Runner-Up: Bozeman, Montana

Zia Soleil/Getty Images A pasture in Bozeman

Key Stats:

  • Population: 39,700
  • Over 50: 23%
  • Unemployment rate: 3.4%

Pros: A booming high-tech scene, including companies Bridger Photonics Technologies, manufacturer of laser sensors, and financial reporting software firm WebFilings makes Bozeman’s economy one of the fastest growing in the state. The city has a vibrant downtown that pairs historic hotels and theaters with more than 100 small businesses, most of which are independent and locally owned.

This being Montana, there’s also plenty to do outdoors. Bozeman has 75 miles of hiking trails, not to mention a range of parks, skiing, and ice-skating options.

Cons: The area has snowy winters that can be tough to escape; Bozeman does have an international airport, but daily departures are limited.

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