Have a little one on the way? Consider Lakewood. Last year, Bloomberg BusinessWeek named it one of the 52 best places to raise children. The combo of walkable streets, safety and new schools earned it the ranking. "You don't have to go very far to where your activities are if you're a kid," says Mayor Mike Summers.
Most kids are comfortable texting and Skyping. And so are Orange Schools' iPad carrying administrators, says eRepublic Center for Digital Education, which named the school district one of the top 10 technology school districts two years in a row. "We've reduced our use of paper and gasoline," says Kurt Bernardo, Orange Schools' technology coordinator.
Despite the economy, Mentor remains seventh in retail sales and ninth in manufacturing in Ohio. CNN Money Magazine says the city's proximity to the lake, downtown area and natural spaces make it No. 37 on its list of 100 best small cities. "The award is based on a combination of quality of life, job opportunities, recreation opportunities, the strength of the school system," says city manager Kenneth Filipiak.