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Homespun charm meets natural wonders in top-earning towns

Farmers' markets are hosted by many of the top-earning small town in America.

Farmers' markets are hosted by many of the top-earning small town in America.

Those who move to one of Money Magazine's 2011 top-earning small towns in America are likely to find country-style living and impressive landscapes.

With a median family income of $367,660, Great Falls, Virginia, topped the Money list. Like other top-ranked towns, it is close to a major city (Washington, D.C.), yet features rural charm and spectacular natural vistas. Great Falls citizens gather for socials in the Village Centre and can admire Potomac River views in the 800-acre Great Falls National Park.

Versions of Great Falls' Village Centre socials take place in many of the other top-earning towns. Hillsborough, California (2), hosts a drive-in movie night and Memorial Day parade, Glencoe, Illinois (6), has a Sunday farmers' market, as does Chappaqua, New York (10), which also holds an annual Strawberry Festival and Ragamuffin Parade.

While not all top-earning towns are close to a national park, almost all of them boast natural attractions. Many feature waterfront vistas, whether along Lake Michigan, like Glencoe and Winnetka, Illinois (7), or Long Island Sound, like Darien, Connecticut (9). Weston, Massachusetts (4), has 60 miles of hiking and horse trails, Los Altos Hills, California (5), is in the lush Silicon Valley and New Canaan, Connecticut (8), is home to a 40-acre nature preserve.

Sales of luxury homes are on the rise nationwide, according to recent reports by the Luxury Institute, The Detroit News and Coldwell Banker.