Top 10 Best Places to Live in the U.S. -- Did Your City Make the List? (PHOTOS)

Liz Alterman | Sep 22, 2014 Home & Garden

10 best places to live

Finding the perfect place to live is daunting task! Locating the right mix of great schools, open spaces and modern conveniences in an area you can afford is no easy feat.

So, if you're thinking of moving to a new area, Money's list of the Top 10 Best Places to Live in America may just help you narrow down your search. 

From a pool of 781 cities, with populations between 50,000 and 300,000, the publication looked at over 50 factors--from the housing market to health care--before arriving at the 10 "best."

Take a look at some of the stunning communities that made the list and then tell us:

Do you live in one of these areas? Do you agree with this list? 

Image @Century21Scheetz/Flickr

  • 10. Reston, Va


    Comprised of five villages, Reston, Virginia offers the convenience of city living with the bucolic amenities of the countryside. Lakes, pools, and golf courses cater to nature enthusiasts and families who love fresh air and fun in the great outdoors. 

    Business giants including Rolls-Royce North America, Google and ComScore are located in the heart of Reston, making for an easy commute for professionals. Speaking of commuting, the Metro transports Restonians to Washington D.C. in approximately 40 minutes, according to Money. 

    More from The Stir: Top 10 States With the Rudest Drivers -- Is Yours on the List? (PHOTOS) 

  • 9. Rochester Hills, Mich.


    Good schools, safety and a thriving economy, pushed this Midwestern town to No. 9 on the list. Chrysler headquarters is located in nearby Auburn Hills. Property values are on the rise, with a three-bedroom home's list price up 38 percent from 2012

  • 8. Ames, Iowa


    Home to Iowa State University, Ames is a great pick for those who love the atmosphere of a college town. Families enjoy visits to the 17-acre horticulture site and butterfly house at Reiman Gardens and take in football games Jack Trice Stadium and concerts at Stephens Auditorium. 

  • 7. Clarkstown, NY


    Clarkstown, New York is a newcomer to Money's annual compilation. Located just 30 miles from Manhattan, the eight areas that make up Clarkstown each boast their own charm. From upscale dining and shopping to stunning lakeside views, the region features a little something for everyone. 

  • 6. Columbia & Ellicott City, Md.


    Featuring the best of both worlds, Ellicott City boasts charming older residences, while Columbia is home to modern conveniences in the form of shopping centers and recreation facilities. A shared, well-regarded school district makes the towns extremely attractive to home-buyers with young children. 

  • 5. Kirkland, Wash.


    Residents of Kirkland enjoy great views of the Seattle skyline as well as a bustling downtown filled with family-friendly eateries. Known for its excellent school system, Kirkland is also home to Google and Go Daddy. Waterfront parks and beaches lend a vacation feel to the Seattle suburb.


  • 4. Castle Rock, Colo.


    Over the past 15 years, Castle Rock has tripled in size. Located on the outskirts of Denver, the downtown hosts events that unite the community and delight families year-round. The city also boasts one of Colorado's top school districts. With 5,000 acres of open spaces, Castle Rock attracts nature lovers who take advantage of all the city has to offer. 

  • 3. Carmel, Ind.


    Carmel is no stranger to Money's list, having placed in the top spot in 2012. Its walk-ability and cultural opportunities could explain why the area's population has doubled since 2000. Featuring farmers markets and music festivals, Carmel is a haven for the arts and a hotspot for growing families. 

  • 2. Maple Grove, Minn.


    Elm Creek Park Reserve, a 4,900-acre regional park featuring a swimming pond and miles of ski trails, is the year-round highlight of the region. 

    A lakeside park and amphitheater also add to the outdoor apeal and provide ample entertainment opportunities for residents of all ages. 

  • 1. McKinney, Texas


    Old meets new in McKinney, where cobblestone streets lead to growing industries. Green energy, aviation and medical service companies have moved to the region recently, offering great professional opportunities for residents.

    But the thriving commercial development hasn't changed the hometown feel of McKinney, according to Money, which placed the city at No. 2 in 2012.

    Great schools, art galleries and farm-to-table restaurants have been luring families away from nearby Dallas for the past several years and that doesn't look like it'll change any time soon!   

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