Homestate Glory

No surprise that Texas has some of the coolest cities in America

No surprise that Texas has some of the coolest cities in America

Dallas skyline at night
The Dallas skyline looks way cooler at night. Photo by Matt Pasant
Austin skyline downtown at night
Yes, Austin, you are very cool. Texas Wide Open for Business/Facebook
downtown Houston skyline at night
Houston is the No. 4 coolest city in America, according to Forbes. Photo by © Debora Smail/Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau
Dallas skyline at night
Austin skyline downtown at night
downtown Houston skyline at night

Not that we Texans need something else to boast about, but according to Forbes, the Lone Star State has four of the coolest cities in America. Austin, Houston, Dallas and San Antonio all made the cut on the publication’s recent roundup.

Coming in at No. 3, Austin is the coolest city in Texas. Sigh. Houston is right on its heels at No. 4, followed by Dallas (No. 10) and San Antonio (No. 15).

So what makes for a cool city? Forbes took the 60 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. and ranked them according to six equally weighted factors: entertainment per capita, recreation per capita, “foodie” culture (bonus points for local establishments), population ages 20-34, diversity and net migration.

The top two spots out of 20 went to Washington, D.C., and Seattle. Fair enough.

Now, we don’t begrudge Austin its title as coolest city in Texas, but it seems odd that it ranks so well given its relatively low arts and culture (75) and recreation (48) indexes. As a point of comparison, D.C. and Seattle scored 93 or better in both categories; Dallas scored 95 and 86, respectively, and Houston scored 91 and 94, respectively.

Dallas and Houston also have Austin beat in diversity, but Austin wins for population age 20-34 (of course) and net migration, which was a whopping 7.5 percent, compared to Dallas’ 3.9 and Houston’s 4.2. Mystery solved?

As much as we hate to admit it, California actually has more cities on this list than Texas: eight compared to our four. Does that make it the coolest state in America? We hope not.

Here’s the complete list of America’s Coolest Cities 2014:

  • Washington, D.C.
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Austin, Texas
  • Houston, Texas
  • San Francisco, California
  • San Diego, California
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Riverside, California
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Dallas, Texas
  • New York, New York
  • Oakland, California
  • Miami, Florida
  • Sacramento, California
  • San Antonio, Texas
  • San Jose, California
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Bethesda, Maryland
  • Santa Ana, California