Best place to raise kids in North Carolina: Rural Hall
Nearby city: Winston-Salem
Median family income: $61,537
Although roots of the town date back to a trapper’s cabin in the mid-18th century, the town was incorporated in 1974. This suburb of Winston-Salem has a few dozen businesses and a post office along the main commercial avenue of Broad Street. Kids are a vital part of events in town: At the 2010 Christmas Tree Lighting on Dec. 2, the Rural Hall Elementary School Chorus sang Christmas carols. Santa and his elves buoyed the Christmas spirit.