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Best places to live on the East Coast

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Best places to live on the East Coast

A pink house in a downtown neighborhood in Cary, North Carolina.

What is your idea of the perfect place to live? A burgeoning city with an energetic young professional scene? What about a quaint town with access to gorgeous, secluded stretches of beach or wooded hiking trails? Or do you look for nationally-recognized public schools and affluent, well-educated neighbors?

When it comes to living on the East Coast, there are hundreds of beautiful places that can fit the bill. Whether charming New England towns steeped in Ivy League academics or the inviting shores of Florida’s Atlantic side, the East Coast is chock full of diverse towns and cities that are truly outstanding.

Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live on the East Coast using 2022 data from Niche, which uses its own formula to rank locations. Cities, towns, and suburbs in the following states listed in alphabetical order were considered: Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, and Virginia.

Some of the places on this list will be familiar to you. Take, for example, a historic New Hampshire town that thrives on its collegiate history and traditions. Or a wealthy suburb outside of our nation’s capital with luxury shopping and historic mansions. Others, however, you likely have never heard of before, such as one rural community in Georgia whose population jumped 13% between 2015 and 2020. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to start a family, or you’re an energetic, young single wanting to launch your career and accelerate your social life—there is a town or city on this list for you.

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#100. Williamstown, Massachusetts

Farmhouse style white and red homes on a small paved road.

Population: 7,522

Like many other lovely places in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, Williamstown has a charming town center and offers beautiful vistas of the Berkshires around it. However, what makes Williamstown unique is its cultural offerings: the Williams College Museum of Art, the Clark Museum of Art, and the summertime Williamstown Theatre Festival, which won the Outstanding Regional Theatre Tony Award in 2002. In addition to being a culture lover’s dream, Williamstown also has an academic atmosphere because of Williams College.

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#99. Chapel Hill, North Carolina

An aerial view of a clocktower and a stadium surrounded by trees.

Population: 61,912

Home to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill is a vibrant university town that is packed with culture and community events. Restaurants, shopping, performing arts, and outdoor recreation make this one of the top college towns in the country.

Thomson200 // Wikimedia Commons

#98. Milton, Georgia

A red brick City Hall building.

Population: 39,252

The exurban community of Milton offers residents a high-quality public school system. Its community grew by 13% between 2015 and 2020 largely due to the short commute to Atlanta, which gives residents access to a number of jobs. Milton is also one of the safest cities in Georgia.

Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

#97. Franklin Farm, Virginia

A brick and green Franklin Farm sign.

Population: 18,845

Franklin Farm, Virginia, located in Fairfax County, is a highly sought-after place to live on the East Coast. The affluent, well-educated town attracts residents to its top-tier public schools and proximity to abundant federal employment and contractor jobs in Washington D.C. Thirty-eight percent of residents have a master’s degree or higher.

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#96. Radnor Township, Pennsylvania

A giant easter egg hunt in a stadium.

Population: 31,833

This Philadelphia suburb has the best of both worlds for residents who want to enjoy both the suburbs and the city. Many residents are homeowners, there are many parks perfect for outdoor activities, and coffee shops for meeting friends and colleagues. Plus, Radnor Township has a vibrant restaurant scene with Greek, French, Japanese, and seafood options.

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#95. King of Prussia, Pennsylvania

A woman rollerblades next to a man bicycling near homes.

Population: 22,028

Located just over 20 miles north of the city of Philadelphia, King of Prussia is a history lover’s haven. One of its most popular attractions is the Revolutionary War site Valley Forge National Park, where residents and tourists alike can explore history-packed trails and stand where George Washington’s troops camped. The median income of a King of Prussia household is around $84,865, making it one of Philadelphia’s most affluent suburbs.

Brian Yarvin // Shutterstock

#94. Collegeville, Pennsylvania

A nature trail surrounded by trees.

Population: 5,105

Collegeville, another Philadelphia suburb, is popular among homeowners and offers its residents a suburban lifestyle while also providing some density. Because they are highly rated, the public schools in this Pennsylvania suburb make it a great choice for families—and its many parks make it ideal for outdoor family outings.

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#93. Berkeley Heights Township, New Jersey

A tan mailbox shaped like a barn.

Population: 13,321

Only 28 miles away from bustling New York City, Berkeley Heights Township, New Jersey, is a small, safe town that offers easy getaways to the Big Apple—and it’s perfect for commuters who want to enjoy its small-town charm when they’ve come back home from work. This town is also a short drive from many farms, vineyards, mountains, and hiking trails, as well as the Jersey Shore and Philadelphia. Berkeley Heights Township also offers its own vibrant culture full of fairs, concerts, and other community events.

Smallbones // Wikimedia Commons

#92. Birmingham Township, Pennsylvania

A historic two story stone house.

Population: 4,204

Birmingham Township is a suburb of Philadelphia where the majority of residents are homeowners and where the public schools are highly-rated, making this a great option for parents with children. Out of the townships in Chester County, Pennsylvania, this is the oldest and steeped in history. In 1684, Birmingham Township was a refuge for Quakers escaping persecution in their native England.

Thomson200 // Wikimedia Commons

#91. Berkeley Lake, Georgia

Berkeley Lake City Hall.

