The suburb of 23,700 was praised for its parks, lakes, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum that calls Chanhassen home, and its very low 6.1% unemployment rate.
Apparently Chanhassen never got the memo that it's supposed to be in a recession. Unemployment here was more than three percentage points below the national average in May, thanks to a broad jobs base in the Twin Cities area.
Property taxes have dropped every year in the past five, even as median home prices have crept up. And the town still boasts a perfect triple-A bond rating.
But Chanhassen has much more going for it than terrific numbers. "There's a genuine small-town feel," says Sarah Pinamonti, 41, who moved here with her husband, Rick, 43, in 2002. They've never regretted it. "We rarely have to leave town to have fun," says Rick.
No wonder: The town has 11 lakes, 34 parks, and the 1,047-acre Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Come winter there's a carnival, ice-fishing contests on Lake Ann, and skating and hockey everywhere (town officials flood grassy areas to create outdoor rinks). Wimps beware: Those activities require braving temps that often dip into single digits.
Other Minnesota towns on the list: Chaska at 20th, Lino Lakes at 36th and Owatonna at 97th.
Louisville, CO, a suburb of Denver, took home the No. 1 ranking.