8. Clive, IA
Residents in Clive, IA, enjoy proximity to big-city style of Des Moines with the seclusion and connectedness to the area's natural beauty.
Besides great geography, Clive has some of the most desirable neighborhoods in the Des Moines area, and its Greenbelt Trail system stretches across the city and connects to walking and bike paths. Clive's Aquatic Center includes a lazy river, lap pool, water slides and kids' splash area. In the next several years, the city's parks and recreation department plans to open three more parks to its current total of 15. Even dogs have it good around here. At the end of the summer, just before draining the community pool, the city allows pet pups to take a dip.
Residents have marked their calendars every year since 1975 for the Clive Festival, an annual community celebration with music, food, fireworks and kids' activities. Meanwhile, the city's library holds daily story times for various ages.
Clive is home to more than 600 businesses. Major employers include the American Cancer Society, Dahl's, Holmes Automotive Group and Iowa Pork Producers. As for dining, Yelp.com lists 60 restaurants in Clive, but an 8-mile drive to Des Moines opens up hundreds more dining options.
Nearest Big City: Des Moines – 8 miles
What Else is Here: YMCA, 7 Flags Event Center (a 24,000-square-foot meeting and reception space) and Kittys Nightclub for dancing