Top 100 cities

3 Dallas-Fort Worth neighbors take home honors as America's best places to live

3 DFW neighbors take home honors as America's best places to live

Plano park, hot air balloon
Nature lovers can enjoy more than 4,000 acres of parks in Plano. Facebook/Plano Parks
Downtown McKinney
McKinney still has a small-town feel. Photo courtesy of City of McKinney
Eisemann Center
The Eisemann Center for Performing Arts is a major draw for Richardson. Photo courtesy of Eisemann Center
Plano park, hot air balloon
Downtown McKinney
Eisemann Center

A slew of corporations call Plano home, including Capital One Finance, Toyota Motor North America, Frito-Lay, FedEx Office, and Pizza Hut. They’ve been attracted by many of the same attributes that make Plano one of the most livable cities in the U.S.

A new ranking from Livability, whose research generates lists of the best places to live, work, and visit, puts Plano at No. 17 among the country’s 100 most livable small and midsize cities. It’s the highest-ranked city in Texas.

Joining Plano in the top 100 are McKinney (No. 60) and Richardson (No. 66). They’re the only Texas cities appearing in the top 100.

To come up with the top 100, Livability examined more than 1,000 small to midsize cities based on factors such as safety, affordability, economic stability, outdoor recreation, accessibility, and community engagement. Madison, Wisconsin, took the top spot this year.

Plano scores especially well in four Livability categories: remote readiness, civics, demographics, and economy.

Livability praises Plano for offering “everything you need in one city.”

“It’s a shopping destination all on its own with two huge upscale shopping centers, The Shops at Legacy and Legacy West, along with a downtown full of local boutiques,” Livability says. “Art lovers can spend days exploring the Downtown Plano Arts District with its community of performing arts events, galleries, boutiques, and concert halls. Nature lovers can enjoy more than 4,000 acres of parks, while foodies can choose from more than a thousand dining options.”

Livability notes that McKinney is consistently rated as one of the country’s most livable cities.

“With a charming, tree-lined historic downtown, acres of vibrant vineyards, acclaimed farm-to-table restaurants, and a plethora of lush parks, it is easy to see why. Even with the recent population increase, McKinney is able to keep its small-town feel,” Livability says.

Richardson, according to Livability, is home to “a culturally diverse population that provides a rich landscape of restaurants, activities and shops. There are also plenty of entertainment options, including playing one of 80 retro arcade games at the Free Play Arcade, sipping beer from Four Bullets Brewery, or seeing a show at the Eisemann Center for Performing Arts.”

Livability’s top 100 for 2020 featured five cities in Texas: Richardson (No. 41), McKinney (No. 44), Denton (No. 55), College Station (No. 58), and Pflugerville (No. 70).

Livability says it tweaks the ranking factors each year, meaning a city may show up on the list one year after being left out the previous year or vice versa.