The Washington Post

Is D.C. really the coolest city in America?

The 14th Street corridor in Washington. (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)


Forbes just declared Washington the coolest city in the country. The magazine’s semi-scientific system for measuring coolness took into account:

  • entertainment options, including the number of sporting events, theatrical performances, national parks, ski areas and zoos per capita. Cool is waiting in line to see a panda sleep.
  • trendy food, including the share of local restaurants rather than chains and the number of farmers’ markets, breweries and CSAs per capita.
  • racial and ethnic diversity.
  • the portion of residents who are between the ages of 20 and 34, apparently the coolest age to be.
  • net migration, or the number of people moving into a city (to be where all the cool people are).

D.C. beat out second-place Seattle, in the other Washington, and cities like Austin (#3), San Francisco (#5) and New York (#11) that pride themselves on their coolness. Here in Washington, we seem to not have as high an opinion of ourselves as Forbes does.

Little next-door neighbor Bethesda made the list, too, sneaking in at number 19.

Readers, what do you think is the coolest single thing about Washington? Let us know in the comments section below or with the hashtag #DCCoolest on Twitter.

Julie Zauzmer is a local news reporter.



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