DC ranks 8th in '125 Best Places to Live in the USA' by US News and World Report

- Washington, D.C. has been named No. 8 of the "125 Best Places to Live in the USA," according to a list from U.S. News and World Report.

The list cites the amenities, culture and nightlife within reach in the DC-area:

"It's serviced by an extensive public transit system, and is home to plenty of restaurants, entertainment venues, a variety of museums, public parks and other cultural sites. Meanwhile, each neighborhood in the District and its surrounding towns has its own atmosphere. Residents gather for block parties, mingle at dog parks and converse at coffee shops, creating an ambiance similar to that of a much smaller community."

Topping the list at No. 1 is Austin, Texas, followed by two cities in Colorado -- Colorado Springs and Denver. Music and mountains appear to be preferred over monuments based on those picks.

Still, D.C. is the highest-rated east coast city on the list, topping Raleigh-Durham (13), Boston (25), Atlanta (47), New York (96), and Philadelphia (98).

Des Moines, Iowa was a unique choice at No. 4, but the list says: "Des Moines is a great place to live and raise a family. Elegant colonial and Tudor-style homes built in the early 1900s hide in quiet neighborhoods minutes from buzzy downtown, where lofts and condos draw the millennial crowd. Many families with kids flock to the suburbs where new housing developments continually pop up."

Fayetteville, AR (5), Portland, OR (6), and Huntsville, AL (7) all take high-ranking spots as well.

Nearby Baltimore takes No. 83, with many DC-area commuters calling it home, for the culture, small-town feel, lower cost of living (especially when compared to D.C.), and job opportunities.

"Baltimore's elegant architecture, friendly people and lively pockets of nightlife and music make Charm City a pleasant and fun place to call home. The metro area also boasts a rapidly growing restaurant scene that goes beyond the city's famous crab cakes, pit beef and Berger cookies."

Richmond, Virginia comes in at No. 54, home of Virginia Commonwealth University, plus "world-class museums, a vibrant food scene and a wide array of entertainment options from concerts and theater performances to family-friendly festivals."

Richmond is "the only region in America with whitewater rapids running through its downtown district." As the capital of Virginia, there are a wide variety of housing options, both within the city and outer suburbs. 

In ranking the cities, U.S. News and World Report says they "analyzed the 125 most populous metro areas to find the best places to live. To make the top of the list, a place had to have good value, be a desirable place to live, have a strong job market and a high quality of life."

To check out the full list check out U.S. News and World Report.

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