As an avid explorer, I’ve compiled a thrilling top 10 list of the best cities I’ve had the pleasure to visit, and I would seriously consider calling my home. Buckle up as we embark on a journey through my favorite urban gems. Now, before I reveal the numero uno, let’s set some ground rules. These cities are not just passing vacation spots; they’ve left a lasting mark on my heart:
1. Extended Stays and Vibrant Vibes: To qualify for my list, I must have spent more than just a fleeting moment in these cities. I’ve truly immersed myself in their cultures, experiencing their pulse beyond the surface.
2. A Thriving Metropolis: All contenders boast a bustling metropolitan area, teeming with life and energy. The hum of city life is part of their charm.
3. Population Power: Only cities with populations exceeding 200,000 made the cut. The more, the merrier!
Without further ado, let’s unveil my top 10 picks:
10. Las Vegas, NV
In the bustling city of Las Vegas, there’s an abundance of excitement and activity. Although their former slogan was “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas,” I wouldn’t choose to be the one who remains in this vibrant city.
A lot to do including gambling, shopping, and eating
Some of the best restaurants in the world
They now have sports teams
Tourist and party destination
9. Cleveland, OH
“Cleveland Rocks!” is the catchphrase, but does it live up to the hype? When the weather is pleasant, it’s not a bad place to be.
Along the lake
Sports and music
Small city vibes
8. San Diego, CA
Southern California boasts a reputation for its rainless days, yet this comes with the trade-off of potentially limited drinking water. Nevertheless, nestled along the coast, it remains a city blessed with some of the finest weather in the entire United States.
Near the ocean
Culture and jobs
Sports teams are leaving
7. Venice, Italy
A city of canals, where boats are your main mode of transportation. It’s a dreamy and romantic destination to visit, but does its charm hold up for those who choose to call it home?
Uniqueness of a city on water
Living on the water
Access to the mainland only via boat
6. Memphis, TN
While it’s a legendary city known for its musical heritage, residing here might just be the primary reason to find yourself singing the blues.
Along the Mississippi
5. Nashville, TN
Nashville, the other music city in Tennessee, leans more towards country tunes than blues. With each visit, Nashville has been nothing short of fantastic to me.
Tourist/aspiring musician destination
4. Boston, MA
Undeniably one of the most popular cities on the East Coast, rivaling even NYC. But the big question remains: if you reside there, is adopting the distinctive Boston accent a must?
Cost of living
3. Austin, TX
A delightful slice of the North nestled in the heart of the South. When you’re in Austin, you’ll be surprised at how it defies the typical Texan stereotype. No wonder it attracts numerous California transplants; there’s a compelling reason behind this magnetic draw.
Not a typical southern Texas city
Climbing cost of living
2. Denver, CO
The mile-high city, where you can simultaneously soar to a mile above sea level and experience a different kind of elevation. Surprisingly, Denver is often overlooked as a fantastic place to call home, but its unique charms make it a hidden gem worth considering.
Climbing cost of living
1. Pittsburgh, PA
Famously known as the Steel City in the Rust Belt. However, don’t be deceived by its industrial past, for it is rapidly evolving into a favored technology and Hollywood hub. Despite its modest size, Pittsburgh boasts all the advantages of larger metropolises while gracefully sidestepping many of their downsides. Embrace the charm and possibilities that this dynamic city has to offer!
All my family is nearby
It’s the only place I’ve ever lived
Public transportation/air travel
Lack of sunshine
And that’s a wrap! Surprised, huh? Turns out, the very place I’ve called home all my life takes the crown as the best city in the world to reside in. Pittsburgh, nestled in western Pennsylvania, boasts an array of reasons that make it an ideal place to live and raise a family. The absence of natural disasters, milder weather, affordable cost of living, and, of course, the world’s finest sports teams and passionate fans are just a few of the reasons why Pittsburgh shines as a cherished haven.
Here are some honorable mentions, cherished places I’ve explored but didn’t quite make it to the top 10 list. While they remain attractive for a return visit, they fall short of being the ideal cities I’d call home.
- Indianpolis, IN
- New York, NY
- Washington, DC
- Orlando, FL
- New Orleans, LA
- Detroit, MI
- Seattle, WA
- Rome, Italy
Other considerations that didn’t make the population minimum:
- Outer Banks, NC
- Paradise Valley, MT
- Ann Arbor, MI