Best Places to Live

Rock Hill, SC

Population: 69,196
Photo: Rock Hill Parks, Recreation & Tourism

Recognizing the popularity of soccer in Rock Hill, SC, and the potential to generate revenue by hosting tournaments, city leaders in 2006 opened what has been called one of the premier soccer complexes in the country.

Manchester Meadows is a 70-acre park with eight lighted soccer fields including two with synthetic turf and stadium seating. It cost the city of Rock Hill more than $12 million to build the complex, which also features ponds, walking trails, picnic areas, a pavilion and playground. Manchester Meadows is hosting the 2012 US Youth Soccer National Championships.

The city also has parks that host baseball, softball and golf tournaments. City officials estimate that these tournaments bring in more than $15 million each year to the local economy.

The Rock Hill Recreation Department runs a soccer league that draws about 850 players, while the Discoveries Soccer Club has an average of 650 players. The Discoveries have produced several college soccer players. The most recent is Nate Torbett, who will join Winthrop University's men's soccer team in 2013. Rock Hill is also home to Enzo Martinez, one of the top-ranked men's college players. The Discoveries won the Under-18 Boys National Soccer Championship in 2009.

What else is here:

Rock Hill also has four recreation centers, a tennis center, a 250-meter cycling track, 26 miles of trails for walking, running and biking, and access points to the Catawba River.

York County has a 26-acre park with access to Lake Wylie, camping areas and picnic shelters.