sound as alluring as it really is. But maybe that's okay. I went to school there in the 70s and when I went back a few years ago, it was like a different city. I guess others found out the secret! Austin really doesn't need to get any bigger. It's a great city at the size that it is today. So keep those stats the way they are-kind of misleading, not that attractive and maybe it will keep people from moving there! Seriously, I'm from the "north" and presently live in Chicago (YUCK), but plan to move back to Austin in the future. Once Austin is in your blood, it's there forever. Austin is an amazing city that offers something for everyone. Anyone who complains about Austin should try living in the north for just one winter. I'll take Austin's summers over one of Chicago's "mild" winters any day.
Posted By Lex, Northbrook, IL : 11:46 AM  


One of the things I would like to see in a livable city is Diversity. Can I have that, low crime, and high income.

My husband and I are an interracial couple, we are educated, fit and make a decent living.

Could you do a survey about diverse place to live. We're currently looking for a new town and that would help.

Posted By JC Baltimore, MD : 12:35 PM  

Rochester New York is a great place to live! It has very high taxes (sales tax included). Very high gas and electric rates. Very high amounts of snow fall in the winter...and very low temperatures. Very short summers. Many days with gray skies. And many taxpayer funded projects like the Fast Ferry that never make it.
Posted By Chris, Rochester NY : 2:31 PM  

Please, Please, do not combine Ellicott City and Columbia. We are as different as day and night, conservative and liberal or windows and mac. you do both areas an injustice. There is very little in common, super urban and suburban/rural
Posted By W M Headley, Ellicott City, Md : 5:08 PM  

Lived in Lakeway on Lake Travis, which is now part of Austin, Texas from 1990 to 2001. Great then, not so great now, due to the uncontrolled growth. Moved the Woodland Park, CO. just up the mountain from Colorado Springs. Great area, but now looking to move to where we are drawn to every summer...Montrose, Telluride, Ridgeway, Ouray Colorado. Montrose is the largest city of 14000. It's not on your radar...yet. Hope you keep it that way. You guys are always one step behind me.
Posted By Michael Yengst, Colorado Springs, CO : 6:20 PM  

We are a british family of 4 hoping to relocate to Fort Collins in the next few years. I am a high school teacher and my husband a civil engineer. What companies/schools are best to apply t for jobs and what school disctrict should we be livign in. We woudl like to livign in an area where there is a good, safe community.
Posted By ange, london, uk : 8:37 AM  

Your "best places to live" list is a curious collection. First, many of the top ranked cities are merely parts of much larger metro areas that don't enjoy such lofty rankings. Is one to assume those in these "best" cities never have to interact with their "worst" metros? Secondly, what defines a "best" depends on the interests and priorities of the person. E.g. those who enjoy the outdoors and lack of congestion would hate the larger cities; and those who enjoy the cosmopolitan life would hate many of the listed cities. Perhaps various lists rather than one is needed: rankings of best mountain areas, best seaside areas, best interior areas, best hot/cold areas, etc. There is no single "best" place for everyone. I live in an area not included in the top 100 but it ranks in the top 5 for me because it has everything I desire--clear water streams/large lakes, hills, forests, universities, medical, varied and moderate climate, minor league sports, beautiful scenery, low cost of living, major entertainment center, beautiful and growing central city, manageable congestion, mid-size metro, and friendly folks. I won't name the area because sufficient numbers have already discovered its "best" features.
Posted By Jim Best, Somewhere, MO : 11:35 AM  

Do you have something against the state of Georgia????
Posted By Duncan, Buford GA : 3:33 PM  

We've been all over this great country and without a doubt, SEATTLE wins hands down!! especially east of beautiful Lake Washington in the towns of Bellevue with its shiny new office and condo towers as well as supreme shopping, Kirkland with its most lovely waterfront and trails as well as top-notch restaurants and fine art, Redmond with great shopping, nature trails and Microsoft and Woodinville with all the great wineries and beautiful scenery!!! The surrounding Olympic & Cascade Mountains are a short drive away. Our favorite pastime is riding the ferry. What Heaven!! Boating, jet-skiing, kyacking all in the backyard!! Lake Washington, Lake Sammammish, Lake Union, Green Lake,etc a paradise! Seahawks-Sonics-Mariners are World Class stadiums!! Clean clean clean everywhere! Downtown Seattle the finest world class city!!! Many events thruout area. No more lovely islands than the ultimate San Juan Islands A True true paradise on earth!!! Just a couple hours drive to one of the finest cities on the face of the earth-Vancouver BC. and not forgotten-SEATTLE DOES HAVE THE WEST COAST'S BEST RESTAURANTS, SHOPS & HOTELS!!!! Sure -it does cost a bundle to live here but there is absolutely no place like Puget Sound!! See the Orca whales, the American eagles--this is their home! Hike, Bike, Kyack!! No place anywhere as beautiful as the Seattle-Vancouver area! Mild climate & The nicest people, the finest education and the cleanest air!!! If it wasn't so cold in the long winters we would also select Camden and the coast of beautiful Maine as a top choice in USA as well. Great place to visit-in fact one of the nicest anywhere is Maine! SO ENJOY AMERICA MY FRIENDS.WE ARE ALL SO LUCKY WHEREVER WE LIVE HERE! God Bless Everybody.
Posted By D. Anderson, San Leandro, CA : 7:36 PM  

Why is the smallest city over 50,000 people. Cities are generally crowded, noisy, hectic. I live in a town of about 3000 people on the coast of Maine. There's a good hospital just 10 minutes away, numerous speacialty shops and restaurants. A traffic jam is 4 cars in front of me, all traveling at the speed limit. Best of all is that I live all year long in a place that people try to visit year in and year out because of its beauty.
Posted By Peter Simpson, Rockport, Maine : 9:18 PM  

I am from Michigan, and you guys really missed out on the places there. All of the places you listed where suburbs of Detroit. There is a lot more to Michigan - such as awesome places in the Northern part of the lower peninsula. Traverse City?
Posted By Beth Grand Ledge, MI : 10:12 PM  

My husband and I moved from Los Angeles to Colorado Springs 10 years ago. We realy think we made the best move. This is the #1 BEST place to live! We will be retire here too.
Posted By Nancy, Colorado Springs, CO : 1:29 AM  

I grew up in Ft. Collins, and left in the mid 90's. I always thought Ft. Collins would be nice if you had the following 3 basic things - 1. A happy marriage. 2. A good paying, stable job. 3. Enough income to afford a house. If you do not have these things (and would like them), good luck in trying to acquire them here. Dating was very sparse. Stable, well-paying jobs were even more sparse. Housing, while cheap compared to other locations, is still relatively expensive for the locals. I really don't understand why this city won. I couldn't wait to leave and am much happier elsewhere.
Posted By Aaron M., Mid-Atlantic region : 8:26 AM  

Many of your readers wondered where their towns were...
It seems that "quaint, beautiful" towns with "great views", where it's "clean" and the people are "lovely" etc, might have gotten slighted because of their distance from larger cities which would have kept them from having more entertainment, culture, and/or job opportunities. I guess if you can't support yourself and you often find yourself bored with nothing to entertain yourself with in town, then it's not a really great place to live.
p.s. my town was rated 28 out of 100, and though I love the plethora of things to do around here, I think it's overpopulated; traffic is often ridiculous and the noise resulting from trucks and planes can be annoying.
Posted By Alex Vozeh, Edison, NJ : 8:38 AM  

The city of San Franciso is for a specific kind of person. But if you fit the type, there is no other place in the country like it. If you enjoy social drinking, own a dog, or hate the Dodgers, this is your place. If you are into the arts, love a good cup of coffee, or care for your health, this is your place. If you enjoy meeting people, can park a car with 4 inches of space left, and want the flavors of the world in one city, this is your place. And finally, if you love yourself a great book, enjoy belonging a plethora of clubs, or you can simply get along with a wide array of people(because you WILL meet them), this is your place. However, this is not your place for warm weather.
Posted By Chris, San Francisco California : 9:21 PM  

I agree that Edison NJ has a lot going for it-- but the trafic and home prices can be daunting. A new 4bed 2.5 bath will set you back over a million, and that's with 1/3 of an acre. We like living here (esp since we bought years ago when it was still relatively cheap) but will probably not be able to afford to retire here comfortably.
Posted By Sue, Edison, NJ : 10:57 PM  

I don't know why Cary and Raleigh, NC keep getting put on these lists. I've been to a lot of places and unfortunately lived in Raleigh for about 5 years. It is so spread out, traffic is horrible because they can't get it together, and it's basically a haven for 40-something yuppies. On the plus side there are lots of jobs, and great universities nearby. It's just that the two places themselves are really boring.
Posted By Geoff, Charleston SC : 11:35 AM  

I have lived in Henderson Nevada for six years,I am from Chicago originally {YUCK} WINTERS Are long!! In Henderson they have great dining,golf,the weather is great eight months out of the year and the remaining four months you stay near the pool or one of the fine eating and drinking establashments in the neighborhood
Posted By Danny Morr Henderson, Nv : 4:56 PM  

I have to admit living in Overland Park spoils you a little bit. The school system, the roads, things to do, etc. I grew up here and plan to continue to live here for quite awhile.
Posted By Matthew, Overland Park, KS : 12:59 PM  

Delaware is a great place to live, but is becoming very overcrowed very quickly. The traffic is becoming very terrible. The state is currently trying to overcome the crowing in all the schools.
Posted By Jennifer,Clayton,DE : 10:03 PM  

What an honor to be voted #1 by Money magazine! I grew up in Fort Collins.I have watched it grow and become the greatest place to live. I was worried as it grew it would become like other places I have been,crime ridden and ugly. The 43 years I have been here have been wonderful! When I tell people what it use to look like when I was young, the are surprised. I can remember when there was nothing south of Drake Rd. My father was born here also, and he can tell you lots of stories! My husband grew up here also, and we have no intention of ever leaving.
Posted By Amanda, Ft. Collins, CO : 5:37 PM  

I don't know where you get your info, but Sunrise Manor, Nevada is not a city in Nevada.It is a township. Although it is located almost in the heart of the city of Las Vegas, just 2 miles from the downtown casinos we are in the county and not part of the city.
It is a little confusing even for the ones that live here. As far as Sunrise Manor being one of the best places to live that is a joke. It is one of the oldest neighborhoods in town and it is really considered the slums by some. As far as the crime rate, maybe it is low becuase there is not much here to rob or steal and it is in the area that is controlled by the 28th Street Gang. I have lived here all my life and have just sold my house to relocate somewhere out-of-state. That's why I was checking out the best places to live and found this.
I don't think I will be checking this site for anymore info. Like I asked,
where do you get your info?
Posted By Bernice Anderson, Las Vegas, Nv. : 5:54 PM  

Phoenix truly A outstanding place to live and raise a family. there are A ample amount of jobs and if you here we have hot summers we do..But we also have 9 months of perfect weather.If you want season well then take a day trip north where you can be in the snow in about a hour.
Posted By Tamara, Phoenix Arizona : 1:34 AM  

A "Lifer" in Ellicott City Howard County. Would not pick any place else. Great benefits of plenty of jobs within commuting distance of 1 hr., top notch schools, suburban life & entertainment, all between two great cities each offering distinct things to do...close to the ocean & mountains. So put up with the higher housing costs and some traffic congestion...HON, it's worth it...Believe!
Posted By Loud, Ellicott City, MD : 11:32 AM  

Skinniest? Are you kidding me? I can't believe that "skinniest" is a category here, yet the diversity of the city/town is completely ignored. Why not include a category of "Most Breast Implants"? Only in America would one judge their potential neighbors by their body mass index.
Posted By CTG, New York, New York : 12:02 PM  

Just goes to show that one gets the answers they want by asking the right questions. I've been to many of the 100 - about half of them have no business on anyone's top list. I don't know anyone who would choose NJ over WA or MN over GA were it not for family connections. My 1,2,3 are Fairhope, AL; Vestavia Hills, AL; and Lagrange, GA. If I expand my list to 5, I would add Sioux Falls, SD (on your list) and Troy/Albany, NY (not on your list).
Posted By Don Hooks, Birmingham, AL : 2:09 PM  

A few comments: Columbia, MD is nice but Rockville or Bethesda, MD are much better- if you can afford the prices. And how did Bethlehem, PA make the list?? It's a crappy area outside even crappier Allentown.
Posted By Erik, Washington DC : 1:45 PM  

My husband and I are at the stage in our lives where we want out of the cold weather. We've looked at Florida but property taxes, property insurance and the summer huricane season has made us think twice about that move. Next we looked at New Mexicao as our retirement We've been told you will still have all four seasons but the winters would be nothing compared to Minnesota. So most important to us would be real estate prices and the tax base as well as lack of stress.

Posted By Pat Metcalf, Cologne, Minnesota : 4:22 PM  

We moved here two years ago from Los Angeles. The cold weather took a little getting used to, but it's a great place to raise kids. Employment can be a problem, however; my husband was making $26 per hour in Los Angeles and is now making $17. He also had a hard time finding the $17 per hour job and had to work at Home Depot for a few months prior. He was just "forced" to find yet another job because of pending layoffs; his new job pays $16 per hour. Must say, I still love Fort Collins, but he may have to choose another field in order to stay employed here.
Posted By Renee, Fort Collins, CO : 2:18 AM  

What about Woodstock, GA?!
That place is cute as the dickens and the weather is lovely.
Posted By Tiffany, Dallas, TX : 5:02 PM  

I love Colorado Springs, there is so much to do there, and so much to see. I live in Clarksville,Tn at this moment but plan in the future to move back home. Beautiful Mountains, beautiful weather, beautiful people.
Posted By Delfina Silva , Clarksville, TN : 8:38 PM  

The rain here stinks. The rain literally smells, in a bad way. We moved to Bellevue, WA one year ago from California. I expected a lot of rain, I didn't consider it would smell so badly. The roads and drivers are horrible. The produce is second rate. Homes are unbelievably expensive, and ugly to boot. The local architects are fasinated with split entries; classic "Northwest Contemporary" designs are not pretty. However, the local folk are really friendly, it seems to be a safe city, with some very beautiful views. And there are a lot of outdoor activities to keep you busy.
Posted By Elizabeth, Bellevue, WA : 1:33 AM  

Edison,New Jersey probably has the lowest crime rate and that is why it is # 1.
Posted By Chas.Andrasko,Trenton,N.J. : 4:08 AM  

As proud as I am to have grown up in the midwest (all around Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky), I now live in Orange County, CA. There are tons of places where air is clean (coastal breezes), traffic is average, people are friendly, there is always something to do, people are college educated, and standard of living is high but not unattainable. Job market is great too! Just wish we could have made a showing on the list!

And it's not what you see on TV. I only make $42k a year and comfortably support myself and own a condo blocks from the ocean!
Posted By Mel L., Huntington Beach, CA : 11:37 AM  

I wanted to draw your attention to a glaring omission on the stats.
Under the education category, they list "0" Junior Colleges. This is incorrect. Wharton County Junior College has had a campus in Sugar Land for 16 years! We currently have 2066 students registered for the Fall 2006 semester. The college works very closely with the University of Houston Sugar Land Systems to offer a seamless transition for students who wish to continue their degree there. Our students also successfully transfer to any other 4 year institution.

Just thought I'd pass this along.
Posted By Patti, Sugar Land, TX : 12:38 PM  

What do people have against the entire state of Delaware? No sales tax - very low property taxes - great beaches?
Posted By henry coghlan - lynbrook NY - retiring to Dover DE : 1:08 PM  

Bless Money Magazine for providing the metrics to good family decisions. While I live in what is a very beautiful, prosperous area and have earned what appears to be a high income there have definitely been some trade offs. Trade offs like long hours driven by expensive housing and being able be spend time with children. Not to mention the financial challenges of having a stay at home spouse. Weight all this in the balance before you accept jobs and transfers to the San Francisco Bay Area.
Posted By Bryce, Dublin California : 3:53 PM  

I am glad to see that Aurora, IL is in the fifty-fifth place. It is a great town to live. My family has been lived in here for 12 years now. It is a strong slash on the faces of those with bad perception for Aurora in the Chicagoland area. Go, Aurora!
Posted By Ming Luo, Aruora, IL : 6:00 PM  

If you haven't visited, it's your loss. If you really want some of the most perfect weather, amazing scenery and best things to do, check out Bend, Oregon. Read all you want about the city, but you are a fool unless you at least visit.
Posted By drob, Bend, OR : 6:27 PM  

yanceyville, n.c., where many of the creeks are still potable...a spoken drawl is expected but not required...if you're going out of town the deputies will drive by your house...the churches still make and sell Brunswick Stew...where you better expect the townfolks to help you when you're in trouble (no recluses need apply to live here)and there are NO gated communities! Schools ain't bad (at least Duke, UNC and the Naval Academy think that). Or, as my late Mama from Yanceyville used to say..."you're no better than anyone else and no one else is any better than you are". That kinda sums up Yanceyville.
Posted By Susan Percy, Clifton, VA (born in Yanceyville and hoping to return) : 10:02 PM  

I grew up in Eden Prairie (I am now 40 years old) It is nice town/city yet, it has never had a Mainstreet feel but it is clean and has a nice natural (woods/scenery) evironment. It is away from the Twin Cities but not too far to travel for business. It needs more years to develop its character "feel"... heart?

David Hobson, *Edina, MN (7 Miles from EP)
Posted By David Hobson, Edina, MN : 10:13 PM  

Sugar Land is nice, but The Woodlands on the north side of Houston has a much prettier landscape. The pine forests beat the coastal plains. Either town offers the best of Houston living.
Posted By dawn the woodlands, tx : 1:16 AM  

I was born and raised in Colorado Springs, lived there for over 30 years before moving away.
Yes, The scenery is beautiful and it's a pretty place to live.
Especially if you don't mind lots of serious crime and a lot of graffiti. The school are also very over crowded.
But as I said the mountains are beautiful and only minutes away from anywhere in town.
Posted By Kathy Bishop Fayetteville, Arkansas : 1:50 AM  

Don't be fooled, Overland Park = suburbia hell.
Posted By Pete, Denver, CO : 1:53 AM  

Why are all the Colorado cities on your state list from the front range? The western slope of the Rockies has a few true jewels in the way of affordable, safe and vibrant cities such as Durango, Montrose and Grand Junction.
Posted By Margaret, Grand Junction, CO : 2:50 AM  

Overland Park, KS may be in the top 10 places to live...but it also has a hidden poverty issues. This is a very wealthy city however...many people are living below poverty level. They are our hidden citizens that need attention. Thank you.
Posted By Sheila/OP,KS : 6:21 AM  

El Paso is a wonderful place to live. The people are friendly and laid back. The weather is wonderful. The mountains are beautiful. We�re a good size city with a small town feel. El Paso is nothing like the rest of Texas�but that is what makes Texas a great state.
Posted By Arelee, El Paso, Texas : 11:05 AM  

I am really really surprised to see that Edison is on the top list. My husband and I moved to Edison few years ago and started new family. Now we feel like we made the right choice. I am going to spread this news to everyone.
Posted By Brenda Zheng, Edison NJ : 1:25 PM  

I have the unique position of having lived both in Sugarland, Texas, and Columbia, Maryland, two of the cities on the list. Both were actually very similar, being planned communities, with many deed restrictions. I loved both cities, but only one BIG problem in Sugarland and the surrounding areas. CRIME!! Many home invasions and robberies at night in peoples driveways in the poorer and sometimes richer areas of the city. There is a real crime problem there, due to its vicinity to the big city of Houston. That was the only thing that I didnt like about Sugarland. It is a very beautiful city.
Posted By Jane Davies, Sugarland, Texas : 1:25 PM  

Chicago is like NYC but cleaner and better Pizza. You have diversity, lake front and parks, culture, sports, schools, jobs, and a pulse- not like a suburb of strip malls and golf courses.
Posted By Brad, Chicago IL : 2:04 PM  

Although growing up in Fairfield Ct years earlier it was not as terribly crowded and the cost of living was reasonable. I now live near Ft. Collins Co.and though being a college town it has many different activities for people of all ages. Having l;ived in many cities and states this city is one of the most enjoyable.
Posted By gregory cheyenne wy : 9:05 PM  

RE: Skinniest....They definitely should have called it fittest or something. BMI doesn't perfectly measure skinniness or fitness anyway, granted.

I definitely thought it was interesting though. Having travelled the country many times as a musician, I definitely see some anecdotal correlation between regional diets and regional average BMI...a culture of exercise, rejection of fast food, support for slow and locally grown foods, and political persuasion in general are also correlatives. Heh.
Posted By Mike, San Francisco, CA : 12:28 AM  

I was quite surprized to see Fort Collins named top place to live when availability of employment was part of the criteria. For the past 20 years or more, the vast majority of jobs available there are at the low end of the income scale and "underemployment" is the norm. When I moved here 21 years ago, the motto was "if you don't have a job already, don't come here." I'd say that's still the case. Layoffs from major tech industries here are rampant. Those beautiful parks and recreational amenities exist, but were built without foresight to the cost of maintaining them. Now the City government is millions of dollars in the hole and slashing jobs and services in a big way. Those amenities now are either being closed or open for much shorter hours and higher fees. Fort Collins is losing businesses and residents due to lack of planning and foresight by both the business leaders and City government. Ask a former employee of any of the downsized or closed major employers once there and they'll tell you it's not the best place to live.
Posted By L. Smith, Fort Collins, Colorado : 8:52 AM  

Louisville is a nice (friendly) city to raise a family- discounting the public school system. The public school system is a disaster to say the least. Your annual budget will need to include private school tuition (none voucher state). This can be a challenge because job opportunities, on a national average, offer low pay.

The average home prices listed is very low to reality. However, a low six figure job allows for a very nice standard of living.

Louisvlle with an MSA population of 1.1 milliion (2004), offers a good amount of activities and culture. College sports only- NO professional sports! You'll need to look to Indy, Cincy or Nashville (no real teams to get excited about).

Louisvlle is an outcast with the rest of the state and will never be represented well with state politics. Like state politics, the local (city) leadership is challenged by disorganization and indecission. The city seems to struggle with where it wants go (growth). Infrastructure (highway/ road system) is still mediocre- with only two inbound/ outbound lanes for two main arteries (64 & 71) serving the city from the East side.

Overall Louisville is a very average city with its share of positive and negative attributes (like almost anywhere), but it "misses" some important necessities for many (including me).

It has a large "town" feel and there are several nice suburbs available. There is a focused rebuilding of downtown living now being offered.

I have lived in Louisville over 30 years.
Posted By Dave H, Louisville, KY : 12:21 PM  

We moved to Phoenix,Arizona approximately 15 years ago. We gave it a good try 5 years and moved back east to New York state. The first year we we there,having arrived in early April it was 105 degrees and was still over 100+ until the end of November!I really do love and appreciate New York.
Posted By Barbara Schwed Saratoga Springs,NY : 6:54 PM  

Hot weather, low paying jobs, overcrowding, lack of culture, overpriced housing, abundance of drug induced crime and "small town charm" are all things you can look forward to when moving to "wonderful" Yuma Arizona. If your a retiree this place isn't that bad, just don't expect a warm welcome. On the flip side if a young person just starting out the sky's the limit at Wal-Mart. Have fun now because its hard to once your here.
Posted By Mark, Yuma AZ : 1:10 AM  

Edison,New Jersey has not only the lowest crime rate but also the best schools in NJ with competition among the kids.Plus the home prices has never gone down here.That is why it is # 1.
Posted By Anant C, Edison,NJ : 12:15 PM  

Of all of the wonderful cities in Arkansas, you list a college town with a high crime rate, few outdoor activities, poor paying jobs, run down communities, and horrible traffic? What about Russellville or even Ft.Smith? Obviously,little actual reseach was done on this list.
Posted By Lisa, AR : 12:18 PM  

I live in the South Denver Metroplex and I think Ft. Collins is a hole. I have driven through it many times and while it is clean and quiet, it is still a college town. The so-called Old Town is nothing more than a haven for drunken college kids and that is about the size of it. I hope you like shopping at the Big Lots dollar store...
Posted By Mike Denver, CO : 1:53 PM  

After living my entire life in bergen county NJ, I found it odd that edison NJ, wayne Nj, and North Bergen ranked as better & safer places to live thn Emerson, mahwah , hohokus, closter etc etc. North Bergen??? safer?? I dont think so
Posted By antoinette , emerson NJ : 8:39 PM  

Charleston, WV???? Couldn't find a more bland, dark and dreary place to live. You obviously have never lived anywhere else in this country. The Ohio River is disgusting to look at let do any fishing or boating. Activities are hours away. They are so far behind as far as technology. People are moving away as fast as they can.
Posted By Linda, Huntington, WV : 9:04 PM  

West Des Moines, Ia as a "finalist". How? When thoughts of a new mall, was put forth, they whined and carried on. YET, that mall has brought down their taxes and created many new jobs. And, it is not as close to them, as they were whining about. Also, they have the HIGHEST cost of housing in the state. If you can't keep up with the Jones' don't move to that side of town. When there was a flood in '93 THEIR MAYOR, refused to allow people to come and get much needed "clean" water. Said they had to "reserve" it for THEIR people. However, neighboring "smaller" towns, opened their arms to help. Yeah, if you fit in with SNOBS, you'll do just fine in West Des Moines, Ia.
Posted By Kathy / Des Moines, Iowa : 10:08 PM  

Someone wondered why Rochester NY was on the list, saying they've lived there and hated it. Having been born there, I once despised Rochester...until I visited other cities. I hated New York City--too big, too scary, too impersonal. Lansing Michigan is nice. Detroit is terrible. Washington DC is beautiful but probably expensive. Surrounding Virginia and Maryland seemed nice, as well as Massachusetts, although Boston was a more mild version of New York.

Now I'm in Tucson where the weather's better but it's basically a town of dinky houses and strip mall after strip mall. The only thing we have here is an air force base and the University of Arizona. Most people do not seem to take pride in their yards (something that people obsess about who live in states such as NY where there are actually 4 seasons and grass to speak of).

I would say the reason Rochester is on the list is the diversity, the location on a lake (although thats bad in winter), beautiful stretches of streets in many parts of town, as well as things to do. There are great hospitals, museums, and universities. Also, once you get outside of the suburbs, there are still farms where you can take the kids apple picking. It's all in one.

In Tucson you'll pay a lot less for housing...but you'll end up with a dinky house next to a neighbor whose yard looks more like a chop shop. That said, Tucson has its own character, and I like it for what it is. I'll have to see some more places before I decide where I'll end up.

Rochester does have a lot more violent crime...Tucson has a lot of crime but it's more auto or petty theft. Currently in Rochester they are pushing for a curfew in teenagers...that's how bad the violence is, particularly in minority neighborhoods.
Posted By Tricia Tucson AZ : 10:28 PM  

I'm originally from Orange County, California, but got promoted to New York City. I think NYC is great for economy, and shopping, but more then half the schools are failing. It can take forever to get to work. (Who can't mention the $8.00 tolls I pay everyday to travel from Queens to Manhattan), and pay $300/month for parking. California is much more widespread, and the weather and beaches are awesome.
Posted By Andy, Queens, New York : 12:15 AM  

I'm originally from Orange County, California, but got promoted to New York City. I think NYC is great for economy, and shopping, but more then half the schools are failing. It can take forever to get to work. (Who can't mention the $8.00 tolls I pay everyday to travel from Queens to Manhattan), and pay $300/month for parking. California is much more widespread, and the weather and beaches are awesome.
Posted By Andy, Queens, New York : 12:15 AM  

Grew up in St Louis moved to Chicago burbs in my 40's but have retired to the best kept secret in the country.
Little Rock! People are fantastic!
Lots of Outdoor activities, and you are never alone if you don't want to be. Neighbors are wonderful. The weather is the best. We are really glad we were transfered here. So much to do indoors or out. Shows,Museums,and
Lots of celebrations of life, like the Riverfest,and Fairs. Best part is we can afford it on our retirement and my husbands check.
Posted By C.Ramey L.Rk,AR. : 2:51 AM  

The city this tells me i should live in is Lubbock, Texas. I am from Illinois and have never been down there. Anyone have any info?
Posted By matt, champaign illinois : 3:53 AM  

Wow, just looked at your Best Places To Live results. I think this is a very subjective survey. I have lived in Ellicott City/Columbia. There is NO WAY you can buy a house in that area for 300-500K! You can barely get a condo in a safe area for that. I don't know where your staff gets that info. If you want a pleasant suburban home in a modest middle class area, you will pay 600K and up. The traffic there is unreal, growth uncontrolled, and crime rates increasing. I really have to wonder about the data collection method/source of your survey.
I now reside in Virginia Beach (14 years), and again, there is no way you can afford a house in a safe, clean, friendly, and appreciating area for 220K. It can't be done. Condo's at the new Town Center are starting in the high 300's. How can you buy a house for 220K?Again, I call into question the accuracey of your data collection methods and sources. You will have to pay at least 400K to be in an area where you would let your children play unsupervised. The military has a huge presence here which is great on one hand, but causes the population to be very transient. Traffic is getting horrible with no relief/control in sight. There is a great deal of uncontrolled "sprawl" to the development in this area. The job market is good and healthcare is excellent. If you want to live on the water, you will spend well over 1 million, even for a modest home. Anyway, is it a great place to live? No. It's hot and humid in the summer (this area is a swamp basically), and the people here are not the friendliest. It's okay. In my opinion is should not have the number 6 slot.
Posted By Michael, Virginia Beach, VA : 9:13 AM  

El Paso is truely a special place. For being a city of 700,000, we rank as the third safest city. We embrace many cultures and is a great place for people of all ages. TEXAS is part of our history and everyday lives. Many seniors come and retire here. Property is still reasonable.

The Pentagon is planning to add over 25,000 troops to Ft. Bliss which will make it one of the largest bases in the nation and will be setting up the Future Combative System which will develop and test the nations future weapons. El Paso will also be home to the first medical school to open in 25 years. UT-ElPaso is a rising star in the UT system and Coach Price has brought respectability to our football program as did Coach Haskins for our basketball program-an NCAA Mens National Championship in 1966, thirty years at the helm and a Hall of Famer.

The weather is great even though we have had too much rain these past two months. The desert is so scenic esepcially after a rain. Now it is covered with grass and wild flowers of purple and gold.

Every place has its good and bad. El Paso has a lot of both. For a third generation American, Texan, and El Pasoan, this place is home and everyone gets a big Texas Howdy. Hasta la vista!
Posted By Mark Benitez, El Paso,Texas : 12:07 AM  

I've lived in several very different places and think that smaller is better. 1) Idaho Falls, ID has basically two seasons, winter and summer, but it is a beautiful place and the people are friendly once they get used to you. It is also only a couple hours drive from some of the most beautiful places in the world including Yellowstone National Park. It seems a great place to raise a family. 2) Bellingham WA - prices are ridiculous, most people are not friendly and though the summers are beautiful, the winters are dreary. Lots of Yuppies, Gen xers. 3) Charlotte NC fast-paced traffic nightmares galore, good jobs and weather, but lots of trade-offs including crowding. 4) Asheville NC - Beautiful small to mid-sized city in a beautiful place. Prices are skyrocketing however and hard for locals to afford. Winder GA - I am currently here and can't wait to get OUT! The county is tearing down acres and acres of trees to put up ugly useless little strip malls. In the last year alone, about ten have gone up. Housing prices are still low, but commuting traffic is a nightmare! There is nothing to do here, no movie theater, limited shopping, the downtown area is dead and decaying. PS Most North Georgia towns outside of Atlanta are lovely, full of charm, friendly people, mild weather and affordable.
Posted By Maria B, Winder GA : 7:39 AM  

Pembroke Pines FL. Stop! Don't come here. Don't believe these figures, they are very old. Housing prices are insanely high, expect 400K min. for a basic single family. $260K may get you a 1 bedroom condo inland. Jobs may be plentiful but at about 40K you can't afford the 400K house.

