SENIORS’ FAVORITE CITIES IN AMERICASep 20th, 2012 | By James E Becker | Category: Senior Travel
What’s Your Favorite City?
Money Magazine (Sept. 2012) has done it again and picked the Top 100 cities in which to live in America. In this article they bring attention to the country’s smaller cities of 50,000 to 300,000 people. I guess that this senior citizen never thought that 300K was “small.” Carmel, Indiana was the selected #1 city. Fox News picked up on this story and highlighted Carmel as having an optimal combination of benefits for its 80,000 residents. So let’s investigate the Top Three for starters and see why they rated so high and gained special attention.
The Top Three
Only five years ago Carmel, Indiana was a quiet, upscale bedroom community that offered an easy 20-minute commute to downtown Indianapolis. Despite the recession, this formerly sleepy suburb has since transformed itself into what many call the ideal place to work and play.
Carmel’s business district now has the second-largest concentration of office workers in Indiana and an unemployment rate that’s just over half the national average. The article boasts Carmel’s strong economy, low taxes, excellent schools, affordable homes, new Palladium, and scenic bike paths. I found only one halfway decent Carmel video on YouTube and it’s not bad.
Second place = McKinney, TX
Established in 1848, McKinney is one of northern Texas’ oldest towns with a population of 136,000 happy Texans. Stroll around historic downtown, and you’ll see cotton mills and feed stores transformed into hip boutiques and art galleries. The city offers plenty of housing options, from starter homes to old Victorians and “Texas-style” five-bedrooms. Low taxes have lured companies with white-collar jobs in technology and energy, a new hospital opened in July, and a conference center and hotel complex is in the works. Folks who live there love their downtown that hosts a wide variety of attractions. Matt Lauer on the Today Show asks a rep from Money Magazine about McKinney and how it got named.
Eden Prairie, MN-Third
Years back I helped my brother-in- law build a new home in Eden Prairie. We did the entire plumbing job ourselves. Best part is that it passed city inspection and everything worked as planned. It’s a neat community. Not much has changed in Eden Prairie since then, and that’s a good thing. It still has the heady combination of terrific employment prospects, natural beauty, and a well-educated workforce. It’s also kept a healthy budget surplus of 2% the past two years. Already home to major business firms, the city is preparing for further expansion with a light commuter rail project in the works for 2018. Eden Prairie made CBS News and noted that “You have to look hard to find downsides, but there are a few: winters are long and cold, and there’s not much of a downtown besides a mega shopping mall. But families come for the jobs and stay for the lifestyle.
So, seniors, aren’t you just a little curious about the other 97 communities? Here’s the printout of the entire 100 Best Places To Live. Glad to see that my old home state of Iowa had three cities on the list. After Eden Prairie there are great communities like Newton, MA, Redmond, WA, Irvine, CA, Reston, VA, Columbia/Ellicott City, MD, Overland Park, KS and Chapel Hill, NC filling out the top ten. Did your city make the list? How many were in your state? Redmond, WA did well in 5th place and the Redmond Reporter wrote… “According to Money, some qualities that put Redmond in the top five are the city’s “historic buildings, quirky shops, eateries and brewpubs” that mingle with “colorful condo and retail developments with public art and giant evergreens.” Redmond’s proximity to Seattle the Cascade Mountains and 90-plus wineries to the north make Microsoft’s hometown “an ideal base camp for exploring the Northwest.” The magazine states that the city’s “picturesque neighborhoods, low crime rate, and stellar schools are a major part of the city’s attraction.” I thought it worthy to mention that the Nashua Telegraph also highlighted that Nashua was named “93rd” best place to live my CNN Money Magazine. Good for Nashua!
Not to be outdone, the Detroit Free Press picked up on the story and named their 5 “biggies.” Troy ranked 26th, West Bloomfield 37th, Shelby Township 78th, Macomb Township 84th and Ann Arbor just barely made it in 100th place…but it made it so Congrats.
Newspapers all around the country noted that their own city made the list and Google.com (money magazine top 100 places to live 2012) has dozens of such stories. Senior citizen traveler, I hope that you can spend some time in some of these chosen cities. Each sounds like a great place to visit and to enjoy life. jeb