Safety, charm, history and an abundance of amenities are just a few of the many things that make a neighborhood great. It can be hard to deem which neighborhoods are “the best” in the state — and this list just scratches the surface. The following small towns, villages and neighborhoods are what we consider to be some of the absolute best places to live in Ohio, based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, SafeWise Report, Business Insider, FBI crime statistics, Great Schools scores and other sources.
1. Broadview Heights
Ranked the safest city in Ohio by SafeWise Report, this city is the ideal place to raise a family in Ohio. In addition to the lowest crime in the state, top notch schools and economic growth activity are what make this city stand out from the rest. This city is also geographically placed well for those wanting to explore well known American cities such as Pittsburgh, Detroit and Buffalo. (Bonus: Residents here are minutes away from Lake Erie.)
Being the home to the "Field of Corn" and the Dublin Irish Festival is enough to make this city stand out. The city's strong economy and rich golf culture is what really makes this city a nice place to live though. This large central Ohio suburb is just 22 minutes outside downtown Columbus. The median household income is $114,183 and its Great Schools score is 8.67. Hayden Falls and the Muirfield Village Golf Club are popular attractions here.
Known for its Victorian-era homes decorated in the colorful Painted Ladies style, Cincinnati's oldest neighborhood is located in the Ohio River Valley. Local restaurants, shops, parks and bike trails are just a few of the many amenities and entertainment options to check out here. (Pictured is the Stephen Decker Rowhouse.)
4. Munroe Falls
Business Insider highlighted this small city of 5,012 residents for its "bedroom community," lack of violent crime and 22-minute commute from Akron. It also earned a Great Schools score of 8 (out of 10.)
5. Ohio City
What was once called "The City of Ohio" is now one of Cleveland's oldest neighborhoods, located west of the Cuyahoga River. Officially annexed into the city of Cleveland in 1854, this thriving neighborhood is now home to approximately 9,000 residents and more than 250 businesses.
Mostly known for its Dennison Railroad Depot Museum, this lovely village of approximately 2,655 residents in Tuscarawas County is home to rich history, charm and friendly people.
A suburb of Akron, Hudson's successful "Community First" program helped to cultivate a sense of purpose and unity for the town. The 1990s program worked to tackle the issue of drug abuse, encourage high school graduation and foster a healthy mindset for youth to make better choices. Today, it's one of the safest places to live in Ohio, and its focus is on education and opportunities for youth.
8. Old West End
Featuring 25 city blocks of late Victorian-era homes, this Toledo area neighborhood is home to one of the largest collections of late Victorian houses left in the country. Old West End also features Colonial, Georgian, Italian Renaissance, Queen Ann, Dutch Colonial, French Second Empire and Arts and Crafts homes, according to the neighborhood's website.
With an average commute time to Cincinnati of 22 minutes and a median household income of $95,406, this city was highlighted by Business Insider for its "big-city amenities and small-town atmosphere." It also earned a Great Schools score of 9.
Home to the private liberal arts college, Oberlin College (the first American higher education institution to admit female and black students,) this progressive little town has a close-knit community, a rich history and a lively arts and cultural scene. In 2012, it was voted one of the state’s "Best Hometowns" by Ohio Magazine.
11. Upper Arlington
With a low crime rate and a low unemployment rate, this Columbus suburb is a safe, prosperous place to live. It earned a Great Schools score of 10 and the median household income is $95,588.
At the tip of the scenic Marblehead Peninsula, the charming town of Marblehead features the iconic Marblehead Lighthouse, beautiful views of Lake Erie and Sandusky Bay and boating culture. The lighthouse is the Great Lakes' oldest continuously operating lighthouse and is open for tours during the summer.
13. Grand Rapids
This charming village is located along the southern bank of the Maumee River, just southwest of Toledo. This restored canal town is truly one of a kind, with a population of about 986. (You can even ride on a canal boat pulled by mules down the restored Miami & Erie Canal.)
Where the crime rates are low and the school performance is high. Education is priority here, where the Aurora City School District was designated an Excellent District by the State Board of Education, and every school in the city has earned the Achievement of Excellence award, bestowed by the Ohio Partnership for Excellence.
15. Harmar Village
Officially settled as part of Marietta in 1788, this charming village has seen its fair share of history, including the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1803 and active abolitionists during the Civil War. Today, it is home to more than 200 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places, local shops, museums and restaurants. The village is connected to downtown Marietta via the Harmar Railroad Bridge, between the Muskingum River and scenic hillside.
J. Stephen Conn/Flickr
With a name like Loveland, how could it not be charming? Home to the historic Loveland Castle, this lovely little town covers just five square miles in the greater Cincinnati area. Loveland also straddles the Little Miami River, and biking and canoeing are popular activities for locals here.
17. Yellow Springs
Home to Antioch College and a colorful downtown, this artsy little town is a safe haven for those looking to indulge in creativity and the quirkiness of small town living. Knit graffiti is common here, and popular amenities include the twice-a-year Yellow Springs Street Fair, the Glen Helen Nature Reserve and the nearby John Bryan State Park.
With original streets from the 1830s, this Lake County city of 6,866 residents is a truly pleasant place to call home. Business Insider gave it a Great Schools score of 9, and highlighted this small city for its average 25-minute commute to the Cleveland-Elyria metro area and its median household income of $85,938. (As an added bonus, it's home to the beautiful Holden Arboretum and The Judith and Maynard H. Murch Canopy Walk.)
Century-old buildings, unique architecture, colorful murals and antique shops abound in this historic neighborhood in Portsmouth with German roots. The origin of the district's name is unknown, but the murals in the area depict Portsmouth's development from prehistoric times to the late 20th-century.
With a median household income of $87,232 and an average commute time of 21 minutes to Cincinnati, this small city is a convenient, affordable place to live. Additionally, Madeira has a Great Schools score of 10 and Forbes added it to its "best high-performing public school districts with affordable housing" last year.
21. German Village
Perfect for a quaint day trip getaway, this lovely little neighborhood in Columbus will truly charm you with its book shop, (featuring more than 30 rooms of books) authentic German food and a stroll through Schiller Park. This historic neighborhood prides itself in preserving its German heritage and architecture.