Renovated Union Station, built in 1894, is home to trendy restaurants and a top hotel
Efrain Padro/Alamy

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For some people there’s nothing more all-American than a small town. But there are plenty of folks—from millennials searching for that first job to boomers eager for big-city convenience—who want something different. That’s why this year, in addition to our list of top towns, Money crunched the numbers on urban centers with more than 300,000 residents—63 in all. As with our Best Places list, our city rankings put a premium on a robust job market, affordable housing, and ­factors such as accessibility to health care, culture, and open space. We also gave extra points to places with low crime and strong public schools and selected the top city in the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, and West. Now that the hard work is done, all you have to do is pick a place and start packing.