8. Weston, Fla.

161409_BPL_Top50_08Weston
John William Seberg—Courtesy of the Town of Weston

why we love it
A gated community where your neighbors are gators.

Population 69,081
Median Home Price $365,000
Property Tax $7,672
Unemployment rate 4.5%
Commute time 30 minutes

Just about any location worth its spot on the Best Places list can brag about great green space, and Weston—with a dozen sports fields, nearly 50 miles of lined bike lanes, and the 100-acre Weston Regional Park—is no exception. But Weston residents enjoy the kind of open space you won’t find in many places in the country. About 25 miles to the east is the Atlantic Ocean. And on Weston’s western flank is the Everglades, a resource that’s so iconic, there’s a likeness of it right on Weston’s town crest.

Geography is key to much of Weston’s success. Located within easy commuting distance of Miami and Fort Lauderdale, this planned community also offers abundant employment options, at companies including Cleveland Clinic Florida and Ultimate Software. Weston is at the top of our list for economic opportunity, a category driven largely by purchasing power. That means residents have to sink less of their household income (the median is $99,690 a year) to buy a home than residents in most places around the country. It’s also family-friendly: All the public schools have earned an A average from Florida’s Department of Education. “Weston,” says Pam Fishman, a stay-at-home mom and New York City transplant, “offers a truly wonderful quality of life.”

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