There are quite a few publications that compile their own best places lists. These sources are varied and each one uses a different set of criteria and formulas for tabulating the results of their research. We've compiled some of the more useful ones here to save you the time of searching the Internet. They're worth reading since you may find locations that you weren't aware of and some that weren't generated by the search tools in the Step 2. Remember to consider the source when evaluating the recommendations made. A list from AARP will have a much different perspective than one from Mens Journal!
- We used personal visits plus extensive research to come up with this selection of small, medium and large cities. We've compiled a diverse selection of places for you to choose from and is a good starting point for some ideas to help you find your new hometown.
Where Homes Are Affordable/ CNNMoney
- Resident in these 25 best places to live see their money go the furthest.
Americas Prettiest Towns/Forbes
- These best places offer natural beauty, a unique identity or a combination of both.
The Worlds Best Places To Live/CNBC
- Uses EIU's annual ranking of 140 cities worldwide to generate the top cities.
Best 29 Places To Live/AskMen.com
- the best cities to work, live and party for men. HyperLINK-
50 Best Places To Live/National Geographic
- 50 innovative towns that aren’t just prime relocation spots right now, but smart choices for the future. Not only do they have the action. They’ve got a plan.
Ten Coolest Small Towns/ Budget Travel
- These towns all have fewer than 10,000 peopleóbut they can rival larger cities when it comes to good food, culture, and quality of life.
The Worlds Best Places To Live/ Business Week
Mercer Consulting's annual Quality of Living Survey, Europe once again dominates the list of 215 countries around the world.
Best Places To Retire/ US News
- Lots of information that is broken down by various criteria such as cost, activiites, interests, etc
North Americas Best Vegetarian Cities/ GoVeg
Lists the best cities in America and Canada for vegetarian restaurants.
Quality of Living Survey/ Mercer
In this site you will find a global overview of the survey and a summary of results, including key changes, within each region. Mercerís Quality of Living ranking covers 215 cities and is conducted to help governments and major companies place employees on international assignments.
New American Dream Towns/ Outside Magazine
These 20 stars of Americaís 21st-century Renaissance are riding a wave of civic reinvention and fresh ideas.
10 Great Places for Foodies to Retire
- Chef recommended culinary havens that will satisfy your palate without cracking your nest egg-
Best Cities To Live/ Kiplingers
- Very extensive evaluation of great places to live. Breaks out the selections by Young Singles, Professionals, Families, Empty Nesters, and Retirees. Uses selection criteria that is customized to the respective categories to give relevant selections.
Best Bargain Home Markets
- As the name implies, it lists best places that have a high quality of life but a lower cost of living than other desirable locations. Besides affordable costs, they also consider low crime, strong economy and a university to be critical factors in their selection.
Dream Towns/ AARP
- A list of 5 places to live that have culture, cachet, peace and quiet and are not too expensive. Great places for retirees that want the amenities but not the costs of some more well known destinations.
Most Vegetarian Friendly Cities
- GoVeg.com lists the best large and small cities to live for vegetarians. It bases it selections on the restaurants, grocery stores, street vendors, etc. that offer vegetarian foods.
America's Best and Worst Housing Markets/ Forbes
- you can use these lists to discover if your potential best places to live are experiencing up or down real estate markets. This type of info may have a significant impact on your decision- better to know before you purchase a home!
Best Walking Cities/ Prevention Magazine
- Lists the best places to live for fitness walkers. Uses criteria such as climate, mass transit, parks, air quality, number of walkers, etc. Some of the selections are predictable but there are some that will be unexpected.
Best Adventure Towns/ National Geographic
- Lists the best outdoor places to live or visit. Breaks them out by Outdoor Meccas, Adventure Cities, Small Towns, Cultural Hubs, Beach Towns. Gives local info about housing, restaurants, attractions, etc. for each selection
Best Places For Artists/ BusinessWeek
- This is an interesting list from an unexpected source. Advice for creative types from a business publication! Check it out and see what you think about the recommendations.
Best Green Places To Live/ Country Home
- List the top 25 green cities and also has listing of 369 other places to consider. Bases it picks on air and watershed quality, miles of mass transit, and green power to farmers markets, organic producers and groceries, and more.
American Business Journals
- has couple of informative articles that give a good overview of some of great places to live. The first one is "Go West For Top Quality of Life
". Twenty indicators are used to rate living conditions in all 3141 counties and cities in the country. Quite a few of their selections don't appear on other best places lists.
The other article is "Small Towns Become More Appealing
" and focuses on the best places in 13 sections of the country.
"The 15 Best Places to Reinvent Your Life"/ AARP
- They looked at 10 criteria reflecting the needs of people 50 and over. They stated that they made a genuine attempt to find cities that were unexpected. Since this article is a few years old, the estimated housing prices are low by today's standards.
"150 Places To Live Rich"/ Forbes
- is a detailed summary of "In Life 2.0" by the books author Rick Karlsgaard. The selected places are divided into various categories- Porch Swing Communities, Happy Hootervilles, IQ Campuses, Steroid Cities, Bohemian Bargains, and Telecommuting Cities. The cities selected are "where you can live well and your dollar will go far".
"Destination Scorecard 115 Places Rated/ National Geographic Traveler
- This report evaluates places based upon the culture, environment and quality of life. The destinations are rated by how unspoiled they are even though they have become tourist destinations. Though written as more of a travel guide, the information is relevant because many of these locations are places people visit on vacation and then dream of moving to.
Dozen Distinctive Destinations/ National Trust For Historic Preservation
- The National Trust selects small communities across the country that retain a historic, cultural, and distinctive personality. They have vital and restored downtown areas. It's about the Main Street, USA /Norman Rockwell America that many people dream about. Places that haven't been swallowed up by urban sprawl and retain a feeling of community.
"Best Places To Live"/ CNNMoney
- selected a Top-10 list after researching 1300 cities. They also have Top-10 sub categories like hottest, coldest, safest, most educated, most golf courses, least polluted, etc. You can also access the Best Place to Retire report from here. It uses the same data base but set up different parameters that are more relevant for retirees.
"Best Places in Rural America"/Progressive Farmer
- OK, we know you're thinking that this might be stretching it a bit, but this publication uses the same data base as Money magazine. They just use a different set of criteria to screen for their top picks. They even talked to people in the communities and visited each of their top-10 selections. So, if you've been dreaming about your own organic farm or vineyard, this may be the best site for you.
Best Cities For the Outdoors/ Forbes
- Thanks to a mix of mild weather and plentiful park land, residents in these metros can escape to their own backyards.
"The Top 10 Places to Buy A Second Home"/MSN Money
- Lists great places for vacation homes in hot markets that offer amenities and also have good investment potential. Listed are the 10 best up and coming markets.
"The Best Places For Singles"/Forbes
- ranks the 40 largest metro areas by the best and worst cities, culture, night life, job growth, coolest and other relevant categories.
"Best Place To Have A Baby"/Fit Pregnancy
- Find the best cities to have a baby. Ranks the 50 largest US cities for affordability, risk, birth options, hospitals, stroller access, etc.
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