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Best Cities 2010: Top 50+ Cities

  • How We Chose Our Cities

    We conducted a nationwide survey of women from Parenting's MomConnection research panel to pinpoint their top criteria in choosing a place to raise their families. Their choices were (in order of priority): quality of schools; affordability and availability of quality housing; low crime rates; job availability and growth; number of registered sex offenders; recreational opportunities; quality/quantity of pediatricians/family physicians; commute time and distance; proximity to a good children's hospital; quality/quantity of childcare facilities and preschools; and air quality.

    Next, we compiled a list of the top 100 cities by population, according to the U.S. Census. We removed towns that were so close to other large cities that they would have similar data. We also added in smaller cities that are widely known. Then we crunched more than 5,000 bits of info in 52 categories to devise rankings for Economy, Safety, Health, Education, and Recreation. Finally, we averaged those findings, giving the most weight to Education, Economy, and Safety, to determine the "Overall Score."

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    Plus:
    10 Best in Education
    10 Best in Safety
    10 Best in Education
    See all 101 Cities

  • City: Arlington

    State: Virginia

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 1

    About Arlington: Arlington has numerous museums and art galleries, and plenty of historical memorials, including the Arlington National Cemetery, the Lincoln Memorial and a World War II Memorial.

    County: Arlington

    Population: 209,000

    Official website for city visitors' bureau: Visitor's bureau website 

    Read more about Arlington

    Plus:
    10 Best in Education
    10 Best in Safety
    10 Best in Education
    See all 101 Cities

  • City: Austin 

    State: Texas

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 2

    About Austin: Austin is known as the Live Music Capital of the World, hosting almost 200 venues and is the home to even more musicians. While enjoying the tunes, try some Texas BBQ or window shop at one of the many shopping areas. 

    County: Travis

    Population: 758,000

    Official website for city visitors' bureau: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Austin

    Plus:
    10 Best in Education
    10 Best in Safety
    10 Best in Education
    See all 101 Cities

  • City: Madison

    State: Wisconsin

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 3

    About Madison: Citizens of Madison enjoy short commutes and a low unemployment rate, as well as nearby lakes, recreational trails and few violent crimes.

    County: Dane

    Population: 230,000

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Madison

    Plus:
    10 Best in Education
    10 Best in Safety
    10 Best in Education
    See all 101 Cities

  • City: Ann Arbor

    State: Michigan

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 4

    About Ann Arbor: Ann Arbor was named Forbes Best College Sports Town and the third Best Midwest Food Town in 2009 by Midwest Living. The city hosts numerous musicians, shows and festivals and is home to the University of Michigan.

    County: Washtenaw

    Population: 114,000

    Official website for city visitors' bureau: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Ann Arbor

    Plus:
    10 Best in Education
    10 Best in Safety
    10 Best in Education
    See all 101 Cities

  • City: Lexington

    State: Kentucky

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 5

    About Lexington: Known as the Horse Capital of the World, Lexington offers plenty of stable tours and activities, as well as arts, dining and great music venues for bluegrass, country, and more.

    County: Fayette

    Population: 282,000

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website 

    Read more about Lexington

    Plus:
    10 Best in Education
    10 Best in Safety
    10 Best in Education
    See all 101 Cities

  • City: Portland

    State: Oregon

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 6

    About Portland: This green city is home to the International Rose Test Garden, one of the largest rose test gardens in the country, as well as the Portland Japanese Garden.

    County: Multnomah

    Population: 557,000

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Portland

    Plus:
    10 Best in Education
    10 Best in Safety
    10 Best in Education
    See all 101 Cities

  • City: Spokane

    State: Washington

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 7

    About Spokane: Spokane has 4,100 acres of parkland that includes the Spokane River Centennial Trail, a 67-mile long path used for all sorts of outdoor activities.

    County: Spokane

    Population: 202,000

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Spokane

    Plus:
    10 Best in Education
    10 Best in Safety
    10 Best in Education
    See all 101 Cities

  • City: Scottsdale

    State: Arizona

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 8

    About Scottsdale: Hike up Camelback Mountain or stroll through the McDowell Sonoran Preserve - the city offers 14,000 acres of parkland to enjoy.

