When you close your eyes and envision the next place you want you and your family to call home, what do you think of? Fresh open spaces for the kids to play, cultural events where you can spend weekends exploring, good schools, and safe neighborhoods are on every parent’s list of must-haves when researching a new city or town to move to. Here are the four places in the U.S. you may not have thought about, but which meet all the criteria for family-friendliness. These are unique, vetted, and hand-picked places that are worth a second look while you’re looking for your next home.
According to Parenting.com’s last survey, Boston is the best city for families with kids. With its deep historical roots, museums, and cultural diversity, it’s easy to see why. Boston is renowned for its great schools, which prepare kids for the city’s universities. Some of the best schools in the nation are in Boston, including Boston U., Emerson, Harvard and Tufts. Massachusetts also has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, and that along with the thousands of job opportunities makes it an excellent choice for growing families.
This city made the number one spot in Time Magazine’s Best Places to Live. Columbia is a planned community within commuting distance of Baltimore and Washington, D.C. The community ranks high in economic opportunities and job growth, and has low unemployment and crime. The town is described as having the feel of a small village and it includes three lakes and 80 miles of pathways for walking, biking, and hiking. For families who want to move into a community that’s safe but within driving distance of big cities, Columbia tops the list.
Salt Lake City, Utah
If a planned community isn’t really your family’s cup of tea, consider checking out the affordable homes or build a new home in Salt Lake City. The city’s real estate market is booming, and there are plenty of opportunities to build new homes in Salt Lake County in the growing parts of the city’s large metropolitan area. Up to and including the surrounding suburbs. Utah regularly rates high for being among the safest states in the country, and that, along with the great schools and proximity to national parks makes the city a top choice for family-friendly places. US News chose Salt Lake City as one of the top 10 best places to live due to its affordability compared to other major metropolitan areas, as well as its year-round recreational and sports activities. For families that want lots of outdoor activities and options, yet still want to live in a big city, Salt Lake City is the perfect place.
Not interested in the big cities? Just 30 miles outside of Dallas, Wylie made Forbe’s number one best small American city for raising families. The affordability of houses compared to the rest of the country (the median home price in Whylie is just $1154,000) is a big selling point, as well as the quality of the schools (ranking 9 out of 10 on GreatSchools.org, according to Forbes) makes it especially great for families with younger kids.
Moving your family some place new is the one of the biggest decisions you’ll make as a parent. People choose to move for different reasons—better schools, job opportunities, or just the chance to start over fresh. Make sure to research not only the well-known cities, suburbs, and small towns, but also the unique locations that not everyone thinks about. Moving to a new place could just be the greatest adventure of you and your family’s lives.