School district: Wallingford-Swarthmore
Average SAT scores: 559 math / 575 reading / 558 writing
Crime rate: 1.15 violent crimes per 1,000; 13.83 nonviolent per 1,000
Median home price: $405,000
Maybe it’s the choo-choo train in downtown Swarthmore’s stroller-packed Tot Lot. Or the kid-friendly yoga classes at the Creative Living Room rec center. Or our personal fave, the local Santa Claus hot line, which dispatches St. Nick himself for in-home Christmas Eve visits. Something about this college town, packed with shady streets of (affordable!) colonials and Victorians, incites even the most jaded to want to hop on a tricycle and pedal back to childhood. But while kids in Swarthmore reap the benefits of award-winning public schools (the elementary school has a U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon) and bike rides to the revered Co-Op (whose produce is literally award-winning) and library (which has the largest circulation rate per capita in the county), grown-ups don’t have it bad, either. The town’s august namesake college opens up its concerts, lectures and 300-acre arboretum to the public, meaning kids aren’t the only ones with stimulating extracurriculars—good news, since the whole town is dry. While it can all get a bit crunchy, and taxes are steep (those blue ribbons don’t come cheap), that’s more than offset by easy train access into Philly and the quaintness of a soap-opera town without all of those desperate housewives.
To read about Solebury, click here.