    County: Maricopa

    Population: 235,000

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city:  Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Scottsdale

    Plus:
    10 Best in Education
    10 Best in Safety
    10 Best in Education
    See all 101 Cities

  • City: Omaha 

    State: Nebraska

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 9

    About Omaha: Omaha ranks high across the board with seven Blue Ribbon schools, a short commute, low unemployment and 9,560 acres of parkland.

    County: Douglas

    Population: 439,000

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city:  Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Omaha

  • City: Raleigh

    State: North Carolina

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 10

    About Raleigh: Know as the "City of Oaks," Raleigh is home to five Blue Ribbon schools, a thriving real estate market, and The North Carolina Symphony.

    County: Wake

    Population: 392,000

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Raleigh

    Plus:
    10 Best in Education
    10 Best in Safety
    10 Best in Education
    See all 101 Cities

  • City: Sioux Falls

    State: South Dakota

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 11

    About Sioux Falls: This former cow town has some of the nation's best parklands, with over 2,913 acres of dedicated land.

    County: Minnehaha

    Population: 154,997

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city:  Visitor's bureau website 

    Read more about Sioux Falls

    Plus:
    10 Best in Education
    10 Best in Safety
    10 Best in Education
    See all 101 Cities

  • City: Lincoln 

    State: Nebraska 

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 12

    About Lincoln: Lincoln's Elephant Hall has the largest collection of elephant skeletons in the world. The biggest mammoth fossils were discovered here!

    County: Lancaster

    Population: 251,624

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website 

    Read more about Lincoln

    Plus:
    10 Best in Education
    10 Best in Safety
    10 Best in Education
    See all 101 Cities

  • City: St. Paul 

    State: Minnesota

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 13

    About St. Paul: St. Paul is home to the Science Museum of Minnesota and professional ice hockey team The Minnesota Wild.

    County: Ramsey

    Population: 279,590

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about St. Paul

    Plus:
    10 Best in Education
    10 Best in Safety
    10 Best in Education
    See all 101 Cities

  • City: Virginia Beach 

    State: Virginia

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 14

    About Virginia Beach: First Landing State Park, near the first place where members of the Virginia Company landed, is in Virginia Beach.

    County: Virginia Beach City

    Population: 433,746

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website 

    Read more about Virginia Beach

  • City: Des Moines

    State: Iowa

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 15

    About Des Moines: Originally called Fort Raccoon, Des Moines has a Downtown Farmer's Market that features more than 200 vendors from all around Iowa.

    County: Polk

    Population: 197,052

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Des Moines

  • City: Billings

    State: Montana

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 16

    About Billings: Thousands of visitors stop by this city on their way to Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park, Grand Teton National Park, and the Little Bighorn National Monument.

    County: Yellowstone

    Population: 103, 994

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Billings

  • City: Boise

    State: Idaho

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 17

    About Boise: Boise boasts 4,218.54 acres of parkland, including The Greenbelt, a 25-mile riverfront pathway. It is also home to St. Luke's Children's Hospital.

    County: Ada

    Population: 205,314

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website  

    Read more about Boise

  • City: Minneapolis

    State: Minnesota

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 18

    About Minneapolis: Minneapolis is nicknamed "City of Lakes" for the 22 lakes that exist within the city limits.

    County: Hennepin

    Population: 382,605

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website 

    Read more about Minneapolis

  • City: Colorado Springs

    State: Colorado

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 19

    About Colorado Springs: Katherine Lee Bates wrote "America the Beautiful" atop Pikes Peak overlooking Colorado Springs.

    County: El Paso

    Population: 380,307

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Colorado Springs

  • City: Augusta

    State: Georgia

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 20

    About Augusta: Nicknamed Garden City, Augusta is home to the Masters Golf Tournament, and is also the birthplace of the Godfather of Soul, James Brown.

