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Exciting urban neighborhoods are as prevalent as ever. Every city has new hotspots, gritty classics and much in between. But how do you quantify the “coolness” of a given neighborhood, beyond what’s simply trendy and hip? How do you compare the vibrant and diverse cultural epicenters of our nation’s most beloved cities?

Put simply, we used data to determine street cred. We analyzed six different dimensions: Walkability, Transit, Budget, Entertainment, Lifestyle and Weather. And our extensive research has allowed us to establish, definitively, the 25 coolest neighborhoods in America!

To better understand the scoring system, let’s break down each point of interest. We considered
the largest points of concern and comfort when buyers and renters are looking to move to a new
neighborhood. Making your next move can be a daunting task, and putting in the time to really
examine certain aspects of a neighborhood can lead to finding the perfect fit. With factors to
consider ranging from fun to finance, we boiled things down to six distinct categories.

First, we considered the walkability of each neighborhood. Second, we examined transit. By
looking at the public transportation systems, accessibility, and transit times, we came up with a
score to reflect the ease of getting around. For budget we considered confidence in the local
economy, state and local taxes, and recent shifts in the rental market. The entertainment
category included tallies of restaurants, bars, coffee shops, festivals, fairs, arts events and
music events in the neighborhood. Lifestyle focused on bikeability, pet friendliness and the
number of outdoor activities. Weather was the final category which we analyzed with residential
polls about the climate and severity of seasons.

Scores for each category were computed out of 100, with a totaled average score to find the
final ranking. Seattle, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Austin and Washington DC all tied for
having two neighborhoods listed in the top 25. California was the state with the most top
neighborhoods in the country, and San Francisco nagged the coveted top spot with its Mission
District, which scored an impressive 92 point average.

12 Comments

Comments (12)

Great, fascinating study. Wish you had a national list of the Top 100 to publish. Were any inner ring suburbs (Chicago area for example) like Evanston or Oak Park considered for the study, or was it kept to neighborhoods inside of the primary city?

how on earth does Lowry Hill in MSP have a higher transit rating than Logan Square?!?! Their light rail doesn’t come anywhere near it and it has a couple of bus lines.

I also have questions about the high ratings for transit in the seattle and sf ones…. yes its there and looks equal on a map but i dont think this is factoring frequency, hours, and connectivity to a robust system.

Washington DC didn’t have a neighborhood called U District. Do you mean U Street? Alternatively, if you Google U District, it appears that neighborhood is located in Seattle, Washington…

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