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Also, the city is 60 miles south of Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest.
Winters are mild and summers hot, with 49 inches of rain spread fairly evenly throughout the year.
Retirees seeking culture can check out the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, a 1,453-seat Art Deco masterpiece built in 1930, which hosts the local symphony, a musical theater group, touring musicians and, in June, the Discover Jazz Festival.
Classical and jazz musicians perform on the UVM campus, and professional and student actors take the stage at the university's Royall Tyler Theatre.
The site of the first Ben & Jerry's ice cream shop, founded in the late 1970s, is now a parking lot but its reincarnation is nearby on Church Street.
Most of the area, including the 14 local golf courses, enjoys a clear view of Mount Baker (elevation 10,778), a popular ski resort.
And UVM's Robert Hull Fleming Museum has an extensive collection of fine art and ethnographic material, as well as space for traveling exhibits.
The city sits on the shores of Lake Champlain, a great place for sailing, kayaking, fishing and more.
In making our picks, we focused on cities with a unique sense of place and a manageable size: Each has a population under 100,000 — small enough to easily navigate but large enough to offer a wide array of culture, amenities and services.
These are cities with fairly solid economic foundations and low crime rates.