Best Places to Live in the U.S.

In today’s Daily Progress Brian McNeill had an article about Frommer’s best places to live in the United States. Three years ago, the Frommer’s book “Cities: Ranked & Rated” listed the Charlottesville metropolitan area as the nation’s No. 1 place to live. However, in the most recent edition of the book the Charlottesville region dropped to No. 17. Gainesville, Fla., took over the top spot, and Modesto, Calif., came in last at No. 373.

Was Charlottesville a victim of its own success? When Charlottesville received the Number 1 ranking three years ago, the city garnered media attention across the country. Consequently, more people moved to the region, and as a result housing costs increased. Median homes prices in the Charlottesville area jumped from $177,000 to $345,000 over the past three years. Nonetheless, Frommer’s book praised the Charlottesville area’s “scenery, climate, cultural amenities and resistance to sprawl.”

“Mr. Jefferson would still be proud.”

Furthermore, in 2004, Richmond was ranked No. 55 and Roanoke was ranked No. 11. In 2007, Richmond was ranked No. 30, Roanoke was No. 60, and Harrisonburg came in at 105.

The top 10 from Frommer’s “Cities: Ranked & Rated,” along with Virginia cities and their ranks:
1. Gainesville, Fla.
2. Bellingham, Wash.
3. Portland, Ore.
4. Colorado Springs, Colo.
5. Ann Arbor, Mich.
6. Ogden, Utah
7. Asheville, N.C.
8. Fort Collins, Colo.
9. San Luis Obispo, Calif.
10. Boise, Idaho
17. Charlottesville
30. Richmond
47. Winchester
60. Roanoke
105. Harrisonburg
137. Virginia Beach/Norfolk
179. Lynchburg
181. Blacksburg
187. Bristol


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