Cheshire, Connecticut

If getting out in nature is your thing, this small Connecticut town, located halfway between New Haven and Hartford, has plenty to offer. Go camping at Sleeping Giant State Park, take in the sights at Roaring Brook Falls, or pick your own fruit at Drazen Orchards. You can even get up close and personal with mini-horses and pygmy goats at Cheshire Hollow Farms.

The town’s annual Strawberry Festival is always a huge hit (especially the strawberry shortcake), and the Barker Character, Comic and Cartoon Museum is a must-see, too. The one-of-a-kind facility features vintage toys, comic books and more.

At around $294,000, homes prices in Cheshire are only slightly over the national median, and the community is extremely safe. The town’s overall crime rate is just 65% of the U.S. average — one of the lowest rates of all cities we considered. That might be because the town’s home to not one, but two of Connecticut’s prisons — the state’s Department of Correction is Cheshire’s No. 3 employer. — Aly J. Yale

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