The writers at Forbes get what makes a city cool.
It's the interesting people and quirky places, innovative arts groups and multiculturalism. And, oh yes, a vibrant economy. So when the writers set out to select the coolest city to live in the U.S., it was clear Houston had this one in the bag.
Forbes ranked the Bayou City No. 1 on the list out today. According to Forbes' take on Houston:
"Over the past decade, the dreary corporate cityscape has been quietly transforming. Stylish housing developments have popped up downtown, restaurants have taken up residence in former factories and art galleries like the Station Museum have been inhabiting warehouses.
Combine that with a strong theater scene, world-class museums and a multicultural, zoning-free mashup of a streetscape and you have the recipe for the No. 1 spot on Forbes' list of America's Coolest Cities To Live."
To compile its list, Forbes ranked the 65 largest cities based on seven data points weighted evenly.
Sperling's Best Places helped by calculating the number of entertainment options per capita in each metro area. The cities were then ranked on other recreational opportunities, including the amount of green space, the cost and number of outdoor activities like golfing and skiing available and the number of pro and college sports teams.
Restaurants and bars per capita were also tallied, weeding out chain establishments. The cities' "cultural composition" also factored in, or the likelihood of meeting another person of a different race or ethnicity. That's because, according to Forbes, "diversity tends to lead to a larger assortment of interesting shops, restaurants and events."
Other Texas cities in the top 20 included Dallas (No. 4), San Antonio (11th), Fort Worth (13th) and Austin (19th). Rounding out the top 5 were Washington D.C. at No. 2, Los Angeles at No. 3 and Seattle at No. 5.
For more on the list and how Houston was selected, click here.