    County: Richmond

    Population: 194,149

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Augusta

  • City: El Paso 

    State: Texas

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 21

    About El Paso: Those who work in schools, government offices, health care, or retail are in luck: some of the largest employers in El Paso look for workers in these areas.

    County: El Paso

    Population: 613,190

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about El Paso

  • City: Dallas 

    State: Texas

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 22

    About Dallas: Sports lovers are in luck: Dallas has all of the four major sports in the United States (Rangers, Cowboys, Stars, Mavericks) and great places to take the whole family for a game.

    County: Dallas

    Population: 1,279,910

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Dallas

  • City: Topeka 

    State: Kansas

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 23

    About Topeka: Topeka is the home of the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site.

    County: Shawnee

    Population: 123,446

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Topeka

  • City: Little Rock 

    State: Arkansas 

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 24

    About Little Rock: Little Rock is not only the geographical center of Arkansas, but also the hub of business, the arts, government, and healthcare in the state.

    County: Pulaski

    Population: 189,515

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website 

    Read more about Little Rock

  • City: San Diego

    State: California

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 25

    About San Diego: Families will enjoy this city's world-class attractions, including the San Diego Zoo, Wild Animal Park, Sea World San Diego, LEGOLAND, and more.

    County: San Diego

    Population: 1,279,329

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about San Diego

  • City: Honolulu

    State: Hawaii

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 26

    About Honolulu: Honolulu is a center for Hawaiian music and theatre, where residents lead active lifestyles, and obesity rates are below the national average.

    County: Honolulu

    Population: 374,676

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Honolulu

  • City: Durham

    State: North Carolina

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 27

    About Durham: Family-friendly Durham is a great place to keep your kids entertained with jazz festivals, blues festivals, symphony concerts, and art exhibitions.

    County: Durham

    Population: 223,284

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Durham

  • City: Seattle

    State: Washington

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 28

    About Seattle: Ranked as the most literate city by Central Conn. State University, Seattle is known as a hotbed for start-up businesses, especially in green building and clean technology.

    County: King

    Population: 598,541

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Seattle

  • City: New York

    State: New York

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 29

    About New York: As the nerve center of the nation; New York City is the leader in manufacturing, trade, theatre, and book publishing.

    County: New York

    Population: 8,363,710

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about New York

  • City: Boston

    State: Massachusetts

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 30

    About Boston: Home to the country's first public school, Boston is a center of education, from the Boston Public Library to the many historical buildings.

    County: Suffolk

    Population: 609,023

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Boston

  • City: Albuquerque

    State: New Mexico

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 31

    About Albuquerque: With deep Hispanic roots, Albuquerque is perfect for young families with high rankings in education and recreation,

    County: Bernalillo

    Population: 521,999

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Albuquerque

  • City: Fort Wayne

    State: Indiana

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 32

    About Fort Wayne: Fort Wayne appeals to families because of its affordability, high education system and low crime rates.

    County: Allen

    Population: 251,591

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Fort Wayne

  • City: San Antonio

    State: Texas

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 33

    About San Antonio: San Antonio is the home of Texan Tejano culture and a place that enjoys a steady and healthy economy.

    County: Bexar

    Population: 135,1305

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about San Antonio

  • City: Aurora

    State: Colorado

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 34

    About Aurora: The 3rd largest city in Colorado, Aurora scores well in the health, safety and recreation areas.

    County: Arapaho

    Population: 319,057

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Aurora

  • City: Mobile

    State: Alabama

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 35

    About Mobile: The city of Mobile is named from the Native American Mobilian tribe that once resided in the area, scoring points for its high safety.

    County: Mobile

    Population: 191,022

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Mobile

  • City: Charlotte

    State: North Carolina

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 36

    About Charlotte: Known as the Tar Heel State, Charlotte is home to one of the best education programs in the country, including 8 Blue Ribbon schools.

    County: Mecklenburg

    Population: 687,456

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Charlotte

  • City: Oklahoma City

    State: Oklahoma

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 37

    About Oklahoma City: Where the wind comes sweepin' down the plains, Oklahoma City is a great place to live if you're looking for a good jobs a short commute and a low unemployment rate.

