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Best Towns to Live in North Carolina 2016

North CarolinaFrom its winding coastline in the east, to its flat grasslands and mountainous landscapes to the west, North Carolina is home to just about every type of terrain possible. But the diversity of the 9th most populous state doesn’t end there; the state is also home to a myriad of world renowned higher education facilities. Since the first settlers arrived to America’s eastern shores, the towns of North Carolina have developed rich histories of their own. North Carolina’s towns boast safe neighborhoods, high standards for academic excellence, and family-centered communities.

Our ratings were compiled by combining census, education, wealth , happiness  and internal RentApplication data to create a unified rating system for all of the towns in North Carolina. Ranked below are the top towns. 

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#1 Chapel Hill


This centrally located city in Orange County is most famous for its student population. Universities in Chapel Hill include the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and UNC Health. The city’s resident population was 57,233 in 2010, but expands each year to accommodate university students. The Chapel Hill-Carrboro school district includes East Chapel Hill High School, Carrboro High School, and Chapel Hill High School. All have been recognized for their high achievements. Chapel Hill has a lively music community as well as devoted UNC sports fans.

#2 Boone


Situated in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, Boone is home to Appalachian State Univeristy. The town had a total of 17,186 students in 2010 and an area of about 6.5 square miles. Boone prides itself on an extensive list of outdoor trails and vistas, including Daniel Boone Native Gardens and Elk Knob State Park. The Univeristy as well as Appalachian Regional Healthcare are tow of the city’s leading employers.

#3 Lincolnton


A part of the larger Charlotte metropolitan area, Lincolnton, North Carolina is located along the Catawba River. Lincolnton is easily accessible via Highway 27 or Route 321. The city is home to three high schools, three middle schools, and eight elementary schools in addition to a charter school and Gaston College.

#4 Hickory


Hickory, North Carolina extends over parts of Catawba, Burke, and Caldwell counties. Hickory’s baseball team is home to the Hickory Crawdads and also to the Hickory Motor Speedway. Local economy includes furniture manufacturing, fiber optic cables, and pressure-sensitive tape. Hickory also serves as a data center for big-name tech firms such as Google and Apple. Many universities are locates in town, including Lenoir-Rhyne University, Appalachian Center at Hickory, and Gardner-Webb University.

#5 Concord


Downtown Concord is small town USA complete with local businesses, restaurants, and retail shops. However, it’s estimated over 85,000 residents live in Concord, which means the city has lots of urban amenities as well. The Charlotte Motor Speedway has it s roots in the city as do many other family-friendly attractions such as the Great Wolf Lodge, Carolina Renaissance Festival, and Cabarrus Arena and Events Center.

#6 Brevard


Situated in the far west side of the state, Brevard is home of many natural landmarks such as the Pisgah National Forest, DuPont State Forest, and Triple Falls. The local schools district heads two public high schools in the city. Special events include the White Squirrel Festival, Twilight Tour, and Halloweenfest. Brevard’s rugged terrain make it the perfect location for rock climbing, mountain biking, and races.

#7 Pinehurst


Pinehurst, Moore County is more than a city of 13,124 (2010), but home to a historic golf resort as well. The village itself includes portions of the resort as well as many historical venues. Points of interest include the Country Club of North Carolina, Sandhills Horticultural Garden, Mystic Cottage, and Pinehurst Resort. The O’Neal School is located within the city, as well as a public elementary and high school, as well as religiously-affiliated schools.

#8 Havelock


The Marine Corps’ largest air station has its roots here, in Havelock, North Carolina at the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point. Havelock is located near the shoreline, has an estimated population of 20,706 (est.2015), and an area of 17.6 square miles. Families have the choice between several public and private primary and secondary educational tracks.

#9 Mount Airy


Sitting at North Carolina’s northern border is the small town of Mount Airy, home of Actor Andy Griffith. The town of 8.4 square miles hugs the Ararat River. Historical landmarks in the city include the William Carter House, the Mount Airy Historic District and the Renfro Mill. The city is well-known for its Bluegrass style music, featured at the Blue Ridge Music Center.

#10 Morganton


Located in western North Carolina, Morgantown borders on what has been deemed the oldest inland European settlement of the United States of Fort San Juan. The village has an extensive list of historical venues including residences, districts, cemeteries, churches, and public buildings; all are protected under the National Register of Historic Places. Morgantown’s location in west North Carolina means its also situated between the Catawba River and the Appalachian Mountains.

#11 Southern Pines



Southern Pines is located in Moore County of central North Carolina. In 2010, it had a population of 12,334. The James Boyd House, Southern Pines Historic District, and Firleigh Farms are all considered historical landmarks. The city is home to many alternative, private, and religious schools in addition to its public ones. Public transportation to and from the city is possible via the Southern Pines Amtrak Station and Moore County Airport.

#12 Burlington


Situated in the center of the state, Burlington’s terrain is mostly flat albeit some rolling hills. The city has parks devoted to recreational sports, as well as scenic parks and nature preserves, perfect for a day of hiking and exploration. Burlington is mid-sized, with approximately 50,042 residents living in an area of 25.4 square miles.

#13 Oak Island


With an optimal location along the mainland’s shoreline as well as a detached portion, Oak Island’s primary source of revenue is the local tourism industry. It’s considered part of the Myrtle Beach metropolitan area, and neighbors Caswell Beach, St.James, Holden Beach, and Lockwoods Foley Inlet.

#14 Shelby


The town of Shelby is located near the state’s southwest border, in Cleveland County. Approximately 20,276 residents live in the area and are invited each year to attend annual events such as the Cleveland County Fair, The Foothill’s Merry Go Round Festival, and The Shelby Hamfest.

#15 Mocksville


A town in Davie County in the central region of the state, Mocksville was named after its original owner in 1839. It’s home to several churches, districts, and museums protected by the National Register for Historic Places. The city of just over 5,000 intersects with many important state and interstate highways.

#16 Smithsfield


Home to the Ava Gardner Museum, Smithfield, North Carolina runs along the Neuse River. Residents gather each year for the Smithfield Ham & Yam Festival. Visitors hoping to get out in the fresh air can explore the Buffalo Creek Greenway. Smithfield covers a total area of 11.4 square miles.

#17 Greenville


Greenville, North Carolina has consistently ranked high given the quality of life and high employment rates. A city once founded on the production of tobacco has paved the way for the healthcare, education and manufacturing industries of today. This large city of over 90,223 residents has many public and priavte schools to choose from, including at the university level. The Greenville Civic Ballet and other arts programs have helped to restore a culture of theatre , music, and dance int the city.

#18 Gastonia


The largest in its county, Gastonia had a total population of 71,741 as of the 2010 census. Today, some of the city’s biggest employers include Wal-Mart, Advance Auto Parts, and the Gastonia Memorial Hospital. The city is proud to prevent several attractions and points of interest such as the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, the US National Whitewater Center, and the Schiele Museum of Natural History.

#19 Forest City



Once called “Burend Chimney”, present-day Forest City is situated almost on the South Carolina border, in Rutherford County. The city is home to over a dozen historical landmarks, including the Cool Springs High School. Residents and tourists can both enjoy the Rutherford County Farm Museum or the Bennett Classical Auto Museum. The city prides itself on its champion baseball team.

#20 Aberdeen


Aberdeen of Moore County is located in central North Carolina, in an area of 6.2 square miles. Currently an estimation dictates over 7,000 residents live in town. Aberdeen is the site of the O’Neil School. Historic legacies include the Bethesda Presbyterian Church, and the John Blue House.

#21 Cherryville


Cherryville is a small town of about 5,000, located near the state’s southwestern border. Cherryville’s early economy included agriculture, cotton, and textile, Today, top industries include auto manufacturing, furniture manufacturing, and polyurethane bi-products. Attractions include the Cherryville Historical Museum, Rudisill Stadium, and the Noah Benjamin Kendrick House. The city has a total area of 5.50 square miles.

#22 New Bern


Situated on the east coat, New Bern is a big tourist draw each year because of its rich culture and historic roots.  Craven Community College is located here, as are a range of primary and secondary schools.  New Bern offers dozens of historical landmarks, including churches, residences, public office buildings, and theaters. About 30,242 people live in the city of Bern according to a 2013 estimate.

#23 Clinton



Named after a leading commander during the American Revolution, the city of Clinton, North Carolina has deep historical roots. Shortly after its settlement, Clinton developed as an agricultural community. Previously, Clinton was home to a minor league baseball team. In 2013, the city was listed at 8,697 inhabitants. The Francis Pugh House, Clinton Depot, and the Bethune-Powell Buildings are just some examples of the city’s history.

#24 Boiling Spring Lakes


Boiling Spring Lakes is a city in New Brunswick, North Carolina, famous for its natural baths and hilly terrain. The city is 23.3 square miles wide, with a total population of 5,372. The namesake lake at the center of the city boils with pure, natural water and is just one of fifty lakes in the vicinity.

#25 Asheboro


Set out in the flatlands of central North Carolina, Asheboro is the location of the North Carolina Zoo. The National Register of Historic Places has included several of Ashboro’s buildings, schools, and churches on its list. Top employers in the city include Randolph Hospital Klaussner, and Teleflex. Sports teams include the Asheboro Copperheads who play at McCrary Park in Asheboro.

#26 Marion

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Founded in 1844, Marion got its name from General Francis Marion, an American Revolutionary War hero. Today, 7,838 residents live in the city. The Historic District contains St.John’s Episcopal Church, the Carson-Young House, and Lone Beech. Marion is characterized not only by the Blue Ridge Mountains in the distance, but also the ambiance of a close-knit community.

#28 Albemarle


Located in Stanly County North Carolina, Albemarle is a 15.7 square mile of land established early on for the business of agriculture, followed by textile manufacturing. In 1891, the first railroad passed through Albemarle, and local industry in the area was forever changed. Old downtown residences and the original elementary school are now preserved by the National Register for Historic Places.

#29 Roxboro


County Seat of Pearson County, Roxboro is 6.3 square miles and has a total of 8,362 people (2010). Large employers in the area include Duke Energy, Eaton Corporation, and Georgia-Pacific Corporation. The city offers lots of venues for entertainment and education, including the Pearson County Museum, Palace Point, Roxboro Motorsports Dragway, and special events Mayo Lake Cyclysm and Friday Night Football.


#30 Reidsville


Once referred to as Wright’s Crossroads because of its proximity to Virginia to the north, Reidsville is well-situated between major connecting points throughout the state. Though throughout its long history, Reidsville has in the past suffered economic hardship, today, the city is booming. Reidsville is able to trade easily with larger nearby cities and reap the benefits. The city’s population is roughly 14,520.

#31 Edenton


Edenton on the water is a sight for tourists to see and locals to appreciate. A chance to travel to Edenton may require a bit of time travel, since many of the tourist attractions inform visitors about what life was really like when the first settlers arrived. Visitors can tour old residences and museums, see a live theater production, or enjoy the outdoors with some of the city’s boating adventures.

#32 Butner


Butner of Granville County, North Carolina used to be an area of military operations. The 6.5 square miles are best explored on foot, including the old water tower, Gazebo Park, and Lake Holt. Butner is located in the north-central region of the state and has a total of 7,591 residents.

#33 Elizabeth City


Sometimes referred to as the “Harbor of Hospitality”, Elizabeth City is the quintessential small town Norman Rockwell may have imagined. It’s located along the northern shoreline, and in addition to boats in the harbor, the city is also witness to small boats along the Dismal Swamp Canal. The city also features an art museum, shopping, and festivals throughout the year.

#34 Kinston


Kinston of Lenoir County had a population of 21,677 in 2010. The city is home to over ten public schools as well as two universities. Kinston encourages visitors to stop by the The Cultural Heritage Museum and the Grainger Hill Performing Arts Center or GPAC. Sporting events take place at the Grainger Stadium. Past players have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

#35 Laurinburg

Just at the South Carolina border, Laurinburg is home to St.Andrews University and The Laurinburg Institute. Historical sights include the Central School, Thomas J. Gill House, and the Mag Blue House. As of 2010, the population was at 15,962.

#36 Roanoke Rapids


Roanoke Rapids is located within the metropolitan area of Golden East. It’s located in the northern part of the state, in Halifax County. Once a mill town and textile producer, Roanoke today hosts KapStone Paper and Packaging. Some of the biggest attractions for locals are simply outdoor walks along the Roanoke River or Canal. Th estimate of the population in 2014 was about 15,495.

#37 Wadesboro


First called “Newtown”, Wadesboro was named after Colonel Thomas Wade, who fought with the Minuteman during the Revolutionary War. The city is serviced by the Anson County School District. The small city of 5,813 has been given national attention in the past from the Smithsonian Museum since Wadesboro was viewed as the best location in all of North America to watch a total lunar eclipse.

#38 Eden


Eden boasts about its community’s friendly demeanor that will instantly welcome you in. Eden is a northern border town located in Rockingham County with a population of 15,527 (2010). Each year, the city puts on itsannual Riverfest, and later, the Charlie Poole Music Festival. The city encourages people to experience the outdoors in a kayak on the lake or climbing up a steep bluff.

#39 Rocky Mount


Located in the flat coastline region of the state, Rocky Mount is also the first city in the chain of cities along the Rocky Mount Metropolitan area. Nash General Hospital is the first private-room-only hospital in North Carolina. It specializes in women’s care and cardiovascular trauma. By way of cultural activities, the city often hosts art events at the Maria V. Howard Arts Center. In total, 57,685 people live in Rocky Mount.

#40 Hamlet


Set in Richmond County of southern North Carolina, the city is home to its own public school district as well as Richmond Community College. Hamlet takes up an area of 5.14 square miles and shelters 6,495 residents as of (2010). Local historical points of interest include the National Railroad Museum and Hall of Fame and the Main Street Commercial Historic District.

#41 Lumberton


Recently, Lumberton of Robenson County, North Carolina, has seen growth in its number of local residents. As of 2010, there were 21,542, up from the years before. Lumberton is located in the southern region of the state, between the Inner Banks and Lumber River. In total, 21,716 (est.2014) people live in the town today.

#42 Rockingham


Rockingham is most famously the site of the Rockingham Speedway, formerly known as the North Carolina Speedway–an integral part of the city’s culture, until the race was terminated in 2004. Rockingham hosts two major community events each year: The Smokeout on motorcycle weekend and the Carolina Rebellion rock festival. Rockingham is located in southern-central North Carolina, with a total area of 7.3 square miles.

#43 Oxford


Situated at the northern border of the state rests the city of Oxford. Oxford has a population of 8,461 (2010) and an area of 4.5 square miles. Revlon’s largest manufacturing operation takes place in Oxford. Biofuels Center of North Carolina is also located in the city. In addition, the city has in the past been a beacon for foster care and orphanage facilities.

#44 Whiteville


The largest city in its county, Whiteville spreads out over 5.4 square miles. The city is in close proximity to Wilmington, Elizabethtown, and Conway, South Carolina. Whiteville is home to the North Carolina Pecan Harvest Festival. The city also encourages families to explore the hands-on science museum.

#45 Tarboro


Tarboro is located in Edgecombe County in central North Carolina. The Tarboro Historic Districts contains such landmarks as the Blount Bridergs House, the Oakland Plantation, and the Railroad Depot Complex, among others. The total number of people living in Tarboro today is about 11,415 (2010).

#46 Hendersonville


Distanced from Ashville by about 22 miles, Hendersonville caters to its local community and high volume of families through events like the North Carolina Apple Festival. Some of the cities must-see historic sites include Oakdale Cemetery, Historic Johnson Farm, and the Main Street Historic District. Over 13,600 people live in Hendersonville today.

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Best Towns to Live in Georgia 2016

GeorgiaAs one of the country’s original 13 colonies, Georgia was fourth to ratify the United States Constitution. Today, the state’s urban sprawls and rural dwellings are a mix of the old and new. Georgia is situated in the southeast region of the state, bordering Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Alabama. Of all fifty states, Georgia is the eighth most populous, with a current total of Sandersville (est.2015) estimate. Georgia is home to the city of Atlanta (sometimes referred to as the capital of the south)  and stunning natural land formations, including the Blue Ridge Mountains and coastal plains. The state is home to top universities and a strong sports fan base.

Our ratings were compiled by combining census, education, wealth, happiness  and internal RentApplication data to create a unified rating system for all of the towns in Georgia. Ranked below are the top towns. 

Get the Badge!

Is your town one of the best? Click here to get the badge and display it on your website! You can also post it to your Facebook and Twitter Feed!

#1 Roswell


Located in Fulton County, Georgia, Roswell is the seventh largest city in the state, with an estimated population of 94,089 (2015). The city is home to a conglomerate of tech companies, however, the city also prospers from its tourism industry. Visitors to the area come to see the Historic Roswell District, the Faces of War Memorial, Johns Creek and Morgan Falls Dam.

#2 Sandy Springs



With a distinct skyline made up of the Concourse twin towers, Sandy Springs is best known as a commuting suburb within the Atlanta metropolitan area. The city is 38.5 square miles and includes a population of 93,853 (2010). Neighborhoods include Riverside, Dunwoody Panhandle, and North Springs. Each year the city hosts the Sandy Springs Festival and the Sandy Springs Artapalooza.

#3 Alpharetta

North of Atlanta, Alpharetta exudes southern comfort and hospitality. The city of 63,038 (est.2014) welcomes visitors to the city year round to experience The Alpharetta Arboretum at Wills Park, The Alpharetta Brew Moon Fest (October), The Downtown Alpharetta Historic District, and The Mansell House and Gardens.

#4 Marietta


Marietta, Georgia of Cobb County is considered one of Atlanta’s largest suburbs. Today, the city’s top employers include the regional hospital and Cobb County School District. Marietta has an estimated 60,014 inhabitants as of 2014. The city hosts a weekly farmers market and a community-based group of actors put on theatrical products throughout the year.

#5 St. Marys


The primary vessel to Georgia’s largest barrier reef, St Marys boasts a laid back atmosphere and a chance to get in touch with nature. Every year, the city puts on the St. Marys Rock Shrimp Festival. Visitors will also appreciate a stop at the St. Marys Submarine Museum.

#6 Rome


At the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, sits Rome, Georgia, in the northwest region of the state. Rome is home to the Martha Berry Museum, The Clock Tower (museum) and Cheiftains Museum, dedicated to the Cherokee Indian tribe. The number of residents today is about 35,997 (est. 2015).

#7 Calhoun



Historically, present-day Calhoun was once the home of the Cherokee Indian nation. It’s located in Gordon County, in the northwest region of the state. The city’s schools include two elementary schools, a middle school, and a high school. Points of interest include the Roland Hayes Museum and the Mercer Air Museum. About 16,052 (est.2015) people live in Calhoun.

#8 Kingsland


Kingsland’s Commercial Historic District was officially recognized in 1994. The city is located in Camden County of southeast Gerogia. The College of Coastal Georgia is located within the region. The 45.0 square mile area is well connected to other suburbs and major cities via Interstate 95 and US Route 17.

#9 Dalton


Whitfield County’s city of Dalton is locates at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains in northwest Georgia. The city is well regarded for its arts and cultural scene, as well as its role in the manufacturing business. The Creative Arts Guild hosts First Friday, a public event where art lovers can socialize and appreciate new artwork every month. The city of 33,529 (2014) has also become involved in the carpet industry.

#10 Commerce


Ninety miles from Atlanta. Commerce city of Jackson rests in the northeast corner of the state. Norfolk Southern Railway provides public transportation to the city of 6,544 (2010). Commerce is home to many creeks and reservoirs, as well as a historic cemetery.

#11 Gainesville


Nicknamed the “Poultry Capital of the World”, Gainesville is situated in Hall County of north-central Georgia and is home to many large poultry processing plants. A total of 33,804 (2010) residents live in the city. Gainesville strives to welcome outsiders and bring together local community through special events such as the Spring Chicken Festival and Art in the Square.

#12 Waycross


Waycross of southern Georgia has played a significant role in American history since the Revolutionary War, and today, is home to many landmarks and artifacts commemorating the impact made on a local level. Preservation efforts have been focused in the Downtown Waycross Historic District and the Waycross Historic District. Places of distinction include the post office, courthouse, and cemetery, as well as the First African Baptist Church and the Obediah Barber Homestead.

#13 Warner Robins


With a total population of 66,588 (2010), Warner Robins has ballooned as a city since the turn of the century. The mid-sized city is located in the center of the state, in Houston County. Just beyond city perimeters, lies the Robins Air Force Base. Areas of interest include the Museum of Aviation, the Warner Robins Little Theatre, and the city’s sports recreational facilities.

#14 Bremen


Bremen is located in northwestern Georgia, straddled between Haralson and Carroll counties. The city of over 6,000 residents (2014) is also home to The Sacred Harp Publishing Company. Ever since Bremen was connected to Georgia’s railway system, the city experienced a significant jumpstart in its economy. The city holds its town festival every October.

#15 Tifton


Situated in Tift County, the city of Tifton is home to several institutions of higher education, including Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, Southern Regional Technical College, and the University of Georgia. Residents in Tifton, totalling 16,869 (2010), enjoy public spaces such as the Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village as well as the Coastal Plain Research Arboretum and Tifton Residential Historic District.

#16 Brunswick


Second in size to Savannah, Georgia, Brunswick is considered the economic hub of the state’s southern regions. The city’s financial success is contingent on local tourism. Brunswick contains Atlantic coastline as well as a plethora of neighborhood parks and natural green spaces. Conveniently, the city is located near to the Brunswick-Golden Isles Airport. Brunswick holds art and cultural events periodically during the year.

#17 Jefferson


Jefferson of Jackson County is situated in northern Georgia. The Jackson County School District serves its 9,867 (est.2014) residents with eight elementary schools, three middle schools, two high schools, and one alternative school.

#18 Statesboro


Statesboro is most famous for hosting Georgia Southern Univeristy. The central city of 13.9 square miles and 30,367 (2014) inhabitants have grown to accommodate the swell in population while classes are in session. The city’s local economy is a mix of manufacturing, education, and agriculture. GSU is made up of a student body of nearly 20,000 students. Two community colleges are also within a short commute.

#19 Lafayette


In the northwest corner of the state, LaFayette, Georgia had a population of 7,121 at the 2010 census. The city’s school district includes nine elementary schools, three middle schools, and two high schools. Gordon Hall, one of the city’s public schools, is thought to be one of the state’s oldest remaining brick school buildings.

#20 LaGrange


Home to LaGrange College (the oldest private college in the state), the city by the same name is located near West Point Lake and shares a border with Alabama. LaGrange attracts many visitors interested in outdoor recreation such as fishermen and water sports fanatics. The city of 29.5 square miles is a short distance from the LaGrange-Callaway Airport.

#21 Hinesville


With the motto, “Home for a Day or a Lifetime”, Hinesville’s size and proximity to waterways, grasslands, and coastline make it the perfect respite from hurried city life. Hinesville has a square area of 16.3 miles, which includes 33,437 (2010) residents. The city is home to a number of public parks and even islands.

#22 Carrollton


Carrollton, Georgia is nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, at the western border of the state. The city of 24,388 (2010) is best known as the site of the University of West Georgia. Historically, the city had been a longtime textile manufacturer and producer of cotton. Today, the city is still considered a commerce and retail hub even though cotton production has declined .

#23 Douglas


Situated in southeast Georgia is the city of Douglas, inside Coffee County. The city first gained visibility when the Georgia and Florida Railway relocated its offices to Douglas. The city’s downtown is located on the National Register of Historic Places. Tourists come to see the Heritage Station Museum and the World War II Flight Training Museum.

#24 Eatonton


Central Putnam County is home to Eatonton, population 6,764 (2010). The city is known as the “Dairy Capital of Gerogia” because of its role in the dairy industry. The Rock Eagle Effigy Mound is located just to the east of the city. Eatonton’s 20.7 square miles includes one primary school, an elementary school, a middle school, a high school, and an alternative school and serves over 2,400 students.

#25 Moultrie


The largest in its county, Moultrie, Georgia is also the third largest city in Southwest Georgia. Local economy relies on agriculture and retail (antiques). The National Register of Historic Places includes the Moultrie Commerical Historic District and the Colquitt Theatre. The city is racially diverse and celebrates its collective history year after year at festivals like the Annual Dogwood Music Festival and National Night Out Community Party at Packer Stadium.

#26 Winder


This north-central city is located in Barrow County and has a total of 12.9 square meters. Winder is home to cultural and historical edifices such as The Barrow County Museum and the old Barrow County Jail. The town of 14,930 (est.2014) residents also contains the campus of Lanier Technical College.

#27 Macon


Called the “Heart of Georgia”, Macon has a considerable population size of 153,691 (2014). South of the city, Robins Air Force Base is in operation where the Georgia Army National Guard is stationed. Visitors who come to Macon to shop can stop by The Shoppes at River Crossing and Macon Mall in addition to the city’s small boutique shop downtown.

#28 Adel


As County seat of Cook County, Adel, Georgia remains a small town of 5,344 residents. Interstate 75 passes through the region and the Georgia Southern and Florida Railway was first incorporated into the city in the 1880s. The Cook County School District has a single primary, elementary, middle, and high school. The Vietnam Traveling Memorial visited Adel in 2013.

#29 Eastman


Due to its claim to fame as site of the first ever Stuckey’s store, Eastman, Georgia of Dodge County has gained notoriety across the country.  Eastman is located in the center of the state, with a population of 5,331 (2014). Major highways in the area include US Route 23 and US Route 341. The city promotes the Boys and Girls Club as well as a variety of recreational and competitive sports.

#30 Bainbridge


Bainbridge is located in the southwest corner of the state, in Decatur County. The city rests along Flint River, which eventually flows into the Gulf of Mexico. Bainbridge’s River Town Days takes places every March. The Swine Time Festival and Decatur County Fall Festival and Fair take place annually as well for its 12,496 (2014) residents to attend.

#31 Milledgeville


Bordered by the Ocanee River, Milledgeville was once the capital of Georgia and played an important role in history during the American Civil War. The city is host to the Twin Lakes Library System as well as higher education: Central Georgia Technical College, Georgia College & State University and Georgia Military College all have campuses in the city. An estimated 19,211 people live here.

#32 Barnesville


As part of the Atlantic metropolitan area, Barnesville had a total population of 6,755 in 2010 and has an area of 5.7 square miles. The city offers year round family fun, although festivals peak in summer months, such as the The Summer in the Sticks Country Music Concert, The Buggy Days Festival, and The BBQ and Blues Festival.

#33 Monroe
Monroe_Mills_-_Monroe,_GAMonroe is located in Walton County, Georgia, in the north-central region of the state. Today, 13,234 (2010) people call the city of Monroe home. Local economy is based on a variety of industries, including companies like Tucker Door and Trim and Arkansas-heaquartered Wal-Marts Inc. There are nine public elementary schools in the city.

#34 Cedartown


Cedartown’s commercial downtown is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, in addition to the Northwest Cedartown Historic District and South Philpot Street Historic District. Cedartown is located in Polk County Georgia and has a population of 9,750 (2010). The city is home to wildlife preserves and nature trails, including the newly reconstructed Silver Comet Trail.

#35 Cairo


Nicknamed “Syrup City”, Cairo earned the title because of its sugar cane manufacturing during the early 1900s. Today, Cairo is an ideal family town or vacation getaway since its recreational facilities offer a little of everything: hunting, fishing and the Antique Car Rally. Cairo has a population of 9,607 (2010) and issituated in southwestern Georgia.

#36 Toccoa


Located between Athens and Atlanta, Toccoa in Stephens County had a population of 8,491 in 2010. Since the mid 1960s, the city has built its economy up on manufacturing, industrial, and corporate work. Today, major employers in the area include  Stephens County School System, Caterpillar, American Woodmark Corp.,and the Eaton Corporation.

#37 Vidalia


Split between Montgomery County and and Toombs County, Georgia, the city of Vidalia has a joint population of 36,346 (2010). Major employers in Vidalia today include Wal-Mart and Trane. The city has a past history of the agriculture business, and is most famous today for its sweet onions. In fact, each spring the city hosts its own Onion Festival, which lasts for five days.

#38 Jesup


Jesup, Georgia is home to the great outdoors and welcomes families to experience it for themselves. The city is easily accessible via highways, trains, and the Jesup-Wayne County Airport. In total, the city has approximately 10,200 residents in an area of 16.5 square miles. Altamaha Technical College is also located here.

#39 Cordele



Cordele is lovingly referred to as the “Watermelon Capital of the World”. The city is located in south-central Georgia and in 1864, served as Georgia’s temporary capital city. Visitors come from a distance to visit the Titan I missle, standing tall since 1968. Residents look forward the the city’s watermelon festival each June. There are over 11,147 (2010) residents in Cordele today.

#40 Jackson


Since its founding in 1826, Jackson remained a small village until the arrival of the railway. As a result of the first train trip in 1882, and the daily routes that continued there after, Jackson was able to begin producing and transporting in mass quantity for the first time. Today the County School District consists of three elementary schools, a middle school, and a high school. The total population was 5,045 as of 2010.

#41 Albany


A mid-sized city of 77,434 (2010), Albany also belongs to a greater metropolitan area. Albany boasts a variety of trails, gardens, parks and pools. Visitors and locals alike can enjoy downtown boutique shopping. The city also has over a dozen art, history, and science museums. The biggest employers in the city today are Albany State University, AT & T, and Coats and Clark, Inc.

#42 Fort Valley


For a town small in size (about 10,000 residents), Fort Valley has a lot to be proud of. On a nice day, points of interests include the Massee Lane Gardens. The city is also home to one of the best football teams in all of Georgia. The Peach County High Trojans have participated in many championship and state title games. Fort Valley State Univeristy is also located here, a historically black college.

#43 Dublin


A relatively small town of 16,201 (2010) residents, Dublin is home to three institutions of higher learning: Georgia Military College, Heart of Georgia Technical College, and Middle Georgia State University. The city is famous for its Stubbs Park-Stonewall Street Historical District. The city’s bordering Oconee River is mentioned in one of James Joyce’s novels.

#44 Americus


Americus, Georgia is the site of many large organizations and non-profits including Habitat for Humanity, The Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving, as well as the Windsor Hotel. Americus is located in south-central Georgia, and has a total size of 10.7 square miles. Points of interest include the Georgia Rural Telephone Museum, the Georgia Veterans State Park, and the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site.

#45 Fitzgerald


Fitzgerald, Georgia is located in Ben Hill County in the center of the state, and is considered one of few cities in the state to be so thoroughly planned out ahead of time, creating a simplistic, grid-like pattern. The city includes many areas of historical significance, such as The Fitzgerald Commercial Historic District, Ben Hill County Jail, and The South Main-South Lee Streets Historic District. Over the years, the Fitzgerald has been home to many minor league baseball teams.

#46 Sandersville


Sandersville of central Georgia is named after a local store owner during the time period when the town was first established. Sandersville became inter-connected with cities near and far in 1893 when the Sandersville Railroad was built. Over the years, the city of 5,779 (2010) has taken part in agriculture work, particularly cotton cultivation. Today the city is home to Georgia Military College, Sandersville Technical College, and Darton State College Division of Nursing.

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Best Towns to Live in Texas 2016


Second in size (268,581 square miles) and with several major urban areas as well as many small towns, Texas has a lot to offer. Texas shares borders with Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico, as well as Mexico to the south. Austin, Houston, Dallas, and El Paso, Texas are the most populous cities in the state. A 2015 population estimate brings Texas to 27,469,114 inhabitants. The state’s terrain greatly varies by region, from prairies, grasslands, and forests to deserts, swamps and coastlines as well as diversified wildlife. Texas has the second highest gross state product in the country, including major energy, technology, and commercial industries.

Our ratings were compiled by combining census, education, wealth , happiness  and internal RentApplication data to create a unified rating system for all of the towns in Texas. Ranked below are the top towns. 

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#1 Sugar Land


World famous Sugar Land is located within the greater Houston area of Fort Bend County. Sugar Land is one of the wealthiest and quickly-developing cities within the state. In fact, the city experienced a 42% job growth rate between 200 and 2007. Major industries include sugar refinery, chemical and energy efficient companies.

#2 College Station


College Station is located in the Brazos Valley, East-Central Texas. According to the 2010 census, there are 93,857 residents in College Station. Paired with its neighboring city, College Station and Bryan, Texas make up a combined metropolitan area of 228,660 people. Texas A&M University is located in College Station, which has put the city on the map in terms of education and job opportunity.

#3 Conroe 


In Houston’s metropolitan area sits Conroe, Texas of Montgomery County. The city was once primarily involved in the oil and lumber industries. The city is well-connected to other major urban areas via nearby public highways. Each year, the city puts on several cultural and arts festivals.

#4 Boerne


Boerne boasts an atmosphere great for families and couples alike. The city is located in the center of the state, in Kendall County, Texas and within the greater San Antonio area. Two of Texas best known caves are located in Boerne: Cave Without a Name and Cascade Caverns. Only fifteen minutes away in San Antonio are attractions such as Sea World, the Alamo, the River Walk, and the Rim. 10,471 people live in Boerne as of 2010.

#5 Lago Vista


Lago Vista is a small city of 6,041 (2010) in Travis County, Texas in the center of the state. Lake Travis is to the south, and Austin is 20 miles southeast. Lago Vista has consistently ranked high as one of the best cities to raise a family. Its flourishing economy is based on business, retail, education, and government.

#6 Forney


Texas Legislature has referred to Forney as the “Antique Capital of Texas.” It’s located in Kaufman County, in the Dallas-Forth-Worth metropolitan area. In 2010, 14,661 people were residing in Forney. Residents enjoy recreational activities at a number of the city’s sports fields.

#7 Bryan


Situated in the heart of Brazos Valley, Bryan, Texas border College Station and has a population of 76,201 (year 2010) people. Bryan-College Station combined is among the largest metropolitan areas in the state. Bryan is home to many sports facilities, for sports including baseball, track, tennis, and golf.

#8 Granbury


Just 30 miles from Forth Worth Texas, Granbury is within the limits of Hood County and has a population of 7,978 according to census records. Local attractions include the Daniel Harris Home, the Ashton House, and the Granbury Opera House marquee.

#9 Kerrville


Named after James Kerr, a major in the Texan Revolution, Kerrville is also within Kerr County. As of 2009, 22,826 people were living in Kerrville. Kerrville is best regarded for its parks and proximity to the Guadalupe River. Throughout the year, many local festivals spring up, including the Kerrville Folk Festival. The Museum of Western Art and the Mooney Aviation Company are other notable features.

#10 Brenham


Brenham is located in Washington County, Texas. It’s roughly the halfway point between Houston and Austin. The county is regarded as the birthplace of Texas since it is here that the Texas Declaration of Independence was signed. All approximated 16,297 residents are lucky enough to enjoy one of Brenham’s major industries: Blue Bell Creameries ice cream.

#11 Galveston 


This coastal city is split between Galveston Island and Pelican Island. According to a 2012 estimate, 47,762 people live in Galveston, an area of about 208.3 square miles. It’s generally located in the Houston area. Today, local economy relies heavily on tourism, healthcare, shopping, and financial businesses. Many structures in the old part of town have made the National Register of Historic Places.

#12 Taylor 


Taylor, Texas can be found in Williamson, County Texas. It’s a small town of approximately 15,000 residents. Taylor is a well connected city, via public highways as well as public transportation; both Amtrak and Greyhound transport services.

#13 Fredericksburg


In Gillespie County of central Texas, sits Fredericksburg with a population of 10,530 (2010). A economy based primarily in agriculture, Fredericksburg’s tourism industry is also growing. Together, this agri-tourism industry introduces visitors and locals alike to farms of wildflower seeds and lavender, as well as brewpubs and vineyards.

#14 Ingleside


The bordertown of Ingleside rests between the counties of Nueces and San Patricio. As of the 2010 census, 9,387 inhabitants reside. This small town is the site of many green area, community parks, and bay areas with boat access.

#15 San Angelo


Sometimes nicknamed the “Oasis of West Texas” or the “River City,” San Angelo offers green landscapes and fresh water. The city is home to Angelo State University, Fort Concho, and Goodfellow Air Force Base. The metropolitan area includes 118,182 people. San Angelo arts and culture scene includes the San Angelo Museum of Art, San Angelo Symphony, and the San Angelo Civic Ballet.

#16 Sherman


At the very northeast edge of the state, Sherman, Texas is in Grayson, County and had a population of 38,521 in 2010. The first electric interurban railway was built between Sherman and Denison in 1901. Today, the city is well-connected to other major urban areas, including Dallas, which is located 65 miles away.

#17 Stephenville


Proud locals have given the city of Stephenville (among other cities in the state) the title of “Cowboy Capital of the World”. Stephenville is home to Tarleton State University, as well as several public elementary, middle, and high schools.

#18 Keene


Keene is a small town of 6,106 in Johnson County, Texas and with an area of4.93 square miles. Keene Independent School District as well as two private grade level schools provide educational services.

#19 Marble Falls 


Marble Falls is situated in Burnet County, between the cities of Austin and San Antonio, Texas. The population was 6,077 according to a state census in 2010. The Highland Lakes on the Colorado River can be found in Marble Falls, among the largest group of lakes in all of Texas.

#20 Edinburg


Near to the Rio Grande, Edinburg is about 37.4 square miles in area, located in Hidalgo County. A recent population estimate lists the city of Edinburg at 81,000 residents. In addition to primary and secondary education, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s campus is also in Edinburg.

#21 Henderson


Henderson is at the intersection of many major transportation arteries, including Texas State Highway 64 and US Route 79. The city’s roots are in Rusk County of northeast Texas. In 2010, the population was 13,712 residents. The city holds historical significance, including many buildings and landmarks dating back prior to the American Civil War.

#22 Levelland


Levelland is a northwest city in Hockley County, Texas. The city’s economy relies on major industries like cotton farming and petroleum manufacturing. The city’s population was 13,542 in 2010. The third week in July, Camp Bluegrass puts on a series of public concerts at the South Plains College Campus.

#23 Lindale


Founded in 1871, Lindale, Texas has a rich history, especially during the American Civil War. In the years that followed, the city’s first post office and railway system were built. Today, the Smith County Texas city with5,024 residents is known for its International Festival of the Equestrian Arts and International Quadrille Championship.

#24 Vernon


The city of Vernon is located in Wilbarger County, Texas. Just about 11,000 residents live in Vernon. Major employers in the area include Tyson Foods as well as other meat processing companies, and North Texas State Hospital. Every May, the city puts on the Santa Rosa Roundup Rodeo.

#25 Monahans


Only a small town of 6,953 residents. Monahans belongs mostly in Ward County, Texas, but a small portion spills over into Winkler County. The Monahans Sandhills State Park hosts family activities as well as special events. The Texas-New Mexico Railroad makes a stop in Monahans, Texas.

#26 Mission


“Home of the Ruby Red Grapefruit,” in Hidalgo County at the state’s southern tip, is home to the Texas Citrus Exchange and is a major fruit cultivator. Each year the city holds a fruit and citrus-theme parade for its 80,452 (2012) residents.

#27 Plainview


Plainview Texas, population 22,194, is home of Wayland Baptist University. This northern Hale County city has, in the past, had a prevalent peanut plant and beef processing plant. The Commercial Historic District belongs on the National Register of Historical Places.

#28 Port Isabel


Located at the very southern tip of the state, Port Isabel is a weekend vacation destination for many. Once a major cotton exporters, today, the port town offer beach family fun, scenic panoramic views, and access to the Port Isabel Lighthouse. Although only 5,006 people reside in the small town, many more flock to the port each year to watch for dolphins, enjoy a day at the spa, or visit the city’s history museum.

#29 Mount Pleasant


Mount Pleasant of Titus County is the largest in the area with a size of 12.7 square miles. There are about 15,564 residents in the city as of 2010. Many buildings within the city are protected under the National Trust for Historical Preservation. Recently, a project to improve a freeway bypass was completed.

#30 Brownwood


Brownwoods is located in central Texas, in Brown county. The city has a population of 19,288 as of the 2010 census. In the past, the city has served as the site of US army’s Camp Bowie. Nearby Lake Brownwood contains a variety of fish, only seven miles away. In addition to public primary and secondary institutions, Brownwood is also home to Howard Payne University.

#31 Bastrop


Thirty miles from Austin, Bastrop, Texas is made up of 7,218 residents. Bastrop County is located along the Colorado River, and the city stretches from east to west bluffs. The lake functions as a cooling pool for a nearby power plant, as well as a recreational area for locals. The Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort opened in the city ten years ago, and currently employs roughly 600 workers, plus an additional 175 employees seasonally.

#32 Gun Barrel City


Gun Barrel City is located in Henderson County, in the northeast region of the state. It had a population of 5,672 in 2010. The city got its name in the 1920s and 30s during prohibition went outlaws would come into town, guns in their holster. Today, however, Gun Barrel City is know as the primary entry point to Cedar Creek Lake, and used for fishing and boating.

#33 Manor


One of the fastest-growing suburbs in the Austin area, Manor, Texas is located in Travis County. Only a couple years ago, had a population of 5,000 residents, although that number has since grown. Manor, Texas has been the site of several movie sets, including What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. Manor is saturated with many parks and recreational areas.

#34 Commerce


Although the town of 8,000 inhabitants may be considered rural, Commerce is also hosts the Texa A & M University -Commerce campus. The university is a four-year school with over 12,000 students. The city is about 60 miles from Dallas, and is well-connected to the area’s biggest interstate highways.

#35 Lockhart


Lockhart is located in Caldwell County, Texas. One of the first major industries in the city–cotton–flourished with the arrival of the railroad, which allowed for trading. The town’s public library houses the oldest library in all of Texas. Several movies were filmed here, including scenes from What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. The city has a population of 12,698 residents.

#36 Anna


Anna, Texas is in northern Collin County and has a total area of 14.1 square miles. Nearly 8,249 inhabitants live within the city. Anna is about 40 miles north of Dallas, and is also the meeting point of US 75, State Highway 5, and State Highway 121.

#37 Borger


Hutchinson County is home to Borger, Texas, with a population of 13,251 at the 2010 census. Historically speaking, Borger is known as a forerunner in the oil drilling business. The city today remains an important shipping port for petroleum products and fresh produce.

#38 Cleburne


Cleburne, after General Patrick Cleburne, is situated in Johnson County, Texas. Cleburne’s main industries included agriculture, which expanded even further when a railway was built connected eastern Texas to Santa Fe, New Mexico. The city’s biggest employers today include the rail business, local hospital, and retail chains.

#39 Sweetwater


Claiming a long history as a rail town, the Texas and Pacific Railway began in Sweetwater in 1881. Over time, Sweetwater has maintained an economy of cotton, oil, and cattle. The 10,920 residents enjoy such attractions as the Pioneer Museum. The city has often been referred to in popular songs television, and film.

#40 Denison


The city of Denison was established at the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad (MKT) in Grayson County, Texas. The first electric interurban railway ran between the cities of Denison and Sherman for the first time in 1901. Denison, a city of 22,682, has oftentimes made travel magazine’s lists of the most desired vacation destinations in Texas.

#41 Harlingen


Harlingen lies in the heart of the Rio Grande Valley in Cameron County. 64,849 (2010) people live in the city. The city is only 30 miles from the Gulf of Mexico and covers more than 40 square miles. The cost of living is the lowest in the entire United States. Recreation includes the Valley Race Park and World Birding Center.

#42 Brady


The self-proclaimed “Heart of Texas,” the city of Brady belongs to McCulloch County and houses 5,528 residents. Brady is historically a farming and ranching community. Each year on Labor Day, Brady celebrated with a music festival and local cook-off.

#43 Bonham


The city’s namesake comes from James Bonham, who was present during the Battle of the Alamo. The city is located in Fannin County, Texas. In the past, during World War II, the city has provided aviation training grounds to troops headed to war. Once the city connected to the Texas and Pacific Railway, Bonham sprung up and greatly expanded by way of churches, colleges, public schools, saw mills and power plants. Today, the city welcomes 10,127 residents.

#44 Diboll


Diboll of Angelina County, Texas in the eastern region of the state had a population of 5,359 during the 2010 census. Situated amongst long-stretched pine trees, Diboll was named after J.C Diboll, a local logging and lumber salesman. Today, the business is still a significant source of revenue for this small town.

#45 Rio Grande City


Forty-one miles from McAllen, Texas, Rio Grande City in in Starr County. The Rio Grande City-Carmago International Bridge connects it with other neighboring urban sprawls. At one point, during the invasion of Mexico, the city of Rio Grande was crucial in the passing off of soldiers and supplies as well as frequent steamboat traffic.

#46 Sanger


Sanger, Texas is located in the northeastern part of the state. Over a hundred years ago, the city was established as a stop on the Santa Fe Railroad. Agriculture became the most viable income source, including livestock and the production of oats, maize, and cotton.

#47 Lampasas


Lampasas, Texas is located in central Texas, with a population of 6,681. The city’s land was rewarded to John Burleson for his involvement in the Texas Revolution. Every summer in July, Lampass hosts the Spring Ho festival. Nearby Mineral Wells attract visitors hoping for some natural healing or merely an afternoon of relaxation.

#48 Del Rio


Val Verde County Texas marks the location of Del Rio city. The city of 40,549 is connected to other nearby cities via the Ciudad Acuña International Bridge. Additionally, Laghlin Air Force Base can be found in Del Rio, the busiest US Air Force training grounds in the world.

#49 Seguin


Thanks to the oil boom following the Great Depression, Seguin, Texas, bounce back from a small town dependent on farming and ranching, to a city independently thriving. Today, the city of 25,175 is frequented due to many popular attractions including ZDT’s Amusement Park, Pape’s Pecan House and Nutcracker Museum, and the Max Strarcke Park.

#50 Victoria


Victoria, Texas is located 30 miles away from the Gulf of Mexico and has been deemed “The Crossroads” because of its relative proximity to Corpus Christi, Houston, San Antonio, and Austin. The University of Houston-Victoria can be found here. Local economy is a mix of education, retail, health, and agriculture. An estimated 66,094 people live in Victoria as of 2014.

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Best Towns to Live in Pennsylvania 2016


Pennsylvania encompasses urban sprawls, historical landmarks, and diverse terrain. The commonwealth of46,055 square miles is bordered by Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, and Ontario of Canada. The state’s total population is n12,802,503 residents. One of the original thirteen colonies, Pennsylvania is the site of such historic prominence as the drafting site of the United States Declaration of Independence. Again during the American Civil war, Pennsylvania saw war up close with the Battle of Gettysburg. Today, Pennsylvania is home to several large cities including Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Allentown and Erie. The state is also host to medium and small sized towns that contribute to the state’s historical and modern-day achievements.

Our ratings were compiled by combining census, education, wealth , happiness  and internal RentApplication data to create a unified rating system for all of the towns in Pennsylvania. Ranked below are the top towns. 

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#1 State College


As the name suggests, State College, or “Happy Valley” is built up around Pennsylvania State Univeristy. A majority of the city’s demographics and economics is focused on the university. State College is best known for its sports; Penn State Nittany Lions Football attracts approximately 100,000 fans per home game. State College Spikes (baseball), women’s soccer, men’s volleyball, women’s volleyball, and wrestling are all league championships. Just outside the city, the terrains is mostly rolling hills and farmland. Downtown, the city is dynamic, but is still ranked one of the safest small towns in the United States.

#2 DuBois


Near to State College is the town of DuBois in Clearfield County. DuBois has extensive healthcare facilities, which also is the number one employer in the city. Outdoor recreation includes Treasure Lake and Cook Forest. The city of 7,794 is building a name for itself in the entertainment and arts arena. DuBois has its own DuBois Campus of Penn State University, and consults with the city of State College in terms of university-related developments.

#3 Huntingdon


Ninety-eight miles west of Harrisburg, lies Huntingdon, population 7,093. Huntingdon is the location of Juniata College and the Allegrippis Trails for mountain biking. The small city boasts a variety of public and private primary and secondary schools. Several annual community events include Mayfest, the Veterans day Parade, and the Tree Lighting Ceremony.

#4 Bloomsburg


Bloomsburg, Columbia County is located along Susquehanna River in eastern Pennsylvania. Settlers first came to the area in 1772, and today this city has a population of nearly 14,519 (est.2013) in nearly 4.69 square miles. The city is bordered by Mount Pleasant Township, Scott Township, and Hemlock Township. Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania is at the heart of the city.

#5 Spring Township


Second most populated in the county, Spring Township has a total of 27,119 (2010) residents and is in close proximity to Bloomsburg. The township’s name is derived from a large pool of fresh water in the center of the city. Open fields, greenery, and creeks surround the town and provide the perfect backdrop.

#6 Penn Township


Located in Westmoreland County, Penn Township of western Pennsylvania was put on the map during the battle at Bushy Run. Today, it’s considered a National Historic Landmark. Carnegie Mellon University chose Penn Township for the site of its new lab facilities in 1957. There are 19,591 (2000) residents in an area of 30.5 square miles.

#7 Meadville


Less than 90 miles from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Meadville is a principal city in its county and settled by David Mead in 1788. The city is surrounded by meadows and grasslands. Meadville hosts Allegheny College, a small liberal arts college. Throughout history, Meadville’s economy has relied on the logging, agriculture, and iron production (railway) industries.

#8 Kutztown


Kutztown Univeristy is located with the town of Kutztown, Berks County, Pennsylvania. The East Penn Valley city is heavily reliant on the university as a source of revenue and employment, as well as Radius Toothbrush (digital creative agency) and Sposto Interactive. Transportation is viable by way of US Route 222 and PA 737. Buildings on mainstreet are constructed with a uniform limestone, including the town’s churches. Crystal Cave, Pinnacle Ridge Winery, Blair Vineyards, and the Renningers Antiques Farmers Market are all major points of interests.

#9 Bethlehem


Historic landmarks and modern-day attractions welcome visitors to the city of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The city has a total population of 74,982 (2010), making it the seventh largest in the state. The east bank of Monocacy Creek forms the Colonial Industrial Quarter. The city became famous for its steel (armour) production, as well as its shipbuilding industry and metal production. At Christmastime, the city hangs its very own star of Bethlehem, originally made out of wood, and today, welded from the city’s own steel.

#10 Reading Township


Reading Township of Adams County rests on the border with Maryland to the south. The original settlements within the town included Hampton and Lake Meade. The city had a population of 5,780 in 2010. Although the city can be considered rural, it is easily accessible to large cities nearby.

#11 Sayre


Sayre, Pennsylvania is the largest town in Bradford, County, near Elmira, New York. Despite its population of 5,587, Sayre remains well-connected due to the expansion of the Lehigh Valley Railroad, the Erie Railroad, and the Pennsylvania and New York Railroad. Sayre prioritizes community involvement, evidenced through its community organizations like Big Brothers/Big Sisters, 4H, Sayre Little League, and Sayre Recreation Program.

#12 Indiana


Otherwise know as the “Christmas Tree Capital of the World”, Indiana, Pennsylvania got its name because the national Christmas Tree Grower’s Association began in the city. Most jobs in the southwestern city come from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Indiana City offers high quality primary and secondary educational as well, at public and Catholic schools.

#13 Lancaster


Famous for its large Amish population, Lancaster, Pennsylvania is one of the oldest towns in the United States. It’s population of 59,322 (2010) is also one of the state’s largest. Today, downtown Lancaster caters to tourism and also excels in the healthcare, public administration, and manufacturing industries. More so, the city has one of the largest indoors shopping facilities in the region. Historical landmarks include the Fulton Opera House, the Cork Factory Hotel, and the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, which served as a station on the Underground Railroad.

#14 Washington Township


Founded in 1789 from Salem Township, Washington Township lies in Westmoreland County. Washington boats a comfortable and safe environment for residents, especially families. Local economy has always been tied to the agricultural industry. Wildlife in the town includes bear, deer, and coyotes.

#15 West Mead Township


Crawford County hosts this modest town of 5,249 (2010) in northwestern Pennsylvania. The historical bridge in Washington Township belongs to the National Register of Historical Places. Tamarack Lake and French Creek form boundaries around the city. The city has a total area of 18.8 square miles. Recreational activities include the Oakgrove Park Pavilion, the Dam Triathalon, and the Crawford County Fair.

#16 Union Township


Situated in Union County central Pennsylvania, Union Township is best know for its natural beauty, with plenty for residents to enjoy. To the east of the city, stretches West Branch Susquehanna River. Shikellamy State Park is located partially within the town, including a picnic area and hiking routes.

#17 Williamsport


Williamsport, the birthplace of Little League Baseball, is an ideal location for families to settle down. Each year, the city hosts the Little League World Series at the end of summer. The city of 29,304 (2009) is located in Lycoming, County, in the southern part of the state. Historically until present day, Williamsport’s economy relies on the lumber industry. Points of interest include the James V. Brown public library, and the Lycoming County Prison, operational between 1799 and 1801.

#18 Edinboro


Situated at the base of Edinboro Lake, the town is small, and home to the Edinboro University of Pennsylvanina. Visitors come to admire nearby natural beauty, as part of the snowbelt region of Lake Erie. Edinboro also houses historical sites like Academy Hall, as categorized by the National Register of Historic Places. The town’s population has fluctuated as a result of a new trolley station and electric railway built in the early 1900s.

#19 Altoona


Altoona in Blair County, Pennsylvania is one of the most populated cities in the state, with a total of 46,320 (2010) residents. Altoona is home to the Altoona Curve baseball team and Altoona Symphony Orchestra, over seventy five years old. City landmarks include the Juniata shops, the Mishler Theatre, the Jaffa Shrine Center, and the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament. Altoona is also home to the world’s oldest roller coaster, Leap-the-Dips, in Lakemont Park.

