Where to Rent: The Best Places to Live

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If you're looking for a good place to live, then you can't go wrong by picking a city on U.S. News' list of Best Places to Live for 2009.

And if you're looking where to rent, then there should be plenty of inexpensive apartments in these spots. U.S. News looked for affordable communities that have strong economies and plenty to do.

Even if you're not planning on moving, it can be fun to dream of moving to one of these Top 10 Cities:

Albuquerque, New Mexico
is a beautiful city with a sunny climate and endless landscape. The area boasts 14 golf courses that are open year-round and is a great destination for biking. The city of 511,000 has employers such as Kirtland Air Force Base, Sandia National Laboratories and Intel Corp.

Auburn, Alabamais a college town with just less than 50,000 people, although the population swells on football Saturdays when fans arrive to watch the Auburn University Tigers play. Residents love the hiking trails in the 696-acre Chewacia State Park.

Austin, Texas is another college town with a strong music focus highlighted by nearly 200 performance venues. The state capital has 716,000 residents and hosts the South by Southwest festival, a 1,800-band party of music, filmmaking and performances. Dell and IBM employ thousands of residents.

Boise, Idaho is a great place to explore the outdoors. There are some 2,700 acres at the nearby parks to enjoy the high-desert climate. The private employers in this city of 200,000 include Micron Technology and Hewlett-Packard.

Durham, North Carolina is called the "City of Medicine" because of its expansive health care industry. It's also a thriving technology hub and home to Duke University.

La Crosse, Wisconsin a city of 50,000, is a great start to visiting the natural wonders of the upper Mississippi River area. Winters are cold, but nearby football games - and great local beer - keeps residents warm.

Loveland, Colorado, is just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park, and has 27 public parks and nearly 16 miles of recreation trails for its 56,000 residents.

San Luis Obispo, California is north of L.A. and filled with excellent nearby beaches and vineyards. California Polytechnic State University is in town, giving it an intellectual energy.

St. Augustine, Florida considers itself the oldest city in the United States, having been founded in 1565. This city of 13,000 has colonial charm and plenty of history. It also has excellent fishing, kayaking and boating for outdoor sports enthusiasts.

Upper St. Clair, Pa., has fewer than 20,000 residents and has such an outstanding school system that 98 percent of its high school graduates go on to college. Popular activities include fishing, hiking, cycling, golf and bocce. Pittsburgh is about 10 miles away, giving residents of this small town a chance to explore the big city at a moment's notice.

Aaron Crowe has lived in at least five rental properties in the San Francisco Bay Area. Reach him at www.AaronCrowe.net
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