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7. Madison, WI

Madisonwinters can be tough but those who love it say all the winter activities available, plus all the city has to offer, offset the cold.

The crime rate is one of the lowest on the list and it’s been rated one of the top cities for education, with an estimated 14 students per teacher. Plus, there are at least nine university campuses there.

It has a ton of restaurants, museums, performing arts centers, sports complexes – and a free zoo! Plus, free concerts by the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra on the Capitol lawn in the summer.

Among its quirkier distinctions are that it’s home to the Onion humor newspaperand website and the Great Taste of the Midwestcraft beer festival.

The unemployment rate in Madison is 5.2 percent, nearly half of the national average.

Companies That Are Hiring Now: University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, Covance, Promega Corporation and Dean Health, according to Indeed.com.

Photo: Timothy Hughes | iStock Exclusive | Getty Images