#20 Scranton


Just behind Erie and Reading, Pennsylvania, Scranton is the sixth largest in the state, with a total area of 25.44 square miles in the northeast region of the state. Scranton is the site of the Lackawanna River. In the past, the city has played an integral role in the coal mining business. With a reputation as the “Electric City”, Scranton was one of the first to use streetcars powered exclusively by electricity. Today, the city offers a vibrant downtown, with coffee shops, bars, and an active nightlife. Scranton has several baseball, soccer, and ice hockey teams.

#21 Shippensburg


Home to Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, the town of Shippensburg is located about forty miles from Harrisburg. Major businesses in the region have included engine manufacturers, furniture factories, and other industrial-related companies. The city is home to one of the oldest and largest party goods manufacturers and also the single oldest hardware store. Community festivals include the Shippensburg Community Fair during the last week in July. In August, Shippensburg puts on the Corn Festival, which welcomes vendors from around the region.

#22 Vernon Township


Nicknamed the “Golden Link”, Vernon Township has an ideal locale: the town of Meadville to the west, and Conneaut Lake, the largest natural lake in Pennsylvania. Vernon has a population of 5,630 (2010), and is often referred to as the business center of the county, including hotels, shops, restaurants, and movie theaters. Outdoor ventures will take residents to places like Mary Gable Community Park and Roche Park. Lincoln Avenue Sports Complex has recently gotten upgrades to its softball fields.

#23 Chambersburg


Only 20 miles from the Maryland border, Chambersburg is situated in Cumberland Valley, also part of the Great Appalachian Valley. The city’s history began with construction of the water mills, generated by the Falling Spring Creek and Conococheague Creek. Economy relies on transport to nearby Maryland and large retail businesses. Leisure activities include visits to the Caledonia State Park and Capitol Theatre.

#24 Pottsville


Along the Schuylkill River, lies Pottsville in Pennsylvania’s Coal Region. The city of 14,324 (2010) is nestled amongst forested hills and is the site of many historical landmarks, including The Patterson Building, the John O’Hara House, and the D.G Yuengling and Son Brewing Complex. The riverside city is home to over a dozen recreational parks and green spaces. Many smaller suburbs feed into the city of Pottsville.

#25 Wilkes-Barre


Rested in the Wyoming Valley, Wilkes-Barre is surrounded by the Pocono Mountains to the east, Endless Mountains to the west, and Lehigh Valley in the south. Additionally, Susquehanna River flows through the northwestern part of the city. In 2007, a River Revitalization project was birthed in order to once again make the riverfront accessible to the public. Today, the riverfront includes a new ampitheater where the city hosts concerts and charity events.

#26 Clarion


Site of the Clarion University of Pennsylvania, the city has ballooned since its founding in 1841. The city today has a total population of 32,761. Throughout the years, natural gas, oil, lumber and coal have been major industries in the area. Each year, the city hosts its Autumn Leaf Festival, the perfect opportunity for neighbors to catch up or to meet new residents before the start of the school year.

#27 Butler Township


From summer camps to the Garden Discovery Camp, the community of Butler Township has developed several educational programs for young learners throughout the year. Popular sporting activities include Valley East baseball, golf at Edgewood in the pines or speed racing at the Mountain Speedway in St.John’s. A short drive away, residents can enjoy ski resort, amusement parks, and shopping malls.

#28 York


Wineries, spas, and resorts abound in York, Pennsylvania, the “White Rose City”. Still preserved today are some of the city’s 18th century structures, including the Golden Plough Tavern and York Friend’s Meeting House. Industry in the area relies on agriculture as it did one hundred years ago. The York Fair takes place over a period of ten days in September, including games and rides, as well as highly-anticipated concerts. Past years’ guests performers have included Carrie Underwood and Toby Keith.

#29 Hazleton


In eastern Pennsylvania, the town of Hazleton is situated in Luzerne County. Discoveries of coal in 1818 catapulted the city into economic stability. Innovation continue in Hazleton, and in 1891, the city became the third in the United States to establish an electrical grid across the city. Higher education in the area includes Penn State Hazleton, Lackawanna College, Luzerne County Community College, and McCann School of Business and Technology.

#30 Grove City


Home to Grove City College, a private Christian liberal arts school, Grove City of Mercer County, Pennsylvania offers its residents multiple primary and secondary education routes as well. Located in the western region of the state, Grove City is sixty miles north of Pittsburgh. Grove City is characterized by its wide, flat expanses of grassland. The National Register of Historic Places recognizes The Wendall August Forge as a historical landmark. The downtown area also includes small businesses, banks, and speciality shops. Grove City Premium Outlets is considered one of the best shopping malls in the state.

#31 St. Marys


St. Marys, Pennsylvania is an interesting mix of religious ties and beer production. Straub Brewery (founded in 1831) is located in the town, as is the country’s first Benedictine convent. At the heart of elk country, St Marys is one of few regions in eastern United States where elk hunting is legal. The city boasts several outdoor parks, including trout streams and hunting zones.

#32 Hanover


Situated just five miles north of the Mason-Dixon line, Hanover, Pennsylvania is an agricultural region with historical significance during the American Civil War and World War II. Historical landmarks include the George Nace House, the US Post-Office and the Eichelberger High School. Today, Hanover is a major shopping district, including a strip in the city’s downtown known as “The Golden Mile”.

#33 Lawrence Township


Lawrence Township, Clearfield County, Pennsylvania borders the town of Clearfield in addition to over half a dozen others, including Boggs, Goshen, Know, Pike, and Pine. Lawrence residents attend the Clearfield County School District. The city offers outdoor rentals at the local pavilion, and hosts public community events throughout the year.

#34 Shamokin


Bordered by Township Pennsylvania, Shamokin hangs on the edge of Anthracite Coal Region to the west. Two rivers flow through the region of less than a square mile. The city has recently approved plans for a creek channel preservation project, expansion of Claude Kehler Community Park, and restoration of  “99 steps”, a city landmark.

#35 Berwick


Located in east-central Pennsylvania, Berwick is often considered part of the Bloomsburg-Berwick metropolitan area, including Columbia and Montour counties. Berwick hosts the Columbia-Monotour Area Vocational-Technical School. Points of interest include the Seventh Day Adventist Church, May’s Drive In, and the Berwick YMCA.

#36 Lower Windsor Township


Lower Windsor Township is situated at Pennsylvania’s southern border. Winding through the eastern part of the state is the Susquehanna River. The Samuel S.Lewis State Park sits above the river and expansive grasslands. Lower Windsor’s public spaces also include Rexroth Park and picnic areas perfect for family and neighborhood gatherings.

#37 Franklin


A quaint size of 6,545 (2010) residents, Franklin, Pennsylvania offers varied terrain, history, and community events. The National Register of Historic Places includes Samuel F. Dale House and the Franklin Historic District. Tourists flock to the city each year for the annual Applefest (the largest in the state).

#38 Selinsgrove


At the midway point of the Susquehana River, in the valley, lies Selinsgrove, Snyder County, Pennsylvania. The city of 5,383 (2010) is situated about 50 miles north of Harrisburg. Selinsgrove is also home to Susquehanna University. Major employers include manufacturing work, educational jobs, and medical services at area hospitals. In addition to its downtown, Selinsgrove has several areas dedicated to nature preservation, such as The East Snyder Park and the Susquehanna Greenway.

#39 Coal Township


Encompassing the Northumberland County Career and Technology Center as well as the Shamokin Area School District is Coal Township of central Pennsylvania. The town of 10,628 (2000) has lead several initiatives geared towards engaging students and young people. Bloomsburg Univeristy of Pennsylvania is within close proximity.

#40 Bradford


At the border with New York state, Bradford in McKean County stretches 3.5 square miles. The city is about 78 miles from Buffalo. Bradford is home to Brad Penn oil products and the American Refinery Group. University of Pittsburgh at Bradford is located within city limits. The town boasts a Bradford Creative and Performing Arts Center and spring and summer time special events.

#41 New Castle


Fifty miles from Pittsburgh, New Castle nearly touches the Pennsylvania-Ohio border. The region is home to a plethora of fertile land, making it a center for agriculture. Downtown New Castle features the Pier I Complex Building, Zambelli Plaza, as well as a number of local businesses. The city is well-connected via major highways and and interstates.

#42 Ellwood City


Situated 30 miles northwest of Pittsburgh is Ellwood City, with a population of 7,921. Major industries in the city’s past include the steel industry and coal mining. The border town is home to parks, swimming pools, and plazas. Ellwood is home to historically preserved buildings and treats its residents to several community events year round.

#43 Oil City


Recognized for its role in the petroleum industry, today Oil City continues to capitalize in the industry; it’s currently the headquarters of Pennzoil, Quaker State, and Wolf’s Head motor oil companies. Historical landmarks in the area are distinct for their Victorian-style architecture. Sports in the city include the Oil City Oilers (baseball) and the McKeesport Little Braves (Pittsburgh Pirate affiliate).

#44 Cambria Township


Cambria Township is located in central Pennsylvania and has a population of 6,099 (2010). The town surrounds the borough of Ebensburg. The city maintains several “CoGeneration Plants” with a goal of high environmental performance and low carbon emissions. Cambria is proud to offer recreational areas including six pavilions, one regulation-sized baseball fields, and two smaller ones in addition to other sports fields.

#45 Lebanon


Formerly called Steitztown, Lebanon, Pennsylvania is situated 26 miles east of Harrisburg. The Quittapahilla Creek flows westwards into the Susquehanna River. Harrisburg Area Community College is located in this city of 25,477 (2010). Residents will appreciate the city’s Farmers’ Market and Elm Street’s Northside Neighborhood program–an initiative to engage community members in sustainable gardens and other environmentally conscious projects.

#46 Reading


The fifth largest in the state, Reading Pennsylvania is a city of universities and unique architecture. Reading lies in Berks County of eastern Pennsylvania, halfway between Philadelphia and Harrisburg. Today, the city consists of 87,812 (2013) residents. Albright College, Alvernia University, Pace Institute, and Reading Area Community College are located in the city. Reading is a leader in arts, culture, and historical preservation, including the Sovereign Performing Arts Center, the Preading Public Museum, and the GoggleWorks Art Gallery.

#47 Punxsutawney


Closest to the city of Pittsburgh, Punxsutawney is located in Jefferson County, Pennsylvania in the middle of the state. Along with the neighboring city of Claysville, Punxsutawney was initially established as a soft coal mining city. Manufacturing work included glasswork, ironwork, and flour and silk mills. Puxsutawney Phil is the city’s most valuable member and unofficial mascot, since this groundhog will famously predict the nation’s weather each spring on February 2, Groundhog’s Day. This small town celebrates the contributions and successes of local businesses.

#48 Tyrone


A borough of Blair County, Tyrone, Pennsylvania has a total population of 5,477 (2010). It rests beside the Little Juniata River. Historically, the city has played an integral role in Clearfield’s coal fields as well as the commercialization of paper products. Tyrone has been nicknamed  “The Hub of the Highways” due to its prime location near the Norfolk Southern and Nittany and Bald Eagle railroads in addition to the US-220, PA-453, and I-99 highways. Tyrone boasts a tranquil setting with a low cost of living.

#49 Luzerne Township

Bridge_in_Huntington_Township,_Luzerne_County,_Pennsylvania (1)

In the southwest corner of the state, rests Luzerne Township, separated by Washington County via the Monongahela River. The total area of Luzerne is 30.8 square miles, consisting of 5,965 (2010) residents. Citizens have access to the Fayette County Career and Technical Institute located in Uniontown. Parents have the option of sending their children to public school or one of the Commonwealth’s 13 public cyber charter schools, tuition-free. Luzerne is committed to rural and agricultural preservation.

#50 Milton 


Skimming the West Branch Susquehanna River, rests the town of Milton, Pennsylvania. In the past, major economies have included car repair and woodworking industries. Simultaneously, small businesses have multiplied downtown. The city is characterized by mostly flat terrain.

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Best Towns to Live in New York 2016

New YorkThere’s more to New York than life in the city. From college towns, to natural landmarks and historical villages, visitors and residents alike can agree this state has a lot to offer. The state of New York is a total of 54,555 square miles and is home to nearly 20 million residents. The state shares borders with New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont, and also divides maritime waters with Rhode Island. To the north, New York State shares an international border with Quebec, Canada. In addition to its famous fast-paced city life, New York is also a frontrunner in terms of creativity, entrepreneurship, and social tolerance.

Our ratings were compiled by combining census, education, wealth , happiness  and internal RentApplication data to create a unified rating system for all of the towns in California. Ranked below are the top towns. 

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#1 White Plains


An affluent suburb north of New York City, White Plains is a commerical hub of close to one million residents. Post-World War II up until present day, White Plains has been a hub of retail giants. Major corporations including General Foods, PepsiCo, Nestlé and IBM are all housed here. White Plains is 7 miles from the Hudson River, and surrounded by park and greenery.

#2 Geneseo


Situated in the Finger Lakes region of the state, Geneseo is also just outside of Rochester, NY. The city of 9,654 (200) is bordered by rural villages and farmland. Each year, the city celebrates its Geneseo  Airshow as well as the Ring of Fire fireworks display at Conesus Lake. Historical Red brick buildings house the present-day high school and public library.

#3 Glens Falls


Glens Falls of Warren County east New York got its name from the waterfall of the Hudson River that forms at its southern tip. Arts and culture are big in the area, including the Adirondack Theater Festival, the Opera Saratoga as well as several museums: The Chapman Historical Museum and the World Awareness Children’s Museum.

#4 Mount Hope Town


Located in the southeast corner of the state, sits Mount Hope Town. Locals can enjoy the outdoors at the Mount Hope Town Park or the Shoddy Hollow Fishing Hole. The population was 7,018 according to the 2010 census.

#5 East Aurora


Bordering Lake Erie, the town of East Aurora has lots of coastline and is also in close proximity to Buffalo. It is considered part of the greater Buffalo-Niagra Falls area. Community activism has twice thwarted efforts for retail giants to take root; local economy is based on self-owned businesses or small retail companies. East Aurora is home to Explore & More Children’s Museum and the Aurora Theatre.

#6 Geneva


Geneva is located at the northern end of Seneca Lake and shares land between Ontario and Seneca counties. In 2010, the population was 13,261. The Belhurst Lake and other historical residence line the shores of Seneca Lake. Geneva’s location in the Finger Lakes also make the city one of the largest wine-producing areas in the state.

#7 Penn Yan


Penn Yan, an abbreviation for “Pennsylvania Yankee”, lies in west-central New York and is a home to 5,159 residents. Crooked Lake Canal’s ending point in Penn Yan brought about the Penn Yan Boat Company in 1921. Historic sites include the Yates County Courthouse, the Sampson Theatre, and the Penn Yan Historic District.

#8 Fredonia


South of Lake Erie and and in the town of Pomfret, lies Fredonia, Chautauqua County. Canadaway Creek, a small stream, winds through the city, and into Lake Erie. State University of New York at Fredonia’s campus along with the Fredonia Opera House, and Fredonia Commons Historic District can also be found here.

#9 Oneonta


Oneonta is a lively upstate village with a population of about 21,000 well -regarded for its family friendly vibe, academic excellence, economic prosperity, and natural beauty. Throughout the year, the city participates in fresh-produce markets and festivals. The city boasts Victorian style buildings, an orchestra, and a science museum.

#10 Plattsburgh


Hugging Lake Champlain to the northeast, Plattsburgh makes up a total area of 6.6 square miles Today, 19,989 people call the city home. The city of Plattsburgh lies entirely within the town of Plattsburgh. Plattsburgh played a significant role in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. The city can be easily accessed via rail, ferry, or plane.

#11 Cortland


Cortland, New York is located in the center of the city. As of 2010, 19,204 people reside. The city was once part of the Central New York Military Tract. Once the Cortland Normal School, the city now hosts present-day State University of New York at Cortland. Historically significant buildings include The Cortland County Courthouse and the Cortland Free Library.

#12 Kingston

A city once burned to the ground at the Battle of Saratoga, Kingston today is a thriving small town in Ulster County, New York, 91 miles from New York City. Kingston is broken into three districts, including Stockade District, Neighborhood Broadway Corridor, and Roundout-West Strand Historic District. Passersby can take note at the city’s impressive Victorian style buildings and roofed sidewalks.

#13 Cheektowaga


Cheektowaga of Eerie County has a total population of 88,226 and is the second largest suburb of Buffalo. Buffalo Niagra International Airport is the county’s primary airport. Cheektowaga welcomes thousands of commuters each day, to or through the city, via New York State Route 78. Empire State College and Villa Maria College are both located within the city.

#14 Hudson


Set alongside its namesake river, the city of Hudson has an area of 2.3 square miles. Beginning in 2011, every year residents participate in the Hudson Music Festival –New York’s largest free music festival. The Leterbox Farm Collective is famous in the city for providing locals restaurants with fresh meats, eggs, and produce.

#15 Crawford Town


Named after once of its earliest European settlers, Crawford Town of Orange County is picturesque small town America–the perfect place to raise a family. Each year, the city puts on a summer camps and Summer Series Concert, as well as a local farmers’ market. Approximately 10,000 people live in Crawford Town today.

#16 Batavia


The Old mill dam at Big Bend in Batavia is just one of many outdoor vantage points the city has to offer. Batavia is located in western New York, with a total size of 5.2 square miles. Batavia has seen an influx of Polish and Italian immigrants in past decades, during which time that city rapidly expanded. Historical sites include the Holland Land Company-turned museum.

#17 Albany


As the capital of the state of New York, Albany is not only home to gubernatorial politics, but to higher education and the high-tech industry. An estimate in 2015 lists Albany’s population at 100,104, with more than a million residents in the greater metropolitan area. There are four lakes within the city parameters as well as the Albany Pine Bush.

#18 Coeymans Town


Coeymans derives its name from an early settler, and sits just south of Albany. According to 2010 census records, 7,418 people inhabit the area. Much of the economy is focused on local business; recent efforts have been made to encourage environmental responsibility and sustainability.

#19 Chittenango


Chittenango is situated virtually in the center of the state, just below the Lake Erie Canal. The population is a total of 5,081 (2010). Every year, the town hosts Oz-Stravaganza! to celebrate L. Frank Baum, author of the The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and who was born in Chittenango. The city even constructed its own yellow brick road in the town, an homage to the beloved story of Oz.

#20 Corning


On the Chemung River lies the city of Corning, population 11,183, nearly at the Pennsylvania border and in the Finger Lakes region of New York. The city is well-regarded as a must-see small town for art lovers. Visitors and residents can stop by the Corning Museum of Glass and the Rockwell art museum.

#21 Canton


Home to St. Lawrence University and SUNY Canton, this northern city attracts young and old, families and singles. Permanent residents bring the population to 10,995 (2010), although the city swells from September to May each year. The Grasse River flows through Canton northward, and the Oswegatchie River flows northwest. Many small villages neighbor the city of Canton.

#22 Brockport


Brockport is located in northern New York, near to Rochester.State University of New York at Brockport is situated here. The Erie Canal runs through the city of 8,377(2014). Points of interest include historic residences and the Main Street Historic District.

#23 Potsdam


Just northeast of Canton, lies the city of Potsdam, home to 17,029 at the 2010 consensus. School-Clarkson University and SUNY Potsdam are located here. During school months, due to the universities of Potsdam and nearby Canton, the city grows by about 8,000 people. Sugar Island and Bucks Bridge are some of the city’s landmarks.

#24 Norwich


Norwich is located in the central region of the state, within Chenango County. Downtown main street is full of local eateries, shops, and repair centers. NBT Bancorp and Chobani both have headquarters in Norwich.

#25 Hornell


Nicknamed the “Maple City”, Hornell was once covered, low-hanging in large maple trees. Today, this city of 8,563 (2010) is known for is Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, which incorporates the community’s local clubs and businesses, and features the mayor in never-before-seen float. The Hornell Municipal Airport is nearby, as is Route 36.

#26 Auburn


At the north end of Owasco Lake, the city of Auburn can be found on the Finger Lakes of Central New York. The town had a population of 27,687 at the 2010 census. Auburn lays claim to the home of abolitionist Harriet Tubman. Auburn has a long history with the National Association of Professional Baseball, including the previous base for the Minor Leagues.

#27 Olean


Olean is the largest town in its county, at the border with Pennsylvania. A total of 14,452 people resided in Olean as of 2010. The city is considered a transportation, financial and entertainment hub. Olean is home to several historic residences as well as sports facilities and stadiums.

#28 Newark


Thirty miles southeast of Rochester is the city of Newark, Wayne County. It is the most populated in its county with a total of 9,145 residents and extends out to Lake Erie. Newark’s downtown is lined with shops and other local businesses. The city’s public school district has a reputation for academic excellence.

#29 Troy


Troy is located on the eastern shores of the Hudson River. Together with Albany and Schenectady, the region is referred to as the Capital District. Economically speaking, Troy has a history of textile production. Troy is home to several universities, including Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute , Russell Sage College, and the Emma Willard School.

#30 Fallsburg Town


Fallsburg of eastern Sullivan County has a population of roughly 12,000. The town is home to the Sullivan County Historical Society and Museum as well as the Dramatic Workshop-Rivoli Theater. The town is surrounded by many small ponds, lakes, and greenery.

#31 Oneida


Named after the original tribe inhabitants, Oneida, Madison County is anchored to Oneida Lake. The city’s design including public parks, buildings, and private residences are all in close proximity, making Oneida a very walkable city. Several higher education institutions are within commuting distance, such as Syracuse University, Colgate University, and Utica College.

#32 Ellicott Town


Centrally located within Chautauqua County, Elliott had a population of 8,714 in 2010. The city is well situated and easily accessible via major highways that connect Ellicott to Jameston and farther-reaching cities. The Chadakoin River flows through this quiet town, as does Cassadaga Creek.

#33 Walden


The rolling hills of Walden is the largest village in its southwest county, with an area of 5.3 square meters, and a population of 6,978. The town holds historical significance, which is visible through its architecture and building preservation, including the Jacob Walden home and the Village Hall. Panoramic views of the village show the Great Falls and Hudson Highlands.

#34 Lockport


Situated in Niagra County, the city got its named because of Erie Canal locks in the city. Erie Canal passes through the town, and onto Tonawanda Creek. Past waves of immigration to the city have given it a Celtic flare. Historical sites of interest include residences, Union Station, and the Lockport Industrial District.

#35 Medina


The village of Medina, spread between Shelby and Ridgeway in the western part of the state, is the location of the Oak Orchard Creek; the Erie Canal also passes through. The village is home to the Medina Railroad Museum. Buildings in the downtown are notable for their brownstone construction.

#36 Watertown


Watertown is situated about 70 miles north of Syracuse, 20 miles south of the Thousand Islands, and about 30 miles from the Ontario border. Historically, the town experienced a surge in immigration at the end of the American Revolution. Today, Watertown has a total population of about27,023 (2010). Black River flows west through the city an into Lake Ontario, giving the town its name. Today, competitive and recreational kayaking have become popular in the area.

#37 Bath


Bath is located in Steuben County, northwest of Elmira, New York. Dairy and agriculture are some of Bath’s major industries. Every year, the city of 12,097 residents puts on a dairy festival in June. Built in 1877, Bath VA Medical Center is also nearby.

#38 Rome


The city of Rome is located in Oneida County of Upstate New York. In 2010, the population reached 33,725. Historically, Rome, New York was a frequented battle site during the French and Indian War. Internationally recognized music festival, Woodstock, was held in Rome in 1999. Among other sports facilities, Rome is home to the John F Kennedy Civic Arena.

#39 Schenectady


Meaning “beyond the pines”, Schenectady was founded along to Mohawk River, to the south. It is also connected to Lake Erie on the west. The city is a leader in the technology industry, including innovative technology that focuses on renewable energy (steam-powered locomotives).

#40 Binghamton


Binghamton of Broome County, New York has a city population of 47,376 (2010), and a metropolitan area of 251,725 (2010). Binghamton University is here, and has steered the city in the direction of budding healthcare and education-related employment. The city hosts a variety of community events each year, including First Friday Art Walk, I Love New York festival, and Blues on the Bridge.

#41 Deerpark Town


The town of Deerpark is located in southern New York. It was originally settled by a group of Dutch colonists in the mid 17th century and breifly caught up a boundary dispute between New York and New Jersey. As of 2014, an estimated 7,789 residents live in Deerpark. Local landmarks include the Neversink Preserve and the Huguenot Schoolhouse.

#42 Waterloo


Waterloo in Seneca County, New York is situated between two Finger Lakes: Seneca Lake and Cayuga Lake. Several historical sites in the city have been recognized by the National Register of Historical Places, including the William H. Burton House and the Hunt House. Waterloo’s sports field are fit for any competitive teams or some weekend family fun.

#43 Oswego


Located on Lake Ontario, Oswego is considered the “Port City of Central New York”. Oswego has a history as a fort and military base town. Outdoor activities like boating, hiking, and fishing are common in the town. Each year, Oswego hosts a four-day festival of music, culture, and arts during the Oswego Harborfest.

#44 Johnstown


Known for its manufacturing industry, Johnstown and nearby Gloversville are often considered twin or “Glove Cities”. The city has a population of 8,743 and played a crucial role in the Revolutionary War. Several notable figures in history have come from Johnstown, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Today, the leather industry makes up a majority of the town’s economy.

#45 Elmira


Elmira, New York, with a population of 29,200 (2010) is a prime destination due to its historical intrigue. Elmira was an important city during the Revolutionary War, and also became a prisoner of war camp. Today, some of the city’s biggest industries include glass manufacturers, heat treating and waterworks companies.The Chemung River passes through the town, met on either side by luscious greenery.

#46 Ogdensburg


With coastline stretched along the St.Lawrence River, Ogdensburg has varied terrain and wildlife. The town is family-oriented, catering to community involvement and entertainment, Each year, the city puts on the Ogdensburg International Seaway Festival. Activities during this last week in July include a canoe race and battle of the high school bands.

#47 Monticello


Monticello, Sullivan County is located in the southern region of the state. Monitcello saw battle and growth during and after World War II. Monticello draws visitors in with its raceway. Bethel Woods Center for the Arts was the site of the internationally acclaimed Woodstock Festival in 1969. In addition, the city boasts several resorts including Concord and Grossinger’s.

#48 Herkimer


On the north side of the Mohawk River, sits the village of Herkimer, population 7,743 (2010). The area is known for its “Herkimer diamonds”, which in actuality are quartz crystals, but sometimes have the look of actual diamonds. In addition to functioning mines, several mines cater to tourists hoping to strike gold, or quartz at least.

#49 Jamestown


Jamestown has a population of 30,737, and fits between Lake Erie to the northwest, and Alleghney National Forest to the south. Nearby Chautauqua Lake attracts fisherman and boaters each year. Chautauqua Institution, which is 17 miles away, offers arts summer camps–musical theater, and educational classes. Today, jamestown is home to many sports teams as well as history and art museums.

#50 Albion


A village in Orleans County, Albion is located northwest of the city of Rochester. There are 6,056 people living in Albion. The town was originally founded in 1822 and has been expanding ever since. The Erie Canal passes through. Albion is the focal point of Medina’s sandstone industry, as well as cultivation of apples, cabbage, and beans.

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Best Towns to Live in Ohio 2016

OhioMeaning “great river” or “large creek” in the region’s native Iroquois language, Ohio is home not only to Ohio River, but also booming economy and densely saturated university towns. The state is bordered by Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Ohio has a total of 11,613,423 (est.2015) residents, the 7th most populous in the country. The state also shares 312 miles of coastline with Lake Erie. Terrain in the region includes the Central Lowlands, the Huron-Erie Lake Plains, and the Glaciated Allegheny and Appalachian Plateaus. Ohio is home to private and public higher institutions including Ashland University, Ohio University, and Miami University.

Our ratings were compiled by combining census, education, wealth , happiness  and internal RentApplication data to create a unified rating system for all of the towns in Ohio. Ranked below are the top towns. 

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#1 Bryan


Northwest Ohio is home to Bryan in Williams County. This small town of 8,545 (2010) residents is best know for two of its world-famous companies:  Spangler Candy Company, who makes Dum Dum suckers, and the Ohio Art Company, maker of the Etch A Sketch. Bryan boasts a balance of small town quaintness and big city convenience. The Williams County Courthouse is the most visited by tourists, for its hisotical significance and recent renovation.

#2 Marysville


As the motto goes, perhaps the grass really is greener in the central town of Marysville. The town is considered a part of the Columbus, Ohio metropolitan area. As of 2010, the population was 22,094. Today, Marysville is well-known for its Frank Lloyd Wright architecture, as well as Victorian, Dutch, Colonial, and Cape Cod-style architecture.

#3 Oberlin


Famous for its higher education, the town of Oberlin is located southwest of Cleveland. Oberlin College has a strong liberal arts program and as well as a music conservatory. In total, there are 8,286 (2010) residents. Top employers in the city include the College as well as the Federal Aviation Administration. Oberlin sits at the crossroads between state routes 58 and 511.

#4 Chardon


Ten miles from Lake Erie, Chardon is within the snow belt of the Great Lakes. There are 5,148 (2010) people living in Chardon today. Each March, the city puts on Tapping Sunday, in honor of its maple syrup industry. In addition the annual Geauga County Maple Festival takes place at the end of April and lasts for four days. The Chardon community is active in live theatre as well as competitive sports.

#5 Athens


Situated along the Hocking River, Athens, Ohio is best know as a college town, home to Ohio University. Athen’s topography can be described as flat, in the river valley, and surrounded by large rolling hills.  Ohio University, the county’s biggest employer, is a four-year school of approximately 26,000 students that has provided the city with a variety of jobs in the hotel, food, and tourism sector. The university has influenced the town’s liberal atmosphere and has contributed to such community events as the Athens Farmers Market.

#6 Oxford


Filled with freshly-cut lawns and colorful gardens, Oxford of Butler County, Ohio is home to Miami University, the focal point of the city’s economy and activity. Every year, Oxford has its Summer Music Festival in Uptown Memorial Park on Thursdays. Other festivals include the Oxford Wine Festival and Oxford Kinetics Festival.

#7 Wooster


Fifty miles from Cleveland and thirty miles from Akron, Wooster is situated in northeastern Ohio. The College of Wooster is listed in the city of 26,119 (2010). Local economy is based on dominant industries like motor manufacturing and meat precessing. Meanwhile, the city also maintains its agricultural roots.

#9 Wapakoneta


Wapakoneta, Ohio is located in Auglaize in western Ohio. The city of 6.21 square meters and 9,867 residents is proud to call itself the birthplace of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. Visitors can go to the Neil Armstrong Air and Space Museum, or relax in one of the city’s eight parks, including picnic areas and sport facilities.

#8 Bowling Green

bowling green

Located in the northwest region of the state, Bowling Green, Ohio is home to Bowling Green State University. The university has approximately 20,000 students enrolled each year. The city has a lively arts and culture scene, and is the site of many festivals. Annual events in the area include the Black Swamp Arts Festival, National Tractor Pulling Championships, Wood County Fair, and Winterfest.

#10 New Philadelphia

new philadelphia

Situated between Columbus and Cleveland, New Philadelphia is the county’s largest city, also along the Tuscarawas River. Early industry in the area consisted of mining as well as manufacturing (steel, brick, roof tiles, enameled goods). The city’s Tuscora Park bubbles with activity and carnival-like fun. The park is home to a permanent Ferris Wheel, carousel, miniature golf course and batting cages. The park also houses Park Place Teen Center for entertainment and community events.

#11 Columbiana


Eastern Ohio is home to Columbiana in the same county, as well as in parts of Mahoning County. Known as “The City with the Small Town Heart”, Columbiana is rapidly expanding. Today, 6,384 (2010) people live in the city. Downtown Columbiana is full of antique shops, restaurants, the Dutch Village Inn and Columbiana Inn Bed & Breakfast, and recently renovated Main Street Theater. Residents enjoy seasonal events like the Shaker Woods Festival and the Antiques and Christmas in the Woods.

#12 Sandusky

upper sandusky

Sandusky is located in northern Ohio, on the shores of Lake Erie and is the midway point between Toledo and Cleveland. Sandusky is sought after for its comfortable atmosphere in relation to the cost of living. Most famously, Sandusky is the home of Cedar Point theme park. Tourists come to the city for its theme park, as well as indoor/outdoor water park and neighboring islands.

#13 Dover


The city of Dover is located in Tuscarawas County, Ohio. At the time of the 2000 census, 12,210 residents resided. Kent State University Tuscarawas is located in the region and has 280 programs available to undergraduates. Historical sites include the J.E.Reeves Victorian Home and the Carriage House Museum. The city organizes community walks, fundraisers, and other seasonal events.

#14 Port Clinton

port clinton

The “Walleye Capital of the World”, Port Clinton, is located 44 miles east of Toledo, Ohio. Walleye Drop, the city’s major annual festival, celebrates the new year, as well as Port Clinton’s anchor in the fishing and boating industry. Visitors and residents alike can enjoy a variety of local and nearby activities like the Lake Erie Islands, Cedar Point, Vacationland, and local wineries.

#15 Celina


Situated on Grand Lake St. Mary’s, Celina, Ohio is home to natural beauty, farmlands and small town special events. Each year, Celina hosts the annual Freedom Days Picnic, Celina Lake Festival, Mercer County Fair, and Governor’s Cup Regatta. Some of the largest employers include Crown Equipment Corporation, Reynolds and Reynolds and Celina Aluminum Precision Technology.

#16 Van Wert


Downtown Van Wert is the site of the Van Wert County Courthouse as well as local businesses and shops. Van Wert is located in a county by the same name, in western Ohio. A total of 10,846 (2010) residents live there today. Events and points of interest in the city include the Brumback Library, Camp Clay Aqua Park, and Vert Wert County Fair.

#17 Napoleon


Napolean is located in northwest Ohio, in Henry County. In 2010, it had a population of 8,749. Napoleon’s small town amenities include the community swimming pool, golf course, and sports field. The city also organizes youth outdoor education programs.

#18 Johnstown


Home to William Ashbrook, a famous Democratic politician, Johnstown is a small town with historical intrigue. The town of 4,632 (2010) is located in the center of the state, and has a total area of 2.91 meters. Bigelow Park provides recreational activity as does Johnstown Trailhead and Bike Path.

#19 Perry Township


Perry Township of Columbiana County, not to be confused with over a dozen other Perry Townships within the state, has 16,850 (2010) inhabitants. Most popular professions in the area include metal production amongst men, and healthcare and educational services among women.

#20 Ashland


Claiming to be the “World Headquarters of Nice People”, Ashland, Ohio boasts small town values and hospitality. The city is located in the center of the state, and bares the county seat. Entertainment and leisure in the city are best found at the Guy C. Myers Bandshell, the Brookside Swimming Pool, and the local baseball fields.

#21 Findlay


“Flag City, USA”, Findlay, rests about 40 miles from Toledo, Ohio. It’s considered the second largest city in northwestern Ohio, with a total area of 19.25 square miles. Blanchard River flows through the city, into the Findlay Reservoir, the largest in the state. The University of Findlay has its roots in the city, and participates in Division II athletics. Annual activities include Findlay’s Hot Air Balloon Festival in August and Springtime In Ohio craft show each May.

#22 Jackson Township


One of seventeen townships in the county, Jackson Township has a total population of 37,744 (2000). The township is home to a large retail area as well as a rapidly growing airport. Visitors will enjoy the Jackson Bog State Nature Preserve.

#23 Harrison


The city of Harrison is located in Hamilton County, Ohio. In 2010, the city had a population of 9,897. Dotted throughout the town are veteran memorials. Clubs in the city include Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Harrison Village Historical Society, Harrison Youth Football and Cheerleading, and the Royal Rangers.

