My 5 Favorite American Cities

1. Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu is fantastic because it is such a self-contained city. Being on the island of Oahu in the Pacific Ocean, the city has to perform all of the functions of a larger city. The city itself has only about 400,000 people, but the skyline of Honolulu resembles that of a much larger city. Despite its geographic isolation from the rest of the United States, Honolulu remains an influential and powerful city. Hawaiians are known for their relaxed lifestyle and residents of Honolulu can enjoy warm weather, great beaches and abundant sunshine year-round.

2. San Diego, California

Much like Honolulu, San Diego is known for it's beautiful climate. The temperature year round stays between 60 and 80 Degrees Fahrenheit and San Diego is one of the sunniest cities in the country. The climate is probably one of the reasons that San Diego is known for fitness; the city is full of runners, bikers and other outdoor enthusiasts. In fact, San Diego was ranked by Forbes as one of the healthiest cities in the country for 2013. San Diego is a major west coast center for the insurance and banking industries and is growing rapidly. For those who love the climate of Southern California but fear moving to Los Angeles, San Diego is the place to be.

3. Boston, Massachusetts

I think that I am particularly partial to Boston because I have spent most of my life living near it and visited frequently. Boston is a city that prides itself on its history and as such is full of museums and historic buildings. Despite having hot humid summers and cold snowy winters, Boston like San Diego was ranked by Forbes as one of the healthiest American cities, coming in at number 3. Boston only has about 700,000 people, but its population grows everyday with a huge influx of commuters from the surrounding area. Many of these workers come to Boston for its prominence as a finance or biotechnology center; Boston is known for creating high-wealth jobs. Perhaps my favorite thing about Boston is the population itself. Bostonians tend to be progressive, fashion-conscious and caring about the environment. For those who like the feel of European cities, come to visit Boston. 

4. Portland, Oregon

Portland made my list for reasons that are not very similar to the other cities on the list. Unlike sunny San Diego and tropical Honolulu, Portland exists in a marine climate with many gloomy, rainy days. The people here are known for being very unique and tend to appreciate nature more than those in other areas in the country. For instance, there are currently at least 5 Whole Foods Markets within the city limits of Portland. The city is known for green-construction and is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country. In an era where we seek to reduce our dependency on cars and foreign oil, Portland sets the bar high.

5. Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. is perhaps the most beautifully planned city that I have ever been to. The streets are arranged in a nearly perfect grid, except for large avenues named for states that run at diagonals and connect several large rotaries throughout the city. The Federal Government buildings are prominently displayed along the National Mall. The government operates the Smithsonian museums, which are always free to the public. Washington D.C. would be at the top of my list if it were not for two things. The city is ravaged by a large racially divided wealth gap and has one of the worst performing education systems in the country. The Southeast quadrant of the city, across the Anacostia River is the center of these problems; I think that this is particularly sad in our nations capital city.