USA’s most exciting mid-sized cities

Below is a list created by the Movoto Real Estate Blog of its top ten most exciting mid-



sized cities (120,000 to 210,000 people) in the United States:

  1. Providence, RI
  2. Charleston, SC
  3. Fort Collins, CO
  4. Eugene, OR
  5. Syracuse, NY
  6. New Haven, CT
  7. Fort Lauderdale, FL
  8. Pasadena, CA
  9. Grand Rapids, MI
  10. Salt Lake City, UT

(Pasadena and Grand Rapids tied for eighth place)

A total of 117 cities fell into Movoto’s population range as being considered mid-sized. Then, the following six criteria were used to determine the top ten most exciting ones.

Nightlife per capita (bars, clubs, comedy, etc.)

Live music venues per capita

Active life options per capita (parks, outdoor activities, etc.)

Fast Food restaurants per capita (the fewer the better)

Percentage of restaurants that are fast food (the lower the better)

Percentage of young residents ages 20 to 34 (the higher the better)

To this urban planner, the criteria is missing a key element that I believe would lend itself  to creating a more accurate calculation — a vibrant and diverse multicultural population is critical to a city being exciting. The music, artistic, and cuisine options grow exponentially as new cultures are introduced. While the fact that they didn’t include that factor does not diminish the interesting aspects of their list, it would have made it a more inclusive study.

This entry was posted in Active transportation, art, beer, bicycling, Biking, branding, brewpubs, cities, coffee shops/cafes, colleges, commerce, Cuisine, culture, economic development, economic gardening, Economy, entertainment, entrepreneurship, Food, fun, geography, health, hiking, humanity, inclusiveness, marketing, movies, music, pictures, placemaking, planning, recreation, sustainability, theaters, third places, tourism, trails, transportation, Travel, urban planning, walking and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to USA’s most exciting mid-sized cities

  1. Erik says:

    I think we both can vouch for Grand Rapids.


  2. Kelly says:

    New Haven is wonderful in so many ways & certainly belongs on the list. Cultural diversity is a factor that should be added to the list which does add to a city’s vitality, which New Haven has as well. I’m slightly biased in that I was the head of economic development there the last years but it’s a great small city!!


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