Best Places to Live

2011 10 Best Downtowns

Check out our picks for the Top 10 Downtowns and see which city matches your vibe.

Downtown Franklin, TN
Jeff Adkins

A good downtown, whether it anchors a big city or a small town, acts a little like an addiction.

Go once and you can't resist going back for more.

In our search for the best downtowns, we considered the mix of entertainment options they had to offer, the planning that went into their design, and the beautiful architecture and green spaces that inspire interaction.

These downtowns are well thought out, walkable and easy to navigate. There's a range of flavors to be found in upscale eateries and casual cafes, while indie theaters, glossy off-Broadway productions, and family-friendly museums offer residents and visitors endless ways to spend their days. Buildings that have stood the test of time or showcase the edge of modern architecture add to the appeal, with parks and open spaces allowing a break from the city scene.

So whether you're looking to relocate in a city setting or just prefer to spend a day exploring all a downtown has to offer, this list of 10 best downtowns is sure to have a scene that suits your needs.

Be sure to check out our most recent Top 10 Downtowns list as well.

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Ranking Criteria

Good entertainment options
Well planned design
Unique architecture
Green spaces
Walkability