What’s it Really Like to Live in One of the Best Places in America?

When it comes to the best places to live in the United States, these spots top the list, literally. We pored over data on cost of living, public schools, jobs, diversity, walkability, and much more, and after all that number crunching, we have our winners.

But what’s it really like to live in these places? That’s where you come in.

Niche isn’t just about the numbers. We also have millions of users who give us (and you) the inside scoop on their communities. So here’s what real live residents are saying about the top 10 towns.

(P.S. Want to review your neck of the woods? You could win $1,000.)

It was a perfect day in #dublinohio for a bike ride by the bunnies.

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10. Dublin, Ohio

“…I’ve moved a lot; I’ve lived in four states and two countries. But, by far, Dublin is the best overall city to live in. Everything you need is here, and the city is only growing, with more and more town squares and residential areas. Another advantage is that it is less than 30 minutes away from downtown Columbus, a great place to visit. I simply couldn’t ask for anything else in this beautiful city.”

But you might not want to plan on staying out late. Another resident says, “The nightlife needs a serious rescue because the city seems to shut down incredibly early.”

Find out more about Dublin.

9. Birmingham, Michigan

“It’s a beautifully groomed area with some of the nicest real estate and schools in Michigan. There is no shortage of good food, shopping, and entertainment including two cinemas. Visitors can stay at the Townsend Hotel, the best hotel in the state outside of those in Detroit. It’s located in a convenient, central location. If you have enough money, and you will need a lot of it, you will never be bored.”

Don’t wait too long to check it out, though. Another resident says that Birmingham is, “Nice, but seems to be getting overcrowded.”

Find out more about Birmingham.

8. Brentwood, Michigan

“You will often find generations of families living in Brentwood. Most of the town is involved in community service or the local schools. Lots of small businesses, yet also thriving shopping centers with big box stores to attract residents from other communities.”

As for real estate in Brentwood, another resident says:

“Great variety of housing options. Big houses, little houses. New houses, old houses. NO abandoned properties — they get scooped up and a big new house is built. Cost is reasonable and cheaper than other nearby communities.”

Find out more about Brentwood.

7. Clayton, Missouri

“Although certain aspects of Clayton stand for a reevaluation (the cost of living, diversity), it was an incredible neighborhood to grow up in. As a child, I was completely safe and had access to some of the best public schools in the nation. And today, as a young adult, I find the nightlife to be exciting and open to anyone.”

Find out more about Clayton.

6. Buffalo Grove, Illinois

“BG is a nice little city among the Chicago suburbs. The school system is good and prepares you for college or other opportunities. Every neighborhood has a park in which children can play. There are plenty of chain and local restaurants at which to eat and chain stores at which to shop. There are good libraries and entertainment venues nearby. A train to downtown Chicago runs through the town.”

Another Buffalo Grover says, “Nice area, but people here seem to have an entitlement issue.”

And be warned, another resident says. “It’s cold 8 months of the year. I hate snow.”

Find out more about Buffalo Grove.

5. Okemos, Michigan

“Okemos has a small town feel but is close enough to East Lansing and Lansing to be accessible to entertainment, restaurants, and shopping to feel like a major city.”

“The only downfall is people can be snobby sometimes,” another Okemos citizen says.

Find out more about Okemos.

4. Richmond Heights, Missouri

“I have lived in other areas of Saint Louis and can say this is my favorite so far. I love the area. People are always around walking their dogs or exercising. I feel very safe here. Also, it is convenient to the Galleria Mall, grocery stores, and other shopping. You can easily hop on the highway to go anywhere else you need. I have been very impressed with living in this area.”

Find out more about Richmond Heights.

3. Clarendon Hills, Illinois

“Clarendon Hills helps people slow down, truly feel a sense of community where people know their neighbors and people genuinely care about each other. Some may call it Mayberry, we call it Clarendon Hills.”

But it can be a bit too slow, at least for one resident. “If you are looking for nightlife, this is not the place for you.”

Find out more about Clarendon Hills.

2. Chesterbrook, Pennsylvania

“We have all four seasons. We will have about three snow days a year. The summers are great and hot, fall and spring are mild. Natural disasters rarely occur and the community is great about fixing roads and power lines. Essential items for wardrobes are jeans, boots, shorts, shirts, bikinis, and sweaters.”

However, there’s at least one place in Chesterbrook where not everyone is happy:

“A lot of the people in my development are old and cranky. We have a ‘block captain’ who is extremely rude and fines us for the most ridiculous things … Many of the neighbors will report you to the block captain as well. There are a few people who are very friendly and neighborly.”

Find out more about Chesterbrook.

1. Carmel, Indiana

“I am convinced, I was blessed to be born and raised in a city like Carmel. The more than quaint suburb in Indiana has been the best place I could have ever grown up in. The city itself is so diverse with different people coming from all different walks of life. With a public high school attendance at over 5,000, students are at ease when finding friends with similar interests. There’s even a joke some say about Carmel– the ‘Carmel Bubble’– as the city is sheltered from many hardships of the hardships faced by so many in this country. I honestly believe life in Carmel would be the gold standard when it comes to the efficiency of a city.”

Not everyone feels quite as blessed, though: “My family and I lived in Carmel for four years and we found the city to be exceptionally boring and ‘vanilla’.”

Find out more about Carmel.

See more of the best places to live in the country

Author: Ali Trachta

Ali is the Content Writer/Editor at Niche.

What’s it Really Like to Live in One of the Best Places in America?