OHIO COUNTY, W. Va - According to the website Niche.com, two of the best places to live in West Virginia are right here in the Northern Panhandle.
They based their survey of best places to live in the Mountain State by higher education rate, cost of living grade, public education, crime rates, and many more. Two Ohio County towns received an overall grade with an A, and residents of Bethlehem were not surprised one bit.
Tim Bishop, the Mayor for Village of Bethlehem, says, "We've said all along is that Bethlehem is, I think, the best place to live in West Virginia."
The village of Bethlehem was ranked 6th in the survey 2018 best places to live in West Virginia. Jay Morris, a Bethlehem resident, says, "Yeah we moved here from Weirton, and I've lived here about 20 years. Used to live on the other side of Bethlehem and we really enjoyed it, so we got a bigger house. We decided to move here right at the end of a cul-de-sac. It's nice and quiet, we've always had great neighbors. It's just been a phenomenal community."
Our own WTRF producer Steven Michael Moore is also a resident of Bethlehem, and one of his favorite aspects is how safe the area is. "You don't really have to be worried about anything in Bethlehem. There's no trouble walking around even at night. There's no trouble letting your kids go on the school bus by themselves. It's a really great area of town."
Bethlehem received an "A" in public education, housing, crime & safety, and good for families, a "B" for nightlife, and a "C+" in diversity. Bishop says, "The village of Bethlehem is probably the best place to live in West Virginia just because we're that small town community, everybody cares about each other, self-sufficient, great place to raise your kids."
Bethlehem came in behind towns like Star City, Cheat Lake, Bridgeport, Morgantown, and Lewisburg. Wheeling came in 8th on the list and received an "A" for public education, housing, and good for families, a "B" for nightlife and diversity, and a "C" for crime and safety.
Click here to see the full list of results from the survey.