North & Central America

Best Towns 2013: Spokane, Washington

Seattleites may call it Spokompton for its perceived crime, but Spokane is about as dangerous as Bend and safer than Colorado Springs.

Editor's Choice: Chicago, Illinois

Between the art museums, architecture, professional sports teams, and restaurants, Chicago has long been one of the best cultural cities in the world. It’s also one of the best places to be active.

Best Towns 2013: Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu might look and act like a city, but there aren’t many places on earth where you can paddle into a head-high roller at dawn, ride a beach cruiser to work, and be staring into a...

Editor's Choice: Carrboro, North Carolina

Carrboro is located right next to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, but this outpost of 20,000 has a much slower pace than a rowdy college town.

Editor's Choice: Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota

Minnesota’s Twin Cities (pop. 673,000; metro area: 3.3 million) have a thriving theater scene, one of the nation’s best contemporary art museums in the Walker Art Center, and 12 Fortune 500...

Editor's Choice: San Anselmo, California

Nearly 50 percent of 520-square-mile Marin County is protected open space, from redwood groves to beaches to preserves like Point Reyes National Seashore and Muir Woods.

Editor's Choice: Ann Arbor, Michigan

The best thing about Ann Arbor, as locals call it, is that you never have to leave—there are great ethnic restaurants, a world-class university, bike lanes galore, and superb trails, like the 35-mile...

Best Towns 2013: Greenville, South Carolina

In the past two decades, this Greenville landed big employers like GE, Michelin, and BMW and transformed itself into a small city that’s alive with parks, leafy streets, bike paths, and a thriving...

Best Towns 2013: Oklahoma City

Six years ago Oklahoma City, a longtime oil-and-gas hub, was dubbed one of the fattest in the country. It's come a long way since then.