31. Damascus, Md.

Drew Angerer—The Washington Post/Getty Images
Population 15,723
Median Income $106,104
Job Growth 8.1%
Median Home Price $310,290
Property Tax $3,331

This Washington, D.C. burb was, until 2013, a “dry” town—one of the last liquor-free burgs in Maryland. It is still on the quiet side, perhaps because more than one-third of the population is over 50. But Damascus knows how to make some noise when it wants to. This May, residents launched their first Damascus Art Festival, which featured local musicians, crafters, and artists.

Like many towns in Montgomery County, the schools in Damascus are top-notch, with SAT and AP test scores consistently above the national average. The schools have recently put extra emphasis on technology, installing wireless networks in every building and providing students with tech equipment, primarily Chromebook laptops.—Daniel Bortz

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