#24 Upper Sandusky


Just north of the Sandusky River, Upper Sandusky of northwestern Ohio is at of the mouth of the river. Industry in the area include manufacturing of concrete and glass. Today, 6,596 (2010) people live in the city. The city is home to golf courses and campgrounds as well as historical sites scattered through downtown and the outer limits.

#25 Wauseon


Wauseon and its 7,332 (2010) residents are located in Fulton County Ohio. In 1854, Wauseon became connected for the first time via the county railway and saw an influx in both visitors and local population. Wabash Cannonball Trail extends for four miles. Each year, the city participates in the Fulton County Fair.

#26 Defiance


In the northwest corner of Ohio, sits Defiance, not far from Toledo and with a population of 16,494 (2010). Local economy is based on manufacturing of auto parts, fiberglass, and farming food products. General Motors is one of the largest employers in the city today. Defiance College, a small liberal arts school, is also in the area.

#27 Fairfield Township


Fairfield Township is one of thirteen in Butler County. Currently, the town has a population of 21,373 people. Fairfield is surrounded by the townships of Hamilton, Madison, and Liberty, among several others. The town is located west of the Great Miami River and is easily accessible to nearby places via well connected highways.

#28 St. Clair Township


Split into three pasts, St. Clair Township of Butler County hugs the Great Miami River. The population was at 6,908 during the 2010 census. The Miller Brewing Company has facilities in the area, as does the Cincinnati Gas and Electric Company. The city’s community center is available for public and private events.

#29 Mansfield


In the western foothills of the Allengheny Plateau, rests Mansfield of Richland County. The city is located halfway between Columbus and Cleveland. Major industries in the area include retail, education, and healthcare. Mansfield’s extensive parks earned it the name “Carousel Capital of Ohio” and “The Fun Center of Ohio”. The Miss Ohio Pageant is held in the city every year.

#30 Piqua


In 1913, Piqua of eastern Ohio fell victim to the Great Dayton Flood. Today, the city of over 20,000 residents in thriving. One of the most important buildings in the city includes the Orr-Statler Block building (most recently the Fort Piqua Hotel). CSX Transportation railway services the city of Piqua.

#31 Ada


Ada, Ohio is located in Hardin County and is the site of Ohio Northern University. In total, the town is 2.08 square miles and has a population of 5,952 (2010). The Univeristy encompasses five colleges: Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, Engineering, Pharmacy, and Law.Ada is considered a Tree City USA because of its green initiatives.

#32 Lawrence Township


Lawrence Township of Stark County stretches over 34.9 square miles. Nearby townships and municipalities include New Franklin, Green, Clinton, and Chippewa Township. The township’s economy was once dependent on its saw mills, tanneries, and retail stores. To this day, Lawrence relies heavily on the contributions of small self-owned retail shops.

#33 Massillon


Twenty miles south of Akron and fifty miles south of Cleveland, Massillon of Stark County resides. The city of 32,149 (2010) has a rich history of Quakers and early innovators. Massillon is know for the Russell & Company Steam Tractor, which redefined efficiency in agriculture. McKinley Hall, Ohio State Hospital and Massillon State Hospital are some of the city’s proudest preserved landmarks.

#34 Urbana


West of Columbus lies the city of Urbana in Champaign County. Historically, the city played a vital role during the War of 1812 as headquarter for the Northwestern army. Today, the city is comprised of 11,793 (2010) residents, plus students who attend Urbana University. The school serves 1500 students across 28 disciplines as well as graduate degrees in graduate degrees in Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Education and Nursing.

#35 Chillicothe


With a size of 10.60 square meters and a population of 21,901 (2010), Chillicothe is the sole city in Ross County. The city is situated along the Scioto River. Prior to and during the American Civil War, Chillicothe served as a safeplace on the Underground Railroad for free and runaway slaves. Chillicothe offers residents recreation space at several community parks. The city is also home to Ohio University-Chilicothe.

#36 Norwalk


Ten miles from Lakes Erie, Norwalk city is located in northern Ohio. Settlers came to the area seeking refuge after cities in Connecticut were devastated during the Revolutionary War. Norwalk is well-connected today via the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and Interstate 80 and 90 as well as the Wheeling and Lake Erie Railroad. Today the city has an estimated population of 16,898.

#37 Delphos


Spread across Allen and Van Wert counties, Delphos has a total area of 3.48 square miles. The city is home to several public and religious affiliated primary and secondary schools. National Register ofHistoric Places include the Marks-Family House, the Bredeick-Lang House, and Saint John’s Catholic Church.

#38 Marietta


At the mouth of the Muskingum River in the southeastern part of the state, resides Marietta in Washington County. The city got its name in honor of the Queen of France, Marie Antoinette. In the late 1700s and early 1800s, Marietta was home for many abolitionists. The town saw the biggest growth in junction with the railroad expansion and oil refinery developments.

#39 Bellefontaine


Encompassing all of Logan County, Bellefontaine is well regarded for its historical courthouse and Court Avenue–the first concrete street in America. Today, tourists also come to see the Holland Theater (National Register of Historic Places) and McKinley Street–argued by some to be the shortest street in America. Higher education in the area includes Ohio State University and Urbana University.

#40 Circleville


Following a Hopewell tradition, as its names explains, Circleville’s city plan was designed as a 1100-foot diameter. By the mid 1850s, a more complex grid-patern was developed, opening the doors for further expansion. As of 2010, 13,314 residents lived in Circleville. Manufacturing is the prime form of production in the region, including auto parts and aluminum products. In October of each year, the city hosts the Circleville Pumpkin Show.

#41 Uhrichsville


Uhrichsville is located in Tuscarawas County, and has a population of 5,413. It is often considered one of the Twin Cities of Ohio, along with the city of Dennison. The Ohio an Erie Canal aided in the local mill operations, lead by Michael Uhrich, the city’s founder. Uhrichsville is complete with its own water park: waterfalls and a water jungle gym.

#42 Conneaut


At the very northeastern tip of the state, sits Conneaut, at the mouth of the Conneaut Creek. In 2010, the population was 12,841. The city is situated along the Native American Trail; the city contains both farmlands and urban areas. Tourists come to the city each summer to enjoy Conneaut’s long-stretched coastline. From the shoreline, beach-goers can look out at the Conneaut Lighthouse.

#43 London


London, Ohio is located in the center of the state, in Madison County. In 2010, the city of 8.45 square miles was home to 9,904 residents. The city displays several historic churches as well as the Madison County Courthouse.

#44 Jackson


From a county with one of the largest populations in the country and high employment rates at General Mills, Jackson lives up to its motto, “We make things happen!” The city of Jackson is located in southern Ohio and has a total area of 8.49 square miles. Its public spaces of leisure include the Eddie Jones Park, Manpower Park, and McKinley Park as well as the Lake Katharine State Nature Preserve.

#45 Cambridge


Located in the Appalachian Plateau of the Appalachian Mountains, Cambridge, Guernsey County is a well-know glass collector and manufacturer. The city also rests along Wills Creek. Visitors who come to Cambridge can indulge at the Georgetown Vineyards or the Salt Fork Arts and Crafts Festival. Cambridge is also the site of many parks and nature preserves.

#46 Orrville


J.M. Smucker Co. of the Smucker’s brand has dug its roots in the city of Orrville, in the center of the state. Smucker’s has its factories in the city as well as a gift shop for travlers. Other major companies include the Smiths Dairy Products Company and the Schantz Organ Company. Orrville is home to Wayne College and a branch of the Universtiy of Akron.

#47 Greenville


Greenville is located in Darke County, and shares a border with Indiana to the east. The James M. Cox Dayton International Airport is only 35 miles away. Every August, tourists come in large numbers to attend The Great Darke County Fair. The Garst Museum shows Native American artifacts and early settlers’ antiques. The city has a population of 13,227 (2010).

#48 Canton


In the early 1800s, Canton saw itself at the crossroads of industrial development, and literally speaking as well: the city became a major manufacturer because of the rail lines that passed through the city. However, the rail business eventually fell by the wayside, and today, the city’s biggest employers are in the retail, education, healthcare and finance departments. Canton is located 24 miles south of Akron, Ohio. One of the main points of interests include the burial site of President William McKinley.

#49 Mount Vernon


Named after George Wasington’s plantation, Mount Vernon carries with it the motto of  “One of Ohio’s Most Likeable Communities” in Knox County. Mount Vernon connects its16,990 residents via the Ohio Central Railroad. Much of the city’s terrain is the Glaciated Allegheny Plateau; the Kokosing River passes through the city as well. Kenyon College, Mount Vernon Nazarene Univeristy and Central Ohio Technical College all have campuses in the city.

#50 Nelsonville


Home to Hocking College, Nelsonville is located sixty miles south of Columbus. Downtown is pin part sitauted around Canal Street, where the Hocking Canal flowed at one point. Transportation to and from the city is eased with US Route 33. Today, tourists come to the city via the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway from Nelsonville to Logan. In addition, the city’s theatre group produces the annual Nelsonville Music Festival.

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Best Towns to Live in Florida 2016

FloridaIt’s tropical climate and long stretches of coastline make the state of Florida a great destination, or better yet, permanent address. Each of Florida’s large cities have a distinct flare with their own cuisines and attractions as do its small and medium-sized cities. It’s a state prided on historical significance, cultural influence, and an assortment of leisure activities. Florida is bordered by Georgia and Alabama to the north, and is surrounded by Atlantic Ocean Waters to the south, southeast and southwest. The state has a total population of 20,271,272 (2010 census) and reaches over 65,755 square miles.

Our ratings were compiled by combining census, education, wealth , happiness  and internal RentApplication data to create a unified rating system for all of the towns in Florida. Ranked below are the top towns. 

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#1 Sarasota


South of Tampa, Sarasota city borders the Florida’s Gulf Coast. For Myers and Punta Gorda are just north of the city. Due its seaside proximity, Sarasota is saturated with beach resorts, spas, and environmental centers. Sarasota Bay includes many small isalnds. The metropolitan area is made up of 53,326 (2010) residents and an area of 25.93 square miles.

#2 Boca Raton


Located at the southernmost point of Palm Beach County, Boca Raton had a population of 91,332 in the 2014 census. Many workers commute to the city each day for business. The city is also home to Florida Atlantic University. Points of interest include Mizner Park and the Mediterranean/Spanish Colonial Revival architecture.

#3 Deerfield Beach


Deerfield Beach, along Florida’s southeastern shores, is considered part of the Miami Metropolitan area. It has a population of 75,018. Although its economy once relied on pineapples, tomatoes, squash, and green beans, today Deerfield Beach is well known tourist location. The city changed its named in 1939 to include “Beach” to attract visitors to the area.

#4 Venice


Venice, Florida is situated on the state’s western coast and has a population of 21,253 (2010). It is considered part of the Bradenton-Venice-Sarasota metropolitan area. According to several travel publications, Venice has been ranked one of the top beach town destinations and has also been called the “Shark’s Tooth Capital of the World”.

#5 Largo


Once a farming community, Largo has flourished as one of Florida’s most densely populated cities with 77,648 local inhabitants. Many residents commute to other cities within the Tampa Bay area each day. Most jobs within city limits relate to retail, health services, and hospitality.

#6 Punta Gorda


Although the county of Charlotte is largely inland, Punta Gorda rests along the water, in the Gulf of Mexico. Punta Gorda is also one of the state’s oldest towns, with 16,641 residents. During World War II, the city was transformed into US army field to train combat soldiers. Today, the city has been revitalized to include a Harborwalk as well as many new restaurants and newly developed neighborhoods.

#7 Bradenton


Bradenton, Florida is located in Manatee County and has a square mileage of 14.44. Many historical buildings have been preserved in the city’s old downtown. Tropicana, one of the world’s largest orange juice manufacturers operates out of Bradenton. Total population in 2014 is estimated at 52,769.

#8 Fort Myers


Southwest city of Fort Myers has long been regarded as a major visitors’ hub in Florida. Although the city maintains a population of 65,725 year round, many more flock to the beach area town for the Historic Downtown (waterfront entertainment), City of Palms Park, and seaside relaxation.

#9 Sanford


Sanford is located within Seminole County and has a population of 53,570. It’s known as the “Historic Waterfront Gateway City” for its proximity to ocean water as well as Lake Monroe and St. Johns River. Seminole State College of Florida and the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens are located here. Other attractions include the Riverwalk trails, hiking areas and parks, and the Sanford Museum.

#10 Fellsmere


Situated on Florida’s eastern shores in Indian River County, Fellsmere is a small town of only 5,338 (2013). Local economy is a mix of retail giants and local businesses including restaurants, architectural salvage, and moto vehicle repair. The city is the site of the Fellsmere Frog Leg Festival and the National Elephant Center.

#11 Fernandina Beach


Far to the north, Fernandina Beach in Nassau County nearly touches Georgia, its northern neighbor. It’s been nicknamed “Isle of 8 Flags” since throughout history, the town has flown the flags of eight separate nations, including France, Spain, and Great Britain as well as the Patriots of Amelia Island and the Green Cross of Florida. Each year in May, the city hosts the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival.

#12 Melbourne


Melbourne is Brevard County, Florida has a population of 76,068 (2010). Post Civil War, families began to settle in the area. In 1969, the city expanded when it grew together with Eau Gallie. The Naval Air Station Melbourne was constructed in 1942 to train military headed for combat in World War II. Today, Melbourne’s economy relies on retail, healthcare, tourism, and companies such as General Electric.

#13 Titusville


Located along the Indian River, Titusville is in Brevard County, west of Merritt Island and Kennedy Space Center. Major employers include aerospace companies, Knight’s Armament Company and Barn Light Electric Company. The town also sees a fair amount of tourism year round to sites like the United States Astronaut Hall of Fame and the US Space Walk of Fame and Museum.

#14 Crestivew


Crestview is located in Okaloosa County, Florida. It’s population was 20,978 as of the 2010 census. Unlike other parts of the state, Crestview has been referred to in the past as the “icebox of Florida” due to its cool winters. It’s the largest city in the county and fast-growing, with shopping, residential developments, and land area expansion.

#15 Vero Beach


Vero Beach is a seaside town in Indian River County, Florida. Many of the city’s 16,017 (est. 2014) residents work for the city’s hospital and school district. However, Vero Beach is also home to a major aviation manufacturer, Piper Aircraft. Additionally, tourism and commercial services are an integral part of the city’s economy.

#16 Ormond Beach


Neighbor to Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach, Florida is located on the state’s western coast, in Volusia County. Approximately 38,137 people lived in the city as of 2010. The city is dotted with several state parks, libraries, art museums and gardens.

#17 Kissimmee


Kissimmee got its name from nearby Kissimmee River, along which Major J.H Allen operated the first steam boat. The city of 66,400 is also situated near to Lake Tohopekaliga and Shingle Creek passes though the city. The downtown area is quaint and made up of single or two-story high buildings, such as restaurants, shops, and residences of historical significance.

#18 Daytona Beach


Most famous for its Daytona Beach 500 NASCAR Race, the city of Daytona Beach hosts a myriad of events each year. Daytona also serves as the headquarters of NASCAR. Other related races include the NASCAR Coke Zero 400 in July, Biketoberfest in October, and 24 Hours of Daytona in January. Officially, 61,005 residents reside in Daytona as of 2010, although many more travel to the city during these special events.

#19 Pensacola


Pensacola is Florida’s westernmost city, north of the Gulf of Mexico. The city itself had a recorded 51,923 people in 2010, but the metropolitan area encompasses more than 460,000 residents according to a 2012 estimate. The city has a notable naval presence, as the first United States Naval Air Station. The University of West Florida’s campus is located north of the city center.

#20 Lakeland


About the halfway mark between Orlando and Tampa, Lakeland of Polk County, Florida has a populations of 100,710 (2013). The city saw great expansion in the mid nineteenth century with the arrival of the railway. Varied in size, thirty-eight lakes surround the area, including Lake Morton, Lake Mirror, and Lake Gibson.

#21 Alachua


Alachua is located in north-central Florida, with a population of 9,059. In 1884, transportation to and from the city greatly improved with construction of a new railroad line. The city offers downtown parks, nature trails, a water park, and sports facilities.

#22 Panama City


Panama City is a hotbed of beach-related recreational activities. It’s located along Florida’s panhandle, between Tallahassee and Pensacola. As of 2010, the population was 36,484. Major employers include Gulf Power and Rock-Tenn. The city has a military presence, and has been rated among the best places to invest in real estate.

#23 Winter Haven


Winter Haven of central Florida was once famous for its Cypress Gardens that including botanical gardens and water skiing shows, and was visited by celebrities such as Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra. Today, the park is the site of Legoland Florida. Winter Haven has over fifty lakes, and has a history of water skiing and baseball spring training.

#24 Sebring


Sebring of Highlands County, Florida is situated in the south-central region of the state. Sebring has a Historic Downtown Area complete with twenty-two historical buildings. Sebring is easily accessible via major highways and is also a stop on the Amtrak railway.

#25 Sebastian


As early as the 1870s, Sebastian, Florida has been primarily a fishing village. The town is located in western Florida and has a total area of 13.5 square miles. This Indian River County town includes 21,921 (2010) local residents.

#26 Ocala


In the 1900s, Ocala gained a reputation for itself as a horse and livestock capital and produced the state’s first winner in the Kentucky Derby. Tourism in this north-central town has grown over time, especially in conjunction with its neighboring community, Silver Springs. In 2010, 56,315 people lived in Ocala.

#27 High Springs


High Springs is located in Alachua County, Florida. In total, it covers an area of 22 square miles and is home to 5,350 (2010) residents. The city is surrounded be natural landmarks and varied terrain that welcome sports enthusiasts: snorkeling, diving, tubing or swimming in natural springs are all commonplace.

#28 Live Oak


In east Tallahassee, Live Oak is located in Suwannee, Florida and is serviced by the county’s regional airport. It had a total population of 6,850 in 2010. Live Oak is surrounded by natural beauty, including old oak trees and Spanish moss. Suwannee Music Park is ideal for canoers.

