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Best Places to Live in Pennsylvania

Discover the most livable cities in the Keystone State

By Livability.com on February 2, 2016

A 70-foot steel and fire arc protrudes from the Bethlehem Steel Factory.

Using our proprietary formula to measure livability we’ve identified the 10 best places to live in Pennsylvania. These are the most livable cities in the Keystone State. 


From the Greek “philos” for loving and “adelphos” for brother, Philadelphia is the fifth-most-populous city in the U.S. and nicknamed “City of Brotherly Love.” Philly has its own Philadelphia Stock Exchange and houses several Fortune 500 companies, plus is known for sports, arts and culture, cheesesteaks and soft pretzels.


A city of 90 neighborhoods, Pittsburgh is situated at the confluence of the Allegheny, Ohio and Monongahela rivers, and CBS This Morning proclaimed the city as “one of the six places you wouldn’t think to visit but should in 2014.” Nicknamed “Steel City” and “City of Bridges,” Pittsburgh has 30 skyscrapers, professional sports and a thriving arts scene.


Money magazine ranks Scranton as one of the 10 fastest growing real estate markets in the United States, and the city has made a major effort in recent years to renovate its historical downtown buildings. Attractions include the Houdini Museum dedicated to magician Harry Houdini, and the Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mountain concert venue.


Tourism is the largest industry in Stroudsburg, with the borough welcoming hundreds of thousands of tourists each year who visit the Poconos. The community is conveniently situated off Interstate 80, and the downtown district is a key commercial hub for the region. The borough also features a high-ranking Stroudsburg Area School District.


Allentown has a number of interesting tourist venues, including the America On Wheels auto/truck museum and the Da Vinci Science Center that showcases 200 interactive, hands-on exhibits. The city is also home to an annual Mayfair Festival of the Arts, Cedar Crest College and Muhlenberg College, and the Lehigh IronPigs Class AAA baseball affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies.


The city of Bethlehem has four distinct neighborhood sections, with each one containing areas recognized by the National Register of Historic Places. Lehigh University and Moravian College have long been a part of the community, and Bethlehem hosts an annual 10-day Musikfest that draws 1 million people each August. Also in Bethlehem is the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem, Pennsylvania’s largest casino.


With a geographical location near Buffalo, Cleveland and Pittsburgh, the city of Erie remains home to several professional and amateur performing-arts groups including the Erie Philharmonic, which has been in continuous existence since 1913. Three breweries and nine wineries call Erie home, and millions of visitors travel to the community each year for recreation at Presque Isle State Park.


Pennsylvania Dutch country in Lancaster is interesting to explore, and the city also features attractions such as Wheatland, stately home of our 15th U.S. president, James Buchanan. Also in Lancaster is a 150-store Park City Center, the largest enclosed shopping center in south central Pennsylvania. Coming to Lancaster Country Club in 2015 will be the LPGA U.S. Women’s Open.


Considered the “Crossroads of Western Pennsylvania” because Interstate 376, Interstate 76 (Pennsylvania Turnpike) and U.S. Route 22 all converge, Monroeville is home to Monroeville Mall along with a new Monroeville Convention Center and several office parks. The city has many recreational offerings that include a golf course and ice skating rink.


As the capital city of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg has 40,000 jobs tied to government, with 22,000 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania employees and 18,000 who work for the U.S. Federal Government. The city hosts a number of annual conventions, trade shows and events like the Pennsylvania Farm Show (since 1917) and the Great American Outdoor Show.

State College

State College in Centre County is a college town dominated by the presence of The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State). “Happy Valley” is another often-used term referring to the State College area, and there are 26,000 full- and part-time workers at the university. Several close-to-campus shopping opportunities are available, including Colonnade at State College, Nittany Mall, Northland Center and Southridge Plaza.



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