What is the best city in the US?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Rusty Chainsaw, Dec 28, 2007.

  1. Me and the missus have decided that we've got to find somewhere else to live if we're going to stay in the US... it's far too cold and boring here! :)

    So, I thought I'd tap TB's collective wisdom on the subject - where do you think is the best city to live in the US?

    Granted, everyone's going to have a different opinion, but it might be easier if I spell out the sort of things we're looking for. It has to be a city, with good transportation (public transport and highway connections), plenty of character (ie, lots of old buildings, history, etc), low crime rate, reasonably decent weather, moderately multi-cultural, fairly liberal, a good live music scene, not hideously expensive to live in, and with decent jobs available in the technology/internet and banking fields (our respective career paths).

    Basically, I want to fall in love with a city again, the same way I love London. I want to live somewhere that I enjoy being in every day. I want to live somewhere that's easy to get around, and where the people are pleasant. And it'd be nice to live somewhere where I can find a decent Indian curry. :D

    So far we're looking at Boston, San Diego, Austin, Phoenix and maybe San Francisco as possibilities, but we want to hear more.

    So, bring 'em on... and let's try and keep it as non-controversial as possible. :)
  2. You want somewhere not cold then say that you are thinking of Boston?

  3. Valerus


    Aug 4, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    NOT Beaumont Texas.
  4. Other than the cold, and the cost of living, it fits all the other criteria. :D

    A place that fits every one of those criteria would be ideal, but we'll consider places that fit most of them...
  5. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    I've only spent a week in Boston and while I enjoyed my time, it's not the city for me.

    On the other hand I love all four of the other cities you mentioned. I could (and have in the case of SF and SD) live in any of them and be happy. Phoenix can get pretty hot, though not much more than Sacramento, so it doesn't bother me. But it's something to consider. With Austin, it's the humidity more than the heat. On the other hand, it has an incredible live music scene. Much better than the other three. In fact, that (and the cost of living) would be my only quibbles with San Diego.

    San Francisco is San Francisco. A beautiful city with a rich history, great food, good public transit (BART) and moderate weather. On the other hand, the cost of living is outrageous and many people find it too weird and/or way too far left for their tastes. Of course, many of them have never actually been to the city and are basing their judgment on what they've heard. I will say that of the four, the one that I would spend significant time in before moving would be SF.

    Good luck finding your new home.
  6. Salt Lake City, UT.

    Reasonable cost of living, low crime, and clean. Tons of outdoor opportunities. 10 ski resorts within 45-60 minutes of my house (good ones, too... not this crappy East Coast stuff). In the spring, you can ski in the morning, and go mountain biking in the afternoon; if you're into that sort of thing. There's also hiking, camping, boating, snowmobiling, etc. The whole Mormon thing is overblown... I'm an atheist, and I've never really had any trouble; and I've lived here for the last 39 years. Had plenty of opportunities to move, but have turned them down.

    I'm not telling you you should move here, I'm just telling you what I think the best city in the US is. :)
  7. steve21

    steve21 Inactive

    Out of the ones you listed, I'd give San Diego a try.

    I'm biased, though, as a southern Californian who's planning on going to school there soon (hopefully)
  8. BassyBill

    BassyBill Still here Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    The law of supply and demand pretty much guarantees that any city as desirable as the one you describe is, in fact, going to be non-existent. But you may get most of the characteristics you want if you're able to ignore the "not hideously expensive" part.

    I've been to a few cities in the US and enjoyed all of them as a visitor, but San Francisco is the only one I've ever felt I could really go and settle in if I was looking to move over there. But WAY too pricey for me, though.
  9. MyUsernameHere

    MyUsernameHere ?????????????

    Nov 3, 2007
    Lexington KY
    I'd say SF, but man is it expensive. If that's your criteria SF is actually the most expensive city in the US to live. If you could get over the cold NY, Chicago and Seattle are all great cities.
    Austin TX has a good music scene as well, but I can't remember what their public trans is like.
  10. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I haven't been to many.

    The City that never sleeps - NYC. Culture/museums, Broadway, Central Park, Freaks, I love it. Love it. Everyone I know who has lived there loves it.
  11. morf

    morf Inactive

    Feb 17, 2006
    If youre thinking of Phoenix, dont think any further. Awesome city.
  12. St. Paul.
  13. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Gary, Indiana.

    It looks just like Gotham City from the Batman comic books. It even has it's own smell!
  14. Another vote for Phoenix.
  15. dangnewt

    dangnewt Veteran Dispenser Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2003
    MetroWest Boston
    Since I live in the Boston metro region - I'm a little partial.

    I've only briefly visited two of the other cities that you noted - Phoenix and SF. Of the two, SF is my favorite. I am always a bit of a skeptic when it comes to places that people say are beautiful, but SF lives up to its billing.

    Never been to either Seattle or Portland but they might fit the bill as well.

    I have to echo bassybill, all of those attributes equals expensive to live. Good luck with your search.
  16. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    I've been to Salt Lake City, it is nice. I really like Denver as well. I think the area I live in now is a great place to live. I'm an hour south of Seattle.

    For me, I'd choose Pittsburgh.

  17. Boston's a good choice, although if you can't stand cold weather, you might hate it here. As someone who used to live on the west coast for ten years and has visited a lot of the cities you mentioned, I'd say that many of them are lacking in the character and culture departments. I'm sure there's some nice history in Phoenix, S.D., Salt Lake, etc., but you probably won't get any of that east coast kind of historic/cultural vibe in any of those cities IMO. That said, San Fran is a great city with lots of culture and history, though it's probably expensive and not very London-like.

    Have you thought about Philadellphia? The weather is certainly milder than Boston and it's got a lot of great stuff to see. As your location says you're in NJ, I'll assume that you're ruling out NYC.
  18. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Rusty Chainsaw, you're describing Seattle.

    Downsides: terrible traffic, grey weather for long periods in winter. Otherwise, it nails everything. When the sun is out, IMO it's the most beautiful setting in the United States.

    But not for me. In my case, consideration for "Best" automatically terminates when the population exceeds 500,000. After that I have no interest in living there.
  19. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Inactive

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    New York CITY!
  20. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    I agree. That is what is lacking in the area I live, and what I totally love about going back home to the Pittsburgh area.

    Seattle is a great place, but it just lacks the historical vibe you get from many east coast cities. Then again, if you're totally down with being trendy, cutting edge, and not worried about history, come on out west young man! :D