Lower Merion, Pennsylvania

An integral part of the tony Main Line, Lower Merion has roots that extend to the 1600s, when it was settled by Welsh Quakers. The township has easy access to Philadelphia and all its culinary and cultural offerings, as well as riches of its own to explore. Among them are a botanical garden, the Arboretum of the Barnes Foundation, Stoneleigh Natural Lands, and a wealth of parkland and playgrounds.

Lower Merion is also close to several universities and colleges — including Bryn Mawr, Haverford and St. Joseph’s University — which employ many area residents.

Serving fewer than 9,000 students, the township’s public schools come in at 18 in Niche.com’s ranking of the country’s best districts. Family friendly, it’s a system that’s growing; plans are afoot to build a third middle school.

An active civic association sponsors year-round concerts, walking tours and other public events, as well as receptions to welcome newcomers to town. — Sara Ivry

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