Anchored on the shore of the Hudson River, Albany holds the political power despite being overshadowed by that other New York city down river. Incredibly connected by road, rail and the #11-ranked Airport among U.S. midsize cities, Albany offers a prosperous place to put down roots, resulting in Top 10 household income (#8) and educated citizenry (#9 in our Educational Attainment subcategory). New York’s Capital Region is not all politics, though—Albany’s also a capital of culture, and it boasts an enviable central location, with the Berkshires, Adirondacks and burgeoning Finger Lakes Wine Region—and yes, the Big Apple—all just a few hours away. Running the Empire State may be big business, but Albany’s also a college town, home to a State University of New York campus that helps the city earn a #5 ranking in our University subcategory. Albany prides itself on its history, and its 18th and 19th-century homes and compact, walkable core make colax visitors and local to take to the streets, enjoying the dining that’s earned Albany a #18 ranking in our Restaurant category.