Flagstaff, Ariz.

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Flagstaff has laid-back charm, from its historic downtown crammed with eclectic architecture and vintage neon to its access to great outdoor activities. Entertainment is plentiful, with street musicians playing bluegrass on each corner. The city is highly accessible, with a flourishing bike culture. Locals are fit, fairly well educated, and a very diverse bunch. Northern Arizona University (NAU) gives Flagstaff its college-town flavor, while its railroad history remains central to the town's identity. The city ranks extremely high in bars and restaurants, and Flagstaffers have a healthy appreciation for craft beer, freshly roasted coffee beans, and an all-around good time. However, it also has one of the highest unemployment rates and rents among college town.

#3 Flagstaff, Ariz.

POPULATION: 138,039
STUDENTS: 24,832
RANKING DETAIL:
#14 COLLEGE EDUCATED
#1 DIVERSITY

Quality of life

#3 CITY ACCESS
#6 ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
#4 BARS AND RESTAURANTS

Economics

#18 YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT
#12 LABOR FORCE
#9 INNOVATION
#15 RENT

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