Chapel Hill in top ten of America's Best Small Cities

August 20, 2012 2:20:43 PM PDT
Two cities in the Triangle have been named to the list of America's Best Small Cities, as ranked by Money Magazine.

Chapel Hill broke the top ten, coming in at number ten. Cary is also in the top 100 at 56. Chapel Hill and Cary were the only North Carolina towns to make the cut.

What makes Chapel Hill so special? Money Magazine noted roads that wind through tunnels of arching trees and the fact that it's part of the Research Triangle, boasting the highest number of PhD's per capita in the U.S. Being the home of the oldest public university in the country also helped its ranking.

One of the drawbacks according to Money Magazine, is that part of the town can feel like it is overrun by students. But Chapel Hill mayor Mark Kleinschmidt sees that as a positive.

"Wow a town of 57,000 people, 25,000 of which are students and that's the complaint. I tell you our student body in Chapel Hill is a critical part of the Chapel Hill experience. They bring life, interest and dynamism to the community that sets us apart from the rest of the country and from the rest of North Carolina," Kleinschmidt said.

Even though Cary didn't rank as high as it has in years past, it still boasts its small town charm despite tremendous growth.

"We just love it we wouldn't move for anything," said Cary resident Michelle McClenney. "We feel safe, that's another important thing. We can get out and ride our bike and go get yogurt even as it's turning dark."

The town of Carmel, Ind. topped Money Magazine's list. McKinney, Tex. is second, followed by Eden Prairie, Minn., Newton, Mass., and Redmond, Wash.

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