#29 DeFuniak Springs


DeFuniak Springs in Walton County of northwest Florida is the site of many historical residencies, heritage museums, and the oldest still-functioning library in all of Florida. The downtown area aldo includes DeFuniak Lake, which provides scenice views of the city.

#30 Marianna


Nicknamed “The City of Southern Charm”, Marianna shares a border with Georgia and is a total of 8 square miles. The population was 6,230 in 2010. Chipola College is located in Marianna, as is the Florida Caverns State Park. The city has a historical downtown, and the Chattahoochee River is nearby.

#31 Lake City


Lake City of northern Florida is often thought of as “The Gateway to Florida” because Interstate 75 passes through, servicing many tourists with beach destinations. Agriculture is focused on crops like tabacco, corn, peanuts, cotton, and timber. Other major employers include the Columbia County School System and the VA Medical Center. The population was at 12,100 in 2014.

#32 Palatka


Natural beauty abounds in the city of Palatka, Putnam County, Florida. It’s home to the Ravine Gardens State Park and James C. Godwin Riverfront Park. Historical districts in the north and south boast Florida’s first accredited African-American high school as well as historical residences and museums. Each year, the city of 10,558 hosts the Florida Azalea Festival and the Blue Crab Festival.

#33 Quincy


Quincy of Gadsden County is located in the northwest Florida. The city’s quaint charm rests in its historical residences like the E.C Love House, as well as the Old Philadelphia Presbyterian Church and public library. The Gadsden Arts Center presents rotating art exhibitions throughout the year. An estimated 7,914 residents live in Quincy.

#34 Starke


Starke, Florida is located in the north-central part of the state. Every year, the city takes part in festivals and market along the main streets of the downtown area. Starke is considered a “Tree City” by the Arbor Day Foundation in an effort to protect, provide, and maintain trees and other green spaces across the country. The population is approximately 5,449.

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Best Towns to Live in California 2016

CaliforniaWith nearly 900 miles of coastline, the state of California stretches from Mexico to its northern neighbor, Oregon. Its terrain is varied, including the Sierra Nevada mountain range, the Mojave desert, redwood forests, and numerous beaches. Almost 40 million people reside within state limits.While the state may be home to some world-famous cities, there are also many quaint and picturesque towns. Most notable economic industries include finance, real estate, technology and entertainment companies. Students from across the country and around the world come to California each year to attend some of the state’s top public universities.

Our ratings were compiled by combining census, education, wealth , happiness  and internal RentApplication data to create a unified rating system for all of the towns in California. Ranked below are the top towns. 

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#1 Palo Alto

palo alto 2

Palo Alto is a city of approximately 66,000 residents, situated in San Francisco’s Bay Area. The climate includes wet winters and dry, hot summers. Palo Alto is a focal point within Silicon Valley. Notable companies with headquarters in this city include’s, Mashable, Tesla Motors, and Xerox.

#2 Mountain View


This walkable city  is located within Santa Clara County. Mountain View boasts beautiful vistas of the Santa Clara Mountains. According to the 2010 census, 74,066 people live in the city. Mountain View is a hotbed of world-renowned high technology companies. Today, these include companies like Google, Mozilla Foundation, and Intuit.

#3 Santa Monica


Santa Monica can be found along California’s southern coast in Los Angeles County. Its proximity to the beach makes it the perfect place to unwind and relax. The city of Los Angeles borders the beachtown on three sides, and includes places like Brentwood and Venice. 89,736 call Santa Monica home.

#4 San Ramon

san ramon

Situated in San Francisco’s valley, San Ramon is the 4th largest city in Contra Costa County. Its surrounded by cities like Danville, California. 73,927 people currently reside. There are no shortage of mountain views, forests and greenery. Headquartered in San Ramon are companies like the Chevron Corporation, 24-Hour Fitness, and AT&T Inc. (West Coast division).

#5 Cupertino


Cupertino, California sits just west of San Jose, on the border of the Santa Clara Valley. Parts of the city extend into the mountains as well. The tech industry is booming in Cupertino, especially since its the location of Apple, Inc. Overtime, the mega-giant tech company has expanded within the city of Cupertino. Additionally,, Lab126, and IBM are also located in the city.

#6 Pleasanton


Quintessential small-town America, Pleasanton is made up of roughly 70,000 inhabitants. Its considered a suburb of San Francisco Bay Area, and is only a 25-mile drive from Oakland. Pleasanton has been featured on many lists of the top cities to live in the United States for its low crime rate, proximity to other cities, and prominence in the tech industry (headquarters of Safeway).

#7 Santa Barbara

santa barbara

Known for its long stretch of coastline, Santa Barbara has some of the best views and most luxurious real estate in all of California. To the east, span the Santa Ynez Mountains, and to the west: the Pacific Ocean. The city of Los Angeles is 90 miles away. The population was 88,410 according to the 2010 census.

#8 San Luis Obispo


San Luis Obispo is oftentimes regarded as the halfway point between san Francisco and Los Angeles. It’s sought after for its rolling green hills and small town appeal. About 45,000 people live in the city today in an area 12.93 square miles.

#9 Morro Bay

morro bay

This tiny town offers access to the sea and stunning panoramic views. In the 1940s, Morro Bay was established as a fishing community. Today, the industry persists, as well as small businesses and tourism. Just over 10,000 people live in the city. Points of interest include Morro Rock and Morro Bay Harbor.

#10 Newport Beach


Newport Beach is located in Orange County and lays along the water. The city is made up of an upper and lower bay, with canyons carved out above the beaches below. It’s also home to Newport Harbor and Newport Bay, where shipbuilding once took place, as well as commercial fishing. Today, the site is mostly used for recreation. 85,186 people reside in Newport.

#11 Walnut Creek


Although mid-sized, Walnut Creek is a coveted suburb of the San Francisco Bay Area made up of 67,000 residents because of its location–including the intersection for highways leading to Sacramento and San José, but also because of it s accessibility to San Francisco’s BART subway system.

#12 San Rafael


Located in the North Bay area of San Francisco, the city of San Rafael has a notable Spanish flare. One of the most recognizable landmarks in the city is the Mission San Rafael Arcángel. San Rafael boasts a variety of natural terrain and habitats, including forests and marshes. In total, 55, 713 people live within the city limits.

#13 Tustin


Start-up companies are finding a good reason to stay in Tustin, California. Among the cities of Orange County, Tustin has a population of 75, 540. It has consistently ranked high with national business publications as one of the best towns to live in America.

#14 Folsom


Folsom city is within Sacramento County, California and has a population of 72,203. Nature lovers will appreciate Folsom Lake and a variety of bike paths which pass over several historic bridges. Folsom’s Historic Sutter Street is located downtown and is filled with small shops and local restaurants.

#15 South San Francisco


Considered a city of San Mateo County, South San Francisco is also a part of the San Francisco Bay Area. As of 2014, an estimated 67,000 people reside in South San Francisco. The city is an ideal transportation hub. To the south is the San Francisco International Airport. Ferry service operates between Oyster Point Marina and the cities of Oakland, Jack London Square, and Alameda. Additionally, the BART subway system extends out to the city, connecting it to San Francisco and San José.

#16 Fountain Valley


Fountain Valley is situated in the suburbs of Orange County, 9 square miles in size. It’s a middle-class town with a population of 55, 300 in 2010. Huntington Beach is just a short drive away, as is Santa Ana to the northeast and Costa Mesa to the southeast. The city’s economy remains contingent in part today on the agriculture business.

#17 Santa Cruz


Santa Cruz offers an extensive coastline, located on the northern tip of Monterey Bay. The area of 15.828 square miles welcomes 59,946 local residents. Today, tourists flock to the city to admire parks, beaches, greenbelt districts, and marine protected areas. Year round, visitors and locals alike can stroll along the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk or enjoy sports like cycling, hiking, and rock climbing.

#18 Redwood


Redwood can be found in San Francisco’s Bay Area. The city’s density is mixed, with some urban areas to the north and east as well as wealthy neighborhoods in the hills. Recently, the city has begun to expand and attract new residents from nearby towns. The city’s population was 76,815 in 2010, and is thought to be roughly 83,000 today.

#19 Arcadia


Just 13 miles north of downtown Los Angeles, Arcadia provides an ideal commute for its residents (56,364 in 2010). The city itself also has a lot to offer due to its orientation between the San Gabriel Valley and the San Gabriel Mountains just beyond. Arcadia has consistently ranked highly in terms of average household income.

#20 Arroyo Grande


The main streets of Arroyo Grande Village are lined with small cafés and restaurants, repair shops, and corner stores. It’s the perfect mesh of history and small town comfort: small town America at its best. In total, the city spreads across an area of 5.8 miles; 17,716 residents were registered as of 2013.

#21 Milpitas


Milpitas has an area of 13.641 square miles and is located within the Silicon Valley. Some of the 66,790 residents work for companies such as Maxtor, Flextronics, Cisco Systems and SanDisk. Milipitas is generally regarded as a San José suburb, and sits at the foothills of mountains belonging to the Diablo range.

#22 Mammoth Lakes


Towering mountains cradle this Mono County, California town. It has an area of 9 miles and an altitude of 7,880 feet–a skier’s personal paradise. Mammoth Mountain Ski Area is located along the east side of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range. Outdoor adventurers will also appreciate the Ansel Adams Wilderness. 8,234 live in Mammoth Lakes year round.

#23 Truckee


Truckee is located in Nevada County, California. It makes up an area of 33.7 square miles, which approximately 16,180 people call home. Truckee River flows from Lake Tahoe to the Great Basin, and then finally into Pyramid Lake. Truckee was given its named based on the indigenous inhabitants and a Paiute chief.

#24 St. Helena


This North Bay region city within the San Francisco Bay Area is in Napa County, California. In 2010, the population was about 5,800 residents. Many residents are employed with the St. Helena Hospital, Trinchero Family Estates, and The Culinary Institute of America.

#25 Redlands


The Mediterranean climate here will make for year-round recreational fun outdoors. The city had a population of 68,747 in 2010,  and continues to grow. It’s situated south of downtown San Bernadino and is easily linked to the city as well as Los Angeles via the MetroLink transportation system.

#26 Chino


Nestled between the Chino Hills, the city of Chino is located in the western portion of the Riverside-San Bernadino Area. For generations, Chino has been a major contributor to California’s agricultural industry, primarily dairy farming. The city’s namesake translates to “curl,” in reference to the grama grass which is plentiful in the valley region. Today, 77,983 people live in the area of about 29.652 square miles.

#27 Placerville


At the intersection of US Route 50 and State Route 49, Placerville sets its limits within El Dorado County. Some portions of the city extend out to the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas, meaning altitudes can reach as high as 4,000 feet. Placerville is a small town with 10,389 residents. Industry in the area has become increasingly dependent on the wine production business.

#28 Rancho Cordova


Rancho Cordova has a population of 67,839 (2014 census records) and is located within the Sacramento Metropolitan Area. Residents can easily access the city of Sacramento via the Sacramento Regional Transit and the Gold Line rail. Vineyards and orchards are prevalent in the city today. Families have lots to enjoy on the weekend, including American River Parkway, Sacramento State Aquatics Center, and the Sacramento Children’s Museum.

#29 Auburn


Auburn is a part of Placer County, California. Famously, Auburn is the site of the California Gold Rush, and has therefore been deemed a California Historic Landmark. The city contains many bike and running trails, and is the site of more sports endurance events, such as marathons and triathlons than anywhere else in the world. 13,330 people live in Auburn as of the 2010 census records.

#30 Monterey Park


Just outside of Los Angeles, Monterey Park houses many attractions such as Garvey Ranch Observatory, operated by the Los Angeles Astronomical Society. The Jardin El Encanto building built in 1929, once a speakeasy, is visited today for its remarkable architecture and Spanish flare. Monterey Park, with a population of 60,269 people, is easily accessed via the Long Beach Freeway, the San Bernadino Freeway, and the Pomona Freeway.

#31 Calistoga


Calistoga is a tiny town of just over 5,000, located in Napa County, California. An economy once reliant on mining (silver and mercury) and agriculture (grapes, prunes, walnuts) has grown to also include revenue based on tourism. People travel to the city today to visit Calistoga AVA, part of California’s Wine Country. Once rumoured to contain gold, Calistoga is also famous for its hot springs and geothermal geyser.

#32 Napa


Napa of Napa County, California, has made a name for itself in the wine industry. But wine production hasn’t alway been the economic powerhouse. Miners flocked to the city in the 1850s and early 60s in the search for gold and silver. As a result, the city grew and developed. Today, Napa is the site of the Treasury Wine Estates and the Napa River Waterfront. Over 80,000 people currently live in Napa.

#33 South Lake Tahoe


With more residents than any other city in El Dorado County, residents enjoy views of the Sierra Nevada mountains as well as Lake Tahoe to the north and panoramic views from the shoreline. According to the 2010 census, 21,403 call this city home. Although many visitors abound in summer and winter months, South Lake Tahoe has maintained its small town charm.

#34 Sonoma


Historical buildings in the area nod to Sonoma’s colonial past. Today, the city is not only a focal point of California’s wine industry (Sonoma Valley Appellation), but also home to the Sonoma International Film Festival. The number of residents was 10,648 in 2010.

#35 San Leandro


San Leandro can be found on the east coast of the San Francisco Bay. Neighboring cities include Oakland and Hayward. Many corporate companies have roots in the city, including JanSport, Northface, Ghirardelli, and OSIsoft. San Leandro had a population of 86,869 in 2014 and is connected to San Francisco via highway and BART transit.

#36 Yuba City


Yuba City is in Northern California, in the county of Sutter, California. Every year, the town of 64,925 (2010) holds several arts events and cultural festivals. The California Swan Festival lasts for a weekend in November. Yuba City is home to a long list of community and neighborhood parks as well as other green spaces.

#37 Arcata


Arcata sits beside Arcata Bay, within Humboldt Bay County. The city had 17,697 residents as of 2010, and today promotes environmentally friendly initiatives in a variety of ways, including a freshwater and saltwater network of ponds. Arcata is home to many green spaces and public parks, as well as the Headwaters Forest. Each year during summer months, Arcata sets up a local farmers’ market.

#38 Solvang 


Solvang is located in the Santa Ynez Valley, in Santa Barbara County. Over the years, Solvang has remained a small town of about 5,000 residents. Storefronts on main street pay homage to the city’s Danish roots; Danish settlers came to the city in 1911 on respite from cold midwestern winters. Other cultural points of significance include a Little Mermaid statue (a copy of the original in Copenhagen) as well as a statue of Hans Christian Andersen. There’s even a Danish-style windmill along main street.

#39 Grass Valley


Grass Valley is located 57 miles from the capital of Sacramento, in the western part of Nevada County, California. The city of 12,860 (2010). Today, the economy is powered majorly by tourism industry. Visitors come to see designated historical landmarks such as the Empire Mine State Historic Park, Overland Emigrant Trail, and the Site of the First Discoveries of Quartz Gold in California.

#40 Dixon 


A short distance from Sacramento, the city of Dixon is located in Solano County, California. It had a population of 18,351 in 2010. The Dixon area became a destination point for European settlers during the California Gold Rush of the 1850s. The city has been built to incorporate the railroad system.

#41 Tehachapi


Sandwiched between the Mojave desert and San Joaquin Valley, the city of Tehachapi has an elevation of 3, 970 feet and a population of 14,414 (2010 census). A community orchestra and theater can be found in Tehachapi. In the past, the city has also been featured in many Hollywood productions.

#42 Kingsburg


Kingsburg is situated in Fresno County, California. It’s located southeast of Selma, and on the banks of the Kings River. The Sierra Nevada Mountains are a two hour drive away. Kingsburg is famous for its grape vineyards, mostly used to produce raisins. The city takes part in cultural festivals every year, including the Swedish Festival during the first weekend of May.

#43 Carson


Carson is located in Los Angeles County, California; the city is only 13 miles away from downtown Los Angeles. Carson, California is home to California State University, and a soccer stadium used by the Los Angeles Galaxy–who signed David Beckham in 2007. Developers have proposed Carson be the site of a future NFL stadium. 91,714 people reside in Carson (2010).

#44 Chico


Chico is the most heavily populated city in Butte County with 86,187 resident sin 2010. Chico, “The City of Roses,” offers large parks and green spaces. Historical sites include the Bidwell Mansion, named after John Bidwell, a rider in one of the first wagons to arrive in California in 1843. Chico has some of the most diverse terrain of its area, including the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the east, the Sacramento Valley to the south, and the Sacramento River to the east.

#45 Winters 


Winters is a rural city of 6,624 located in Yolo County, California. The city is a total of 2.9 square miles and maintains dry summers, and cool-wet winters. Some of the city’s biggest employers include agricultural businesses and the Winters Joint Unified School District.

#46 Galt 


Galt is situated in Sacramento County. The population is a modest 23,647. Galt is bordered by cities belonging to Sacramento and San Joaquin Counties. Galt is well known for its community involvement, including such organizations as the Galt Area Historical Society and National Register of Historic Places as well as several landmarks like the Cosumnes River Preserve and the Galt Market.

#47 Escalon


Escalon is located in San Joaquin County, California. A large agricultural presence in this city of 7,266 can be observed in the DeRuosi Nut company, the number one employer in the area. The city boasts an award-winning school district and consistently low crime rate.

#48 Redding


With a spot along the Sacramento River, this city has natural beauty as well as modern day attractions. Redding is located in the northern part of the state, in Shasta County. Nearly 90,000 people were living in Redding as of 2010. At the northwestern tip, Redding touches the Central Valley and Cascade foothills and Sacramento Valley. The city is famous for its Turtle Bay Exploration Park and its historic Cascade Theatre.

#49 Rio Vista


Rio Vista belongs to the San Francisco Bay Area, on the Sacramento River in Solano County. The city is quaint, with 7,360 residents in 2010. Rio Vista is located at the heart of the Sacramento River Delta. Points of interest include the Rio Vista Museum and the Western Railway Museum.

