Balancing family life with a career can be a huge challenge, especially when it comes to finding the perfect place to live. You want to live somewhere that offers great schools, recreation, and a low crime rate, but you also need ample opportunities to find good work. If you’re looking for a great city to raise a family, this list of 5 cities includes some of the best cities that offer a great work-life balance.

5 Great US Cities to Raise a Family

Tampa, FL
When people think of Florida they tend to think about retirement or vacations, but Tampa, FL is a great city to raise your family. The population in 2014 was 358,699, which isn’t too big for a 100% urban area. With the average single family home costing around $130,000, you’ll get a lot of house for your money (giving you plenty of room to raise a big family). Tampa is on the beach, has great weather (rarely gets over 100 degrees!), and has an abundance of parks for outdoor recreation. Tampa’s k-12 schools are fantastic and there are also several higher education colleges and universities in Tampa.

Sacramento, CA
If beaches are the first thing that you think of when you think of California, think again! Sacramento is located inland and situated within driving distance of some fantastic recreation! In the mood for snow? Head north to Lake Tahoe in under 2 hours. Rather visit the “big” city? Visit San Francisco in less than 3 hours. In the mood for wine tasting? Head over to Napa for the day. Want to go on a roller coaster? Head down to Vallejo for the day to visit 6 Flags Magic Mountain. Plus, with excellent trails for hiking, skiing, running, biking, and rock climbing just a day trip away, Sacramento is a great area to raise your active family. As California State’s capitol, Sacramento is a thriving area for working professionals with tons of opportunity for professionals.

Charleston, SC
If you’re a history buff, Charleston, SC is a great place to raise a family. Charleston is the oldest city in South Carolina, so there is a TON of historical adventures you can enjoy. From plantations, historic forts (like Fort Sumter), and decommissioned shipyards, Charleston is full of family friendly places to visit. The cost of living in Charleston a bit higher than the national average, but with that cost comes great schools and low crime rates.

Charlotte, NC
Charlotte, NC is the largest city in the state with a population of 809,958 during the 2014 census. Charlotte, NC is the third fastest growing city in the US, which means plenty of job opportunities. If you are looking for excellent school systems for your children, whether it’s elementary, secondary or higher education, Charlotte, NC has you covered. Its public school won the NAEP Awards back in 2009 and has received top honors for its 4th grade math program and second place for its 8th grade math program.

Dallas, TX
Dallas, TX is the third largest city in the state of Texas with a 2015 estimated population of 1,300,092 people. The city is a part of the Dallas/Fort Worth/Arlington metropolitan area and is the largest economic center in the state, which means numerous job opportunities for families. This area has had continual job growth over the recent years and is now ranked the 4th largest employment area in the US. As a large city, there are numerous places of interest located within the city limits, such as the Dallas Zoo and the Dallas World Aquarium.