10. Sheridan, WY
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Called the "King of Cowboy Towns," Sheridan, WY, has a royal location halfway between Yellowstone National Park and Mount Rushmore. The city is in the shadows of the Bighorn Mountains and offers a real western feel. Geographically, there's no doubt Sheridan is "out there," but it's a great place to be.
National preservation groups shower praise on Sheridan's Historic Main Street District with its dozens of unique stores and restaurants. Some of the best maintained parks in the country dot the town, offering residents places to play, gather and relax. Outdoors adventurers stay busy on Sheridan's snowmobile, skiing, horse, hiking and bike trails. The area's more than 10 lakes and streams make for excellent fishing, boating and paddle sports.
Culturally speaking, Sheridan has a lot of offer. It's home to a pair of theaters staging a variety of performances. A handful of galleries and local craft shops along with public outdoor sculpture installations treat the eyes, and Sheridan also hosts the Big West Arts Festival which is held on the grounds of Sheridan College. Food lovers will find more than 50 restaurants, pubs and bars, according to Yelp.com, which lists LuLu's Cafe and the Mint Bar among the most popular.
The unemployment rate rarely climbs higher than 4 percent with coal and natural gas the key job creators. Community leaders actively help science and technology based companies grow with initiatives and programs such as the High Tech Business Incubator.
Nearest Big City: Billings, MT – 129 miles
What Else is Here: YMCA, farmers market, nine campgrounds, movie theater and trolleys