To each his own... The Coolest City to Visit in Each State (Discoverer Travel Blog)



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For Virginia you could easily put Alexandria and for Maryland Silver Spring or Rockville.

Portland Maine is great but it is becoming way to gentrified.

No arguments with New Haven or Portsmouth, which seems to be a more chilled down to earth version of Portland, Me.

Savannah could easily be for Georgia.
 

nelsonmuntz

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Mostly right. My thoughts:

California - I really like San Francisco. I can't stand LA other than the weather, and San Jose is fairly generic.

Connecticut - I like Stamford or Hartford better for CT. Does Norwalk qualify? SoNo is great.

Illinois - Chicago is awesome.

New Hampshire - Portsmouth is AWESOME

Ohio - Cincinnati kinda sucks. I like Columbus and Cleveland though.

Rhode Island - I like Providence more for the surrounding area, although the downtown is pretty cool. I like Newport a lot, but it is generic fancy vacation place and not really indicative of the state.

Texas - Obviously Austin because Dallas and Houston suck.
 
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For Virginia you could easily put Alexandria and for Maryland Silver Spring or Rockville.

Portland Maine is great but it is becoming way to gentrified.

No arguments with New Haven or Portsmouth, which seems to be a more chilled down to earth version of Portland, Me.

Savannah could easily be for Georgia.
Portland, Maine is great but it got crazy expensive for what you get out of it.
 
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States and cities that I have been to personally and have spent enough time in to have an opinion...
  • AZ - Been to Tucson more culture that Phoenix, sure, without the bling of Scottsdale; but, Sedona is way better
  • CA - San Fran is my favorite big city, don't like LA, but do like Santa Monica for smaller cities
  • CO - Boulder is overrated in my opinion, rather be in Denver or in the mountains, say Steamboat Springs
  • CT - Agree on New Haven based on the pizza alone
  • DE - Wilmington is a lot like Hartford with fewer things to do, if I'm going to be in DE, I'm off to Rehoboth Beach
  • FL - No thanks to Miami Beach, not a fan of Florida overall, maybe Naples on the Gulf Coast or quieter Satellite Beach on the Atlantic Coast
  • GA - Never been to Athens, but it would be hard to beat Savannah
  • IL - Agree, Chicago is one of my fav cities to visit
  • LA - New Orleans, from what I remember, it was a lot of fun and one too many hand grenades, though in all seriousness, the food is great and the WWII Museum is fantastic
  • ME - Portland is great though Wells is a better beach town, MDI is just amazing, Camden is the Maine shore town
  • MD - Yes to Annapolis
  • MA - Boston is a fun if annoying city, do like Newburyport, P-Town, and Great Barrington, too
  • MI - Yes on Ann Arbor, though Mackinac Island is more unique
  • MN - Have not been to Duluth, did enjoy Minneapolis and Brainerd is a great lake town
  • NV - No tmany people I know woudl pick Reno over Vegas outside of the middle of summer, myself included
  • NH - Portsmouth is my favorite, too, though I also like Keene a lot
  • NJ - Ocean City is nice; but not even the best shore town, would pick Hoboken, Princeton, and Cape May as my favorites
  • NY - NYC for best big city, with Ithaca and Saratoga tied for best small town
  • NC - Only been to RTP and Charlotte, everyone loves Ashville; but, it maybe getting too popular, Boone I have heard is a hidden gem
  • OH - I would take Cleveland, better food and sports scene and it has the ROck & Roll HoF and the Football HoF is not far away, plus Lake Erie is a lot nice to relax b than the Ohio
  • PA - I do like both Philly and Pitt, but take Philly for better food while State College is really fun, too, was gong to take my boys to Williamsport this summer, but Little League was canned
  • RI - Yes to Newport
  • SC - No idea where Foley beach is; but, Charleston is one of my favorite cities, period
  • TX - Austin is great, downtown San Antonio would be second for me, anywhere but Houston and Dallas
  • VT - Burlington is OK, though I like Middlebury more
  • VA - Arlington over neighboring Alexandria, nope
  • WI - Yes to Madison unless one is aiming for a lake house in the summer
 
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Love reading these articles, especially when stuck at home.

