Favorite cities in North America, and why.

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by palmerc2, Oct 28, 2014.

  1. palmerc2 macrumors 68000


    Feb 29, 2008
    Los Angeles
    I've got an itch to see cities in North America I haven't seen before. I pretty much have seen every city West of Texas, and would like to see more of the South, and the East Coast.

    Some cities that come to mind (or have heard good things about) are:
    New York City
    New Orleans
    Miami / Key West
    Washington DC

    Any more to add to the list? What in particular do you like about the city you recommend?
  2. lowendlinux Contributor


    Sep 24, 2014
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    Anchorage because it's beautiful and I second Montreal because it's as close to a European city as you're going to get in North America.
  3. Happybunny macrumors 68000

    Sep 9, 2010
    I kept it to my top four.

    New York, it’s so good they named it twice, NYC is like a movie come to life. The Broadway shows the museums, Central Park, but it’s just the general feeling anything could happen. Just walking around Manhattan taking in the street life whether In the LES, or Tribeca, Midtown there is always something to do and see.
    (That all being said I could never live there, but for a vacation it’s still number one)

    New Orleans I visited pre Katrina in 1998, the charm of that city was it was like no other city in the USA. You could feel the pace of life drop, it’s called the Big Easy for a reason. Jazz and great Cajun food, the French Quarter, Congo Sq, the Garden District. The Street cars were still running, back then, plus the fact that the whole city was under sea level, made it seem like home.
    (Now this was a city that I could have lived in)

    Las Vegas it’s a city of magic in a desert, it’s like a huge fairground but then for adults. The strip with all it’s lights has a certain charm, and just watching the other tourists is an entertainment. I don’t gamble myself but it’s surprising that there are many other things to do instead.
    (Again this is a city I couldn’t live in but for a short stay there is truly nowhere like it on earth)

    Chicago a wonderful city full of the most fantastic architecture, this combined with the many water ways made it like a very modern Amsterdam. The Blues clubs of the South side was where my childhood heroes had played, Chess records, Al Capone, The Blues Brothers history on the streets. I went to Wrigley Field, and took in the soul of Baseball, Navy pier if the weather is good its like a magic island.
    (I love this city but I could not go through a winter and the winds)
  4. adk macrumors 68000


    Nov 11, 2005
    Stuck in the middle with you
    I would take Savannah off of that list and replace it with Charleston. Charleston is a beautiful city with fantastic cuisine, beautiful sights, and great history. Savannah chose to allow tourists to have open containers in the streets - Think Las Vegas with older buildings.
  5. hallux macrumors 68030


    Apr 25, 2012
    If you're going to do NYC and Montreal in the same "trip", drive from NYC to Montreal and stop for a few days in Saratoga. If you do it in the summer, you may need to stay South or North of the city unless you plan FAR ahead (horse racing season). Not only is there the historical Saratoga Race Track, there's a dance museum, an automotive museum, Saratoga Spa State Park (ever hear of Saratoga water?), a concert at SPAC if you plan things right and Saratoga Battlefield (turning point in the Civil War)
  6. iBlazed macrumors 68000


    Feb 27, 2014
    New Jersey, United States
    My favorite city is Canada, but I hate having to drive all the way to Oklahoma to see it.
  7. localoid macrumors 68020


    Feb 20, 2007
    America's Third World
    You meant to say "Revolutionary War", I assume? Or did Lee's army make it further north than I'm aware of? :p
  8. mobilehaathi macrumors G3


    Aug 19, 2008
    The Anthropocene
    Ahh, the obsession with ranking things. There must be a best.

    I've only been to seven of the cities on your list, and I suppose I would choose to mention Montreal today: superb food, wonderful museums, radically bilingual, European, and yet not European.

    I could come up with similar, overlapping lists for the others. And today I reccomend Montreal. Maybe tomorrow I'd say NYC, maybe on Friday I'd reccomend Key West.
  9. VI™ macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2010
    Shepherdsturd, WV
    In the NE capitol region, I enjoy Baltimore. It's easy to get around and is big enough that there's so much fun things to do that don't seem as touristy. There's the inner harbor and national aquarium if you need to get that out of your system, but otherwise, there's all kinds of great restaurants, bars, music venues, and history. Not to mention DC is only about an hour South if you feel like visiting there.
  10. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Boston, because its my home town.
    Orlando, because I love Florida.
    San Francisco because its so eclectic and has a rich history.
    North Conway (in NH), because it still retains the small New England town feel
  11. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
  12. rhett7660 macrumors G4


    Jan 9, 2008
    Sunny, Southern California
    I agree with the top three on this list. Love them. I can't say the same about Chicago, since I haven't been there! :)

    I also like San Diego. The Downtown area is great, and you are by the beaches. Not to the top of the list by any stretch, that would be New York, but I still like it.

