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Is your city trendy? America's coolest cities ranked

4. Houston <span class=meta>(Photo/David J. Phillip)</span>
Next time an out-of-town friend claims your city isn't "cool," you have a list to back it up--or not.

Forbes compiled a list of "America's Coolest Cities," and 20 large cities from all over the country made the cut. You may be thinking, "Hey, why does Forbes get to decide what cities are cool?" but their method involved some pretty intense number-crunching. Some factors weighed in more than others, but here are the questions they asked to decide which cities are the place to be:

  • What is there to do on a Saturday?
    Forbes and Sperling answered this by calculating "entertainment options per capita." Cities with plenty of sporting events, parks and performing arts to go around scored well here.

  • How well can you satisfy your cravings?
    The "foodie factor" gave bonus points to places with plenty of local eateries over places with chain restaurants. This category was broadly defined and included things like breweries and farmers' markets.

  • Can you learn about different cultures?
    For this category, Forbes figured that diverse cultures are a reflection of diverse populations, so they used cultural makeup to decide which cities were the most interesting.

  • Are young adults flocking there?
    Finally, Forbes looked at whether this is the kind of place where young people want to start their careers, their families and their lives. And with all the other factors playing in their new city's favor, it's the kind of place where they'll want to stay, too.

After taking all these into account, Forbes named these cities to the top 20:

1. Washington, D.C.
2. Seattle, Wash.
3. Austin, Texas
4. Houston, Texas
5. San Francisco, Calif.
6. San Diego, Calif.
7. Denver, Colo.
8. Riverside, Calif.
9. Boston, Mass.
10. Dallas, Texas
11. New York, N.Y.
12. Oakland, Calif.
13. Miami, Fla.
14. Sacramento, Calif.
15. San Antonio, Texas
16. TIE: San Jose, Calif. and Los Angeles, Calif.
18. Raleigh, N.C.
19. Bethesda, Md.
20. Santa Ana, Calif.

Do you think Forbes' method truly determines the coolest cities? What other factors would you include? Let us know in the comments!
Related Topics:
society distraction washington d.c.
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