    County: Oklahoma

    Population: 551,789

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Oklahoma City

  • City: Tulsa

    State: Oklahoma

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 38

    About Tulsa: Birthplace to country singer Garth Brooks, Tulsa is another great place to work with a short commute and a steady home value.

    County: Tulsa

    Population: 385,635

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Tulsa

  • City: Denver

    State: Colorado

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 39

    About Denver: Denver, the Mile High City, is one of only two cities in America with eight professional sports teams.

    County: Denver

    Population: 598,707

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Denver

  • City: Newark 

    State: New Jersey

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 40

    About Newark: Newark is the largest city in New Jersey and is home to a great education system -- with a high school graduation rate of over 94 percent.

    County: Essex

    Population: 278,980

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's Bureau Website

    Read more about Newark

  • City: Providence

    State: Rhode Island

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 41

    About Providence: Home to many National Historic Landmarks, Providence is a great place to live if health is a high priority on your list.

    County: Providence

    Population: 171,557

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Providence

  • City: Louisville

    State: Kentucky

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 42

    About Louisville: Home to the Kentucky Durby, Louisville also boasts the largest Victorian neighborhood in America.

    County: Jefferson

    Population: 557,224

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Louisville

  • City: Richmond

    State: Virginia

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 43

    About Richmond: From Nascar to the Edgar Allan Poe Museum and the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden -- Richmond has something for everyone.

    County: Richmond

    Population: 202,002

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Richmond

  • City: Phoenix 

    State: Arizona

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 44

    About Phoenix: Phoenix, located in the heart of the Sonoran Desert, boasts 40,454 acres of parkland, and is home to the largest, privately owned nonprofit zoo in the country.

    County: Maricopa

    Population: 1,567,924

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau city 

    Read more about Phoenix

  • City: Chesapeake

    State: Virginia

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 45

    About Chesapeake: Home to the Dismal Swamp Canal trail, Chesapeake is an outdoor lover's paradise, with lots of walking, running, horseback riding, and boating.

    County: Chesapeake

    Population: 220,111

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Chesapeake

  • City: Wichita

    State: Kansas

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 46

    About Wichita: Wichita has 125 miles of bicycle trails and routes, 17 golf courses, and 107 parks.

    County: Sedgwick

    Population: 366,046

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website 

    Read more about Wichita

  • City: Houston

    State: Texas

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 47

    About Houston: Houstonians eat out more than residents of any other city and enjoy more than 500 cultural, visual, and performing arts organizations.

    County: Harris

    Population: 224,2193

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Houston

  • City: Corpus Christi

    State: Texas

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 48

    About Corpus Christi: With over 133 miles of Gulf Coast beaches, Corpus Christi is a great place for the warm-blooded to reside.

    County: Nueces

    Population: 286,462

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website 

    Read more about Corpus Christi

  • City: Pittsburgh

    State: Pennsylvania

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 49

    About Pittsburgh: Home to the first Ferris wheel and Heinz Ketchup, Pittsburgh is also known for its excellent health and education programs.

    County: Allegheny

    Population: 310,037

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website 

    Read more about Pittsburgh

  • City: Hartford

    State: Connecticut

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 50

    About Hartford: Home to the oldest public art museum and the oldest continuously published newspaper, Hartford continues to be a beacon for education-minded families.

    County: Hartford

    Population: 124,062

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Hartford

  • City: Anchorage

    State: Alaska

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 51

    About Anchorage: With more than 120 miles of paved bike and multi-use trails, and 90 miles of non-paved hiking trails, Anchorage is ideal for outdoorsy types.

    County: Anchorage

    Population: 279,243

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website 

    Read more about Anchorage

  • City: Tucson 

    State: Arizona

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 52

    About Tucson: Tucson averages 350 sunny days per year and is bordered on all sides by natural areas, including Coronado National Forest, Catalina State Park, Ironwood Forest National Monument, and Saguaro National Park.

