1. Fort Collins, Colorado
Tour Fort Collins video
Population: 128,000
Typical single-family home: $215,000
Est. property taxes: $1,700
Pros: Outdoors lovers' paradise; good schools; very little stress
Cons: Tech-dependent economy

Great schools, low crime, good jobs in a high-tech economy and a fantastic outdoor life make Fort Collins No. 1. Situated 5,000 feet above sea level in the Rocky Mountains, the city offers restaurants, night life and culture, plus natural attractions like nearby Horsetooth Reservoir for boating and swimming. There are 60 miles of hiking and biking trails, and most major roads have bicycle lanes. The place took off in the '90s as companies moved from high-priced California.
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