If ever a state was to be accused of having a split personality, Missouri would be the most deserving. As the birthplace of Mark Twain, it’s reputation for old-world values, stunning terrains and amazing coastline isn’t without foundation. Then again, neither is its infamy for crime-riddled inner cities, low diversity, shamefully high levels of pollution, and the poor health of its residents. Fortunately, it’s easy enough to avoid the worst and enjoy the best with a little fore planning. While we aren’t going to do the dirty work of pointing out the places to avoid, we’ve done our best to help out by rounding up 20 of the very best places to live in Missouri – if you can’t find something from this little line up that appeals, you’re simply not trying hard enough.
20. Rock Hill
If you want to enjoy the thrills and spills of St Louis without having to suffer its disadvantages, you may want to consider Rock Hill. Thanks to its easy highway access, residents can benefit from all the jobs and amenities of the big city while also delighting in the small-town vibe of Rock Hill’s cozy community.
With a population of 2,127, Hi-Pointe is a safe, clean neighborhood of St Louis that according to Niche, is also the city’s best… with most residents benefiting from a median income of $129,657, a low crime rate, and a superb school system, we can’t say we’re inclined to disagree.
The quaint, cute little Kansas suburb of Parkville packs a lot into its small size. Along with offering easy access to the downtown, it’s got a decent handful of top-rated schools, a great line up of cultural and social events, a stunning riverside location, and, as the name suggests, some superbly attractive parks. It's also got one of the most affluent populations in Missouri, with most residents bringing home the very sizable salary of $120,333.
17. Warson Woods
If you want to live in the kind of place where most residents can expect to enjoy the very robust median income of $124,028, you may want to consider Warson Woods, a super little suburb of 1,902 residents. Despite its diminutive size, Warson Woods has more than enough by way of cultural events and recreational opportunities to keep its population happy, while its outstandingly low crime rate gets an A+ at Area Vibes, as does its schools and amenities. In fact, one of the very few things that doesn’t get top marks is the weather, which really must improve upon its C- grade if it wants Warson Woods to graduate to a better position.
If you want vibrant, if you want buzzing, then take our word for it when we say you want Manchester. The diversity of the local community has made the suburb one of St Louis’ best spots for restaurants, with every type of cuisine and every type of nationality represented. The rest of the amenities leave little to be desired, while its excellent location just 20 minute’s drive from the rolling hills surrounding the city offers plenty by way of outdoor recreation. Completing the very attractive lineup of features is a healthy job market that supports the equally healthy median household income of $76,289, a low crime rate, and some top schools.
15. Des Peres
Property prices may be on the high side at $404,900 for a family home, but if you’re in the fortunate position to be able to prioritize lifestyle over budget, you’ll find much to love about Des Peres. Its tight-knit community of 8,536 residents benefits from some of the lowest crime rates in St Louis, along with some of the best schools, an excellent variety of stores, a handful of world-class restaurants, and, thanks to its superb location on I-270, easy access to the city center.
If you can afford the $798,500 it takes to buy a property in Ladue, you’ll find yourself a very happy homeowner indeed. Its proximity to St Louis’ cultural and business centers offers plenty by way of jobs and recreation, while its abundance of green spaces and parks gives outdoor lovers a surfeit of opportunities for hiking, biking and enjoying nature. A handful of top-ranking schools and a safe, friendly vibe complete the very attractive picture.
13. Town and Country
Apart from its fabulous name, Town and Country has a lot going for it. Housing may be expensive at $693,000 for a 3-bedroom home, but few would argue over the value of their investment considering the first-rate schools, lovely parks, safe, friendly vibe, excellent range of cultural and recreational venues, and great job opportunities on offer. With most residents bringing home an average income of $164,649, it’s unquestionably one of Missouri’s most exclusive, and best kept, secrets.
12. Clarkson Valley
According to Niche, the delightful Clarkson Valley ranks as one of the very best places in Missouri to retire, and it’s easy to see why. Safe, clean streets compete for attention with a range of services and amenities that would serve a population more than twice its size, while the abundance of well-maintained parks, green spots, and charming houses give an affluent, well to do air that’s offset by a welcoming, friendly community spirit. While the average home price of $614,400 makes it one of Missouri’s most expensive destinations, the median income of $166,200 more than makes up for it.
11. Webster Groves
23,069 people have chosen Webster Groves as their home, and it’s unlikely to be a decision they regret. Property prices are reasonable at $265,200, while the median household income of $88,619 says great things about the local job market. Amenities are abundant, while the schools are some of the best around, with the test scores and graduation rates to prove it. If you’re looking for a safe, family-friendly community in St Louis to make your home, you’ll struggle to find better.