Population: 2,324

Berkeley Lake is a small, affluent town just north of Atlanta. Much of the workforce is in professional, scientific, and technical services. A good portion of residents also works in healthcare and retail. The highest-paying industries are finance and insurance, as well as real estate.

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#90. Westfield, New Jersey

A stone-lined waterway leading up to large white historic homes.

Population: 29,690

The family-friendly town of Westfield is known for its historic downtown, highly-rated school system, and quick commute to New York City. This historic New Jersey community was settled in the 18th century. Today Westfield has more than 400 stores, restaurants, and services for its residents and visitors.

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#89. Roslyn, New York

Large stone art on the lawn of a brick art museum.

Population: 2,888

Roslyn, described as “picturesque” by many, is a New York City suburb that offers many cafes and restaurants, beautiful Gerry Pond Park, and historic districts as well as historic homes that people can tour through The Landmark Society. Most residents are homeowners and the public schools are highly rated, making this idyllic, charming suburb a great choice for families.

Daniel Case // Wikimedia Commons

#88. Short Hills, New Jersey

Tudor style shops on a small street.

Population: 13,700

Only half an hour away from New York City, Short Hills is an ideal option for commuters working in New York who want a bit more space than they would get in the city. Its public schools have an impressive reputation, with many graduates from its high school getting into highly-ranked universities and colleges—making this New Jersey suburb perfect for families. There are also many parks, coffee shops, and restaurants available for locals to enjoy.

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#87. Chappaqua, New York

Snow-covered homes and trees.

Population: 2,628

Home to its most recent famous residents President Bill Clinton and his wife former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Chappaqua, New York, is a hamlet that is only 35 miles north of Manhattan. New York City is easily accessible via a 45-minute train ride or less than an hour’s drive away. Even though Chappaqua is small, it has tons to offer, including state forests and conservation land, a walkable downtown, leisure activities such as tennis and golf, and the Chappaqua Performing Arts Center’s live concerts.

Smallbones // Wikimedia Commons

#86. East Marlborough Township, Pennsylvania

A stone home in the snow.

Population: 7,454

This Philadelphia suburb feels both rural and suburban and has many parks, making East Marlborough Township a great option for lovers of the outdoors. Most residents are homeowners, and the public schools in the area are highly rated, so it’s a great choice for Pennsylvania families.

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#85. Piermont, New York

Buildings and homes on the water.

Population: 2,541

Piermont, New York, is a tiny village that doesn’t even take up one square mile. With a low number of residents, the town has lots to offer despite its small size. Residents can shop at the businesses on Piermont Avenue, take a swim at the local club pool, and enjoy a variety of activities at the neighboring Tallman Mountain State Park, such as ice skating, tennis, cross-country skiing, and hiking.

Piermont is also close to New York City, making it a great option for commuters and culture lovers, and its highly-rated public schools also make it a good choice for families.

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#84. South Riding, Virginia

An aerial view of homes.

Population: 32,526

A suburb of Washington D.C., South Riding is an affluent community with a cost of living that is 55% higher than the U.S. average. South Riding enjoys a low crime rate, 68% lower than the U.S. average. The Virginia town’s school system is excellent, with students testing 76% higher than the U.S. average.

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#83. Great Neck Estates, New York

Yellow and green mailboxes in the Fall.

Population: 2,865

Located in Nassau County just outside New York City, Great Neck Estates has easy access to the job opportunities and culture of Manhattan, as well as a top-tier public school system. In the small town, crime is significantly low, which makes it the second-best place in America to raise a family, according to Niche.

Trxr4kds (talk) // Wikimedia Commons

#82. Bronxville, New York

Stores on a small street.

Population: 6,450

Bronxville, New York, is a New York City suburb where most residents are homeowners, but with a lively downtown that includes coffee shops, restaurants, and bars. It’s a highly-walkable place where residents can get to know each other, but is only 15 miles away from Manhattan, making it a great choice for residents who want a vibrant village feel while still being able to commute to everything New York City offers. The schools are also highly rated, so it’s a good option for families.


#81. Country Knolls, New York

A rocking chair on a front porch with the sun in the background.

Population: 5,306

This New York suburb, located in Saratoga County, offers a rural setting to its residents. Most residents of Country Knolls are homeowners, and the public schools are highly rated, making this a great place to raise a family.

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#80. Springdale, New Jersey

A white mailbox on a small road in the Fall.

Population: 14,111

Springdale is a safe and affluent community in northern New Jersey. It has a very low crime rate which is 65% below the U.S. average. It also has a wonderful school system. Ninety-four percent of students graduate from high school.

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#79. Hartsdale, New York

Main street shopping center.

Population: 3,205

Hartsdale is only a 35- to 45-minute rail commute away from New York City’s Grand Central train station. It’s also a suburb where most residents are homeowners. It has highly-rated public schools, making it a good option for families. Residents can also enjoy a variety of outdoor activities including swimming, walking trails, and tennis. There are also many restaurant options and a farmers market.

krtz07 // Shutterstock

#78. Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey

New Jersey train transit station.

Population: 4,096

Only a train ride away from New York City on the NJ Transit rail, Ho-Ho-Kus provides its residents with a rural setting where most are homeowners. Residents can visit the historical Gothic Revival House, spend an afternoon at neighboring Demarest Farms, and enjoy a variety of restaurants. With highly-rated public schools, this is a great choice for families.

AITFFan1 // Wikimedia Commons

#77. Plainview, New York

A residential street.

Population: 26,267

Plainview offers a suburban atmosphere where most residents are homeowners, making it a good option for those looking for a suburban lifestyle with added privacy not far from New York City. However, there are many parks, restaurants, and coffee shops available for residents to enjoy. Public schools in the area are highly rated.

Artazum // Shutterstock

#76. Broadlands, Virginia

A front portch with a wooden door.

Population: 14,146

The master-planned community of Broadlands sits perched over Stream Valley Park. Its residents enjoy picnic areas, a boardwalk, playgrounds, and more. It has been named a Certified Wildlife Habitat Community and offers hiking and biking trails, swimming pools, and plenty of open space.

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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#75. Marshall Township, Pennsylvania

A farm market and homes on a hill.

Population: 9,319

Marshall Township is a family-friendly Pittsburgh suburb with highly-rated public schools, making it a great choice for a place to raise children. For culture lovers, the township is only 20 minutes away from Pittsburgh by car. Locally, Marshall Township has much to offer history buffs, including the Harmony Shortline, oil wells, Native American trails, and more.

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#74. Glen Rock, New Jersey

A 4th of July parade with a man in stilts dressed as uncle Sam.

Population: 11,747

This New York suburb, located in New Jersey’s Bergen County just over 20 miles away from Midtown Manhattan, is highly walkable. Most residents in Glen Rock are homeowners. There are many parks, restaurants, and coffee shops, and the public schools are highly-rated.

TwoScarsUp // Wikimedia Commons

#73. Travilah, Maryland

A large stone home on a hill.

Population: 11,239

Travilah, Maryland, is a Washington D.C. suburb that has a more rural-feeling atmosphere and many parks. Most of the residents are homeowners, and the public schools are highly-rated. The town offers residents many nearby attractions including the Smithsonian National Zoo, one of the oldest zoos in the country.

luisa2506 // Shutterstock

#72. Cape Elizabeth, Maine

A red roof building and lighthouse on the water.

Population: 9,307

Just outside of Portland, Maine, is one of the most affluent towns in the country. Cape Elizabeth is at the doorstep of all that Portland has to offer, but it feels like another world away. It has stunning, historic mansions, a beautiful coastal setting along Casco Bay, and plenty of parks and recreation. It also is the home to the Portland Head Light, one of the most iconic lighthouses in America.

LINYperson615 // Wikimedia Commons

#71. Herricks, New York

A large brick building with white columns.

Population: 4,032

Herricks is a New York City suburb that feels rural and where most residents are homeowners. A large number of young professionals live in this suburb and the schools are highly-rated, making it a great choice for young New York families.

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#70. Devon, Pennsylvania

A historic brick row house.

Population: 1,830

The small town of Devon, Pennsylvania, is an affluent community with a high quality of life. The largest industries in Devon are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific & technical services. The highest-paying industries are administrative, finance, and real estate.

FotosForTheFuture // Shutterstock

#69. Monmouth Junction, New Jersey

An aerial view of rows of homes.

Population: 8,911

This teacup-sized town in New Jersey offers residents an affluent style. Real estate prices here are among the highest in the nation, and nearly 100% of residents are employed in white-collar jobs. Many residents work in management roles, IT, engineering, and applied mathematics. Nearby Monmouth University and other institutions offer higher education and teaching careers.

User:KLOTZPLATE JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ, M.D. // Wikimedia Commons

#68. Haworth, New Jersey

A large historic colonial home with solar panels on the roof.

Population: 3,400

Located only 20 miles away from the center of Manhattan, Haworth, New Jersey, offers locals a rural way of life while also providing them with a charming downtown, country clubs, forest trails, the Oradell Reservoir, and convenient stores, such as Target in neighboring Closter. Most residents are homeowners and the public schools are highly rated, making this town a great choice for families.

Lincolnh // Wikimedia Commons

#67. Decatur, Georgia

An art statue of people flying centered in a town square surrounded by blue pillars.

Population: 24,814

Decatur, located just six miles from Atlanta, is a vibrant and energetic suburb. It has more than 200 restaurants, boutiques, and galleries. Local events include everything from concerts and book fairs to wine festivals and beach parties. Outdoor lovers can enjoy the nearby 3,200 acres of Stone Mountain Park.

OmbraEstudi // Shutterstock

#66. Exton, Pennsylvania

A train station.

Population: 6,079

Exton, Pennsylvania, is a Philadelphia suburb that is densely populated and, as the main shopping district of Chester County, offers many fine dining opportunities. There are also many parks in Exton, a large number of young professionals and families live there, and the public schools are highly-rated, so it’s a great choice for young families.

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#65. Newton, Massachusetts

A large shopping center surrounded by trees and homes.

Population: 88,322

One of Boston’s wealthiest suburbs, Newton is considered to be the third-ranked suburb in Massachusetts, according to Niche. The low crime rate makes it an attractive destination for families, with both violent and property crimes well below the national median rate. The community is highly educated: Forty-eight percent of adult residents in Newton have a master’s degree or higher.

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#64. North Decatur, Georgia

A row of black mailboxes.

Population: 15,833

North Decatur is a wealthy suburban community just north of Atlanta. With a crime rate lower than the U.S. average, it’s an attractive place to live for families. For outdoor activities, the community has Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve, a 28-acre wildlife sanctuary.

Andre Carrotflower // Wikimedia Commons

#63. Eggertsville, New York

A large brick museum.

Population: 14,806

Eggertsville, New York, is a Buffalo suburb located in Erie County that has a suburban, sparsely-populated atmosphere, with many parks, restaurants, and coffee shops available to residents. With highly-rated public schools, Eggertsville is a great choice for young families.

Blondhairblueeyed // Wikimedia Commons

#62. Upper Montclair, New Jersey

A curved main street lined with buildings.

Population: 11,439

As one of the most affluent suburbs of New York City, Upper Montclair is a highly desirable place to live in New Jersey. It’s one of the safest places in the nation, with a crime rate 76% lower than the U.S. average. Upper Montclair is also home to excellent public schools: Students score 32% higher than the U.S. average. Plus, the town is close to the high-paying jobs and cosmopolitan attractions of Manhattan.


Dan Hanscom // Shutterstock

#61. West Hartford, Connecticut

A tall brick curved apartment building.

Population: 63,023

West Hartford is an affluent, historic, and naturally beautiful city in Connecticut. In fact, Niche named it the #1 best place to live in the state. The suburban community is known for its restaurants, parks, and social scene, as well as its highly-rated school system. Much of the community is highly educated, as well, with 30% of residents holding a bachelor’s degree and 34% holding a master’s degree or higher.

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#60. Ardsley, New York

Two cyclists riding down a wooded trail.

Population: 4,533

Ardsley an affluent New York City suburb, offers a suburban yet dense setting that has many parks, restaurants, and coffee shops. Families represent the majority of its households, and this coupled with its highly-rated public schools makes Ardsley a great choice for families.

Brian Goodman // Shutterstock

#59. Manhattan, New York

Colorful brownstone homes.

Population: 1,629,153

Manhattan, in the heart of New York City, is a crossroads of the world that’s filled with entertainment, educational, and working opportunities, with top attractions including Broadway shows and people-watching at Central Park. The area is bustling with coffee shops, restaurants, and bars—but with some of the highest cost of living and the priciest real estate in the country.

Dough4872 // Wikimedia Commons

#58. Blue Bell, Pennsylvania

A blue sign for Blue Bell, Pennsylvania.

Population: 6,245

Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, a suburb that is just under 20 miles away from Philadelphia, has many attractions, including a variety of restaurants, parks such as Prophecy Creek and Wentz Run, and historical sites and museums including the Wissahickon Valley Historical Society. Many homeowners live in Blue Bell, and with its highly-rated public schools, it’s a great choice for families.

Nicole Glass Photography // Shutterstock

#57. Chevy Chase, Maryland

An aerial view of homes.

Population: 9,801

Chevy Chase is one of the most affluent suburbs of Washington D.C., and is known for its luxury shopping, historic homes, and wealthy residents. According to Neighborhood Scout, nearly 100% of the population is employed in white-collar jobs. The majority work in federal and corporate executive management, law practice, and creative lines of work.

Felix Mizioznikov // Shutterstock

#56. Jenkintown, Pennsylvania

An aerial view of homes and trees.

Population: 4,418

Jenkintown is a Philadelphia suburb that offers many parks, restaurants, coffee shops, and bars. Given that the majority of residents are homeowners and that its public schools are highly-rated, Jenkintown can be a great choice for Pennsylvania families.

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Nicole Glass Photography // Shutterstock

#55. Ellicott City, Maryland

Aerial view of historic stone churches, homes and buildings.

Population: 73,272

A suburb of Baltimore, Ellicott City is a historic and artistic community in Maryland’s Howard County. Niche has ranked it the top place to live in the Baltimore area. It is home to Banneker Historical Park, which is a 142-acre park dedicated to Benjamin Banneker, a leading African American scientist from the 18th century.

Mark Michalovic // Wikimedia Commons

#54. Lemont, Pennsylvania

Historic two story homes.

Population: 2,411

Lemont, Pennsylvania, offers a rural atmosphere where the majority of residents are homeowners, making it ideal for residents who are looking for a bit more space—though there are many nearby parks and preserves, including the 62-acre Millbrook Marsh Nature Center, restaurants, and coffee shops in town. Because there are a large number of young professionals in Lemont and the public schools are highly rated, this is a great option for young families.


#53. Fox Chapel, Pennsylvania

A blooming garden with a white picket fence and a home in the background.

Population: 5,104

Fox Chapel, Pennsylvania, a suburb that is only 20 minutes away from the Pittsburgh Metro Area, provides its residents with a rural atmosphere not too far from the city. Fox Chapel itself offers many coffee shops, restaurants, parks, and bars. This suburb has highly-rated schools.

Christopher Edwin Nuzzaco // Shutterstock

#52. Cochituate, Massachusetts

Population: 6,730

Poised on the banks of the eponymous lake, Cochituate residents are immersed in nature. Did we mention there’s a state park of the same name, as well? Residents of Cochituate, a suburb of Boston, enjoy paddling on the lake and hiking the trails within the park, but also the close proximity to the world-renowned higher education institutions of cosmopolitan Boston.

Surfsupusa // Wikimedia Commons

#51. Upper Uwchlan Township, Pennsylvania

Colorful Fall trees behind a stone farmhouse and horses in a pasture.

Population: 11,677

Upper Uwchlan Township, Pennsylvania, is a Philadelphia suburb that offers residents access to many parks and restaurants. There are many families in this suburb, as well as highly-rated public schools. Marsh Creek State Park offers residents 1,705 acres of summertime swimming, hiking, and mountain biking recreation.

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#50. Lexington, Massachusetts

A statue of a soldier on top of a pile of boulders and a blooming garden.

Population: 33,304

Steeped in New England’s rich history, Lexington is peppered with historic sites marking it as the first battlefield of the American Revolution, from the Minuteman Statue to the Battle Green National Historic Landmark. But it also offers galleries, museums, walking paths, parks, and golf courses.

Smallbones // Wikimedia Commons

#49. East Whiteland Township, Pennsylvania

Snow on a stone farmhouse.

Population: 12,328

East Whiteland Township is a small town northwest of Philadelphia. It is one of the most affluent communities in the country, where residents are highly educated. It has a low crime rate, as well, which makes it attractive to families. The town offers a variety of ethnic restaurants and parks.

Smallbones // Wikimedia Commons

#48. Nether Providence Township, Pennsylvania

A white church on a small street.

Population: 13,744

Nether Providence Township, a small community that is only 15 miles away from Philadelphia, offers a variety of athletic, cultural, and social activities. Nether Providence Township also has highly-rated public schools and many parks, making this a great place to raise a family. The 30-acre Taylor Arboretum at Widener University is a local nature attraction for families, couples, and bird watchers.

Nicole Glass Photography // Shutterstock

#47. Bethesda, Maryland

An urban street lined with newer apartment buildings.

Population: 65,092

Bethesda is a wealthy and vibrant suburb of Washington D.C. This affluent community is known for its arts and entertainment district, ethnically diverse restaurants, shopping, and public art projects. Niche has ranked it for its public schools, diversity, and highly educated residents, 56% of whom have a master’s degree or higher.

Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

#46. Arlington, Virginia

Downtown skyline.

Population: 236,434

Arlington is an affluent and historically wealthy suburb just outside Washington D.C., that includes the sprawling Pentagon City apartments, office park, and shopping complexes. The town sits on the Potomac River and is a stronghold of tradition, including changing of the guard ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery. It also thrives on the modern and eclectic lifestyles of its residents, from its food trucks and breweries to 1,100 acres of parks.

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Felipe Mahecha // Shutterstock

#45. Princeton Meadows, New Jersey

A black mailbox on a residential street.

Population: 14,261

Princeton Meadows is a small town with much to offer its residents. It has a highly educated population, with 35% holding a bachelor’s degree and 40% holding a master’s degree or higher. The population is young, as well, with the majority of residents between 25 and 44 years old.

Kenneth C. Zirkel // Wikimedia Commons

#44. Cayuga Heights, New York

An ornate historic town hall.

Population: 3,642

Upstate New York’s Cayuga Heights is a quaint community just outside of Ithaca, along the banks of Cayuga Lake. It’s at the doorstep of some of the most beautiful parts of the state of New York, from the Finger Lakes themselves to the Finger Lakes National Forest and Buttermilk Falls State Park.

caniaphotography // Shutterstock

#43. Hanover, New Hampshire

A red brick building with white trim decorated for Christmas.

Population: 11,525

Hanover, New Hampshire, is one of the most picturesque towns in New England. It’s home to Dartmouth College, and much of the town revolves around university life and athletics. Located on the Connecticut River where amateur and collegiate rowing teams train, the 50-square-mile town offers abundant year-round outdoor activities.

Guillermo Olaizola // Shutterstock

#42. Potomac, Maryland

A man in a blue jacket rides a bicycle along a tree-lined river.

Population: 46,256

Perched on the banks of the Potomac River, with Great Falls National Park nearby, Potomac is a beautiful Maryland suburb with convenient access to Washington D.C. Potomac residents are highly educated. Niche reports that 51% have a master’s degree or higher. The town features excellent public schools, as well.


#41. Franklin Park, Pennsylvania

A colonial front door with green trim and a wreath.

Population: 14,701

Located in Pittsburgh’s North Hills, Franklin Park offers scenic views of the hills and a rural atmosphere while being easily connected to Pittsburgh because of its proximity to the 79 and 279 highways. In addition to close access to the city of Pittsburgh, Franklin Park has many parks, restaurants, and coffee shops.


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RodClementPhotography // Shutterstock

#40. Johns Creek, Georgia

An aerial view of the city.

Population: 84,551

Just 25 miles from the bustle of Atlanta, Johns Creek is a beautiful suburb tucked in the foothills of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s an exclusive enclave of Fortune 500 workers, with a hospital, a symphony orchestra, and a packed calendar of events and festivals.

The Autrey Mill Nature Preserve is a good spot for young couples to enjoy a romantic sunset stroll with a date.

Jon Bilous // Shutterstock

#39. Cambridge, Massachusetts

People walking and canoeing down a river in the city.

Population: 117,822

Just across the Charles River from Boston, Cambridge is one of the most affluent and highly educated cities in America. It’s home to Harvard University, the Harvard Art Museums, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Almost half of its residents have a master’s degree or higher, and the majority of its residents are young professionals.

AITFFan1 // Wikimedia Commons

#38. East Hills, New York

A large outdoor swimming pool full of people.

Population: 7,189

East Hills, a New York City suburb that is just over 20 miles away from the center of Manhattan and a 50-minute train ride away from Penn Station, offers a rural atmosphere to residents, providing them with the best of both worlds. Given that most residents are homeowners and the public schools are highly rated, this is a great option for New York families.

shark girl // Shutterstock

#37. Alpharetta, Georgia

An aerial view of homes in Fall.

Population: 66,566

Alpharetta is fortunate enough to hold real estate between the North Georgia Mountains and Atlanta. As such, it is a great location for young professionals, as well as families and retirees. From breweries and shopping to golf, live music, and numerous parks and gardens, Alpharetta is a cultural city that appeals to multiple generations.

Lucius Kwok // Wikimedia Commons

#36. Berwyn, Pennsylvania

A brick framing shop attached to a train station.

Population: 3,621

Berwyn is a Philadelphia suburb not far from Valley Forge National Historical Park. Its proximity to Philadelphia makes it a good choice for young professionals and families. According to Neighborhood Scout, more than 94% of residents work in white-collar jobs, particularly in management, business, and education.

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Artazum // Shutterstock

#35. Stone Ridge, Virginia

A front porch with two adirondack chairs.

Population: 15,034

Stone Ridge is an 800-acre planned community in northern Virginia. The manicured development offers its residents a long list of amenities, from a clubhouse and fitness center to an amphitheater and three pools. It’s also less than 40 miles from Washington D.C., and just 14 miles from Dulles International Airport.

Brandon Avram // Shutterstock

#34. Short Pump, Virginia

An aerial view of buildings surrounded by parking lots.

Population: 27,385

Short Pump is a wealthy community outside the state capital of Richmond, known for its restaurants, coffee shops, and green space. The town is an attractive destination for families and young professionals, who are drawn to the highly-rated public schools and low crime rates.

FotosForTheFuture // Shutterstock

#33. Princeton, New Jersey

An aerial view of historic buildings.

Population: 31,161

Princeton is one of the oldest university towns in the country. The city of 30,000 residents features leafy neighborhoods and residential communities not far from both New York City and Philadelphia. Dining, shopping, arts and culture, and the outdoors are major draws for its residents, from its many parks and waterways to the McCarter Theatre Center.

Zatsugaku // Wikimedia Commons

#32. Innsbrook, Virginia

A statue and a water feature near a hotel.

Population: 9,081

Innsbrook is one of the largest mixed-use residential and business parks on the East Coast. It appeals to young professionals and families, offering acres of green space, trails, lakes, and different types of housing, from luxury apartments to condos and more.


#31. Park Forest Village, Pennsylvania

A gray and white home with a white picket fence and a pink blooming tree in front.

Population: 9,492

Park Forest Village offers an atmosphere that’s both urban and suburban to its residents. Given the proximity to Penn State University and the highly-rated public schools in Park Forest Village, this is a great area for young families.

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Nicole Glass Photography // Shutterstock

#30. North Bethesda, Maryland

A snowy street lined with businesses.

Population: 49,719

North Bethesda is a wealthy suburb of Washington D.C. It’s a very small bedroom community that is just under nine square miles with easy access to the D.C. area’s job, dining, and cultural opportunities. Many residents work at the nearby Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

BublikHaus // Shutterstock

#29. South Kensington, Maryland

A home with an American flag blowing in front.

Population: 8,494

South Kensington is a small city located in Montgomery County. It is a suburb of Washington D.C, surrounded by other affluent Maryland communities. South Kensington’s crime rate is 66% lower than the U.S. average. The public school system is top-notch, as well. Students score 23% higher than the national average.

Cbaile19 // Wikimedia Commons

#28. Aspinwall, Pennsylvania

A historic brick home with ornate details.

Population: 2,687

Aspinwall, a Pittsburgh suburb, offers its residents a small-town experience right on the Allegheny River, while also being conveniently close to Pittsburgh. Aspinwall itself offers a variety of bars, restaurants, and boutiques, and nearby Waterworks Mall means that residents also have access to larger retailers like Walmart. There are many young professionals and families in this suburb, and the public schools are highly rated, making this a great choice for young families.

KAD Photo // Shutterstock

#27. Cary, North Carolina

A large water fountain in front of a brick building with white columns.

Population: 169,177

Cary is a city just outside of Raleigh. It’s an energetic community packed with restaurants, shopping, entertainment, and culture. Among its top draws for residents is the sprawling Bond Park. Crime rates are low, and 29% of residents have a master’s degree or higher.

Alexisrael // Wikimedia Commons

#26. Ridgewood, New Jersey

A historic gray stone corner building on a street lined with businesses.

Population: 25,110

Ridgewood is a big town with an affluent population. According to Neighborhood Scout, 94% of residents hold white-collar jobs, from management and sales to business and finance. About 10% of the workforce works from home. More than 75% of the community has a college or an advanced degree.

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Ehblake // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Kensington, New York

A tall red stone library with a large glass window in the center.

Population: 1,276

The Brooklyn neighborhood of Kensington is one of the most diverse and beautiful parts of New York City. Not only is it on the southern corner of Prospect Park but it’s also at the doorstep to all the culture, dining, nightlife, and art the Big Apple has to offer.

Truejim // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Cascades, Virginia

A small street lined with businesses.

Population: 12,132

Cascades is a master-planned community spanning 2,500 acres and with 6,500 homes. The development sits overlooking the Potomac, which is a natural playground for residents who love kayaking or hiking along the river. It’s a mixture of young families, as well as empty-nesters and singles.

Robert Hale // Shutterstock

#23. East Williston, New York

A white house with black trim and an American flag in the front.

Population: 2,552

Located just a stone’s throw from New York City on Long Island, East Williston is a highly-rated community for families and young professionals. The town has an excellent public school system, bars, and restaurants, plus access to a plethora of outdoor activities. Its residents are highly educated, with 38% holding a master’s degree or higher.

Jerrye & Roy Klotz, MD // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Mountain Lakes, New Jersey

An old stone building with a green entrance.

Population: 4,249

Mountain Lakes is an affluent town in central New Jersey. With a crime rate 74% lower than the national average, it’s a great option for families. It has an excellent education system. Ninety-eight percent of students graduate high school and test 47% higher than the U.S. average.

Bruce MacQueen // Shutterstock

#21. Williamsville, New York

A wide terraced waterfall surrounded by Fall leaves.

Population: 5,194

This Buffalo suburb, located in Erie County, New York, is a stunning town that’s close to Niagara Falls and that has other beautiful nature sites, including the waterfalls in Glen Park. Williamsville offers residents an atmosphere that’s both dense and suburban, and the Main Street neighborhood has many attractions and stores residents can enjoy. With many residents being homeowners and young professionals, coupled with highly-rated public schools, Williamsville is ideal for young families.

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CeGe // Shutterstock

#20. Morrisville, North Carolina

A bridge over a waterway towards a park trail.

Population: 27,582

Another Raleigh-Durham suburb, Morrisville is a small, yet burgeoning, community that places an emphasis on education, community, and culture. It’s a diverse community that highlights its ethnic cuisine each year at the East Meets West Festival. It also is home to Lake Crabtree County Park, which has a 520-acre lake and plenty of trails for hiking and biking.


#19. Greenville, New York

Historic home and Fall trees.

Population: 9,155

Greenville is located in New York’s Hudson River Valley and provides residents with beautiful vistas of the nearby Catskill Mountains—while being just 30 minutes from the state capital of Albany, two hours from New York City, and three hours from Boston. The area nearby includes golf courses and ski resorts, making Greenville a great town for enjoying the outdoors.

DanTD // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Jericho, New York

Entrance sign for an Inn and pumpkin patch.

Population: 13,928

The small town of Jericho is a suburb of New York City on Long Island. The town draws a professional crowd. Ninety-four percent of residents work in white-collar jobs, primarily in management, sales, and health care. Nearby attractions include seal and whale watching cruises around Long Island and helicopter flying lessons.

John Phelan // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Wayland, Massachusetts

A beautiful tall white historic church.

Population: 13,823

The small town of Wayland is a suburb of Boston, surrounded by nature from the Marlborough-Sudbury State Forest to the Greenways Conservation Area. Residents love it not only for its proximity to Boston but its small-town New England charm. According to Niche, the crime rate is among the lowest in the nation, and 46% of its highly educated residents hold a master’s degree or higher.

GaplessHiding // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Syosset, New York

Main road and signs in town.

Population: 19,254

A suburb of New York City, Syosset is a beautiful suburban community on the north shore of Long Island, which offers kayaking, sailing, and other water attractions. Its area is five square miles and the town has a diverse population. There are 10 elementary, middle, and high schools to choose from in Syosset.

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Smallbones // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Narberth, Pennsylvania

A historic home.

Population: 4,304

Narberth, Pennsylvania, a Philadelphia suburb, offers residents an urban and suburban atmosphere while also providing access to the city via rail. Most residents are homeowners, with many young professionals. The public schools are highly rated, making Narberth a great choice for young families.

MJ Van Dyke // Shutterstock

#14. North Potomac, Maryland

An aerial view of a residential neighborhood.

Population: 24,146

North Potomac is located just 20 miles from Washington D.C. The town has a burgeoning job market and top-tier schools. Local real estate prices are high but lower than other communities in the area such as Rockville. Nearby nature attractions include the 6,300-acre Seneca Creek State Park and the 300-acre grounds of the Glenstone Museum of contemporary art.

Generic1139 // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Mount Lebanon Township, Pennsylvania

A main stree lined with businesses.

Population: 31,808

Mt. Lebanon Township is a highly-rated, community-centric development in Pennsylvania. It has a housing stock of more than 14,000 homes offering eclectic styles. The community has manicured lawns, nature trails, a golf course, a tennis center, and an ice rink. It’s a very safe community and residents value education. Thirty-four percent have a master’s degree or higher.

AITFFan1 // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Manhasset Hills, New York

A residential neighborhood lined with trees.

Population: 3,808

Only 35 minutes away from Manhattan via the Long Island Rail Road, Manhasset Hills offers its residents a rural atmosphere, with short trips to the cultural options available in New York City. Residents can play sports in Manhasset Valley Park, stroll through the Long Island Science Museum, and join in local activities such as tennis, boating, and sailing. Most residents are homeowners and public schools are highly rated, so Manhasset Hills is a great place for families.

DanielPenfield // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Brighton, New York

A red brick city building with a tall American flag in front.

Population: 36,163

A southern suburb of Rochester, Brighton offers an affordable cost of living for its residents. The cost of living is 15% lower than the rest of New York state but is 17% higher than the U.S. average. It’s a safe community, which makes it a big draw for families, and it has a highly-rated school system with well-rated higher education institutions in the area. Students score 22% higher than the U.S. average.

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Doug Kerr // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Boalsburg, Pennsylvania

Small businesses.

Population: 4,381

Boalsburg is a cultural and historic town outside of Pittsburgh. Not far from Penn State University, the community blends small-town living with educational and cultural opportunities, from museums and historic battlefields to breweries, shopping, skiing, and hiking.

Spiroview Inc // Shutterstock

#9. Swarthmore, Pennsylvania

A large historic gray stone home surrounded by blooming gardens.

Population: 6,339

The college town of Swarthmore is home to Swarthmore College, which is one of the focal points of the community. The small town has plenty of restaurants and coffee shops, which are humming with student life. Crime rates are much lower than the national median, according to Niche, and the population is highly educated. Nearly half of the residents have a master’s degree or higher.

EQRoy // Shutterstock

#8. Princeton Junction, New Jersey

A train station.

Population: 1,989

Princeton Junction is a pocket-sized, affluent town in southern New Jersey. Nearly 92% of the workforce holds a white-collar job, with a high percentage of people working in IT and mathematics. Eighty percent of the population has a bachelor’s degree or higher.

AITFFan1 // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Great Neck Gardens, New York

A wooded residential neighborhood.

Population: 1,213

Great Neck Gardens is another community in Nassau County that is highly ranked among places to live on the East Coast. It is a suburb of New York City and is considered to be one of the most expensive towns in the country. The safe town has a crime rate that falls 90% below U.S. averages.

Wangkun Jia // Shutterstock

#6. Brookline, Massachusetts

A red brick historic curved building.

Population: 59,223

Its short distance to Boston makes this affluent suburb one of the best places to live on the East Coast. Brookline has the culture, employment, and educational opportunities of Boston at its fingertips, with the New England charm of a suburban community. Its residents are highly educated, with 53% of residents holding a master’s degree or higher.

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D. Benjamin Miller // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Great Neck Plaza, New York

A road going through a small town with buildings on the side.

Population: 6,980

Back in 2016, The New York Times called Great Neck Plaza a “rich blend of many cultures.” It is a highly diverse and affluent community on Long Island, a stone’s throw from the job opportunities and culture of New York City. Today it is still known for its diversity, educated residents—28% hold a master’s degree or higher—and highly-rated public schools.

Monocletophat123 // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Ardmore, Pennsylvania

A historic green sign entering Ardmore, PA.

Population: 13,567

Not far from Philadelphia, Ardmore offers the small-town vibe backed by the big city’s opportunities and services. The residential and dynamic community centers around Suburban Square, one of the earliest shopping centers in the nation. There is also Ardmore Music Hall for cultural events, and residents flock to the daily farmers market.

Rusty Lofgren // Shutterstock

#3. Houserville, Pennsylvania

An old wooden covered bridge.

Population: 1,765

Houserville, Pennsylvania, is a suburb not far from Penn State University. It’s surrounded by nature, from the Black Moshannon State Park to the Rothrock State Forest. It’s a relatively affordable place to live, and crime is 81% lower than the national average.

Bruce C. Cooper // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Penn Wynne, Pennsylvania

A train station.

Population: 5,769

Penn Wynne is an exclusive suburb of Philadelphia. A short commute can put its residents within close proximity to the universities, cultural institutions, and job opportunities created by Philadelphia’s 1.57 million people. The small town is ranked highly for families by Niche for its stellar public schools. Its residents value education, as 46% have a master’s degree or higher and 31% have a bachelor’s degree.

Elena Elisseeva // Shutterstock

#1. Chesterbrook, Pennsylvania

A home with a yellow door and blooming flowers in front.

Population: 5,080

This Philadelphia suburb not only holds Niche’s #1 rank as the best place to live on the East Coast but also is top ranked in the entire country as well. Residents love the historic community for its proximity to the employment opportunities and culture of Philadelphia. It is also home to Valley Forge National Historical Park, as well as the Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens. According to Area Vibes, it has a very low crime rate—82% lower than the U.S. average. Its high school graduation rate is 99%, as well.

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