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Oxford ranks among 50 best places to live in America

By Braden Lammers
On March 29, 2007

  • Oxford was chosen as one of the top fifty in the category for commuter towns for many reasons including its accessibility to outdoor activities, reasonable cost of living and community life.

With its small-town feel and university setting, Men's Journal magazine's April edition named Oxford one of the 50 Best Places to Live in the category of "Best Commuter Towns."

The top 50 places to live were judged on several factors, including places where there is a vibrant community, a charming setting, ready-access to outdoor activities and a reasonable cost of living.

Men's Journal placed the cities into categories such as best downtowns, best commuter towns and best hideaways.

Oxford was in the subcategory, "Best Commuter Towns," which was defined by distance from a major city.

"(Best commuter towns include) towns within a one-hour drive of a major metropolitan area that had its own distinct charm," said Brent Donaldson, reporter for Men's Journal.

According to Donaldson, Oxford's proximity to both Dayton and Cincinnati helped cement the city's inclusion as a commuter city. The quality of life and Oxford county parks are also a draw for people to come to Oxford.

"It's a college town, but it also has its own identity," Donaldson said. "(Oxford) is a small town with an old-timey charm to it ... (and that's) getting harder and harder to find."

Other factors contributing to Oxford's rank among the best in the United States is its accessibility to outdoor activities, Donaldson said.

Hueston Woods' bike trails and Acton Lake earned the city praise from a magazine that values an active lifestyle.

The aesthetic beauty of Oxford was discussed in the publication, which addressed the look of uptown as well as theuniversity's campus.

"Even at your most deliberate and leisurely pace, down crimson brick streets ... the vaunted Georgian architecture of Miami University's rolling and stately campus (make up Oxford)," Donaldson wrote.

With its location and traditional architecture, Miami University played an enormous part of Oxford being among the best places to live.

"The university is such a part of the community ... I think it's great that we were recognized," said Miami University PresidentDavid Hodge.

Hodge pointed to accessibility of everything, including the arts, Miami's guest speakers, athletics and the ease of getting around, as qualities that make Oxford a top 50 city.

Richard Little, Miami's director of university communications, echoed Hodge's sentiments.

According to Little, the multitude of cultural events as well as proximity to other cities and towns are reasons why Little and his family have really enjoyed while living in Oxford.

"(Oxford) is very much a classic college town," Little said.

Mayor Jerome Conley believes Oxford has done a great job providing a balance of options to its residents.

"(Oxford has) done a wonderful job in trying to balance pastoral spaces with amenities people really enjoy," Conley said, adding that the city is a rural place with modern convenience.

When asked what is Oxford's best quality, Conley did not hesitate to say the people.

He praised the citizens who work in the school district, the business community, the hospital and those who volunteer.

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