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Our Favorite Livability.com Stories of the Past Year

What a year, huh? Looking back at our favorite stories published on Livability.com in 2020.

By Winona Dimeo-Ediger on December 31, 2020

Manifesto Speakeasy Kansas City
Jay Sanders

As we say goodbye to 2020, the Liv.com digital team is taking a stroll down memory lane and looking back at our favorite stories from the past year. We hope some of the Livability content you read this year resonated with you, inspired you or sparked curiosity about the places we live and love. We’re excited to share the things we’ve been working on for 2021, but for now, check out our favorite stories of 2020…

The 2020 Top 100 Best Places to Live in America

“Every year Livability releases our data-driven list of the Top 100 Best Places to Live. The logistics of this year’s list were extremely complex (what exactly makes a best place to live in a year where every city and every person is struggling?), and it was the most challenging project I’ve worked on in my time here, but I’m so proud of the result, and thinking about the great cities we were able to shine a spotlight on during a very tough year makes me smile.” – Winona

5 Creative Ways to Build Connections and Improve the World (While Supporting the United States Postal Service)

“Is there anything better than good, old-fashioned snail mail? My best friend lives across the country and during a year that has made the distance from Nashville to Sacramento feel especially far, we started exchanging letters in addition to our weekly FaceTimes. Though we talk via text nearly every single day, there is something really special about opening up a letter. Additionally, in November I wrote letters with Vote Forward to encourage voters in Georgia to vote in the runoff election.” – Cara 

6 Reasons to Leave the Big City — And Where to Live Instead

“This was the year that millions of people decided to leave big-city life behind. This article explores some of the reasons people are wanting to start over in small and mid-size cities, and some awesome cities that deliver the amenities, community and lifestyle you might be looking for.” – Winona

I Believe in Nashville and You Should, Too

“I may be a little biased because I both wrote this story and am a Nashville native, but the way that our community rallied after a natural disaster that was quickly followed by a global pandemic still makes me a bit misty. I can’t say I’m surprised by how everyone was willing to offer a hand and help their neighbor — it’s the Nashville way.” – Cara

A Sweet, Simple Way to Support Your Community: Try the #Local3Challenge

“I promise that all of my picks won’t be pandemic-adjacent, but I really loved the #Local3Challenge. Small businesses are so important and create the fabric of our community. The challenge was a great reminder for me to shop local and small. In the process, I discovered a new favorite spot to get an americano (Ugly Mugs!), rediscovered a cafe of my youth (the cucumber sandwiches at the Picnic Café have fueled me for the last 10 months) and even ordered curbside pickup for books at a beloved bookstore (Parnassus).” – Cara

It’s Caucus Season in Iowa, and My Mom Is a Political Groupie

“Remember the primaries? They seem like 20 years ago but they were actually earlier this year (???). I’m fascinated by the way politics affect, reflect and shape the places we live, and nowhere is that more apparent in an election year than when all eyes and candidates turn to Iowans to cast the first votes. This essay about an Iowa mom who turned into a ‘political groupie’ during this particularly wild caucus season made me laugh, and painted such a poignant, personal picture of a political experience most of Americans don’t get to experience firsthand.” – Winona

Homesick Kitchen: How to Make 12 Signature Dishes from Cities & Restaurants You’re Missing

“Food is such a defining part of our cities and towns and is often a source of both nourishment and a key part of building community. I love that this story let us revisit some of our culinary faves while staying home and staying safe.” – Cara

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