Some opinions:

AZ - I love Flagstaff.
CT - Can't complain about New Haven. Only area with a legit music scene. @nelsonmuntz, as a Norwalk resident, I appreciate the shout out! Lovely city and so happy to live here.
DE - I visited Wilmington for the first time last September. I really like the town, lots of charm and there's some cool grassroots food spots in the poorer neighborhoods.
ME/MA - Portland and Boston are lazy answers.
MT - Livingston is sweet. Small, but dense town with AMAZING food. Shout out to the Murray Hotel.
ND - Shocked how much I liked Fargo. The Hotel Donaldson is the nicest hotel I've ever stayed in.
RI - I wouldn't call Newport "cool". My vote goes to Providence.
SD - I loved Rapid City. Great food, lots of street art, chill local vibe despite being center of tourist area.
VT - I love Burlington.
 

nwhoopfan

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Mostly went with the biggest city in each state, or a prominent college town. A few exceptions. I haven't been to very many of these, but a few. I did like Livingston, MT. Several of them that I have been to, I barely passed thru so didn't really form much of an impression. Jackson Hole, WY I've been to a couple times. It's a lot better non peak season. For a small town it gets ridiculously crowded in the middle of summer. I would assume it gets bad during the holidays/ski season as well. Some time in September after school starts up again was pretty sweet though. That was quite a few years ago, maybe there isn't as much of an off season as their used to be.

RE: Seattle and Portland, you could pretty easily argue that both have been ruined by rapid growth in recent years. Plenty to do in each, but they are crowded, traffic sucks, and they are getting fairly gentrified and losing some of their character. And both have large problems with homelessness.
 
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RE: Seattle and Portland, you could pretty easily argue that both have been ruined by rapid growth in recent years. Plenty to do in each, but they are crowded, traffic sucks, and they are getting fairly gentrified and losing some of their character. And both have large problems with homelessness.
Portland has great transit. And bike lanes. Who cares about traffic there?
 
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Portland has great transit. And bike lanes. Who cares about traffic there?
Question about that. I see picture of people bikiung to work in Portland (and Seattle) at lot; but, it rains a lot. Do people just go to the office in wet business clothes or do businesses have changing rooms? Just curious.
 
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States and cities that I have been to personally and have spent enough time in to have an opinion...
  • AZ - Been to Tucson more culture that Phoenix, sure, without the bling of Scottsdale; but, Sedona is way better
  • CA - San Fran is my favorite big city, don't like LA, but do like Santa Monica for smaller cities
  • CO - Boulder is overrated in my opinion, rather be in Denver or in the mountains, say Steamboat Springs
  • CT - Agree on New Haven based on the pizza alone
  • DE - Wilmington is a lot like Hartford with fewer things to do, if I'm going to be in DE, I'm off to Rehoboth Beach
  • FL - No thanks to Miami Beach, not a fan of Florida overall, maybe Naples on the Gulf Coast or quieter Satellite Beach on the Atlantic Coast
  • GA - Never been to Athens, but it would be hard to beat Savannah
  • IL - Agree, Chicago is one of my fav cities to visit
  • LA - New Orleans, from what I remember, it was a lot of fun and one too many hand grenades, though in all seriousness, the food is great and the WWII Museum is fantastic
  • ME - Portland is great though Wells is a better beach town, MDI is just amazing, Camden is the Maine shore town
  • MD - Yes to Annapolis
  • MA - Boston is a fun if annoying city, do like Newburyport, P-Town, and Great Barrington, too
  • MI - Yes on Ann Arbor, though Mackinac Island is more unique
  • MN - Have not been to Duluth, did enjoy Minneapolis and Brainerd is a great lake town
  • NV - No tmany people I know woudl pick Reno over Vegas outside of the middle of summer, myself included
  • NH - Portsmouth is my favorite, too, though I also like Keene a lot
  • NJ - Ocean City is nice; but not even the best shore town, would pick Hoboken, Princeton, and Cape May as my favorites
  • NY - NYC for best big city, with Ithaca and Saratoga tied for best small town
  • NC - Only been to RTP and Charlotte, everyone loves Ashville; but, it maybe getting too popular, Boone I have heard is a hidden gem
  • OH - I would take Cleveland, better food and sports scene and it has the ROck & Roll HoF and the Football HoF is not far away, plus Lake Erie is a lot nice to relax b than the Ohio
  • PA - I do like both Philly and Pitt, but take Philly for better food while State College is really fun, too, was gong to take my boys to Williamsport this summer, but Little League was canned
  • RI - Yes to Newport
  • SC - No idea where Foley beach is; but, Charleston is one of my favorite cities, period
  • TX - Austin is great, downtown San Antonio would be second for me, anywhere by Houston and Dallas
  • VT - Burlington is OK, though I like Middlebury more
  • VA - Arlington over neighboring Alexandria, nope
  • WI - Yes to Madison unless one is aiming for a lake house in the summer
Great food in Tucson.
 
