Royal Oak MI downtown

2021 Top 100 Best Places to Live In America Sponsored by: See homes for sale on Movoto by OJO

liv score
How We Calculate Our Data
Civics 80
Demographics 22
Economy 64
Education 48
Health 62
Housing 59
Infrastructure 57

#88. Royal Oak, MI

A few miles north of Detroit lies the suburb Royal Oak. Yes, a big city is right next door, with parks, an eclectic collection of restaurants, a thriving downtown scene, pro sports teams and breweries. But there’s lots to love about this suburban enclave, which has a motto of “Life Now Playing.” It’s walkable, has earned Tree City USA status and is home to an award-winning hospital (and adorable zoo animals). 

Top Colleges/Universities: Oakland Community College – Royal Oak Campus

Top Industries & Employers: The largest industries are manufacturing, health care and social assistance, and professional, scientific and technical services.

Weekend Plans: Royal Oak is home to the Detroit Zoo, where visitors can feed giraffes, watch kangaroos jump and have breakfast with their favorite animal. 

Favorite Place to Feast: KouZina is a small but mighty restaurant serving some of the best Greek street food outside of Greece. 

Beloved Beverage: Craft beer aficionados worldwide know Jolly Pumpkin for its wide variety of vegan sour beers. 

Outdoorsy Activity: Starr Jaycee Park offers 28 acres of outdoor recreational areas, including disc golf, playgrounds, volleyball courts and sports fields. 

Rooftop Bar: Enjoy a boozy popsicle at Pinky’s Rooftop all-pink rooftop garden overlooking Main Street. 

Why Your Pet Will Love It, Too: The Mark Twain Dog Park has three fenced-in, off-leash areas, wooded trails and plenty of squirrels to chase. It is the cat’s meow of dog parks. 

Remote Work Perk: If you need an early afternoon pick-me-up but want to avoid coffee, head to the Goldfish Tea Cafe for a hot cup of loose-leaf tea. 

One More Thing … Tim Allen’s popular 1990s sitcom “Home Improvement” was set in Royal Oak.

– Brittany Anas

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