Groningen city is surrounded by many small towns which have high quality of life. Here we list just a small selection of towns and areas which can be attractive places for new residents to settle. When consider living outside the city you should consider transport links, schools, and other sporting, shopping and cultural facilities.
Haren, just south of Groningen city, is regularly voted as one of the top locations to live in the Netherlands, because of the combination of space, facilities, community and green environment. Haren recently became part of the greater municipality of Groningen, along with Ten Boer. (Read about the decision in the local English-language news.)
Further south is the rural town of Glimmen, situated in a more wooded area close to the neighbouring province of Drenthe.
Many historic villages (dorpen) north of the city are well-loved by residents for their wide views and peaceful surroundings. Some of the bigger ones within easy commuting distance are, for instance, Ten Boer, Winsum, Bedum, Zuidhorn, Aduard. But there are many more - see this overview on Google Maps.
Some towns have been hit by mining-related earthquakes in the past years, which have damaged properties in the affected region. This means that house prices have dropped in these areas. You can find out more here about the effects of and discussion about earthquakes in the region.
You could also consider living in one of the neighbouring provinces: Friesland or Drenthe.