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Geez, doesn't happen much there.

Took my family to a dude ranch outside of Tuscon a few years back in February. Wanted drive up Mt. Lemon after we checked-out on our way back to PHX (got better rates to fly to PHX than to Tuscon). The road up was closed due to snow and a lot of it.
2018 Tuscon - Day 3, Mornoing ride Mt Lemmon whitecap.jpg
 
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For the states that I know enough to have an opinion

AL -- Birmingham is a very underrated city -- good and varied food scene and restaurant district. Tuscaloosa is a sneaky good college town as well. The beach towns are nothing to write home about, but Mobile is ok as a port town with some good history (it gets docked points for being the place that originally imported fire ants).

AZ -- Tuscon > Phoenix

AR -- Not much to choose from -- Little Rock is meh. Does Hot Springs qualify?

CA -- San Diego. SF is overrun and dirty, LA is miserable.

CO -- Denver is a great overall big city. Has to win here even though CO has lots of options.

CT -- New Haven by a pretty significant margin.

DE -- Wilmington, I guess. The attraction of Delaware is the peninsula towns, and they are not cities.

FL -- Key West or St. Augustine (though it may be a stretch to call either a true city by population their layouts and feel are urban). Most Florida cities disgust me.

GA -- Savannah.

IL -- Chicago is one of the top 3 cities in the country.

ME -- No real "cities" outside of Portland, which is great. Most of the attraction is in the smaller coast towns. Camden is awesome.

MD -- Annapolis. No real debate here.

MA -- Boston still wins among the larger cities, but plenty of great smaller cities as well. The Cape is highly overrated but P-town is worth the trip.

MT -- I love Bozeman. Friendly people, tons of activities, good restaurant/bar scene. No town recreates as well as these residents.

NH -- Portsmouth is the best. Food, location, culture

NJ -- the actual cities kind of suck but lots of good "big towns" inland and on the coast.

NY -- Duh. I would call Saratoga and Lake Placid big towns, but both are awesome.

NC -- Wilmington. I don't care for Charlotte or Raleigh. Never been to Asheville.

PA -- Philly has some great spots, but Pittsburgh has developed into a top notch city, and I just think it's less dumpy.

RI -- I think Providence is overrated, though I love the Thayer St. neighborhood. Prefer Newport, particularly in late spring or post-Columbus day.

SC -- Charleston

TN -- Lots of great choices here. Memphis, Knoxville and Nashville are all great cities.

TX -- has to be Austin. The rest of the concrete jungles, no thanks.

VT -- Burlington is absolutely beautiful. Not too many true cities to pick from.

VA -- I'm not sure Charlottesville qualifies as a city, but if it does I pick there.

WVA -- umm . . .

WY -- Jackson is one of the cooler places to visit in the country. NYC-SF levels of expensive, though.
 
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The one time I was in Tucson, they had snow overnight.
Happened to me in Sedona. Crazy cool. Anyone can see when it’s 90 degrees and sunny. To catch it when snowing is special
 

nwhoopfan

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I have a feeling most people don't know how high in elevation parts of Northern Arizona is. Sedona is 4300 ft., Prescott is 5300, Flagstaff is nearly 7000!

edit--South Rim of the Grand Canyon is around 7000 ft. as well.
 

HuskyHawk

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Of the places I've visited. Underline where they got it wrong. Mostly they did pretty well.

GA: Should be Savannah
CA: San Francisco, best large city. But I prefer Carmel or Santa Cruz
CT: none are great, NH is probably best
FL: Miami Beach? I have to go with Key West here.
IL: Chicago easy winner
KS: Lawrence is correct
LA: New Orleans also an easy call
ME: Portland
MA: Boston
MO: KC wins, better than St. Louis and Springfield sucks.
Nevada: Reno stinks. Las Vegas is the answer here.
NH: Portsmouth for sure.
NY: no opinion. I can't stand NYC.
OK: Tulsa beats OKC
OR: Portland for sure
RI: Newport probably edges out Providence for visitors
SC: Wrong. Charleston or Beaufort should the answer. Even Hilton Head
TX: Austin
UT: Agree with Park City over SLC
VT: Definitely Burlington. I've spent lots of time in Middlebury, Stowe, Waterbury but Burlington wins.
VA: Should be Willamsburg. Arlington? Seriously?
WA: Seattle. Maybe the CHAZ. ;)
 

