Back when Leland Stanford founded Stanford University in 1885, he never could have foreseen the present-day eminence of not only the university, but the town of Palo Alto, which he also established. Palo Alto is renowned across the globe as the hub to groundbreaking high-tech companies, ceaseless ingenuity (aka: very smart people), big, big money and—on the other side of the coin—breathtaking natural beauty. And now, thanks to Livability.com, it can also add #1 place to live in the country to that list.

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Palo Alto beat out countless other small to mid-sized cities to be awarded that coveted title, with Boulder, Colorado coming in second and nearby Berkley, California ranking third. So how are the rankings scored? It’s pretty straight forward; the “LivScore” for each contending city is made up of approximately 40 “data points” that were grouped into eight categories that include Amenities, Demographics, Economics, Education, Healthcare, Housing, Social & Civic Capital and Transportation & Infrastructure. From there, they thoroughly evaluate data on more than 1,700 cities using information from the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Walk Score, Great Schools and other sources, analyze their results against American priorities and bam!—you have your most livable city in the U.S.

As you look at the aforementioned categories, it’s no surprise that Palo Alto came out on top with its thriving economy (and higher-than-average wages), walkable downtowns, housing values, great weather, natural and cultural amenities and major environmental commitment (Palo Alto is billed as the first “Carbon Neutral” city with a plan to provide residents and businesses with 100 percent carbon neutral electricity by 2017).

If you’re looking to make a move to Palo Alto, there are plenty of picture-perfect neighborhoods to choose from, including Palo Alto Hills, Crescent Park, Old Palo Alto, Downtown North and Evergreen Park. And for those who are waiting to buy a newly constructed home in one of these (or other stellar Palo Alto neighborhoods), you’ll be privy to the benefits of Palo Alto’s new law, which means your home will come with circuitry for electric vehicle charging. It’s just one more perk of living in the nation’s best city!

To get you started on your home search, take a look at this beautiful Crescent Park property, currently on the market for $5,500,000. The four-bedroom/three-bath mid-century era home features elegant details like a nine-foot, blue-pearl granite slab island in the kitchen, a spa-inspired master bath with heated floors and a home gym.

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1525 Edgewood Dr
Palo Alto, CA 94303
$5,500,000 USD

What do you think about Palo Alto’s #1 distinction? Does it make you want to pack up and move to the most livable city in the U.S.? Let us know!