How Exciting is Your City?

The 10 Most Exciting Places In New York By Movoto Real Estate

Many will probably proclaim that New York City is the most exciting city in the U.S…scratch that…the world! I haven’t been to every city in the entire world, but I have a good feeling NYC ise near the top if not the top. From nightlife, restaurants to Broadway shows and sporting events, I think this city has pretty much got it all when it comes to “excitement.” No doubt it is an expensive city, but that’s probably because there’s no shortage in demand to come here.

In a recent article on Movoto, it doesn’t even list New York City as the most exciting city in New York. What?! While I haven’t been to Ithaca, I’ve known people who have lived there. I’m sure it’s a pretty cool town, but it’s no New York City! The writer does admit that the reason NYC wasn’t ranked higher was because they looked at amenities per capital, rather than total amenities…and NYC has A LOT of people.

Here are the list of factors the writer used to determine how exciting the city was:
•Nightlife per capita (bars, clubs, comedy, etc.)
•Live music venues per capita
•Active life options per capita (parks, outdoor activities, etc.)
•Arts and Entertainment per capita (movie theaters, festivals, galleries, theaters, etc.)
•Fast Food restaurants per capita (the fewer the better)
•Percentage of restaurants that are not fast food (the higher the better)
•Percentage of young residents ages 18 to 34 (the higher the better)
•Population density (the higher the better)

Concert in Buffalo, NY

Concert in Buffalo, NY


The article also lists other exciting cities in New York. While my wife and I never seriously considered moving out of NYC, we have spoken about it and I don’t think “excitement” was the overriding factor. I mean I am 34 years old, with a family (interesting that 18 to 34 year olds increase the excitement factor in the city…I guess this is my last year of adding to my city’s excitement!) When I have conversations with some family members and friends about the cost of living in NYC and say that we’d be better off moving to a lower cost area, they often tell us we’d be bored because nothing can match the excitement of NYC. That may be true, but the other cities mentioned on the list are pretty exciting too. My brother-in-law, who lives in Buffalo visited recently and told me about the outdoor concerts along the waterfront and the various activities and restaurants at Canalside. There are also plenty of speaker, concerts and activities at SUNY Buffalo, which is usually true for cities near a big university. Sure, Buffalo is no New York City, but there are other places that offer plenty of amenities to keep you entertained. Plus, if you’re over 34, you probably have a different definition of excitement according to Movoto.

Here’s a list of the most exciting cities across the United States according to Movoto:
The 10 Most Exciting Cities

Surprisingly, New York City did not crack the top five. I’d have to respectfully disagree with the ranking here. Oddly Movoto used slightly different factors in determining “exciting” in this survey.
•Park acreage per person
•Percent of population between 20 and 34 years old
•Fast food restaurants per square mile (the fewer the better)
•Bars per square mile
•Big box stores per square mile (the fewer the better)
•Population diversity
•Movie theaters per square mile
•Museums per square mile
•Theater companies per square mile
•Music venues per square mile

Using the above factors, how exciting do you think your city is? What factors do you think determine whether a city is exciting? Does it matter to you?

51 thoughts on “How Exciting is Your City?

  1. E.M.

    Is it weird that I don’t really take “exciting” into consideration? I’m not really a nightlife person so it never concerned me. Ithaca is really beautiful. I’ve been there a few times, but I would think NYC would be #1. That’s a little silly! Even though we’re technically right outside the city here, we don’t feel too compelled to go. I guess I’m too used to the suburbs! I’d rather move somewhere with more nature than buildings. I’m boring!
    E.M. recently posted…Is There Ever a Legitimate Reason to Lease a Car?My Profile

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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      I’m with you…NYC has got to be #1. I’m sure they just wanted to stir some controversy! Nothing wrong with nature and the outdoors…I like that too, but it’s good that city is near by too.

      Reply
    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Whoops, you’re right! Tom mentioned Austin, TX as well! I know a lot of cities are up and coming and have heard good things about Austin. Will have to go there one day.

      Reply
  2. Shannon @ Financially Blonde

    I have a really difficult time with the methodology of this list considering Boston and Oakland rank higher than NYC for excitement. Fast food is a must in NYC, and there may be a heavy concentration of fast food options, but there is a heavy concentration of everything. I have been to just about every city on this list and I am not sure I agree with the rankings. For me, I would say NYC, San Francisco, Chicago (Why did this city not make it??), Seattle, and Boston. But I am 36, so maybe I don’t know what excitement is. :-)
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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Yea, I’m not sure I agree with the methodology either. And it does seem to miss a lot of cities that I would consider “exciting”

      Reply
  3. Lauren

    “Exciting” seems pretty subjective. I’m from the Philly burbs, so I’m happy to see that it made the list. There is a lot going on downtown. I don’t take “exciting” into account when going somewhere, but the outdoors and surrounding environment is definitely important to me. There’s got to be something to do, other than sitting indoors!
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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Agreed…outdoors and surrounding environment are very important. Philly seems like a pretty exciting city…plenty of colleges in the area too.