Now, in addition to the 400K house, you should be prepared to spend annually 5K on property taxes and 5-7K on homeowners insurance if you can even find a company to sell it to you.

Pembroke Pines, where housing values skyrocketed (and so did tax revenue) now wants to increase property taxes by 37% this year.

Why are so many Floridians moving to GA, SC, NC, TN? We can't afford to live here anymore, much less retire here.

Denver, here I come.
Posted By Jim, Pembroke Pines FL : 3:25 PM  

Grew up in the next city over, Herndon and thought things were great then however, now that I'm older and know the value of a dolalr more, I think the cost of living in NoVA is ridiculous!!
Posted By Annie, Sterling, VA : 5:16 PM  

No listings in Louisiana? Imagine that.
Posted By Bill Baton Rouge, La : 10:41 PM  

I've read all the comments, and most everyone seems very emotional about their cities. Obviously, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, or in this case, the living experience changes from eyes to eyes. I believe we're truly fortunate that in our country we have so many great choices. Since it all boils down to "quality of living" we have to determine what is quality to each of us. For me people is at the top of the list. Much like a's only a building if not for its members. Then comes the affordability factor, culture & entertainment, weather and beauty. I live in one of the most expensive areas in the country where some of the most expensive homes in the world can be found. There are beautiful beaches and mountains and culture galore, and our metro area is the entertainment capital of the world. Economy is strong...if we were a country, we'd have the 14th largest economy in the world. And yet... I, the beholder, look for the beauty that is first found in friendly people, slower pace where quality of life CAN be fully experienced, affordable housing where every hard working soul has a shot at their own back yard, diversity and acceptance of other races, choices and creeds, educational and cultural opportunities for all ages and lastly, low crime. Add California's perfect year-round weather and you've found paradise. Here we've got it all, except for affordable housing and slower pace. I'm looking for the whole nine yards. Any clues?
Posted By Millie V, Orange County's Foothill Ranch, CA : 11:02 PM  

I love Cary, my sister and I both want to come back and teach there after we see the world a bit. Who cares if it isn't the hottest place to party? Look at all the other stats. It's safe, friendly, and a great location. I lived two exits away from RDU International airport, so it's easy to get to, but I didn't get bothered much with air traffic noise. My house was right next to an entrance to a greenway that could take me all the way to Crabtree Lake, and the best years of my childhood were spent on that trail. : ) In conclusion, it's a perfect place to raise a family.
Posted By Lindsey, Cary, NC : 11:06 AM  

We actually went and visited Fort Collins after the article came out. Every street we turned on had 4 or 5 vacant houses for sale. The realtor said the people had moved out since they most probably lost their hightech jobs. You don't get a very Colorado mountain like feel. The housing is either in new developments on small lots or a shack on a farm. The pace of life is slower and more peaceful but how will you pay the bills with no jobs. The job growth index is from 2000 to the present. That is a long period and does not reflect the current job market.
Posted By Mary Jones, Glendale, CA : 2:27 PM  

Ellicott City is in the midst of major growth. We recently moved to the area because of the 55 and better neighborhoods and all the conveniences. Being near a State Park gives the feel of the country with all the city perks. Columbia is a separate area than EC.
Posted By Lynn, Ellicott City, MD : 2:54 PM  

I had no idea that the city to which we are about to move, League City, TX. was on the list of the Top 100 in the US. It really is a great place, and the people are super.
I can't wait to tell my mom. She'll have something else to brag about to her circle of friends.
Posted By Mark Saxton, League City, TX. : 9:48 PM  

Sorry, I think you missed the boat. Harrisburg,PA. is hard to beat,it definately, should be top 10. Do your home work, or better yet, stop by for a cup of coffee.
Posted By Ronnie Gee, Harrisburg,PA : 1:01 AM  

we are moving to austin,tx. can't wait to get there, california has been getting harder to live here all the time. see you all soon.
Posted By patty, garden grove,ca : 3:25 AM  

I lived in Naperville and moved to Ft. Collins-can certainly say they were my two favorite places to live. Both have a friendly atmosphere, diverse populations and opportunities to grow.
Posted By Char-Norfolk, NE : 3:31 PM  

I was happy to see mention of Albuquerque and Rio Rancho,NM on your lists. My wife and I live in the Cherry Hill area of South Jersey. While, South Jersey, has been a great place to earn a living, you have to work 60-70 hours a week to obtain your goals to provide better for your family. There has been no shortage of work for us. You can make money...On the other hand retiring here can be difficult. Very high property taxes and the desire to slow down on the work front has made us research our future. Although, I'm only 37, I own my own remodeling business and look forward to slowing down a bit. I recently flew my wife out to Albuquerque and within minutes she was in love with the whole area just as I was the first time I saw it 7 years ago. The people are awesome, the weather incredible, great shopping, some of the best restaurants, low taxes, beautiful homes, mountains, 350 days of sun, low allergies and humidity, not hot or cold, no bugs, creative people and architecture. I could go on forever. I can't wait until my son goes to college in 5 years, so that I can finally live comfortably in an area that just seems to make sense as you get older and want to be able to slow down and enjoy life more.
Posted By Rob Savana ,Somerdale,NJ : 12:35 PM  

Everything closes really early and there is nothing for young adults to do in Eden Prairie. City is best suited for families with young children.
Posted By Luke, Eden Prairie, MN : 3:20 PM  

If you'd like a beer or a cocktail with your meal on the weekend, don't move here. Rigid local laws prohibit sale of alcohol to restaurant patrons on Sunday within city limits.
Posted By Jim, Fort Lauderdale, FL : 5:44 PM  

From the way you describe it here you would think the entire place is like the three mile radius of the ever growing downtown. Which BTW has MUCH to thank for your ratings! I grew up on Cape Cod and for a number of years lived in Northern California, and though like everyone says I LOVE THE DOWNTOWN the rest of this place is drab and BORING! The geography, read FLAT, is uninspired and BORING. The outlying subdivisions are former corn fields with no mature trees and cookie cutter. I make $150,000 and feel poor where "good" homes are 500-700K! Sure there is great train service for those of us that have to commute but seriously, this place is no gem! Funny, we were walking downtown last night and I mentioned how it was reminding me of downtown Los Gatos without the cool mountains and other places to go and see. There is so little to do here it's unreal! For someone used to being able to go to the mountains, the beach, the wine country, etc., on any weekend. drove that same 35 miles and your in the cornfields of DeKalb. yeah! Hopefully we'll move soon!
Posted By Jeff, Naperville, IL : 9:07 PM  

can anyone tell me more about albuquerque,nm.i heard tis agreat place.i live now in sioux falls,south dakota, ilive here for 6 years and i am tired of the snow and the long and cold weather.i want to move to new mexico.i seen pictures and it is beautiful
Posted By karl,sioux falls,south dakota : 9:43 AM  

I live in Kansas City, and Overland Park in a suburb of Kansas City. I do think that Overland Park is a nice area, but it lacks one huge thing: character. Its way too "cookie cutter" - you'd have a hard time finding a restaurant that is not a chain. And all the houses look alike. But it does have good schools and a low crime rate.
Posted By Hope, Kansas City, KS : 1:40 PM  

I lived in some of those places in the top 20 and am surprised to see them on the list. I would never live in those places again. The coastal areas like Carlsbad, Cape Coral are much much better.
Posted By Deepak Wade, San Diego, CA : 1:57 PM  

I am amazed when I see city's in the state of New Jersey on the list. From movies to music to Jay Leno, New Jersey is the most made fun of state in the US. I lived in New Jersey and it was a horriable state to live in. The weather was terriable and the people are rude and very fast moving.I could count on my hand the number of times in 5 years someone in a store said hello or thank you for coming. Believe me, I have lived in allot of states, NJ people are the rudest.
Posted By Mike Gentile, Franklin Tenn : 3:24 PM  

My eyes are bleary after reading all of your comments about the best and the worst places to live in the states. I have had the good fortune to have personally experienced living in a quite a number of your marvelously rated best places to live. You wanna know what? I will not exchange my place here in the south of France (St. P�e sur Nivelle) for any one of your American treasures!
Posted By Terry Ebert, St. P�e sur Nivelle 64310 France : 6:24 PM  

I lived in Albuquerque, nm. over 3 yrs. It's very laid-back, lots of culture, good music, fantastic weather, you can swim during the day, go up a mountain and play in the snow. Paradise! wish I could live there again. Try it, you'll love it.
Posted By MH haddox Dayton, OH : 7:27 PM  

HI Might relocate to Texas never have been there. Husband has job opportunity in San Antonio. We now live in Fairfield Connecticut. Kids in a private college prep K-12 school.
How far in Sugarland from San Antonio?
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Any private schools in either area worth checking out.
Posted By Robin Schuyler Bethel, CT : 10:52 PM  

Compared to the rest of North Carolina, Cary rules. Lived many places across the state, and Cary's the only one I want to go back to.
Posted By Kent, Lenoir NC : 3:59 AM  

Naperville is a safe, quiet place to live protected by a bubble of affluance. Unfortunately, affluance breeds stupidity in the long run. Those who attended the district #204 know what I mean. Haha!
Posted By Allen, Naperville, IL : 4:48 AM  

I once lived in LaGrange,Ga....I thought it was a very nice place to raise a family, we visted it last year and it has it has changed a great deal, is there anyone, who lives there
or knows anyone that has been there?
I would love to move back there, but my husband is against it.
Posted By Bettina Strouble,Raleigh,NC : 12:19 PM  

It's not a suprise to me that Fort Collins is ranked number 1. I moved here 7 years ago to attend college and I fell in love with the city. There's so much to do if you love the outdoors and the over 300 days of sunshine makes Fort Collins a great place to live.
Posted By Eric, Fort Collins, CO : 12:26 PM  

this list is a joke,right? there's not one place on here i would want to live.
Posted By eddie angel,nashville,tn : 1:59 PM  

I lived in Overland Park Kansas for 8 years while my girls attended middle and high school. Fabulous place for a family. Came from San Diego California so am used to great places. Now live in Tampa florida. Came for the sun and got NOTHING else. Tampa is a dump. Am looking to move as my 9yr old son needs better schools, and we can not make a living here. Costs going up on everything and houses coming down. OK I know that is everywhere but I want good schools and sunshine and all the modern conveniences at my fingertips. Where do I go?????
Posted By Tracey, tampa Florida : 8:51 AM  

Thinking about moving to Austin? Think again! Its just like Southern California now. I grew up there and thought I'd get away. Nope! Everything is coming here. No Trader Joes yet but I'm sure they'll be here soon. New toll roads open in December. The stop lights here are a bear. Every red light makes you wait 2 minutes since they are not on sensors. The freeways...just imagine the 405 at 7:30 am. House prices are going up quick. I'm planning my next move...somewhere MTV hasn't done a Real World...yet. Oh! It much more humid and warmer than So Cal, so you'd have to get used to it. People are friendlier but that's changing quick as more and more Californians arrive. Move to Vegas. At least you'll be closer to home when you want to go back.
Posted By Steve, Austin, TX : 2:56 PM  

I am seriously trying to decide where to relocate. What is important to me: Affordable priced housing, temperate climate, friendly people,social/ events womens clubs. I have lived in Central IL for 30 yrs, and am tired of cold winters! I tend toward TN,GA. I hear people are so nice in the south!
Posted By Angela Bloomington, IL : 4:06 PM  

Is this a joke?
Posted By MW, Los Angeles, CA : 10:12 PM  

We are on Social Security and a small VA pention. Would like warmer climate, close to a VA hospital and good medical care under Medicare. Perks for seniors would be welcom.
Posted By J. Cashman, Arkdale, WI : 11:53 PM  

Bend, Oregon ("the Aspen of the NorthWest")was top on the list several years ago. This town continues to boom (and rightfully so... it's beautiful!)but it is not even on the list now. Was money wrong before, or right now?
Posted By MarkThayer - Bend,Oregon : 12:16 AM  

I lived in Wichita for almost 5 years. It is the closest thing to the hellhole of the world.If you enjoy watching the grass grow then move to Wichita.
Posted By Richard Nuila-Crouse Houston,Texas : 2:25 AM  

Me and my wife work in downtown Chicago. I for Boeing as a executive for federal contracts and my wife works as E-Trade as a market research analyst. We live in Naperville,IL Its a great place to have my kids grow up here. Its not that expensive as some folks mentioned here. I grew up in Queens,NY and comparing to that life style I don't miss anything as everyday I get on I-59 Metra station and see the vibrant downtown and come back home and spend good time with my kids and my family. Naperville has the best school district (both 203 and 204) comparing to any other place in midwest (Forget rankings) I attended public schools in Queens,NY and I can say downtown schools Suck.

Naperville community has a very very low crime rate and has the Best libraries in the whole Midwest. The housing is affordable and There is lot of potential for job growth as more and more companies are moving from Downtown Chicago to Naperville.
Posted By John Walton, Naperville,IL : 9:48 AM  

I've lived in Cary for 22 years. It stands for Containment Area for Relocated Yankees. If you are looking for a "taste of the south", you won't find it here. I love the town and have raised my family here and will probably retire here, but I'll have to travel to visit my children. They find the town boring (in both color and things to do). Most of the town is painted in shades of beige!
Posted By Kate Ryan, Cary, NC : 1:12 PM  

Cary is awesome! Came from Long Island, NY and couldn't be happier!
Posted By Jason, Cary NC : 2:57 PM  

I just about sprayed tea all over my computer from laughing when I saw that Eagan, MN had made it into the top twenty. Sure, if communing with brain-dead zombies, who see shopping at Walmart as a major source of entertainment, is your all means, go for it! Clearly, I won't be using this list as a guide.
Posted By Eli from Brooklyn, New York : 2:58 PM  

Cay is a great place to liv in, we moved here few weeks ago and are extremely happy with the schools, the people and quality of life.
Posted By Anil MK, Cary,NC : 12:33 AM  

Your list is best used as a catalyst for follow-up and discussion. There are too many subjective factors that people prioritize in vastly different ways. For instance, weather is a huge factor for some people, while schools are bigger for others. (I'm with those who prefer warm weather to ice and snow).

Specific comments:

**Columbia and Ellicott City, MD are ridiculously expensive, and traffic is horrendous if you want to get into D.C. (I lived in the Baltimore-Washington area for many years).

**Corpus Christi. In response to one reader's comment, I have to add that CC is okay, but suffers from a severe dearth of things to do.

**Austin seems like the perfect town until you get stuck in traffic there.
Posted By Ed Bridges, San Antonio, TX : 2:03 PM  

I would like to note for the Lexington demographics under Leisure and Culture, there is an accredited museum within 30 miles. Lexington is home to the University of Kentucky Art Museum, which meets the AAM guidelines.
Posted By Whitney Hale, Lexington, KY : 2:57 PM  

what a joke your list was !!!!
Have you ever seen the traffic in the 3 cities that were in south Fl Mirimar, Coral Springs , Pembroke Pines
unless you stay in your condo common area all day good luck getting around . And the cost of home owners insurance is so outragous I could only laugh when I saw these on your List
Posted By E Karukin Largo Florida : 9:02 PM  

I grew up in the Western suburbs of Chicago (Lisle, Naperville, and Aurora). Naperville and Aurora (both on the list) are very nice places for the right type of person. Unfortunately, I'm no longer that type of person. I don't like the trends I see with 3,000 square foot homes and no back yard. I moved to Cedar Rapids IA 3 years ago and absolutely love it. Less traffic, friendlier people (since there are less of them), wide open spaces, and plenty of things to do outside (camping, hiking, etc). . I know everyone has a preference but give me less crowds and a slower pace.
Posted By Mike, Cedar Rapids IA : 12:04 AM  

Your top 10 list is interesting but too many places on the list are too expensive to live for the average family and many of them lack diversity and culture. Its hard to believe more places in the north east weren't chosen, especially near large cities.
Posted By John Roth, Bklyn, NY : 9:58 AM  

I am moving to Carrollton, TX. from Los Angeles, CA. Can anyone give me advice with this transition...
Posted By Ruben Varela Carrolllton, TX. : 12:29 PM  

Looking for a place Stateside to retire. Why can't you search based on the crime rates in a town?
Posted By Miko Mend, Guadalajara, Mexico : 5:10 PM  

Just saw your comments on the housing
overrpriced in the area of Santa Barbara. I currently live in Oxnard
California about 25 miles south of Santa Basrbara and 35 miles north of Malibu.Have seen this market explode in the last 5 years..Homes with only two days of listing being sold site unseen.Now the market is stagnet and
there is that uneasy feeling of a
downturn. Country-wide Mortage Company
just notified that 10%of its workforce
will be let go in the coming weeks.This company can already see the
handwriting that many homeowners have
yet to see. This downturn will greatly
effect everyone here in Ventura County.
Ventura County is the third most expensive county in the state of California.After Marin and San Francisco County.
Posted By John,Oxnard Californa : 5:56 PM  

It's no surpise to me to see Fort Collins Colorado as the best place to live. Although I haven't lived there for over 25 years, it is one of my favorite cities. It certainly isn't the "hometown" where I grew up, but it is still a delightful city.
Sadly, it's prime status has made it difficult, if not impossible for residents who grew up there, to find affordable housing. Of course, affordable housing in many places is a thing of the past.
Posted By Amy Torres, Patterson, Ca : 7:44 PM  

Having lived in Illinois my whole life, and having traveled extensively throughout the state on business, I agree that Naperville is a great town. It has top notch schools, safe streets and all the shopping, resturants, and employment opportunities one could want. And it's safe to say that Naperville is probably the "nicest" or certainly one of the "nicest" suburban communities in Chicagoland. However, I am glad to see downstate Bloomington so high on the list. Bloomington-Normal is a great area to live and work. It is the home to the largest insurance company in the country, two universities, and a large auto manufacturing plant. People here are very friendly and crime is virtually non-existent. The population surge here in the past 20 years or so is in large part, transplants from the huge metro area up I-55. Yes Naperville is very nice. But Bloomington has virtually everything Naperville has, just 1/2 the price and with virtually no traffic congestion, toll booths, or crime. I think Bloomington should be ranked higher than Naperville on your list.
Posted By John Peterson - Bloomington, IL : 1:14 AM  

I live near CO. Springs and work in Denver. To rate Springs higher than Denver invalidates anything else your magazine may have to say to me.
Posted By Chris, Centennial, CO : 9:21 AM  

I was surprised to see Cranston, RI listed in the top 100 (number 78). Although there are some nice neighborhoods, the city overall is closer to the bottom tier of communities in Rhode Island overall; financially, otherwise. I lived throughout the country and think Ft Collins is a great pick. I, in fact, like the the fact that Little Rhody is not listed prominently in this list. Open space is prized in a small place -I know my neighbors, there is little traffic and the ocean scenery is great, culture, food (Providence) and it close enough to a great metropolitan (Boston); great overall quality of life. Higher taxes are a consideration though...
Posted By Mark Abrams, Cumberland, RI : 9:34 AM  

I have lived in Howard County over 45 years, and in Columbia/Ellicott City for the past 40 years. Its a beautiful place, and you do not even need to lock the doors. No one "honks" their horn, rather everyone is relaxed, happy, and healthy. Yes, we do have death and sickness, but the hospital is 5 min away and is part of the Hopkins-network and quality. Schools are wonderful, and jobs galore available. yes, you need a car, as this is country and former farms and we have corn 5 min away. Its wonderful.
Posted By B. Helms, Columbia, MD : 9:55 AM  

Overland Park is nice but you will get more house for the money in surrounding cities on the southern part of Johnson County, such as Olathe, KS. The city line is very obscure and only a couple of minutes from one city to the next. If charm and quaint is your thing then look at Mission or Prairie Village just north of Overland Park.
Posted By J Ridenhour, Olathe, KS : 1:14 PM  

Colorado is a beautiful place to vacation but one of the most god awful places to live! Traffic is horrible because there are not enough roads and people from Cali, Arizona, etc. freak out in the snow it can easily take 3-4 hours to get to Ft. Collins if traffic is bad or there is snow on the ground. People are different, too much of a So. Cal. feel when you are there. Poor job market,taxes, housing, fuel and food are really high too. The only nice thing about it was the Mountains and the weather.
Posted By Elizabeth, St. Paul MN : 1:30 PM  

What can someone tell me about Colorado Springs. My wife and I are looking at relocating to this area. Not for any reason at all but to try somewhere different!!
Posted By Nick G. eau claire , WI : 3:58 PM  

I think it takes a huge ego for anyone to criticize Texas who has never been here. I'm a 6th generation Texan, but
I have traveled, a LOT, all over the U.S. and abroad.

It would be helpful if some of you would actually "get out" a little.
I am constantly hearing and reading criticisms of Texas by people who have
NEVER been here; or only came to one small small area; and are ONLY judging
it by the old cowboy movies (shot in that lot down the highway from Agoura Hills, Ca. btw) and/or judging by old
tired stereotypes which had/have nothing in commmon with reality in the first place.

Texas is a big state; I can drive a short distance from Austin and feel like I'm in a whole different world.

East Texas is our Pine Forest area,
where your grandmother's great pine flooring probably came from--our pines
taking up approx. 1/3 of the state;
yes you didn't know that did you? The Federal Government calls it the "Big Thicket National Forest"
for a reason...dense forests.

Austin is hip, we have the largest University in the U.S. here, and high-tech; the Highland Lakes with it's
wine country is only 45 minutes from
Austin. We're progressive and our bumper stickers motto is "Keep Austin Weird".

Yes, there are parts of Texas which are
hot and flat and have the hokey "tumbling tumble weeds" out-of-staters think of (it's West Texas and
the panhandle which is the section that sticks up by Oklahoma.

Oh, then there is always the coastal
area; great fishing, etc. ALso the areas of Texas with the romantic moss hanging off the huge oaks, is always a nice place to visit or live.

Betcha didn't know any of this, did you? If you think you can live on the east coast; then live on the west coast, you have NOT seen America. Don't forget, my ancestors were some of the first pilgrims, and they kept moving west, to get away from the east for a REASON.
If I could afford it, I'll admit I would move to Northern California to the Napa Valley; yes I have been to
Marin County many times--but if I had the money I'd love to live where I could visit Muir Woods at least once
a week! The place I would avoid in Texas are: Lubbock, Amarillo, El Paso,
anywhere in the Panhandle (sorry friends of mine who live up there); or in the valley, an hour from the border.

Miss Laury from Westford, MA, you need to get out more! As for some of the rest of you who shreik about Texas but have either never been here; or came for one week an stayed in one little part ---shame on you.
Posted By Linda Wageck; Austin, Texas : 4:15 PM  

What about San Luis Obispo? Beautiful location nestled on the central coast of california. Rolling hills and beaches mark the landscape. One of the top rated Universities on the West Coast is also located there. You should look into it.
Posted By Robert James, San Luis Obispo CA : 4:33 PM  

I am a born and raised Brooklyn, NY gal who certainly grew up with diversity being from an urban setting. As a minority, would I find happiness in Naperville? How about diversity in the schools? Can someone give me feedback on this since my daughter is contemplating a move to Chicago.

Posted By Shirley Seward Columbus, Ohio : 4:33 PM  

Question... If a city is the best place to live... Why isn't it on the top of the list year after year? Since I have lived in a city that got on great places to live list. I may have part of the answer. Many people then move there who make it more crowded, polluted and then demand the place change/morph into the place they just came from.

Maybe it is better not to publish such lists. If it truly is a great place to live. People will find it on their own.
Posted By Richard Wickboldt. Ann Arbor - MI : 8:45 AM  

I have lived in Eden Prairie all of my life, and I LOVE it! The people are the BEST people in the world they are kind and also hospitable. I do agree that young people are somewhat only aware of what goes on in our city, but its getting better. Some may say it is cold here, what is the matter with cold? Many people such as myself have grown up used to the climate and that is what most people in Eden Prairie are used to. There are many winter activities and there are lots of things to do outside: hockey, snow football, snow forts, and snowball fights. There is so much stuff to do, and it isn't that cold, a full ten degrees at times, sometimes less. Does that really sound that cold to you?
Posted By David, Eden Prairie, Minnesota : 4:20 PM  

I grew up in AZ and let me tell you that AZ has changed for the worse. Scottsdale used to be made up of people who were down to earth and personable. Now, I am really disappointed with many of the people that are living here (many transplants of CA). While this is a sweeping generalization, I say this because it is really too bad to see people who are fortunate enough to have high incomes being so materialistic and feel the need to show off rather than be thankful for what they have. It's called humility...let's learn about it.
Posted By Michelle- Scottsdale, AZ : 7:00 PM  

Cary is a wonderful place to live, or I should say was a wonderful place to live. Thanks to being in the top places for a couple of years we are experiencing growth that we are not equipped to handle.
Posted By Paula, Cary NC : 11:47 PM  

Hey, Why is Charlotte not in the best places to live. It has a good climate, (a little hot in the summer), but overall it is not bad. The cost of living is below average and 175K will buy a lot of house outside of the city. Lots of great restaurants, pro sports and friendly people.
Posted By Dale Hill , Monroe , NC : 1:43 AM  

Peachtree City, GA was in the top 10 last year - fun place to live with golf carts as alternate transportation. Once you get here you don't have to drive a car. The entire town is interconnected with 90 + miles of golf cart paths. The high school kids drive them to school and have their own g.c. parking area. You can drive thru the bank, McDonalds, the dry cleaners, etc. on them. It's a great way to beat the high gas prices!
St. Simon's Island made the list and it's a really pretty area.
Posted By Nancy, Peachtree City, GA : 5:50 AM  

These ratings are nonsense. Look at the statistics for some of the best rated places. How can they be considered the best places to live with their abominable cultural resources and low educational scores?
Is clean air everything?
Posted By James L. Myers, New York City, NY : 8:11 AM  

My town is way better than that.
Posted By Tatum Bell, Boston MAss : 9:39 PM  

You need to look at the large number of people living in Bend who make very good money working for companies in other states....I believe these are not factored into the stats and should be.
Posted By S. Abrams, Sunriver, Oregon : 10:53 PM  

I LOVE New England but NOT the winters. I am looking for a warm getaway for part of the year. Won't put much faith in "Money's" survey with Cranston & Warwick, RI on their list..... It's not even a nice place to visit! Let's see if they post this one!!! :~)
Posted By Angel Dartmouth, MA. : 11:53 PM  

I'm not sure how Sugar land made number 3 on the list. Whoever selected Sugar Land didn't sit in the traffic for hours and deal with all the endless construction projects that are taking place here. It's very hot, humid and you have to drive for hours to get to real recreational fun.
Posted By Linda, Sugar land, Texas : 8:05 AM  

Market direction and oversupply are noted, but prices tend to be sticky in a downward direction. What will really tell the story is how many people are motivated to buy OR sell by divorce or transfers compared to number of people who can wait to move, although it might be inconvenient, like growing families staying in their areas.
Posted By Dave, Gurnee, IL : 2:47 PM  

The houses are built too close together. There is no character, the town has the feel of one big strip shopping center. No uniqueness, the majority of restaurants are national chains.

But if you a soccer Mom, family, then Cary is the place for you. The Raleigh-Durham area is great, but if I were to live here, I would live in North Raleigh, Wake Forest or Chapel Hill.
Posted By Michael Hill, Chapel Hill, NC : 2:26 PM  

Can an honest person give me some feedback on ARLINGTON, TX? I heard it's a nice place.
Posted By Ashley, Fall River, MA : 11:14 PM  

Disagree with many about the state of Georgia to live. People are not neighborly at all. School system with exception of a few counties are last on the crct list. All you ever hear on the news is crime,crime and more crime. It would not be my choice to raise a family. Traffice is horrible! The only positive in Georgia is the prices of housing.
Posted By kathy, conyers, ga : 8:56 AM  

Can anyone tell me about Wisconsin and any cities that would be great to raise a family. Looking for diversity!

Thank yoy
Posted By kathy, Georgia : 8:58 AM  

How is this list compiled? I have to believe it is based on stats with housing prices versus household income heavily favored. If you are willing to forgo the single family home dream and rent, or purchase a more urban accomodation (OK condo or townhouse), there are infinately better places to live in the country than the majority of the top 20.
Posted By C M Paterson, Dublin, California : 1:10 PM  

Fort Collins is #1? Unbelievable because there is nothing do to there unless you work for or attend CSU. Denver is 45 minutes away which might as well be the other side of the world when you're travelling down I-25.

And, good schools? Probably average for this area since the best district (hands down) is Boulder Valley (BVSD) followed very closely by Cherry Creek and Douglas County. I'm sure PVSD is somewhere on the list. As a parent of school-aged children, where PVSD is on that list would be by number one concern.

I've lived in some of the other places on the list and - personally - I think Albuquerque should be ranked in the top 10. Take a closer look, you guys. Relatively low home prices, numerous cultural opportunities & a true low-stress lifestyle make ABQ a great place!

Luckily, you guys haven't discovered my little 'burb, yet so prices are still low, we get BVSD schools, easy access to both Denver, Boulder & DIA all in a small town environment.

I look forward to this list every year! Thanks for taking the time to compile it all.
Posted By Monique W., Broomfield, CO : 1:59 PM  

If you like to sit at congested intersection after intersection Fishers, Indiana is the place for you! Or live in a sea of vinyl gray neighborhood after neighborhood. Fishers, Indiana is the KING of cornfield communities. Fishers, Indiana is you�re typical over developed suburban area with ZERO character! Substandard roads over looked from poor planning by local government have created a mosh pit of gridlock. Fishers, Indiana is an absolute nightmare to drive around in. There are MANY other areas that are much more desirable than Fishers!!!
Posted By Kevin R. Fishers, Indiana : 2:01 PM  

Denver has good looking people... great night life... and plenty of outdoor and cultural activities. Food prices are high compared to most other cities I have visited.
Posted By Stephano- Los Angeles, CA : 4:56 PM  

In the NYC area to live and raise a family? GLEN RIDGE, NJ!
All the amenities NYC has to offer are 12 miles away, 35 mins. by train. 10th best (per NJ Monthly) public school system in NJ! Real neighborly hometown feel, when you step off the train at night....a different world of peace and quiet. Ahh!
Posted By J. Weber, Glen Ridge, NJ : 6:17 PM  

I live in Portland, Oregon. A dreary, wet, gray, cold place. Portland and Seattle must be where rain was invented. We are lucky if we get sunshine for 3 months of the year. If your idea of "lifestyle" is to sit in a brewpub or cafe and watch it rain, then Portland is for you! People are VERY unfriendly, the politics are nasty. Between the high taxes and high housing prices, you will have no disposible income. I grew up in Georgia, and hope to get back there someday. But the bottom line is we are all VERY fortunate to live anywhere in this great country!! We have the freedom to move anywhere we want.
Posted By Matthew Roberts Portland, Orgeon : 8:35 PM  

Where are the ski resorts? If I'm living somewhere, I want to be out having fun. Maybe that's why Americans are fat.
Posted By T Hammerstein, SLC, UT : 10:06 PM  

Austin is gorgeous, fun, alive & a 'hopeful' city.
Posted By Tricia, Austin, Texas : 11:21 PM  

How was moorestown, NJ first last year...and not even top 100 this year?
Posted By Joel Lomurno, Wichita KS : 12:31 PM  

I have lived in Jacksonville, NC for almost 6 years and it really is what you make of it..we have a beautiful nature-ish areas surrounding the city but there is a severe lack of things to do besides going to the beachesand the like. I see that we got named the youngest city as well for a median age of 22..this is mostly b/c of the young military personell that come here but they have nothing to do in their free time except go to bars, strip clubs, spend their money, go out to eat or make trouble, so it really depends on what you make of the area..If you took a poll of the run of the mill folks that you see in the overly crowded local Wal-mart (which is a big hangout here b/c of the lack of entertainment) You may see that one person would say it is the armpit of the county and then another says it is a alright place ..which is why I am surprised at the top place to live. Jacksonville is growing everyday but it may not be growing in the best way possible. But you are more than welcome to come here and find out for yourself. That's just my two cents.
Posted By Michele, Jacksonville, NC : 2:47 PM  

This list is a no win situation since the US has become little more than an vast automible slum of strip malls and fry pits interspersed with pods of dormitory "homes" on culdesacs. It is telling that most people consider the places they grew up to be "the best". That is because unless you have sentimental attachment to a town in this country it is a charmless anti-place. We have only ourselves to thank for this mess. Beautiful American towns only exist in the memories of our grandparents. We have squandered a world of possibility in this vacuous land. And love of Money has had very much to do with it.
Posted By Robert Moses, NYC, NY : 8:12 PM  

I live in Scottsdale and I like living here for the weather, mountains, beautiful landscaping, lots of restaurants, lots of stores, and I'm never bored. I don't like living here for the following reasons:
The laws are the worst.
1)It is an at-will state and the labor laws are terrible for employees.
2)Way too much drinking and smoking here. Drinking is pretty much promoted in many ways.
3)People can walk around with guns.

