6. Sherwood, Ore.
|AT A GLANCE|
|Median Home Price||$304,113|
Tucked between suburban Portland and Oregon’s acclaimed wine country, Sherwood has fantastic schools, affordable homes, and strong job opportunities. With major employers like Nike and Intel in the area, the job market is projected to grow 13% in the next five years.
But what makes tiny Sherwood a standout among towns its size is its robust arts scene. In May the city unveiled the 15,000-square-foot Sherwood Center for the Arts, which houses a gallery, classes, and performances. The school district, meanwhile, has bucked the national trend of slashing funding for visual- and performing-arts programs.
“There are so many opportunities for people of any age group to get involved,” says Kristine Mulkey, who along with her husband, Greg, and daughters Jessica, 15, and Sophia, 12, participates in the annual Robin Hood Festival. The 62-year-old summer event draws thousands for a weekend of music and medieval-themed acts. -- Sarah Max