Home & Real Estate

Best Cities to Live, Work and Play

These ten best cities offer a mix of professional opportunities, economic growth and lots of entertainment options.

Our approach this year to picking the ten best cities in which to live and work was simple: Look for places with strong economies and abundant jobs, then demand reasonable living costs and plenty of fun things to do. When we ran the numbers, some of the names that popped up made us do a double take at first. So we hit the road to meet movers, shakers and regular folks, experience the ambience and take in the sights.

SEE OUR COMPLETE GUIDE: Best Cities for Your Future

We discovered that our numbers guru, Kevin Stolarick, hadn't steered us wrong. Stolarick, research director at the Martin Prosperity Institute, a think tank that studies economic prosperity, says: "Our formula highlights cities not just with strong past performance, but also with all the ingredients for future success." One key to a bright future is a healthy shot of people in the creative class. People in creative fields -- scientists, engineers, architects, educators, writers, artists and entertainers -- are catalysts of vitality and livability in a city.

The cities that made our list also represent larger surrounding areas. And because we understand that city living isn't for everyone, we've highlighted some great suburbs, too.

Pack a bag and join us on a tour of the Best Cities for 2008 and prepare for some surprises.

No. 1: Houston,Texas

No. 2: Raleigh, N.C.

No. 3: Omaha, Neb.

No. 4: Boise, Idaho

No. 5: Colorado Springs, Colo.

No. 6: Austin, Texas

No. 7: Fayetteville, Ark.

No. 8: Sacramento, Calif.

No. 9: Des Moines, Iowa

No. 10: Provo, Utah

Most Popular

The Wrong Way to Achieve Wealth
personal finance

The Wrong Way to Achieve Wealth

For some down-to-earth, basic advice on money and life, I have a book to recommend: “Your Total Wealth: The Heart and Soul of Financial Literacy.”
April 17, 2021
Child Tax Credit 2021: Who Gets $3,600? Will I Get Monthly Payments? And Other FAQs
Coronavirus and Your Money

Child Tax Credit 2021: Who Gets $3,600? Will I Get Monthly Payments? And Other FAQs

People have lots of questions about the new $3,000 or $3,600 child tax credit and the advance payments that the IRS will send to most families in 2021…
April 14, 2021
2021 Child Tax Credit Calculator
Tax Breaks

2021 Child Tax Credit Calculator

See how much money you'll get in advance under the new child tax credit rules for 2021.
April 14, 2021

Recommended

12 Cheapest Small Towns in America 2021
real estate

12 Cheapest Small Towns in America 2021

Affordable small towns aren't necessarily the best places to live for everyone, but each cheap small town on our list has its charms.
April 15, 2021
This Hot Housing Market with Daniel Bortz
Becoming a Homeowner

This Hot Housing Market with Daniel Bortz

Home sales and prices have been on a tear and are forecast to continue to rise in 2021. Whether you're hoping to sell, buy or refi, contributing write…
March 31, 2021
10 Places That Will Pay You to Live There
real estate

10 Places That Will Pay You to Live There

Working remotely? You may want to check out these places that'll pay you to move there.
February 9, 2021
Home Buyers Loving the Suburbs Again
Becoming a Homeowner

Home Buyers Loving the Suburbs Again

Urban condos found little love as telecommuting home buyers bid up prices far from city centers.
January 27, 2021