8. Peachtree City, Georgia
Peachtree City's roots don't run as deep as in other great American towns, but it may be the model for future ones. In the 1950s, developers decided to turn 12,000 acres of farmland 29 miles southwest of Atlanta into a community of four villages and two man-made lakes.

Each village has its own retail area, parks and schools, but the 10,000 families in Peachtree City are all neighbors, connected by 88 miles of winding paths made for golf carts, which can be found in almost every garage.

"Life is a lot sweeter at 18 miles per hour. It forces you to slow down," explains Mayor Steve Brown.

The school system is good; the crime rate practically zero. Despite tremendous sprawl around Atlanta over the past decade, Peachtree City bursts with green, thanks to a rule that limits development and commercial signage.

"It's a good place to come home to," says Cal Beverly, editor of the local newspaper and a Peachtree City resident for 28 years.