If you live in a place that's somewhere between a major metro and a rustic retreat, you've probably been wondering how your city stacks up in terms of excitement level. Today, we're here to provide that answer, hopefully.
It all starts with figuring out which criteria we can use to determine what we're looking to measure. In the case of excitement, we've already come up with a trusty list of six factors:
- 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 aren't fast food (the higher the better)
- Percentage of young residents ages 20 to 34 (the higher the better)
Like some ancient deities, it’s part of a pantheon that includes the rest of the 10 most exciting mid-sized cities in America:
1. Providence, RI
2. Charleston, SC
3. Fort Collins, CO
As if the views of the majestic Rocky Mountains weren't exciting enough in this, the fourth-largest city in Colorado, you can add a large contingent of youthful residents -- helped in part by the presence of Colorado State University -- and a solid active life score to the list. That first figure sits at 38 percent of the populace, which put Fort Collins at sixth place overall for active young residents.When it comes to activities, Fort Collins is definitely not trying to keep nature out. There are enough things to do in the surrounding area -- from abundant bike trails to the mini-golf at Fort Fun -- that the city ranked 14th for this category. While rankings of 20th for non-chain dining and 29th for nightlife are a bit lower than our top two cities, there's still plenty to get excited about, from breakfast at Snooze to late nights at Social.
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
As you can see, there are definitely still some surprises to be had out there as Movoto continues to find new and interesting ways to rank the cities we live in. Who would have thought that a place in the smallest state could be so massively cool?
Of course, there’s another end of this spectrum, occupied by mid-sized cities that are, well, let’s just say a little less happening. At the top of that list is Mesquite, TX, followed by Grand Prairie, TX, Palmdale, CA, Surprise, AZ, and Ontario, CA. In this case, you make us snooze, you lose.