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.

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.

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.

Best Towns 2013: San Diego, California

Indeed, seasons don’t mean much in San Diego, where hundreds of miles of trails, ample coast, and some 6,000 farmers with heirloom offerings make the living pretty sweet.

Editor's Choice: Washington, D.C.

The nation’s capital (pop. 632,000; metro area: 5.8 million) is better known for museums and memorials than parks. But the driven young professionals who live here have 7,617 acres of parkland at...

The Best Town in America 2013

After a lengthy voting process and much debate, we named Park City, Utah as 2013’s Best Town in America. Now, take a glimpse inside the little rural paradise that has us head over heels in...

Best Towns 2013: Waitsfield, Vermont

People come to the Mad River Valley as much for what it lacks—traffic, noise, pretention—as for what it offers: the Green Mountains out the back door, the Class II–III Mad River, and the great local...