When Americans choose an area to live in, most of us yearn for the same things: fewer crowds; less concrete and hassles; more serenity, nature, and neighbors we can count on. That's why Family Circle singled out these small cities, where living costs, commute times, and crime rates are low, and the educational and cultural scenes are way above average. In all of them, moms and dads are stepping up to help their children thrive; they volunteer in schools, coach sports teams, and keep bike trails clean. As the people in these top towns will tell you, life is good. And if your community isn't among the winners, read on to learn ways you can make it warmer and friendlier.