8. Cedar Rapids, IA
Cedar Rapids, IA
Median home price: $106,560
Median family income: $66,227

Each summer, the Sweet Corn Festival celebrates the lifeblood of this city. Home to several corn processing facilities, Cedar Rapids' economy is thriving thanks to high demand for ethanol and other corn-based products.

Nothing goes better with an ear of sweet corn than a cold beer. And since many of the residents here are of German descent, there are plenty of opportunities to down a cold one. In the fall, the town celebrates its German roots during Oktoberfest when some of the locals break out the lederhosen and tap the kegs.

Residents don't have to wait for annual festivals to come around for entertainment, Cedar Rapids is the leading arts center in Eastern Iowa with the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, the National Czech & Slovak Museum, several theater groups and the Cedar Rapids Symphony, which holds about 120 performances a year. 

See complete data and interactive map for Cedar Rapids

Last updated August 15 2011: 2:48 PM ET
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These terrific small towns -- even now -- boast great job opportunities, top-notch schools, safe streets, economic strength, and more.

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