If you have to work for a living, there is no job security here, very low pays, and very bad health care benefits. It's a great place to live if you have made your money already somewhere else and you are going to retire. Buying a house is impossible.
Most of the homes have no ground here.
Posted By Lois, Scottsdale, AZ : 3:50 AM  

I live in the high desert (annual rainfall of 11") of Central Oregon, which includes Bend, OR. Yeah, our prices have gone up but there is one thing that cannot be compared in nationwide numbers and that is the
location, absolute beauty and quality of life offered here. Please don't punish those who can affored to live here by saying it's overpriced! I believe those that can, will continue to move here. For those who have not experienced this area, please do your research. You will soon see why so many have chosen to make this their home. Come on by for a visit!
Posted By Kim, Bend, OR : 8:51 AM  

Naperville is the most over rated city in the country. It's the most overpriced, dull landscape you can find in our country. The people are snobby and gossip hungry. Lived there for a few years and could not wait to get out of there. The schools are so over crowded that your children will
most likely have to transfer from school to school. The bloom is off the vine on this HORRIBLE city!
Posted By Michele, Oak Brook, IL : 11:28 AM  

Spokane WA has real seasons, 2 ice rinks, a sculpture park, a downtown waterfall, great dining, skiing and hiking immediate to the area, world class events and entertainers in the Arena and Civic Center, low crime, and inexpensive housing.
Posted By c. cherry, Spokane WA : 12:18 PM  

i just moved out of ft. collins in january. see that video? that's of fossil creek park, and i lived right next to it in huntington hills!!!! aaaaugh!!!!!!
Posted By Bob, from Shanghai : 12:48 PM  

Manhattan Beach, Ca is a very expensive place to buy a home. Average new house is close to 1.7 million. I dont see it on the list.
Posted By Cal, Orange, Ca : 7:05 PM  

I agree with the other frustrated Austinite. Do not put us on your list. We have a great town and do not want anymore investors from California buying all our homes and inflating values. And we are losing our mom and pop stores because of all the chain places taking over. We do not want your walmarts! We want to stay the way we are and welcome people who are tolerent and can contribute to a great town
Posted By Greg, Austin Texas : 7:47 AM  

I grew up in Virginia Beach, and I have to agree that it is such a big city with a snall community feel! Such a great place to raise a family; however, I don't see Raleigh as a great place to live. It lacks significant cultural experiences and class other cities have.
Posted By Brandi, Greenville, NC : 9:35 AM  

Berkeley Ca is a great city, never boring, but you have to be careful parking to avoid citations. With the ocean on one side and state park on other side and wonderful university, it's so much better than So. Cal. So much culture, and short train ride to San Francisco!L
Posted By Lori, Berkeley, Ca : 1:13 PM  

Weather isn't everything, socal is just not good anymore: traffic, smog , crime, overpopulation, bad drivers, rude people, your a working slave to afford your life here. Get me out. I'm not raising my daughter out here. The schools are over populated, teachers under paid. Taxes are plentiful, its just changed here so much. four seasons can be a beautiful change, instead of man made snow in the local mts. and fires every year because evrything is so dry, polluted beaches, please anyone who thinks ca is great place is narrow minded and doesn't see the big picture.
Posted By James, corona, ca : 2:45 PM  

Can anyone tell me how Bismarck is for families?
Posted By Mike - Westminster, MD : 4:50 PM  

To Karl, in South Dakota,

DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT make the move to Albq. NM.
You will regret it.
I moved here from So. Calif. 2 years ago and I'm trying to get the heck out of Dodge! But I've lost a lot of money here so it will take time to save it again.
We have snow here too, so if that is your reason scratch off NM.
The people here are not the brightest crayons in the box.
You'll have a rude awakening when you get your first PNM bill (utilities:gas/electric).
Especially if it's in winter.
Mine ran over and close to $300 a month for the winter. It about put us out on the street.
We almost lost our car because of the outrageous prices of PNM.
Plus if you have kids or are planning to have kids, don't move here, from what I learned NM doesn't care about the health of your children, they do not require vacinations, so your kid could be playing with a child that hasn't had their shots.
Plus people CANNOT drive out here.
They drive as if they're the only person on the road.
Yes, in Calif. I am used to rude drivers, this is not rude, it's just plain stupidity!
Well, there's plenty more I could say but it would take me all day.
There are some nice things about Albuquerque, let's see.
Hold on, I'm thinking...
Still thinking...
Oh, I know, the Summertime and Springtime are decent, not too hot not too cold.
I can't think of anything else.
If I do I'll post later.

PS If anyone reading this is from NM, please don't bother posting something rude about what I have said here, these are my experiences here and you can't change that, no matter what you have to say.
I simply do not like it, and that's that.
Thank you.
Posted By Elle, ABQ. NM : 10:07 AM  

for the Boomers thinking about a retiring spot. You should check out Port Ludlow, WA. Beautiful Saltwater Area with lots of activities, incredible views, moderate weather and way more sunshine then you are lead to believe. We also have the famous "rain shadow" effect.
Posted By Viv Saunders, Port Ludlow, Wa. 98365 : 10:38 AM  

Overland Park!?!?!? Ranked number 6???? Ummm..... Yeah, the schools are great, crime is low, but did we forget to mention the traffic? I lived in Independence, MO and worked downtown KC for awhile. The traffic was not nearly as bad trying to go to work in OPKS! That alone should remove OP from this list!!! Everything in OP looks the same, restaurants stink, place is very expensive. I wouldn't live in OP if my life depended on it.
Posted By Josh, Springfield Missouri : 11:42 AM  

You must be joking if you think the best places to live in Utah are Layton, Sandy or Orem.. As a 25 yr resident of Utah - They are three of the towns I would avoid!!!
Posted By D Mell Moab, UT : 12:17 PM  

South Bend, IN has lost all of it's industry. It's an unfortunate part of American buisness. Most of the country's manufacturing jobs are lost to people overseas. Crime is up, housing prices are down, and decent jobs are non-existant. Notre Dame is buying up all of the real eastate in town becuase it's so cheap. Soon, the whole city will be owned by the University. Weird.
Posted By Derb, South Bend, IN : 1:07 PM  

There can be hundreds more places added to the list,all of which are 'correct'. Home is where you are most comfortabe and HAPPIEST.
Let me add Reno,NV. to this list(I now live in my HOMETOWN of Fall River,MA.)
Reno truly IS the biggest little city in the world,and one of the most beautiful.It's ordinary America combined with unordinary options in life.
Posted By Michael A. Ellis,Fall River,MA> : 1:34 PM  

Maryland isn't just the Western Shore, there is an Eastern Shore of Maryland. Why didn't you list this? We sold our home in Northern Virginia that we purchased as a fix me up. We purchased a home on the Lower Eastern Shore close to Ocean City and all the beautiful river's and wetland's for a steal. We have not only the University of Maryland Eastern Shore but Salisbury University, Wicomico City College this area offer's outstanding elementry to high school's. Not only is there the Chesapeake Bay and that industry, what about Tyson and Purdue. Now let's look at the Aerospace and all the private sector's for computer hardware. You missed the bullet here Money. Yes, there is a thriving Eastern Shore of Maryland.
Posted By Debera Howard Salisbury Maryland : 1:36 PM  

Fort Collins is a nice city, but it is not one of the top cities I've lived in. Not even close. The greater Seattle area has at least a dozen towns nearby that are more beautiful and safer and have comparable weather. The methodology used by CNN has some big flaws. Not enough emphasis placed on asthetics too much paid on the highly variable job availability. Statistics show that asthetics is one of the most crucial factors attracting population growth.
Posted By Matt, Fort Collins, CO : 3:23 PM  

I'd love to see the exact criteria used for this rating. Anyone who puts Raleigh, NC in the top 10 has obviously never lived there. Raleigh is perhaps the worst place that I've ever lived, and I hear that echoed by most people who have lived there. The housing prices are ridiculous, crime is very high unless you live in a upscale neighborhood, it's way too crowded with a pathetic system of infrastructure, and the public schools here are always rated low nationally. One example - we had a storm 2 years ago that put 0.5 inches of snow and ice on the road, and the whole city just shut down. Top 10 my butt!
Posted By Chad, Raleigh, NC : 3:44 PM  

I've read all of the comments on this page, and I don't understand what is so wrong with Scottsdale, Arizona. I was born and raised here and I love it. I'm able to shop in high end stores and spend hours in the pool almost all year long...what's better than that!
Posted By Melanie, Scottsdale AZ : 10:34 PM  

I live in Eugene, OR and am surprised it's not further up on the scale of liveability.
Posted By Jim Averill Eugene Oregon : 10:36 AM  

I moved here from Atlanta, Georgia. If you live in the Overland Park area, PLEASE TELL PEOPLE THIS IS A LOUSY PLACE TO LIVE..let them think this is backward Kansas. Maybe then they won't MOVE HERE!
Posted By Jim Tadlock, Edgerton, KS : 12:00 PM  

I like how everyone ranks their own city. All cities have good and bad. I am like most in las vegas, a transplant from the east coast. I hated it at first, but it definitly grew on me. Summers are hot but not nearly as bad as Phoenix. Job market is good and there is alot to do besides gambling. Biking, hiking , boating, world-class climbing at Red Rock Canyon. I would give the city........7.5 out of 10. Not perfect but better than average.
Posted By Jason F. Las Vegas, NV : 12:05 PM  

Where is Ames, Iowa, Ames is a great place, with 1 major university, 1 small college, and now a junior college. It also boasts one of the best school systems in the entire nation. The crime rate is virtually non-existant, unemployment is below 2%. Lots of great restaurants, movie theatres, malls, and a great mainstreet area. Ames also holds national events like the National special Olympics this past summer.Housing can get expensive, but other than that it's a beautiful town with alot going for it.
Posted By John, Ames Iowa : 2:34 PM  

You had to open your mouth, didn't you? Now the secret is out. O'Fallon, Missouri was our secret with it's extreme affordability, relatively low traffic and crime rate, and low-priced housing. Being this close to St. Louis also allows us the luxury of quick access to a big city while enjoying the quiet calm of a small town. We'll have you to blame if all this changes.
Posted By Mark O'Fallon, Missouri : 3:17 PM  

if you haven't been to Evanston, Illinois, you are truly missing one of the best places to live -- Diversity, beautiful housing, university town, good hospitals, a lovely new "downtown" area, an active arts community -- all bordering Lake Michigan!
Posted By Judy Cummigns, Evanston, Illinois : 4:31 PM  

I can't believe Money ranked Colorado Springs in the top 10. Have you ever spent more than a week in Springs? Can you say twilight zone? Albuquerque is the best kept secret in America!! Abq. is down to earth, diverse, vibrant and still has a small town feel. Best climate in the rockies.
Posted By Marcel, Albuquerque, NM : 9:58 PM  

Miami is misleading when you just list city of Miami..... how about the metro area, Miami Dade County and Broward or shall we call it Miami-Ft.Lauderdale. This is a metropolis with over 3.5 million pop not a small town of 350k or so as your analysis shows. It is significantly more complex, in a good way as well.
Posted By Hank, Greater Miami, Fl : 10:59 PM  

Of the places I've lived in my life, I'd have to say that Eden Prairie is the best city I have been to in terms of how much I want to live there. It has the perfect balance of being in a safe, beautiful community, yet close enough to a major economic and cultural center in Minneapolis. The people there are collectively the most pleasant people I have ever met, and each is proud of where they live. Oh and by the way, it has one of the best school systems in the state (personally, I think it should be country), and I know personally from experience. The only draw back is the fact that it does get cold in the winter, but still there is no other place where I would want to raise a family. Compare within these ratings or go see for yourself - EP is the place to live.
Posted By Wei Han, Eden Prairie, MN : 2:21 AM  

The most important factor in selecting best places to live is tolerance. In many towns all over the U.S. I have felt unwelcome as a minority. I have noticed that the situation can be even worse for gay residents in some towns. Hopefully, all Americans should at least feel resonably comfortable if they visited the top ranked towns on this list.
Posted By Alex, Monterey, CA : 2:31 AM  

I like the comment of one of the posters.. "No matter where you live its a beautiful place". Hey people, dispite the crime, high taxes or whatever,America is beatiful. Look at it this way, for anyone that has lived outside of the US for several yrs, be it job assignment, military, etc. America, no matter what location is beautiful. The beauty about it is every state offer something for someone. Do you love the beach, America has it, do you love kyacking, America has it, do you love snow mobiling, America has it. Do you love just sitting back and watching the sunset, yeap America has that too. I've lived in several different States by way of the Military. GA, Fl, lovely states but too slow for me, NY, NJ, lovely states, but too fast. Ca, Col, WA, lovely State but too expensive. AZ, Tex, Mex. Lovely, lovely but too darn hot for my likings. I presently live about 16 mins from Eden Prairie Mn. There are lots of things I love about Mn but there are a few I don't and my number one dislike is the winters. I do love the 4 seasons. I have to have my Spring, Summer, Winter and Fall. Thats a must. But must the winters be so darn long and cold.The traffic, another dislike. For those of you that do not know however, our summers do and will top the 100's. So all in all, we all were created to appreciate different things, different climates, different locations and that is why in every State, someone calls it home because to them, it is home. If one certain place was paradise, then I think everyone will be living in that same place or lined up in groves to enter anyway. Its paradise to that person. Not to all of us obviously. America the Beatuful!!! Regardless of were you call paradise in this great country..
Posted By Sheri, Burnisville, MN : 2:08 PM  

Living in Mentor, OH is better than living in Cape Coral, FL????? You've GOT to be KIDDING!!!
Posted By Judy G from Cleveland, OH : 7:43 AM  

What about Carlsbad, CA? How can Santa Clarita make the list and not Carlbad?
Posted By Tom G. Carlsbad, CA : 4:40 PM  

New Jersey is extremely dense in population. However it has a large variety of terrain. Mountains and valleys to beaches and farmland. You have to see it to believe it. I have been here over 20 years. Downside is home prices and taxes.
Posted By D.Boomer, Somerset, NJ : 7:35 PM  

I am really happy to see that O'Fallon, MO is on the top 50 list. My family just moved to O'Fallon 1 year ago from NJ, we like here a lots. My son likes the school. We moved from the state has the highest property tax in the nation. Now we feel like we made the right choice. I am going to spread this news to everyone.
Posted By Laura, O'Fallon MO : 10:45 PM  

Thinking of a move to Austin from the Boston area. Originally from Texas (Dallas), anybody have any thoughts on good neighborhoods somewhat close to town with good school systems?
Posted By Jean, Georgetown, MA : 9:11 AM  

We moved in July from Broward County Florida. We wish we would have found Cary years ago. We love it here. We are originally from Long Island and have met a lot of New Yorker's. It's a great place to live. We feel at home here.
Posted By Susan, Cary, NC : 11:02 PM  

Does anyone know anything about Monterey California?
Posted By Mark, Portland OR : 3:13 PM  

I think that Lakewood Ohio is THE best city to live in. Where else can you own a condo on a great lake with views of downtown Cleveland and a balcony for around 50k? The quality of life is great for the price. It is the most densely populated city between NY and Chicago and has a great nightlife scene. There are probably 50 bars in 5.6 square miles. It is a drinking town. There are plenty of girls out partying every night of the week. There is hardly any crime worth mentioning, especially in such a densely populated area. It is the place to be in the Cleveland area, and everyone knows this. I am from there so I have been doing the same thing for years (partying) but it doesn't get that old. Cleveland's economy is bad. That is the only thing going against it. If you get a job in Cleveland, move to Lakewood. Rent is cheap, price to own is cheap, plenty of singles and good place to raise a family.
Posted By Warren, Lakewood, Ohio : 11:58 PM  

Nashville, Tn. is a fantastic place to live. Affordable housing in both Nashville and the satellite communities. Excellent medical care, job opportunities, varied entertainment avenues, numerous higher education opportunities, reasonable grocery prices and competitive shopping, tax base is low, low electric bills, recreation abounds and the winters and summers are moderate with an occassional snow.
Posted By Nashville, Tn. : 9:01 AM  

Speaking out from Texas, I think that it is funny that people seem to be more and more enthusiastic to move into the exact same house as their neighbour, in a flat, "culture-less" sub-urb. Whether it is Sugar Land, Carrolton, or wherever in TX. Austin and parts of Corpus seem to be the only places that are really trying to branch out.
I suggest that people start looking towards what is really important in life. Not this consumerism of "well, I want to live in the best place in the US." It's all about consumerism and not about the matter of: how is this reasonably low priced housing effecting the way people live? There is no individuality anymore except whether or not you take care of your lawn every weekend.
Wake up people.
There are ways in which the money you spend on a house in Plano, Sugar Land, The Woodlands, and all these other rich stuck up communities, can promote a better life, cheaper life, and a individualistic life.
Posted By Craig, UT Arlington, TX : 12:00 PM  

I've lived in Overland Park for most of my life and love it. It is a city with great family values. I have seen this city grow so much over the last few years, it's amazing!
Posted By Nathan, Overland Park, KS. : 11:27 PM  

I live in the Metro Detroit area and just moved house by necessity. Jan 2006 my house was valued at $210k, I sold it in July 2006 for $180k, having had no interest at all for the first three months and a total of five people visiting. Soe houses are still on the market. Just bear it in mind when looking at the "1-3%" price reductions being bandied about.
Posted By M Hampshire, Clawson, MI : 10:20 AM  

as a native Sugar Lander...i was pleased and discusted to see SL on the top 10. Its a wonderful city if you want your kids to grow up in a bubble. Everybody is rich, spoiled, and cultivated. As my friend decribed it when i brought him to come visit, "i feel like i'm in a utopian sci-fi book". You have just about everything you need in, recration, Houston, good schools, sheltered society, and an underlining "dark" society. For me it was a good place to grow up, and it may be a good place to go back to and live once i have an established career...but as a college student, i am glad that i am out of that "bubble". There is too much construction on HWY 59/I-69, and the traffic is horrific. I currently go to college in Lubbock, and it is hard for me to go home and drive around...i'm always in fear for getting hit. Its not your typical Texas hospitality is very much a town booming and wanting to rival Houston.
Posted By Allison, Sugar Land/Lubbock, Tx : 11:49 AM  

I live in Grosse Pointe Farms, MI and my family is thinking about relocating to Cary next year. My in-laws are opening a business there and want us to help them run it. The town I live in know is geared towards familys. We love older historic homes and our schools here are top of the line. Does Cary have a small town feel with modern amenties that people want? Would love to talk to someone about it.
Posted By Sarah, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI : 2:37 PM  

I just visited Nashville, TN for the first time - Great City!
Posted By Jeff Rappaport, Santa Rosa, CA : 10:28 PM  

We moved to Colorado Springs(#1) from San Diego(#5) 2 years ago and have not regreted the move. The schools are much better. We got almost triple the house for a bit more than half the price. The weather has not been as horrible as SoCal people imagine. We really like the change in seasons.
Posted By Paul Arakawa, Monument, CO : 10:43 PM  

Mesa, AZ????? how and why- it had the most serial killings this past year, there is nothing to do there, it has just the plain jane stores and restaurants. I don't know how these places are rated, but I do agree with Scottsdale as the best small city to live in- I have lived in Scottsdale for twelve years and I love it; great shopping, people, and homes. It is not a snooty place as some have indicated; if you think it is than perhaps Mesa is good for you.
Posted By Lauren Carrington, Scottsdale, AZ : 12:24 PM  

i think the survey's correct by including affordabilty of housing into their equation, as i was born and grew up in orange county, ca my whole life; and while i admit the weather is hard to beat, it'd be nice to actually be outside to enjoy it more often as i would like while i sit in my artificially cooled office 12-14 hours day to make a 6 figure income to barely cover the mortgage and expenses.
Posted By Tom, Anaheim Hills, CA : 1:53 AM  

Ramapo NY - You have GOT to be Kidding!!! A dump!
Posted By Lynda, Saddle River, NJ : 8:56 PM  

please inform as to how these ratings are formaulated. I find it hard to believe that not 1 town/city in Northeast Pennsylvania is not at least in the top 100.What can my town do to make the list?
Posted By Larry, stroudsburg pa : 8:24 AM  

I'm interested in how a city drops off of your list. Peachtree City, GA was #8 last year, and is not even listed in your top 100 this year. Nothing has changed here, other than a few new industries moved in, some roads were widened, and more golf cart paths added. We still have excellent schools, low crime, good air/water quality, green spaces, a small-town atmosphere, low cost-of-living metrics, close proximity to metro Atlanta (high museum, aquarium, pro sports, universities), an Int'l airport, and extensive interstate system. What did we do wrong?
Posted By Brian - Peachtree City, GA : 12:24 PM  

I grew up in RI, went to college in central NH, lived in Tampa for 2 years after college, then in Raleigh for 6 years, then Charlotte for almost 1 year, and have been in Baltimore for the last 8. My job has had me travel just about everywhere in between. I have been in morning and/or rush hour traffic in just about every major city on the East Coast. I disagree with Columbia and Rockville on the list. The editors obviously did not factor in traffic and work commute times! Of all the places I have been I can see Parsippany-Troy Hills on the list! A surprise that is not on the list is Morristown, NJ. I am not a fan of NJ but those two towns have had me pondering a move.
Posted By Brandon, Baltimore, MD : 2:02 PM  

Ft Collins is a nice town, but Money's criterion for evaluating a site as a �best place to live� misses the area's most important asset: the nearby Rocky Mountains. Without the mountains, you might as well be in Anywhere, USA. I spent much of my life 75 miles to the north in Laramie, Wyo. at 7,200 feet. I used to get a kick out of chiding Ft Collins residents as low-landers, given their meager 5,000 feet in elevation.
Posted By Randy C. Bunney; St Paul, Minn. : 9:56 PM  

I am baffled as to how Sugarland has made your list of top 100 cities. It wouldn't make my list of top 5 cities in the Houston area. I would rate Bellaire, Magnolia, The Woodlands, League City, and Katy higher.

Perhaps that is an endorsement for the entire Houston area.
Posted By Bob Rainey, Houston, TX : 11:16 PM  

To John, people, not places are boring. Cary is a beautiful, well planned city with low taxes, and no pot holes, unlike the streets of New York including the expensive areas of Westchester County.
Posted By vito guarnaccia, purchase, ny : 7:19 AM  

I've grew up in Edmond, OK (No. 52) and went to undergrad in Norman, OK (No. 40). Both are excellent cities, and despite some undeserved stereotyping, I received a really excellent and competitive public school education in Edmond, including regarding the arts. Not to mention, both cities are beautiful and full of arts fairs, public art, many cultural events, thoughtful landscaping, community events, access to natural beauty and an overall good quality of life.
Posted By Michael, New York, NY : 8:50 AM  

I grew up in Cranston, RI, taught there for several years, and my parents still live there. I am amazed that it's number one on this list. In my opinion, any list that includes Pawtucket as a great place to live is suspect. Have you been to these places lately?????
Posted By Susn Shekerow, Monument, CO : 11:12 AM  

Compare Metairie,LA to your best cities and you will see that the culture, outdoor activities such as fishing, hunting, sports cannot be beat. The private education system is fabulous and as the test scores show,we are comparable to the top cities. LA is great and even though New Orleans has suffered,there are more jobs and prospects available now, the growth #s are not current. Jobs are everywhere. We are only 8 miles out of New Orleans and Jefferson Parish is a different, fabulous world. New Orleans will be better than ever because the real southern people who appreciate what we have and who are willing to work are back!
Posted By Elizabeth Metairie,LA : 11:20 AM  

Coral Spring and Boca Raton, Florida - you've GOT to be kidding.
Posted By Betty Cox, Delray Beach, Florida : 11:55 AM  

Sirs, I am not surprise by your selection,but for a black man and his family it seems that you left the black people and their families out as usual. When do we count in your surveys? Is it only when there is trouble,problems,or segregate housings and schools? Why can't you be fair in your survey and let the peices stand own their merit,kor ist we do not count no matter how much money and education we have. It is time for you to change,because we are citizens and have good incomes also.So get you survey right,for all persons.
Posted By John M Smith Kensington, MD : 11:59 AM  

I have lived in many places in the country. I am currently living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I was suprised by the stats listed for Santa Fe. I don't know where these stats came from but let me tell you that it is not as good as they say. In fact, none of New Mexico is. We are such a backwards state and we live on Manana time, meaning nothing gets done and you have to wait forever to get a service person or anyone to actually work !! It is also far more expensive in the housing market than was stated. Absurd prices for tiny, nothing, no land homes. The worst part is that there are no services that are any good for seniors who retire here so dont hope for that either. I like the people, but this place is growing so fast it is frightening. Certainly not the place I moved to. If you want to work, just forget it, unless you are a Doctor. There are very few jobs outside of retail, sales, and restaurant. If I had not had to move here I would not have ever retired here. Forest fires, floods, cold winters, hot summers....what is to like about this ? My suggestion: Look somewhere else. This place is on a fast track to awful.
Posted By Sue Brown, Santa Fe, NM : 12:33 PM  

Ok, whoever put this list together obviously never lived in Livermore, CA. I lived there for 40 years, and let me tell you, the city government is horrible, it takes forever to get something built, the schools are mediocre, the shopping is lousy, there are a lot of bad parts of town, and only two or three apartment complexes worth renting at. Hmm, have I said enough?
Posted By Cheryl, Dublin, California : 1:02 PM  

I have lived in Bethlehem PA for 18 years. It is an excellent place to raise a family. Bethlehem's cultural diversity, climate, public school system and low property tax are what drew me. I am happy to see that Bethlehem is finally bouncing back from its reputation as an "Old Steel Town"
Posted By Amy - Bethlehem PA : 1:37 PM  

I grew up in a previous no 1 city of Sioux Falls, SD and am currently living in the top 11 city, Plano TX.

Sioux Falls is very homey. It's a safe, nice midwest town thats big enough but doesn't have the busy lifestyle of living in the city. Crime is low and the city is expanding by leaps and bounds. I think if I lived there now however at 24 that I would be bored. I would likely have to go over to Minneapolis to see any kind of night life. Great community for families though, I am very found of it.

Plano is a great place to live though pretty expensive. The average home price listing in Money is inaccurate. Our home is in West Plano and is worth about 900k which is not excessive for West Plano. It is very manicured here, but people are not overly friendly. It does have great restaurants though, and is very close to Addison and downtown Dallas for nightlife. This is one of the best suburbs of Dallas and I am becoming quite a fan. I'd like to see it be on the top 10 next year.

Also, I went to college in Austin TX and would like to tell anyone considering moving there that it is not for everyone. It's a great transient place, if you dont know where you want to live it has something for everyone. Though I would not live in Austin or settle down there unless it is in Lakewood or West Lake Hills. There is a LOT of crime in Austin, but it is really beautiful. Humid most of the year with mild winters. Lots of college students who tend to get pretty crazy (no 1 college school). If you have money and want to live in the hills this is a great place.

I recently just got back from Ft. Collins, Co where my cousin lives. It's very much like Sioux Falls, SD with the backdrop of mountains far in the distance. I was not too impressed with it as it doesnt offer any culture and its not a very affluent community in general. Seems to have a lot of underemployed college grads who are barely making a living. I also thought it would be prettier than what it was. If you like quaint and safe communities though, this is the place for you.

If I had my choice of where to live personally I would live in Maui/Hawaii or Carmel, CA. But if you want to live in a budding planned suburbia where you can get a great custom house for 250k, Dallas and the communities of Frisco and Plano are your best options.
Posted By Melissa, Plano TX : 1:50 PM  

IF anyone wants to know which city should be last on the list ... "Dayton, Ohio." If you've every been here, enough said.
Posted By T.D.R., Dayton, Ohio : 2:45 PM  

Fort Collins is a wonderful, clean, adventurous town to live. Great place for young college students like myself or for retirees. Fresh water, fresh air and gorgeous landscapes. Colorado is my home state and it was clearly no surprise it made it to #1.
Posted By Lisa M, Phoenix, Arizona : 6:34 PM  

Why not the NE Georgia mountains? Moderate summers, moderate winters with occasional snow. Quiet, yet near National Forests and waterfalls as well within as driving distance to Atlanta for college/pro sports, concerts, fine dining, large malls, etc. Cost of living is good also.
Posted By Gary, Dahlonega, GA : 10:55 PM  

What about Providence, Rhode Island...if Cranston is number 78 Providence should definitely be up there.
Posted By John Brooklyn, NY : 7:45 PM  

Your housing prices for Virginia are way off...the least expensive fall into the 500-700,000 range...unless you are considering single bed, single bath condos as "single family" dwellings???
Posted By Judi, Fairfax, VA : 1:42 PM  

We live in Cranston RI and earn 130,000.00 a year and can't save anything. The cost in the NE is a joke
Posted By Joe -- Western Cranston, RI : 4:28 PM  

As someone who has lived in VA, FLA, CA and Hawaii, but was born and raised in NJ. I really understand now why NJ is one of the best places to live.
1. Great Food
2. Lots of employment
3. Great school systems
4. Culturally diverse
5. Not nearly as expensive as Hawaii
and dirty?? Sorry but anywhere I have livedin NJ Bedminster and Warren County is NOT dirty. You can live near the shore or in the mountains.
NJ really is a great state
I will also put in a good word for CA, nice state too!
Posted By JT Stewartsville, NJ : 7:42 PM  

No friggin' way should Edison be 28th! The schools are way overcrowded, and when they are supposed to build additions they are often 6 mos - 1 year late.

Traffic is insane, and, there is not much for kids to do here except go to the mall. The high schools are gettign loaded with crimes and gangs, the middle schools have horrible interiors that have not been updated for at least 2 decades!

The reason this city may have been ranked so high is for those who commute to NYC for work. There are train stations in south and north edison as well as neighboring metuchen.

The town is central to NYC and the beach, 45 minutes in each direction.

I would not want my kids growing up in this town at all. It is centrally located, but, from a standpoint of someone who has been here since age 4, now 31, I have seen the changes and decline in "class" of population, I have seen the schools change and this is NOT the place to be, especially for someone who is planning on having a family or already has kids.

There is NO way this town should be ranked number 28!
Posted By j. hanley / edison, nj : 8:55 PM  

Just thought I would share with all of you some of my thoughts on the cities and states I have lived in and visited.