For nature lovers, Wildwood is a guaranteed pleaser. Its range of parks, biking paths, and walking trails are exemplary, giving fans of the great outdoors plenty of opportunities to get their fix of greenery. Indoor lovers are served just as well thanks to a great range of shopping outlets, cinemas, bowling alleys, restaurants, and cafes. The great schools, low crime rate and very robust median income of $130,107, meanwhile, is sure to please everyone.
If you have a spare $293,700 floating around your wallet, you may want to consider investing it in a property in Olivette. While small, the suburb has more than enough to please a population more than double its current size, with a fantastic range of parks, shops galore, some great schools, and an easy enough commute into the business center of St Louis to allow residents to boast the very reasonable median income of $73,478.
If you’re looking to benefit from affordable housing, low rates of crime, unemployment, and poverty, an above-average median income of $88,913, a great school system, an incredibly close community, numerous parks and recreational spots, and a family-friendly, diverse, safe neighborhood, you’d be hard pushed to do much better than Ballwin, a small suburb of St Louis that ranks as one of the best places in Missouri to raise a family.
With a population of 27,659, Kirkwood is large enough to offer plenty by way of amenities, nightspots, restaurants, bars, and recreational venues, but small enough to benefit from a close-knit community and safe, friendly vibe. Crime is remarkably low, while the strong job market is doing great work at keeping residents in $79,439 incomes. Schools are excellent, while the average home value of $273,900 is a small price to pay for living in such a sought-after area.
With only 5,919 residents to its name, Glendale may be small, but it's pretty darn mighty, none-the-less. Its huge desirability is reflected in the average home value of $362,800; a price tag that’s easy to understand when you consider the supremely low crime rate, the welcoming, educated community (of which 41% have a bachelor’s degree and another 39% have a master’s), its top-ranking schools, and it’s phenomenal range of small business, farmer’s markets, and community events. Which is to say nothing of its $131,250 median household income…
If you’re wondering what makes the St Louis suburb of Chesterfield deserving of such a high ranking on our roundup, check out some of the rave reviews it’s residents have left on Niche. “I like shopping at the Mall; the libraries and parks, the quick response from Police and the Fire Department when needed.. There are plenty of fine restaurants, and everyone enjoys the Pool, and the shopping in Chesterfield Valley, St. Louis Premium Outlet Malls, & Taubmann shopping. We have the Butterfly House at Faust Park and lots of parks to enjoy! Chesterfield is also a good place to raise kids because of how safe it is,”, says one, while another raves “Chesterfield is a great place to live! There are county parks, state parks, and plenty of shopping with the two outlet malls being so close, so there is always something to do. It’s home to a few of the best schools in St. Louis, so it stands out on college applications. It also centrally located less than 30 min from the downtown area and 20 from Saint Charles. Once you check out Chesterfield, you'll understand why it's such a sought-after town.”
4. Creve Coeur
With a population of 18,259 Creve Coeur is by no means St. Louis’ largest suburb, but with its diverse, affable community, a superb range of amenities, top-ranking schools, an above-average household income of $101,462, and low crime rate, it certainly ranks as one of the best.
Those looking to enjoy the big city lights at a safe distance are sure to love Brentwood. The suburb of St Louis offers easy access to the jobs, amenities, and attractions of the city while being far enough away from the center to benefit from safe, walkable neighborhoods, a low crime rate, and a quiet, pleasant vibe. The schools serving the district are excellent, while the abundance of parks, shops, and restaurants guarantees more than enough by way of entertainment for the 8,025 residents. To top it off, the income of most households is a distinctly above-average $74,650.
As The Crazy Tourist notes, Clayton has a cultural panache that’s a sure-fire winner. As home to St. Louis Art Fair, along with a multitude of galleries and art venues, it’s the ideal destination for anyone with a creative spirit… or indeed, anyone who wants to live in a suburb that boasts a superbly low crime rate, clean streets, excellent schools, a tight-knit community, and the kind of job market that allows for an average median income of $91,531. Naturally, this all comes with a price: expect to handover around $590,800 for a good-sized home here.
1. Richmond Heights
While St Louis may not have the best reputation in the world, the little suburb of Richmond Heights is doing its best to fight back. Its safe neighborhoods stand in stark contrast to some of the more crime-ridden parts of the city, whiles its proximity to forest parks and its abundance of stores, restaurants, cafes and other recreational venues afford its 8,466 residents a great quality of life. Housing is reasonably affordable at $244,600 for a good-sized, 3-bedroom house, while its strong economy supports the very healthy median household income of $76,081. If you want to live in St Louis, you’ll be hard pushed to find a better place to do it.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson