Family friendly cities
Columbus, Georgia, consistently ranks on various lists of best places to live. The city lies southwest of Atlanta and has a population of about 186,984, according to a 2008 census. As the third largest city in the state, Columbus is home to Columbus Metropolitan Airport, Columbus State University as well as Columbus Technical College in addition to several private colleges, 65 public schools and nine private and/or religion-based schools. Columbus has a hometown feel, but encompasses the necessities of a larger city.
Aside from just being an amazing vacation destination, San Diego is also a great place to call home and raise a family. Located along the Pacific Ocean, San Diego is the second biggest city in California with a population of about 1.2 million. In 2006 Money Magazine ranked San Diego the fifth best place to live. Aside from a myriad of kid-friendly tourist destinations such as the beach (hello!), San Diego Zoo, Sea World and more, San Diego is also home to some beautiful educational museums.
The capital of Texas, Austin is known for its unique feel and one-of-a-kind appeal. As the fourth largest city in Texas, Austin has a population of 757,688, according to a 2008 US census estimate. In 2009 Austin was ranked No. 3 on Money Magazine's list of Best Places to Live. If you are looking to raise little Einsteins, there is no shortage of higher educational opportunities in Texas, including University of Texas at Austin. In 2008 Austin was actually ranked as the 16th most literate city by the researchers at Central Connecticut State University.
The capital of Arizona, Phoenix is home to about 1.5 people, making it the fifth largest city in the US. Its weather makes Phoenix a desirable place to raise a family – your kids can play outside nearly year-round! (Though the summer months may have you running for cover, there are plenty of indoor play places to keep the kids busy). The Phoenix metro area is also home to Arizona State University.
With a population of 116,909, Springfield Illinois is home to a bevy of historical tourist attractions related to Abraham Lincoln, who called the city home. The city is home to at least eight high schools, both public and private, two junior colleges – Springfield College and Lincoln Land Community College – as well as University of Illinois Springfield, and Robert Morris University. the city boasts more than 30 parks – ideal for kids of all ages!
If you want to raise your kids in a mecca of culture, New York City is the place to do it! With more than 8.3 million residents, as of a 2008 estimation, NYC is a hub of education, entertainment, culture, art, theatre, commerce and fashion. It encompasses more than 28,000 acres of parks and 14 miles of public beaches, as well as wildlife sanctuaries, zoos, gardens, and more. One thing's for sure – the kids will never get bored in New York City!
With a population of 1.7 million, according to a 2009 census estimate, Raleigh-Durham (otherwise known as The Research Triangle of Raleigh-Durham-Cary) is home to Research Triangle Park, many high-tech companies, enterprises and educational facilities, including Duke University, North Carolina State University and Shaw University. In 2006, Money Magazine ranked Raleigh No. 4 on its list of 10 Best Big Cities.
About 40 miles south of Cleveland, Akron is the fifth largest city in the state with an approximate population of 217,074. Known as Tire City due to its large number of rubber factories, including Goodyear Tire. The Lock 3 Park in downtown Akron is the hub for festivals throughout the year including concerts, soap box derbies, animal events – and in the winter it is transformed into an outdoor skating rink. What's not to love?
Another city in Georgia graces our top 10 list due to its family friendly environment. With a population of 534,218, Augusta is the second largest city in the state and home to the Riverwalk Augusta, Brookfield Park and the Augusta Canal. Colleges and universities include Augusta State University, Augusta Technical College, Medical College of Georgia, and Paine College.
Known for its abundance of friendly residence, beautiful, balmy days and myriad of palm trees, Jacksonville rounds out our top 10 list. Located along the Atlantic Ocean, Jacksonville is the largest city in the state – the metro area is home to 1.3 million. The city operates the largest urban park system in the nation – it boasts more than 337 locations and a whopping 80,000 acres. It is also home to Kids Kampus, a 10-acre city park and education playground dedicated to kids.