Best Value Cities 2011:6. Lexington, Ky.

This small, progressive city values its rolling landscape and rich past.

Steeped in history, tinged with bourbon and surrounded by the horse farms that define its identity, this northern-Kentucky city could have ridden into the 21st century on the strength of its past, or sold off its heritage, lot by lot and farm by farm, for the sake of development. Instead, Lexington has worked hard, and sometimes contentiously, to protect its green pastures, brick-and-limestone buildings and small-town feel while cultivating a burgeoning downtown and an economy that includes health care, high-tech, higher education and, yes, horses.

VIDEO: Take a virtual walking tour of Lexington.

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Jane Bennett Clark
Senior Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
The late Jane Bennett Clark, who passed away in March 2017, covered all facets of retirement and wrote a bimonthly column that took a fresh, sometimes provocative look at ways to approach life after a career. She also oversaw the annual Kiplinger rankings for best values in public and private colleges and universities and spearheaded the annual "Best Cities" feature. Clark graduated from Northwestern University.