Moving isn’t a simple task, and choosing where you want to live next can sometimes be the hardest part of the process. If you’re looking for a new city that offers good schools, well-groomed parks, noteworthy public institutions, a strong corporate presence and plenty of craft breweries, then moving to St. Louis is an excellent choice.

The first reason to consider St. Louis is that living here isn’t actually too expensive. According to the Cost of Living Index Calculator, in 2010 the greater St. Louis area has the lowest cost of living among the nation’s 20 largest metropolises. Next, the city is well-known for its academic excellence. Even if you’re not attending one of these schools or don’t have children, you will still benefit from the city’s good school programs because they increase the value of your new home to families. The nearby cities of Clayton and Ladue have two of the most reputable and well-funded public school systems in the U.S., and the several colleges, including Washington University which is often ranked in the top 10 nationally. Plus, if you’re a recent college graduate then St. Louis is great for you because it has common high starting salaries and Forbes ranked St. Louis as the happiest city for job-seeking college grads in 2012.

Besides the obvious go-to factors of education and cost of living, St. Louis offers a much more subtle gift, which is literally giving. St. Louis has garnered a quiet, but well-earned reputation as one of the most charitable cities for how it treats its residents and visitors alike. The city is consistently ranked as one of the most charitable cities in the country, coming in ninth last year, and nearly one third of residents volunteer. St. Louis has placed a Victorian emphasis on artistic and cultural institutions as a way to elevate society, which includes the city’s zoo and museums, and consequently most of these are free of charge.

Central Park in New York City gets all the attention, but it really shouldn’t. St. Louis’s Forest Park beats it by miles. Offering nearly 1,300 acres of land that is used for in-line skating, biking, walking, running, golf, tennis, and other sports and activities. Plus, the park is home to five of the region's major institutions: the St. Louis Art Museum, the St. Louis Zoo, the St. Louis Science Center, the Missouri History Museum, and the Muny amphitheater.