    Also like the following:
    Long Beach, CA
    Laguna Beach/Newport Beach/Huntington Beach, CA
    Savannah, GA
    Tibby, GA
    Orlando, FL
  13. Huntn macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    It's one thing to visit and another to live there. I assume this thread is primarily for visiting. For visiting, sure Montreal, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, Washington DC, Vancouver BC, San Diego, but most of these places (at least in the US) suffer from extreme over development and masses of humanity ok to take long enough for a vacation. ;)

    For living, the sweet spot has to be cities with under 2 million in the metro area (not city limits necessarily). For those, although there are really too many to mention, some may have grown over 2M, I'd partial to places like Minneapolis/St. Paul (mn), Savannah (Ga), , Nashville and/or Knoxville (Tn), or
    Williamsburg or Winchester (va), Manchester (NH), Sedona (Az), Portland (Or), etc, etc. :)
  14. Happybunny macrumors 68000

    Sep 9, 2010
    I have only been to San Diego twice both times 1999 and 2005 for the SDCC. I only saw the Marina district and the Gaslamp district. Most of the time was spent in the Convention Center.:D
  15. rhett7660 macrumors G4


    Jan 9, 2008
    Sunny, Southern California
    Knock on wood, have been going to the SDCC every year since 1999! Hopefully I will be able to continue the streak!

    Pretty much hit those area's every night as well!
  16. spencers macrumors 68020


    Sep 20, 2004
    New York City takes the cake. I have fun every time I go. Good vacation spot but I could never live there.
  17. stonyc macrumors 65816


    Feb 15, 2005
    I know this doesn't quite answer the question from the whole 'Where to visit?' angle, but I though I might include some feedback anyways...

    As I get towards the end of my PhD, I've had some discussions with my wife about places where I and we might considering moving to, if we were required to by the job. Most are places that I or we have already visited. Since we both grew up in Michigan (and most of our family is in Michigan), we naturally skew towards the Midwest... but we've had a couple discussions about where we might like to live if we take those family considerations out of the picture. Major hubs of biotech/research/startups also skew this list because the most lucrative landing points for people in my field are in those areas. Anyways, this is my list... from most desired, to least desired.

    Family considerations removed from the discussion:
    San Francisco (includes Palo Alto, San Jose, Mountain View)
    San Diego
    ... (cities listed below are those we would move to only if I couldn't find a job in any of the previously listed cities)
    Los Angeles
    New York
    Houston (yep, not a fan of the South)

    Cities with family considered:
    San Francisco
    San Diego

    Now, those are cities if you take into account a job that is directly related to my field of study... if I decide to go into a career that merely applies what I've learned in my field of study in a more general way (like Data Analysis, Consulting, etc.)... it skews way more towards smaller cities and the Midwest (where we currently are).

    Ann Arbor (Michigan, where I'm doing my PhD)
    Chicago (sister and other family already there)
    Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo (Michigan, where I did my undergrad)
    Boston (same or close enough to most of the Midwest in terms of time zone)

    Yeah, so this doesn't directly answer your question, but does answer it from the perspective of what my favorite cities are given (future) job and family considerations.
  18. hallux macrumors 68030


    Apr 25, 2012
    Sorry. That's what I get when I post in a hurry...
  19. Happybunny macrumors 68000

    Sep 9, 2010
    I know that the original poster asked about cities and I’m also a real urbanite. But and I in no way want to over stay my welcome on this thread, but there are two places in the USA that have to be seen for their natural beauty.

    New England in the Fall.
    The colours and the smells are without a doubt something out of this world. The combination of colour and sun light looks like an artists plate. I took my third wife on our honeymoon. The memories lasted longer than my marriage.


    The other is the Grand Canyon.
    This is not just a big hole in the ground, you go there thinking that you know what to expect, and then you arrive at the canyon edge, and it’s like WOOOH, it truly take one’s breath away. I did the river trip flew over it in a helicopter, took photos and it still nothing can prepare you for the real thing.