    County: Pima

    Population: 541,811

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website 

    Read more about Tucson

  • City: Fort Worth

    State: Texas

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 53

    About Fort Worth: Fort Worth is rich in Southwest history, with daily cattle drives and weekend rodeos at the Fort Worth Stockyards. It also boasts 10,923 acres of parkland.

    County: Tarrant

    Population: 703,073

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Fort Worth

  • City: San Francisco

    State: California

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 54

    About San Francisco: San Francisco has many unique attributes and is known for its Victorian architecture, diverse citizenry, iconic cable cars, hilly landscape, and its intense fog.

    County: San Francisco

    Population: 808,976

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about San Francisco

  • City: Indianapolis

    State: Indiana

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 55

    About Indianapolis: Indianapolis is a city that values education, with 19 Blue Ribbon schools and 27 NAYEC Accredited preschools.

    County: Marion

    Population: 798,382

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Indianapolis

  • City: Montgomery

    State: Alabama

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 56

    About Montgomery: Montgomery is rich in Civil Rights history ¿ it's home to the Civil Rights Memorial and the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Church, where Martin Luther King, Jr. once preached.

    County: Montgomery

    Population: 202,696

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Montgomery

  • City: Winston-Salem

    State: North Carolina

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 57

    About Winston-Salem: Winston-Salem is home to three universities and one college: Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem State University, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and Salem College (for women).  

    County: Forsyth

    Population: 217,600

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Winston-Salem

  • City: Salt Lake City 

    State: Utah

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 58

    About Salt Lake City: It's easy to get pretty much anywhere from Salt Lake City, with the airport just 10 minutes from downtown and ample public transportation.

    County: Salt Lake

    Population: 181,698

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Salt Lake City

  • City: Greensboro

    State: North Carolina

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 59

    About Greensboro: Greensboro is home to more than 20 public golf courses and the prestigious Wyndham Championship golf tournament.

    County: Guilford

    Population: 250,642

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Greensboro

  • City: Arlington

    State: Texas

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 60

    About Arlington: Arlington is home to the 1,300 acre, family-friendly River Legacy Park, where you'll find picnic areas, paved hike/bike trails, a meditation area, river overlooks, playground, and a canoe launch.

    County: Tarrant

    Population: 374,417

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Arlington

  • City: Columbus

    State: Ohio

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 61

    About Columbus: Columbus has plenty of educational opportunities with the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) and the Franklin Park Conservatory.

    County: Franklin

    Population: 754,885

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website 

    Read more about Columbus

  • City: Mesa

    State: Arizona

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 62

    About Mesa: This sunny city has an average temperature of 86 degrees and an annual rainfall of only 10 inches.

    County: Maricopa

    Population: 463,552

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website 

    Read more about Mesa

  • City: San Jose

    State: California

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 63

    About San Jose: San Jose has six Blue Ribbon schools, 12 NAEYC-Accredited preschools and a graduation rate of 86.1 percent.

    County: Santa Clara

    Population: 948,279

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website 

    Read more about San Jose

  • City: Tacoma

    State: Washington

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 64

    About Tacoma: Tacoma has 2,721 acres of parkland, which includes Mount Rainier National Park where the elevation ranges from 1,880 feet to 14,411 feet.

    County: Pierce

    Population: 197,181

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website 

    Read more about Tacoma

  • City: Nashville

    State: Tennessee

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 65

    About Nashville: Nashville is not only filled with musical history, but history ranging from Civil War battles to the 1897 World's Fair.

    County: Davidson

    Population: 596,462

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website 

    Read more about Nashville

  • City: Norfolk

    State: Virginia

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 66

    About Norfolk: Norfolk is located where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic ocean, so plenty of water fun can be found. Enjoy fishing, boating, sailing, cruises, and even crabbing.

    County: Norfolk

    Population: 234,220

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website 

    Read more about Norfolk

  • City: Anaheim

    State: California

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 67

    About Anaheim: Anaheim is located in Orange County, which boasts 42 miles of coastline and endless opportunities for fun.  Spend a day golfing with an ocean view, visit a theme park or cheer on the Angels baseball team or the Anaheim Ducks hockey team.