#50 Eureka


Just off of US Route 101, Eureka, California is the principal city of Humboldt County. Eureka provides expansive coastline, the largest in fact, between San Francisco and Portland. Eureka’s home to one of California’s primary fishing ports as well as California’s oldest zoo: Sequoia Park Zoo. 27,191 people live in Eureka (2010 census) and enjoy the mild weather in addition to shopping, victorian architecture, and annual culture events.

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Best Towns to Live in Illinois 2016


To the north, along Lake Michigan boasts the major metropolis of the Midwest, The Windy City. However, the mid and southern region of the state of Illinois is filled with medium and small towns and villages. Rolling hills, wetlands and prairies make up most of the state, a total of 57,914 square miles. Illinois has been home to past US presidents and small town histories persist–including landmarks dating to pre- and post-European settlement. Today, almost 13 million people call the “Land of Lincoln” home. Illinois borders Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, and Kentucky. Illinois is a state of the arts–museums, music and culture. Sports teams include the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox (baseball), Chicago Bulls (basketball), and the Chicago Bears (football).

Our ratings were compiled by combining census, education, wealth , happiness  and internal RentApplication data to create a unified rating system for all of the towns in Illinois. Ranked below are the top towns. 

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#1 Evanston


A nearby suburb of Chicago (12 miles), Evanston, Illinois is know as the home of Northwestern University. Although the residential population is 75,430 (2012 census), the city sees huge growth in number when the university is in session. Evanston is nicknamed the “City of Churches” and is full of local landmarks and points of interest such as the downtown shopping districts, Grosse Point Lighthouse, and the Ladd Arboretum. Evanston is a leader in sustainability and cultural and lifestyle inclusion.

#2 Schaumburg


A northwest village to Chicago, Schaumburg is home to many shopping centers and big box stores, including only one of two IKEAs in the state. Not only is Schaumburg in close proximity to downtown Chicago, but only ten miles from the O’Hare International Airport. Schaumburg also caters to the arts and boasts an array of natural beauty, such as at the Schaumburg Prairie Center for the Arts.

#3 Skokie


Given its name based on original marshlands in the area, for many years Skokie held the title of “The World’s Largest Village”. As of 2010, the village had a population of 64,784 in a square area 10.6 square meters. Skokie borders the cities of Evanston, Lincolnwood, Niles, Morton Grove, Glenview, and Wilmette. The village is home to a major shopping center as well as the Skokie Valley Symphony Orchestra and Illinoisn Holocaust Museum and Education Center.

#4 Arlington Heights


This town of 75,101 is a suburb of Chicago and is considered the most populous village in the United States. Arlington Heights is recognized for its Arlington Park Race Track and the Arlington Heights Memorial Library, with one of the largest catalogues of books in the country. Many entertainment venues dot the village, including the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre.

#5 Hoffman Estates


Hoffman Estates is located in Cook County, near to Chicago. The town of 51,895 (2010) has several historical buildings, including the Sunderlage Farm Smokehouse. It is also known for it robust economy, including major companies like Sears Corporation, GE Capital, and AT & T Inc. In the past, Hoffman Estates has hosted large music and dance festivals.

#6 Des Plaines


In close proximity to both O’Hare International Airport and downtown Chicago, the city is named for the Des Plaines River, which runs through the city. A total of 58,364 people live here as of the 2010 census. Des Plaines is home to Lake Opeka, the Des Plaines Forest Reserve, and the first franchised McDonald’s, along with its own museum

#7 Bloomington


Located in central Illinois, Bloomington is the fifth largest city outside of the Chicago Metropolitan Area. In 2010, the city had a population of 76,610. During the early 20th century, Bloomington began rapidly expanding with the growth of  the agriculture industry, construction of highways, and insurance businesses. The city is well-connected to other parts of the state via major highways and the Amtrak railway. Bloomington hosts recreational facilities as well as Miller Park Zoo and wildlife preserves.

#8 Woodstock


Woodstock, on the perimeters of the Chicago metropolitan area, is best recognized for its Woodstock Opera House and Old McHenry County Courthouse. The city of 25,178 (est.2014) is an innovator in spirituality–offering several weekly guided meditations–as well as in the arts, including the Woodstock Opera House and music concerts such as Off Square Music, Jazz on the Square, Liquid Blues, and Opera Woodstock.

#9 Hampshire


Hampshire of Kane County, Illinois is located due west of the city of Chicago. An estimated 5,976 (2014) people live in Hampshire, in an area of 8.95 square miles. The farming community has lead initiatives to combat waste and encourage sustainability through recycling programs. Each year the city hosts outdoor festivals, events, and parades such as the 2015 Coon Creek Day Parade.

#10 Charleston


Victorian-style homes lines the streets of Charleston, Illinois. Charleston is located in Coles County, in the east-central portion of the state. Eastern Illinois University is located in the town, accounting for a majority’s of local employment. In 1983, Jimmy John’s opened its doors for the first time to the town of 21,838 residents.

#11 LaSalle


LaSalle is located in northern Illinois, at the intersections on Interstates 39 and 80. Nearby, lies Starved Rock State Park, a short five mile drive away. The town was originally built up as part of the zinc processing industry, giving the city the nickname, “Zinc City”. Together with its twin city, Peru, the two make up the base of the Illinois Valley. For nearly one hundred years, La Salle was a major delivery point along the Illinois and Michigan Canal for goods travelling north from New Orleans. Today, visitors come to see the canal steam boats revived.

#12 Mahomet


Mahomet of central Illinois is home to several forest preserves including Champaign County Forest Preserve District properties, Lake of the Woods and River Bend Forest Preserve. The city os 7,258 (2010) encompasses the Mahomet School District, including five primary and secondary schools. Many natural landmarks are spread throughout Mahomet, like the Sangoman River and botanicals gardens.

#13 Carbondale


At the southern point of Illinois, nearly at the border with Missouri, sits Carbondale, Jackson County. The city is also located in close proximity to Shawnee National Forest, and is the site of Southern Illinois Univeristy’s main campus. Thanks to university community involvement, Carbondale residents can attend music concerts, theatrical productions, art and history shows, as well as cultural events. An estimated 26,324 people live in Carbondale.

#14 Urbana


Urbana, Champaign of central Illinois is home to most of the campus of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The city with an estimated population of 42,044 hosts many community events year round, including Market at the Square, the Urbana Sweetcorn Festival, and Candlestick Lane. Urbana is also home to several public parks and swimming pools.

#15 Marengo


Marengo is a small town in McHenry County, located in northern Illinois near the Illinois-Wisconsin border. The population according to the 2010 census was 7,648. Local public events include Settlers Day Parade and Friday Night Blues at the Lakeside Legacy Arts Park.

#16 Moline


Moline of Rock County, Illinois is one of the Quad Cities, along with East Moline and Rock Island of Illinois and Davenport and Bettendorf of Iowa. Moline serves as the headquarters of Deere & Company and KONE Elevators and Escalators.. Also in the area is the Quad City International Airport, Niabi Zoo, and Black Hawk College. Over the last twenty years, the downtown business district has been revived, and today, is thriving.

#17 Macomb


In western Illinois, south of Galesburg, sits Macomb, population 21,516 (2014). Western Illinois University resides in Macomb. The city is home to window manufacturing an construction services. Entertainment in the area includes the Geology Museum, The Old Bailey House, and the Starry Night Reperatory Theatre.

#18 Mascoutah


Mascoutah is a small city in St.Clair County, Illinois. Though Mascoutah has a population just over 7,000, its proximity to St. Louis Missouri gives access to large city attractions and conveniences. Mascoutah is within a short distance of St. Louis and Lambert airports. Local universities and colleges within fifteen minutes driving distance include McKendree College and Southwestern Illinois College and thirty minutes from St. Louis University.

#19 Monticello


Mid-Illinois city Monticello, population 5,138 (2000) is the county seat of Piatt County. Landmarks include the Robert Allerton Park at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Monticello is home to the Monticello Family Aquatics Center and the Monticello Railway Museum.

#20 Champaign


Southwest of the cities of Chicago and Indianapolis, Champaign is best known for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which lies partially within city limits. Parkland College with 18,000 students can also be found here. The city is also well-known for its start up companies as well as industry-recognized companies, like Caterpillar, Deere  & Company, IBM, State Farm, and Intel.

#21 Sterling


Situated in northwest Illinois, the city of Sterling has been nicknamed “The Hardware Capital of the World” for its manufacturing and steel industries. A majority of the land surrounding the city is farmlands and fields. The area is filled with wildlife preserves and parks, such as the Hoover Park, Sinnissippi Dam Walkway and Martin’s Landing.

#22 Wilmington


Wilmington of Wil County has a population of 5,134 (2010) and a small town feel to match its size. The downtown area includes antique shops, as well as family restaurants and cafes. Just outside the center of the city is the Des Plaines Fish and Wildlife Area and the Illinois & Michigan Canal. Every year, the city hosts its Catfish Days Festival, complete with parades, flea markets, and catfish dinners.

#23 Marion


Deep into southern Illinois, rests Marion, a city of 17,193. Marion is accessible to other parts of the country via Interstate 57. Williamson County Regional Airport is just northwest of the city. Major employers included Pepsi and the VA Medical Center. Marion boasts a Civic and Cultural Center as well as two dozen wineries on the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail and Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge.

#24 Geneseo


Ranging from its Victorian architecture to quaint feel and top-ranked academics, Geneseo is a highly sought after town in Henry County, northwest Illinois. The city’s namesake comes from a translation meaning “shining valley” or “beautiful valley”. Geneseo High School’s football team and music program have a strong reputation. The city is complete with golf courses, parks, and an indoor and outdoor swimming pool.

#25 Greenville


Approximately 45 minutes from St. Louis, Greenville is a small town with big city access. Greenville is set in a rural area of southern Illinois that lacks significant crime, congestion, and pollution. The city is home to a vibrant downtown and green spaces scattered throughout the city. Year round events are geared towards community engagement and family fun.

#26 Fairfield


Fairfield of Wayne County, southeast Illinois is the site of Fairfield Community College. The city has easy metro access, and continues to grow in size and population. Summer months bring on open air concerts in the park along with a silent light show. The downtown area relies predominantly on local businesses.

#27 Eureka


Eureka is a small, tight-knit community in central Illinois. The town is located along the Ronald Reagan Trail, connecting Eureka to other cities and towns significant in Ronald Reagan’s life. Eureka is home to Eureka College, which Ronald Reagan graduated from. The city is easily accessible via US 24 and Illinois 117.

#28 Rantoul


The village of Rantoul was established in 1854 as an extension of the Illinois Central Railroad. The city is accessible via the Interstate, as well as Amtrak rail services and the Rantoul National Aviation Center. Nearby attractions include the Illinois Skydiving Center, the Octave Chanute Aerospace Museum, and the Korean War Veterans Museum.

#29 Chester


The “Home of Popeye”, the city of Chester has erected a statue of the Sailor Man in the Elzie C. Segar Memorial Park. Each year the city holds a Popeye’s Picnic and Parade. The park is named after Popeye’s creator, which also contains other fictional character inspirations. Chester has a population of 8,586 people and is located in southwestern Illinois and shares a border with Missouri. Prime industries in the city include cole mining and a knitting mill.

#30 Coal City


Situated between Grundy and Wil counties, Coal City was once served by Santa Fe Railway. Today, commuters use Interstate 55 instead. Coal City got its name from the coal mines in the vicinity. There are five public schools within the district, including Coal City High School, softball champion.

#31 Princeton


Corner stores and cafe awnings line the streets of Princeton, Bureau County, Illinois. Residents totalling 7,415 (est.2014) work for some of the town’s major employers, like L.W. Schneider, Inc. Firearms Components Manufacturer,and Ace Hardware. Each year, the city holds its Homestead Festival, which includes a beer garden, children’s events, and craft show.

#32 Mendota


Meaning “junction of two trails”, Mendota today is the intersection of many major highways, including Interstate 39, US Route 34, and US Route 52. Amtrak train also operates daily here. Most visitors come to Mendota in August, during the Mendota Sweet Corn Festival to take parade in a carnival, parade, and sweet corn samplings, of course.

#33 Du Quoin


Du Quoin, Perry County is located in southern Illinois. Amtrak services this town of 5,908(est.2014) each day. The city is home to the DuQuoin State Fair, held each year on its expansive fairgrounds. DuQuoin also has a rich culture of local business and community pride.

#34 Morris


Grundy, County, Illinois is home to the city of Morris, population 13,636. The city offers outdoor recreation at Goold Park, Chapin Park, and Lions Park as well as the Morris City Pool. Morris hosts public events throughout the year, including the Three French Hens Market.

#35 Olney


Olney of Richland County has 8,631 residents and is famous for its white squirrel population. Olney offers a variety of private and public education opportunities, as well as religious organizations and more than twenty-five churches. Additionally, residents can participate in a variety of outdoor activities, utilizing sports facilities and park spaces. Annual festivals include the Olney Arts Council’s Fall Festival and the Walk & Roll.

#36 Peru


Peru is located in LaSalle County, Illinois. Together with the city of LaSalle, Peru is at the crux  of the Illinois Valley. Peru has consistently ranked high in terms of economic growth and employment opportunity. In 2010, the census listed 10,295 residents in Peru. Every year, the town holds summer events for children.

#37 Harvard


About sixty miles from Chicago, Harvard is subway-accessible via the Union/Pacific Northwest Line. Three original settlers gave the city its name as an homage to Harvard, Massachusetts. Harvard shares a border with its neighbor to the north, Wisconsin. Harvard is well known as a major dairy producer and distributor. Harvard is a small town of 9,447. Significant buildings include the historical library.

#38 Dixon


Dixon Memorial arch proudly welcomes visitors to the city located in Lee County in north Illinois. Dixon is rich with American history. People new to Dixon can visit the Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home and the Ronald Reagan Trail. Today, the city is full of summertime fun for families, like the wine festival, Blues-Brews-and BBQ, Reagan Trail Days, and the Scarecrow Festival every autumn.

#39 Jacksonville


Jacksonville, Illinois in the center of the state is home to Illinois College, one of the first higher education institutions in the midwest. The school grew to include the Illinois School for the Deaf and the Illinois School for the Visually Impaired. Eli Bridge Company, a Ferris Wheel and amusement park manufacturer, and J.Capps & Sons, one of the largest textile businesses in the country is located in Jacksonville. In 2010, the city’s population was 19,446 people.

#40 Galesburg


Not far from the Iowan border lies Galesburg, Illinois, home to automobile company, Western. Today, Galesburg welcomes students who study at Know College, Lombard College, and Carl Sandburg College within the city’s limits. Every July, Galesburg hosts its Annual Hot Air Balloon Race; Railroad Days take place in June, and National Stearman Fly-in Days are every September.

#41 Salem


Salem is located in south-central Illinois. It’s the birthplace of Miracle Whip, and other aspects of historical significance like the Bachmann House, the Badollet House, and the William Jennings Bryan Boyhood Home. Salem boasts the perfect family community because of its excellence in education, state-of-the-art medical facilities, and numerous recreational areas. Salem is also within a short driving distancce from St.Louis and all of the accompanying attractions there.

#42 Braidwood


With a motto “Work, Play, Live”, Braidwood considers itself an ideal community-focused city that offers great entertainment and is also a safe place to live. Braidwood offers its residents opportunities to fish and hunt, ride down Route 66, enjoy the outdoors, and sample local cuisine. Shadow Lakes is a nearby resort area that includes boating, swimming, hiking and cycling. In total, about 6,185 (est.2014) people live in the city.

#43 Rock Island


Rock Island gets its name from the original Rock Island on the Mississippi, which has since been renamed, Arsenal Island. Present-day Rock Island is one of the Quad Cities, on the border of Iowa. The city has 39,018 (2010) residents, and has consistently ranked high for its nightlife, including comedy clubs and music venues. Rock Island boasts affordability while maintaining a high quality of living and economic security.

#44 Benton


Benton Illinois is located in Franklin County of southern Illinois and is considered part of the Metro Lakeland area. Benton residents enjoy shopping venues and sports recreational facilities. Visitors will enjoy Rend Lake as well as the Franklin County Garage Museum and the Historic Jail Museum.

#45 Streator


Located along the Vermilion River, Streator, Illinois is about eighty miles southwest of Chicago. Originally, the city was built on the coal mining industry, which persists even today. Now, in addition, the city of Streator relies on the glass making, tile, and pipe industries. Several museums and historical sites are situated in the area, including the Majestic Theatre and the Silas Williams House. Every year, the city hosts the “Pipe Dreams” music festival.

#46 Robinson


A newly-developing city, Robinson is still quaint, with a total population of 7,713 (2010). The city sits nearly on the Indiana border. Robinson prides itself on a strong educational system, comfortable and affordable housing, rest and relaxation, and medical services via the Crawford Medical Hospital.

#47 Quincy


“Gem City” is located on the Mississippi River in Adams County. Historically, Quincy was a hub for riverboats passing through on their way south and today, maintains its historical districts during that time period. It’s home to Quincy University and the Bayview Bridge. Major companies in Quincy are Niemann Foods and Gardner Denver.

#48 Effingham


Effingham is at the crossroads of two major highways: I-57 (Chicago to Missouri) and I-70 (Utah to Maryland). It’s influx of incoming and outgoing travelers has increased the number of restaurants and shopping areas. The Cross Foundation placed a 198-cross in the town, one of the tallest freestanding crosses in the western hemisphere. The city of Effingham has several public primary and secondary schools.

#49 Rock Falls


Opposite Sterling, rests the Whiteside County town of Rock Falls. Currently 9,266 (2010) reside in the area. The City of Rock Falls and Township of Coloma maintain a combined 16 parks including picnic areas and sports facilities. Visitors can take a walk down the historical Hennepin Canal. Rock Falls is proud to offer its residents a state-of-the-art library and versatile camping grounds.

#50 Mattoon


Mattoon is situated in Coles County, Illinois. The town of 18,555 has always profited off of an agriculture-based economy, and continues to profit today from its corn supply. Mattoon housed a zero-emissions power plant which makes hydrogen and electricity without manipulating carbon capture. The city is also home to Lake Land College. Additionally, beautiful parks and sport fields are scattered throughout the city.

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