What is the Best City in America?

What is the best large city in America? Has to be over 2 million population (counting the metro area burbs). Considering employment, entertainment, airports, hospitals, education choices, schools, cost of housing, commutability, proximity to places like beaches and mountains, professional sports teams, colleges, friendliness, etc etc.

Naturally people will want to defend their home turf, but try to be realistic. As an example…Detroit might be cool and all but it isn’t close to the beach, or the mountains.

Have at it :cool:

Chicago, except that it’s not close to mountains. (It does have beaches.)

No, I am not going to have at it. It is a ridiculous question in scope for this forum. I will give you a reference though. Money magazine compiles lists based on criteria like you wanted every year.

Here is the current top 100. No city of 2,000,000 or more makes it in as a whole but nearby parts of some metro areas like Newton, MA (Boston) do. You decide which ones you like.

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/bplive/2010/top100/

New York City of course. It has the beaches, it is NYC, Broadway, Wall Street and it is close enough to the mountains. New Yorkers are friendly despite the rep, just maybe a little hasty for some tastes. The culture cannot be topped in the US. The Bronx Zoo is incredible but then there are the other zoos and the aquarium. Excellent colleges. Best mass transit. More museums than any other city. The most famous stores in the US. The most famous parades in the US. The most storied, best loved and most hated sports team in the Yankees. Also more sports teams then any other city. The grand bridges, the Statue of Liberty, Grants Tomb (yes really), The Empire State Building and the Chrysler building.

Oh, also the Ticker tape parades are amazing events. The free concerts in Central Park are legendary. If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.

According to this, there are only four cities that meet your population requirement: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston.

Thanks for the link, and you’re right. It’s an opinion not a question with a factual answer. A thousand pardons. Already a response from the person from Chicago and the one from New York. Per the link you sent Eden Prairie, MN is tops. :rolleyes:

Washington DC gets my vote.

He said counting the Metro areas. You’re using the wrong list. Try this one instead: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Table_of_United_States_Metropolitan_Statistical_Areas

That is just for cities proper. You really have to look at the population of the greater area which is defined by their Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA). There are 29 of those over two million.

Why DC?
Also I do not live in NYC, but I have been to a very large number of the large cities. I would place NYC tops with Chicago & San Francisco as the next pair.

New Orleans is too small for your list and too hot for too many months but a great place to visit.

Seattle usually gets high marks for this sort of thing, though the beaches are generally pretty chilly.

Washington D.C. is one of my favorite cities to visit but it doesn’t do so great based on the criteria you gave in your OP. Traffic, housing costs, and crime rates in particular are some big minuses. Washington D.C. proper is a dangerous basket case of a city statistically speaking.

One hour to the Shenandoah mountains, one hour to the Chesapeake (2 1/2 hours to the Atlantic), one hour to Richmond, one hour to Baltimore. Great change of seasons with occasional extremes of hot and cold, monuments and museums all over town and almost all of them are free. Embassies of the world and thus an international flavor. Two airports. Lots of colleges and some of the best schools in the country. Low crime (especially the burbs where most of the population lives). Diverse restaurants and ethnic dining choices, as well as international grocery markets (Chinese, Japan, Vietnam, Latino, European). Zoo, aquarium, all four major sports teams. Georgetown and Capitol Hill, Arlington Cemetary, the Pentagon and the POTUS. Good public transportation. Lots of high tech job and government jobs and virtually recession proof. Hip music scene for jazz, indie rock, and classic at the Kennedy Center. Shopping. I’m sure there is more.

HEY! I LIVE in Eden Prairie!

:smiley:

Nice place…but I sure hope it isn’t the tops!

No questions. Hands down. — MIAMI.

Will probably be where I end up retiring. At least just slightly north of there.

I’ll throw in a vote for San Francisco (though “cost of housing” might take it out of the running)

Well the best city to live in is St. Louis (crime what?). Not too much and not too little, right in the middle… I’m guessing your wanting a tourism spot or a place to have a vacation home. Florida and Miami is the factual answer. Beaches and mountains don’t mean anything on a cold winter day when you can have warmth all year round. I’ve never seen a mountain but I going to bet they can get old pretty quick.

Housing is very reasonable these days in Detroit.

I voted for Chicago, but I don’t live there – and have never lived there. The metro area that I do live in is too small for the criteria in the OP. And while I voted for Chicago, San Francisco and Washington DC are pretty good too, though I don’t think either has real beaches.

In my view this is just a fun question, with no definitive answer :slight_smile:

LOL…

I go from this directly to reading “Detroit, why all the burned down houses?” in GQ

Not that I would vote for Detroit, but there are beaches pretty close by on Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair.