Now that summer has unofficially begun, it’s time to get moving! Perhaps you’re planning a long-needed vacation. Or perhaps you're moving for college – and you're looking for a great college town. Or maybe you've had enough of city life and want to find a quiet town on the coast. Or maybe you just graduated college and you are looking for a fast-growing city with a healthy job market. Perhaps you are looking for the ideal place to raise your kids. No matter what your reasons, you find yourself ready to get moving – to a new place and a new apartment. Here are some of the top destinations to consider:
Portsmouth, New Hampshire: For those searching for a quaint, New England coastal town, Portsmouth has it all: history, legend, great food, and the rocky coastline New England is famous for. Portsmouth was settled in 1630 by English colonists, who named the area Strawberry Bank. It was here that the first Thanksgiving took place, and it was through Portsmouth that Paul Revere shouted his famous warning in 1774. A few of the historic locations include the Ladd-Gilman House, a National Historic Landmark built in 1721; the USS Albacore; the 1664 Jackson House; the John Paul Jones House, built in 1758; the Moffatt-Ladd House and Gardens, built in 1763; the Warner House, which was built in 1716; and the Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse, established in 1771. Portsmouth is a tourism hotspot, but it is also a great place to live – watching the boats that dot the harbor, admiring the historic architecture, and enjoying the quieter coastal lifestyle. Portsmouth is located about an hour north of Boston – ideal for weekend trips into the city.
Pelham, Alabama: Only about 20 minutes south of Birmingham, this quiet suburban city is home to the state's largest state park: Oak Mountain State Park. If you want to raise kids in a city where camping, horseback riding, hiking, fishing, boating, and picnicking are the norm, the Pelham may be ideal for you. Pelham is one of Alabama's fastest-growing cities and Bloomberg Businessweek named it the best place to raise kids in Alabama. Pelham is a relatively young city, incorporated in 1964. It is located in the rolling foothills near Oak Mountain. In addition to the state park, Pelham offers an ice arena, golf courses, the Oak Mountain Amphitheater, the Alabama State Fair, and the historical village, American Village.
Bethesda, Maryland: If you want to move to the best city for jobs, that honor goes to
Bethesda, Maryland – Forbes Magazine recently named Bethesda as number one on its "10 Best Cities for Finding Employment" list. The unemployment rate in Bethesda is a low 5.2 percent – which is well below the national rate of 7.7 percent. It has a highly educated population, the housing market is healthy, and Bethesda is a beautiful, well-planned city – all of which makes it a highly desirable location. Bethesda is famous for great restaurants (more than 250 downtown eateries) and it is also home to shops, pubs, theaters, and museums. Bethesda features a popular farmer's market, and the annual festival for foodies, Taste of Bethesda.
The American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) recently named the country's best college towns. For large cities, Boston, Massachusetts ranked number one. For mid-sized cities, San Jose, California topped the list. The ranking for small cities gave Ann Arbor, Michigan top honors. And the number one college town was Ithaca, New York. The cities and towns were ranked based on the number of college students per 1,000 population, student diversity, degree attainment, art and leisure, earning potential, accessibility, and the unemployment rate, along with several other factors.
Flagstaff, Arizona was US News and World Report's top city for retirement in 2012. Even if you aren't looking for a place to retire, Flagstaff has great weather and is near some of the country's most treasured sites: the Grand Canyon, Coconino National Forest, and the Volcano National Monument. And in addition to being a great place for retirees, it is a college town, home to Northern Arizona University. The Flagstaff Historic District offers great architecture as well as great shopping and restaurants, and the famed route 66 is still great for an afternoon drive. And the best part of all? The sun shines on Flagstaff 78 percent of the year.