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Alexandria lands on top-10 small towns list

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Alexandria, Minn., is among the best 10 small towns in America, according to a recent ranking.

Editors at selected the west-central Minnesota town as No. 7 on their list.

For their ranking, editors focused on “micropolitan” areas, rather than include big-city suburbs and towns considered part of a larger metropolitan region. Livability notes that 11,500-population Alexandria is one of the nation's fastest-growing micropolitan areas.

"The community's active lifestyle, cultural offerings and beautiful scenery continue to attract new residents," the website notes. It also praises Alexandria for being smack-dab in the middle of lake country, and for its five-block historic, quaint downtown with preserved buildings dating to the 1800s.

The site notes that the town is also a draw for cyclists, runners and inline skaters who use the 55-mile Central Lakes Trail, which connects Alexandria to three nearby cities, winding through parks, farms wetlands and lakes.

Other Minnesota towns have popped up on similar lists. Rand McNally and USA Today put Burnsville on a Best Small Towns list last year.

Rogers is the among the best towns for raising kids, according to a Bloomberg Businessweek list.

And Eden Prairie, Woodbury, Eagan and Lakeville made the top 20 on a CNNMoney list of the Best Places to Live.

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