9) Des Moines, Iowa
As the capital of Iowa, Des Moines is an affordable and comfortable place to raise a family. Real estate here is very reasonable. The average cost of a new home is $120,000. The median household income is below the national average at $49,000. However, when you consider the overall low cost of living index, this is a very realistic income. Des Moines has a lively downtown area complimented by cozy suburbs. There are a host of public, private, and post-secondary schools to choose from. The city of around 215,000 has all the amenities one could want. From art galleries, to golf courses, to farmers markets, to ski slopes, Des Moines is well suited to keep everyone happy. With over 600 miles of trails for hiking, biking, and running (or even snowshoeing or cross-country skiing in the winter), Des Moines has become an active, vibrant city.