These are the latest lists:
National Geographic's 50 Best Places to Live: The Next Great Adventure Towns
So this year we selected 50 innovative towns that aren’t just prime relocation spots right now, but smart choices for the future. Not only do they have the action. They’ve got a plan. Now we’re giving you a plan too. Inside, you’ll find hometown picks that range from adventure 24/7 hubs loaded with outdoor options to urban players that offer a variety of jobs and cultural activities without sacrificing green space.
Mother Earth News' 9 Great Places You’ve Never Heard Of, 2008 Edition
[this is the first list I've ever seen where I agree with all the cities listed, based on my limited experience]
A great town or city is like a bowl of savory minestrone soup, served at a fine, family-owned restaurant. Though it may be difficult to identify the exact ingredients, the bottom line is flavor: Remarkable communities combine classic elements such as climate, architecture, natural assets and civic energy in a way that makes places healthy, safe and lively. By investing in the local economy, communities build self-reliance to handle sudden challenges such as surging energy prices or natural disasters.
The under-the-radar towns on the third Mother Earth News Great Places list blend qualities like these into rich, energetic cultures. We invite you to get to know these great places with us, and apply some of their innovative approaches and lessons-learned in your own towns and cities.
* Ames, Iowa
* Bethel, Maine
* Bisbee, Arizona
* Berea, Kentucky
* Viroqua, Wisconsin
* Moscow, Idaho
* Greenbelt, Maryland
* San Luis Obispo, California
* Traverse City, Michigan