If you dont mind the 9 months a year of straight rain these are in my opinion the best cities in Oregon.(I was born and raised here and have lived all over this state)
Best cities in Oregon
1. Portland
2. Bandon (nicest beaches in Oregon)
3. Ashland
Cities in Oregon to avoid
1. Salem
2. Burns
3. Klamath Falls

WASHINGTON: Personally being raised in Oregon..Washington to me is pretty much the same with the exception of Seattle. It rains alot and there are alot of mobile homes in the rural areas (same as oregon).
Best cities in Washington
1.Seattle - and some surrounding areas
Worst Cities
1. Vancouver
2. Tacoma

CALIFORNIA: California has everything anyone could ever want or need and it has many amazingly beautiful spots. I am surprised more cities did not make the top 100
Best Cities
1. San Diego
2. La Jolla
3. San Clemente
Worst cities
1. Sacramento
2. Oceanside
3. Yreka

MISSOURI - Its the midwest..what can I say. Bad public school systems (unless your kids are in sports because that is where the school budgets go)

The weather is nice. No culture unless you live near St.Louis and even then its limited. The people are great once they accept you in thier circle. The lakes here are warm and dirty. What they call rivers here are usually small creeks.

Big businesses have turned small towns into a bunch of vacant historical buildings. Not a lot of activities besides sports related ones.
Best cities in Missouri
1. Kansas City
2. St. Louis
3. Columbia
4. Webb City

Out of all the places I have traveled my favorites are:

New Orleans, LA (before the disaster)
Southern California (except L.A.)
Pheonix, AZ (Scottsdale is beautiful)
Seattle, WA
Kansas City, MO

My least favorite are:

Salem, Oregon
Maui, Hawaii
Nevada - Most all of it
Wyoming - There is nothing there

These are just my personal opinion. Hopefully it may help someone in some way. Thanks for listening.
Posted By Ann, Southwestern Missouri : 12:20 AM  

I don't like the generalization of S.W. Florida in the gloom and doom reports. The economy and housing prices in the general Lee County area are completely different than in Cape Coral or Lehigh Acres. Cape Coral has high impact fees, municipal taxes and exepensive sewer/water assessments. Lehigh Acres is dealing with its own growth problems - overbuilding of poor quality homes with high prices. Both Cape Coral and Lehigh also have a higher than average crime rate. Lee County in general is a great place to live but I would suggest that anyone thinking of moving here avoid Cape Coral or Lehigh Acres and look East of I-75.
Posted By Evelyn, Alva, Fla : 1:48 AM  

Plano is great but...
I am a forty five year old soccer lover and there isn't a park in town that we can find that will let a group of guys play a friendly game of soccer on a Sunday morning. We even offered to pay. I guess they want us out at some restautant eating an all-you-can-eat Sunday brunch instead!!
Posted By Simone Pastacaldi, Plano TX : 11:34 AM  

Cary is so over populated, it is hard to get around due to the overgrowth. Traffic is a nightmare! If you have heart problems do not move here!
Posted By Tonya FuquayVarina,NC : 12:50 PM  

Comment on Albuquerque NM. High crime , low wages, high cost of living and housing. Good weather, lots of outdoor activities.
Posted By Teresa , Albuquerque, NM : 6:41 PM  

I grew up in West Bloomfield, MI (number 14)-- absolutely absurd! How did they come up with this??
Posted By Bill, Worceser, Mass : 7:32 PM  

When I lived in Scottsdale area , it was a great place , but getting too EXPENSIVE and busy now . 8 months of great weather , and 4 months of being in a Pizza Oven . But Hey , you can spend them 4 months in an air conditioned Bar and get Good and DRUNK everyday , so it is a great place to live !
Posted By Ronnie Holtz , Milwaukee , Wi : 11:47 PM  

I currently live in Westminster, Colorado and L O V E it. I love the multi-cultural neighborhoods and schools. There is plenty of entertainment for families an singles. The best mountain views in the Denver Metro area are found in Westminster. For the record, I also lived in Fort Collings, CO -- hands down Westminster wins.
Posted By J Sanchez, Westminster, Colorado : 1:21 AM  

I would like to see some discussion on ethnic and intergenerational diversity. I'm looking to relocate away from the Motor "Rust" City. Young children and seniors are given very little priority here. Many of our younger suburbs are very contrived, "cookie cutter", lacking a soul. Inner-city and older 'burbs are crumbling. Feels restrictive,"stale" and uncomfortable. Diversity (income, age, families, and ethnicity) equals new technology, job creation, cultural activities, better restaurants and higher quality of life for all citizens. Please attempt to address in future surveys. It matters. Thanks.
Posted By Jack, Detroit, MI : 8:10 PM  

We started our family in suburbs of Pittsburgh, PA, was OK.

Nearing retirement age, we both lost our jobs & ended up in Cary, NC. Four children & families followed. Cary is a great place to raise a family, activities for children, lots of parks, walking trails, etc. With Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Durham, & Cary all connected, the opportunities are tremendous.

We retired an hour south to Pinehurst, NC, which again is lovely, back to small town living.

We discovered late in life that North Carolina has lots of beauty & is very diverse, from the mountains to the ocean.
Posted By Rebecca, Pinehurst, NC : 9:49 PM  

I am really interested in finding some places that have artists, galleries, cultural & athletic activities. I am of retirement age and am having difficulty finding any areas that fill the bill that aren't very expensive and very "big" city. Any ideas?
Posted By Jane Bello, Wall,N.J. : 12:42 AM  

For the fellow in South Dakota, I can tell you that Albuquerque is indeed beautiful and a nice place to live. You won't escape snow entirely, but you'll have a lot of clear, sunny days with temperatures in the fifties during the winter. The spring is often windy and dry, and the rains are few and far between. Albuquerque ranges from eight to eleven inches of rain a year, so green lawns are not common. Great food, friendly people, and lots of entertainment make it a good choice.
Posted By J C Jones, Greensboro NC : 10:31 AM  

I agree with Michael. Virginia Beach should not be in slot #6. It's hard to find a nice home for under $500,000. Most of the locals don't make enough money to support that. To make matters worse, developers are buying up lower priced homes, razing them to build larger, more expensive homes. Who's benefiting? Developers? Corrupt Council Members looking to exploit the working man in favor of their interests?
Posted By Nancy, Virginia Beach, VA : 2:05 PM  

You've got to be kidding. I don;t know what constituted your list but, Coral Springs, Florida; Pembroke Pines, Florida and Miramar, Florida, are truly three of the most God-awful places on the planet. If you felt Florida should make the list than perhaps you would have been far better suited to take a look at: Jupiter, Florida; Hobe Sound, Florida or in the panhandlewest, Seaside, Florida. Coral Springs! Yuk!
Posted By Ellie, Jupiter, Florida : 3:52 AM  

For the most part I must say that Bethlehelm is a nice area to live. Nice and quiet.

Allentown is a mixture depending on the side of town you live. Excellent womans college. Cedar Crest....

I Resided in PA (Lehigh County for 4yrs) Whitehall, Northampton
Posted By Kim, Matthews, NC : 10:34 AM  


If you are going to describe a town that made the list, could you do better than, "its like the twilight zone!?!?"

What, exactly, does that mean?
Posted By AMY, Dearborn, MI : 2:43 PM  

How can any city where the median housing price is over half a million dollars be considered as a top liveable city???

How did Scottsdale get on the list??? It's hot, super expensive and the traffic is terrible (along with the horrid drivers)!!
Posted By Paul, Glendale, AZ : 7:05 PM  

Mike in Westminster -
I grew up in Bismarck, ND and really miss it. Like every kid out of highschool, I moved out and went to college then moved from there. I'm currently living in the suburbs of Minneapolis. The biggest thing I miss is the simple life that allows time for the family. It has been 8 years since I left Bismarck, and my plan is to make it back there when it comes time for my wife and I to start a family. I just don't see how you can do it comfortably here in the busy metro of the Twin Cities. Oh, and I can't wait till I have a 5 minute commute, opposed to a 1 hour commute.
Posted By Scott - Apple Valley, MN : 12:47 PM  

I lived in Sugar Grove most my life just a ways from Naperville it used to be a cute little classy town. We would go every Christmas to the Cup of Cheer home tours. Now it is just a big Cluster of people built on top of people.
Posted By Keri, Spring Valley, Il : 4:42 PM  

Thanks for leaving our little city off the list, we enjoy the area and all it has to offer much better without adding too many more to the area. History, natural beauty, great food, local vinyards, and nice people. A former neighbor of ours, a Mr. Jefferson was right when he called it Eden.
Posted By Tom Charlottesville, VA : 11:49 PM  

Fort Collins has many positives but one big negative - no jobs. The only new employers are restaurants and big box stores. Most of the high tech firms have left or are leaving. Unless you have a job or are independently wealthy, don't move here.
Posted By Kathy S., Fort Collins, CO : 9:30 AM  

Just one quick comment on Cary NC, locally it is said that Cary stands for Containment Area for Relocated Yankees. about 75% to 80% of population are not natives of North Carolina. There are a host of wonderful communities in the Triangle area, but Cary is not a town I would want to live in.
Posted By John, Hillsborough NC : 2:45 PM  

Interested in Celebration Florida. Any information would be helpful.
Posted By george Bel Air Md. : 9:42 AM  

What a JOKE to rate this area as you did, especially Columbia. You need to do more homework. I live in that nearby area and know well about the area.
Posted By Nell Taylor, Annapolis, MD. : 10:57 AM  

If you like strip malls, traffic, immense growth and poorly managed school systmes, Cary, NC is the place for you!!
Posted By Jared, Cary, NC : 1:33 PM  

I have to laugh at Cary, NC being #5. Cary is growing way too fast without the infrastructure to support the community. The school systems are overcrowded, the traffic is horrendous and the driver's are awful, and there are strip malls on every corner. Forget about activities such as golf as most courses are being plowed under for their RE value. It is a fairly boring town as well. Not much in the way of culture or shows. Most RE is postage stamp sized lots.

Can't wait to move back out of this area!
Posted By Jed, Cary, NC : 1:41 PM  

How can there be only one city from last years top ten in the top ten this year. In fact none of the other nine cities in last years top ten are listed in the top 100. How is that possible? What happened to those cities? Did they get wiped out by a nuclear explosion? You can not tell me that they have fallen that far off your list in just one year. Are your rankings truly unbiased or based on how much a city pays your magazine for them?
Posted By Charles McMeekin, Minneapolis, MN : 2:06 PM  

I live in Omaha, but I can't understand how it made the top 10. It's not a bad place to live but it scored poorly on most of the categories that were a part of the rankings.
Posted By Louis, Omaha, NE : 4:45 PM  

Overland Park , KS is one of the nicest, prettiest, friendlist, safest, cleanist cities to live in or also Johnson County, KS!!
Posted By Ashley, Olathe, KS : 8:56 PM  

I'm looking for a clean city, with little commute, affordable housing, and plenty of things to do for people who love the outdoors. Cities that are healthy and offer good dining for vegetarians, etc.
Posted By Meg, Dallas, TX : 3:05 PM  

Columbia Maryland?? What a joke. One of the most expensive areas in the United States and Rockville??? The taxes in Montgomery County are as high as Palm Beach, Florida. Are the people that write these columns ever looking at the cost of a house? Or taxes or the average salary? We cannot wait to move out of Montgomery County which is so expensive it is ridiculous. If you want to live in Rockville, a two bedroom condo will run between three and four hundred thousand dollars. Not the best place to live.
Posted By Dori Nussbaum, Rockville MD : 3:54 PM  

I've lived many places in the USA and have traveled around the world (once). I have to say that the best places I have found are #1-Sydney Australia, and #2-San Diego CA. I have left San Diego 4 times and keep bouncing back there because of the amenities (especially sailing), and the climate. Unfortunately the place has gotten too pricey, and the worst-attitude driver-jerks in America seem to have migrated there. I'm now in Norfolk VA, and it seems a pretty decent alternative to San Diego, (the Fall weather and natural colors here are fantastic!) Where next for me? Maybe Key Largo, or the Canary Islands.
Posted By Mike Griffin, Virginia : 5:53 PM  

How odd that Southern Vermont is never on the radar screen. Brattleboro is a great green small town and the villages around it boast small schools with 12 kids per class. Culture,bookstores, art galleries and restaurants are plentiful-it's like living in America before it was 'malled' to death. Our children ski everyday in the winter and we snowshoe to walk the dog. Summers are spent with rivers and waterfalls.
I wonder where people's priorites are when I read these lists. I travel alot and I work as an importer and I have an online retail catalog. Vermont also takes good care of it's very young and it's very old with services and health insurance.
It's not cheap here and you usually have to get creative when it comes to working, but honestly, you only have one life.
Lastly, we are 3 1/2 hours north of NYC, 2 hrs from Boston and 1 1/2 hrs from Hartford-alot of great things come from those metropolitan into our rural lifestyle here.
Just for the record I was born and raised in Boston and Cambridge, Mass. and have lived and worked abroad for many years.
Posted By Clement M., Jamaica, Vermont : 9:00 PM  

Virginia Beach, Virginia?! Such a nice place, we pay the city council to live here!
Posted By Candy, Virginia Beach, VA : 8:01 AM  

Toms River, New Jersey is just another name for Dover Township, New Jersey, however it is listed as two different towns with different populations. Techincally, Toms River is not the legal name, however most, if not all the residents call it Toms River and have Toms River mailing addresses as well.
Posted By Jimmy, Toms River, New Jersey : 4:51 PM  

Very nice place to live, but with one huge caveat: PROPERTY TAXES! Only two or three of the Top 10 best places have average property taxes over $5,000. Our motto should be: "Welcome to Naperville. Now pay your taxes."
Posted By Mike Davitt, Naperville, IL : 9:07 PM  

yeah! a top places to live list that Bend, is NOT on! whohoo!
Posted By Kim Reyes, Bend, Oregon : 11:45 PM  

The Boise Meridian area has major traffic problems on the main corridor which is I-84. There appears to be little being done to correct these problems. New housing developments continue to go in with no road infrastructure development to carry the increased number of cars.
Posted By Marla Goss, Jerome, Idaho : 2:23 PM  

Anyone considering a move to the West Palm Beach, Fl area - RECONSIDER...
If you like rude New Yorkers who don't know how to drive and think they are "entitled" to behave this way.. then this is definitely the place for you.
Consider the Golf Coast of Florida where people remember what common courtesy and kindness are.
Posted By Heather - West Palm Beach, FL : 12:28 PM  

Kathy from Georgia. The best place to live in Wisconsin is Madison. Tons of things to do and awesome restaurants. The people are friendly and the city is progressive-minded. Its not too big and cooler than the Milwaukee area by far. If you are looking for a smaller city, check out Appleton or La Crosse or Eau Claire. All are great cities, but Appleton has more to do.
Posted By Marie, De Pere WI : 3:49 PM  

Looking to move to North Carolina, currently employed by the federal government and seeking a transfer. Greensboro and surrounding area are where I could relocate to. Anyone with insight on what towns are the nicest, please let me know?
Posted By Dan, Southwick, Massachusetts : 8:13 PM  

We lived in Wheaton, IL which borders good ole Naperville and I have to say we loved it there. The one drawback was the ever increasing property taxes. We accepted a job transfer to the Appleton/Neenah WI area and love it! The community is much smaller but we still have tons of stuff to do plus good schools (We have Naperville's past superintendent!) and much lower cost of living and commute time.
Posted By Wanda Mueller, Appleton, WI : 9:42 PM  

Let's not overlook Benicia, CA - aka "Mayberry RFD" you just have to experience it to believe it. Small town (28K) isolated to a certain extent, very family oriented, was CA first state capital, rich in arts, history and great schools - all very high scoring. Small town on the water - life is good!
Posted By Barbara P., Benicia, CA : 7:49 PM  

Louisville, ky is never mentioned. This is a clean city and very affordable with beautiful housing.
Posted By clloyd Louisville KY : 10:16 AM  

I live just to the north of Naperville. Its a very nice place to live but the problem is that everyone on the planet wants to live there. I have to drive through there is visit my mother and it takes forever just to go two miles. Traffic and congestion are definitely a big issue. Especially during rush hour.
Posted By Steve, West Chicago, IL : 11:53 AM  

Not one place in Tennessee mentioned, despite a lack of state income tax, high employment rate, low crime rate(outside of Memphis) and multiple universities. Oh yeah, and the weather is terrific!
Posted By Chris, Knoxville, TN : 2:28 PM  

No San Diego ? Probaby due to the super inflated housing prices. Check us next year. The housing bubble is deflating. We may make your list...
Posted By Dan San Diego CA : 1:55 AM  

Don't ever, I mean EVER, consider moving to Grand Forks, North Dakota. One of the worst decisions I have ever made!
Posted By Lauren, Grand Forks, ND : 4:30 PM  

Let's face it folks, there is no Shangra La unless you crash land in the Himalayas and try to rediscover it!
Posted By Bob Chancia, New York , NY : 6:31 PM  

Unfortunately, it seems that the criteria and stats used to rank these cities don't match what the actual people living there think. I moved from South Florida 5 months ago to Charlotte, NC. This is a beautiful place. The people are friendly, the city is small and you can get to it in about 30 minutes from most other places in Charlotte. The weather is perfect and we get all the seasons in moderation. There seems to be a lot of planning going into managing the growth boom this area is seeing. I am shocked that Charlotte isn't way up in the top 10! 2 hrs to mountains, 3 hours to beaches, 4 hrs to Atlanta by car. Nice for families but singles and creative people can find tons to get involved in. Maybe these statisticians should visit some of the places they are ranking and see what the people who live here think as opposed to trusting abstract numbers that can be skewed by so many things.
Posted By S. Binns-Belnavis, Charlotte, NC : 11:10 AM  

This is a question of quality of life
Life is too short to worry about things like weather and traffic.
San Diego has to be #1
The only catch is housing prices right?
I got my 1st place for $180,000 now its worth over 600k, my 2nd place for 500k now its over 1 million.
San Diego is the most beautiful region in the country hands down
Posted By Bob, San Diego, CA : 1:01 PM  

Columbus, OH is great! I love living in a college-football town. Home of so many large companies, too! WOW!
Posted By Kristin, Columbus Ohio : 2:30 PM  

This list is interesting, but what about those who are allergy sufferers?? The air quality is listed, but what about pollen and mold counts for that area in compairison to other cities?? If it's important enough to make the local weather on a daily basis, I would think it would be important enough to consider here.

We live in an area that has great job opportunities (Roseville/Sacramento Valley, CA), but are going to need to leave soon because the allergies are too much to deal with here, and the air quality is not so great at times. Just about everyone I've talked with who moves to this area says "I wish I would have known about the allergy problems here before we moved here.". Something to consider for the next list.

As for this list, I have family living in Ft. Collins,CO, and although they love it there, they also complain about the increase congestion and masses of people who are moving there. Another thing to mention is that airline flights in and out of Denver, CO are the most expensive I've ever seen. Not all airlines fly out of Denver. There are no other options nearby either. She always has to fork out the most dough when flying out for family reuinions and such.

Lake Havasu City, AZ's temperatures seemed to be listed a bit low. I remember many years of it getting into the 125's and close to 130's for several days in a row in July. It also does not cool off much at night in comparison to other cities. Allergies seemed to be better there though (not much greenery lives there:), unless you are allergic to olive trees or live right near the golf course. I am surprised that the air quality was listed as good as it was because they have occasional dust storms there - not as bad as Phoenix though!

Interesting list! Very much worth checking out.
Posted By RNS, Roseville, CA : 4:23 AM  

I am so grateful you have not discovered our nearest city. It is hard enough to find parking.
Posted By KP, western MA : 1:00 PM  

I can understand Georgia not making the list. I have been here for 8 years and HATE it. I only hate Delaware(where I moved from) more, and can understand why it didn't make the list either.
Posted By Tracy, Marietta, GA : 1:52 PM  

Silverdale, WA is located on the Kitsap Peninsula. It is surrounded by water obviously, and it's gorgeous. You can't beat the mountains, trees and the fresh clearn air. It is about an hour ferry ride to Seattle. Very quaint. Close enough to big city life, but still maintains small town comfort. My husband is getting out of the Navy and may get a job in CA, and I am bummed as I would love to go back to that area or even eastern Washington. I don't think we'll be able to afford a house in the bay area for quite some time. I lived in CA most of my life...don't care how pretty it is. I wouldn't even consider anywhere in southern california. But that doesn't matter because it's a broken state for so many reasons.
Posted By Lynnette Chesapeake, VA : 7:26 PM  

not surprised Maryland did not make the list. Maryland is a beautiful state with a number of very nice places to live but Maryland is saddled with Baltimore and its very high crime rate.
Posted By l.tanner, columbia, maryland : 9:55 AM  

I lived in San Diego, Los Angeles, and St Louis.
San Diego was great 15 years ago. Home prices have now ruled me out of returning. I hated LA.
St Louis was interesting: loved the housing in the city: brick, stained glass, lots of chartacter. BUT I did not like the people. It's still a very racially divided city. prejudice is alive and well there.

I now live in Bloomington , Indiana and love it. It's a college town, so there are things offered here that might be lacking in other small cities in the midwest far as arts, music etc.
Bloomington's a pretty town. It's hilly so stands of trees are everywhere because they can't farm the hills. Huge bicycling community as well. Bikes are common place on the road and mostly we are treated well, drivers are careful.
Homes are affordable. And geothermal heat pumps are now common for heating/cooling and so energy bills are quite reasonable.
I telecommute full time, which means I work from home and that's also pretty progressive considering it's the midwest.
Posted By Toni Bloomington, In : 10:17 AM  

Posted By JO PICINIC TOMS RIVER : 10:45 AM  

300,000 or more people is a /big/ city? That's a joke right? I would NEVER want to live somewhere with less than a 1,000,000. How about you do a rating of them?
Posted By Alicia, Dallas TX : 12:06 PM  

Buyers beware! Port St Lucie, FL is NOT the best place to live, it may be the fastest growing city in the United States, however it is not the best. Poor city planning has left the city in great disarray with traffic jams, no sidewalks, no public transportaion. Further, the city lacks the ability for its residents to make a viable living, therefore necessitating long commutes.
Posted By Barbara, Port St. Lucie, Florida : 9:45 PM  

The first thing I think of when reading your list as well as comments from residents throughout the country is how lucky we are to live in America! Real Estate has been my business for over 25 years! I love so many parts of the country......Currently living in Palm Desert California 8 months througout the year. I love living here because if im not golfing the beauty of laying in the pool with a margarita in my hand in 80 degree weather while looking at the snow on the mountains tops makes me think what a stressful life I live! Remember stress kills! Find your own paradise and enjoy yourself no matter where it might be. But understand, California is more like a country than a state. We have the Desert, Beaches, Mountains all within a 2 hr drive. Las Vegas is only a little over a 3 Hr drive from our Palm Desert home, and trust me there is NO traffic with my route, just dont break Between October and March we only like to travel where they have Palm Trees, yes we are partial too warm weather, and no..... dont ask me to shovel the driveway! In what state in this country can you have earthquakes, mudslides and massive fires and have residents say "Hell no, im not leaving, time to rebuild" What might be the best place to live for one, may not be for another, since we all know what turns us on and what dosnt! Now if your looking for investments, find an income producing property between a 7-10 cap rate using realistic expenses,using a reserve for long term capital improvements, where there is no more land for builders to compete with newer buildings, with a diversed economy, over the long term, you will come out a winner regardless of how much your home goes up in value! Also remember, its always better to have your investments within 2 hrs of your own backyard. The best part, is that you dont have to live there, its an investment. Hope too see some of these beautiful places you all live as we travel in our RV in 2007!
Posted By Bruce Palm Desert California : 11:04 AM  

We have lived in Ca, NV, TX, GA, FL and VA due to my husbands job. We now lived in Indiana. There is nothing like the Midwest...I have told my husband - this is where we stay.
Posted By Kat H. Batesville, Ind : 10:26 AM  

If you like rednecks and k-fed and possibly the worst franchise in nfl history, move to jacksonville FL
Posted By gw jacksonville FL : 12:13 AM  

Raleigh, NC is best suited for growing families and retired people. Although it is visually beautiful and very walkable with sidewalks everywhere, it is the blandest, most boring city I've lived in. Downtown is dead and is the ugliest downtown I've seen (their trying to change that). There is no energy here. If you want to have a variety and plenty of things to do, don't move to any place in NC, especially Raleigh. If living in an energetic place is not important to you, then you'll like Raleigh. It's clean, visually pleasing (outside of downtown), has good schools and colleges, and is very diverse.
Posted By Elena, Raleigh NC : 3:29 AM  

Livermore is a great place to live. People are very civic minded and care about the environment and open space. The downtown is currently being redeveloped and the new plans are exciting and bring a lot of charm to Livermore. The only downside is the cost of housing. Median price houses are approximately $650,000, and you don't get much for that.
Posted By Melanie, Livermore, CA : 2:26 PM  

There is a little quaint town outside of Las Vegas called "Boulder City" that was built to help the construction of Hoover Dam (aka Boulder Dam), It overlooks a huge lake called lake mead. We love getting away to it's art shows during the weekend, and visit every chance we get. We dream of relocating there someday.
Posted By Mr. Smith, Las Vegas, NV. : 5:26 PM  

Naperville, Naperville, Naperville. I've lived here 16 years and can tell you it's a city like no other. Positives; unrivaled public schooling, although private is readily available, endless job growth (it's true that major Chicago corps. are moving here and allowing for much smaller commute time) gorgeous downtown with big city quality, housing...from the teardowns downtown to the big beauties in south Naperville are something to be talked about. new influx of young people enjoying the downtown nightlife, SAFE place to raise children, incredible club sports programs, especially in all major sports, plus swimming, volleyball and lacrosse. A short train ride to Chicago.
Negatives... TRAFFIC, property taxes, and some school board incompetence in district 204.
Bottom Line? Naperville is a great family suburb with an unprecedented class not really common in the Midwest. Small town feel with Big city amenities type deal. Definitely we like to toot our own horn, there has been so much publicity surrounding Naperville it cannot really be considered a "hidden gem" its more of an "everyone heard about it and wants to move here now" type deal. But still great, nonetheless. The suburbs of Chicago in general are really underrated, with shout outs to Wheaton, a small section of Aurora and Barrington.
Posted By Amanda, Naperville, IL : 2:11 AM  

Any word from bloggers on Chattanooga, TN with a family in the healthcare industry?
Posted By xnykr, Redlands, CA : 3:51 AM  

Cary has become a traffic nightmare,state is behind on construction of schools and highways. Taxes are going up because all the growth. If you want a nice house you pay big bucks. The median price equals out to a starter house. Schools are overcrowed and are going year round. Taxes, food and insurance is high. Summers are brutal! Think twice about moving here!
Posted By Charlie, Cary : 1:28 PM  

The most important part of considering where to live is the cost of housing or apartment rental. Job opportunity is an consideration, but if you have a medain income of 12,000 a year it is important to find good housing rental so that you don't become a statistic on the streets. In addition to low medain income where would be a good starting place. Most area's in the New York region do not service income of this type. What imformation do you have on this subject for person like myself.
Posted By mae owens, huntington, new york : 4:40 PM  

Kalamazoo, MI - The married numbers are not accurate. Being single here, I can vouch that the married numbers are much higher than reported.
Posted By Jane, Kalamazoo, MI : 9:22 AM  

Be sure to consider property tax rates before you buy in Texas. Though it has no income tax, its property taxes might bankrupt you. They are off the charts!
Posted By Virginia Hollins-Davidson, Berkeley, CA : 12:05 AM  

Great site! Spent hours just browsing
Posted By Ian - Preston Lancashire England United Kingdom (Great Britain) : 4:25 PM  

Who chose these cities??? I recently lived near Naperville, IL. It is crowded and expensive. The downtown area is nice, but not anything special.
Traffic is terrible and it sprawls forever.

I have lived in Colorado most of my life and Ft. Collins used to be charming. Now it is sprawl with no purpose. I'll take Castle Rock, CO any day over your choices.
Posted By Kate Webber, Castle Rock, CO : 7:08 PM  

Have to laugh about the Hawaii comment. Been there - super expensive! Japan's playground, no middle class. You're either rich or poor, with the majority of people being poor. As for the Cleveland, Ohio comment - It's a filthy, depressing,traffic-clogged, smoggy city with lots of clouds and a terribly polluted dangerous lake. Ohio in general is snowy wet & cold, way too many cloudy, depressing days, and NO JOBS! I've lived in Ohio all my life and would move in a minute, but I'm too damned scared after reading all the comments on how BAD the "best places" really are. The poll is WAY TOO SUBJECTIVE considering the endless variables involved! I guess the truth of the matter is that any place can be a paradise or living hell depending on who you ask.
Posted By Kelly Greene, Ashland Ohio : 7:15 PM  

I'd sure like to know where the ski area is located within 100 miles of the flatland capitol... and the cited SOURCE(s) of some of the other data bits which do not match MY local research and experience :P
Posted By Lee P. Topeka, KS : 10:13 PM  

Want beautiful mountains, low housing costs, moderate climate, excellent heath care, and the best trout fishing in the country? Probably one of the best & least known places to retire, is Mountain Home Arkansas. Google it read the Wall Street Journal & Retirement Magazie articles.
Posted By Bill Norfork AR : 9:51 AM  

Santa Fe-very overrated. Beautiful place to live, if you have money. Real estate is expensive, no jobs other than low paying service jobs. Would not make this mistake again.
Posted By Bob Denver, Santa Fe, NM : 2:16 AM  

Fort Collins, CO

I lived in Fort Fun for several years. If you're not used to the wild west atmosphere, it can take some getting used to. It's dry, sometimes windswept and of course, there's winter. It's not well known but Fort collins gets a lot of sunshine - something like 300 days! The town is great for families and outdoor enthusiasts. Plenty of low-cost outdoor activities at major natl. parks. People are great, there. Really nice, The lack of diversity might be more related to geography as Ft. Collins is a little remote, but I found most people there really liberal- maybe because of the university. Many work at HP and to my knowledge, there isn't much else in the way of employment. You are in the foothills but you can see Longs Peak and you're not far from the canyons and roads into the mountains. I found it peaceful, cultural to a degree, and a real community-oriented environment.
Posted By Tammy LA, CA : 11:45 AM  

Ann Arbor, MI - I grew up in Ann Arbor and visit now to see family sometimes. Ann Arbor is a great college town and the university is outstanding. The schools there were very good; I think that's still the case. The town is small but pretty and there are plentiful cultural opportunities. Saturday football and the summer Art Fair are among my favorite memories of activities, too. Jobs are university-related but also some high tech and lots of professional opportunities with major medical and research industry.

