Must be nice to age so gracefully. Rocky River has all the charm of an older suburb — beautiful pre-war houses, oaks too big to wrap your arms around — but none of the problems. River built an $8.4 million addition to its rec center, adding resort-like elements such as a zero-depth-entry pool, lazy river and spa and water vortex. But there’s enough tax dollars to go around for everyone in this upper-crust town. No need to haul the trash out at night; scooters zip around and pick it up behind your house. The Senior Center is the only one in the area to serve a weekday deli lunch. Schools, of course, are top notch, ranking sixth this year. The town’s built out, so there’s only pocket building (two new homes last year), but housing values continue to rise — in the last 10 years the median home sale price has increased by 31.6 percent. Technically part of the inner ring (it’s only 10 minutes from downtown), River continues to prove that old is beautiful, as long as there’s enough money to keep it that way.
population: 19,377 square miles: 4.79 school district: Rocky River City Schools percentage parkland: 18.5% distance from public square: 9 miles west
The civic center won the 2007 Outstanding Facility Award from the Ohio Parks and Recreation Association.