  20. yukyuklee macrumors 6502


    Jan 4, 2011
    Boston, MA
  21. palmerc2 thread starter macrumors 68000


    Feb 29, 2008
    Los Angeles
    Ah yes....Chicago, I forgot to put that on the list. I've been to the suburbs but never Chicago proper.

    I seriously LOVE Huntington Beach, I was born there.....I can truly say Huntington Beach is that one place I naturally gravitate towards. I love a lot of things about it....the surf culture, the urban culture, the music. Some of my favorite bands are from there such as Avenged Sevenfold, The Offspring, Guttermouth, and KoRn. I don't know the last time you've been there, but Huntington sure has changed, it's becoming well developed and.....hmm.....if I were to put it in words I'd say it's losing its character. The punks and rockers are being thinned out in favor of over development, "Surf City USA" is being exploited, and some staples are quickly fading. My favorite fairly recent memory of Huntington is the sushi restaurant on Main St called Tuna Town, which at the time was owned by the drummer of KoRn, it had character. KoRn gear and pictures on the wall, it was dark...it was a place by a local for locals. Then it went to the UFC fighter Tito Ortiz, he lost it in a divorce and went to his wife. Now, it's a bland sushi restaurant for yuppies. Well, just googled it and apparently its closed now....GEE I WONDER WHY :p

    I grew up the better part of my life in Scottsdale, AZ and have been to the Grand Canyon numerous times, it's staggeringly beautiful. I am interested in seeing things out of the city, that's sort of a given and a perfect day trip....I see you're from the Netherlands, for instance I was just in Amsterdam and took a day trip to Volendam and Edam....amazing places!!
  22. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    Great thread, full of interesting ideas, thoughts, (and insights and recollections, and recommendations).

    Happybunny, your pictures are extraordinary - and, although like you, I am an urbanite by preference, upbringing, and disposition, - and love the feel of asphalt beneath my feet - they do make me long to visit those places.

    Although I have travelled a lot, strange to relate, I have never been to the States; this thread makes me think that it might be time to remedy that.
  23. palmerc2 thread starter macrumors 68000


    Feb 29, 2008
    Los Angeles
    Nice, glad you're inspired :)

    As far as where to go, there's soooooo much to see. Here's some places I've been to which I'd recommend putting on your list...

    Los Angeles / Orange County - the history in music and film is undeniable. One of my favorite things to do is go to the Sunset Strip, which has staples such as the Whisky A Go-Go (very rich music history), Rainbow, Viper Room, and House of Blues. In a city where its been infiltrated with clubs, and club goers - it's the last hoorah of Rock N Roll in LA. Also a couple hours away is Palm Springs, a quaint art driven desert town with an amazing vibe.

    San Francisco - the food capital of the nation, unbelievably good restaurants. Golden Gate bridge is beautiful, take a trip to Calistoga and Santa Rosa.

    Phoenix - going to vouch for my hometown (Scottsdale) here. It's beautiful, pristine, well manicured, and has a desert mystique which I personally love. Take a day trip to Sedona (Which Huntn referenced to in post #13).

    Las Vegas - pretty self explanatory, a place you must go at least once.

    Austin - music driven town, Texas hospitality, great town.

    Denver - A surprisingly fun city in the Rocky Mountains thats picturesque, and clean. Take a trip to Vail, gorgeous scenery there. Take a day trip to Colorado Springs, there's a beautiful park called Garden of the Gods.
  24. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 604

    Oct 27, 2009
    You should make NYC and Toronto on top of your list.

    Savannah is nice in the Spring and Summer.

    New Orleans has a great vibe.

    Skip Boston, it's freaking boring over there.

    You can't go wrong with Miami/Key West, but nothing unique about it that the West doesn't already have.

    Philly is only good for like a weekend trip.

    I drove in and out of DC countless times, but never took the time to explore it.

    Despite all the negative headlines. Chicago is also a nice city, and has good restaurants. But if you end up going to NYC first, it will probably feel too similar.
  25. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

    Nov 19, 2007
    Portland, OR
    I'm going to put a plug in for Springdale, Utah. At the entrance of Zion National Park this town has a surprisingly strong art scene, outdoor excursions are minutes away, and Zion National Park is probably the most beautiful place I've ever visited; and I've been a lot of places!

    Also worth seeing if you haven't is Newport, Oregon and frankly any of the towns along the Oregon coast. There's just an awesome vibe there, sort of a strange mix between modern alternative/indie and grimy fishing/seafaring. The landscape and scenery is only rivaled by Zion National Park IMO.

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