I found the people in Ann Arbor to be a little snobbish and competitive and didn't think the city was all that welcoming. Also- I can think of few places colder, wetter and more miserable in the winter. The lake effect makes for bitter winds and many, many bleak overcast days throughout the year. Additionally, while Ann Arbor is pretty with lots of trees and a cool Arboretum, that part of Michigan is flat, kind of ugly and doesn't have a lot to offer outdoors year-around.
Posted By TB LA, CA : 11:53 AM  

Lexington, Kentucky,is one of the best cities in the world, in my opinion. Beautiful countryside, clean air, clean streets, low crime, good schools, beautiful neighborhoods with "personality," and lots of great restaurants, bars and clubs. The only thing lacking in Lexington is a lack of appreciation for its history. Unfortunately, its motto for historic preservation is "tear the damn thing down," much like Atlanta, GA.
Posted By Kathy Williams, Berea, Kentucky : 8:53 AM  

As a recent transplant to south Florida ,I must say Coral Springs ? Boca ?? WHAT ???...I cant help to think of the old saying..." the grass is always greener ". There really is nothing good about this place except the weather ( and thats not even so great ) . The cost of housing is way too high, it is very crowded , insurance and condo fees are through the roof and these are by far the WORST drivers I have ever seen.
Dont even get me going about Austin TX...once thousands of more Californians get there it be be exactly what they tried to escape.
The best place to live in this country is New England ( even having to deal with the winter )
Posted By Mike , Pompano Beach FL : 4:34 PM  

Father calls me the nomad as I have claimed addresses in CA, WA, IA, HA, and lastly NY. Born & raised in California, lived in many different cities in the Bay Area & East Bay & San Joaquin Valley.. California isn't what it was when I was growing up. I watched housing become so outragously expensive and the schools crumble under the weight of the population explosion. The schools in CA were last rated as 43 out of 50!! How do you explain that for a state that has a median home price of around 500K (yes, I know it's much much higher in many of the more desirable areas).. It's why we left, AND WE OWNED REAL ESTATE THERE!!! My kids were too important.. We now call Albany, NY (Capital District) home... yes our taxes are high but we have the 10th best schools in the country, people have health insurance, decently priced housing, minimal traffic problems (though those from Clifton Park would disagree) we have free museums, jobs, diverse populations from around the world, great restaurants, a highly educated population, a world class state university, top notched women's college, RPI (read nanotechnology) lpus 5 other colleges, Law, Pharm & med schools, 4 seasons, skiing, the hudson for sailing, countless lakes, Saratoga Springs Race track, mountain sports, gambling (for those who like it) & how could I forget, NYC a two hour drive south on the thruway... I wouldn't move back to any of my past homes.... even my home in Hawaii....
Posted By Michelle, Albany, NY : 4:34 PM  

i love sugar land its the best
Posted By mike james sugar land texas : 10:35 PM  

Chapel Hill, NC is an outstanding place to live. The university offers a great many things to do for the entire family. In fact there are 3 great universities in the area. The Raleigh Memorial Auditorium offerings are getting better and better each year. The climate is moderate, as is the cost of housing. The employment opportunites with Research Triangle Park are very good. Chapel Hill is one of the best kept secrets in the USA!
Posted By Randy Graham Chapel Hill, NC : 10:49 PM  

Poster classifications

1 My town's the best:
a. Conceited/Naive - That's why it's listed.
b. Jealous/Naive -How can't it be listed?
c. Sour Grapes -Thank god you didn't list it or else everyone would live here.
2. My town stinks
a. I moved here and miss home (the best place in the world to live)
b. My job/personal life is unsatisfactory, therefore it must be this place and not me.
Posted By Kevin, Pumpkin Hook, NY : 4:32 PM  

Where should all the stay at home mommies live? I want a place where i walk outside at 10:00 am and there are kids playing all around.
Posted By bee, carrollton, tx : 8:31 AM  

i love north port has it all and housing prices are low....and it is florida
Posted By tim, north port, florida : 9:02 AM  

Any such list is suggestive, even when using supportive statistical data. So here's a suggestion for you, next year compile several lists instead of just one. For example, it would be interesting to see a list of BPTL only for cities of, for example, 500K to 100K population. It would also be nice to see a list of places that only included cities under 100K population. Small cities simply cannot complete with big cities for BPTL lists, using the current criteria.
Posted By Lew Kelsey, San Antonio, TX : 3:55 PM  

I was born and raised on Long Island. Moved to Cary, NC in 1995. Smartest thing I ever did!
Long Islanders....did yourself and your children a favor. Price your LI house to sell, take your bag of money and bring it to NC. Spend half your money to buy a brand new home in NC and pay 1/10 of the taxes you pay in NY. Put your children in an area where you can afford to send them to college...and they can afford to stay after they graduate. It's a win-win!
Posted By Linda, Cary, NC : 5:33 PM  

California top choices: Rancho Cucamonga? Are you kidding? Suburban sprawl from the frightening ugliness of the I-10 corridor, it's a sea of roofs (all the same) for miles. Why is it that builders assume that all anyone wants is BIG, BIG, BIG in this country? Guess it's because that is what Americans seem to want. Big cars, big trucks with even bigger tires, big TVs, big houses, big portions. Doesn't matter that most of it's mediocre at best, but it's BIG!
I read the comment of the reader who couldn't wait to move from Scottsdale, AZ. My sentiments exactly about Palm Sprins/Palm Desert, California. Why is it that so many people with money in this country have such an appalling lack of taste and creativity.
I guess this area is fine if you're rich, retired, just want to play golf. Heaven help you if you have to rely on the terrible wages this area pays to try to make ends meet.
Posted By Rob, Desert Hot Springs, CA : 6:17 PM  

I have lived in Houston/Sugar Land TX for over 30 years, Austin for over 8 and now live in Scottsdale, AZ for the last 10 years. It seems during the times I lived in each city, things were at their best but as the saying goes: "even the best of times come to an end". During the 60/70's Houston was a great place for a kid to grow up with his family but as the 80/90's came in, the place was too crowded and violent to live in. Save for Joel's Lakewood Church, Houston is still being re-built. Austin provided an escape for everyone from Dallas, Waco and Houston during the 80's and all that money built up Austin from a very nice college town to the policed, crowded, over taxed community it is today. Texas is really Taxes spelled wrong. Their property tax, tax on tax and the seat you sit on tax, will keep you from ever going there with an intent on staying. I left in 1996, just in time too for Scottsdale. Back then, it was a place for everyone to escape to raise a family. Now my house will cost the next person who buys it over 3.5 times what I paid. The growth here came at a huge expense to us early settlers now that the freeways are crowded for up to 10 miles in any direction during commute. The convection oven heat here in the summers can kill and it does, so be prepared to stay in doors beginning mid June through mid September. Speaking of killing, ALL the crosshatched intersections here with 45 MPH speed limits have claimed parents and their children's lives by the hundreds. If you've got what it takes like a politcal type job, kill or be killed attitude and lizard like skin, then come on over and take my place. I'm outta here. Next stop, Medford Oregon or Victoria, BC Canada.
Posted By B. Sasso, Scottsdale, AZ : 6:38 PM  

I live in Overland PArk and there is no way there is a better place to live. Crime is very low. All the high schools are broken up enough so that your kid wont get lost in a crowd of 3 or 4 thousand kids. Everyone is friendly. We have town center plaza which is 2 minutes from my house which has everything you could ever want. A sushi house, dicks sporting goods, houlihans, the bristol, on the border, BArnes and Noble just to name a few, along with all your shopping needs. Sprint/Nextel is right across the street from that. The traffic system is par none. There are so many little things that make it perfect. The School distric Blue Valley, is one of the best in the nation. No one can compete with Overland Park
Posted By Aaron, Overland Park Ks : 11:49 PM  

I notice that Sugar Land has fewer golf courses, and half the libraries of the "median" town. Yet it has 69% MORE bars than the median town. Something to be said about the relationship between beer and good living?
Posted By Dave, San Diego : 3:15 AM  

How about Green Bay, Wisconsin? I moved here from Florida in June of 2005 and it is a fantastic city. Great football fans, great schools, nice friendly people, and not even half the bugs you get in Florida!
Posted By Tony, Green Bay, WI : 7:25 AM  

Someone ask about Chattanooga, TN. I lived there about 8 years ago and loved it. Loads of things to do for a city of its side. The downtown area has become a wonderful place to spend the day skating, biking, or just walking. Housing is extremely affordable (i'm currently in Phoenix, where it's overpriced), has a branch campus of the University of TN, has a very nice medical community. Wish we'd never left!
Posted By Deb, Phoenix AZ : 2:29 PM  

this list is pathetic....
Posted By Andy, Olympia, WA : 3:27 PM  

Hello from Missouri!! And Ann from Southwestern Missouri, you are so wrong!! I was raised in Springfield, have lived in Texas, but family moved back to Springfield because it is an awesome town. It is a great area to raise your children, good housing, good economy, small enough where you can count on a neighbor and large enough where you don't know everyone... It has really built up around here so everything is clean and new. Big cities are near (K.C. and St. Louis) for bigger needs but here, everyone is outside at the nearby lakes and parks. As an adult, we are raising our children in Nixa, MO., a "suburb" of Springfield. We have TOP RATED SCHOOL SYSTEMS and have top notch score testing results in the MAP. There are a few private schools but there is a lot of pride and support poured into the public school system here. AND, it is beautiful here, the mountains, valleys, hills, and lakes, not to mention 4 seasons a year... not just always HOT or always COLD. If you weren't here this fall, you missed out on some great color foliage. Now we are getting ready for some snow. You just can't beat Missouri or the Midwest!!
Posted By Addison, Nixa, Missouri : 3:47 PM  

I live in Salt Lake City, Utah. I live at the mouth of a canyon and have a view that is comparable to your mid-century modern Richard Neutra house in the hills above L.A.
I also live within 20 minutes of 5, count 'em FIVE canyons that all lead to the greatest snow on earth in the winter and eerily perfect spring, summer, and autumn scenery.
Park City and the annual Sundance Film Festival is in my backyard a mere half hour drive away. Aside from the Magic Kingdom (The LDS Temple, The Tabernacle, and The New "Supernacle") I don't really notice an overbearing or oppressive religious influence. The majority of residents in SLC are no longer LDS, either, although outside of SLC (with the exception of Park City) is a different story.
I am not LDS, obviously. Nor am I a polygamist, as is often the second question I am asked after answering to anyone who asks where I live (the first question always being "Are you a Mormon?"). I do drink, and I think of the liquor laws as goofy, yes, but also just think of them as a cover charge at a club.
SLC has grown into a very cosmopolitan, cultured city with the most beautiful mountains in the world.
I do not recommend living in Orem, Sandy, or Kaysville unless you are of the LDS persuasion, otherwise you will be accosted by missionaries to join the fold. Nothing against the LDS faithful, except that living here I can tell you they can be judgmental and verrrrry pushy about getting you to join the LDS Church. SLC is a great place to live, relatively safe and the scenery is stunning, I marvel everyday at the beauty of the mountains. If I could afford it though, I would move to Park City in a heartbeat. A glamourous, ritzy, mini-Aspen resort town that is a Democratic enclave inside all Republican Utah... the highest compliment I hear when I take visitors there is: I don't even feel like I'm in Utah!
Posted By IMW, Salt Lake City, UT : 5:44 PM  

Bend, OR should be ranked A lot higher than 86. I lived in fort collins for about 6 months and Bend has so much more opportunity and receives less rain.... If you love the outdoors you would be in paradise. Great fishing, golfing, hiking, rafting, and skiing. Your only 2o mins from the mt. bachelor compared to 2 to 3 hrs from the mountains. Great food, people and city. Its growing pretty quickly. A lot of people from california are moving up. 300 days of sunshine. Not too many places were you can ski in the morning and golf in the afternoo.
Posted By Matt Troy Bend, OR : 11:19 PM  

Mesa is not one of the best big cities to live in!! I've had my house broken into while I was home, a drunk driver drive through my lawn and into the house next door, and we don't exactly have the best school district. I am moving the first chance I get. This is not a place to raise a family.
Posted By Davina, Mesa, Arizona : 11:09 AM  

Unbelievable. I have to work in this town (Mesa), deemed a "big city" by this publication, and if this is #3, then I'd hate to visit the cities that didn't make the cut. I recently returned from Mosul (Iraq) and can honestly say that I'd rather live there.
Posted By Chad, Scottsdale, AZ : 11:48 AM  

Not a single place in Vermont. Yes!
Posted By Tony, Burlington, VT : 1:20 PM  

I grew up in Glencoe Winnetka area and it doesnt compare to the slums of Naperville. Quantity means nothing to quality. Traffic, boring restuarants (chilis, applebees, etc.) brutal. If you are talking of somewhere to live in Chicago suburb area go to Northshore and tell me two blocks from the beach isn't as nice as a movie theatre.
Posted By Dominic, Glencoe IL : 3:35 PM  

California?! Thank you all for the eye opening blog. I am a California native. I have been fortunate enough to travel to 47 states and most of EuropeIt saddens me to realize that most writers here think of three things 1)shopping, 2) traffic, and 3) negatively. There is another fuuny aspect about being from California- we natives have people from every state in the country move into the state. Yet, if Californians move into another state, it's," Oh no, ANOTHER Californian". I live in a dangerous city now. People cannot understand why I would. But Baltimore is amazing. People are less judgemental. Uh huh! The area is coming back with a lot of growth. BALTIMORE is in fact, one of the FRIENDLIEST CITIES I HAVE EVER SEEN! Not like S.F, Amsterdam, or New Orleans, or Seattle, or NYC, or Columbus. Ellicott City is cute. But not with the feeling of Baltimore. In Elllicott recently, there was a stabbing at restaurant just the night I had dinner with a friend there. Both are close to DC and my new home. Baltimore has public trans & trains to DC( 40 mins, no driving!) plus jobs, and housing. Thank you and good luck to everyone. There is no perfect place. It is what you make it; make a difference if you can.
Posted By cali gal, Now,yes, in Baltimore MD : 1:44 PM  

This is a great resource for families looking to move. No suprise that Miami,FL is not on the list. It looks like Latin America but it's expensive like CA. It's a great place to visit, but Definately not to raise a family. Homes are way over-priced, home owner insurance is threw the roof(Hurricanes), public schools are below average and traffic is horrible.
Posted By Charles-Miami,FL : 8:55 PM  

As a real estate Appraiser/broker for 24 years , the one thing i have observed is that when i ask someone how they like were they live they almost always say its great, until they sell the home then you hear why the citie, neighbors , schools ect are no good.. in closing never take the opinion of anyone who has either lived in an area less than 5 years or more than 15 years, the honeymooners are the less than 2 year people, everything is heaven , the over 15 year group thinks its heaven because they dont know anything closing go to the area you think you would like at its worst condition, IE Arizona in the 110-115 heat if you still like it then go for it, if its colorado go in the worst winter weather 0-5 degrees if you still like it go for it, if its oregon go in the 5 months of non stop rain but for gods sake dont go at the best time of year and make any deceison...
Posted By glenn walker Rancho Cucamonga Ca : 3:47 PM  

What about Santa Cruz, CA???
Posted By Joanna Johnson, Santa Cruz, CA : 5:20 PM  

I'm a California native and felt I had to comment on living in Northern California. This state gets such a bad rap and Sacramento, where I've lived for the past 7 years has gotten particularly bad press recently since the Governator moved there. Sacramento has alot going for it - beautiful parks, a revamped downtown area that gets better every year, more and more night life. Sacramento State, UC Davis and a great city college system are all in the vicinity. Housing prices are not bad for California but that's because it's in the valley. Because of this, however, you are halfway between the ocean (about 1 hour's drive) and the mountains (about 2 hours drive). For this reason it's ideal for outdoor people like myself. Although Sac is perhaps more conservative than some other California cities, it is still fairly liberal and environmentally conscious: We have the most solar powered homes in the U.S. and our Municipal Utility District (SMUD)is at the forefront of renewable energy distribution. We also have more trees per capita than any city in the world other than Paris, France. Two downsides to Sacramento: The air quality does contribute to allergies, unfortunately:( and the heat in the summer is enough to make me want to move to the coast. But, the winters are mild and the rest of the year is great. This place has seasons, which I love. In sum, Sacramento has gotten a maligned reputation as a boring cowtown, but I heartedly disagree. I think that this is because it's considered San Fracisco's little sister and lives somewhat in it's shadow, plus, between San Diego, L.A., SF, Portland, and Seattle all near it Sacramento looks unexciting. But growing up in a small agriculural town - a bona fide cowtown - not far away from Sac I can tell you it's not. P.S. I love California
Posted By VB, Sacramento, CA : 3:39 PM  

Can you qualify the search better by eliminating the cold (below freezing areas)regions and add crime as another criteria in which to consider. Also, access to higher education is important to families with high school aged children. Thanks,
Posted By James Butler, Temecula, Cal : 5:45 PM  

I find it fascinating that Houston, Missouri City and Sugar Land (both of which are in the Houston area), are listed as 3 of the top 5 fittest cities. Every year, Men's Fitness Magazine lists Houston as in the top 10 fattest cities, including THE fattest city in 2005, 2003, 2002, and 2001. It improved to number 5 on the list this year.
Posted By Andrew, Atlanta, GA : 3:59 PM  

Dear Robin Schuyler in Bethel CT,

Sugarland Land, Texas is a suburb of HOuston. It is 200-250 miles from San Antonio.
Posted By Roger Guess, Arlington, Texas : 12:38 AM  

Dear C. Cherry in Spokane, Wa,

I have been following news in your area thru KREM TV's website. I am evaluating several cities to retire to in approximately 5 years:
Reno, NV
Spokane, Wa
Bend, Or
Colorado Springs, Co

I am interested in the conservative/liberal attitude in Spokane? I am very conservative and it looks like the liberals in Seattle dominate the state?

Love conservative Texas but hate the heat.
Posted By Roger Guess, Arlington, Texas : 12:44 AM  

Dear Justin in Northern Territoris, Australia,

What kind of atmosphere are you looking for in USA? There are websites such as the best places to live, and to access information.

Good luck!
Posted By Roger Guess, Arlington, Texas : 12:49 AM  

I live in Fairfield, CT and I think it is SO overpriced. It is IMPOSSIBLE to purchase a home as a young couple. A run down SMALL cape cod usually costs a half a million here. Unless you're rich, DO NOT move here.
Posted By Reba Fairfield, CT : 10:51 AM  

Hot Springs Arkansas is an overlooked location. With 3 lakes, Ouachita being in the top 3 cleanest lakes in the country, and rolling mountains it truly is a place to look into.
Posted By Yvonne, Little Rock, AR : 1:13 PM  

I'm from Michigan and I'm considering moving to Florida but I'm not sure what cities I should search to live in or should live in. I'm not sure which cities where the areas is nice or not, I want to beable to live in a nice area where you can get pretty nice houses for your money. I don't want to live somewhere that is extremely expensive to live- and I can't afford a house. What are some suggestions
Posted By Jen, Davison Michigan : 1:59 PM  

For those of you wishing to leave Scottsdale, AZ, PLEASE DO!! We have enough snowbirds here for the winter months as it is. I was raised here, and can not only stand the heat, but actually enjoy it. I agree that it can be expensive, so I suggest getting a job. It helps. We have an outstanding nightlife, all major sporting events, and everything you need is no more than a fifteen minute drive away. (Oh, and the women are tan, toned and everywhere you look!) I've been to several other places for vacations, but I'd never live anywhere but here.
Posted By Chad, Scottsdale, AZ : 2:48 PM  

Granted its 83rd on the list, however, out of all the towns in Rhode Island you picked Warwick...really, I would have at least picked East providence over Warwick or Newport or even North Kingstown....
Posted By Cathy, Newport RI : 3:31 PM  

Born and raised in Chicago, but moved to Scottsdale 5 years ago. Only question is why did I wait so long to move here?
Posted By Steve Scottsdale, AZ : 8:47 PM  

Anyone who nominates any town in Arkansas is unaware of the fact that the state is overrun with an uneducated work force. While the state is preoccupied with the noble endeavor of preserving their environment, they will win no awards for their dimwitted citizenry.
Posted By Vicky, Memphis, TN : 6:30 PM  

Port Saint Lucie, FL??? I'm sure from a statistical standpoint it shows tremendous growth, which is why it made the list. Want the truth? This is by far the WORST place I have ever lived. PSL is nothing more than a suburban sprawl with no highway system or roadways to compensate for the fact that the population has nearly tripled over the last 3-5 years. During the winter months, when the "snow birds" are in town a ten mile drive to the beach can exceed 45 minutes. In addition, there is absolutely nothing to do here. The city lacks a downtown area of any kind, limited parks and recreation, and offers no history, culture, museums or other areas of interst you might typically find in other cities. With the exception of the 24 hour Walmart, nearly everything in this city closes at 9 pm. There is no public transportation of any kind available, and the ridiculously inflated housing market has nothing to support it, meaning the job market. The cost to own a home or rent is outrageous in comparison to the types of jobs available here, mostly blue colar work. If you need to make more than 35k a year to pay for the 225k median housing price you will find, prepare yourself for a minimum of an hour commute to West Palm Beach on one of the most dangerous highways I have ever driven on, I-95 in Southern FL. You can expect gridlock traffic and an array of the absolute worst drivers I have ever seen in my life. Might I add that the public school system here is horrendous; incredibly overcrowded and very limited resources available to teachers, students and parents alike. I should know, I am a teacher at a local high school. If you are looking at Southern Florida might I suggest an area with closer proximity to a city or stable job market.Despite my active lifestyle, I have spent the past 18 months here completely bored out of my mind. While the climate is great, there are many other places in FL that offer the ammenities that Port Saint Lucie is seriously lacking.
Posted By Maria Pacetti, Port Saint Lucie, FL : 1:26 AM  

Nobody really cares where you live or what you like about your city. I've been all over this country and the high-ranking places in this survey, for the most part, are rotten. People live there because their truck broke down there, they were transfered to a diferent Pottery Barn, or they want to live near their illegitimate children and the mother happens to live in that city. Of the 10 best places I've been to, NONE appear here. Down with meaningless lists!!!!!
Posted By Justin, Phoenix AZ : 9:54 PM  

If you like filthy air, train horns at 3am, high property/sales taxes, pathetic school system, bad streets, and poor zoning, then move to BAYTOWN, Texas! Quality of life here is nonexistent...
Posted By Henry, Baytown, Texas : 9:37 AM  

I love Boise and would love to move west but someone tell me where are all the jobs in Boise? My husband and I both have undergrad degrees in engineering and MBA's. We are highly employable but doesn't seem like there is much opportunity outside of Micron? If we could find good jobs we'd be out there in a heartbeat.
Posted By Sherri, KC, MO : 12:23 PM  

Two fine mid-sized "cities':
Ceadr Rapids, Iowa
Chattanooga, Tn.
Great people; great towns.
Greatest very liveable small city with a lot of amenities for its size and a lot of house for your money: Quincy, Il. I love this place.
Posted By sjl quincy, il. : 3:32 PM  

You sound pretty bitter and I'm not sure why. We live here and are very happy. No, there is not a lot of wide open land. It's a well loved area, so a 1/4 acre is probably the best you can do in a subdivision, but that's not bad. There is something to be said about having neighbors close, kids play together, it's great! I'm glad the police don't have big things to worry about; that means our area is safe. I'm sorry one writer ran into snobby people, but like anytown, there are all sorts. You could never say everyone in any given town is the same. You just find people that are like minded, have similiar interests and enjoy. The best thing is that there is something for everyone, the schools are fantastic, and most people are friendly. My only worry is that it can be competitive (thinking mainly about school rank...). There are so many successful, intelligent people with many resources at their disposal, how could it not be competitive. Some say a little competition challenges us to do our best. I will just work to instill the best qualities I can in my kids and be thankful for the many blessings we have in this town. To the person moving here, I bet you will love it, it is beautiful!
Posted By Mich, Naperville, Illinois : 11:07 PM  

In response to Posted By glenn walker Rancho Cucamonga Ca : 3:47 PM -This is the most intelligent comment ever made about a state/city. I lived in OKC for 17 years and loved it. I live in Columbes, Ohio and hate it! Ohio is over priced housing, high taxes, barely ever any sunshine. But this is all my opinion. Ask my sister and she thinks life begins and stops in Columbus, Ohio. Everyone think of your personality, your likes and dislikes, and what is most important to you. Sunshine is very important to me, low property taxes, and a sense of community and old school beliefs. Schools are not priority to me, my son is grown. I talk to a lot of people everyday who trash Ohio - then move. Now, other people love Ohio - they love snow and have great incomes compared to me. They don't care that a home can cost anywhere from $100,000 and up (lower if you like crime) they have money to pay for it.

Choose your home based on your life, not stats. These stats are meant for you to choose based on major concepts -it's not meant to choose your future.
Posted By Sooner2B, Columbus, Ohio : 10:12 PM  

Oregon has rugged Mountains, gorgeous seashores, wonderful high sand dunes, high deserts and Portland is growing into a wonderful city by the day!

I can't imagine a better place to live, people are friendly and most are honest, pretty safe to live here, and the climate is pretty moderate. I am glad it is not all flat like some states, it is interesting and beautiful - a studio in downtown Portland can be had for $400 per month - with walkng distance to Portland state U, and parks, major stores, theaters, awesome gallerys and great transportation.
Posted By Judy Portland, Oregon : 3:31 AM  

I am so glad that Austin, Texas is not on this list because it is SO OVER RATED! It used to be a nice place to live, but now it is expensive, traffic is horrible and this last summer is was over 100 for over 30 days in a row! The humidity is so bad it is hard to breath.The combination of property taxes and cost of housing and all the construction has turned Austin into another big city.
Posted By Linda, Austin, TX. : 8:16 AM  

Jacksonville is trying to grow up. Not too long ago, Jacksonville was constrained by the "good ole' boys" who controlled everything, now it is the Religious Extremists. Being a Christian, I can say that. Individuality does not exist here. If you are single, forget it. Either people are college age drunks at the beach or stuffy married people about town. Jacksonville is racially divided and the city is broken up so dramatically by race and culture it is sad. Sure you have a few dog parks, coffee shops and quaint shopping areas, but strip malls galore, few trees replanted, and no originality. Traffic is horrible, the police/sheriff's office is totalitarian and most of the city is dirty and cheesy. The city has no formal plan to educate, stimulate and challenge the residents to the use and appreciation of the natural beauty of the St. Johns River and area sanctuaries. The murder rate is one of the highest and people have to be so careful about offending someone. In fact, Jacksonville has so poorly thought out any building plan, that near the top of the high rises, sitting on or near the water is our wonderful jail... real nice Jacksonville, what a sight for all to see. Tourism? For what, golf? Jacksonville is still 10-15 years away from a true city. Do NOT move here, you will regret it. No true business except for a few that HQ's are in other cities.... just a waste.
Posted By J Smith, Jacksonville, Florida : 9:09 AM  

Best kept affordable secret is Absarokee, Montana. Views of the Beartooth Mountains unbelievable.
Posted By Linda, Green Valley, AZ : 1:08 PM  

The comments about Jacksonville gave me a chuckle...they are so right-on. My family moved there just as I entered 9th grade in 1972, and 34 years later it's the same dump it ever was-- only more built up with strip malls and contrived housing developments. No thriving city core, no real identity except more building of strip malls and shopping centers. this is the "Bold New City"? What a snoozer-- if I didn't go to visit my family, I'd never go back there.
Posted By JimS, Seattle WA : 1:40 PM  

We have lived in Fishers,In for five and half years. We couldn't be happier. Traffic? It is heavy around the commercial areas and State Road 37 and Interstate 69 during rush hour, but the residential areas are quite easy to drive. The schools are outstanding. Property is more expensive than in other Indianapolis suburbs, but still very affordable. Our 2200 sq ft 2 story home with a basement on a quarter acre lot cost us $180,000 in 2001. We are planning to sell this mome in spring 2007 for about $220,000. We can't imagine living anywhere else. In the summer the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra plays their summer series at Conner Prairie (a living history museum) just 5 minutes away. Downtown Indy is only 30 minutes away and the airport is only 45 minutes away. The weather is bad in January and February, but here it is December 22, and the temperature at 6pm is a balmy 50. Admittedly unusual but it happens.
Posted By Todd E. Fishers, IN : 5:58 PM  

Does anyone know of a more southern city or town that's like Cape May NJ? Looking for a little more action and milder weather.
Posted By Dianne, Fishkill NY : 6:13 PM  

LAS VEGAS is the most exciting city in the world. With new projects going up all the time it is a thrill to live here and see so many new and entertaining destinations. If you haven't visited us lately you don't know Vegas- we're going vertical!
Posted By Mark, Las Vegas, NV : 10:45 PM  

I wasn't shocked when I didn't see Phoenix on the top 100 best cities. Most of the time it is too hot to enjoy the outdoors. Traffic is absolutely horrible. We have the "brown cloud" due to all the pollution and the crime in this city is unbelievable!
Posted By Gen Phoenix, AZ : 11:32 PM  

To Stephanie from El Paso,

Apparently you are stuck on the wrong side of town: East. What you might consider is moving to the lush, vibrant upper valley or better yet, the Mesilla Valley of Southern NM that we call home. Beautiful countryside, weather, great people, low crime, affordable homes (I have 6 bedrooms/3500 sq.ft. for 300k) great schools. All add up to a great move! We've lived all over the U.S and will never live anywhere else. Las Cruces, NM/El Paso, Tx. Enough said! If you haven't actually "experienced" the best El Paso has to offer, you've not spent more than a night here. To those of you who use El Paso as a stepping stone to elsewhere, stay a while. You may never leave!
Posted By Jim, El Paso, Tx : 3:57 PM  

Hawaii is a beautiful place yet very expensive. I have seen how much the prices have sky rocketed over many years. You cannot find anything less than $1000 for an apartment in a heavily drug infested area. Business is heavily influenced by the Japanese and it is not what you know but "who" you know. Yes it is beautiful but you will be paying a pretty penny to live in paradise. Yes it is a melting post but there is cultural divisions here between the natives and the mainlanders. If you are a true surfer, have lots of money, or are willing to deal with the prejudices of living here, then come to Hawaii. Other than that, you can definitely find a better way of living somewhere else
Posted By Catherine, Honolulu, HI : 12:48 AM  

I am looking for a small town with pleasant weather to retire too. So far even your small towns are bigger than I am interested in.I would like you to look at really small town and rate them
Posted By Lava Williams Visalia California : 11:19 AM  

Rochester, ny is dead...housing is worthless and there are no jobs.
Posted By Bill Levy, Rochester NY : 4:21 PM  

I love Livermore, California. We have the wineries,rodeo, air show, theatre, all kinds of cultural arts, and several fantastic restaurants. The walking paths and parks are beautiful, the scenery great and the people of Livermore are the best!
Posted By Bobbie Moos Livermore, CA : 5:40 PM  

I live in Kotzebue, Alaska, pop. 3000, 40 miles north of the Arctic Circle. I don't need a car cause I get around by snow machine for 7 months a year, Honda 4-wheeler the rest. I get paid a lot of money and never encounter a face I don't know. You couldn't drag me back to Beaverton, Oregon, where I grew up. I'd rather deal with grizzly bears than rude and boring suburbanites!
Posted By James Mason, Kotzebue Alaska : 9:08 PM  

Miami,FL is not a good place to live. It is over populated. The traffic is terrible. The people are rude and cost of living is sky high.
Posted By MMG, Miami,FL : 10:03 PM  

I noticed that Newton, MA made the list of top 25 (lists at 22), and as someone who lived there for 2 years I can say with conviction that it isn't that great. If your interested in traffic most of the time, high taxes,extremely high real estate prices and lack of traditional values, then this is the city for you.
Posted By scott, Burlington MA : 9:33 AM  

I live in Cary,NC. Use to be one of the best Cities to live in...Not anymore! Over crowded, traffice jams. Year round schools forced onto parents because of poor planning by school boards and county officials. Postage stamp size can't even play catch or kick a soccer ball in their own yards. You are taxed to death in this tax...income tax.... Housing is affordable if you want a cheaply built house...otherwise you get nothing for your money. Year round schools are going to be the death of this area!
Posted By Rick, Cary ,NC : 2:06 PM  

Ocala, FL is one of the nicest and friendliest place that I've ever visited and I've been all over the world. It's a hidden jewel!
Posted By George, Fairfield, CA : 3:26 PM  

Cary, Clean, safe, educated and culturally diverse. This is not your typical southern city. One giant suburb and excellent, overcrowded schools await persons who can afford the cost of living. Cary is an upwardly mobile, family, bedroom town for the research triangle, Several colleges and the state capitol. Housing boom is not busting here. BIG drawback is NC state government benefits are far less than what folks are used to in the North, Midwest and West. Lack of unions means less benefits all around for regional jobs.
Posted By Betsy, Cary, NC : 7:40 PM  

I notice that your list did not include Jupiter, Fl. It is one of Florida's best kept secrets. I plan to relocate there in the Spring. Maybe you should consider adding it to your list of best places to live.
Posted By Deborah, Baltimore, MD : 6:52 AM  

Fort Collins and Colorado Springs may be nice, I did get a good feel for them, but anything in the Denver Metro area was poor as far as I'm concerned. Schools were of extremely poor quality in both funding and attitudes of the educators. Property taxes are low, but car registration, water costs, grocery prices, etc. more than made it a wash. I'm very happy to be back in upstate NY. The taxes may be higher, but you get what you pay for. Also, the people seem so much more genuine and there is less of a "keep up with the Jonses" mentality. Much better place to raise a family.
Posted By Kathy, Rochester, NY : 11:59 AM  

My family lives in S. Orange County, CA and are considering a move due to a job offer. We can choose anywhere in N.C. and from our research it looks like Cary is a very nice place to live. We currently live in a planned community and like the newer construction and ammenities. Needless to say, we pay dearly for them here as we have some of the highest home prices and cost of living in the country! It is tempting to think what we could get for the money in N.C., but are really having a hard time making the decision. I am a So. Cal native used to the rat race, my husband is from England and we have a 7 yr. old daughter. Anyone else come from So. Cal that can offer advice?
Posted By L. Howorth, Ladera Ranch/Mission Viejo, CA : 4:37 PM  

where is the best place for divorced 50 year old educated women to live. looking for a mate, and job in education field. must have affadorable housing,(condo) culture, leisure activity and job opportunity?decent weather,meaning not a lot of snow , but a flake now and then won't kill me. there is nothing here......
Posted By cynthia, erie ,pa : 12:54 PM  

I have enjoyed learning more about Cary, NC through the comments you have posted. My husband and I are thinking about a move south. Currently, we live in the backwoods of NH with a pop. of 800. Cary sounds like a great family area but the shear numbers of people makes me nervous. Does anyone know of any smaller neighboring towns around Cary that have the same positives with a few less thousand people?
Also, I work as a Sign Language Interpreter and need to be somewhat near school systems.
I appreciate all of your comments, even the ones about snobby Northerners. I probably have much to learn from friendly southern folk.
Posted By Christine S. South Acworth, NH : 4:09 PM  

I lived there 1966/1967. Wonderfull place. Went to CSU.
Posted By Roberto de Mello Lisboa - Rio de Janeiro - RJ : 1:07 AM  

I moved from Ft Collins to California. What was I thinking? I'm returning to my Colorado home.
Posted By Scott Marshall, Clovis CA : 10:24 AM  

I've lived in Maryland most of my life. The taxes are high. The housing prices are high. But ya know what? Where I live, the schools are fantastic. I moved my child out of private school into public school because they are so good. The weather is great. I would never live anywhere where I could not experience ALL four seasons. We are close to the beach the mountains, lakes, New York, Atlantic City, Washington D.C. We're close to everything. Yes, the taxes are way too high. But we have great schools, the best hospitals and great highways and roads. The crime rate is high in Baltimore, so I don't go there often, which is a shame, because Charm City is the best city in the world when it comes to people. Baltimorians are the friendliest people around. And we love our football and baseball. Even during losing seasons. . our stadiums are packed. Even the Cal Ripken Stadium is packed. The Aberdeen Ironbirds is the Class A team here and I've been on a waiting list for season tickets for three years. We have everything!!! I searched the real estate data base in North Carolina and figured out that if I sold my house here, I could move to North Carolina and I wouldn't have a mortgage and could get a little job to pay to get by on. I could retire at 41. But sometimes you get what you pay for. And I'd rather pay the high taxes and have EVERYTHING that I want and need.
Posted By Kymberly, Forest Hill Maryland : 2:08 PM  

If you are looking for a nice town in the research triangle area on NC, instead of Cary, how about Lexington. Nice people, some good local types of restaurants, within an hour to three good airports, and colleges up the road.

