Best Place to Raise Kids in Alaska: Valdez
Nearest city: Anchorage
Median family income: $94,484
Avg. school math score: 76.73 (State avg.: 65.86)
Avg. school reading score: 88.7 (State avg.: 73.8)
The port city of Valdez offers an abundance of outdoor recreation, especially for lovers of winter activities and wildlife. The southern terminus of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline, Valdez relies on oil, tourism, commercial fishing, shipping, transportation, and government for economic activity, according to the city website. The 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred about 25 miles from the city, devastating beaches and marine life in the area, though the oil never reached Valdez.