    County: Orange

    Population: 335,288

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website 

    Read more about Anaheim

  • City: Kansas City

    State: Missouri

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 68

    About Kansas City: Kansas City is home to the Country Club Plaza, a 14-square-block outdoor shopping area located in the heart of downtown, designed to resemble romantic Spanish architecture. 

    County: Jackson

    Population: 451,572

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website 

    Read more about Kansas City

  • City: Baton Rouge 

    State: Louisiana

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 69

    About Baton Rouge: Baton Rouge has a variety of food, including Cajun, Creole, French and Mexican, so your palate will never get bored.

    County: East Baton Rouge

    Population: 223,689

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Baton Rouge

  • City: New Orleans

    State: Louisiana

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 70

    About New Orleans: New Orleans' oldest neighborhood, the French Quarter, has architecture, Bourbon Street sightseeing or fresh seafood at any restaurant.

    Population: 311,853

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about New Orleans

  • City: Washington, DC

    State: District of Columbia

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 71

    About Washington:DC was voted the most walkable city in the U.S. in a study by the Brookings Institution in 2007.

    Population: 591,833

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Washington, DC

  • City: Syracuse

    State: New York

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 72

    About Syracuse: Syracuse is home to the longest running State Fair in the nation, dating back to 1841.

    Population: 138,068

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Syracuse

  • City: Buffalo

    State: New York

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 73

    About Buffalo: Buffalo is the birthplace of windshield wipers, electric streetlights, and, of course, Buffalo wings. 

    Population: 270,919

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Buffalo

  • City: Cleveland

    State: Ohio

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 74

    About Cleveland: Cleveland is home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (but all the little chicks with the crimson lips already know Cleveland rocks.)

    Population: 433,748

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Cleveland

  • City: Jacksonville

    State: Florida

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 75

    About Jacksonville:Jacksonville still hosts the Tree Hill Nature Center Annual Butterfly Festival, held on the last Saturday in April, featuring the release of over 1,000 butterflies.

    Population: 807,815

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Jacksonville

  • City: Milwaukee

    State: Wisconsin

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 76

    About Milwaukee: Milwaukee is home to a number of impressive arts offerings, including the spectacular Santiago Calatrava-designed Milwaukee Art Museum

    Population: 604,477

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitors' bureau website

    Read more about Milwaukee

  • City: Baltimore

    State: Maryland

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 77

    About Baltimore: Clueless about crustaceans? You'll be up to speed in no time in Baltimore, where crab feasts and the art of cracking them open is serious fun.

    Population: 636,919

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Baltimore

  • City: Los Angeles

    State: California

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 78

    About Los Angeles: Amelia Earhart began her aeronautic career with flying lessons in Los Angeles in 1921.

    Population: 3,833,995

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Los Angeles

  • City: Riverside

    State: California

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 79

    About Riverside: Vitamin C rocks! The first navel orange tree in the U.S. was grown in Riverside, CA.

    Population: 295,357

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Riverside

  • City: Wilmington

    State: Deleware

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 80

    About Wilmington: Wilmington was named by Thomas Penn for his friend Spencer Compton, Earl of Wilmington, who was prime minister in the reign of George II of Great Britain.

    Population: 72,592

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Wilmington

  • City: Tampa

    State: Florida

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 81

    About Tampa: Sun lovers will dig the Tampa area -- according to the Guinness Book of World Records this region has the most number of days of sunshine.

    Population: 340,882

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Tampa

  • City: Cincinnati

    State: Ohio

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 82

    About Cincinnati: Famous folks from Cincinnati include Steven Spielberg, Ted Turner, Carmen Electra, and William Howard Taft, the 27th President of the United States.

    Population: 333,336

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Cincinatti

  • City: Long Beach

    State: California

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 83

    About Long Beach: The Port of Long Beach is the second-largest seaport in the United States.