      Reply
  4. Tom

    The top 10 list in the US seems pretty far off. While I haven’t been to too many US cities, if someone from out of the country wanted to visit I would give them this list:

    1) NYC (its a must, I’m not a huge fan but I know others are)
    2) Key West (This place is like a smaller version of New Orleans on an island but safer/cleaner with just as much partying)
    3) Chicago
    4) Los Angeles
    5) San Diego
    6) Boston
    7) Dallas

    While I havent been, I would love to throw Austin, TX and Madison, WI into that mix because I’ve heard nothing but good things about those two cities from friends.

    Reply
    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      I wanted to go to Key West…will have to check it out. I would never have thought of Austin, TX and Madison, WI.

      Reply
  5. Broke Millennial

    Been to Ithaca a few times and put a big YEAH RIGHT on it being more fun than New York. One big boo-boo in the slideshow though, their Rochester graphic is of Central Park…

    I love that you can get so much 24/7 in New York City, which isn’t available in other cities (including Boston). A friend and I were just talking about that last night after her weekend trip to Boston. If we expanded the list internationally though, there are a few cities I can see easily beating out NYC.
    Broke Millennial recently posted…The Case for College Students to Have Credit CardsMy Profile

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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      I was thinking that water fountain looked familiar! Good catch. I had the same conversation with someone about Boston…I’ve been there many times and it seems like an exciting city with many young college students. I know their “T” transit system is not 24/7 and the bars/clubs close at like 2:00 a.m. (or at least that’s what I remember from back in the day)

      Reply
  6. Laurie @thefrugalfarmer

    LOL, based on this list, our little town is probably near the very bottom, but we absolutely love it here, mostly for the reasons Holly cited: it’s beautiful, and it’s a great place to raise kids. Exciting is not at all an adjective I’d use to describe our town, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Maybe it’s because I’m so old. :-)
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  7. Ryan @ Impersonal Finance

    We live in Nashville, which while not NYC or LA or Chicago, has a lot going for it, especially lately. Two pro sports teams, amazing food, and literally music on every corner. Tons of free things to do, but if you want to spend money, there are definitely places to do so.
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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Nashville sounds like it’s a pretty lively city…the heart of country music and I forget that there are 2 sports teams there.

      Reply
    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      It does seem like any place that’s within the vicinity of NYC is expensive!

      Reply
  8. Charles@gettingarichlife.com

    Loved NYC and Boston. Seems like the most exciting ditties also are costly to enjoy. Especially Oakland death is pretty expensive

    Reply
      1. Tom

        Just my opinion, but if I’m going to live in Hawaii, it wont be in a major city like Honolulu. Hawaii is one of the most naturally beautiful places on the planet with so many options to have fun outdoors that living in a cramped city would ruin it.

        I mean, I’m sure Honolulu still beats some cities, but I could see it being such a tease.

        Reply
        1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

          Yea, you have a point. But you can live in the city but be very close to the natural beauty of Hawaii…best of both worlds. I liked Honolulu but I am a city guy…though I enjoyed Maui more.

          Reply
    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      That’s two votes for Portland so far! You’ve lived in some exciting cities…and yea, I think NYC should have been on the top of the list.

      Reply
    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Interesting…I didn’t know that about Minneapolis. Sounds like a great place to live…except for the snow!

      Reply
    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      A couple people have mentioned Austin…will have to learn more about it.

      Reply
  9. Pingback: Weekend Reading – July 20, 2014

    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      I went to Victoria many years ago…I remember it being beautiful there. I guess if you don’t enjoy going out much than boring is just fine.

      Reply
    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Well Warren Buffet lives there…he’s a celebrity in pf circles! I never knew Oakland was that bad =)

      Reply
  10. Tonya@Budget and the Beach

    Yeah I would consider NY to be the most exiting, but to me also very stressful! Since I’m not out of the 18-34 range :) I don’t need exciting, but certainly not boring either! I like arts and culture and music, but I don’t like that rushed, crowded feeling anymore. LA is huge and probably has more exciting parts, but I live in a pretty mellow part of it, still, I do fantasize a little about living in a mid-size or slightly smaller city. Just a little more green and breathing room. If it wasn’t for the beach, beach volleyball, great weather, and my friends, I’d be out of here. Well damn those are good reasons to stay too. I’m torn. Always torn.
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted…Change of Plans/Link LoveMy Profile

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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Yes, I remember you mentioning that you were considering moving to the northwest. Since you live in the mellow part of LA, I guess you’re getting the best of both worlds.

      Reply
    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      You’re not too far from NYC so you can take advantage of its entertainment options!

      Reply
    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      We’re going to have to create a more accurate list of exciting cities!

      Reply
  11. Mrs. Frugalwoods

    Very interesting! I must fall in the “fleeing excitement” category because we live in Boston now and are planning to move to a farm in rural southern Vermont. In addition to Boston, we’ve lived in NYC, DC (and a bunch of vastly less exciting places in the midwest) and while cities are thrilling, they’re also hectic and expensive. We enjoyed our city time, but are ready for a change of pace. I plan to find homesteading “exciting” but I can certainly understand why no one will ever include it on a list :)
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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      I have a lot of family in Boston and think it’s a great city. My sister-in-law lives in Vermont and it’s beautiful state with many outdoor activities. I wouldn’t mind a change of pace, but I’m not sure I can live in a rural farm town though! Laurie from the Frugal Farmer might agree that homesteading is “exciting”!

      Reply

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