Key Cities for Great Living

The country's best kept secret is now out ["Best Places to Live 2009,"].

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The country's best kept secret is now out ["Best Places to Live 2009,"]. I am not surprised [about] the city. I moved back to Albuquerque in 2004 from Los Angeles. The city is a thriving mini metropolis. The cost of living is affordable, career opportunities are so abundant, and the culture and people are friendly and forward thinking. There is so much to do and discover. The New Mexican cuisine is delicious. There is more than enough nightlife to entertain anyone's interests. Albuquerque has so much to offer and I always encourage people to visit and experience it themselves.

Comment by Ben Antonio of NM

As a resident, I have always known that St. Augustine, Florida, is a treasure. Even though the city itself is relatively small (only about 13,000 residents), it offers amenities that much larger areas dream about. The beaches are beautiful, activities downtown and the amphitheatre are pretty continuous, and the architecture is stunning. Not to be missed are Flagler Memorial Presbyterian Church, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine, Flagler College, and the Lightner Museum; all of which are within easy walking distance of each other. St. Augustine is a great walking town with many quality restaurants from which to choose. The city is famous throughout the region for its fried shrimp and any local can advise which restaurants are best. One other thing that makes the city a great place is its proximity to the major metropolitan areas of Jacksonville (less than an hour) and Orlando (less than two hours).

Comment by Craig Chambers of FL

The short description in this article is just a snapshot of scenic La Crosse, Wisconsin. Riverside Park is situated on the banks of the Mississippi River and is one of the anchors of Historic Downtown La Crosse. The downtown alone has over 60 historic buildings making it the largest historic district in Wisconsin. Trail and mountain biking, fishing, boating, camping, and hiking are all just minutes from your front door. Two world-class medical facilities, two excellent universities, and a wonderful two-year technical college help anchor a solid work environment. All you can ask for, plus, hunting, shopping, golf, bald eagles, and great K-12 schools make this a wonderful place to live, work, and play.

Comment by Dave Clements of WI

Boise, Idaho, is a great community whether you are a family or retiree. Enjoy beautiful outdoor scenery, clean air, wonderful parks, and yes, even the arts! Our parks are connected by greenbelts that follow the Boise River. Lots of outdoor dining, outdoor live music, an outdoor market on Saturdays, and if you love sports, you can ski in the morning and golf in the afternoon certain times of the year! Yes, this is a true story! You can be from your home to the mountain in less than an hour and choose from many public or private golf courses. Boise State University is growing and for football enthusiasts, check out the tailgating scene and the games. Kayaking, hiking, fishing, biking, camping, skiing ... it's all right out your back door. Enjoy the four distinct seasons but don't worry, there are no tornadoes and rarely do we get below 0 in the winter. Summer is a dry heat and the high is occasionally over 100—-but not commonly. Good, clean living! Sun Valley (three-hour drive) and McCall (two-hour drive) are both resort communities and are an easy to get to. Next: professional sports team? Well, maybe not in the near future ... but we do have a semi-pro baseball team and horse racing! I just can't say enough about our fair city.

Comment by Denise Thiry of ID

My girlfriend and I just moved to Durham, N.C., about a year ago, and we absolutely love it! Among the things that I love best: The old parts of Durham around Duke and downtown are very bike/pedestrian friendly, we have great restaurants, coffee houses, the ballpark, the Carolina Theater, the DPAC, and the farmer's market all within easy walking distance, the traffic is mild and nothing here is terribly expensive. There is a strong sense of community and the neighborhood associations are very civically engaged. Durham has really embraced its history: there are great old houses and beautiful grand brick tobacco warehouses that have been repurposed into retail, restaurants, and lofts all over downtown. It feels like there's so much going on here, and yet Durham still maintains its relaxed Southern charm. My colleagues who live in other parts of the Triangle say they "like" where they live, but my friends and neighbors who live in Durham say they "love" living in Durham.

Comment by Dave N. of NC

I grew up in the Auburn/Opelika, Alabama, area. I moved away after college (20 years ago) and have lived and traveled all over the world. I can't wait to move back to the area. Of course it's not perfect, but I haven't found a better place to call home! The beautiful gulf coast beaches and the Smokey Mountains are only a few hours away. The university provides a hip culture. Secretly, I hope everyone stays away so that I can still buy an affordable home and the area retains its small-town feel!

Comment by Sharon of TX

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