    Population: 463,789

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Long Beach

  • City: Philadelphia

    State: Pennsylvania

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 84

    About Philadelphia: The Philadelphia Museum of Art was made famous by being featured in the popular "Rocky" films, when Sylvester Stallone, as the boxer Rocky, made his famous training runs up the front steps.

    Population: 1,447,395

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Philadelphia

  • City: Bakersfield

    State: California

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 85

    About Bakersfield: Many Bakersfield residents have ancestors who migrated to the area from the Midwest during the Dust Bowl.

    Population: 321,078

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Bakersfield

  • City: Atlanta

    State: Georgia

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 86

    About Atlanta: Atlanta is the only city in North America that has been destroyed by fire as an act of war. It's also home to the Atlanta Ballet, the oldest ballet company in the nation.

    Population: 537,958

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Atlanta

  • City: St. Louis

    State: Missouri

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 87

    About St. Louis: The city has had a hand in building more than 40 breweries.

    The first skyscraper was born in this city.

    Population: 35,461

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about St. Louis

  • City: Akron

    State: Ohio

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 88

    About Akron: Ice cream cones, hamburgers and caramel corn snacks were invented here.

    Population: 20,710

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Akron

  • City: Toledo

    State: Ohio

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 89

    About Toledo: The Toledo Zoo has a hippoquarium.

    Population: 293,201

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Toledo

  • City: Chicago

    State: Illinois

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 90

    About Chicago: The first Ferris Wheel appeared in Chicago in 1893.  The Lincoln Park Zoo is one of three major free zoos in the country.

    Population: 2,853,114

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Chicago

  • City: Memphis

    State: Tennessee

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 91

    About Memphis: It's known as the birthplace of rock ¿n roll, and the home of Graceland, Elvis Presley's mansion, and the famous Sun Studios

    Population: 669,651

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Memphis

  • City: Fort Lauderdale

    State: Florida

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 92

    About Fort Lauderdale: Greater Fort Lauderdale houses the world's largest discount mall, Sawgrass Mills.  With 40,000 yachts in the harbor, it has been called the yachting capital of the world.

    Population: 183,126

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Fort Lauderdale

  • City: Orlando

    State: Florida

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 93

    About Orlando: The city is home to more than 100 lakes.

    Population: 230,519

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Orlando

  • City: Birmingham

    State: Alabama

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 94

    About Birmingham: Birmingham's Ruffner Mountain is the second largest urban nature preserve in the country.

    Population: 228,798

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Birmingham

  • City: Grand Rapids

    State: Michigan

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 95

    About Grand Rapids: Grand Rapids was originally known as the "Furniture Capital" of the nation. It is known today as the "Furniture Capital" of office furniture manufacturing.

    Population: 193,396

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Grand Rapids

  • City: Miami

    State: Florida

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 96

    About Miami: Miami Beach is home to one of the largest snow skiing clubs in the United States.

    County: Miami-Dade

    Population: 413,201

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitors' bureau website

    Read more about Miami

  • City: St. Petersburg

    State: Florida

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 97

    About St. Petersburg: St Petersburg holds a Guinness World Record for the highest number of consecutive days of sunshine -- 768 -- that began in 1967.

    Population: 245,314

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about St. Petersburg

  • City: Fresno

    State: California

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 98

    About Fresno: Fresno is known for its large agricultural production, and is home to some of the largest wineries and the largest dried fruit company in the world.

    Population: 476,050

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Fresno

  • City: Sacramento

    State: California

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 99

    About Sacramento: Sacramento was founded during the Gold Rush, when gold was discovered just outside the city.

    Population: 463,794

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Sacramento

  • Lasvegaslover for Wikimedia

    City: Las Vegas

    State: Nevada

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 100

    About Las Vegas: The average number of weddings that take place in Las Vegas each day is 315.

    Population: 558,383

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Las Vegas

  • City: Detroit

    State: Michigan

    Best Cities Overall Rank: 101

    About Detroit: The city is home to the world's only floating post office, which can be found on the Detroit River.

    Population: 912,062

    Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website

    Read more about Detroit

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