America's Best Cities

Healthy. That's the word we kept coming back to. And we don't mean a fit or skinny population; we're talking about a city's cultural vibrancy, economic well-being, and overall quality of life. Presenting our picks for the 10 best cities in America, from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Plus: Our 10 favorite small towns.

Seattle     Photo: courtesy of Seattle's Convention and Visitors Bureau

Where to Vent

Still think we screwed up by not picking your town? Let us know in our forum.

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How We Ranked Them
First, we started with the 100 most populated cities in America, using public data to rank them on factors like cost of living, unemployment, nightlife, commute time, and access to green spaces. Then we took the 28 candidates with the highest overall averages and put them through a second round of number crunching, comparing things like the percentage of the population with college degrees, income level in relation to home prices, and weather. The wild card? Our own multisport factor, which rated each of our finalists on a scale of 1 to 5 for quality and proximity to biking, running, paddling, hiking, and skiing. After adding it all up, we had our top ten.

10. Charlotte, North Carolina
9. Cincinnati, Ohio
8. Minneapolis, Minnesota
7. Portland, Oregon
6. Albuquerque, New Mexico
5. Boston, Massachusetts
4. Austin, Texas
3. Atlanta, Georgia
2. Seattle, Washington
1. Colorado Springs, Colorado
PLUS: Our 10 favorite small towns

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