2. Lake Jackson, TX
Lake Jackson, TX
Median home price: $125,000
Median family income: $91,922

If you can forgive the hokey street signs scattered throughout town (the main intersection is where This Way and That Way streets meet), Jackson has plenty to offer -- including a great school system and a serene, family-friendly atmosphere.

Dubbed the "City of Enchantment," Lake Jackson was originally planned in the 1940s to house employees of the Dow chemical company. Alden Dow, who designed the town, apprenticed under Frank Lloyd Wright and his early buildings were influenced by the famed architect's aesthetic, said city manager Bill Yenny.

The landmarked Lake Theater, built in 1945, is a survivor of those early years. Visitors will also find windy roads that take them through hardwood forests and past well-kept houses that are valued at a wide range of price points.  

See complete data and interactive map for Lake Jackson


Last updated August 15 2011: 2:48 PM ET
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These terrific small towns -- even now -- boast great job opportunities, top-notch schools, safe streets, economic strength, and more.