Virginia Beach is a wonderful place to grow up ["America's 10 Best Places to Grow Up," usnews.com]! I grew up here, and I'm raising my own family here. There is so much to do and the city is well maintained. Just a couple weeks ago, my son and I were swimming at Croatan (south beach), and we were able to swim within a few yards of dolphins. There must have been about six pods that swam right by us, so peacefully, as dolphins do. We felt so blessed to be swimming with dolphins. After our swim, we drove about a mile down the road to the Virginia Aquarium (we're members so we go all the time). We also like to go take walks along the river banks and try to catch fiddler crabs. Boys love to do that. Another great thing is all of the recreational centers and great sporting leagues and activities for kids! It also just feels clean here. Just a great place to live!
Comment by Mary Tijerina of VA
Denver is great. I moved to Colorado 20 years ago, and decided to stay here forever. I remind my kids often how lucky they are to live in this beautiful state—gorgeous scenery, low crime, good schools, safe downtown, clean cities, tons of parks. I think you hit this one on the head.
Comment by Nancy Cronk of CO
I've lived in four of the communities mentioned, and they all have many positive benefits. I now live in Marion in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, metro area, and I must say I'm very happy here. It is a great place to raise a family and for young and old to have a wonderful social life ... lots to do. One thing that was not mentioned is Cedar Rapids's fantastic Catholic school system! Looking for a great place to call home? Move to Cedar Rapids, Marion, or Hiawatha.
Comment by George of IA
I grew up in Plano, Texas. Yeah, our public schools are really great, but while parents certainly count that as a factor in judging "best places to grow up," I'm not so sure. Some of the schools are so competitive that it's really stressful to grow up here. But yeah, with decent housing prices and suburbia to the extreme, there are still a lot of advantages.
Comment by J of TX
Madison, Ala., gets such a bad rap from the kids that live there, but I am someone who watched Madison go from fields in my childhood to a fully functioning city by the time I went to high school. Madison has more to offer than meets the eye! So many cultural events and arts-based organizations fostered my current career as an actress and singer—a working one at that! Also being a pretty tight-knit community makes it a place I would return to raise my own children.
Comment by Taryn Bryant of KY