Further west, Asheville is great for culture, but getting a bit crowded. Still it has great views, restaurants, liberal politics, and colleges and arts to suit anyone.
Posted By CTI, Winter Park, FL : 10:13 AM  

Anyone have a comment about Wilmington, North Carolina?
Posted By Sue, Belmar, NJ : 12:32 PM  

just read the Reno stats under "best places to live 2006". As a native Nevadan I can tell you these numbers don't match up- our median incomes have been reported locally many times in the mid $40k range, NOT at $57k, not sure where that stat is from. Our median home price is now at $330k, and we have about 12" of precipitation a year, lows in the single digits, highs in the triple digits, and ever increasing smog and chem-trails blotting out the sun.
Posted By Lance Busch Reno, NV : 2:17 PM  

Cooper City, Florida is a hidden jewel among the costly bubble of south Florida. it`s got small town charm but it`s located just near everything. the beach, downtown Ft. Lauderdale, and theres even some great outdoor activities such as fishing. Top Notch schools from k-12 are found here. Crime? What crime? Theres been one murder here in 55 years. Give us some credit for living in the "tree city of the year."
Posted By Shane,cooper city,fl : 4:20 PM  

Naperville is overrated - even BEFORE it was Naperville the town "marketed" its reputation as THE "best" Chicago suburb, true or word of mouth? After living in the Chicago area for 42 years and then moving to Southern Indiana (Columbus) I say nah-nah to Chicagoland. What a wonderful low-key, low-stress way to go. Living is easy and people are genuinely nice. My dollar stretches twice as far for the same or better standard of living. Oh, I forgot to mention the mild weather and the truly beautiful outdoors uncongested by traffic!
Posted By Jill Zimmerman, Columbus IN : 9:39 PM  

I have lived in NY, GA, SC, FLA, and Colorado when I was active duty military I have to say we made the move in 05 back to Colorado, its a bit boring in the winter for the most part the schools are rated 12 national ranking,yes housing is high especially in the Master Planned Communities like Meridian ranch and Woodmenhills, were I live is Falcon NE of the Springs , but sking is two hours away and there is much western culture to explore, there is plenty of professional employment, three military bases , really think before you make the move, I moved from North Port Florida and the housing prices increased but the salaries did not so there is so much forclosures to be had in South Sarasota County, yeh no income taxe but the average age is 55 plus, and the snow birds oh please , I survived Hurricane Charley at the hospital weere I worked in Port Charlotte, lost my truck and the hospital did not care that I was out of pocket, too much mold mildew sick buildings and bugs.Nice beaches if you can get a spot during the nice months not like august when it is blazing hot.Good luck
Posted By JZahn Colorado Springs Colorado : 10:32 PM  

To Judy in Portland, OR

I just left Portland after trying it for a year. I left Cali, I am a native, because I was finally run out of town by high prices. After looking for a decent, affordable place in Portland for many months, I finally took a hike. It is now very expensive and people ask high prices for dumps. I lived in an urban high rise for $1100/month, not downtown, and it was ok, but had problems with garage fumes coming into the building when they would turn off the big fan at night.

I do not think the people are friendly any longer (used to be when I lived there for a year in the 80's), and have a hate problem in regards to people coming into the area. For some reason, the natives don't understand that living in the US is up for grabs, as I saw in Cali over my 45 years of life. The city of Portland is beautiful, and the environment is perfect for me, (not as rainy as washington), yet the people, the prices and the lack of care in regards to the properties for rent was appauling.
I wouldn't recommend anyone moving there unless they have friends, a job, and/or family, and a lot of money so that you don't have to live in a dump. Don't let the outsides of those cute old homes fool you. Inside, most of them are dumps, unless you are willing to pay Cali rent prices, with about half the income.
Posted By dv, bay area-ca : 10:35 PM  

Naperville is suburbia at it's worst!
Posted By J. Champaign, IL : 10:16 AM  

Looks to me like the vast majority of the best "small cities" are actually suburbs. Two examples: Eden Prairie,MN, and Blaine, MN-- both are suburbs of Minneapolis.
Posted By Mark, Duluth, MN : 2:57 PM  

As a Realtor in Colorado Springs, we have a great community. Economy is stable. You can drink the water.
Posted By Dinky, Colorado Springs, CO : 7:47 PM  

I can't believe Coeur d'Alene, Idaho isn't mentioned. Talk about an amazingly beautiful place. Famous golf courses, ski resorts, lakes, boating, all 4 seasons, hiking, hunting, fishing. But also has a urban big town atmosphere with job opportunities and a real estate boom for homes and enough in town leisure and entertainment for anyone.
Posted By Nick, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho : 11:10 PM  

Moving to Central NJ? Brace yourself.We've got EVERYTHING you want AND EVERYTHING you don't want.Bring LOTS of money.Don't be slow to react or you'll get run over.Don't care for ethnic diversity? Stay where you are.
Posted By Fred Ziffel Hooterville NJ : 10:32 AM  

I think it depends on the stage of life you are in and what your priorities are. I was born in Bismarck and lived in Fargo. What a great place to raise kids--low crime--good schools--great health care and cheap.It is just too cold for these bones.
I also spent time in New Mexico and hated it. Lots of crime and discrimination.
Montana was a nice place and very pretty with great mountains but again too cold for me.
I did spend time in Colorado and loved it and infact, have thought about going back.
I lived in Oregon, 1979---2005. It is very pretty but the rain is a bit too much and the western area is over rated. Portland drivers are almost as bad as California drivers.
My family lives in Texas and their is no way, I would live there. Awful, weather and road traffic.
My parents for years lived in Minnesota and again it is pretty around the lakes but the heat, humidity and cold are enough to keep you away. Not too mention mosquitos as big as birds.
Now, we are in washington---seattle area. The weather has been just awful--sun hardly shines and it does rain alot---not as much as Oregon. Traffic and politics are unbelivable not too mention the price of homes. If you like taxes, then this is the state for you. Oh, lots of different cultures which are fun but you can go for hours without hearing any English and when you do, its hard to understand.
In a few years we are retiring, and we are out of here. Hopefully, to some place with more sun and easier on the pocket book with lots of out door activies. So, thanks for all the comments and I can see beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.
Posted By vickie harwood,snohomish,wa : 4:18 PM  

I am moving my company, home, all to Thousand Oaks, CA. The best weather, best people, and just 30 miles out of LA. Wanted to go there since 1980, but the housing and land was too expensive. I can move now. Orlando and Daytona Beach is way too hot and humid and the crime is through the roof.
Posted By Bill Swisher, Daytona Beach, Florida : 8:47 PM  

We moved from New York City to Hawaii five years ago. It was the best move in our lifes. Aside from the paradise lifestyle and weather, our health has continued to improve, as activities are in abundance here with our perfect climate. For those that are not althetically inclined, walking and biking is wonderful year round, and no excuses. Rainbows, great people, and much aloha here....we've come a long way, and made the right choice....
Posted By Ginny, Honolulu Hawaii : 2:07 AM  

"Best Places To Live" doesn't seem to work as a way to help people determine if a move to a new location is going to be a smart choice or not. I think it is too subjective - obviously one person's experience or dream location is another's nightmare come true. I don't believe any place "has it all" - it's a trade off. Common sense tells me that a stable, good paying job goes a long way in determining one's happiness no matter where one moves. If you can't afford a house, food, or entertainment, then where's the quality of life? For myself, I consider plentiful job opportunities at liveable wages and affordable cost of living/housing the #1 priority, with climate/weather conditions #2(I can handle four seasons & LOVE the outdoors, but can't take excessive rain or constant dreary cloudiness, extreme hot or cold temperatures, long depressing winters, and do not care to experience hurricanes, earthquakes, tornado alley, wildfires, or mudslides!)#3 having something to do besides working, shopping, and eating out, #4 friendly, diverse community of people! I don't mind commuting to a big city to enjoy more culture and sporting events, etc ... within an hour or so drive. I don't know if such a place exists, but I'm still searching before I move anywhere and regret it, as it seems many have gone that route according to the overwhelming negative responses. The grass may not be greener after all!
Posted By Kelley, Lancaster, Ohio : 5:50 PM  

best place to live echopark ca
Posted By javier... los angeles : 1:01 AM  

I live in Seattle right now and Bellevue before that and I can safely say I'm done with the northwest. It's a great place and all but I just hate the rain and just need a change. I been thinking of San Diego with a buddy of mine (what a shock) and was wondering if the San Diego experts can give us some advice. We aren't lookin for a house or anything, not for like 10 years at least since we're still in college but just wondering what the average costs of decent apartments/condos there are. Seattle is around 1250-1800 for a decently nice two room apt in downtown and like 1400-2000 in Bellevue. Thanks!
Posted By John, Seattle WA : 3:36 AM  

Look at the crime rate for Baltimore City! In so many ways baltimore is a beautiful city with so much to offer. But the crime rate is absolutely horrible and I just don't understand why our law enforcement can not get this under control. Stop the drugs - stop the shootings - stop the crime.
Posted By Beth Smith, Pasadena, Maryland : 10:27 AM  

I lived in Carrollton, TX a few years ago, and I loved it! It's a great city to start a family. If I could, I would move back in a heartbeat!
Posted By Danielle, Memphis, TN : 11:19 AM  

In 2005 Vienna, VA was number 4 on the list of best places to live. This year it is nowhere to be found. Having lived in Vienna the last few years I haven't noticed any degradation in quality of life in 2006 vs 2005. This tells me that there is something drastically wrong in the way these evaluations are made, or am I missing something?
Posted By A.M. Yousif, Vienna, VA : 11:36 AM  

Thrilled to see Scottsdale make the Top 10. My wife and I love it here. Most residents are educated and civilized, laid back and enjoying life. It's clean, low crime and hip.
Posted By Ed Kern, Scottsdale, AZ : 2:02 PM  

I've lived in Sacramento since 1985 and it is only getting worse here. Air quality is horrible and traffic is quickly approaching LA standards (very crowded and slow). Nothing like lots of suburbs with nothing to do except go to the mall.
Posted By Ian Waters, Sacramento, CA : 2:31 PM  

Lived in Montana all my life. there is no sales tax and lots of friendly people. Missoula is the best. It has high test scorse for schools. I really recomend moving here!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted By Stacy, Missoula Montana : 7:49 PM  

Christine from NH: You asked about places in NC as nice as Cary, but smaller; you should look at neighboring Apex (population is roughly 20,000). My family and I moved to Apex from Northern California and we love it. Friendly people and a very low cost of living compared with other options that we considered. We looked at crime stats, schools, and the natural setting and found this area to be the best place to call home [Oregon and Colorado were other close considerations]. Good luck!
Posted By Scott: Apex, NC : 3:08 AM  

Having lived in Colorado springs for the last 7 years I really don't know why it even made the list. I think the median income shouldn't include the transient populations of the military bases though it does improve the economy. local population income is about half that and it is BORING. there is really nothing to do but ski and look at a rock. The clublife is really bad and the produce is awful especially in winter where snow makes it hard to get to work or school and the school system is also very bad. You should visit for a week before committing to moving here.Also terrible job market unless you do call center work.
Posted By Rewolf, Colorado Springs, CO : 4:30 PM  

We live in connecticut and are thinking of relocating to Greenville. Can anyone give me their opinion - i am a nurse and husband a carpenter with two preschool boys. schools good? Jobs?
thanks, jo
Posted By jo, killingworth, ct : 9:48 AM  

I lived in Fort Collins for nearly 20 years and these ratings are a joke.

Who paid you for this gibberish? I volunteered on numerous city boards, so I wouldn't put it past city officials to use tax money to purchase these misguided ratings.

The many superintendents have they had in the last 10 years? They have no gifted and talented programs of any substance, the classroom sizes are way too high, their special education programs are as appalling as anywhere else in the country, and the teacher salaries are embarrassing.

The mountains are a dull brown color that most people do not even look at after they have lived their for a while. The ski areas are way too pricey for normal people to visit on any regular basis, and the latest incompetence during the recent snowfall (I happened to be visiting) again shows a real minor league town in every way.

Remember, too, that there are no trees and very little water in Colorado. Fort Collins was lucky to buy more than its fair share 50 years ago, but the time is coming when water wars will tear the state apart.

And your home price of $215,000 median income figure must be more nonsense propaganda from the Group (realty company). Good luck finding a decent place for a family to live in for that price in Fort Collins. Maybe an older condo in a large complex. Now that's great outdoor living.

Recreation has nothing to do with buildings or the number of softball fields. Sports are not recreation. Recreation is the positive emotional condition induced wherever he or she is and by whatever he or she is doing. I can do that just as well anywhere as in Fort Collins.

Stress? People are just as crazybusy, controlled by their worlds of total work, in Fort Collins as they are anywhere else. In fact, how can you even begin to generalize about this in any intelligent manner?

The hospital dominates the job market and the community landscape so much that you would think that health only means eating big drug company pills and having unnecessary surgeries.

Politics: one must question whether the concept of the separation of church and state ever made it west of Greeley. And does Colorado still lead the nation in most incarcerated individuals per capita while its aid to education is next to the bottom?

Did I mention the traffic management plan seems to have been designed in a Dilbert staff meeting?

How about the University (Colorado State) which refuses to cooperate with the city on virtually every level. Skyrocketing tuition, very average education.

Social Colorado, are you kidding. In the Marlboro Man state. Colorado doesn't support social services. In fact, they don't even have fundamental services that most Midwestern states implemented in the 1950s.

I would never consult your magazine when researching a best place to live.
Go Broncos...
Posted By Howard, Maumee, Ohio : 3:41 PM  

Can't believe the Nashville, TN area was left out entirely, particularly the communities in Williamson County to its south. The area has high incomes, virtually no unemployment, nice weather and scenery, good location for major population centers and weather, etc. etc. Housing is also inexpensive by many standards....
Posted By HW, Franklin, TN : 5:33 PM  

I was partially amused and partially saddened to see that no city in Kentucky made the list. Kentucky is a state with so much potential--a great transportation system (except for Lexington and Bowling Green,) relatively low taxes, and cheaper housing in rural and suburban communities. However, the leadership in Kentucky government and cities is lackluster, as they bicker amongst themselves over tax incentives, zoning regulations, etc. Frankfort, Kentucky is the worst city I've ever lived in for good-ole-boy networking. If you are not a local developer (which are very few,) don't even look into building in that city. So, that would explain why the job market is also so lackluster and not experiencing growth--the main reason I left. Furthermore, I was raised in Corbin, which is nothing more than a run-down, poor, drug-infested town today, compared to the nice, quaint, small mountain town it was in the 1970s. I attended college in Lexington (a beautiful but snobby city) and started my career in Winchester (dirtier and meaner than Lexington.)

Simply put, I don't miss Kentucky.

Why not put Pflugerville, TX on the list? Or, why would you? We appreciate the well-kept secret that is our community--proximity to good schools, friendly people, beautiful hill country surroundings. The Californians more or less tend to gravitate toward Austin proper.

Other cities I'd recommend: Cheyenne, WY, Salt Lake City, UT, and Tulsa, OK.
Posted By Roger, Pflugerville, TX : 11:06 PM  

I moved here a little over a year ago and I must say I really do like it. The schools are great and the people are very friendly! If you are looking for a family oriented place - congrats! The one thing that Ft C is lacking is 'ethnic' diverstiy and hopefully more people of different ethnic backgrounds will consider it here. However, the city has to have something to offer and not look at it for them, but for all! Saying that being an African-American, I still feel welcomed and accepted NOT tolerated and that is a good thing! Would not think about moving... Life is great here and the award is well-deserved!
Posted By B Johnson : 11:24 PM  

The best place to live is heaven!
There is no perfect place on this planet.
You can live happily anywhere depending on your Spiritual, Emotional, Physical, Economical condition.
God bless!
Posted By Joseph, Simi Valley, California : 11:36 PM  

I thought this was a business magazine. Aparently Money Magazine places no confidence in the market's abilty to set prices. Aren't the most expensive places the best and the least expensive are cheap for a reason? This list is irrelevant.
Posted By Justin, Bowie, AZ : 11:49 PM  

I have lived in Colorado Springs over ten years. After reading a comment by someone who lived here seven years and found it boring, let me say this. I think a community can be rated by certain criteria, but the ratings are interpreted differently by different people. My husband and I moved here after living in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for twenty some years and living twelve years in Highlands, N.C., a mountain resort community... two beautiful places to live by anyones assessment. Upon moving to Colorado Springs, I did miss the lush foliage and waterfalls of N.C. and the beach and water surrounded life in Fort Lauderdale. However, life enjoyment seems to revolve around weather as we get older. With the pleasant change of seasons, the sunshine showing up almost 300 days a year, and the usually mild winters, we find the climate wonderful. We don't hike or climb and are not snow skiing like we used to, but the majesty of the mountains is awe inspiring. I think the job market for young people is not as exciting as New York or L.A., but the cost of living and traffic make up for that. The bottom line is a quality of life choice. I had a family based business here for many years and we found it a struggle to make it a huge success, but did make a living. Sometimes you have to adapt your business to adjust to a community. As a young person, I might gravitate to more action and hubbub, but as a babyboomer, I like the energy of Colorado Springs. There are lots of quality people that have "come back" here after living many other places. The big deal for me is lack of humidity. After years of heat and humidity in South Florida, I love it here. I go back to Florida for visits and vacations and always return grateful for the climate. I think a home is what you make it, and you can make a nice life for yourself where you feel most comfortable. Colorado Springs has been good to me and I am content living here in the base of some of the prettiest mountains in America. My husband and I are both Brokers with a major real estate firm and see a lot of wonderful people moving into this community. C. Young, Colorado Springs, CO.
Posted By Christa G. Young, Colorado Springs, Colorado : 10:40 AM  

We recently relocated to the Cary area, but we purchased our home in nearby Holly Springs. The real estate is much more affordable for middle-income families, yet we're very close to Raleigh and Cary.

For those with a household income in the $60,000-100,000 range, Holly Springs is a better fit than Cary. (my humble opinion)
Posted By Sarah, Holly Springs, NC : 1:57 PM  

Whatever you do, don't move to Cleveland. It's the grayest place I've ever lived, and with all the taxes, including state, county, and city, your paycheck will be cut in half. I've lived in 7 states, from CT to TX to ID, and this is certainly the worst.
Posted By Allen, Cleveland OH : 8:19 PM  

Coral Springs, FL is a beautiful city. Schools are very good and the crime rate low. Ok, I admit, real estate has gone up like mad. But somethimes that's the price you have to pay for safety. Miami on the other hand...everyone lives locked up behind metal cages. Just watch the news (has to be local), you'll see how lovely the place is. Real estate there is also outrageous but it's the playground for the rich, that's why it's always being pumped up! It's not a place to raise a family, it's just another typical big city. I know, i'm from NYC. Like to visit, but wouldn't want to live there!
Posted By anna, Coral Springs, FL : 2:21 AM  

I viewed the blogs for Pittsburgh and I will add that the city has nothing to offer. Someone wrote it is clean and they don't want it urbanized like Atlanta. I relocated from Pittsburgh to Illinois. Pittsburgh is dirty and filthy and I would never ever move back. They have so many areas they need to clean up it is unbelievable. There is nothing to do in Pittsburgh, they still have racial issues which is sad, and it is the worse place for any child with asthma. Pittsburgh could use some diversity big time. Diversity is not just one color. I never experienced racism until I moved to Pittsburgh. I am educated with a B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh, African American, and married with two mixed children. My husband is Irish and makes six figures. If the city had more to offer we would have stayed, but the education isn't great either.
Posted By Nicci, Chicago, Illinois : 3:18 PM  

This is my first visit to this website & I noticed that Bowling Green, KY is not included among Best Places to Live & I know why. This city, located in South Central Kentucky & 65 miles North of Nashville, TN is a smaller college town where there is a lot of bias & prejudice, especially when it comes to the local university which students seem to be more favored than the locals. I have lived here all my life & planning to move away because the job market here is a joke unless one wants to temp in warehouses and factories or work in restaurants. Bowling Green also has a mandatory pre-pay ordinance on fuel purchases. If you are single, don't waste your time here because there is nothing to do unless one is into bar scene because churches are not doing enough nor do they seem to care. Finally, the arts here is a joke. The only entertainment around here are no-name entertainers nobody ever heard of nor cares about along with the fact that unless they are or have been affiliated with the university, they will more than likely not appear in this community. Neighboring Franklin, KY, 20 miles further South with a population of less than 10,000 does much better when it comes to entertainment. As of now, Nashville seems to offer better opportunities especially careerwise. Last one to leave Bowling Green remember to turn out the lights.
Posted By HB - Bowling Green, KY : 9:14 PM  

My sister used to live in Naperville, IL and she moved back to Detroit because, in her words, all you hear at night are gunshots and police sirens.
Posted By Kyle, Detroit, MI : 9:45 PM  

Re Georgia, I can understand it not making the list. I grew up here and find it difficult to move for family reasons. Atlanta has changed dramatically in the last five years and is really beyond repair from a traffic standpoint. Atlanta has pockets of good housing, but generally a family must spend over 350K for a good neighborhood and marginal schools.

Outside Atlanta, the people are neighborly but this is the Bible Belt for a reason. You will be asked dozens of times where you go to church and failing schools are the norm.

Notable exceptions for Georgia are Savannah, Athens, Peachtree City, St Simons, and Helen.
Posted By James, Douglasville GA : 9:54 PM  

I grew up in Overland Park (#6) and then graduated high school & college in Olathe (#13). Stayed on the Kansas side till I was 33. Now I live in Kansas City (North), Missouri & wouldn't move back to Kansas for anything. I can't describe how much better it is on the Missouri side of the river. Olathe lost any charm it had in the 90's. Overland Park has some great shopping & a fantastic police department - but it falls into a "Great place to visit, wouldn't want to live there". I agree with some of the other choices, I'd live in Scottsdale in a minute if I could afford it.
Posted By Keith, Kanas City, MO : 11:59 AM  

I'm thrilled to see that Columbus, Ohio made the Top Ten list of "Best Places To Live". It has so much to offer and is all to often overlooked. A fabulous arts community, stellar library system, educational opportunities with OSU and great historic districts! And a very low cost of living! Everyone should move here!
Posted By Joy - Columbus, Ohio : 12:26 PM  

To: Robin Schuyler Bethel, CT
Re: San Antonio

Robin, to answer your question, San Antonio is a nice city that has a lot to offer. We have the upscale suburbs like the others on the list (Sugerland, Scottsdale, etc.) but also have a lot of unique local character with a vibrant arts, music, and downtown.

We're often overshadowed in the media by bigger Texas cities, but we don't really mind.

Some top private schools to consider might be Keystone (K-12), San Antonio Academy (boys K-8), St Mary's Hall (K-12).

Good luck,
Posted By Sean, San Antonio, TX : 1:48 PM  

Forget Texas. don't care how much they make!!!
Posted By christina, Newport Beach, CA. : 3:02 PM  

Consider Barrington IL. Closer to Chicago, great school district, beautiful homes and community. Makes Naperville look like a dump!
Posted By John, Philadelphia, PA : 2:10 PM  

Cary NC gives me a HEADACHE! it is overcrowded, overpriced and the streets make NO sense whatsoever. It's like someone threw spaghetti on a wall & patterened he streets after that. Cary is so overrated that really, the rest of the Raleigh area hates it there. People from Cary have a reputation as "snobs" among the County.
Posted By Kaycee, Wake Forest NC : 2:19 PM  

roanoke virginia is great city lots to do museums restaurant blue ridge mountains bike hike va tech 45min drive lots of nice people shopping very family oriented atmosphere
Posted By bettina roanoke virginia : 4:06 PM  

What about Sonoma, CA? It's beautiful, nice weather, very little crime, lots of things to do, great restaurants (and lot of 'em), good schools and the commute... well, it depends on where you are commuting to.
Posted By Kelley, Sonoma, CA : 7:15 PM  

I moved to Buckeye, Arizona from California and what I have to say should come as no surprise. After living in California all of our lives we were nearly pushed out with all of the people relocating to our area and of course the traffic. So we are a young couple and decided to take a chance. We moved to Buckeye Arizona a small yet very fast growing town. It is approximately 25 miles west of Phoenix. Well of course the cost of housing is what Arizona has been known for. We have a huge brand new home on a golf course a house that we could of never had in California but with that comes a down side. The school in our area is brand new and already it is too over crowded. It was built for only 800 kids and has nearly 1300. They have had to put portable class rooms on the grounds and they are still allowing homes to be built. I travel 35 miles to work and it takes me 90 minutes to get there. The wages in Arizona are awful unless you have a Bachelors degree and are bilingual. So yes the cost of housing is cheaper compared to some other areas but you can't afford it if you work on Arizona wages. The schools suck!! My kids ages 5,8,11 dont even get text books - they use printouts instead. The summers are worse then you could ever imagine. Our children have not been able to go out during the summer as the heat is unbearable. At bedtime it is still nearly 101 degrees - try sleeping in that. There is an average of 9 inches of rain per year so there is always a dust cloud looming so if you are asthmatic you may be in trouble. Grass is truly a luxury here. We can't wait to feel an ocean breeze again but affordable housing is a concern. I want to go down south -does anyone have any sugestions?
Posted By Erin, Buckeye AZ : 7:42 PM  

I moved to Missoula 2.5 years ago. I HATE it. The people are stand-off-ish, detest outsiders, and 90% of them are hippie leftovers from the 70's living in some sort of THC enfogged "utopia." If you aren't a vegan, bleeding heart liberal, tree hugging flower child, you just won't fit in. The pay is abyssmal, and the taxes are skyrocketing. Moving here was the biggest mistake of my life. As soon as I can get a job almost anywhere else - I'm OUTTAHERE.
Posted By Robert; Missoula, MT : 9:43 PM  

My wife and i considered Naperville as a place to raise our family. The property taxes are sky high. Not just in Naperville but many other Chicago burbs too. I'd hate to pay off my house in 30 years only to realize i'm still looking at huge property tax bill. No thanks.
Posted By Dan - San Diego. : 5:22 PM  

Wichita? A big city? A BEST big city? Have you ever been to Wichita? I'm afraid this casts doubt on your rating criteria.
Posted By Lori, Kansas City, MO : 8:12 PM  

Nashua - Lived there during an Air Force tour. Unfriendliest and snobbiest place I ever lived.
Posted By Greg Lang, Reston, Virginia : 10:36 PM  

WINDERMERE, FL - I've lived in TX, NV, and CA and have searched for the Best Place to Live. This is it! It's a small town right next to a big city (Orlando) so you get the best of both worlds. No crime, lakes, good schools, fun events at town hall, kid friendly, and wonderful weather year round.
Posted By Hannah Ammar, Windermere, FL : 4:49 PM  

Chesapeake and the entire Hampton Roads area is a pit. There are no jobs here. It looks good on paper because Norfolk is the largest Naval station in the world so everyone has healthcare and "some college." (ie naval training).
Posted By Jackie, Chesapeake Virginia : 5:28 PM  

Nothing beats Northern California for weather. I'll take Monterey any day over any of these hokey pokey towns. The beach, the wine country, Tahoe...what else do you need?
Posted By Denise Hollister, CA : 5:43 PM  

Danville, KY. A great small town with a Southern atmosphere. Not a lot of jobs, and the shopping is limited. But, adequate shopping is 35 min away in Lexington.
Posted By E. Bourne, Danville, KY : 7:29 PM  

If you lived in Murfreesboro Tennessee you would not think it is the greatest place to live. Growing too fast and infrostructure cannot keep up with the growth.
Posted By Dick & De Palmer, Murfreesboro, TN : 8:28 PM  

to any one thinking of moveing to fl you realy want to think long and hard dont do it, jobs are bad ,you can go to work one day and the next day they can just say they dont need you anymore and give no reason and the pay is bad ,rents , taxes,house ins, car ins, food cost is out of sight here , i like fl at one time not any more , so realy think before you move here.
Posted By mary port richey fl : 12:15 AM  

