Best Places to Live

2014 Top 100 Best Places to Live

Big cities tend to get all the love. We here at Livability know that there are great stories to be told in smaller places, too. Our ranking of the 2014 top 100 best places to live focuses on small to mid-sized cities and what makes them great places to live and work. We worked with trusted partners, stellar advisors, and the best public and private data sources to develop our ranking. The cities on the list excelled in our criteria. These towns are places where residents are able to take full advantage of a wide variety of amenities and offerings - everything from parks and museums to different commuting options to hospitals. Spend some time getting to know them and when it comes time for your next move, maybe you'll think small.

 

  • 21

    Pasadena , CA

    Population: 139,899
    Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau
    LIV
    SCORE
    620

    Easily one of the loveliest cities on the Southern California landscape, Pasadena’s beauty is more than surface deep. The city’s deep cultural resources, support of science and technology, plentiful historic homes and thriving restaurant scene, as well as its progressive environmental outlook, all underline why residents love living there. The temperate climate seals the deal.

  • 22

    Alhambra , CA

    Population: 84,782
    Randall Michelson
    LIV
    SCORE
    619

    Alhambra made the list of Top 100 Places to Live on the strength of its diversity: an international restaurant row; a vibrant Asian business district; great schools; quaint neighborhoods; family-friendly recreational amenities; and happening nightclubs. It also has warm, sunny weather and lots of community celebrations and festivals.

  • 23

    Bozeman, MT

    Population: 40,319
    Photo courtesy of Bridger Bowl
    LIV
    SCORE
    617

    Four seasons of world-class outdoor recreation, a top research university, a booming technology sector and a dynamic downtown district helped place this city on Livability.com’s Top 100 list. Add a well-educated populace, excellent schools and high-quality health care, and it’s clear why Bozeman ranks among 2014’s Best Places to Live. 

  • 24

    White Plains, NY

    Population: 57,790
    courtesy of White Plains Business Improvement District
    LIV
    SCORE
    615

    White Plains, N.Y., ranked much higher than average in many areas, especially infrastructure, social and civic capital and education. A quick train ride or drive to New York City, it enjoys its own uniquely livable suburban-city character as well as its status as a regional economic and social hub.
      

  • 25

    Fort Lauderdale, FL

    Population: 173,570
    Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau
    LIV
    SCORE
    615

    Some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, sunny days without end, arts, sports and entertainment amenities for every taste, and a progressive, diverse citizenry earned Fort Lauderdale a well-deserved spot among America’s most livable communities. And how many cities can brag about having both a riverfront and an ocean?

  • 26

    Bellingham, WA

    Population: 82,944
    Robert James
    LIV
    SCORE
    615

    Bellingham is well-known for its strong sense of community, excellent schools and top-quality health care. But what makes the city truly exceptional are the amenities: the easy access to world-class recreation opportunities and a lively arts, culture, and entertainment scene that is the envy of municipalities many times its size.

  • 27

    Charlottesville, VA

    Population: 45,084
    Todd Bennett
    LIV
    SCORE
    614

    Charlottesville's healthy economy can be attributed to its desirable location near the nation's capital and a diverse business industry. Known as the cultural and entertainment capital of Central Virginia and rich in history, Charlottesville is home to one of America'famous estates - Monticello, the personal residence of U.S. President Thomas Jefferson.

  • 28

    Lexington, KY

    Population: 308,306
    Jeff Adkins
    LIV
    SCORE
    613

    The largest employer in Lexington is the University of Kentucky, and the city ranks 10th in the U.S. in college education rate, with 40 percent of residents having at least a bachelor's degree. Lexington has a strong health care system and a robust cultural scene, including its annual Festival of the Bluegrass each June.

  • 29

    Anaheim , CA

    Population: 345,578
    cc_fliker user OZinOH
    LIV
    SCORE
    613

    Perhaps best known as home to Disneyland Resort, Anaheim is part of the Los Angeles metropolitan area and features a diverse ethnic population and impressive education system. The city has sports venues like Angel Stadium of Anaheim and Honda Center, while the Anaheim Convention Center is the largest convention center on the West Coast.

  • 30

    Cedar Rapids , IA

    Population: 128,829
    Photo: Cedar Rapids Area CVB
    LIV
    SCORE
    613

    Cedar Rapids lies along both banks of the Cedar River and enjoys a reputation for arts and culture, with sites like Cedar Rapids Museum of Art and the National Czech & Slovak Museum. A pair of four-year colleges serve residents along with a good health care system, thanks to Mercy Medical Center and St. Luke's.