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26. Louisville, Colo.
Population: 19,402
Pros: Access to educated workforce, Rocky Mountain playground
Cons: Little racial diversity, dearth of downtown office space

Six miles from Boulder and 25 miles from Denver, Louisville blends the best of small-town living with easy access to two thriving markets and the nearby Denver International Airport.

Louisville entrepreneurs can tap into a highly educated workforce: the Boulder Valley has one of the highest rates of per-capita graduate and doctoral degrees in the nation. High-tech firms such as Sun Microsystems and Medtronic have campuses here. The town teems with young families enjoying friendly neighborhoods, excellent schools and a thriving historic downtown. Nearly in the shadow of the Rocky Mountain foothills, Louisville boasts nearly 300 days a year of sunshine and proximity to world-class hiking and skiing. -Shara Rutberg

Interactive map: Louisville, Colo.
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NEXT: 27. Bellingham, Wash.

Last updated July 02 2008: 11:16 AM ET
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