Santa Rosa as exciting as watching paint dry. Poor city and county budget controls, thus higher sales taxes, poorer infrastructure, and overpaid public employees.
Posted By Trancas, Santa Rosa, Ca : 6:31 AM  

based on these stats, who picked columbus oh? what were they looking at? i live doesn't belong in the top 10
Posted By bj, columbus, oh : 2:30 PM  

this list is all a bunch of horse poop. who makes up this crap? this is only put on here to get people to move to those cities. Think about it. No one ever hears about how the best place in the world to live is New Zealand because the people of that country dont want anyone else to move there. this is just a product of capitalistic propositional growth. Wake up stupid people. If these are the best places to live then why the hell do they want more people to live there and spoil their fun? Have you ever been to Witchita, KS? There is NOTHING there. it's desolate! Come on Sheeple
Posted By Lucas Boston, MA : 4:36 PM  

I've lived in NY my whole life and cannot stand it here. (Can't wait to move this summer) While there are many things to do here and it is very diverse, the rents are ridiculous for the amount of space you get. People are horrible, rude and obnoxious forget trying to sleep here in the summer. I would not give you 2 cents for NY, NJ or LI they are extremely overpriced dumps. If you want to live in a dirty, graffiti, crime ridden city then move here. We have a lot of shopping here but we are also known in Queens to have the Blvd of DEATH (Great lets go shopping and hope we make it home alive). My advice stay away from any of these places if you want peace of mind.
Posted By wendy Queens NY : 4:43 PM  

Everybody has their own "version" of "best place to live". For me that would include a short ride to a major metropolitan city, a clean environment, friendly people, decent house prices and good paying jobs. If these top ten fit that description then I would have to agree.
Posted By Jason, Hudson, MA : 5:25 PM  

Atlanta is a death trap. Stay away. You can't find a job here to save your life
Posted By Jimmy Wood, Atlanta Ga : 7:59 PM  

I grew up in Oak Park,Michigan and I think that it should be ranked #1.
Sure it's changed over the past 35 yrs but now they call it "West Bloomfield",
rated #14 on the hit list!This town has such diversity,what a great group of people...when I go back to visit I rent a Hummer....
Posted By Harriet,Paradise Valley,Az : 9:54 PM  

Need to find the best town/city to live. Need affordable housing, manufacturing job, good schools,no crime, green grass, friendly people, does it exist? Where? I am really needing advice here!
Posted By Maria, American Canyon, CA : 10:26 PM  

I am thinking of moving to Charlotte NC, but looking at the crime stats they are horrible,in fact extreme. Crime risk is 274 compared to the 'best place to live' averge of 45 and crime incidents of 1077 compared to 228. Property crime rates double the average. Does anyone have any insight into why this small city of under half a million has such high 'crime' rates? Car thefts? Rapes? Robbery? I am now seriously concerned about making this move as a single woman. Thoughts? Ideas?
Posted By Anne , Seattle, Washington : 9:11 AM  

I hv lived in Rutland, VT for 7 years now and want to move to a vibrant place where there are more jobs n better schools n warmer weather. any suggestions ?
Posted By me of rutland, vermont : 6:11 PM  

I live in Johnson County, Kansas. Great schools, clean, organized, friendly people (most of the time at least), low crime and unemployment rate, affordable housing, definitely a really good place to raise a family...but soooooooo BORING and extremely cold in winter! All restaurants seem the same, I rather cook something exhotic at home, night live is terrible compared to big cities (lack diversity), people are very simple and structured. I am looking for a nice place to live in Florida with the same qualities of Johnson County except for the "boring" part. Is there such a place? Maybe I am stock in this nice, but boring and cold place. Hey! Justin from Phoenix, Arizona, can you please share your list? Tracey from Tampa, Florida, I wanted to move to Tampa, but now you are making me think about it twice.
Posted By Ivonne G, Lenexa, Kansas : 2:59 AM  

I can't believe Louisville, KY didn't make this list. Louisville is a great river city with rich multi-cultured roots and diverse opportunities. There are so many neighborhoods and areas that the Historic Preservation Society has embraced, keeping the charm and eloquence of the city alive. Having been here since 1999, I have seen the(positive)development of the downtown area, urban sprawl managed carefully and the increased attention to the quality of life provided by the city government. Being an hour from Cincinnati and Lexington, and two hours from Nashville and Indy, if you get bored you can check them out. There are multiple CLEAN, LARGE lakes and other outdoor recreation opportunities that can be taken advantage in as much time. Excellent housing is very affordable, the job market is good, pay is commensurate with education, and the schools are adequate(School quality is comparable to anywhere in the US. Crummy areas of town have crummy schools and vice versa). The arts and entertainment value of Louisville is great too...tons of shops, restaurants, theatres and festivals in various venues throughout the city. Okay, Louisville doesn't have these great mountain vistas of out west, the arid sun-drenched expanses of the desert, or the blue Pacific to gaze at. But then again, its not out west either. It looks here like it does just about everywhere else in a 400 mile radius One major bummer about the Ohio River Valley is the oppressive humid summer heat. You feel like you're in the shower all day long. However, if you like seeing all 4 seasons you get them all...full tilt. The commute from the surrounding counties is variable, but not difficult. If you live 20-30 minutes out of town, all of the above regarding housing and schools is that much better. You get a more small-town feel with the advantage of being downtown in a jif. I truly hope the people that created this list reevaluate the criteria they use to gauge the quality of each city.
Posted By ZAC, Loo-ah-ville, KY : 8:54 AM  

I live in Overland Park, KS (#6 best place?)....I ended up here by accident, really, but decided to stay, and find it hard to leave!

Things I love about Johnson County in general:
1. Their DMV (car title part)is organized and much can be done through the internet/mail.
2. All the streets n to s are numbered (all the way into the 300's), so it is easy to navigate even if you have never been here before.
3. Most of the stoplights have sensors, which means that at 5am when you are the only car on the road, the stoplights turn green for you with no waiting.
4. People in Overland Park are demanding, and complain at the drop of a hat. Irritating, but it gets things done. Local government listens and acts promptly.
5. The parks of Johnson county are soooo nice, specifically Shawnee Mission Park and even little Antioch park. Good bass fishing and very scenic and safe.
6. Commerce here is amazing. People spend money here. There are always jobs. The restaurants are good and always full. Mexican/ethnic food is available everywhere. BBQ is unnecessarily abundant. Even the groceries are full of fresh ingredients. You can get anything you want in this town, plus you are only minutes from the big city (Musems, nightlife, JAZZ, shopping)
7. Groceries seem a little cheaper than average.
8. OP police dept is good. If you have babies, you can set up a free appointment with them to spend a loooong time teaching you how to use a child car seat correctly.
9. Johnson county health department is very good for little children and female issues.
10. Construction jobs are plentiful because there is very little rain/snow during the year.

BAD things about Overland Park:
1. All the homes are crammed together. It is impossible to find anything over 1/4 acre for a reasonable price.
2. So many people are crammed in such a small space and everyone has money and big cars, that there are oceans of cars everywhere. Traffic is something I try to avoid at all costs.
3. They charge SALES TAX on GROCERIES here!
4. They charge PROPERTY TAX on CARS here!
5. Animal control (op police) will not pick up stray cats. There are no leash laws against them, so stray cats are quite a problem.
6. There is a HUGE illegal immigrant population here...and they don't have car insurance or even licenses, so if you get hit by one, you are S.O.L.
7. This is a "no-fault" county, so you must carry no fault insurance.
8. Every couple years we have terrrrible ice storms.
9. I personally think that the quality of the home construction here is sub-par.
10. This is a town of lookalikes: The homes all look the same (splits), and people who just want to fit in and look like and have just what everyone else does.

I would recommend living here if you don't mind the above drawbacks. Like I said, it is hard for me to find drawbacks that outweigh the benefits.
Posted By GG, Overland Park, KS : 12:43 PM  

Why are all the homes of the most expensive list in California, but none on the best places to live list? We pay more to live in California for a reason. That is, there is no better place on earth!

Orange County =top quality of life in the world. Top schools, top safety. master planning.

San Diego and San Jose also have excellent quality of lifes. Big, clean, and safe.

Also, Fairfield, CT is a joke. How does that make the list? Is being an hour from NYC now a qualifier? Talk about horrible planning, stressed out people, and fast drivers!
Posted By Bob, Orange County, CA : 1:23 PM  

I think it's so funny how people from NYC, San Diego, Chicago, Boston, and San Francisco comment to defend their city for not making the list. While no one from LA even says, "booh!" Does that say something about the degrading quality of life?! Does that hint that Los Angeles, CA is becoming a third-world country??!
Posted By Bob Orange county, CA : 1:46 PM  

I was glad to see that Indianapolis made the list, but not entirley surprised. Many think the Midwest is lackluster, but Indianapolis is a nice city. Although the city is nearly as flat as a pancake--not a mountain in sight. The cost of living is reasonable. You can find a 1 BR apartment for about $550 and a new home would range from $150,000 and up. Tt has campuses of 2 major universities,Purdue and IU. It is pretty good in the arts and the crime is generally low when compared to many cities. However, the traffic is getting worse.Education is a mixed bag. Inner-city schools are poor and struggling, but suburban schools are really good. The jobs and the economy are starting to turn around and wages here are reasonable. Desent wages mixed with low housing costs give Indy a good rating.

All sorts of housing opportunities abound--anything from an inner-city shack or highrise to tudors and Colonial mansions on historic North Meridian Street to typical "ranch" style homes in the suburbs to newer suburban homes. Indy has an eclectic mix of neighborhoods. If you're single and moving to Indy and like nightlife, then try living near the neighborhood of Broad Ripple. If you are a family and moving here, then a place in the suburban townships surrounding the city may be your best option. If you have a lot of money, try lving near Carmel, Fishers, Geist or Castleton. The NE side is growing very quickly, but housing is expensive for the Indy area.

The shopping is desent and is just a few hours from Chicago, where you can find anything.

Indy is in the midst of transforming its image. There is plenty to do downtown: bars, nightclubs, shopping (Circle Center, sporting events, hotels, Hard Rock Cafe, St. Elmo's Steakhouse.

Born and raised in Indy, but have lived in 3 other cities. Based on my experience I would say that Indy has been the best city I've lived in so far.
Posted By Darren, Indianapolis, IN : 5:22 PM  

It's been exactly an year that I came to Austin,TX from India. Its an amazing place,great going!!!!
Posted By Nivi, Austin, Texas : 5:24 PM  

I moved to Nashville, TN last year from Pensacola, FL. I love this city. Housing is pricy and there is a lot of traffic but the city itself is great. I've met some of the friendliest people at great stores, resturants, colleges, and hospitals. Gets a little hot in summer and little cold in the winter but quite easy to put up with.
Posted By Rita Jenne-Ryan, Nashville, TN : 11:22 PM  

The air is just as bad as houston, plus the extra exhaust fumes from the endless commuters. Whatever the rating is, it cannot possibly be healthy.
Posted By Chris, Houston : 12:00 AM  

I am an expat-American who has lived in London, England for the past 6 years. I think London is one of the best places in the world to live. It is now the largest financial center in the world (overtook NYC last year) and is also the most multicultural city in the world. And with global warming its actually getting sunnier and warmer in the winter! I would recommend that for anyone with a sense of adventure to try living abroad for a while. It gives you a whole new perspective on America -- both the good and the bad. On global "quality of life" surveys the US has been falling in the rankings. Mostly due to increased income disparity, poor public education, sprawl, and skyrocketing health care costs. But its a big beautiful world out there!
Posted By Richard, London, UK : 7:51 AM  

Does anyone have any thoughts on Weston Fl. I'm thinking about moving to FL and according to this site Weston FL has one of the strongest job growths in the state. That plus sunny days makes it very attractive to me.

Taunton MA
Posted By Steve, Taunton MA : 9:26 AM  

I grew up in Fairfield and still have family and best friends there. It was a great place to grow up..moved South to Charlotte 12 years ago but come "home" at least 6 times a year
Posted By Tom Griffin Charlotte, NC : 4:25 PM  

Orland Park? You've got to be kidding me! I live in Orland Park and I cannot wait to leave. It is non stop conglomeration of malls, strip malls, restaurants and condos!

Traffic?! Oh enough with the traffic.
Let's see, last I heard was that there were 600 miles of road and over 1200 traffic devices, stop signs and lights, that are not strategically placed or even timed properly.

I did have a laugh about the average commute. 30 minutes...and that's to get from one side of town to the other via one of two, yes there are only two, north-south main streets.

We do have good schools here but when this school year is over, we are outta here!

We also have a part time government only interested in self serving their agendas ($$$) and not the over good of the community.

Where do they come up this stuff?! Maybe next year, you should try a random of sampling of some residents of these 'prized' towns, for some honest opinions.
Posted By Leslie, Orland Park, IL : 6:31 PM  

Thank you guys for not listing any places in Georgia! Being a life long resident of metropolitan Atlanta, I've seen too many changes for my liking. It's not the same old south it once was as "implants" have changed the environment and atmosphere. Keep praising other states and locations as maybe they'll follow your advice and this will only be a temporary stop as they "move on to paradise". To quote the closing lines of the Eagles song "The Last Resort", "You call some place paradise, kiss it goodbye"! Yea, it really stinks here!
Posted By Jeff, Acworth, Georgia : 1:27 AM  

People considering a move to Cary should take the time to study the school situation carefully. This year 18,000 students are being redistricted in Wake County, a large portion of whom are being forced into Mandatory Year Round schedules. The lion's share of forced year round is in Cary and Apex. Some parents like this school format, but it can create serious problems for families with children on different school schedules, and makes participation in school activities cumbersome at best. Redistricting happens every year here, so buying a house which is not currently districted for year-round is absolutely no guarantee that you won't end up there eventually.
Posted By Joe, Cary NC : 12:15 PM  

I currently live in delaware & wanting to relocate to florida thought about tampa, i am single not looking for much just a nice place to relocate, does anyone have any suggestions!! i work in the healthcare field.
Posted By Tanyar,new castle, delaware : 1:51 PM  

I have lived in Texas and California so I have seen either amazing to really hot and humid weather. I want to move to Chicago but everyone thinks I am crazy and won't be able to handle the weather! I know its freazing but is it THAT bad????
Posted By Sarah, Los Angeles, CA/Houston, TX : 2:04 PM  

To Steve about Weston, definitely southeast Florida is one of the best places to live. Almost every city in the tri-county area- Miami, Broward, Palm Beach is within conmuting distance of Weston, so depending on your lifestile and what price range you are looking for you will have plenty of choice. And the weather is fantastic yearlong, despite hurricanes.
Posted By Chris, Boca Raton , Fl : 4:04 PM  

My Favorite city. Surfside, Fl. Aprox 8x8 blocks of cute litle houses, oceanfront row of midrises, pop. 5000.Walking distance to upscale Balharbor shopping, nice town center. 20 to 30' minutes from Miami International airport, Financial district, Performing Arts district. 10' to Miami beach. And still very very quiet, and surrounded by water. Walk to the ocean, the town center.
Oceanfront city club with pool, library, gymnasium. In summer they have movies under the stars. You can bring your floater if you decide to watch from the pool. Practically no crime. Police response is way under 5 minutes.
I hope I can afford a house there before it is discovered by the large crowd. I found it by chance after 10 years of living 20 miles from there. I guess the people that live there don't want the city to be known and end up being buyed out of such incredible place. Most houses from 600 to 800K. Nothing else in South florida so close to the ocean goes under 1.5 millon
Posted By Nina, Boca Raton, fl : 4:32 PM  

Try and buy a house in West Palm Beach for $230,000 like listed in the stats, hey Money you guys are joking right?
Posted By James Bear Florida : 1:14 PM  

Pembroke Pines is a great place to raise a family.Majority of the homes and malls are under 15 years old and well maintained so it feels like a new city.Pembroke pines is also strategically located approx 30 minutes south of Fort Lauderdale and same north of Miami. There are many routes for commute as the city was well planned mainly on a grid system.Property prices high and on par with neighbouring cities such as Weston, Miramar and Plantation.This is a great suberb in South Florida and just a little over 30 minutes to the beaches.Being a realtor,I have seen most major cities in Florida and Pembroke Pines has location, location, location...and all desirable ammenities to go along with it.
Posted By Joel Grant,Pembroke Pines, Florida : 10:06 PM  

i want to move from san antonio, tx to los angeles, calif; any comments? i love that city!! it has so much to offer a single guy.
Posted By RG in San Antonio, Texas : 1:48 PM  

I was born and raised in upstate NY and lived in Utah, Colorado, Texas and Alabama over the past 30 years. All of the US is becoming "generica" with the same stores, restaurants and housing with little individuality. I guess finding a place to live with weather you can tolerate is about the only criteria left to consider where a "great place to live" is.
Posted By Louise Kane Houston, TX : 6:42 PM  

I enjoyed reading the list of top cities. I have lived in five states in the last twelve years, and most towns certainly have both good and bad points. I will say without reservation though that my least favorite place to live was Atlanta. I wasted years living in that unfriendly, scattered out city. The day I saw our moving van pulling out of the state of Georgia ranks as one of the happiest days of my life. We now live outside of Little Rock, Arkansas (of all places!) and absolutely love it!! The people are friendly, the cost of living is low, and we have the benefit of a beautiful small city. If you have never been to Little rock, you,re missing out. We also enjoyed our years in Indianapolis and Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
Posted By Meredith Pearson, Little Rock, Arkansas : 12:38 AM  

Christa Young, I am currently living just outside of Atlanta after living most of my life in Texas. My family and I are looking to move back west. I am in Commercial Real Estate and would very much like to hear more about the housing and commercial market in Colorado Springs.
Posted By Ken F., Fayetteville, GA : 8:41 AM  

I really dont understand how they make there list. If all there looking at is statistics and numbers then this list is seriously lacking.

I am originally from Southern California, born and raised in Orange County (Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley).

And I just wanna take two secs to respond to joe blow up there who thinks "land price" alone proves how nice it is to live in California.

The weathers great, its 20 mins to the beach (depending on how close you live to the coast) and a hour and a half to the mountains but that doesnt mean that california is IDEAL in the slightest. And just because your that close to the beach doesnt mean the water is going to be anywhere close to warm... or swimmable.

California has to be one of the most expensive places to live in America....if you dont have a incredible job for years and years and save for all those years, GOODLUCK ever buying a house for you and your family. Its just not gonna happen.

Then you do buy a brandnew house and guess big is your yard?....there is 6 feet separating you from your neighbors house(that looks exactly like yours btw)...but california is the best place to live?

And as far as the weather...yeah its warm all the time but has anyone told you about June Gloom? Has anyone mentioned the santa ana winds? Rain is not always a good thing...but in california you will be dying for it to rain at leats ONCE in a me. And seasons, if you live in southern california you have no clue what seasons are.

Now Im not knocking you Californians, Im just here to let you know there are other places out there that have a leg up on california in many ways.

Personally, if I was to give advice to anyone looking to make a life changing move...if your single, listen to the guy who mentions london. If thats out of the question, take a serious look Arizona, Colorado, Oregon and North Carolina. ALl those states have a plethora of great cities to live in.

My personal Vote goes to Boone NC or Outerbanks NC. Both those cities have some nice websites up. Boone has a 3 min video that I think you will find very interesting.
Posted By Micah, Greenville KY : 9:31 AM  

Grew up in western suburbs of Chicago, beat it out of there as fast as I could. Fun city to visit - wouldn't live there again. To freakin' cold and crowded. Went to school in Bloomington Indiana - wouldn't go back(grey skies, cold, boring), and Fort Collins - unimpressive and ASU in Tempe - pretty girls, fun when you are young, but hot and ugly. Moved to L.A. and then San Diego for 20 years - fun, fun, fun, but got too crowded, air turned brown even in San Diego (temp is nice but the water and night temp are never really warm and water is often polluted) so sold the overpriced real estate and moved to Kauai. Beautiful but boring after a while and even more expensive than San Diego. Moved to Austin - OK - HIGHLY over rated - especially coming from San Diego and Kauai, but still a deal relatively speaking. Kinda scrubby and ugly actually. Cedar fever allergies attacked (common up there -check it out if you have allergies before you move there) left for Lake Conroe - 1 hour north of Houston - no cedar issues, boat to school, restaurants and bars, close to the big city if you really need to (mostly just the airport, occasional sporting event - and in center of the US - cheap to fly anywhere) waterfront houses for 10% of what they cost in CA or HI. Warm weather, beautiful pine forest right up to the lake, very low cost of living. Lots of tennis, golf, boating, wakeboarding, fishing, hunting, & BBQ. Awesome! No air pollution like Houston. Big ranches, woods and horses all around but close to town/The Woodlands. Well kept secret - but growing.
Posted By Jim Lake Conroe, TX : 11:10 PM  

We live in Toms River, NJ. It is a great place to raise a family. We go to NYC and Philadelphia for culture and we are 10 minutes to the beaches. Taxes are high and state corruption out of hand but Lets face it, there is no place in this country thats perfect. I have lived many places in the US my favorites, southern California (weather) and Chicago(city life and people) Heaven is the only perfect place.
Posted By dmt-Toms River, New Jersey : 9:08 AM  

Central Florida (Kissimmee, Orlando) is going down hill. Poverty is is in abundance. Homeless on the streets. Job Market is awful. Unless you plan to move for retirement in a more rural area (which is hard to come by as they are building more than they can keep up with) or have a high paying job thats solidified you'll get. Look elsewhere.
Posted By Mom, Kissimmee, FL : 11:27 AM  

I notice that some of the truly best plaaes to live are automatically ommitted from your list because of their priciness. But then again, isn't the cost of real estate in placed like Malibu, CA or downtown Manhattan so high exactly because they are such coveted places to live? I therefore wish you did two "best places" lists: first, the one you have, whch includes the cost of living/housing; and a second one that gives most desireable places irrespective of costs.
Posted By Tom Jent, Santa Monica CA : 6:54 PM  

Clearwater Florida is wonderful. I visited here many times and each time I came I liked it more than the last.
I moved here 10 years ago and I love it. No hurricanes have hit us either! Warm all year! Great beaches! Low cost living. Plenty to do and see. Getting a bit more crowded though. But GREAT
Posted By Orpha Clearwater Florida : 2:30 AM  

My family moved to Sugar Land from Detroit back in 1980. When we came here, there was nothing but flat land and cows. Now this place actually has its own Pottery Barn (a big thing for this town). However, I would have to agree that The Woodlands, TX is much prettier...lots of trees and trails. Sugar Land is FLAT, not very attractive, and you DO have to drive everywhere (unless you live close to Town Square/Mall area). We are considering moving because roads and stores are getting TOO congested. Please consider that Sugar Land's majority population is non-caucasian; this might be a consideration when selecting schools.
Posted By Erik, Sugar Land, TX : 10:50 AM  

Contest like this lent themselves to the larger of States. Of course Texas will appear as having the best of this or covers a huge chunk of real estate. Giant Alaska wouldn't be a rival as its still mainly undeveloped. Unscientific surveys like yours are biased against very small states like Delaware or Vermont
Posted By Alan R. Reno, Watertown, NY : 11:01 PM  

Several posts have mentioned the schools situation, including enforcement of mandatory year round schedules and large-scale redistricting. It is important to understand that the quality of education being discussed today does not yet reflect the impact of sweeping MYR and reassignments (some of which cost kids an extra hour plus per day in school bus riding time). Beyond the known impacts to family life, we no evidence to ensure the quality of education will not suffer. Las Vegas and Atlanta are among school districts who implemented MYR, failed, then returned to traditional calendars. Think about it.
Posted By Joey, Cary NC : 12:56 PM  

I am currently living in las vegas and was considering moving to texas within the next year or two. My fiance has been down near plano and loved it. I am a teacher and am looking for a home around 150K. I know these numbers posted on the website are not always true. Is it possible to find a home around that price in a safe neighberhood? Also I have heard good things about the surronding areas, such as mckinney as well. Is there anyone who can give me some information regarding this area? Thanks for your help.
Posted By Pete Las Vegas NV : 1:17 PM  

I moved to Fort Collins six years ago after graduating college in Iowa... I've never been so in love with a town and the people with in it... What an amazing place, it's definately home!
Posted By Hillary Siebels, Fort Collins, CO : 2:01 PM  

I have lived in Charlotte, NC but currently live in Chicago, IL and traveled to various cities in the US. I would have to say that Chicago is truly a beautiful and amazing world class city and the majority of other places in the US do not even come close to being in the same category as Chicago. If you're into the year round heat waves, chain restaurants, and no culture and diversity, then this is probably not the place for you. Yes, we may have some cold winters but people forget to mention that we also have nice summers, beautiful autumns and springtime unlike some of the places mentioned which are deathly hot and humid all of the time. Whatever your heart desires, Chicago has to offer. And if you're a nature buff, you can travel out of the city and experience beautiful nature. In general, although some parts of the South are pretty when in comes to nature, overall it is pretty crappy. I lived in Charlotte and it is truly a joke, there is no diversity whatsoever, almost nothing to do, and a handful of decent restaurants. Not to mention the terrible public transportation, terrible traffic, no sidewalks or street lights, and quite frankly pretty high cost of living and it is very difficult to make a decent living. Oh, and just to let you know Southerners are not that friendly at least in Charlotte they're not but then again maybe it's because Charlotte is saturated with New Yorkers.
Posted By Lori, Chicago, Illinois : 4:46 PM  

Pete from Vegas - I live in Texas near Plano. A home in a nice area would be closer to 250K. The property taxes are really high here (600-700 per month).
Posted By Anne from Dallas, Tx : 10:00 PM  

If one more person from California decides to relocate to Austin, I'm going to scream. This city is perfect, and we're not interested in becoming the new Denver for Californians who want to get out. Stay on the west coast - people don't wear t-shirts around Austin telling you not to move here just for the hell of it.
Posted By Kelly, Austin TX : 11:03 AM  

Is Milwaukee a good place?
I live in Columbus Ohio and the cement ceiling for women in the workplace is a turnoff.. Am looking for some attractive spots to consider where the economy is good and people are both moral and progressive in personality (as can be).
Posted By Morgan Fairchild, Columbus, Ohio : 4:45 PM  

My husband and I lived in Columbia immediately after graduating from college a few years ago. It may be close to DC and Baltimore as the crow flies, but those of us without wings have to spend an hour sitting in traffic each way. The planned community concept is annoying--the thin strips of green space don't fool anyone, and just make it harder to find what you're looking for. I agree with the previous post that there are too many over-rated gov't workers, and that goes for any suburb out there. Affordable housing is nonexistant. The "median" home price on this survey has to be for condos. A single family 2bdrm shack will cost at least $500K. There was no way we were going to pay a premium to live in such a horrible place... after 6 months in Columbia we moved back to the midwest and never looked back! Our only kudos go to old downtown Ellicott City, which was a fun place to visit and hang out.
Posted By Mandy, Lebanon OH : 8:35 PM  

I keep waiting for someone to mention SHOPPING as a factor in deciding where to live. I don't mean cutesy overpriced shops, I mean the kind of stores that we all commonly need to provide the basics for ourselves. It's important to me that I have a CHOICE of supermarkets, dept stores, and yes, chain stores, near to where I live. Trees, trees, I've seen plenty of them, but it's STORES that I really need!
Posted By Sharon, Garden City, NY : 9:01 PM  

Austin is fast becoming the place NOT to relocate. Housing costs are going through the roof, taxes on the rise, infrastructure is becoming weak, schools are not up to even state standards ( with one to be closed in 2008 ) and property developers are driving land and home prices skyward. If I could do it all over again, I would steer clear of any area with a population of over 500,000 in Texas.
Posted By Stephen Lovelady Austin, Tx : 10:46 PM  

My husband and I lived in Cary after we first were married. We loved it, but didn't appreciate it until we moved away for my husband's job. We are now close to family but miss the lifestyle we left behind in NC. While I cannot argue that Cary is running over with character -- there are a number of cookie cutter homes -- the town cannot be beat for livability. The cost of living is reasonable, there are lots of parks and greenways, plenty of restaurants, short commute times, mild weather, easy access to the beach or the mountains, NC State, Duke and UNC Chapel Hill all within easy reach, a convenient and easy to navigate airport with reasonable prices to most anywhere you want to go. Also, in Chicago-land, where we live now, there are few suburbs with the diversity of incomes and backgrounds as you'll find in Cary. In Chicago you can live in a safe neighborhood with great schools on the North Shore where an entry level 1200 square foot starter home will run you near $400,000, or if crime and education aren't important to you, go much further away from the city where you'll pay comparable prices to Cary but will live with sub-par education and more crime. Also, these Chicago suburbs offer less charm than Cary with crummier weather. Cary offers a trailer park (it's small, but it's there), million dollar homes and everything in between. The "Containment Area for Relocated Yankees" welcomes everyone, no matter where you're from. It's diverse in all sorts of ways. Highly recommended! We are moving back just as soon as we can.
Posted By Julie, Winnetka IL : 8:12 PM  

I am currently living in San Jose, CA. I want to move to the Lake Tahoe area. I am a nursing student and was wondering if there are any nursing schools around that area? What areas are most affordable for students or people just getting out of school
Posted By Jenn San Jose, Ca : 11:18 PM  

Moved to Saint George Utah when it was on the top of the Best Place to Live. Now it crowded, the small streets are not designed for all of the cars and people. Realestate prices have increased. Summers are unbearlable, though worth it for the small town environment. No more.
Posted By Saint George, Matt : 6:19 AM  

We've been living in NJ for some time. And now want to move into NY state closer to my work. Any suggestions about nice places in NY state or NYC with affordable housing and friendly people? Comments and input from people is appreciated.

thank you
Posted By shridhar, edison, NJ : 11:49 AM  

I had the great fortune to be born and raised in Naperville, living there for 20 years and graduating from Waubonsie High School. My folks have since moved to Nashville and I live in Palo Alto, CA. Perhaps its through experience of living in other places that I can give a genuine reflection on what a wonderful town Naperville truly is. The area is as beautiful as the midwest can be, there's a bunch to do (wish I realized that all the times I complained about how bored I was) and for raising families its tough to beat the schools and recreation for kids. For those complaining about real estate prices, where I live now you can't find a 3 bed, 2 bath shoe box for under one million dollars. Suddenly Naperville is a steal, huh? If it weren't for the winters, lack of ocean and mountains I would have stayed. As for the people, everywhere you go you'll find people to dislike and disagree with. The real test of your own character is if you can find the good in others, or at the very least find people in the crowd who share your values. Naperville offers enough diversity to do just that.
Posted By Jason, Palo Alto, CA : 1:53 PM  

Moved from California to Frisco,TX (Dallas Suburb) and was surprised to see most of the people in the area were recent transplants from CA, NY, NJ or IL. Homes are reasonable, Schools are excellent and overall quality of life is great.
Posted By Frisco,TX and Texas : 5:34 PM  

I am thinking of moving to DE. from NJ> because of the high property tax. I am retired. Can you recommend an area that has low cost of living.
Posted By marion. oceanport. NJ. : 7:38 AM  

I moved to this city from Houston, Texas. I was immediately taken aback by scenes of poverty which seemed reminiscent of PBS films on African native populations, but this was in an urban area. While the people at first seemed to be friendly, I quickly learned that Kansas City was mired in a tradition of drug abuse. It was almost impossible to spend much time anywhere without becoming aware of this. Drug dealers were present not only in dance clubs, but coffee houses. They were implanted in ice cream shops and drops for dealers sat in chairs in clothing stores, providing an extra layer of protection for street sellers.
I have lived here for more than five years now and have painfully watched nice people not part of this scene literally threatened or run out of town.
The city is trying to rebuild the downtown area by building lofts and stadiums. It seems doubtful that any amount of additions that could change the nature of this city which is under the surface quite threatening, undereducated, and cruel.
Posted By Alberto Moriera, Kansas City, Missouri : 10:29 AM  

