Nearest big city:Washington, D.C.
Located right across the river from Washington, D.C., Arlington is both an extension of the nation’s capital — it’s home to the Pentagon, Reagan National Airport and Arlington National Cemetery — and a thriving independent community.
Arlington is particularly well-known for its green space, including 24 acres at Bon Air Park, where more than 120 types of roses grow among playgrounds and picnic tables. Residents take full advantage of the outdoors to exercise: Arlington has a reputation as the fittest city in the U.S.
Amazon is in the process of building its second headquarters (known as HQ2) in Arlington. As it wraps up the first phase of construction, the company is making plans to redevelop the PenPlace block to feature multiple 22-story offices as well as “The Helix,” a tower with meeting spaces and other amenities shaped like — you guessed it — a massive helix.
Economic prosperity is the norm here: Arlington has one of the highest median household incomes on our list of Best Places to Live, coming in at just under $128,500. The chamber of commerce also touts its diversity, saying that a quarter of residents were born abroad and a third speak a foreign language at home.
Arlington is dotted with cool recreational spots, as well. Check out Wilson Hardware, which, despite its name, is actually a restaurant/bar with a killer rooftop and great cocktails. — Julia Glum
[money-bpl-stats population="231,028" income="$128,496" home-price="$677,588" unemployment="2.1%" location="Arlington, Virginia"]