HuskyHawk

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I have a feeling most people don't know how high in elevation parts of Northern Arizona is. Sedona is 4300 ft., Prescott is 5300, Flagstaff is nearly 7000!

edit--South Rim of the Grand Canyon is around 7000 ft. as well.
I drove from KC to San Jose back in 1996 (in a U-haul). Driving through Arizona it was about 70 degrees, then we went through Flagtsaff, snowing like crazy in Flagstaff. Then we went back down, and it was 70 or so again. All of that took less than an hour.
 

nwhoopfan

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WA: Seattle. Maybe the CHAZ.
You are on top of that. I haven't ventured into that part of the city to check it out. Seattle...:confused:


Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone for those who have not heard of this. Police not welcome. They are "policing" themselves, not sure how well that's gonna work out long term.


edit--this is progress? Fiefdoms and warlords could be where we are heading if some get their way, just like the good ol' days.

 
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ZooCougar

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MS-Oxford
TN-Nashville
MT-Bozeman or Livingston, they are kind of close together so if you go to one you should go to the other.
WY-J Hole is for Billionaires. Check out Cody instead.
WI-Madison might be the obvious choice. But go to Viroqua or Lacrosse instead.
KS-Don't visit Kansas. Lawrence isn't that great. Not even Kansas City, KS.
MO-Kansas City MO has something for pretty much anyone. Avoid St. Louis and Columbia.
OR-Bend
CO-Estes Park
 

storrsroars

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I think this depends on what you want out of a tourist attraction. For me it's usually been food, golf and decent weather.

Thus, I'd take Reno over LV as the golf is a billion times better and you can actually get to other places, like Tahoe and Truckee from there.

I'd probably take San Diego over SF at this point as SD has stepped up in food areas I'm enjoying more these days. Although I also have a fondness for Sonoma/Napa.

Sedona is beautiful and all, but Phoenix wipes it off the map food-wise.

San Antonio is a great 2-3 day stay. Not sure if it would hold my interest longer than that. I got to know Dallas fairly well due to my former employer's relationship with Sabre. I've probably been to a lot of places only the locals really know, and it's really not as awful as portrayed here.

I can't imagine anywhere in LA being as enjoyable as NO.

In FL, I've enjoyed Little Havana and Miami Beach, but I like the vibe of the west coast better - spent a decent amount of time in Bradenton/Sarasota and Metro Tampa/St Pete. If I were to ever move to FL, it would be there.

I don't really have an opinion on VA. I lived in Alexandria, and while there was much to do, I can't see it being a compelling place to visit for fun. I'd probably head to Virginia Beach, go swimming with dolphins and slum at shrimp shacks and BBQ huts.

Crazy as it may sound, in MD, I'd pick Baltimore. Annapolis is picturesque but has no soul IMO. Baltimore actually has some decent neighborhoods (Hampden being one I particularly enjoy) and the area from Inner Harbor to Camden Yards can be fun.

OH... no opinion. Not crazy about any of the cities. Same for Indiana.

Milwaukee is underrated. And while I'd take Minneapolis over Duluth, Dultuh actually surprised me as far as being much more interesting than I'd thought - I had no expectations yet thoroughly enjoyed my stay there.

I worked in Montclair, NJ off and on a couple years ago. I could live there easily. Strong community and a lot going on for a town of its size.

Probably because I know the area so well due to previous hiking trips, I'll go with North Conway'Lincoln in NH. I've spent more time in K-Port in ME than anywhere else due to a friend having a beach compound there which was particularly enjoyable. Love Portland, but there's not much more there than a day trip. But SE Maine as a general area is certainly worth a trip.

In VT, I've enjoyed the Bennington area quite a bit, and will admit my opinion on Burlington is partly shaped from having a job interview up there in February. Not a chance in hell I'd ever live there.

I'd probably take Stamford over NH in CT. Then again, I grew up there. SW Fairfield Cty is its own state as far as attitude goes.

I live in Pittsburgh, so I'm biased. If someone cast a vote for Philly but hasn't been here in the past 15 years, you should book a trip. And if we weren't so close to WV, we'd never set foot in the place, but downtown Weirton is starting to get a vibe. It might become the Brooklyn of the Appalachians.

Most other states I've only been in one city, so can't really compare those to anything else.
 

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