I live right next door to Naperville. I cannot imagine anyone wanting to live there unless you are interested in the pseudo-prestige of having a Naperville address. It is by far one of the snobbiest places I've ever been. The town is loaded with wealthy, arrogant, prima donna's and their ill-mannered children. The houses are ridiculously super expensive. The downtown "historic" area is barely historic at all and is, in fact, overrun with all the trendiest, fad of the moment, stores. The restaurants are average at best by comparison to Chicago. The traffic is absolutely horrendous. The people could not be remotely considered friendly but, rather, the epitome of self-centered-ness. Go to one of the surrounding suburbs and you will find the same housing for far less with nicer people and with less overall pomposity.
Posted By Jerry, Bolingbrook, IL : 12:22 PM  

I would like to leave California and I am looking at Tennessee. I am middle aged and work in the medical/dental insurance field. I have no idea where to look. I need affordable housing but good employment growth. Anyone having any ideas, let me know.
Posted By D.Morrow,Fremont, California : 2:35 PM  

moreno valley ca or mo valley as "they" say really is a terrible town to raise a family. High crime traffic gangs drugs bums you name it the armpit of glad to have move from that scumbucket of a place. thank you lord
Posted By ricky rowlett texas : 3:32 PM  

I use to live in Tampa Florida and thought it was all right but I moved to Clinton Mississippi and love it. No more hour-long traffic jams, it�s a pretty state with a rich culture and who couldn�t love the southern people's hospitality and they have manners, unlike the Floridians.
Posted By Mark, Clinton, MS : 4:40 PM  

I currently live in Santa Barbara. Too expensive even for a middle class professional. Cost of living all around is TOO EXPENSIVE! Would love to find a better more affordable place to live.
Posted By Dee, Santa Barbara California : 5:34 PM  

Cranston and Warwic RI are symbolic of drastic economic disaster in RI caused by corrupt politicians through-out the year. Look at those jailed from RI government. I just spent 5 days in Providence and unforunately the Smith hill area is just as bad. I looked at houses over 300,000 that need to be bulldozed, yet people are buying and renting these infestations to immigrants who know no better. Crime and most other statistics in RI , Warwic and Cranston are really bad to national or better, your list of top. I couldn't wait to get out of RI. Unfortunately I must move there. Newport and Middletown are not in my financial reach. I'll continue searching. Maybe other areas will be better. Is the whole area a slum?
Posted By James, Palm Springs, CA : 12:47 AM  

I wonder since the housing prices are down, I wonder if the property tax will come down too. I live in a house that is over 50 years old and my property tax are running about 6% of my net income. They had a tax meeting one evening and when I mentioned that my property tax was running around 6%, I thought the guy was going to have a stroke. I figured up that if I retire (will be 62 this month) it will take two of my Social Security checks just to pay the property taxes. Might just as well keep on working and forget about retiring.
Posted By Stan Truman Dupo, IL : 6:52 AM  

How can you leave a wonderful town like Greenville, SC off the list?
Posted By Eric - Greemville, SC : 7:49 AM  

May be moving from Auburn, AL - these are the options: Tallahassee, FL, Gainesville, FL, Wilmington, NC, Hickory, NC - okay people let's hear some feedback - Lived in Sarasota, FL b/4 moving to AL - miss the beaches.
Posted By Heidi, Auburn, AL : 3:38 PM  

I find it extremely disturbing that these "yuppies" making a salary of 100K could possibly put themselves in a snobby category, ie, Naperville, Orland Park. I live in a community of a minimum 2-7 million dollar homes where a 100K is a bill for landscaping. My neighbors are quite friendly, jovial and down right friendly, we know what we have and where we come from and never a need to make a visitor feel they are beneath us. But yes, there is always that one who comes from another area feeling the need to flaunt. Please, no matter where you decide to live, always remember, the other guy may just have more than you do, somewhere, but doesn't need to exude the pompous attitude some feel is necessary to proceed in life. Find a community you like with good people, good schools and good Karma.
Posted By Gina, Hinsdale/Burr Ridge, illinois : 8:20 PM  

i grew up in Lisle wich is right nex to Naperville and it is horrible! people drive like idiots. try doing an actual for homes in the area and finding anything affordable, not easy for a family with chilren, unless you make at least 100K. naperville is just a sea of strip-malls and "mcmansions. the taxes are rediculous. Naperville is one big, pretentious, soulless wasteland.
Posted By Krista, Bloomington IL : 10:18 AM  

I cannot imagine how eden prairie, minnesota made this list. I used to live in Minnetonka which is right down the road and think E.P is filled with snobs and self-serving people. (as is Minnetonka) It is overcrowed with overpriced homes on postage stamp lots. Quite frankly, I can't imagine any town in Minnesota being on the list and question how anyone would choose to live there. The weather is horrendous and Minnesotans are not warm or welcoming people. Whatever the criteria for this is flawed.
Posted By Jennifer, Indianapolis, IN : 3:10 PM  

For the californian looking at TN for
medical insurance field.....Nashville--
tons of insurance, tons of hospitals including vanderbilt, live in the suburbs if you don't mind a commute, but only "trendy" stuff that will remind you of california will be in the green hills/hillsboro area including a wild oats market and soon to come a whole foods market. avoid public schools in nashville except in better neighborhoods.
Posted By still a yankee, but in tn : 4:51 PM  

I would like to see some weather related categories like top snowiest cities, cloudiest/rainiest cities, etc.
Don't assume everyone thinks a city that has a hard winter is a bad city, but it is not for everyone.
Posted By Snowbird : 5:01 PM  

I grew up a Army bratt and i'm sure many others did too. I traveled and lived all around the states, (Hawaii before it was a state '54-58)and lived in Holland for 3 years which i loved and travelled alot of Europe. But after reading all these comments and eveyone defending their state or area, i still think it's what YOU make of where you live. I think if you live somewhere try and find the nice places and enjoy your surroundings and make the best of it and you will love your "home" after awhile, but only if you try. I currently have lived in Glen Burnie, Maryland the past 25 years and it's nice being 40 miles from D.C. , a few hours from Philly, N.Y.,N.J., Delaware, Virgina, West Va., and many other places. I've adapted nicely and although i do miss other parts of the country home is what you make of it. God Bless the U.S.A. though!
Posted By Dutch Sampson, Glen Burnie, Md. : 5:22 PM  

I moved to Bethlehem, PA from So Cal and love it - Unlike many states, Bethlehem is a very fabulous place catering to the young, middle-aged, and elderly people alike. The weather's nice, the Atlantic ocean is w/i 1.5 hours, and historical sites/museums are close and abundant! We have the rural ATM w/ big city flavor as NJ is 5 miles away and Manhattan is only 1.5 hrs close. The people in Bethlehem couldn't be nicer. They're well educated and pleasant to the eye. Also, home prices are in step with the average income allowing young families to easily own their first home. We have one of the best college preparatory schools in the nation as well as some of the highest ranking parochial schools on the eastern seaboard. Cultural diversity has greatly improved over the last three years owing its success to the mass exodus of families fleeing NYC and NJ for the relaxed sanctuary of a slower paced environment in which to raise and educate their young families. Mi casa es su casa!
Posted By Jane D, Bethlehem, PA : 7:57 PM  

Charlottesville VA sucks-super liberal and the public breast-feeding capitol of the world. Expensive housing and crappy shopping. Pretty mountain views, though and very historic but we're moving to Citrus County Fl next about getting a lot for your money! Great weather, no crime and lots to do.
Posted By Chris Mathews Charlottesville, VA : 8:04 PM  

I've been in Sarasota now for 16 years and I am ready to blow this joint. It looks gorgeous, but the energy here is stagnant. It's no where for an intelligent single person to live. Besides, so much for wonderful winters, it's hailing outside now!
Posted By Doreen, Sarasota, FL : 6:32 AM  

I don't see how any city in Florida could make the list. We have an extremely high cost of living (especially in South Florida), property taxes and insurance are out of control not to mention the cost of housing. Crime is pretty bad too and Education, well if you have children and you care about their education you may want to look elsewhere. The job market isn't what it use to be and the available jobs don't pay enough to afford a nice place to live in a safe neighborhood. For the fisrt time ever in 2006 more people moved out of the state then moved into the state. I have lived in Ft. Myers, Orlando and now Tampa, FL and all are pretty much the same. Expensive and crime ridden. I'm moving as soon as I can.
Posted By Anne H, Tampa, FL : 10:22 AM  

We moved to Fort Collins from Huntington Beach and let me tell you we are BORED out of our minds. We have to commute to Denver for work and shopping. The people are way too conservative and snotty and our kids are going stir crazy in the house because we haven't been able to go outside for months because of the frigid cold. We are starting to wonder if we made the right desicion moving here. I originally am from this area and now I remember why I moved away years ago in the first place.
Posted By LDR, Fort Collins, Colorado : 1:03 PM  

Posted By PML, CHERRY HILL, NJ : 4:38 PM  

The Mandatory Year Round school issue may get resolved. A parent advocacy group called WakeCARES is filing a lawsuit against the school board based on MYR's inherent denial of equal educational opportunities to all children (Care and Apex have been hardest hit). Not very comforting when parents have to sue the school system to get a fair shake.
Posted By Josef, Cary : 10:22 PM  

To Anne and 'Me':

Charlotte, NC is an incredible young city. My wife and I moved there from CT in 98 then moved back to CT in 04 for work related reasons. We are considering moving back. My brother lives in Seattle, which is a great city in and of itself. Charlotte is becomming more attractive to single people. It is as good as you get as a young family. It's the 2nd largerst Financial Services / Banking city in the US behind NYC. The geography is massive and one should realize that you will/should never travel in the high crime areas (as every city has to some extent). You will not be disappointed moving to Charlotte.

To 'Me' -- consider Charlotte as an option....
Posted By Steve, Trumbull, CT : 11:23 PM  

I have lived in St. Joseph, MO for 30 years. The town was slowly growing and I was finding more and more things to do until...2 years ago the mayor decided that we needed a hog processing plant. BAD IDEA! Our crime stats shot way up, our schools had to adapt to the Spanish language, and when we go out to eat the waitress' barely speak english. This is upsetting to me and I want out! By the way, we had our first murder in a few years and it was a member of the MS-13 gang, the police can't find a connection between the suspect and the victim. SCARY!
Posted By Lance Bates, St. Joseph, MO : 12:59 PM  

As a younger working person still living at home, California is frustrating to me because it is so expensive to live here. The median house price in O.C. is 600k. Condos command the same prices unless you rent. I've thought about moving possibly to Texas, but I'm sure the weather and convenience of everything here has spoiled me. I definitely won't ever go to Austin as the Texans there have made it clear that they hate us. :( I don't want to live in a tiny boring city or a big city. Is there anything like H.B. in Texas?? Or even like Orange Co. at all? Maybe previous residents of Ca who have moved to TX can say?? Thanks.
Posted By J.W., Huntington Beach, CA : 1:53 PM  

We are moving to florida from Illinois this summer. Retired but still working and always will be. Family lives in Orlando, but too crowded with tourist traffic for us. Any ideas as to where we should go? We are avid motorcyclist and plan to get a job selling them in florida. We like common people who don't put on the dog.
Posted By Dean Peoria,IL : 6:07 PM  

Great place to live and raise a family. If Naperville does not have it, it is quick commute to a neighboring community that does. Downfall is the Real Estate cost. $329k will get you either a cracker box or a condo. Realisticlly add a $100k to the alleged median to get a house without wheels.
Posted By Rick, Naperville Illinois : 11:31 PM  

Why in Gods name would anyone want to live in a town that is the center for dangerous prisoners...that might want to escape with the help of their buddies on the outside? Folsom? You gotta be kidding?
Posted By WP Phx Az : 5:28 AM  

You Really want to avoid Texas at all costs..Hot Summer and Fall..Very cold winter and spring..Housing prices may be lower than California but wages are much much lower..12 to 14 percent unemployment in many areas.. schools have major drug problems and are rated as poor in national rankings..High crime rates..VERY HIGH UTILITY RATES..VERY HIGH PROPERTY TAXES..VERY HIGH SALES TAXES..There is a Tax on ALL buisnesses called "Franchise Tax" equal to 15% of GROSS INCOME!!! Interstate highways being turned into toll roads (at up to 75cents per mile!) Texas is very over rated!! AVOID THE HYPE !! I am getting out, and you shouldn't come here.
Posted By Glen George Dallas,TX : 3:48 AM  

I dont know what idiot picked Aurora, IL for the top 100 best places to live!
Gangs, Drugs, Crime, absolutely terrible school district,complete with embarassing test scores. Do your homework next time CNN!!!
Posted By Tom Wiesner Aurora IL : 4:38 PM  

I can see how Boca Raton made it! I live 2 miles from Boca and both my husband and I have worked in Boca bringing home a very good income. People in Boca are very wealthy. If you want to have your own business where you work for very wealthy people than Boca is the place. Now if you are a blue collar working and not self employed your tips will probably be very low but if you work for yourself, say a Personal Fitness Trainor or Real Estate Agent, you will do quite well in Boca.

But, it's not that affordable, unless you purchased a home before 2004. People are paying so much money for housing it's insane. Miami-Dade,Broward and Palm Beach Counties cost a lot of money to live here. If you work as a Nurse, Teacher or Police Office, unless you purchased your home before 2004 your probably will end up a small condo or townhouse or worse a bad neighborhood. We have people who make 60,000 dollars a year trying to buy a home in Liberty City. Unless a person makes 100,000 a year it's almost unobtainable to get a home here and here is the reason why:

Let's say my neighbor is selling her home for 450,000. It's 2 story, 2,200 square feet in a good neighborhood near Boca. No pool and it's not near the beach. All our properties are on a zero lot line as well. If you wanted to purchase her home, which is on the market, you will dish out about $13,000 a year in property taxes. Now add on insurance and you will be well looking into at least 15 to 16 a year in property taxes and insurance. Now if you take a home in Bevery Hills that 10 yrs. ago cost about the same price as my next door neighbors did back then...and you come to find that ten yrs. later that small 2000 square foot home in Bevery Hills, CA was sold for 1.1 million. It was recently renovated and is now back on the market. Well that Bevery Hills home will cost you about the same in property taxes...about 13 thousand. Now how can both homes (which both are about the same square footage) but different prices have the same type of property taxes? My next door neighbor has four kids to take care of as a single mother. She isn't paying 13,000 a yr. in property taxes due to our current taxing situation, but she wants to sell her home. Now how many people want to pay 13,000 dollars a year in property taxes? They must be out there, but I gotta admit before I would want to pay that kind of money I would rather live somewhere else. That's how come I don't know how any home in Dade, Broward or Palm Beach county made it on the top 100. Who in their right mind pays 13,000 property taxes on a 450,000 dollar home? It's totally insane. Imagine paying 1,100 dollars a month just on property taxes. And this is pretty much just above the median home price. I believe it's about $375,000 for a three bedroom, two bath. Well, if you have three or four kids like she does you want a four bedroom, three bath like she does. Can the average family with four kids afford that type of taxation?
Posted By angel, coconut creek, florida : 9:35 PM  

Ramapo, NY is a dump! Who is rating these places? Huntington, Long Island is my pick!
Posted By Susan, Huntington, NY : 11:52 AM  

Eden Prairie Mn?? Really?? I live in the Twin Cities area and if you are wealthy or a snob, it is a great place to live.I am looking forward to moving to Madison WI.Wisconsin is a better run state with high education standards and much nicer people.
Posted By Patsy,Minneapolis,MN : 2:48 PM  

I grew up in the Phoenix area, but I think it's lost its charm to the money machine. We seem to be following California's lead in everything from Malls to freeway systems to overdevelopment. Our education system is near the worst in the country, and rental homes are decimating what would otherwise be vibrant family communities. Most new developments are walled in like a prisons, and don't even get me started on the people, you've never seen such narcissism. You can do better than to move here. I'll take bad weather and good people over this any day.
Posted By Dan Burke, Phoenix, AZ : 4:10 PM  

Once we get past 50,000 pop, you will begin hearing a lot about Parker, Colorado on these sorts of lists! Convenient to the sports/arts of Denver, and to the recreation of the Rocky Mountains but just far enough away from both to take advantage of the best schools and living environment in the entire state.
Posted By Benjamin Snow, Parker, CO : 7:21 PM  

I live in Naperville and I am proud that it is one of the best places to live.
There are snobs everywhere, not just Naperville. Some people are just being to general here and do not know what they are talking about, nor do they have proof to back it up
Posted By Kathryn Naperville, IL : 11:17 PM  

We live in Michigan and are thinking of moving because the economy is horrible. My husband does mortgages, he used to sell medical insurance. Houses are going into foreclosures because so many people are losing their jobs. We have 3 kids, so we need somewhere with good schools, low crime, and preferably warmer. I know someone in Tennessee, is that a good place for jobs, especially mortgages or insurance? Any suggestions would be helpful.
Posted By Amber A, Grand Rapids, Mi : 4:33 PM  

so many people with so much to say. maybe these lists are complete crap, people are going to live where they want to live regardless of some list, and every community on earth has its flaws. so live where you please call it home if you want and tune the rest of the world out, because the U.S in comprised of 75% idiots, excluding the great state of NEBRASKA;-)
Posted By BEN, LINCOLN, NEBRASKA : 8:24 PM  

These types of lists are always worthless. The rankings are based solely on numbers, and that system spits out boring exurbs that have no soul, no culture and are full of McMansions and strip malls that look the same whether they are in Naperville, IL, or Columbia, MD. Both of which, for the record, wouldn't even make a well-researched "best of" list for the Chicago and D.C. areas, respectively.
Posted By Vin Hamilton, Detroit, MI : 8:55 PM  

Move to Dayton OH, it rocks
Posted By bill dayton ohio : 9:31 PM  

Johnson County where there is nothing to do and only arrogant people to do it with.
Posted By BernieMatherson New Orleans, LA : 10:05 PM  

I am retired (early) and am looking for an active, affordable and fun city to live in, any ideas? How about the Vegas area?
Posted By Theresa in Argyle, TX : 10:29 AM  

Hey - Walla Walla Washington makes the Money's No.1 town in America to retire and doesn't even rate a place on America's top 100 list?? What's this?
Posted By D. Anthony Weeks, Walla Walla, WA : 10:58 AM  

I move from Richmond, VA to Aurora, IL which is next to Naperville and got a total culture shock. While the area has lots of attractions, the housing is ridiculous. I moved from 6 acres and a 2000SF house in Richmond to Aurora and got a 1800sf/1/2 acre house for the same cost and I was shocked when my taxs went from $800 to $3400!!! I could not afford to live there. I am back in Richmond now!!
Posted By Ed Midlothian, VA : 12:15 PM  

This is entitled the "Best Places to Live". Then why are they all cities? Do youself a favor and leave the huddled masses behind and move out of the city. 80% of America is rural land, and 20% of the population lives there. Sounds like the best place to live to me.
Posted By Jim, Buffalo, MN : 1:31 PM  

Melbourne is a wonderful place to live. The museums and culture are very surprising, much more diverse and liberal than Boston or Ann Arbor, where I have previously lived. The beaches are gorgeous, the water crystal clear. The German sub-culture is extraordinary. An excellent place to raise a little girl.
Posted By Samuel Dobija, Melbourne FL : 1:49 PM  


I live in Granite Bay, CA where the home prices are outrages. The home we bought in the 80s on the lake cost 260,000. We sold it in 2004 for 1.2ml. We are selling another property for 1.2ml. After it closes we are selling our business and looking for a home outside of Madison, WI so we can finish raising our kids in a more peaceful environment. We don't want them to get stuck here in CA for the rest of their lives. They need a change.

If you want to be in a good size nice home (2000+sqft) that has good street appeal, in a good neighborhood and has good schools, the starting price is around 650,000 and up. Then you have to deal with the nasty neighborhood associations. Some of them are nuts and have been sued for pushing a little to far. I know of two that lost the lawsuits and everyone in the neighborhood had to pay out major $$$$$.

To the person who made the comment about Folsom, CA. Which is a very nice city. I'm just not crazy about their traffic problems.
I'm very close to Folsom, CA. We lived in house that was on the Folsom Lake beach and we could see the prison lights at night, which is just on the other side of the dam. They have very tight security there!!! Trust me they don't won't to put their residents at risk. There are million dollar homes all around that area. It is the most sought after area. In the 20 years that I have lived here, they had one prisoner who TRIED to escape, he didn't get very far. I would be more worried about living next to San Quentin Vs Folsom. Folsom doesn't house the most dangerous convicts.

The person who mentioned nursing in Lake Tahoe. Lake Tahoe Community College offers a Nursing Assistant Training Program. There are not any nursing schools in Tahoe. The closest one that I know of is Sierra College in Roseville at the old Roseville Hospital. Sac State also has a program.
Posted By RB, Granite Bay, CA : 10:52 PM  

I live in Minnesota for 1 year. I have 12 years experience as a secretary and it has been hard for me to get a professional job. I've been working for temp agencies. As a minority this is not the best place to live if you're trying to get a professional job.
Posted By CC, Fort Snelling, MN : 11:01 PM  

Apparently no one realizes that Arkansas exists... Ever since the T.V. show 'The Simple Life' was in Altus, AR a few years ago everyone seems to think we are all barefoot hillbillies on a farm. Wrong. I live in Fayetteville, AR and I never knew how beautiful it was until I visited other places.. For example: I've been to Dallas, TX a lot lately and pretty sure everyone's yard is tiny and no one speaks english!!! And it is sooo flat with no good lakes, mountains, or any scenery! It is beautiful here, the people are nice.. good ol' southern hospitality of course, very cheap housing, pretty good shopping, summer is hot but not too hot, winter is cold but not too cold. Since it's the home of Wal-Mart it's growing quite a bit... We just need more people!
Posted By Lauren, Fayetteville, AR : 1:57 AM  

I agree that most of the towns on this list are just suburbs of major cities. Bethlehem, PA is actually an exception. It is quite a stretch to say that Bethlehem is a suburb of Philadelphia. I lived in the Allentown/Bethlehem area for 3 years and I really liked the area. Bethlehem has a well-preserved historic area and the feel of a college town with great shops and restaurants.

Naperville, IL is a suburb of Chicago, much closer in distance than Bethlehem is to Philadelphia but because of the traffic, weather, and constant construction the commute can take anywhere from 1.5 to 3 hours. Only upper middle class commuters can afford to live there.

I am from Louisville, KY and have lived in Florida, the Mid-Atlantic region, and in the Midwest. I have spent time on both coasts related to business. My perception is that people in the Chicago area are the least friendly folks I have met and I am eager to relocate again soon.
Posted By Robin S. Plainfield IL : 12:45 AM  

I am mortgage broker here in Florida, I am sick of the high tax, insurance and HOA. DO NOT MOVE TO WEST BROWARD IT IS FOR RICH PEOPLE.
Posted By ANN, DAVIE FL : 2:00 AM  

This is one of the screwiest lists I've ever seen: Plano, TX, as #11? Altho I was glad to see Portland, ME on the list, even tho at #89: it's a very, very cool smaller city (albeit freezing in Winter). Tons of great restaurants, waterfront, & all the scenic beauty of Maine. Right now it's tops on my list of places to move if I can ever get out of the metro-boston area.

A few comments on other places on the list:

Nashua, NH? Nashua is allright, nothing terrible, except for the traffic, but it's mainly a place for Mass. residents to go to the giant shopping malls there & avoid sales tax. MANY, many, more interesting places in N.E., like: Northhampton, MA, or Burlington, VT just to name 2 of many.

Newton, MA? Nice, if you can afford it! One of the 2 or 3 most expensive Boston suburbs. Mainly for Yuppies with Kids tho. Very "elite", if that floats your boat.

Fishers, IN? I don't know Fishers, but I do know the Indianapolis area very, very well (Fishers is a suburb). Indianapolis is one of the most boring quasi-cities in the US. The only people you'll hear raving about Indianapolis are "Hoosiers", & even then, usually ones who've never been anywhere else.

Tampa/St. Pete FL area. Not on the list, fortunately, so I agree with that (non) choice. Hot, huge traffic, NO culture of any sort & kind of a weird element there. Let's just say (with exceptions of course), that it doesn't tend to attract the Best & the Brightest. I almost forgot: the giant bugs, the fly-by-night "contractors" who prey on the elderly, & the "termite inspectors" who always miraculously manage to find a couple of dead termites at every house they visit, which then needs an expensive "treatment".
Posted By Steve W. boston ma : 3:10 PM  

I currently reside in East Providence, RI and have lived in many different communities in RI such as Narragansett-beautiful but getting overcrowded and commercialized and financially out of reach for the average homebuyer, West Warwick- dumpy old, mill town that is affordable but you really don't want to live there, East Providence- overprice but centralized with a very diverse population. I am making over 60K a year and still cannot afford to buy a home. The house prices are over-inflated and unrealistic. If you're considering moving here and buying a home, consider this: home prices start around $199K, those houses are usually less than 1000 sq. ft. with little property and will probably require cosmetic and/or structural work done. If you're looking to move into a home that does not require any work in a decent neighborhood you're probably going to pay $260-300K. If you're renting, average apartment rentals are $900-1200/mo. usually with nothing included, and if you're living in Providence, you might NOT even have a parking spot, which will definitely cause a problem because you can't park on the street overnight either!
In addition to all of these features I've described, there are a few more things that you should expect if you're moving here. Bad roads with lots of construction year round,ignorant self-centered drivers, traffic every day if you are in the Providence, East Providence, Cranston and Warwick areas and, of course, during the summer because everyone is going to the beach...which by the way, you have to pay to get onto (per person at some beaches) and leave your dog at home because he's not welcome at any state park or beaches.
The weather is hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Spring and Fall last about 3-4 weeks at best and there are plenty of gray/overcast days with very high humidity.
There are some good aspects about living here. All of the Southern portion of the state is beautiful, however, unless you have a lot of money forget about living there. There are lots of hospitals and colleges though. RI is home to two very good schools, RISD and Brown University. It is also a good location if you like visiting larger cities like Boston or New York.
Overall, I would advise you to reconsider moving here altogether. I will be moving away soon myself. I recently visited Charlotte, NC and LOVED it! What a difference!Nice people, affordable housing,no trash strewn all over the place... wow! Good luck, sorry to be a downer..but you should know what you're getting into.
Posted By M.Mowry, East Providence, RI : 11:09 AM  

Port St. Lucie has no city life or structure.Kids get bored out of there minds here and we have Pot Grow Houses scatered in the neighborhoods thats why its called POT ST. LUCIE. The Houses are priced out here for a town with nothing to offer but a busy ride down 95 to get to crowded Palm Beach.Got 3 Hurricanes within one year might I add.
Posted By Frank Shorter Port Saint Lucie ,Florida. : 5:31 PM  

Southern Californian looking to relocate to Kentucky, Tennessee or Idaho. Any ideas on job market and quality of life because California is TOO EXPENSIVE.
Posted By Kari, Corona, CA : 12:37 AM  

I have lived in many parts of the US as well as in Canada and now Europe. I am always amused by these "best places" lists. In the end it all really depends on what each individual wants and values and how much they can afford. Personally I wouldn't consider most of the "Best Places". I really value culture and access to interesting people and places. I think London is one of the best places in the world to live but only if you have lots of money. I would not advise living in London or NY or other world capitals if low cost is a top priority. However one thing more Americans should consider is to try living abroad for a while. Its very good for opening one's mind to new possibilities. Also most Americans aren't aware of the fact that if they live overseas they can exclude $80,000 of their income from tax! So for a couple that equals $160,000 in tax free income. SO if you live in one of the many tax free countries (eg, Bahamas, Monaco) you pay zero income tax on that amount. Also many countries, including the UK, do not tax non-citizens on income they earn outside the UK. And many countries also do not have property tax! It makes your dollars go a lot farther!
Posted By Michael, London, England : 6:47 AM  

LIVERMORE!!! You have got to be kidding! My sister lives there -- only because she works at the lab -- its a dry, barren, overbuilt wasteland. She is out of there as soon as she retires!
Posted By Steve, New York City : 6:51 AM  

I lived in Virginia Beach, on the Chesapeake Bay side, for several years and just loved it! Housing and the cost of living were inexpensive. There were lots of things to do, especially if you loved the outdoors (biking, kayaking, sailing, walking). I'm actually going to move back there, as a single woman baby-boomer, because New YOrk is just too expensive now!
Posted By Hope Wright, Douglaston, New York : 11:20 AM  

I'm 26 & in the Education/ Training field. I'm looking to move out of Cincinnati and into another city with more job growth, motivation & progression. Plus, I'd like to start (& finish) grad school elsewhere. Although I have lived in & enjoyed the bigger cities of TN (98-05), I am looking for a different scenery. Which cities would you all suggest that has a metropolitan feel and is at least moderately diverse? Thanks in advance.
Posted By Jamira J. Cincinnati, OH : 5:07 PM  

What is the best place to live in Colorado in order to commute to Avada? I am also looking for the best elementary school in the area (blue ribbon)?

Posted By zinna, plano,tx : 10:06 PM  

I am somewhat a little surprised that Hawaii was not included as one of the Best Places to Live. Yes, the housing and taxes is expensive, but there's year-round sunshine, excellent beaches, plenty of cultural diversity. To not include one of the most beautiful places in the world on your list is disappointing.
Posted By Marina, Honolulu, HI : 7:41 AM  

Wesley Chapel, Florida is a great place to live. Convenient to beautiful beaches, Disney World, Busch Gardens and Universal. Has a fantastic school system with new school being built all of the time. Many stores, restaurants and plenty to do. I am definitely glad we moved here.
Posted By Marie, Wesley Chapel, Fl : 10:39 AM  

I found this year's list to be amusing to say the least. Gievn the corruption and high cost of living here in Massachusetts, I don't think any city/town here belongs on the list.

For example, I can't figure out why Framingham is on the list at all. I live in Natick, one town over. The people who compiled the list somehow missed that there are two types of people in Framingham: People who just arrived and people who want to leave. I was one of those who left. The listed population figure is way too low and even the correct figure doesn't include an estimated ten thousand illegal resident immigrants. There are several areas of town that aren't safe at night, several that are known drug-user areas, and of course, most of the major by-ways are clogged with traffic going to all the retail stores.

Newton perenially shows up on this list, so it's clearly a decent place, as long as you don't mind aspiring Liberal snobs whose children with allergies are the center of the universe.
Posted By Ed Natick, MA : 11:35 AM  

I moved from central PA to Boston, MA, 5 years ago. Plan to spend $3000 in rent to start-up. People are stand-offish, at best. Great place to explore, gorgeous towns, beaches, museums, and musi. Easy access to Northeastern states and Canada.
Posted By Stacie, Boston, MA : 9:40 PM  

Thank you to everyone who responded to Jamira J.'s request about a nice and affordable metropolitan city that is diverse=) I appreciate it because I am still doing my research on potential cities of interest to me, and you all's input has helped.

I find the "Best Places" list informative (keep in mind it's accurate, not precise) because it at least prepares you for possible things to expect before and after your move. To any other people considering relocation, please do your homework first so you don't encounter any financial "suprises" (or the like) once you arrive in your new city. Everything about life is what you make it, but it doesn't hurt to know what you will possibly be walking into when it's the "unknown"...
Posted By Jamira J., Cincinnati, OH : 11:24 AM  

I only have one question, and this question is to the Editor of this website. Would you mind telling me and maybe othere who may be interested, where these statistics are coming from? I mean some of these states,cities and such are so off the track as being the best places to live. I would really like to be able to read something and know the research on it is as accurate as I would like to think. Thank you.
Posted By Maggie, Central Falls, RI : 6:54 PM  

Posted By NORA DOWNEY CA. : 9:14 PM